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Chess or Pokemon: Which requires more critical thinking?

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by OmegaLucifer, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. toshimelonhead

    toshimelonhead Raising Whitney's Miltank

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    I first thought this thread title was "class or pokemon: which is more intellectually stimulating?" and immediately I knew the right answer.
  2. cantab

    cantab

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    The analysis of the opening in the first place, however - now that is some serious thinking. Opening analysis in chess might indeed be likened to teambuilding in Pokemon. Sure, you can use someone else's team, just as you can learn a chess opening. But the top Pokemon battlers are devising their own teams, just as top chess players will come up with opening novelties.

    In fairness, in Pokemon teambuilding probably extends to lower levels than serious opening theorising in chess. And the number of reasonable Pokemon teams is greater than the number of reasonable chess openings until you get quite a lot of moves into the chess opening. But I don't think likening the opening in chess to the team selection in Pokemon is that far-fetched. Both are the primary influence on how the game will play out; the "style" of a Pokemon battle depends on the teams brought (offence vs offence, offence trying to break stall, stall wars, a weather team, etc.), just as the nature of the chess middlegame - and sometimes endgame - depends on the opening.
  3. Dogfish44

    Dogfish44 Banned from 22 Casinos
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    There is no opening move discovered so far which can guarentee white a win. There's a good quote for chess:

    "A game without a blunder is a draw"

    That's all there is to it.

    Now for Pokémon, it's a different matter:

    Both players make moves at the same time. This adds an essence of prediction (You can predict in chess, but you've always got all the info you need.)

    Element of luck - I could make all the best moves and lose by several critical hits.

    Even without a blunder, with both players predicting each other perfectlly, a game can end either way.


    A final thing to think about - Chess can end in draws. Pokémon very rarely does - This is the influence of luck.
  4. TsukasaSIGN

    TsukasaSIGN

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    Pokemon requires the player to adapt to the current situation and the winner in a battle is whoever manages to make better changes and keep the match in their favor. The player has to think about the opponent's team/typing/move sets and make decisions off of their best judgment.

    Chess is similar in that the player must be able to react quickly to whatever situation is occurring during the game. Chess requires more long term thinking however and a ton more strategy as the player has 16 pieces to work with instead of 6. Since the chess player doesn't have to choose what those 16 pieces are whenever they want, they have to be able to learn how to use their pieces and their opponents pieces to their advantage.
    The long term thinking is in pokemon too, as in, if I switch in with pokemon A, my opponent will bring out pokemon B which lets me do action A and bring out pokemon C.
    But the chess game is constantly changing during the game based on the two players' strategies that they are implementing. In chess the player is required to think of all possible outcomes of their move, sometimes thinking of many scenarios up to the end of the match.

    So chess. Chess is definitely more "intellectually stimulating."
  5. MrIndigo

    MrIndigo

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    Depends what you mean by critical thinking. I would say that Pokemon requires more.

    Chess is not a game of analysis, at it's heart. It is strong solvable; the myriad combinations of games are what serves to make it practically unsolvable. Consequently, the best chess players in the world are not people who respond to analyses of fresh board states, but those who have the best memories for pre-written strategems and board states for the early and late game.

    I feel that in pokemon, where there is some level of random factor and that you don't know what your opponent's team is before you start playing them, it requires a lot more spontaneous critical analysis than does a game like chess.
  6. Shiny_Tyranitar

    Shiny_Tyranitar

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    I'd agree with Mr. Indigo that that question is ambiguous.

    In terms of Pokemon, if I have a pokemon out, I can either switch (to at most 5 other pokes) or make one of four moves. At most, there are 20 different things I can do. Chess has (conceivably) an infinite number of possible games and hundreds of possible moves at a given time.

    Pokemon on the other hand is more focused on team building. There are over 650 pokes and each has dozens of possible moves to choose from and one must take into account a myriad (Thanks for the word Indigo) of strategies others will employ to have a complete team. Chess on the other hand has absolutely ZERO team building as you always start with the same pieces in the same positions.

    And IMO team building is not comparable to opening gambits, because opening gambits would be more similar to the first few moves of a pokemon battle (laying rocks, setting up, attacking).

