New studies illustrate how gamers get good
Researchers used data from online video games to study what kinds of practice and habits help people acquire skill. Beyond simply learning about what makes gamers good, the investigators hope that the work will shed light more generally on the ways in which people can optimize their performance in other domains. Ref. Source 3v.
I agree with the overall findings of the article. Small bits of consistent practice is better than killing yourself to overpractice or cramming at the last minute. In high school my band director liked to say "Practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect." The point being that just doing something to say you are 'practicing' it doesn't actually help, you have to be intently focused and intentional about your practice, which takes energy and requires good time management.
I also can agree that rituals and consistency can help people perform better, assuming their job lends itself to such. I liked the example of a flight controller practicing looking at all the data, even when they first sit down and it may not be as busy. That way when things get really busy, they are already looking at what they need to and taking everything into account. However we don't need to let rituals replace thinking and just rotely perform a job over and over again without any thought.
As with everything moderation is the key!
I've always found that it helps to slow down. So many people get wound up in what they're doing and twitch all over the place. I like planning my next couple of steps ahead of time, to put myself exactly where I need to be.
It helps that most opponents, whether AI or player controlled, tend to be predictable. On one counterstrike map, I'd often get a grenade kill or two lobbing it over just behind a certain door. People would be hiding behind it all the time.
I agree. Playing isn't always the same as practicing. In order for your expenditure of time to constitute the latter, you have to be making a meaningful effort to improve. Sometimes it means reloading a save point over and over again to work on just one specific aspect. Other times it's watching replay footage to see what you did right as well as what you did wrong. Or it could be theory crafting and number crunching to determine the best setup and distribution of abilities.
I have also found with playing games that forcing yourself to keep playing, trying to convince yourself that if you just keep trying you will get it, making yourself angry and frustrated, does less to help you actually do better then stepping away to cool down or otherwise taking a break. Especially since, even if you do manage to complete something in a game while angry and frustrated, if you are no longer having fun and enjoying yourself is it really worth it?
Admittedly, I also used gaming as a means of stress relief and for relaxing, so getting myself worked up to the point where I was no longer not having any fun isn't I feel worth it just to get achievements. It's why I've honestly avoided overly competitive or difficult, often FPS, multiplayer games, and went with single players games I could take at my own pace. Even if such single player games could still have plenty of their own challenges. That, and I found that if I stepped away I tended to do better when I go back to the game.
Edited: Thomaslee on 28th Dec, 2019 - 8:07pm