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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Working as a team for the benefit of the team, without losing the self.
The fact that this even comes up as an issue (I'm not picking on you, Kydeem de'Morcaine, I've seen it come up often enough before) bothers me.
My experience, based among other things on online gaming, tabletop gaming, and my life as an actor (something I've been doing since kindergarten, and while I've just barely started doing it professionally, I have managed to secure SAG-AFTRA eligibility, which is no small potatoes), makes it pretty clear that "teamwork" works best in the absence of "teamthink" - you don't look at yourselves from a third-person perspective, you just do what makes sense, and thinking in terms of "the team" accomplishes nothing good that couldn't be accomplished in its absence, and even leads to the problems its existence is supposed to avert when they wouldn't have come up otherwise...
I am not entirely sure what exactly you are disagreeing with in this section and the article did not make it much clearer. If you are talking about the fad of mangement "team building" seminars. Then yes, I agree that for most people those are a waste of time.
There are people that really did not understand the concept in any real meaningful fashion until after they went to a course like that. I have no studies to back me up but just from personal observation, I would say that a significant percentage of the people that manage to claw their way to the top in some of the high pressure professions are fairly socipathic personalities that really just didn't understand the concept. I have observed at least 2 individuals go to those seminars and it really was like a lightbulb had been turned on. They were charged up and wanted everyone to go to the seminars, because it never occured to them that the rest of us already understood the concept and were already working as a team.
However there are people who have the basic concept of teamwork, understand that it is a good thing, but simply have no real idea how to apply it. You stated, "... you just do what makes sense ..." unfortunately that doesn't connect for all people. Even if trying to be a team the only thing that comes to the forefront of their brain is do the best I can. To be perfectly honest, I see that the most often with kids who were never in team sports or were in team sports but were such natural atheletes (or at least thought they were) that working as a team brought poorer results.
Think about the players that always have the barbarian that charges in chin first before the cleric can buff, before the fighter sets the choke point, before the wizard lands the area affect spell, etc... then moans and complains about how no one else would support him and he had to do it all himself. It would not be surprising to me if you found that it was someone who had never played on a team sport or it was the 'ball hog' that was always trying to win the game all by themselves.
However, this RPG has a tremendous advantage over real life that is very similar to sports practice. I can have a 'do over' where since I control the opposition I can set them back to initial conditions and try it again with each person following some suggested tactics to see what happens. I have seen several times where the players was literally (yes, I am using the word correctly) amazed by the outcome. Not only did the team do better, but the 'ball hog' PC also did better as an individual. He got more kills, did more damage, and took less damage. Everyone was happy. This has grown into several groups starting to use standard tactical plays (very similar to football plays).
Doing what made sense was charging in first since that's what barbarians are made for. But it was not necessarily good for the team.
Does it work for everyone? No. Some people are 'ball hogs' because that truly is their personality and doing better at the expense of the team really is what they enjoy.