Understanding Dota Gamers
DotA is an abbreviation of Defense of the Ancients which is a map modification from Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos and Frozen Throne based on the map of “Aeon Strife” of Starcraft, a team game focusing on hero combat. DotA is a five versus five game with two sides which are sentinel and scourge. The map is divided into three lanes where creeps automatically spawn.
The objective of the game is to destroy the opponent’s Ancient that is heavily guarded by several defensive towers which attacks hostile creatures. The map was developed with the World Editor of Reign of Chaos.
The first DotA map was developed by anonymous modder known as Eul. He released DotA even before the Frozen Throne came out. Then another anonymous modder, Guinsoo, took over and converted DotA for the Frozen Throne, but he later stopped developing maps. Icefrog then took his place and is the current DotA developer. Game is commonly played with teams. Each team creates strategy to win the game. First, they pick hero, one hero for every player. Next, player buys item for the hero to make it strong. And proceed into one lane for defense and offense mode.
Hero gains one gold, currency of the game, every second and forty for creeps and two hundred plus for hero kills. Player collects gold by farming, microing, and hostile hero killing to buy recipe items to be synthesized for an upgraded weapon. Also, hero gains level experience, up to level twenty five, every time they kill a creeps and heroes. Every hero has their own unique balance skill. Proper timing and usage of skill is one aspect that a DotA player needs to learn. Ever since the DotA was developed, the game had undergone many changes.
Game bugs and glitch do appear and are reported by testers and players. It gives a thought that a modder is not the only developer of the game. The DotA community has their own share. “But despite all of the community’s help, it is still Icefrog, a man who may be named Jeremy, who may be from Boston and who may study at UCLA, which makes the final changes. The masses may be the power of the movement, but the figurehead and initiator of all that changes is still focused on a mysterious, almost spiritual figurehead. ”1 The popularity of DotA has increased over time.
The game can be played around local area network or online through battle. net. Battle. net allows one player to connect with other players in the internet. Garena provides interconnection of players for every game, in this case DotA. It has several rooms created by a host player inviting another player to join in. DotA was once featured in the magazine Computer Gaming World. Different tournaments were done and one of the famous is Electronic Sports World Cup in 2008. LAN tournaments are a major part of worldwide play. From game addiction to game creation, the League of Legends was released.
It has the same environment with Defense of the Ancients, but an enhanced and improved graphics and animation and different characters, items and skills. Same goes with DOTA 2, the improvised DotA. Everything was remained. DOTA 2 is a whole new game. Even with DOTA 2 released, there are still player of the DotA. Pre-gamers think whether they will try the game or not. They are curious about the game. Things that in their mind are bad pictures like they will be bullied, will be laughed of, or will become attached to the game. They question themselves: why are existing players play DotA? How much fun can they get?
How to play the game? With these questions in their mind, they are influence by their curiosity to start and play the game and find the answers themselves. They will seek assistance first, and then remember the basic controls and movements of the character for their next play. In other cases, curiosity is not the reason why someone starts to play DotA. It is the influence of their peers inviting the pre-gamer to join the club – DotA gamers. The friendship does not want to be broken. The known reputation of DotA being one of the most addictive games pushes the pre-gamer to decline playing.
Some succeed in declining and others did not. It is because they are convinced by their friends to play DotA. Girlfriend of an existing DotA gamer is the common relationship status of girl players. They want to get the attention of their boyfriend. So, girlfriend asks her boyfriend to teach her and learn it herself so they can play and have fun together. Once they have tried the game, it will leave them impressions. The common impression is that it is not good because of the low quality graphical representation and the controls are hard to remember at first.
It is also hard to kill an artificial intelligence character that a beginner will think the game is impossible, but this will change later. Another one impression is ‘disappointed’ because their first play could not meet their expectation and will not be satisfied with the result. Some quit at once while other continues. After getting the game’s information, a beginner will start to change his view towards the game. He/she will discover that the game is exciting, thrilling, and fun. He will practice playing to kill an AI character. This will lead to continuous playing and eventually improve his/her skills and strategies.
