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These are the outcomes Bob sees:
He could stay put and ignore the AK-47. This would keep him in cover,
but his teammates might die without his support, in which case he would
end up fighting four enemies with only one teammate and a weak MP5.
However, if his teammates win the engagement without him, Bob can
simply grab the AK-47 in safety afterward, putting him in a strong posi-
tion for the rest of the round, as well as future rounds.
Alternatively, Bob could make a run for it and try to grab the AK-47.
Doing this could get him shot as he crosses the open areas of the Main
Courtyard. On the other hand, his appearance might distract the enemies
and give his allies time to make a kill, or Bob might get the AK-47 and be
able to join the fight.
This decision isn't easy. Either choice could lead to disaster or tri-
umph. It's not a puzzle where you work out the solution; it's a judgment
call. The decision is guided by Bob's evaluation of exactly how likely and
how desirable the various outcomes are. This decision process crosses the
bounds of conscious and unconscious thought. Awareness and instinct
merge together into a deciding machine. It's not just about what Bob
thinks about his options, because he has no time to think. It's what his
emotional unconscious, conditioned by hours of practice, makes him feel
about those options. And one of those options feels better than the other.
So Bob decides to go for the AK-47.
I won't trace a specific outcome to this situation further. Perhaps Bob
will die immediately, and his decision pacing would instantly fall to a slow,
strategy-deciding throb until the next round. In this case, he might experi-
ence one of the flawed outcomes of Counter-Strike 's design: time spent
dead between rounds can sometimes go on longer than players need to
decide their strategy for the next round, creating a long, dull flow gap.
Alternatively, if Bob doesn't die, he might be entering a 10-second
period of frenetic battle. Decisions will come fast and furious, once or
more per second, as allies and enemies shoot, fall, or flee. If this decision-
saturated period went on much longer than 10 seconds, it might start
to get exhausting. But Counter-Strike 's high-decision-paced periods are
always quite short because the weapons are so deadly.
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