An Idea That Came To Me - What is Skill?


#1
  • **I’d like anyone who sees a flaw with this to point it out for me. Will continuing to think this way limit me, or is there anything you just plain disagree with?

  • I’ve thought about what “skill” means a lot, and the conclusion I’ve come to in regards to Street Fighter, I’m happy with. Maybe because it’s an encouraging conclusion for us new players, although it means the same thing in the end. Not trying to change the whole world, but I feel better about a game if I feel like I understand the…philosophy, I guess? of it.

    My conclusion: There is no such thing as “skill”. A match is a series of decisions, from what moves you do, to the slightest movement of the character. Victory is just about choosing what will make their lifebar go down more than yours - and not necessarily this very second, but using your “turn” to limit what options they have come the enemies “turn”. Or maybe, even using your decisions to attack the player, instead of the character. Hindering their ability to make intelligent decisions. It is entirely possible for you to beat the best of the best. Fuudo, Tokido, your friend around the block who whoops your ass with his Vega every week, whoever. They are playing the exact same set of characters as you, same moves, same health and damage. So what makes them better than me, you, or anyone else?

I think a huge part of it is that when people practice, they aren’t getting magically better through some RPG leveling system. They’re demonstrating to themselves information - hitboxes, frames, properties. When you make a decision in real life, you would prefer all the information relevant to it, and it’s the same for every small decision in a match. Practice is the process of driving this information into your mind, reviewing it, making sure you have all the relevant information to make intelligent decisions in a fight.

So, either “skill” is another word for ones judgement and how much knowledge they have, or it isn’t real, a better player is only better because they made the right choices, and it is entirely possible for you to beat anyone in the world if you choose correctly, and the purpose of practice is to ensure you have all the information to make that choice. Like I said, this doesn’t change anything - I guess for me, it’s just a more comforting and logical way to look at it than, “Oh, I can’t beat him because he plays tournaments.”


#2

Sounds to me like you’re just trying to over complicate things and get overly deep. What you just said is “skill” making the right judgment and doing the correct thing in it self is a “skill”


#3

Maybe. It’s important to me to understand how to think about things. When I started, “skill” wasn’t what I see it as now. It was some magic quality I couldn’t understand that made the opponent appear unbeatable to me - something demoralizing to make me quit, in my own mind, the second I got blown up. Obviously, they had something I didn’t, and the label my mind gave it was “skill” instead of a more proper title, like information. I was defeating myself by not understanding what MADE that person more “skilled” than me - they just were. And until a while ago, when I practiced, I’d just do “stuff”, thinking that if I just played, I’d magically gain that level, instead of doing it right and trying to teach myself the information I need to know.

To me, this is something really important.


#4

Dictionary

[SIZE=5]Search Results[/SIZE]

[SIZE=5]skill[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]noun /skil/ [/SIZE]
skills, plural
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[*]The ability to do something well; expertise

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[]- difficult work, taking great skill
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[
]A particular ability

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[*]- the basic skills of cooking
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Web definitions

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[]
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[
]an ability that has been acquired by training
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[*]ability to produce solutions in some problem domain; “the skill of a well-trained boxer”; “the sweet science of pugilism”
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* having or showing or requiring special skill; “only the most skilled gymnasts make an Olympic team”; “a skilled surgeon has many years of training and experience”; “a skilled reconstruction of her damaged elbow”; “a skilled trade”
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into domain-general and domain-specific skills. …
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]SKILL is the Lisp-like scripting language and PCell (parameterized cells) description language used in many EDA software suites by Cadence Design Systems (e.g. Cadence Allegro and Cadence Virtuoso). …
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKILL[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]In the 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, game mechanics and die rolls determine much of what happens. …
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill_(Dungeons_&_Dragons)[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]Skill is a measure of a worker’s expertise, specialization, wages, and supervisory capacity. Skilled workers are generally more trained, higher paid, and have more responsibilities than unskilled workers.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill_(labor)[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]A statistic (or stat) in role-playing games is a piece of data which represents a particular aspect of a fictional character. That piece of data is usually a (unitless) integer or, in some cases, a set of dice.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skill_(role-playing_games)[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]The Skill is an album by The Sherbs released in 1980.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Skill[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]capacity to do something well; technique, ability. Skills are usually acquired or learned, as opposed to abilities, which are often thought of as innate; To set apart; separate; To discern; have knowledge or understanding; to know how (to); To have knowledge or comprehension; discern; To …
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]en.wiktionary.org/wiki/skill[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* A person who has obtained a level of competence through education and/or experience in an occupational field.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]home.earthlink.net/~okwagoner/pltw/glossaries/ied_glossary.htm…[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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[*]Skilled nursing facilities
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.mchthesaurus.info/Rotated/S.html[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Distinctive competencies in particular fields and disciplines, including technical skills and the so-called softer skills, a.k.a. “people skills.”
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.netplaces.com/coaching-mentoring/appendix-a-glossary/[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Among your total repertoire of skills, identifying your most enjoyable and transferable skills is essential to a systematic examination of what the marketplace has to offer–that would make sense for you, given who you are.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.careerchangeability.com/lawyers/html/glossary.html[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Are the targeted proficiencies; technical actions and strategies.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.curriculum21.com/pd/resources/archives/glossary[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Area of proficiency. In a typical role playing game, a character will have a number of ‘skills’, namely things they are especially good (or especially not good) at. For example “hide”, “discover hidden things”, “hit with a sword”, etc. …
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]rpggeek.com/wiki/page/RPG_Glossary[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* At critical times in dreams, your faculties may become enhanced or limited. These include mental, as well as physical faculties. Suddenly, you find a great wealth of knowledge to resolve a problem, or acquire a skill to do so. Other times, you suddenly lose certain abilities.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]miraclesnmagic.wordpress.com/dream-dictionary-p-s/[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* General capacities to perform a set of tasks developed through the acquisition of experience and/or training which require more than just knowing about the subject.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.neiu.edu/~dbehrlic/hrd408/glossary.htm[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* In OBPE, one type of outcome is a “behavioral” or “skills” outcome. A skill can be understood as a specific ability to perform a type of activity. It is useful to contrast “cognitive” or “knowledge” outcomes with “behavioral” or “skill” outcomes. …
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.shapingoutcomes.org/course/glossary/index.htm[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Internal abilities that move the participant closer to established goals.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.endruralpoverty.org/what-we-do/frequently-used-terms[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Small units of performance • Features of what one does
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.scribd.com/doc/17609939/OT-Terminology[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Subject-specific and generic abilities
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]careersintheory.wordpress.com/2010/11/19/employability-conce…[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* The ability to use content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge effectively and readily in diverse teaching settings in a manner that ensures that all students are learning.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]highered.colorado.gov/Academics/TeacherEd/glossary.html[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* The powers and attributes your character posesses such as healing yourself or others, inflicting damage on opponents, or giving armor to others.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]secondliferoleplay.com/glossary/[/COLOR][/COLOR]

