Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University. This week, Thorne shows how the Perfection Fallacy disrupted organized play plans.
Every year, I teach at least two courses online and every year, the second email I send to the students is a discussion of the "Perfection Fallacy" (the first email welcomes them to the class and gives them an overview of what they can expect, just in case you were wondering).
The Perfection Fallacy follows this pattern:
It is in our nature as humans to assume that everything we have planned will work out properly, just as we have planned, according to the time frame we have set. Most of us tend to procrastinate because we "work better under pressure" (nonsense, of course, but that's what we tell ourselves). Ergo, when something happens that upsets the applecart, so to speak, our "best laid plans of mice and men" get upended and we have to scramble to straighten things out.
The example I use with my students is their assignments. Assignments come due every week on Friday at noon. Every week, without fail, I receive a stream of emails Friday morning notifying me of students uploading or posting assignments to the course website. They have assumed that everything will work according to their schedule, i.e. I will get up at 6 a.m. Friday morning, complete my assignments and turn them in with time to spare.
They fail to consider things that could also happen that Friday morning, such things as they wake up sick, their kids wake up sick, they have a hard drive crash, they cannot connect to the internet, the university decides to take the server down for an hour for updating (this did happen one Friday morning and resulted in several panicked emails from students), etc. Any of these will play hob with their Friday morning plans to write and turn in their assignments.
I also point out that, since they have a known deadline for their assignments, there is a markedly easy way to avoid falling prey to the Perfection Fallacy: complete their assignments and turn them in one or two days prior to the due date. By completing them on Tuesday or Wednesday, even if something happens to their computer or the kids get sick, they still have a couple of days to turn in the completed assignment.
How does this relate to Konami? Well, for quite some time, in order to avoid retailers selling Sneak Peek and other special event items before the release, Konami has adopted the practice of shipping out event items to arrive only a day or two before the event. Here we see two key factors of the Perfection Fallacy: a deadline and an expectation that the shipping process will work as expected.
Due to a glitch in their mail room, the prize support for the stores running a Yu-Gi-Oh! Gen Con Tournament this weekend did not ship out on time. Since there was no extra time built into the schedule for situations such as this, prize support for the tournament will not arrive until Monday at the earliest. "Best laid plans…"
In the big picture, this is not a major disruption. We will take the names of the winners and make sure they get their prizes. However, it's a bit of extra paperwork for us and the winners lose the opportunity to bask in their victory as the other players watch, something that Konami could have avoided by taking the Perfection Fallacy into consideration (BTW, in case you are wondering, this column got written the morning of July 4th, so Happy Independence Day from the past).
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
Column by Scott Thorne
Posted by ICv2 on July 6, 2014 @ 11:17 pm CT
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