Scripting: Does the sliders prove it’s existence?

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Some people think that the presence of difficulty sliders in FIFA is evidence in favor of the thought existence of scripting.

“The sliders in the game suggest how the scripting works, things like shot error, passing error goalkeeper ability and such vary by how much scripting is in effect. When you have a great game with your team, everyone gelling together and playing well, then the very next match everyone is complete shit despite being the same formations players ect, that is because of scripting.”
(– Please Read this on ultimateteam.co.uk)

“I still think the fact that there are sliders in the game make it almost irrefutable that there is some sort of scripting/ handicap”
(– ShadonxFC on Reddit.com)

FIFA allows the user to customize the game play experience by adjusting various parameters, which control things like Pass Speed and Injury Frequency. The parameters can be set separately for the user and the AI by adjusting a set of sliders.

fifa-14-gameplay-customisation

There are quite a few reasons why the mere presence of these sliders isn’t evidence supporting the scripting belief.

First and foremost, it’s a logical fallacy to conclude, that the mere fact that someone (maybe) has the ability to do something is evidence that person has used that ability to do that thing. Obviously, the mere fact that I may have the ability to rob a bank, doesn’t prove that I did rob a bank.

Second, we can’t even conclude that EA has the capability to build whatever scripting concepts people are imagining just because the game has a set of sliders. The slider panel is in essence nothing more than a user interface allowing the user to set various parameters. Obviously, EA could set these parameters without user intervention, but that’s just the easy part. The difficult part is to determine when to change the parameters and how to change them in order to obtain whatever result they are pursuing. This is not necessarily trivial in practice. As an example, imagine that you have two players and have been given the task to make the match more even. How would you determine which parameters to adjust and how much?

Simply arguing that the presence of the sliders proves that EA has the capability to manipulate matches in a way which benefits the company’s bank account corresponds to arguing that a person, who has some of the tools required to build a car thus also is able to build a car. This is of course not true.