    EDIT: fucked on math, 9 moves at a given time
  7. smashlloyd20

    smashlloyd20

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    This is an interesting question. I think that chess is the more complicated of the two statistically speaking; in a single chess move nearly infinite branches are created. However, in one round of Pokemon there are a limited number of possible events. At best four moves are usable, as well as five possible switches. This means that one player can take a maximum of 9 different actions a turn. 9 squared is 81. Meaning that without accounting for random occurences (hax) there are less than 100 possibilities in one round. However, chess is totally different. Because the pawns are restricting, let's remove them for this theoretical example. You have 8 pieces in your back row. Your rooks can each move to 7 spaces, your bishops 7 iirc, your knights 2, king 3, and queen 12 or so. that's around 30 moves for each person. 30 squared-900. Have I made my point?

    Before you jump down my throat about all my approximations; yeah, I know. I just wanted to put that out there.
  8. gizchim

    gizchim

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    Chess. Chess is purely a matter of thought, there is no element of randomness to it like in Pokemon.
  9. FlareBlitz

    FlareBlitz This was never a story that would have a happy end
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    I just wanted to weigh in on the "chess openings" point that was brought up.

    I usually end up playing some variation of the Ruy Lopez (my faaavorite line for Open Games), Caro-Kann (decent), Scandinavian (imo this isn't great for Black), or Sicillian (if Black is being a bastard) when I'm White, and when I'm Black, some variation of the French Defense if I'm feeling conservative, or the Benoni line if I want to have a bit of (risky) fun.

    While it's possible to "memorize" openings, you absolutely MUST know the strategic implications of your opening, as well as all its transpositions and variations, in order to be successful using it. If you prefer closed games and you go with the King's Gambit because you saw someone else using it, then you're going to be about as successful as someone who slaps an Aero lead on a stall team. So as far as that goes, I think the opening game does have some critical thinking, as the incredibly wide number of available openings all have various little advantages and disadvantages that a high-level player considers. Edit: And some opening lines are highly theoretical even now; I love the Benoni Defense precisely for this reason. Conservative openings in chess are planned out to like 15 moves, sure, but then you have conservative lead matchups in Pokemon too (Swampert v Swampert) which result in both sides setting up stealth rock and ending up with an relatively even matchup into midgame.

    Also, I think it's important that we clarify what "critical thinking" means here. As mentioned, Pokemon can have more risk/information management, but that means the "thinking" aspect is pretty much just speculation based on what you believe your opponent will do. Is it considered critical thinking to say "well, if he does this I should do this, but if he does the other thing I should do that other thing, so I'm going to do this because that's what I think he's going to do"? Because easily 80% of the thinking in Pokemon revolves around just that. Chess has little information management; every decision you make is going to be based off things you know are true (that knight IS there, my king IS in here...) so your thought processes don't feel like you're just making educated guesses, as many battles end up feeling. Personally, I actually do believe that "prediction" in Pokemon constitutes critical thinking, despite it approximating guesswork at times, but it's definitely an issue on which there is disagreement.
  10. lati0s

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    just pointing out that, the quality that you pointed out alone is not enough to ensure that chess requires more thought. surely you believe that pokemon requires more thought than tic tac toe
  11. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
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    ugh

    I really don't like how people say Pokemon is less competitive because it has direct and visible chances in it.

    The ENTIRE POINT of Pokemon, from building a team to playing a match, is all responding to probability and managing it in your favor. Teambuilding is simply optimizing a strategy to what Pokemon are most common on the ladder. Battling is taking calculated risks to make advantages. Just because a game lacks certainty doesn't make it stupid or less fair. Chance is the entire game.
  12. MrIndigo

    MrIndigo

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    In fact, without chance, there is no game.

    Consider tic-tac-toe. This is, essentially, like a very small game of chess. A five-year old knows the strong solution to the game, which is why most games end in a draw, unless someone actually makes an error.

    It is entirely possible to memorise every combination and force a draw in every game of tictactoe. Chess is the same, but the game tree branches REALLY fast. So fast that even modern computers haven't the processing power to store and check each possible branch of the game tree.

    What it means, though, is that the strategy arises only out of what you don't know. The more you memorise about the game, the better you are. That's not strategy.

    Whether it could be considered intellectually stimulating is another matter, however.
  13. Trax

    Trax

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    Realistically any given game in Pokemon is mostly decided by two things

    1. Team Building
    2. Luck

    Before some dumbass brings up prediction, that's either Luck (chance) or Psychology (which seeing as most Pokemon is played over the internet where you can't really tell what your opponent is actually doing is pretty much luck) depending on your point of view.


    Because a winner and loser are virtually guaranteed in Pokemon, the element of Luck is a huge factor, and often as not the largest factor in who wins.
  14. MrIndigo

    MrIndigo

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    We have proof this isn't the case. The same guys keep staying at the top of the ladder and perform well elsewhere. Consequently it follows that skill is relevant and luck doesn't change that.