When that happens, he/she will kill an AI and be ready to compete with other players. At middle time of a gamer, he/she finds DotA as a place of recreation and entertainment. His/her addiction of the game is showing. A gamer spends most of their free time playing the game solo or with friends. Other gamers still play sports and socialize with friends and play DotA afterwards. This case is a proof of attachment with the game. Some gamers treat DotA as a hobby. They only play for pastime or to entertain their self. They are not considered as addicted.
On the other hand, a gamer is considered addict when he/she plays more than an hour, spends money to heat up the game, and chooses the game instead of socializing with others. There are other reasons or symptoms that based a gamer addicted. As time goes by, for existing gamers, they turn out to become advance game player. The game is as familiar as their house. Strategies are like rock, scissor, and paper game. They can switch to new strategy for whenever they want. In-game characters are like dolls they control as they command. “Change is the only constant”, said Heraclitus (535-375 BC).
Changes show in the later time of the gamer. There are changes in gamers’ physical appearance, thinking capacity, socialization, and studies. These changes affect the player’s daily life. The gamer is different from his/her past self. If he/she attends a reunion, his/her relatives would think of him for another person. “Physical consequences of gaming addiction include carpal tunnel, migraines, sleep disturbances, backaches, eating irregularities, and poor personal hygiene. Carpal tunnel syndrome has long been associated with computer use, so it’s no surprise that it’s a physical symptom of gaming addiction.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused when the main nerve between the forearm and hand is squeezed or pressed. This occurs when the carpal tunnel – the area of the wrist that houses the main nerve and tendons – becomes irritated or swollen. Overuse of a computer mouse can cause such irritation and swelling, as can excessive use of a video game controller. Migraine headaches typically start in one spot and slowly spread, getting more painful as they progress. In severe cases, the pain can be so extreme that it causes the sufferer to vomit. Light and noise can cause excruciating pain.
Someone who plays video games for extended periods of time is more prone to migraines because of the intense concentration required and the strain put on the eyes. The term “sleep disturbances” covers several sleep-related disorders, including insomnia, narcolepsy, sleep apnea, nocturnal myoclonus (periodic leg or arms jerks during sleep), and parasomnia (i. e. , night terrors, sleepwalking or talking, and nightmares). Sleep disturbances are caused, in part, by overstimulation of the brain. However, some people can’t get a good night’s sleep simply because they think obsessively about the game they’re playing.
Backaches are a common physical symptom of gaming addiction because most gamers stay seated in the same position for hours on end. The lack of movement causes stiffness and soreness, but could deteriorate into chronic back problems. Eating irregularities are caused by gaming addiction simply because most addicted gamers don’t want to take the time to eat properly. Rather than eating healthy, balanced meals, they eat food that is quick and usually unhealthy. In extreme cases, the gamer may choose not to eat at all. An addicted gamer is not going to take the time to properly care for himself.
Showers, face-washing, and brushing hair and teeth all get put on the back burner. It simply becomes less of a priority, if it’s a priority at all. These physical consequences will occur in varying degrees from one gamer to another. Though the severity of physical consequences is often tied to the severity of the addiction, this is not always the case. A gamer that is already in poor physical condition will be more susceptible to these effects early on. ”2 Video game is also a cause of obesity particularly with kids. They eat while their character is dead and wait until it respawn.
Gamer mostly eats unhealthy or foods with imbalance nutrients. They do not exercise even sometimes which results to gaining weight, and back and wrist pains. This case majority happens to addicted players. A game player’s intellectual capabilities varies depend on his/her attitude or personalities. It also depends on their way of thinking and past knowledge. Gamers with strong and sharp mind usually win a session game in DotA. Gamers’ mind thinks fast that is to establish game strategy and to take up the lead. This factor is a good effect of video game.
