Selective Attention

Eric Heimburg has a good post about why it may be cognitively impossible for some people to obey Rule 1 of raiding (“Don’t stand in the fire”). For more fun on this, I recommend the University of Illinois Visual Cognition Lab, particularly under “Gradual changes to scenes,” where they will tell you what is going to happen but you will still miss it.

: Zubon

5 thoughts on “Selective Attention”

  1. I’m not sure I buy it. Not the experiment in itself, which is nice and stands as it is, but just how it relates to players.

    Just going by experience, players “stand in the fire/bad place/goo of death” not because of selective attention but because of:

    1- Having to stand there because no other place will do at the time and they’re tactically willing to eat the damage in exchange for a better situation a few seconds later (Ex. having to toss a few crucial heals when moving will cancel them. Having to regain aggro right this fraggin’ second no matter where I’m standing, etc.)

    2- Just plain old not paying attention, but to -anything-. The fact is that when we play, we see the avatars but not what the players are doing. Just last week I had not one, but two wipes on trash in Nexus (a quite forgiving instance, at any 70+ level and difficulty) because the healer was, as he admitted himself, watching Inuyasha at the same time.

    Most times by far it isn’t as clear cut as “I just didn’t see the fire”. The experiments are good, but I wonder if MMO players (or video gamers in general) wouldn’t score much, much higher than the rest of the population due to how fast we’ve trained ourselves to react to sometimes even minute visual cues and changes.

    1. Yes, sometimes it’s good to stand in the fire, and sometimes people are just dumb.

      It’s easy enough to test your change blindness. The videos that I linked take 12 seconds each. How many did you catch on your first try, gamer?

      1. I saw the first vid and immediately noticed the gorilla as soon as it stepped in, but I think I miscounted the passes.

        What does that mean?

  2. Honestly staying out of the fire was never hard for me, I get why it would be impossible for people who are used to tunnel visioning their primary objective though.

    1. I stand in fire until I get used to the rest of the fight. Gunship is still frantic for me, even though everyone seems to think it is cake. I have a slow reaction time and I’m a gamer, so I’m afraid the “training” theory might not hold any water.

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