What is “The Matt Mentality”


What is a Matt Mentality?  Put simply, it is a positive attitude.  Not a patronizing gesture but a true callout of what someone does that is good or commendable during play.  Many times, in gameplay I hear negative comments from players during and especially after the game, this can bring down the participation level of all players.

I often wonder why so many people are quick to speak negative, leave negative reviews and find fault but then there are those few positive people that look for the positive, the best, the good.  I would much rather associate with people that are looking for the positive instead of those that only look for the negative in others.  That is a sign of a true leader, a person who gains respect from others as when they are part of a team, that team knows they are not only fun to play with, but they are also a positive force to strengthen the team as a whole during play.

“I noticed as I continued doing it that I was less upset or salty and I just felt good and I was less upset after a loss and it was nice for them but it made me feel better.” 

Matt is often on my team while playing Heroes of the Storm, I asked Matt why he always comments positive play and he said, “I noticed as I continued doing it that I was less upset or salty and I just felt good and I was less upset after a loss and it was nice for them but it made me feel better.”  I realized that Matt may have initially started this action for himself and his own satisfaction during the game but what he did not realize is that his actions made a difference to his entire team and often crossed over the opposing team as well.

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The Smile Studies discusses this thought process with the theory of mood migration which is based on a basic 2-point basis.  If you see someone smiling then you naturally may smile, and then it continues that if you smile then others that see you may smile too.  Just the act of trying to be happy on purpose can make you happier.  It works like a chain reaction and can change not only your entire outlook but those that encounter you as well.



Martin Seligman is often called the ‘father of positive psychology’ and he created the study of 5 core elements called PERMA that used regularly and purposefully was as powerful as Prozac.  If you work on your own PERMA then there is a 48% chance of helping your own depression where Prozac accounts for a 40% chance of help.


In gaming, we should all use the Matt Mentality, which is just a more positive and kinder attitude.  Have you experienced this with any players during your games?  Have you practiced this process yourself?  I challenge you to work on having more of a “Matt Mentality” during your next game and see if it works for you!  If we all support each other and call out the good versus the bad, we can completely change the atmosphere of gaming and turn it into a more uplifting fun team game!

Let me know in the comments what you have experienced and if you would like to watch the full video from NotParadox discussing the Matt Mentality click the video link here.


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Social Cognitive Theory and Gaming

What is Social Cognitive Theory and what could it possibly have anything to do with gaming?  In life, we are influenced by things and people around you.  Your environment can affect your feelings and thoughts of your own life.  Positive and negative influences happen to you whether you want them to or not, but it is how you react to them that matters.  Albert Bandura a leading psychologist in behavior theory theorized that your subconscious will react to biological, cognitive and affective events.


In life, we do not always have control over things that will happen, but we do have control over how we are affected by them.  Bandura did a study on phobias and hired actors to pretend they were afraid of snakes along with a group of people that were afraid of snakes, but the actors became less and less afraid of the snakes and by example the others also because less afraid of snakes.  Some found this study unethical, but it worked.

There are four mediational processes proposed by Bandura (1):

  1. Attention: The extent to which we are exposed/notice the behavior. For a behavior to be imitated, it has to grab our attention. We observe many behaviors on a daily basis, and many of these are not noteworthy. Attention is therefore extremely important in whether a behavior influences others imitating it.
  2. Retention: How well the behavior is remembered. The behavior may be noticed but is it not always remembered which obviously prevents imitation. It is important therefore that a memory of the behavior is formed to be performed later by the observer.
  3. Reproduction: This is the ability to perform the behavior that the model has just demonstrated. We see such behavior on a daily basis that we would like to be able to imitate but that this not always possible. We are limited by our physical ability and for that reason, even if we wish to reproduce the behavior, we cannot.
  4. Motivation: The will to perform the behavior. The rewards and punishment that follow a behavior will be considered by the observer. If the perceived rewards outweigh the perceived costs (if there are any), then the behavior will be more likely to be imitated by the observer. If the vicarious reinforcement is not seen to be important enough to the observer, then they will not imitate the behavior.

In gaming, we have an interest in a game but these four steps will be the catalyst deciding if we will continue to play the game, enjoy the game and ultimately succeed in the game.  We play individually but also as a team, if either piece is missing the team will not do well in the final outcome of the game.

“Positive and negative influences happen to you whether you want them to or not, but it is how you react to them that matters.”

Parents often have the opposite effect on parenting by calling out the thing they want to be changed such as playing video games or not helping with chores thinking it will make them change their behavior, but it can work the opposite way.  Positive comments can work much better than negative.  In gaming you can avoid bad habits and influence those other players in the game by giving positive comments and staying positive yourself, this will help keep people focused and happy.  Many want to blame peer pressure on the social cognitive theory and in a way, yes, it could be considered a small part of bullying or peer pressure.  The power of influence is strong but the same can be said of the power of a positive influence vs a negative influence.  In gameplay, it is more fun and more productive to have a positive influence and outlook.  Do your best while playing, learn from your game history, listen to the comments, analyze the outcome and constantly be learning to improve yourself and your attitude of performance.

