Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What are tasks for Spatial and Visual Intelligence?

In games, Spatial and Visual intelligence (Awe) is usually lumped together with logical-mathematical intelligence (Int). Although i would say it is very different and doesn't have a competing relationship with each other.

For Short I'll call it Awenesss or Awe. Its short for the other description, spatial awareness.

We know artists and highly visual people have gifted with this Intelligence. Artist Checks where drawing and sculpting is concerned is a definite no-brainer when it comes to which intelligence, although both require some minor level of highly specialized manual kinesthetic int (aka Dex).

What is surprising about Awe is that as I learn from my team captain how he processes tactics and movements, the way he describes it and the way I've experienced successfully executing it, I've realized tactician is more dependent on Awe than Int.

One of the things I've noticed when my captain describes the enemy movement he would look out, remembering the terrain and with his hands follow the rise and fall of the terrain. Also the way he describes how he "spots" opponents, its not as much as he sees them but he can narrow down where they could be hiding. I realized that this kind of processing is easier when processing visual references into a 3d mental picture than to go through a logical list of possibilities (which is the first instinct for my newb self).

Einsteins brain. In the lecture the mind, consciousness and thinking machines there was a story about Einsteins brain and description of the neural geography. The cliff-notes is that it seems he learned to speak very late in life was because his visual-spatial specialized core competed or was more well developed than the language part. I'm not sure about the accuracy or how much true this is but I'm working on the assumption it is.

Other Intelligences. This got me thinking about challenging some other assumptions as to the usefulness and the validity of various intelligences. One intelligence that may be considered a dump stat is music. In my observation, i think in an RPG a high musical ability can be an alternate for memory. Another aspect of Musical ability is time sense or rhythm not just for instruments but also for manipulating complex operations. Unfortunately, Music as an Intelligence Ability is not going to be popular. Although, good thing it is designed as part of a Random Character Generation System, in that way Ideally people can't use it as a dump stat... on the other hand, people who are who roll Music as their strongest if not one of their key suits, will be very interesting character to role-play.


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