He/she can make decisions fast but careful because he/she thinks as if he/she is still playing. He/she does not want to screw his game play and strategic plan. “Playing a game which requires very fast deployment of visual attention and motor movement could prime a strategy of speed over accuracy,” explained Nelson, “while playing a game which emphasizes a slower, more thoughtful pace could prime the opposite pattern. The main point is that different kinds of video games engage different cognitive and perceptual skills, and there are measurable differences in their effects, even in the short term. Similar results have been noted in previous research by Daphne Bavelier, of the University of Rochester in New York. She co-authored a study that showed video game players have improved hand-to-eye coordination, increased visual processing, stronger mental rotation skills and enhanced visuo-spatial memory. ”3 Defense of the Ancients is not as addictive as massive multi-online role playing game (MMORPG), where a player maintains and upgrades level and strength of his character and does not restart the character information after logging off.
Meanwhile, DotA characters start at level one every session of game. DotA is more fun to play with peers than playing alone. The average length of a game session with user opponent is sixty minutes. Thus, it gives the player to interact with his teammate and opponents for an hour. It is virtual socialization, where a player speaks through the chat bar and dialog box, and interact with other player with his game character. Socialization in real life comes after a session. Gamers snacks together and talks about their finished game and criticize the player who cause the win or loss.
It creates bonds and trusts for playmate. Gamers that play in computer shop increase their peers who they met and play the game with. Too much attachment to the game DotA affects relationships with family, relatives, friends and other people. A gamer that chooses to spend all of his free time and sleep for playing neglects his social interaction with relatives and in school. He only interacts with the player or peer he is playing with. And since he lacks sleep, there is a chance that he will fall asleep in class and affects his school performance. Peers changes the gamer’s way of socializing.
The gamer absorbs the negative treatment onto him and do it himself onto other game player. He tries to bully weaker player – easy kill, easy money. And his way of speaking changes. Polite becomes impolite and occasionally turns to being rude. Some of his words are swap with words from the game, ixempli gratia, godlike and ‘imba’, which only a DotA game player understands. Most of his expression is about the game. He loves to talk all things about DotA only with other DotA player. He will not try to talk about it with non-gamer for they would not understand.
Some gamers who are attached to the game do not fail in class. He manages his time carefully and controls his self with his decision to not set aside studies for computer game. Unfortunately, other gamers fall behind lectures. The common reason is lack of sleep. Gamer often yawn in class and inevitably fall asleep. Some gamers do not attend their first class and later drop the subject. There are gamer that do not spend their money allowance for snacks instead spend it for computer rental, if the gamer do not have computer at home or he just want to play DotA with other player.
Other gamers decrease their time for study and spend it for socialization with peers through DotA. DotA had different tournaments. There are Local Area Network (LAN) tournament, online tournament, international tournaments and other tournaments. Advance players grab this opportunity to challenge their skills and to compete with other strong players, but the common reason for joining is the prize especially the cash. Winners gain reputation. Losers gain rivals. The population of DotA gamers consists mostly of students. Their allowance usually goes to computer rental. Other gamers are nonstudent, with occupation and bystander.
Bystanders have more free time to play though they have insufficient fund for renting computer though they can only play alone at home through internet if they have computer. Those advance gamers with jobs are the ones who usually place bets to heat up their game. This is a form of gambling. They even place bets though they are only watching. Gamers make money through winning bets and tournaments. Experience is knowledge. We gain lessons in every experience. Experience sharpens our personality. Our mistake is a lesson to avoid and improve the right one. Gamers experience the changes which were discussed in the last topic.
While playing DotA, gamers experience different feelings and emotions like hunger, fun, excitement, and thrill. These emotions are triggered by neurotransmitters such as endorphins and dopamine. These brain chemicals are responsible for animals’ sense of pleasure. The brain secretes these chemicals when the body feels excitement, joy, or pain. Even a fake smile can cause pleasure and trick the body that it is happy. “Then, there’s the excitement. A good game will get your pulse racing and your adrenaline pumping, even if you’re just sitting on the couch holding a controller.
Games with a time component amplify this excitement, even in simple games like Jewel Quest where you’re down to one second before everything blows up because you didn’t find the three matching gems. ”4 During the game session, the hand-to-eye coordination is used. Most of the time, hands and eyeballs are the only part of the body that moves. They seldom stretch their hand, legs, and neck. Parts of the body that is not use become weak. DotA gamers experience lack of sleep because of playing. The gamers do not care of time during the session. His focus and attention are in the game only.