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* Values determining what things a character knows how to do, and how well they can do them.
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[COLOR=#0e774a][COLOR=#0e774a]www.shadowsiege.com/guides/archives/2004/12/ooc_glossary.ht…[/COLOR][/COLOR]


#5

I think it was pyrolee who said something akin to learning to play is like scribbling down a whole bunch of notes in your head and being a pro player means you’re able to shift through those notes very quickly. Thus it is very possible to reconcile your view and say that both are accurate. Pros have both a lot of information and are able to use it to make the correct decisions. As with anything with a conclusion this is represented in a series of choices and theoretically yes. You could beat Poongko by guessing right and capitalizing everytime.

To drag out the analogy however this is akin to get 100% on a math test by randomly scibbling. Yes in theory, 1 in a bazillion times the scribbles will correlate to all the right answers. On average, however, I’d say you’re pretty bad at math. Its somewhat easier to just be good at the subject in question.

To stretch out things SLIGHTLY further and back to street fighter: sometimes the answer isn’t obvious. For instance problem moves like scissor kick pressure, rekkas and Dhalsim more or less entirely cannot be solved with a single motion. Given that being good at these games is giving your opponent as many problems as is possible, this is why just starting player can never realistically beat a pro. They just don’t know.


#6

I don’t really see a point in this other than you trying to define a word.


#7

Not trying to troll here, but pondering this kinda psuedo strategy shit isn’t really gonna get you any improvement in SF. This thread benefits nobody.


#8

What is skill,…that is a very wide question. Now if I’m understanding what your really asking is, I train my butt off, I know all the frame data but I cant still seem to win, why? Experience. And from the sound of it you think way to much, Bruce Lee best explained your question like this. Be like water, let it flow, if i throw a ball at you what will you do? Think of frame date on how to catch it, No. You just catch it. Now as for you and your friend, most likely your friend knows you, what you want to do, what you will do, This happens alot with friends cause they play each other alot. Once agin experience. Your friend is use to you so you need to change your game up. Also you have to understand that SSF4 AE and most of the games out now want you to use different ppl. Example Balrog vs Dudley this is a up hill battle for Dudley, a very wet steep hill, your forced to get someone else to deal with Balrog. I hope this helps


#9

I think, in simple terms, ya, that is what I mean.

So wouldn’t that again be lack of information to make the informed decisions?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe many characters have multiple anti-airs, and each anti-air has slightly varying properties, making certain ones better for certain situations. So “just catching it” would be throwing out any anti-air you have and saying whatever.

If I’m “overthinking it” and it “helps nobody”, then I guess we just let the thread drop. I had massive problems in trying to figure out how to go about learning the game until I figured this out, so for me it was a really important development in mindset. Guess that’s just me.


#10

Ah ha, I think I get what you’re getting at. There’s no intrinsic facet of a ‘pro’ that any other player cannot emulate. If this is the case, although there are valuable talents that do vary from person to person[reflex being a big one, also execution, mindset, and mental fortitude, I would venture to agree with you. There is an ‘if’ to that tho. Compared to sports which are for the most part team efforts, all of the ‘notes’ come down to you to know. Whether truthfully just anyone could become as good as Daigo [the dataset is probably small for the number of people who have played his sheer number of quality hours], I wouldn’t know. I would assume yes.

