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Posts with tag thinking

Scientists study how the brain thinks about virtual avatars

This is fascinating stuff to think about over the weekend -- New Scientist has an article (sent to us by quite a few readers -- thanks!) about how we perceive our virtual selves in video games like World of Warcraft. A group of scientists at Dartmouth University hooked a few WoW players up to an MRI recently, and they found that when asked to describe themselves and their virtual avatars, the same areas of the brain activated -- areas normally suited to "self-reflection and judgement." In other words, you think about your avatar the same way you think about yourself. They found nearly no difference in the way the brain activated when subjects considered themselves and their avatars.

But when you make the split between virtual and real worlds (including your friends in both), the brain's center for imagination tends to light up whenever you consider the virtual world. You've got the normal parts of your brain working when thinking about yourself or others, but when you add in the virtual component, the imagination center lights up as well.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends

Yogg-Saron in blues


This story's from last week, but I love it anyway -- over at the Greedy Goblin, Gevlon's guild was getting a little tired of all of the achievement-checking and gear requirements for endgame raiding, and so they set out to do something that many experienced raiders might admit seems impossible: take down Yogg-Saron with nothing but blues on. That means no epics at all -- no epic gear, dropped or crafted, no epic enchants, no epic gems. They did use profession bonuses, but everyone should have access to those by now (all it takes is money, and all that takes is time). And of course, they did it: toppled Yoggy with the group you see on the page there. The combat log is also posted, and it's about what you'd expect: none of the damage numbers are crazy high, but the group works so well together and plays so evenly that they get it done. That's the message to be taken away here: gear is nice, but nothing will get you farther than a well-oiled group of solid players.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Raiding, Bosses, Leveling

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