Level and its Authority

In video games, experience is a factor that has great influence in the status of a player. A newcomer (most commonly called a noob – the famous slang term for a novice) is a player that is portrayed as inexperienced, weak and/or irrelevant.

Players with a higher level tend to react in different ways towards them. Some despise the noobs, others feel pity for them and want to help them increasing their experience levels. They are often seen as the runt of the pack.
There was obviously a time when these high-level players were also noobs, but their experience level reflects their investment on the game and respect is earned almost automatically.

You now could ask: “Well, this makes sense, doesn’t it? High-level players spent more time in the game toning their skills, gaining experience and becoming overall better players, than those who are just beginning the game. It seems fair that they get the well-deserved recognition, right?”

Yes, that can be the case. However, in some games, it is not rare that a noob is actually a better player than a veteran, but the latter is admired and revered, while the noob is simply perceived as weak and inexperienced.

But let’s make a simple mental exercise!

Imagine you have just bought that awesome online game everyone is talking about. The first time you connect, after a minute of exploration, you find two players. You are controlling a level 1 character and the other players control level 15 and level 56 characters, respectively. Curious as you are, you decide to ask for some tips on how to be a better player.

Who would you go to? On a first look, between the level 15 and the level 56 characters, who do you think is the better player?

Most people, if not all, would go to the level 56 character. But what if the level 15 has played and mastered all other 63 similar games before, while the level 56 is that player’s first approach to online games?

If we could strip away all bonuses that are often associated to character levels – such as special moves, utility skills and/or powerful spells – we would have a character level that would serve just as an indicator of time (read progress) spent in that specific game.

Considering this, who would be the best player?

So the level doesn’t matter? We wouldn’t say that! We just wanted you to understand that despite your intrinsic skills (please note: not character skills), that you have accumulated throughout all your gaming experiences, you will still have to work through the character levels on every game you play to achieve the recognition some veterans get.

Unless of course, you have built a following in another games and you are easily recognized. In this case your past experience influences your status in the game.

Basically speaking, your character level works like a certificate that helps proving that you possess the skills.

In comparison to real life, character levels are a bit like our age. Older people are often seen as wisest, but does that apply to everyone? Think about it!

The gamified approach to levels

It works similarly in the gamification process. People will look at you in different ways depending on the level you are at.

However, gamification gives you the possibility of bending this notion a bit. Contrarily to what happens with a completely inexperienced person, if you already have a set of skills on a specific area, you will not need to start from scratch when you want to improve your knowledge on that area.

Let’s imagine you decide to play the game of carpentry and you already know a bit of the trade. If instead of building a shelf, you chose to build a chair that looks more like a magnificent throne, in the moment another person looks at your chair, they will automatically be in awe of your skills.

Despite being a noob in the game, your skills will be automatically acknowledged. Take that videogames!

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