Yesterday I realized that my experiences in Counter-Strike taught me WAY more about human behavior than I realized.
In college dorms, my roommate, our friends across the hall, and a couple other friends in a separate dorm would jump into the same CS servers and “grief”. Now, I know that “griefing” is not cool. Even though we weren’t harassing people or hacking the game, we would do a lot of things to subvert the game and confuse the other players. Since most CS games involve rushing to one of a few choke points, we would camp outside of the choke points and stack on top of each other like a human totem pole. When the enemy team came through the hallway (or whatever), they would never expect six players to be in two columns on either side of the door.
Another game we would play was “Hide and Seek”. If one of our group was on the Terrorist team and spawned with the bomb, they would toss the bomb into a spot that was outside of the game’s geometry, like under a table or into a narrow corner. Even though players could see the bomb, they couldn’t get close enough to pick it up. So after doing this, our “inside terrorist” would repeat a code word into “All Talk” and then the Counter-Terrorists on our team would find places in the map to hide. The Counter-Terrorists would just sit until time ran out while the Terrorist team yelled at our inside man. It infuriated people, which was kind of the whole point.
What I learned from these experiences is that you can’t assume that your opponents share your same mutually exclusive goals, even when that’s what they say. For example, when Bill Nye debated Ken Ham on the topic of whether or not “Creationism” was a viable explanation for existence, the two people debated the same thing, but with two very different goals. Bill Nye wanted to prove that Creationism was not a viable explanation for existence. Ken Ham wanted to gain followers. And if you look at the video, Ham goes out of his way to ingratiate himself with the audience while Nye doesn’t care about appearances. Even though Ham said a lot of things that didn’t make sense, it didn’t matter. When Nye pointed out Ham’s hypocrisy, he sounded condescending and unlikable. Ham made sure that he looked good because, once again, he wasn’t trying to prove anything: he just wanted people on his side.
So, yeah. Playing WAY too much Counter-Strike, and griefing, taught me a lot about why it’s important to understand people’s intentions.