Does Overwatch teach Emotional Literacy?

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I found this passage interesting. I seem to have a growing interest in emotional literacy and I don’t see myself as a people expert. It seems to me that any environment that requires risk or functions in a state of change or growth needs this. I’ve never been a fan of authoritarianism and have perhaps read Seth Godin’s blog for too long to believe that successful innovation is a result of locking down the human condition to follow all the rules all the time as Roffey suggest here. At the same time, I live in a time where power-over-others appears to be a fascination and widely promoted by a rising political class for whom unfettered self-interest is good and altruism is destructive.

This isn’t limited to politics but has been widely adopted by corporations. Within it, some seem to believe pursuit their own self-interest without regard to the impact of their actions on others.


Games seem to be a simulation for this: some players simply pursue their personal goals, yelling, screaming and trolling other players. They seem oblivious to the fact the game is designed to promote team-work. Time and again, the altruistic team wins. They have better communication, better emotional literacy and understanding of changing parameters than others. In Overwatch, the game punishes the Rand-like player – but it also punishes everyone else. It’s one of the games biggest problems. Quitters may be banned for a short time, but this has no impact on those they left behind — and who are well aware the chances of winning are remote. Yet they usually play on, aware of the behaviour and remain engaged in making the best of it.

Perhaps these games are providing players with the kind of emotional literacy that many adults around them lack – or serve to highlight the problematic behaviour of those who are more than willing to pour scorn on others – or worse – and perhaps learn to recognise it in real life. I have a huge dislike of anyone who powers their own happiness wagon at the expense of some poor sap whos powerless to avoid them. If only logging off was so easy in real life.

The emotional literacy of a school seems to play a huge factor in their emergent success. It’s not often discussed, but it seems almost all the successful break-out schools have a fundamental understanding of community, shared experience and spend vast amounts of effort supporting people – even if they make a mistake (which humans do all the time).

Anyway, dear reader — I’ve been pondering the connection between MMOs and Emotional Literacy … I’ll keep pondering.