Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Positive Punishment
This occurs when negative behavior is followed by the addition
of a negative consequence. In a game, this is a situation in which
a handicap is placed on the player's progress after he has done
something wrong or performed inadequately. This type of punishment
occurs in The Sims when the player makes the Sim eat rotten food. The
Sim gets sick and is then in a bad mood for an allocated period of time.
Negative Punishment
This is the condition where negative behavior is followed by the removal
of positive consequences. It is like taking away a child's toy when she is
naughty. In the multiplayer version of the original Halo in sniper mode,
the more frequently a player gets killed, the longer before the character
will spawn again. In this example, the negative punishment is taking
away the game world.
This occurs when neither positive nor negative behavior attracts any
feedback. This could happen when a player shoots at a tree or picks up a
rock and tosses it in the ocean. As far as the game environment and the
player's progress through the game are concerned, the action performed
requires no feedback as it neither interrupts nor enhances the game play.
Confusion is not a technique in operant conditioning. In fact, it has
the exact opposite effect as it provides feedback when no action has
occurred. When this occurs in a game, the player becomes confused
as to the reason behind any reward or penalty.
There is a fine line in game play between reinforcement and punishment. For
example, in the Black & White series where the player is essentially a god, he
can pick up and throw rocks at villages. In the real world, morally, this would
be considered negative behavior and something that should be punishable.
However, in the case of Black & White , the player is rewarded with more faith
and worshipping from the villagers. This game play should be considered
in the category positive reinforcement because it reinforces behavior in the
player that the game designer wanted. Punishment in a game is therefore a
feedback mechanism that should stop the player from doing something for
which the game wasn't designed. One example comes from Colin McRae Rally ,
a rally driving simulation game. If a player goes off the road or drives in the
wrong direction for too long the game resets the player's position on the road.
It stops the player from performing the behavior and also slows down his time.
Some rewards and penalties inherently exist in a game environment
without the need for onscreen advice or information. In the case of 3D
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