Do you feel that there is a difference in overall performance and play if you keep a positive attitude?  Let us know in the comments what your experiences have been with positive gameplay.  If you would like to learn more about social cognitive theory in gaming, you can watch my video here Social Cognitive Theory and Gaming https://youtu.be/e3JEyeXtp7w


Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Prentice-Hall, Inc.







College Kids With Full Ride Scholarships From Playing Video Games?

Video games have become a common pastime for those all around the world, but especially high school and college kids. Most parents would discourage the use of video games because they are a waste of time. What if they weren’t a waste of time?

Michael Udall is a 22-year-old college student who plays a game called “Heroes of the Storm” a multiplayer battle arena game where people take the most popular heroes from games made by Blizzard Entertainment and fight each other. Michael Started doing tournaments for the game back in 2015 and participated in Heroes of the Storm’s first “Heroes of the Dorm.” A collegiate tournament that would give a full ride scholarship to the entire team who won. Michael Udall’s team from Arizona State University faced teams from all over the world including a team from Harvard, a team from Cornell and over 100 other teams. Michael’s team won this tournament and him and his team currently have their school paid for because of a video game.


We like to talk about Michael Udall because it wasn’t just a scholarship for him, but after he won Heroes of the Dorm, he was then picked up by a professional team who paid him a salary to play this game. From this team, he won his first professional tournament in 2016 netting him $250,000. This year Michael Udall was picked up by another esports organization called “Endemic” which is owned and sponsored by Paul George, a 5 time NBA All-Star. This isn’t just a fun game for Udall, this is now his life. It paid for his school and now it’s a career. E-Sports maybe just in their infancy but they are certainly worth watching out for.

Heroes of the Dorm is starting up again at the end of this year and many universities are taking it seriously with professors volunteering as coaches. Other schools are hiring out professional players to coach their teams. NotParadox is currently coaching Harvard university’s team which has been practicing all year for the 2018-2019 Heroes of the Dorm tournament. Many E-Sport tournaments frequently get more viewers than even WNBA or PGA Championships.

If you know thyself…


The Art of War was written many years ago in a time where war was constant. Sun Tzu wrote an entire book of “The Art of War,” and one of the most famous quotes used in a variety of media is “If you know thyself and you know thy enemy, you have already won.” NotParadox uses this as an example in a few of his videos saying “If you know everything the enemy can do, and you can do, you will take the fights you know you will win. Making it so you never lose.”

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In life this is incredibly important as well, we might not be in a literal war with anyone, but instead, we are in a battle with society. Everyone is battling to get to the top of their industry, to get a dream, or possibly even just change the opinions of someone. If you want to move up in a company you are in a battle, not just with your peers, but with the system itself. If you don’t understand the system, how can you possibly know how to move through it? But if you don’t even know what you are capable of, or the areas you struggle with, how can you possibly expect to outshine those around you?

Maybe you’re just dating, you’re a guy who just wishes to gain the attention of your dream girl. You may know everything about her, but she still rejects you or simply doesn’t know you exist. NotParadox uses an example, “If you want your dream girl, be your dream girl’s dream guy.” Knowing thyself is important because it might give you the realizations you need to know what you need to adjust in your life to get ahead.

Did video games cause the largest increase in technology?

We sent a spaceship to the moon in an aluminum box powered by a computer less powerful than a cell phone. Why would we need to create anything more than this? Most of the tasks we do on a day to day basis can be done without the devices we have. Spreadsheets, email and simple searching don’t require rendering, yet we have processors ten thousand times stronger than what we need. However, these processors are put to the test in gaming. Most modern games will use 90-100% of the power of the strongest processors if we let them. Meaning that if processor developers want to sell more they just need to make stronger processors handle crazier games.

In fact, there was a while where the gaming specific devices were more efficient than anything we had. The PlayStation 3 at release was so efficient that the Air Force and the Department of Defense commissioned supercomputers made of Playstations. The Airforce bought 1760 PlayStation 3 systems and put them together to create the supercomputer they named “the Condor”. The Department of Defense purchased 2200 to make a supercomputer as well, but unfortunately, they didn’t come up with any cool name for it like “the Condor.”

If video games create the largest push for technological advancements why is that good for everyone? Well the stronger the systems, the faster all of our tasks are. These new processors can do over a thousand tasks in under a second. There is also a science side of this that is imported. We can solve previously unsolvable problems by running questions through programs that can do calculations. The more processing power, the more tests it can run, or calculations it can test. There is a program called “Folding at Home” that you can share your processing power to an organization that is using a program to test possible cures to diseases like cancer. Because everyone computers are becoming more and more powerful, these are becoming a possibility. In fact, a professor, “Vijay Pande,” who used the information gained from “Folding at Home” to create an amino acid that can be adjusted to eating certain cells. Currently, he has created one that eats e.coli in living animals and he thinks this is the fastest path to cure cancer.

The gaming industry is a $100 billion industry rivaling the snack industry in terms of value. It is arguably one of the most important industries because it doesn’t just bring in a ton of jobs for the economy but it is speeding up the advancement of many industries because of its impact on technology.

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