What exactly is Game Intelligence how are our services related to it?

This blog post will shed some light on the term game intelligence, where it is used and how we specifically use and translate it to our testing tool “game analysis” that can assess an individual’s cognitive capacity and abilities which can be related to behavior and performance. Or if you want, Game Intelligence.

What is Game Intelligence?

Game intelligence is basically known and by definition related to team sports and a person’s ability to be at the right place at the right time doing the right thing.

Going deeper, it is the underlying ability to read the game in a correct and fast way, assess dynamically changing situations and to take decisions that put oneself or the team in a superior position compared to the opponent. On top, it relates to a person’s innate abilities and the brain’s capacity to process information, and can be developed, optimized and eventually compensated if you know your strong or weak spots. Understanding Game Intelligence, therefore, starts with assessing and understanding the individual brain capacity.

What is a Game?

A game is a competition-oriented occupation of one or more individuals, that is exercised according to certain rules, usually with different tools. The game is driven forward by the players’ actions in various situations either through strategic choices, random outcomes, or a combination of both. This ultimately results in a measurable reward or punishment, that is, gain or loss, creating a kind of tension momentum.

This definition perfectly defines not only games or sports – be it leisure/entertainment or professional – most games such as chess and football can be both, but also any other organized activity, like business.

Different Games, different Conditions, different Game Intelligence

To understand Game Intelligence, we need to understand the rules, prerequisites and dynamics of the specific game. Of course, there are big differences between games. In football, the rules rarely change, however it is very fast and dynamic, requiring highly developed “here and now” abilities. In most businesses there are more factors to take into account and there is a mix of fast, short-term and operational as well as long-term and strategic activities.

To really understand what Game Intelligence means in each game, it requires both an understanding for the dynamics and for what this represents and how it then translates to cognitive capacity, behavior and ultimately performance.

Once this assessment has been conducted and linked, one can start mastering Game Intelligence meaning both recruiting the right person(s) to the right place and building a functioning team. Yet, also constantly supporting and developing both the individuals and teams, all in line with the continuously shifting environment. One thing is for sure, the pace of speed and change is higher than ever. In turn, it requires an even better understanding of Game Intelligence.

Context is everything, also regarding behavior and performance

Most of us have experienced the feeling of flow, of “being in the zone”, when everything seems to work and come together. And also, the contrary. Thus, depending on the context, the same individual or team can perform differently. Therefore, it is fair to argue that Game Intelligence is a combination of cognitive capacity and context.

To understand how cognitive capacity relates to context we assess and relate it to five main concepts;

  • Position – What abilities does the specific mission require, what level of capacity does this correspond to, are there gaps and what about the awareness? The same position may vary a lot.

  • Situation What situation is the company in. Steady, change, growth, crisis? What’s the actual situation for the individual?

  • State What state is the individual in and how does this affect the cognition. Stress, sleep, nutrition etc. has strong effects on behavior and performance.

  • Variation – What is my cognitive baseline and how sensitive am a to variations in cognition. When am I at my best and my worse?

  • Cognitive cost – Depending on my cognitive strengths and weaknesses what tasks require more or less and what’s the cost or effortlessness

The result of relating cognitive profiles to these five factors (contextualization), explains the underlying mechanisms and gives a very and deep understanding of how peopled behave and perform individually and in team. And also, a solid base for how to optimize and compensate.

Game Intelligence in Sports: Football Example

To illustrate the dynamics and functioning of Game Intelligence, let’s take one of the most popular team sports in the world: Football or soccer. Just as in any other team sport, there are teams that compete to score the most goals over a certain amount of time, the game or playing time. The combination of its competitive nature, individual activities triggered by individual players, such as passes, shots on goal, tackles, position changes, etc. followed by dynamic decisions that are taken, make it a game. When it comes to taking the right decisions at the right moment in time during the game, that’s when Game Intelligence as we know comes in. When is the right time to pass? Where does a forward need to stand in what situation? How should defenders move when the other team attacks?

To shed some light behind this mystery, elite football players have been chosen in a study as an example to demonstrate that classical highly validated neuropsychological tests focusing on executive, cognitive capacities, could be used to predict behavior and successful performance on the court during a game.

The game of football was chosen as an example of a very demanding, high performing, constantly changing environment with high speed, clear rules and limitations (court, half time, goal size, etc.). The results have been eye-opening and were reported throughout the world where they were perceived and followed with very high interest.

It was found that the successful elite players had a very high capacity on cognitive abilities like for instance creativity and speed when it comes to information processing. Also, the working memory capacity was well functioning which can be traced back to the fact that many things happen on the field at the same time that professional players have to absorb within milliseconds.

Maybe even more exciting was the fact that these findings can be applied to businesses as well, where our scientists went on and used the same type of tests in organizations. As a base for recruiting and screening activities as well as for the ongoing behavioral development of leaders, teams, individuals and the organization itself.

How business activities can be compared to the game of football

As stated, just as with team sports and related game intelligence, the same executive functions, cognitive capacity and abilities that football players show, can be observed and are used in business organizations, only in a different arena. Besides in sports, we find competitive behavior and action where individual actors and teams try to win by gaining market share for instance.

Dynamic activities and tasks can be described as the individual value delivery actions designed around the business models in a market where the individual players – the companies – try to maximize their revenues and profits. For people and leaders to succeed in such organizations they need to have certain abilities (natural or innated) and develop or train certain skills (learned or acquired) from various dimensions all related to decision making, information processing and long-term oversight. The individual or team cognitive capacity, related to game dynamics, is a very important base for defining the need for developing skills.

What is your game? Our game analysis testing reveals how to compensate and optimize your abilities.

Our model “Game Analysis” reflects how the brain processes information in four dimensions that are clustered into “GAME”:

1) Gather & Process

2) Active Sketchpad

3) Master Control

4) Execute

“Game Analysis” as such has been developed based on research and is framed around cognitive testing areas that are revealing an individual’s brain processing abilities regarding information, thoughts, social abilities and feelings in relation to other people. This is a very fast and dynamic process underlying people behavior. All of these functions are interconnected and partially influence each other.

The game analysis tool is designed around cognitive testing and profiling that we use to assess, interpret and develop individual and team cognitive capacity. The tests as well as the results aim at reflecting reality as much as possible;

  • Gather & Process” represents attention, scanning and process speed. This is the “cognitive engine”

  • Active Sketchpad” relates to our brain’s memory function: specifically, short-term and working memory

  • Master Control” refers to impulse control, multi-processing abilities and cognitive flexibility.

  • Execute” relates to the more complex thinking and deals with oversight and the big picture in terms of strategic and rational thinking, conceptualization and creativity; analytical dimensions

There you have it – GAME. What and how they are all measured in detail will be part of our next blog posts, yet, it shows that it does have to do with games in general but obviously not solely as these criteria can be applied to many other applications and areas especially in business, schools, R&D, dating, etc.

With the underlying evidence-based testing tools are standardized and normalized. The result is individual and team cognitive profiles, put in context explained and translated to performance and behavioral indexes while at the same time identifying capability areas to compensate and optimize. To be used these in education, coaching and development.

If you are as excited as we are about this, convince yourself about our approach and learn more about YOUR GAME or YOUR GAME INTELLIGENCE.

Send us an e-mail for additional information and your personal, your team’s or your organization’s assessment.