Metacognition: Getting In the Game

We’re back with our “thinking about thinking” series! If you’re interested in our previous deep thoughts, check out the Metacognition series.  Join us for some deep thoughts (and maybe the occasional not-so-deep thought) about gaming. If you find one you’d like to answer, you can either comment below or write a post and share the link so we can all read your fantastic thoughts.

What is one thing that you absolutely must do before playing a video game?*

I suppose it would be very horrible of me to say “turn on the game console,” wouldn’t it? That’s like the riddle that asks, “Your parents are coming over for brunch, and you were going to serve them toast with jam, eggs, and orange juice. They arrive at your place early and startle you awake. What’s the first thing you open?” and the cheeky answer is “Your eyes.”

Image result for d'oh

I also had a jerk guy try to take over my sailing class (I won’t say it was because I was a woman but he never interrupted the male sailing instructor). He was volunteering (read: was not a teacher or student), and told me that I needed to be able to answer the following question: What is the first thing you do when you want to go sailing?

My response was, It depends on how far back in the day you’re going. Put on your sunglasses? Check the weather? Open your eyes? Pack your lunch the night before? Decide you want to go sailing at all? Take lessons? Be born?

Needless to say, he was not amused. My students were, though, so that’s really all that mattered.

Image result for two can play that game meme

But I digress. The principle is the same, however. How far back are we going to go? Obviously I absolutely must turn on my console or my computer. I need to turn on the television, and to also sit down (although there was a time when most of my video game playing was done standing – long story).

Rituals are important. These symbolic behaviors that we engage in religiously (and I use that word both figuratively and literally) serve a variety of purposes, to decreasing anxiety, increase confidence, or even bringing good luck. They can make us feel like we have some control over something. But most importantly, rituals usually revolve around events and happenings that are meaningful to us.

So I started really paying attention to what I did when I would sit down to play a video game, paying close attention to any sort of quirky thing I did that didn’t directly have to do with physically setting up the space to play a game.

I apparently say, “Okay! Here we go” under my breath before starting up the game.

Image result for that's it? meme

That’s probably the most mundane thing ever, but I’d never noticed it before I was setting up this post. And I do it every time. So now I ask:

What about you? Do you have a ritual – either conscious or not – that you always do before starting up a gaming session? Or do you just get right down to gaming business? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!
~Athena

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13 thoughts on “Metacognition: Getting In the Game

  1. I’m gonna have to pay attention to that and see if I do anything odd! I think it’d be odd to find a specific ritual that I go through for every game, but I imagine I might have some subtle ones for particular kinds of games, maybe.

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  2. Haha, yesss! Go you shutting that guy up. 🙂

    I think the only ritual I have before playing games is putting on my headphones. I always do it, even when it is not necessary because I am home alone.

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  3. My gaming ritual always involves a blanket because I like feeling comfortable. I also always have my phone on me so I know what time it is and so I can easily talk or call with my friends while I play games.

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  4. Hmm, I don’t know if I have anything specific, except get a drink or snack so I don’t have to get up again anytime soon! Mentally if it’s a brand new game I’m definitely trying to mentally budget time to actually play the thing.

    Like

  5. First thing: music for mood. Since I try to play most games in the most immersive way possible, I have a dozen different playlists to listen to before I start playing. About to launch Stalker or Metro? Let’s hear some gloomy Russian new wave/punk rock straight out of the 80s. Crusader Kings? Some Gregorian chant is what I need. GTA V? Here’s my 20 hours long synthwave collection. And so on.
    The second step is to prepare my Video Games Log™. As long as I remember, I’ve always had a notebook where I’d write down sidequests, important locations, draw maps, etc. Believe me or not, even in 2018 it’s still handy.
    Finally, there’s my own way of cosplaying when I always wear the iconic tiger stripes camo pants when I play a game set in the Vietnam War era. Just to make me feel like John Rambo himself.

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  6. Hahaha. Hostile questions like that certainly deserve sarcastic responses like that. Nicely handled with the rude dude during your sailing class 😈

    Um… I don’t think I have any rituals… Oh! Maybe one-ish. If it’s a PlayStation game, I always check the trophy list before I start a play session, haha.

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