You can probably guess where this is headed.

In this video, BananaSlamJamma coaches a DotA 2 player. The session lasts 75 minutes and features a ton of teaching that is pretty much as close to the classic Socratic method of education as one could hope for in the realm of learning computer games.

The questions are pointed, they take the player out of their comfort zone, and force them to question things that they’ve either taken for granted for far too long, or else never even properly considered in this first place.

If you’ve ever been taught using this method, it’s obnoxious as hell. You grow to kind of despise the person who’s inflicting it on you. When I watch this, I can’t help but feel a lot of sympathy for the guy BSJ is coaching, because he seems like he’s struggling sometimes, and this is a guy who’s 4K in the Solo Queue Ladder. I calibrated at a lousy 1.5K, so I can’t even imagine how idiotic I’d sound trying to share my thinking process.

Here’s the thing. When you go through this process, you become better at analyzing things. Asking questions when evaluating what you’ve got on your hands becomes a mode you can either default to or easily switch into when the aim is to improve. The process of learning how to do this, though, is painful. For me, it was even more painful than some of the writing workshops I had to sit on when a dozen of my peers were criticizing my work and I had to shut up, sit there and take it. After a while, an easy way to escape harsh criticism from your peers is to be just a little bit better than your peers. With the Socratic method, though, it’s like truth is this damned line that you only get to approach asymptotically.

Anyway, if you’ve read the other rants I’ve put up here, then it should be obvious why I’m talking about BSJ on a magic blog. Ignore the swearing and the odd bit of rough unpolished communication here and there. In this video, we ultimately have a couple of kids deliberately engaging in classical dialectical methods of teaching and learning, and money is involved, and they’re doing it over a freaking video game.

Why don’t we see more of this in magic?

EDIT: Here’s more of the same.