Mental models are representations that help people understand and predict systems or situations we encounter in life. This could include how to operate a car, how to do our job, or how to play a match in a competitive game like Overwatch or League of Legends. Having a complex, accurate mental model of such a game could allow us to understand what to do in different situations and help us predict what our teammates and opponents are going to do.
Little research has been done on how the mental models of more experienced players differ from novice or intermediate players. If we better understood how such mental models were structured and used as you went up the tournament ladder, that would be good for science. Hooray! It might also be good for players like you and me so that we can improve our own mental models and it might be helpful for game designers who want to build games that facilitate the development of such models.
My guest expert this episode reports on his research into understanding the differences between the mental models of League of Legends players at different levels of expertise and accomplishment.