On Ingress, Enmity and Group Dynamics: Love thy Enemy
It is a game. Let’s state that again. A game that has got me, and many of you, hooked for quite some time now.
One of the most interesting aspects of this game, for me at least, lies in its social aspect. Of course, you can go out there by yourself and play alone, but the interaction with other players is what makes it so much more fun.
This interaction with other players, in the streets, is also what differentiates the game from most other computer games. You have probably met a lot of members of your own faction in person and your “enemy” is not just that virtual avatar bunny-hopping on your screen. Real people.
And since this game gets more real than most other computer games, more of our human psychology seems to come in play here, or becomes more visible at least.
Focusing on enemy perception and group dynamics, this paper ( http://www.zurinstitute.com/enmity.html#roots
) will give you some excellent insights on the psychology at work here.
How we perceive our “enemy”, how we talk about them and how we perceive our own actions, for instance. “Our glorious plan worked out just as we intended”, opposed to “they were so lucky with making that big control field”. Interesting to see how much of this behavior is going on in our Ingress world.
Now, since the writer of this paper can articulate these principles a lot better than I can, I quoted some of them below. I didn’t quote all the points that are made, but they are the 5 first arguments. If you are not interested in reading the whole paper (also containing an experiment which involves a green and a blue team, how convenient ), these 5 points should already give you enough food for thought:THE DOUBLE STANDARD IN ATTENTION AND EVALUATION
Yes, the old Double Standard. The process whereby “people use a different yardstick to judge the enemy's actions or to assess enemy motivations than they use for themselves or for allies.”THE DOUBLE STANDARD IN ATTRIBUTION
“In other words when the enemy is acting peacefully, it is because it is forced to do so by external circumstances and not by its own choice. When it acts aggressively, it is due to personal choice or characteristic behavior.”HOSTILE PREDICTIONS AND SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECIES
“As most people are likely to perceive an enemy as more dangerous and more hostile than they really are, they are also more likely to expect the enemy to act more aggressively and violently than can be assumed from the available facts.”THE MIRROR IMAGE
“Both sides felt that: 1) the other was the aggressor; 2) the other's government exploited and deluded its people; 3) the majority of the people were essentially good and were not sympathetic to the government's deceitful leadership; 4) the other government should never be trusted -- they have hidden, sneaky and secretive ways to go about their plots; and 5) their policy verges on madness, while ours is, of course, rational and humane.”SELECTIVE ATTENTION
“They focus on negative aspects and actions and retain critical comments about their enemies more easily than they remember positive statements.”
P.s. more articles on Psychology and Video games at http://www.psychologyofgames.com/
Image source http://www.zurinstitute.com/enmity.html#roots #ingress #niantic #nianticproject #psychology #videogames #gaming +Brandon Badger +Anne Beuttenmüller +Joe Philley