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Subject: Skill set for the Professional Gamer rss

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Robert Kelly
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
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As a teacher I have to necessarily concern myself with developing skills in my students. The other day I got to wondering what skills would be required for a professional board game player. Would a certain 'real world' job be more suited to developing skills for the gaming hobby. I was thinking in particular about my field. Teachers do have many of the skills that gamers must have to succeed. Firstly, teachers have varying attention spans. I read somewhere that teachers have over two hundred attention breaks in the course of a work day. Gamers need to be able to change focus quickly to adapt to new situations as do teachers. (Interior monologue: What is player a doing? Should I try to affect this? Should I wait to see what happens? Hey, player b is doing something else. This is madness, I need to flick the lights now) Of course secondly, teachers have to be able to plan in the long range and adapt instantaneously to new situations. Things always change day to day and the year plans of September don't look anything like the what you actually did when you reflect in June. (I am going for wharf and have been since the game started, darn, player c just bought the last one, now I have to dump my corn fields and look to out build them) Thirdly teachers understand that good things happen when you take time to set up and that things can work just as well when they pop up (Wargame scenarios vs Ticket to Ride). Teacher also know a great deal about sorting through tonnes of data and strategies to get to the truth. Numbers and percentages tell so very little about what is really going on with a student, just as the massive amount of forums extolling or diminishing the trader/king opening move are worthless if you don't play it. (I have 4,5,6 and 9 covered and so STATISTICALLY I will win out over the 3,8, and 10 and the 2:1 port that my opposition has) Lastly teachers do have to have a lot of patience. From everything to dealing with irate parents and lead footed Administrators to just waiting for little John to finally understand long division, teaching is all about patience. (Playing USA in Axis and Allies) Yup, overall I think that teachers do make the best gamers.
 
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Alex Sorbello
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
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Quote:
teachers do have to have a lot of patience. From everything to dealing with irate parents and lead footed Administrators to just waiting for little John to finally understand long division, teaching is all about patience. (Playing USA in Axis and Allies) Yup, overall I think that teachers do make the best gamers.


If i would be paid for playing games i would be very patient!
 
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Carl Johan Ragnarsson
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Lund
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I think the number of professional Settlers or Puerto Rico players is relatively small However, speaking from my own field, of abstract games, particularly go (but also chess, poker etc.), there are several factors that stand out. Having spent a couple of months in Asia playing go, I can definitely say that the first ability below tends to distinguish the top players from the rest. While they are able to goof around, go out drinking, or anything else that the average gamer might do, they always know when it is time to take a game seriously, and will not let themselves be disturbed by anyone in such cases.

Of course, this will also aid a lot in studying the game.


> concentration - in a serious game you have to put all your energy on the game, and forget everything else. maybe you can play at 95% of your level while hardly concentrating, but all top players are able to concentrate when necessary

> devotion - at some point in your life having spent many many hours studying/playing the game. as sad as it may sound, progress tends to be proportional to the number of hours spent studying, talent affecting how far you finally go.

> talent - which is extremely important, but alone not enough

> psychology - keeping cool, making balanced decisions in every situation

There are other aspects that are important, short and long term memory, pattern recognition etc., but harder to quantify. Basic statistics would also help the poker player.


All of these abilities are certainly very important in real life, but I think many gamers forget to apply them at work, and do it just in the game meeple
 
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