Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rationality Tools for Gaming: Thinking Fast and Slow Ch 21-23

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman has been a strong influence in game design of late. Especially since I want to design the game to allow GMs and Player to practice the virtues and techniques found in the book and others like it.

Gaming is an opportunity that allows a GMs to run scenarios where Critical Decision making skills can be practised repeatedly.


Chapter 21: Intuition vs Formulas

  • Few Key Metrics vs Complex Factors. Death by Modifiers is not just clunky in Game Design, its not as accurate in light of the arguments FOR algorithms. 
    • Still we need our best judgement to determine the Key Metrics. 
    • It encourages a few handy metrics, those that our Attention can juggle. So KISS applies and the GM will follow suit.
  • Narrative Biases. How they work and how to best use them in storytelling. Basically its the lack of information that makes us form narratives to Fit In All the limited Facts. 
    • A story which has all the facts explained is more  believable and acceptable to our bias than a story which cannot explain all the facts. 
  • 40% of people who are 99% certain are wrong. It just gives Certainty only a 10% advantage over 50% lolz. pretty much arguing that After a 60% chance of success the Player may not know what his odds are. How to do this mechanically? As well as how to practice this in a way that the Player will Role-play on the Overconfidence but will have the dissonance to know its really just 60% instead of 99% lolz. 
    • I'm tempted to make Complex Scopes (I've begun to use Scoping as how the GM defines the challenges to exercise that much needed skill) a category where the maximum modifiers are up to a 60% chance of success, even if the PC would feel confident about it. 
    • The way a seasoned veteran despite having 10,000 hour in campaigning has only his attitude to make him confident, and not his competence. Mechanically being able to have this in the game would give players RPing tools. 
  • People don't like Algorithms. People dont like algorithms making the decision when they can be more consistent since there are biases and moods that affect the expert. 
    • If a Gaming tool can be made into an Algorithm, try it. Example is Player Compatibility or GM rating. If you an make an algorithm for this you can easily identify weaknesses and prioritize techniques to practice. I love how subjectivity gives breathing room for my Ego but I do really want to improve Objectively. 
    • Use algorithms to determine if a Player is getting enough attention or importance. One simple one is Timing their spotlight. 
      • Egg timers. Thats why I recommend buying those egg hourglass timers. Every Scene all the players have the timers and everyone has to exhaust theirs before the Scene moves forward. 
      • Or just use Apps to Count time. Ive been looking for a Board Game Timer App so I can have everyone just use that to count their time. With the remaining time the GM can experiment in ways to get the player to be more participative - like some key questions and alternative framing the situation techniques. 

Chapter 22: Expert Intuition, when to trust it? p. 234

  • the two criteria for skills. It deals with the question of what would be a skill where expertise would have a strong relationship to success. As compared to skills that just show knowledge. 
    • Criteria 1: Practice and Repetition. 
      • Can it be practised repeatedly? 
      • What is the cost of time, money, or opportunity cost per opportunity? What is the total cost per opportunity. 
      • What would each opportunity to practice look like?
    • Criteria 2: Clarity of Feedback.  
      • How immediately does the results of the attempts arrive?
      • How clear is the causality of the attempts and the other experimental attempts have on the results? 

    • The chapter points out how in complex disciplines like prediction of Stock and markets, Economics, Politics, Technology trends,  are no better than a "random walk" or "a rolls of dice". That their ambiguous environment, delayed and questionable causal relationship to the actors, and limitations for practice has no opportunity to have a usable and practical skill to be applied. 
      • There is a difference in a Political/Market/Economic Expert who knows all the Players vs his ability to predict who will win or fail. Prediction is different from Knowledge and a 'problem substitution occurs' where the problem is substituted with Knowledge of the Players instead of knowledge of the Circumstance and how all the complex factors interplay. 
      • Market Analysis or Information Analysis in GURPS is not just a hard skill, but I will be using Base Rates of Small Business Success as a base rate to give a more anchored in reality approach (see Outside view).  
Chapter 23: Outside View p.245

  • Base Rates. Look for them! I found that the base rates for small biz success. I know its "substitution of what is more knowable" bias but its better and more informed than a guess. I plan to use for difficulty benchmarks. Using it along with the rule of 3 and 10 for magnitudes of complexity. 
    • Give more base rates in the System Mechanics notes (this is for my Open RPG system and my Warfare system). Until someone gives something better, anyway the best chances I have is making a wrong answer  and someone correcting them. 
    • There is a surprising amount of base rates to be found and as well as 
  • Planning Falacy! Every Players Dread, what i love about TF&S vs the other books as I've read is that it gives the answer in how to prevent planning fallacy better than my other books - Find the Base Rates! Getting things Done by David Allen basics would be the next thing to implement in a Facilitating a Game session in a Fun way where practice drills down its key skills. In the other books it talks about planning fallacy but doesnt give a constructive and step by step way to overcome them.
Hope this helps your game. Sorry I can't really do a proper GURPS or Open system tool as of late since my priorities are Chinese and TF&S in my free time. But These are tools I will bring to the game table so I hope you may consider bringing them to yours. 
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