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Contingencies of Kingdom Hearts

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By Brendan Lewis

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Contingencies of Kingdom Hearts

  1. 1. Final Fiesta Project By Brendan Lewis
  2. 2. Topic I have selected video games as the topic for my final fiesta project assignment, more specifically how well-designed games have the player gain skill just by playing. The main purpose is to help dispel the misconception that good players play on higher difficulties when in reality it’s just that higher difficulties typically involve harsher punishment contingencies (the response-contingent presentation of an aversive condition (negative reinforcer) resulting in a decreased frequency of that response) when behaviors (a muscle, glandular, or neuro-electrical activity) are performed by the player that are considered ineffective or incorrect.
  3. 3. Punishment Contingency With the presence of the discriminative stimulus or SD (a stimulus in the presence of which a particular response will be reinforced or punished) critical mode, the result of performing such a behavior as attacking at the same time as the opponent will be heavily punished with the aversive stimuli presented as a result such as the loud death sounds and sight of the death screen.
  4. 4. Punishment Contingency II When on a lower difficulty however, the aversive stimuli (a stimulus that increases the future frequency of a response its removal (termination) follows) presented are far less aversive than the aversive stimuli presented when on higher difficulties such as critical mode and thus the learning process is significantly slower. So on lower difficulties, bad gameplay choices are often not punished very heavily, and often the reinforcing stimuli given by performing the same behavior that gets the player punished will be significantly more reinforcing than the aversive conditions that are presented as well.
  5. 5. In the game Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep the use of the “Time Splicer” command leads to both a reinforcement contingency (the response-contingent presentation of a reinforcer resulting in an increased frequency of that response) and a punishment contingency. However, reinforcement on lower difficulties greatly overpowers the punishment causing many players to frequently use the command when functionally it is one of the least optimal options available.
  6. 6. The deprivation (withholding a reinforcer increases relevant learning and performance) of victory screens on higher difficulties makes them more reinforcing which overall will work as a motivating operation (a procedure or condition that affects learning and performance with respect to a particular reinforcer or aversive stimulus) to continue the learning experience while playing the game. On lower difficulties the stimulus of the sight of victory screens are significantly more common and to be expected so often the player will become satiated (consuming a substantial amount of a reinforcer decreases relevant learning and performance) much more quickly so the behavior that lead the player to the victory screen will be much less likely to be learned.
  7. 7. Finally, Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior or DRA (stopping reinforcement for an inappropriate response while shifting that reinforcement to an appropriate response) plays a role when changing difficulties, generally speaking. Higher difficulties will lead to players being forced to experiment and try out new creative strategies which will either be reinforced or punished based on how optimal they are. For example, the same behavior of using “time splicer” in Birth by Sleep will likely be extinguished and replaced with another, more effective technique such as the command “thunder surge” while keeping the same main reinforcement.
  8. 8. Conclusion In conclusion, there are no skilled players that just exist and thus choose to play on higher difficulties. In reality, players that choose to play on higher difficulties will end up being forced to increase their repertoire (a set of skills) through behavioral contingencies.

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