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Can Single Player Video Games Encourage Teamwork?

Consider video games, such as the Sly Cooper series, that require a single player to take on the role of multiple characters. What implications do games that force players to utilize different gaming styles and strategies have for encouraging teamwork and collaboration, especially in young players? How do in-game biases towards particular characters, such as Sly, who can do far more than Bentley or Murray, affect the way players think about leaders, followers, and capabilities? It might also be interesting to consider the benefits and detriments to having single players learn this alone, rather than in a multiplayer game that requires more than one real people to collaborate for success.

  • The Sly Cooper series is one of my favorite video games from my childhood. I had never thought about that aspect of it before though. You're right that Sly Cooper is the main attraction of the games. He's the cool, suave guy who picks pockets with ease and gets the girl. Bentley and Murray have smaller missions by comparison but are nonetheless important to Sly's success as a thief. They take a backseat to Sly's visibility as a leader and hero, which tends to be an underrated quality. That doesn't make them "followers" just because the spotlight isn't on them. As kids, there's often a huge stress on becoming strong leaders but it's important to evaluate what actually means. As gamers, we're given control over each character in the Sly Cooper series at the precise moment when we need their strengths in that given situation. Sly's good at stealth, Bentley at intelligence and hacking, and Murray is the muscle. They rely on each other's individual strengths to function as a team. That's a different type of teamwork than as you say, multiplayer games, and it also functions differently than the turn-based systems that have been used in games such as the Final Fantasy series. There are certain implications involved in that which are worth exploring. – aprosaicpintofpisces 4 years ago
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  • While I do think single player games can incorporate and introduce teamwork to the player, it's multiplayer games that involve the player in better teamwork scenarios. With single player games, I can learn and build on how I work as a player in said games. But when those games place me into a multiplayer setting with real people beside me, compared to when I'm fighting alongside AI characters, I feel like I'm contributing to the cause instead of doing everything on my own. The sense of teamwork without real conversation isn't there for me. The feeling of making a difference isn't in my heart or mind or eyes. With real people by my side and in my ear, talking with me when I talk, I have a feeling of a team player, as someone who is actually accomplishing something for the good of others. – JRG 4 years ago
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  • YES 1000x With the new and developing world of competitive video games, many games like Battlefield, Call of Duty, Destiny, League to Legends, and many more, these single player games where their is an objective, many people can make these games more enjoyable with the addition of team based things such as Esports, which is competitive sporting by professional gamers, which take mainly single player games and turn them into team based games. – dff5088 4 years ago
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