    The issue is that true strategy comes about when one has to react to a random factor. You need to calculate and weigh up the probabilities, weigh them against what you've seen your opponent do already this game, etc. and then make the appropriate judgment call about whether this is in the 40% of the time you should attack or the 60% time you should attack.


    Team building is very much part of the game of pokemon, so excising it and saying only in-battle strategy counts is also artificial. There is a huge amount of critical thinking required in building and optimising a team.
  15. ChaosNebula

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    Chess or Pokemon.. that really made me think.

    In Pokemon you choose 6 pokemon that work well together. You make your strategy and use it against others. The choice of moves you choose will decide whether you lose or win the match. There is many strategies to choose from, and also you'll be needing to be lucky enough to predict the opponent's moves accurately. If the player is truly smart the opponent could manipulate the opposing person's thinking and actually gain the upper hand.

    In chess it is the same thing. You are to predict the opponent's moves and counter. There are different strategies to choose from depending on the moves players make. As to which one requires more critical thinking.. I'd say Chess.

    In chess you are usually timed (in some cases,) which pressures you to think harder and quickly analyze your opponent and see what is best for you. There so many outcomes in chess, and if the player is smart he can bluff, but that depends on luck. In my opinion I am quite unsure on which one requires more critical thinking, but for now I will stick to Chess.
  16. lmitchell0012

    lmitchell0012 Banned deucer.

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    If you disregard all of the hax, I think you'll find that pokemon actually does require a lot more strategy than chess.
  17. Starbuck

    Starbuck

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    That's a pretty crazy if.
  18. undisputed

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    It's Pokemon for sure. I think one of the biggest indications of this is people can make Chess AIs but it is pretty close to impossible to make a Pokemon AI. The vast number of variations even if you exclude team building make Pokemon a game much more reliant on Critical thinking and prediction.
  19. cim

    cim happiness is such hard work
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    Says who? I know of a Pokemon AI that's rather close to implementation. There's no reason you couldn't make a Pokemon AI.
  20. muffinhead

    muffinhead b202 wifi vgc
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    In Pokemon, you are unsure of your opponent's "pieces", and must play accordingly. You also know that your opponent may have different or "better" pieces than you.

    Chess is more intellectually stimulating (not to be confused with 'harder') because you know exactly how many and of what type of pieces your opponent has, and you are completely equally matched. It is purely who makes the better moves or sacrifices, with no outside chances (crit flinch para etc). Simply put, the person who purely out-strategizes the other will win.
  21. MrIndigo

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    You're right.

    The better one is "If you didn't have the hax, chess would require more critical thinking than Pokemon".
  22. undisputed

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    lol you seem to like to question whatever I say. I never said it couldn't be done, but its vastly more difficult to accomplish. Just look at obi's stark thread and the problems he has encountered. Chess you are able to calculate a 'best' or 'superior' move for the situation. Pokemon has the same thing except more instances involving informed guessing.
  23. MrIndigo

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    There is no real bluff in chess, because it's sequential-move, not simultaneous-move. Furthermore, there's no hidden information. The only thing you can do is conceal the fact you know what you are doing, but that only works if your opponent doesn't know the gambit you're using and you do. Again, this is an issue of memory, not of strategy per se. The person with superior memory and experience of chess will win, assuming noone makes an actual mistake.
  24. cantab

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    Middlegame strategy and tactics isn't simply about memorising positions.

    Anyway, if banned from looking things up, the person with the superior memory and experience of Pokemon will win, assuming no-one get's exceptionally good/bad luck.

    I'd argue there's more basic memorisation in Pokemon. You've got to remember the types, stats, common movesets and unusual moves, for each of over 600 Pokemon. And much of that is basic rote-learning, without underpinning tactics or strategy like chess openings have. (Although the common Pokemon movesets do have strategy behind them). Of course, on online play many people will have access to Smogon and other websites to look these things up, but then you can use online resources in chess too. In physical tournament play in both Pokemon and chess, (ie VGC and similar events for the former) looking stuff up is banned.

    On AIs - of course obi's having trouble. He's one guy doing this in his spare time, with little if any previous work to go on. The best computer chess programs have multiple developers working full-time, able to draw on much of what's been done previously. It was 40 years between the first chess-playing computer in 1957, and the first chess-playing computer able to defeat the best human players in 1997. Computers have only been playing Pokemon for 14 years.
  25. Trax

    Trax

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    Like I say, it's a combination of Team Building and Luck primarily, though I've not played much since GSC so perhaps I'm missing something that got added.

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