Gaming: Analysis of personal risk assessment and decision making.


First of all, excuse the fancy title, I’m practising my scientific writing and it seems to have seeped it’s way through.

So here I am, on a slightly chilly Sunday evening playing Borderlands on my laptop. As you may have gathered from my little ‘About Us’ section, that I am a newbie at gaming. The games I have managed to play in the past have been games which involve time management (Sally’s Salon) and games which involve exploration of the environment with no real objective or mission (Terraria). Where as these games may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I enjoyed these very much. The time management element of a game showed me that I am good at prioritising and keep on track with all the tasks undertaken. The exploration element appeals to me because having learnt the basics of moving, I was immediately able to wander aimlessly and discover without any real threat (apart from some pesky slimes etc).

When choosing games, I am a sucker for fun and lively and I am definitely not the one for immersive games with horror elements. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a good horror film every now and then, I sometimes even enjoy it (depending on if there is actually a plot), but there’s something about immersive games or even first person games that scare me. Something about experiencing the environment first hand and the fact that any second now, something could jump out at you scares me more than just watching a horror film.

So this brings us back to the beginning. I am in my living room playing Borderlands. It just so happens that today was one of those days that I felt like playing a video game, so naturally, having just started playing Borderlands in the summer, I decided to put it on and have another stab at it. Upon getting into the game, I decided to spend some time recalling on how to get around and how to use my gun. Instead of going on a mission, I decided to wander the little safety zone I was in until it became night time, and of course, my brain then tells me, it’s too dangerous to go out of the safety zone at night and it was best to stay until the light comes back. I wandered around some more, looting as I went and happened to end up on the boundary between my safe zone and the dangerous zone beyond. Hovering on the edge, I could see two dots of red pop up on my map indicating the enemy. Whilst pondering whether or not I should actually just go and kill them, an enemy happened to appear, frantically running towards me. My finger rapidly clicked my mouse button and fired him down, and all that was left was me with a slightly faster heart rate. It was then that I decided to quit the game. That was enough for tonight. But then that got me thinking. By doing what I did, does that describe the kind of person I am? A person who sees difficulty in a situation and decides to not go for it? A person who uses any excuse in order to justify not completing or even starting a mission? A person who is so scared of the unknown that they decide it’d be better to leave then to deal with it? I don’t know, but it was definitely a thought-provoking moment and I’d thought I’d share it.

I am sure there is definitely some scientific literature that would provide some answers but my head is swarming with more relevant papers for my literature review and I just can’t face opening more tabs on my browser right now.