Author Archives: anthony

Ayiti: the cost for life. . . most interesting game thus far

SO the game I chose is called, as the title says, Ayiti: the cost for life. It was funded by microsoft and made by kids from a highschool. Essentially its a strategy simulation game where you play as the parents of a family and you have to make economic desicisons for your family catch is you are very poor. So there are pros and cons to every decision you make such as if you choose medicines you miss out on education and thus your kids cant further their lives. The designers really stress the value of education, but show how difficult it can be to keep your family happy, educated and alive. People do die in this game if you do not spend the moeny wisely.
I just thought it was an intruiging idea im not really sure where Im going to roll with it yet but I can tell its full of potential.

4-6-10 Class (today, just thought that looked official)

So I would say that the discussions in today’s class were among the more heated, stimulating and thought provoking we have had throughout the semester.  Although the games we discussed Killing JFk or whatever its called and the Columbine Massive Rpg were comparatively primitive or small compared to others like WOW or Half life etc, we did have some major divisions in the class.  This being said I wanted to respond to one argument that was made concerning the Columbine game.

  Some people were arguing that the game was showing the actions as satire and consequently should not warrant such a negative reaction from media etc.  I looked for some definitions of satire and found satire is “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.”  While this seems appropriate for this kind of game I do not think that the majority of people view the game as necessary.  I think we pretty much ruled out this being a function of the graphics, but a game like Columbine is such a sensitive subject that I think professor Sample’s point on capitalizing on the work comes into play.  I dont think that a game is necessary to point out subtle satirical aspects when the vast majority of people clearly see the evil that was behind the actions in real life.  Because every sane person sees these actions as terrible the credibility of the designer saying he made it to “get into the minds of the two boys” comes into question.  Why make the game when everyone already knows how wrong they were?  It seems like it is simply rehashing old wounds in people who were really involved.

Any thoughts on this or corrections to what I was saying? I think this is a really interesting topic btw.

Interesting game review of Heavenly Sword (Gender Stuff)

So I thought it was really interesting that in class we were discussing Laura Croft’s character as dominant, aggressive and all sorts of things that are usually praised by independent professional women, maybe not aggressive but you know what I mean. In any case, I wanted to look around the internet for other characters who may embody similar characteristics. I came across this review of Heavenly Sword. Admitedly I have never played this game but was intrigued by this game review. Take a look, note how the guy talks about the characters gener, compares this game with God of War, and generally lauds the female character. That write up can be found here.
Since I have never played the game I wanted to find a picture with the main character so I Google imaged that and found this
I’m not sure if anyone would elect to run into a fight dressed like her sooooo I think unfortunatley some people have some really really weird fantasies via videogames….but thats a different discussin. Enjoy.

Does Drug Wars fit into the category of IF?

So I was thinking back on whether I had played any mostly test based games, because I have not played Adventure or any of the others Montford mentions.  I remembered playing Dope Wars on my older brother’s calculator back in the day.  I am assuming most people have played this game or a re-make of it on Facebook but I was intrigued to see if it could fit into Montfort’s IF definitions.  Montfort says, “text can also be considered semiotically to be any set of signifiers; thus IF works (and perhaps other works as well) that contain graphics, sound, or video can be accommodated in this way.”  In Drug Wars you don’t type in commands but click on what you want via promts that come from situations or ‘narratives’ that are generated from the game.  I am not sure that typing in commands is a requirement to be considered a work in IF, but in Drug Wars you have to click on your responses and navigate throughout the simuated world.  The above quote, leads me to beleive that yes Drug Wars can be included in the IF category.  I could not find any videos from the old calculator version of Drug Wars but I found one played on Wii that can be found here. It does have alot of graphics etc but ink the principle behind it can land this game in the category of IF.  What do you all think?

Music and How it influences you outside the game

I feel like I would have been able to come up with something better if I played more videogames. This is a song that I literally heard like fifty times when my roommates were playing Fifa ’10 and it was real catchy so I sat down, played the game and then downloaded the song. Props Fifa ’10 for influencing me outside the game world.

