Reference all the things!
At its core, this reminds me of the scientific experiments that use nature to fix problems that programmers have spent hours upon hours to program. One such program was to find the most optimal path between a series of points (the traveling salesman problem). The example I have read the most on is for public transit - what is the most optimal organization of subway lines between cities? Model after model produced the optimal solution for how everything should be laid out, and thus the entire system was based off of these calculations. But the same results could be replicated more or less exactly by making each city a food supply for mold
, and watching how the mold recreates the path. All the math, logic, and calculations, reduced to simply asking nature what the best way to do it is. Nature, truly, does find a way. There is such a beauty in being able to watch players come up with the best way to play a sport organically, with no rules to bind them, with no instructions, and no penalties.
As for the personal impact, as soon as I realized what was happening, my mind was kind of blown. I found myself using the chat function to assign players as goalies, determining if someone should stay on offense or defense. After realizing that every team should have a plan, it stopped being reactionary to a team having a ball, and started to be a matter of holding our positions. Then I took myself out of this game, and out of soccer: this applies to every sport. Baseball. Basketball. Football. We do not have these rules and regulations because someone wrote them down that way, we have them because it is the best possible way to play the sport. And because of this, teams aren’t judged by their strategy, but are instead judged by their skill (mostly - there are of course different formations and plays that can be used, but the core configuration remains consistent).
Now, think about how this applies to video games that we play. When you play Street Fighter and choose Ryu or Ken, are you picking the cheap character, or the best character for the sport? Are the best players the one’s who use their skills, or the ones who adhere to what the most optimal way to play the game is? In DOTA or Counter Strike, is there a single optimal strategy that would lead to victory? Have hours upon hours of playing the game with millions upon millions of people discovered the optimal strategy yet, or are we still playing those games ‘wrong’?
And all that comes from a single, simple, flash game...
LOOK WHO CAME: