Monday, 14 May 2012

Probability Can Suck It!

I am the Warden!!

Seeing as this is a roleplaying blog, I don't have to get into explaining probability and how much it factors in game design, right? (I have talked about it before.) This time, I'm talking about the perception of probability in real life with an emphasis on the word "perception."

During my numerous therapy sessions last year - brought about from the trauma caused by the accident - I heard a lot about probability and traffic accidents. "Do you know what I mean when I say 'probability?'" my therapist asked me. I chuckled and gave a quick explanation on how it's gospel when it comes to RPG design.

From there, she attempted to break down the odds of the average person being involved in a serious accident based on frequency on the road, speed, time spent on highways, and a few others I can't remember. When she came to her conclusion, she proclaimed there was only a 0.0001% chance of the average person being in a car accident and the odds of the same person getting into another astronomically increased to 1 in a million.

I chuckled again. This wasn't the first time I'd heard this argument and the funny - nigh, hilarious - aspect about it was I had just been knee deep in reading forums and engaging in personal discussions with the mathematically inclined on probability in roleplaying games. The answer I gave was an off-shoot of my reply to those points.