Expressive Acts

“Firing one’s weapon is used interchangealby both to attack and to open doors. In fact, experientially these acts are equivalent:they both exert an expressive desire outward from the player character to objects in the world that are deemed actionable. That one expressive act opens a door and another kills a nonplayer character is insignificant from the perspective of gamic action” (Galloway 24).
Maybe I am interpreting ‘gamic action’ the wrong way but what I consider gamic action to be completing the mission, winning the level and the steps to achieve said goal. From this perspective I am having trouble seeing how these two actions do not affect the action. For instance, In Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and other similar games, if you kill a hostage then you fail the mission. By Galloway’s logic should there be no difference between killing the hostage and the terrorist? Galloway lost me here. Please help.

Combat in videogames: Bomberman

After reading Montfort’s analysis of Combat, which predates most of our gaming experiences, I thought about some of my earliest childhood memories of videogames.  My cousin had a Sega Genesis and my favorite game was Bomberman.  Here is some game play .  This is from the original Genesis.

This is about as simple of game I remember playing.  Whats interesting though is that last semester I saw my roommates playing Bomberman via Xbox Arcade.  I played the game, of course, and here is a video of the updated game play . Clearly the interface has changed drastically.  My question is if the interface changes to the degree that Bomberman’s has been in the Xbox version, does that change the game entirely.  Does making it more complex, by adding additional players, intricate interfaces and 3-d gameplay change what we “get out” of the game?  To tell you the truth I felt like I was playing a different game, yes the concept and the goals were the same, but everything else had been changed to match up with the modern videogame.  Users are able to change their character images incorporating details as minute as eye patches.  Montfort says, the interface “sits between the player and the game form, connecting them.”  Since the interface has been changed drastically in Bomberman’s modernization, I think that remakes of classics could be considered entirely different games.  In Montfort’s article he cites O’Connor who says, “t’s refreshing to see a videogame that pares down creativity, revealing the very essence of gameplay.”  Well in this case the reverse has happened.  The interface has been revved up to make the game more appealing to players who are used to Call of Duty and Halo whose intricacies are unmatched.

Sidenote: If anyone wants to try and take me on in Bomberman consider yourself challenged

Experience > Simulation

In my opinion Koster’s credibility as an author comes into question when he asks things like, “Would fire drills be more effective if they were fun activities?” (Koster 50).  He leads up to this question asking “Do we avoid the notion of fun because we view the content of the fire drill as being of greater import?”  (Koster 50).  I personally would stop to think for a little if after the fire drill they handed out candy or some prize for who gets out first, while the sucker who lost is dying of smoke inhalation.  Does this fit into Ludus Agon you think?  Ok, sorry enough jokes.  Now I’m going to bring up a few things I have problems with in Chapter four.

Koster lays out a variety of things that can be learned via games, and since he cites various video games I am going to use games interchangeably with videogames.   Koster sums up the advantages of videogames by stating that “we have fun mostly to improve our life skills” (Koster 60).  I have a problem with this which stems mostly from my aversion to videogames and affinity for Ludus Agon.  Caillois and Koster both say videogames teach by simulating reality.  Whats wrong with kids learning from “good ‘ol fashion’ playing outside.  In an outdoor setting children have to use more imagination to entertain themselves, utilize teamwork to reach the highest branches and above all asses risks.  An interesting study would be comparing the childhoods of our grandparents and parents as opposed to our own and seeing the pros and cons of videogames.  Thus far we have discussed the pro’s of game play, but would we be able to come together and fight a world war like our grandparents, would we be able to suffer the physical hardships reminiscent of the Great Depression and would we really be able to survive a caveman existence if the only way we learned was via simulation?  I believe experience is one of the strongest teachers and it is something our generation lacks now that we learn in games with checkpoints, autosaves and memory cards.  Our ancestors either did something right or wrong.  Climbed on a branch too thin and fell, then they got back up and knew not to climb on that weak branch.  Are my views antiquated or does anyone else share these sentiments?

Ah, this article makes me feel more secure about my little siblings futures

As admitted in class, I never played video games growing up, in fact until after I moved out of our house my family had one T.V with no cable, so I guess I’m behind the curve in this class.

Anyways I found this article very interesting, not only because it completely coincides with Koster’s chapters 1-3 where he talks about the psychology of games and how they force new ways of thinking, but more importantly the tangible benefits of playing video games.

The paragraphs where he discusses the advantage video game players have over an older generation makes complete sense to me. In the business world where million dollar transactions occur oftentimes in a de-humanized fashion I can see how gamers would have an advantage. Gamers are people who are comfortable competing, via internet media, against other people in a hands off manor. So this raises the question, are games valuable in that they teach us about competition and how to deal with success and failure?