The Amazing Video Game Brain Experiement



I made an incredible realization about my own mind while playing God of War III.  In fact, it's so strange that I'm actually having trouble believing it.

There are several mini-games in God of War III that involve flying up and down the Chain of Balance, dodging obstacles and debris.

Here is one such scene. In this scene, you use your Icarus wings to fly up the chain. Just watch long enough to get the basic idea.


Now, during this scene, I find that I must have the y movement axis inverted. My brain expects this to behave like a flight sim. It feels like it should play like Starfox. I should tilt the stick up and move down, and vice versa. If I use normal axes, I can't play it to save my life. I die every time. With inverted, I pass it on the first try every time.

Now check this out. In this scene, you free fall down the chain.


During this scene, I have to have normal controls, or I can't do it! With an inverted y-axis, I can't play, and I die every time! With normal controls, I'm flawless every time. There is absolutely no functional difference between these scenes whatsoever. Literally the only difference is that you can see your wings in one, and not the other. The only explanation for this phenomenon is simply the knowledge that I'm ascending in one, and falling in the other. For some reason, my brain expects ascension to behave like a flight sim, but free falling to behave normally. If the devs removed the wings from the first scene, and told me that I was falling, I would probably need normal axes, and vice versa on the second scene. This stunning realization about the expectations of my mind has me reeling. I don't like feeling so uncertain. I'm the type of person who wants all things to make logical sense. I want to be able to play these scenes consistently with ONE control type (I don't really care which). But I can't. This phenomenon duplicates itself every time I play. It's not a problem, and it's kinda neat, really, but it makes my brain itch because it feels like my world won't cohere. This is irrefutable proof of how belief and expectation can radically alter your brain's entire way of functioning. How f*cking crazy is that?!!

  • Brohoof 1


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Practice with both maybe. But yeah when I play a game for skill gains I need to convince myself to focus, convince myself I can get better convince myself to take more mental notes of things to get the patterns down better. Pretty nifty, and yes I notice mostly for starcraft 2 its just a huge huge huge way this happens. I could prolly make it up to low masters or high diamond with my current skills just from approaching the game more organized. I watch pro matches, I know every unit and roughly how to scout etc. I just don't know specific timings and don't have a fast enough gameplay speed, and I still never make control groups when I should. Yet I told myself I need all that, and I just get coached once getting told basic stuff really, then I boost in rank, play more confidently, Win 15 out of 19 matches, when I was losing 2/3 of the time earlier.


Its because how I taught myself was with tutorials en masse, so I trained myself to need advice to play good.


So perhaps try imagining you are being pulled upward by a force like gravity and using your wings to stabilize, and when falling down you are actually being pushed down by a force. The game doesn't copy physics properly anyways so it could be possible to explain it that way.


Or better yet tell your brain its on an invisible train track course and the falling or flying are simply illusions.

  • Brohoof 1

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^ as that is more correct how the game is designed, there is no actual simulated gravity in the game.

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