1. Hey Guest! If you're more than just a WildStar fan and want to keep up on the latest MMO news, reviews and opinion pieces then I'd like to suggest you visit our sister site MMO Central

The skinner box. Yay or nay

Discussion in 'Gaming Arena' started by nomotog, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. nomotog

    nomotog Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    157
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Simple question here. Should mmos use the skinner box as a core component of the game? The skinner box has become so entangle in mmos that you can practically define the genre around it. Personally I don't like this. I have serous moral problems with the box just existing and I also believe that the construction and maintaining of the box takes resources that should be used to make a better game. That's what I think anyway, but who cares what I think. I want to know what you think. So should we use it? Maybe we should use it less? Or more? Please post your thoughts.

    If you don't know what a skinner box is, here is a video. http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-skinner-box
     
  2. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    Just a tip: If you make a question thread about something, try explain it to people who don't know what it is. Asking a question about ''skinner box'' then explain what it is.

    Not everyone is from the US or another english speaking country and can have diffeculty understanding this word :D

    My opinion:
    Also, i think the Skinner box thing is a pretty decent way to get people learn the game, and playing MMO's in General.

    Especially in WS you need to move alot, they give you ''dodge exp'' if you dodge correctly. This is a good stimulance to let people get used to the game mechanics that are SO important in this game.
     
  3. Kataryna

    Kataryna Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1,876
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Arkansas
    WTF is a skinner box?
     
  4. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    It's like with a rat, that get's a reward when he acts a certain way the scientists want him to do, like picking the right door out of the rat maze.

    So it's like getting rewards for acting a certain way: Aka getting bonus exp if you succesfully dodge telegraphs :D
     
  5. Forbisana

    Forbisana New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
  6. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
  7. Forbisana

    Forbisana New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Eh, #1-4 describe it in more detail ^^.
     
  8. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    I give it to ya that nr1 explains it aswell, hence the title of nr1 (same with nr5).

    But nr4...nah not really.

    As for nr4 is completely is about the fact we give value to ''goods'' or ''rewards''. In MMO their cases it's the value we give to gear you get or other items.
    Oke, getting gear is a reward, but this nr4 is not about the reward. It's about the value the gamer gives to that reward.
    Hence again not about the ''Skinner box''.

    However i must admit, most of these examples lie very close to each other. And i can therefore see the confusing it can causes ;)

    Edit: Had to reread nr3 (english aint my main language), but that one is indeed skinner box.
     
  9. Inukeu

    Inukeu Well-Known Cupcake

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Classified
    ya kno I dont even care just gimme me my reward all ready! im in the box man IM IN THE BOX!!:confused:
     
  10. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    Oh God you're creepy :p

    [​IMG]
     
  11. nomotog

    nomotog Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    157
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I thought about posting a link, but then I thought everyone who plays an mmo should already know what a skinner box is seeing as so many mmo principles are built around it. Though extra credits did a good video on the skinner box. http://penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/the-skinner-box
     
    Inukeu and Extatica like this.
  12. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    I do think almost every knows them, but not by name :D I think others may just call it ''addictive features'' ;)

    But love the video, but then again...i always love their video's :p
     
  13. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    Also as i said, i don't mind how WS does it with the extra dodge exp.

    And i think it's a great way to get people to learn the game.

    But i do hope they don't overuse it! Like in WoW, how they did it with their dailies....that's just OVER USE! And it get's boring and makes people quit the game instead of staying.
     
  14. Ekadzati

    Ekadzati New Cupcake

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    PNW
    First and foremost, this isn't "just an MMO" thing. Operant conditioning is part and parcel of human existence and of life. You are subjected to it from the moment you're born and it follows you through home, work, and social environments until the moment you take the dirt nap.

    I see your question as being, "Should game developers rely on operant conditioning to get the behavior they desire?" Which may be roughly translated as, "Is it appropriate for game companies to create games that demand obedience to their chosen rules and methods for progression to attain what rewards they offer?"

