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The Johari Window for WoW

February 14, 2011

Dear Reader,

In a recent post, Sven of Fail Pug! discussed the four basic types of WoW players, which got me thinking about the topic of play style.  Like being “the bad guy,” it’s likely that few people really think they’re a bad player.  They might recognize that others are better, but they have reasons and rationalizations for their play.  Shy discusses some of these reasons in her post on rude heroic behavior, where she mentions television watching and its relationship to being kicked from her groups.  Whether it be watching television, being alt-tabbed, frequent brbs/afks, or just plain inattention due to dps blindness, people always have reasons for being bad players and are often surprised and defensive when its suggested that they need to improve.

How we think of ourselves as players defines both how we play and how we feel about our play, and I propose that some introspection on the topic would benefit all of us.  A useful tool would be the Johari Window.  If you’re unfamiliar with this, it’s a basic psychological tool used to help people discuss how they see themselves and how others see them.  Essentially, a person chooses five or six adjectives from a list that they feel describe him.  His friends do the same.  The results are plotted on a simple grid, shown below.

This allows people to see how they perceive themselves versus how others perceive them.  I wonder what the list of adjectives for WoW players would look like, perhaps something like what follows:

  • good dps
  • team player
  • learns boss fights fast
  • offers to tank or heal
  • risks self to save others
  • doesn’t nerdrage
  • supports others
  • not phased by wipes
  • devises new strategies
  • good at many classes
  • knows their job
  • signs up for raids
  • keeps vent clear
  • stays until the end
  • role plays
  • acts like an adult
  • doesn’t brag
  • worries about wipes
  • knows who screwed up
  • helps new players
  • has best spec
  • wears titles
  • discusses wipes
  • looks for new strats
  • makes jokes
  • worries about causing wipes
  • pulls w/o warning
  • doesn’t afk
  • reads recount data
  • cries at wipes
  • always ready on time
  • CCs well
  • talks in vent
  • talks nicely in vent
  • provides consumables
  • enjoys WoW
  • helps guildies
  • thinks they’ll 1 shot boss
  • solos old content
  • writes guides online
  • reads WoW blogs
  • doesn’t talk in vent
  • knows lots of strats
  • adapts quickly

I think our perception of how we play the game matters, and if we make an effort to slightly change the perceptions, it can directly improve our feelings about our play.

As an example, I was leveling with a friend who was – unfocused – to put it lightly.  At first, it irritated me greatly; we’d be doing a quest circuit and the player would ask, “What quest are we doing?” only to find out he didn’t have the quest we just completed (or several of them).  I was trying to level efficiently, as fast as possible, as is frequently the play style of a part-core gamer.  However, I made an effort to change my perceptions about leveling from “efficient” to “fun,” and it greatly improved the time I spent leveling with this fellow.  While I may not have gotten to 85 as quickly (I still haven’t, I might add, on this toon), it did let me enjoy the time more.

The point is, dear reader, that being aware of our perceptions helps us in innumerable ways.  Try it yourself.  If you were to choose five or six of these adjectives to describe you, what would you pick?  Do you think they’d be the same that others would pick for you?  Try it with a WoW friend and see the results; I’m sure you’ll be surprised, or, if not, at least you can have a laugh.

Sincerely,

Stubborn (not an adjective you can choose from above)

Edit: As my blogroll grew longer, apparently it overtook some list formatting I had done in the past.  I simply fixed this one error.

  • good dps
  • team player
  • learns boss fights fast
  • offers to tank or heal
  • risks self to save others
  • doesn’t nerdrage
  • supports others
  • not phased by wipes
  • devises new strategies
  • good at many classes
  • knows their job
  • signs up
  • keeps vent clear
  • stays until the end
  • talks in vent
  • talks nicely in vent
  • provides consumables
  • enjoys WoW
  • helps guildies
  • thinks they’ll 1 shot boss
  • solos old content
  • writes guides online
  • uses big words
  • doesn’t talk in vent
  • knows lots of strats
  • reads recount data
  • acts like an adult
  • doesn’t brag
  • worries about wipes
  • knows who screwed up
  • cries at wipes
  • always ready on time
  • CCs well
  • helps new players
  • has best spec
  • wears titles
  • discusses wipes
  • role plays
  • adapts to screwups
  • looks for new strats
  • makes jokes
  • worries about causing wipes
  • pulls w/o warning
  • doesn’t afk
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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2011 3:04 am

    I sometimes wonder if hot my entire acitivity of blogging is about widening my Johari Window. Getting to know things about myself. And through the discussions with the readers getting to know how others see me.

    Your list exercise is interesting! Looking at the list I came up with a few that I truthfully can say about myself: doesn’t afk, doesn’t nerdrage, signs up for raids, stays until the end, reads wow blogs, always ready on time, worries about causing wipes, doesn’t brag.

    I guess the last one is a reason why I never would label myself as “talks nicely”, “good dps”, “team player”… It’s not for me to judge, is it?

    Anyway: good food for thought. i wonder how my image of msyelf would coincidence with the image others have of me. I suppose I might get a few surprises if I asked.

  2. February 16, 2011 5:51 am

    Interesting!

    Is there a reason all (or almost all) the adjectives are positive? There is for example “doesn’t afk” and “provides consumables” but not “afk’ing” or “doesn’t use consumables”.

    • February 16, 2011 7:03 am

      Yes, there is. In the end, people will virtually never pick obviously negative characteristics for themselves. Some of mine may break that rule (I did them by trying to use the real list and applying the adjective to WoW behavior, hence “generous” became “provides comsumables.” I may not have done a good translation to all of them, but I still did try to avoid overtly negative ones. I think the goal is not for people to have their friends choose bad behaviors, but for the friends to prioritize good behaviors in surprising ways over what the player chooses. Someone who considers themselves very generous, then, might choose “provides consumables,” but if none of their friends do, it creates an interesting conversation.
      At any rate, I’m glad you liked it.

    • February 17, 2011 4:02 pm

      Yeah, I just noticed the original list also lacked any really negative adjectives, and it makes sense to not use negative ones since it will most likely ruffle a lot of feathers and not really help in any way.

      Thanks for the reply :)

Trackbacks

  1. New Blogging Life In The Blogosphere | MMO Melting Pot
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