As for this post being useless, yeah sorta. I’m always looking for new ways to help people ‘click’ into fighting games, but this is a bit too dense and, myself included, is just a verbal jerkoff-fest. I’m not even exactly sure what I’m responding is correct and if it is then how it helps put your mind at ease. Just a ‘yes I can’ mentality?


#11

A long time ago, on alt.games.sf2, someone posted a long ass essay describing what he believed as the “3 components of skill” which he broke down as 1. execution 2. game knowledge 3. psychology.

I think it’s a good starting place if you want to think about what you’re doing wrong and how to get better.

  1. Execution. Watch your replays. If you’re dropping combos or missing your safe jumps, work on them. The one area of skill where Japanese players generally (and I say generally, because its GENERALLY true… not trying to start something here) outperform other players. You’d be surprised how many more games you’d win because you’re punishing stuff with the maximum damage possible rather than doing throws because you weren’t confident that your combo would work. I say watch your replays, because players are naturally blind to their execution weaknesses until they’re actually forced to watch it and wince when they realise how badly the dropped combos/failed techniques are costing them.

  2. Game knowledge. That’s what SRK is for. Youtube videos with tons of top player videos make this easier than ever before to ‘train’ in.

  3. Psychology. This is the hardest component to train and you probably could write a book on it.

So if you’re thinking of improving your game, it’s always good to identify which of these 3 you’re weakest at and step it up there.

What skill ISN’T is some DBZ power level reading.

PS.: I’d be grateful if anyone can surface that old alt.games.sf2 post.


#12

Ya, I do have a lot of trouble putting out words without going into the full everything on everything :confused: Like I said, we can just let it drop since it’s a realization I already came to and was really happy with, and I guess my mind doesn’t work like other peoples so it isn’t gonna help anyone else for sure.

I tried learning Street Fighter like a year ago, and it wasn’t working because people say “do training mode” or “learn your fundamentals”, and I wasn’t understanding exactly what those meant. I figured out what I posted here, and the realization that what I needed to learn was information, not just dick around in training until I got better somehow, was a big deal for me. That last time I tried to learn it, I spent about two months, and the second month I didn’t improve a single bit, in any area of my performance, and this is why. So I guess, big deal to me, big whoop to others. So we can have it deleted or just let it drop off front page :stuck_out_tongue:

@AcidicEnema - I’d be very interested in reading that if you find it :slight_smile:


#13

What you say is right, and actually if you look a few posts down there’s one about changing mindsets. Which is a picture perfect post that comes up once a week or so about ‘Y KAN NOTS BETS SCRUBZ’. The answer in one sentence is ‘because you don’t know how’, which is a perfect place to start but yeah - definitely too broad. Its nice to know there IS an end[i.e just need more notes!], but the journey to being really damn good is pretty freakishly long honestly.


#14

IMO, that’s part of the appeal and satisfaction of it :slight_smile:


#15

…and it’s not a newbie thread either. Against my better judgement, moving to FGD.


#16

Hmm I think I could try to help

Skill = whatever is needed to do well be successful whatever the positive result is

what you need to be skillful in fighting games is making the right decisions in situations

that’s pretty daunting isn’t it?

so how do you know what is the right decision?
subject yourself to many situations and test it, that’s why we practice vs others and/or use training mode’s record feature (ex. record dummy doing Honda nuetral jump hard punch and see what move/s your character can beat it with)
learn your moves and apply them to see which ones work when
when you make the right decision, you want to capitalize on it so you practice combos so you don’t drop them
then you need to be able to manage risks: is this worth doing here?
like when you’re opponent is knocked down, should I attack him on wakeup, bait or play it safe
or punishment opportunity arrives do you go for the big damage harder to do combo or the one that does less damage but easier to do
of course risk management isn’t just those 2 situations

The better you become the quicker you’ll be at this decision making and the experience will lead to you making the right decision more often (like picking the right anti air for the situation) where it becomes second nature or reactions. Just keep playing, be mindful while playing and the pieces will fall together.


#17

Doing the “correct thing” at the “correct time” isn’t always best (and just leads to flowcharting). A good part of a players skill is knowing how to turn seemingly random pokes/hits into big damage. As I believe has been stated before, good player do the right moves at the right times, great players make every move, the right move every time.


#18

Nice post, OP. Here’s what I consider to be skill: The knowledge of both doing and applying information while maintaining unpredictability.

It’s hard to explain, but I try to explain to others that playing requires you to get to the point where you do not think, but feel while maintaining some sort of peace of mind. The moment you become agitated or angry is the moment you lose. In training, I try to not worry about connecting this or that hit, I just do it even if it fails as my muscle memory will eventually iron it out.

For me, I don’t go in with a strategy per se. I just simply take note of my options, his options, and the risks and rewards involved with each. I just attempt to adapt to the situation, be water as the guy above said.


#19

That makes good sense, I think. I only yesterday looked up what “flowcharting” actually means, but I can see exactly what you mean there. I guess theres a level of intuition required to turn the “correct” decision into the “perfect” decision?

@Kuma I left out the “unpredictability” part, and d3v pointed out that that’s a major part of turning it in your favor.