January 14, 2010

The "Halo Effect" that ISN'T about Master Chief

One of my favorite new blogs is The Psychology of Video Games.  It's writer, the well-educated, gaming-savvy, Ph.D.'d Jaime Madigan, tries to answer what every other girlfriend, wife, and septuagenarian and older wonder:  Why do we play video games.  There's some very insightful studies, such as the Hot Hand Fallacy that links basketball in the 80s with Modern Warfare 2 (so I guess this isn't true!).  Ok, it's not just 80s basketball but that's beside the point.  The articles are really fascinating, and I've always loved psychology.

His latest entry, "Bayonetta: Witches with Halos" discusses the halo effect, "a cognitive bias that happens when your evaluation of one trait unjustifiably bleeds over into your perceptions of others."  Though the article is more about reaction to marketing and design, as a Christian and a gamer, and a Christian gamer, I'm certain this effect trickles into the perception of individuals.  And part of the purpose of this blog is to defend that "unjustifiable bleeding."

And also, as a Christian, it's on my conscience to say that this article does include a somewhat shapely advertisement of Bayonetta's heroine (there's worse out there, but any little "bit" can lead to bigger "bits"), and the entire blog has pretty good control of language.  I only say this if there's anyone reading this who was born after Jurassic Park was in theaters, aka the young ones.

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