    When you put it that way, I suspect the answer becomes a bit obvious... of course it is appropriate:

    1. They're in it to make money,
    2. To make money, they must have control over both the parameters of the game as well as what constitutes "acceptable" and "unacceptable" behavior (loosely**),
    3. They are not breaking any laws by doing so (at this time, anyway).

    If you genuinely want to see less game developer decision-making about what you can do, when, and how you can do it, your best bet is:

    1. Refuse to play any game that doesn't do this,
    2. Do your best to convince your friends to do the same,
    3. Make a point of looking for games where player choice is more prevalent and game-world supported (i.e., sandboxes rather than theme parks),
    4. Make a point of telling game companies why you're leaving (when you do), or why you're staying (again, when you do).

    Finally, accept the reality that it is highly unlikely you're going to find a competitive MMO offering that doesn't have considerable amounts of operant conditioning involved. The very nature of competitive behavior is founded on a set of generalized rules that are, themselves, operant conditions... for "winning"... for "losing"... for "determining skill (or its lack)"... for defining "success"... "failure"... and the list goes on and on and on.

    Personally, when I tire of the ol' carrot and stick, I turn to MMO activities that are less overtly demanding. Sadly, they are fewer today than they once were (crafting has taken the hit over time and so has PvP with the introduction of structured leaderboards and battlegrounds to constraint the conditions under which you can "be successful" as well as to enforce (condition you) into pursuing game choices that support this outcome).

    This is, of course, why I'm hopeful that paths and the ability to choose solo play will be something a little less likely to require I make my entertainment a "second job" (since that simply isn't going to happen).

    ** - Frankly, most game companies now leave everything outside of EULA/TOS violations to the server communities to enforce. This is one of the long-term complaints of most MMO roleplayers.
     
  15. Inukeu

    Inukeu Well-Known Cupcake

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2013
    Likes Received:
    257
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Classified
    that was good, I understand it a bit better now, I remember watching one of them on power creep ages ago aswell they really seem to know there stuff :D
     
  16. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    Those behind the video (atleast 1 of them) also want to make that Pro-gaming lobby in DC.

    You may have read that other thread about that.
     
  17. nomotog

    nomotog Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    157
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Well first you do being up a good point that it's not just mmos. It seems like every FPS now has weapon upgrade system. Also if you want to see the best example of a skinner box in gaming I would recommend a game like diabo or torchlight. The difference is that mmos seem to have their identity tided to their skinner box well another game might just have one. Another aspect is that an mmo is really the only game where you can't brake the box. If I am playing torchlight, I can enter cheat codes make mods and do all kinds of things to subvert the box.

    I am actually a little worried about the path system in WS. It's a system that attaches a skinner box to activities that I use to do for fun and that can have the effect of draining the fun out of them. Exploring because you like to explore is one thing, but exploring to get plat loot is a completely different thing.
     
  18. nomotog

    nomotog Cupcake-About-Town

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Likes Received:
    157
    Trophy Points:
    43
    The dodge exp is a good example of why the box isn't always bad. It's a system so begin and benevolent (Being a system that helps you learn how to play the game more effectively.) that I hesitate to to put it in the same box as daily quests (A system made to make sure you log in every day).
     
    Extatica likes this.
  19. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Likes Received:
    2,884
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Z-Lab
    Aye tbh it's a perfect system, for it also automatically stops at max level, but continues if there are any expansions with increased level cap.
    So it's a good system that only has to be inplemented once (not like dailies you have to make more and more dailies as a company) :up: Can't have anything bad to say about this system....

    Indeed they both seems nothing alike, although they both want to influence your behavior.

    But WoW miss-used all their boxes, and it shows....people are starting to leave :(

    The boxes are a powerfull tool, and if used correctly if can make a game. But then again if mis-used ot breaks a game :D
     
  20. Riuuki

    Riuuki Cupcake

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2013
    Likes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    England
    Sure, Skinner Boxing is quite a cheap way.. But its effective, MMOs use this purely because.. TADAAA! They make money from it and it's easier.

    Until everyone in the world shouts "NO I DON'T WANT THOSE REALLY AWESOME, EPIC LEGS!" it'll continue.
     
    Extatica likes this.

Share This Page