They ignore other matter even emergency calls and text messages are ignored. Reply is given upon the end of the game session. These are reasons why parents and girlfriend/boyfriend, if there is any, get upset. Based on the observation of the researcher, gamers , particularly on weekend, start to play at nine in the morning and finish at about four the next morning, then get some rest and come back playing. They said, they only eat, take small amount of time to sleep, wake up, eat again, take a bath, then go to internet shop to resume his play. For students, they usually play after class hours.
They are sometimes distracted by the thoughts of DotA while in the class. They are excited for class dismissal. They come home late and make their parents anxious. Some of these students are being fetched by their parent. Some act shy, on the other hand, some act tough and proud. In Internet shop, gamers are happy, and noisy. During the session, they shout and trash-talk each side even the watchers shout. Harsh and mean words are trash-talk like ‘weak’, ‘lousy’, ‘slow’, and ‘gay’. The competition each game is intense. Gamers who lose often get bullied and easily angered.
Later, this bullied player, sometime, cause trouble and brawl. Losers feel sad, depression, and shame, and think for a new strategy to win the next game. They gain rivals to overcome, putting more time for practice game to improve tactics. On the other hand, winners celebrate, feels fun, and gain challengers. Some gamers quit, but there are new players who replace them. The reasons of new players are curiosity towards the game, seek of fun, peer pressure, and friendship. People find ways to eradicate pressure and boredom. One of it is playing DotA.
The game DotA has effects depends on the physical and mental capacity of the gamer. Weak-willed mind and poor health are more susceptible to game addiction and negative changes in their personality and body. Playing the game reduces time for socialization and study. Game players must learn how to control their selves to refuse from overuse of time and money for playing. Parents must watch their kids. It is hard to forbid kids from playing video game. This action can cause the kids to rebel. So, give them outdoor activity like sports to balance their mind and body. Definition of terms
Bugs are small insect. Bugs, in computer program, is an error, flaws, or mistake in a computer program that produces an incorrect or unexpected result, or causes it to behave in unintended ways. Farming ,in agriculture, it is an activity of growing crops and raising livestock. Farming, in DotA, is an act of collecting gold. figurehead is a person given a position of nominal leadership but having no actual authority. Glitch is a minor malfunction, or technical problem. Godlike means resembling or having the qualities of God or a god. In DotA, it is a call for having nine consecutive player kills.
Imba is an abbreviation for “imbalanced”. Imba can be applied to a subject in gaming (Weapon, army, race, role or job) which can be either too strong (Overpowered, or OP) or too weak (Underpowered, or UP). Insomnia is a specific kind of sleep disorder in which the patient is not able to get into sleep or the patient is not able to remain asleep for an adequate period of time Jerk is a single quick motion of short duration. Micro is a word comes from the Greek word micros meaning small. Micro (microing),in DotA, is an act of last hitting creeps.
Narcolepsy is a condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings. Parasomnia, from the Latin meaning “around sleep,” is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal sleep behaviors. Parasomnias involve unconscious complex, semi-purposeful, and goal-directed behaviors that have meaning or importance to the individual. These can include night terrors, sleepwalking, sleep eating, sleep sex, rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder, or any number of potential behaviors that occur while the person remains asleep. re-gamers means a potential game player that is not yet a game player. Respawn Also known as spawn, respawn is a gaming term used to describe the action of a computer player or human player coming back to life after being killed. Restless leg syndrome (Nocturnal myoclonus) is a disorder in which there is an urge or need to move the legs to stop unpleasant sensations. Screw is a metal fastener having a tapered shank with a helical thread, and topped with a slotted head, driven in to wood or the like by rotating, especially by means of a screwdriver.
Screw means to mess something up, turn things for the worse. Sleep apnea is the temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep, often resulting in daytime sleepiness. Apnea is a Greek word that means “want of breath. ” Spatial memory is the part of memory responsible for recording information about one’s environment and its spatial orientation. Trash-talk is a form of boast or insult commonly heard in competitive situations. Visuospatial is pertaining to perception of the spatial relationships among objects within the field of vision.