While listening to the discussion between Brigwyn, Daewin and Nassira on The Hunting Lodge Podcast about gear scores and how they should be used, I was reminded of something I recently learned in my Intro Psychology class.
We were learning about the discussion about how heredity and environment effect a person’s intelligence. As with many topics in the field, there are some who believe intelligence is determined solely by your genes. In Warcraft, I associate this view with those who believe performance (let’s go with DPS to make explanations easier) is based solely on your gear level. In both cases, there are many examples out there where you can see that this isn’t true – take two Hunters wearing the same gear, and their DPS could be quite different.
On the other hand, there are those who believe intelligence is based on environment: how you were raised, how motivated you are, and so on. In Warcraft terms, I think of these people as those who believe that no matter what gear you have, you can perform just as well as anyone else if you’ve got the skill and know how 2 play. Again, this is clearly not true – you can see that in your own character: while your abilities and playstyle might not change, as your gear improves, so do your numbers.
In the end, there are grounds for both sides. What’s important is how they interact.
In psychology, we learned a theory that heredity imposes upper and lower bounds on intelligence, and environment determines where you land between those limits. Do you see where I’m going with this? Gear (and gear score) do matter… you can only perform as well as your gear allows. But your abilities and skill play a very important part, and should count just as much (if not more), as it determines if you’re able to reach the peak of your potential.
So there you have it – I’ve applied my Psychology class to a video game. That’s what school is for, right?
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