Category Archives: Uncategorized

Final Project – SotC

I’m thinking I’ll use Shadow of the Colossus for my final project.  It’s one of the few games I’ve ever played extensively and really enjoyed that isn’t either casual or some sort of simulator (racing, flying, shooting)–plus I think it has a lot of potential material to discuss on a whole range of topics.  My impression is that it’s a sort of cult classic, so visuals shouldn’t be a problem on my presentation.  And for a more scholarly side in the paper, I’ve also come across a few really good online game journal articles that I think will be useful.

All hypothetical so far… so… no problems or questions yet.

To be completely honest…

I have no idea which game I should study for my final project.  I’m probably going to end up doing an N64 game, since the N64 is really the only console I’ve extensively played games on.  I was thinking Harvest Moon might be an interesting game to look at, but it’s tedious to play and I’m worried I won’t have enough time to look at it in depth.  There were also games like Mario Kart and Mario Tennis which are easier to play, but I don’t know if they’re advanced enough to make a whole project out of.  Either way, I could definitely use comments, help, and suggestions.

Final Project

I have decided that my presentation will concern the many aspects of Starcraft: Broodwar, one of the only games about which I have a vast knowledge pool.  It is one of the most extensively played and analyzed games of the last twenty years, and has thus blossomed into a thriving metagame which has only met its demise at the release of the Starcraft II beta.  In designing my presentation, however, I have a few concerns.

1) Are we attempting to cover ALL relevant facets of a game?  Or can we pick a few and expand on them?

2) Is Starcraft too complicated for such a project?  I feel there is far more than 400 seconds’ worth of information to share if I want to analyze it in any acceptable way…

IF of Kafka’s Metamorphosis

For my final project I am making an IF game through Inform 7 where I am translating Franz Kakfa’s Metamorphosis into an Interactive Fiction game. It differs from the book in that the player is actually going to be playing the sister of the protagonist rather than the protagonist. The premise of the story is that the protagonist is turned into a roach, and the story shows the decay and decline of the the family as they have to deal with this change. Finally, the roach dies and the family is transformed. I am going to convey the metaphor of this to the event of a terminal illness affecting someone in a family to create a more controversial game where you watch yourself reject someone you love, only to have them humanized in the end of the game. At this point I don’t really have any questions as I am pretty far into the process, so any changes would mean alot of other sequential changes in the game.

For the pecha kucha, I found a GREAT site with example presentations.

My favorite is the one about the psychology of incompetency. 🙂

Making a game?

So…I’ll be honest. I haven’t done a whole lot of work towards my final project outside of the brainstorming phase. I’ve decided I want to try my hand at creating a game, perhaps something involving a science-fiction setting. I want to drive the player to make a choice they don’t want to make, almost a lesser of two evils scenario. I have the concept pretty much down, but the practical side is coming up short. I have essentially no experience with creating games and my one experiment ended rather poorly…so if anyone has experience with choosing a good program/method for game creation, I’d sure appreciate your expertise in this matter.
I’m also searching for some clarity about the format of our presentations. I know its 20 by 20, but is there supposed to be some overarching flow here? Or do we have creative license?

Thanks — Will

Final Project

I honestly haven’t given a great amount of thought to my final project yet. However, I found the section on socially concious games to be the most interesting and am hoping to do a game concerning this area of research. I think it would be interesting to find scholarly articles on positive and negative effects these games can have on the actual situation in real life. The only problem I can foresee running into would be finding a game, but I hope that this won’t be an issue. Does the game have to be an N64 type game that must be fully played through or can I do something similar to the computer games like the Haiti game we played?

Final Project…

I have talked with a lot of my male videogamer friends in order to find a game that they believed would be good for the presentation and final project.  I’ve decided to go ahead with the recommendation of playing Portal.  Although I haven’t started working on the game yet, I predict that I may have difficulty playing the game or getting through the game at an acceptable rate.  I plan on remedying that problem by watching some clips of gameplay on youtube and also by watching some friends play the game in my dorm.

There and Back Again…A Hobbit’s Tale

For my final project, I’ve decided to look at Bethesda Game Studio’s The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I chose this game because it contains a number of the aspects of gaming we’ve discussed over the course of this semester (as well as some of the elements of counter-gaming that we have discussed more recently), as well as for the strong societal messaging that has been incorporated into the world of Tamriel. For example, for my purposes, I’ve decided to concentrate on how Morrowind deals with the issues of xenophobia and racism, through their depictions of xenophobes, racists and even slaves and those who own them. The only real questions I have for the world at large is where should I look for scholarly readings that I can incorporate into my works, as well as who should start in goal on Wednesday.

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.

My final project

I have not fully chosen my final project topic yet, but I have thought about trying to do one on the game “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.” Some of the topics that I would like to discuss include what direction the game has taken the series in from a violence/dark theme standpoint ( the game recieved a T rating, a first for the LOZ series), and how the game was released on two systems, most notably the Nintendo Wii so that the developers could utilize the motion control interface of the system. One of the reasons I have not fully decided on whether or not the game will be my topic is because when I tried to search for relevant scholarly articles on the game, very few references came up. A question that I have is that if I cannot find many outside articles written on a specific game, is it ok if I just go through an analyzation of the game while referencing concepts raised by Koster, Galloway, and the other writers whose pieces we have read throughout the semester, or do I need to find new references entirely for my paper? I know the game itself very well (I have beaten it multiple times), but am just not sure if I should put the time into trying to write a paper about it if necessary resources are not available to make it possible.

Final Project idea?

I was thinking about exploring the game Heavy Rain for my final project. I would like to discuss the nature of narrative in games, and the ability of games to be effective story tellers. Can games convey emotion? Can they do it effectively? Can they do it in a way that does justice to important/deep/heavy/sad/real topics? What about a game makes it effective as a story? Does Heavy Rain exemplify the narritive ability/emotional capacity of “videogames”? My biggest problem at this point is that I haven’t finished the game yet (only started it) and i hope i can finish it, or at least know wnough about it to answer these questions in time.

You silly elitist.

In the second chapter of Casual Revolution, the characteristics of a causal versus a hardcore game are discussed. Eric Zimmerman offers this explanation of the difference: “As a producer of culture, I like to think that my audience can have a deep and dedicated and meaningful relationship with the works that I produce. And the notion of a casual game implies a light and less meaningful relationship to the work.” I think this is a perfect way to describe causal versus hardcore games. Hardcore games require more investment (in time and emotional involvement), so players develop a deeper relationship with the game. Casual games are not as demanding of the player, so the relationship is not nearly as developed.

Later in the chapter, however, hardcore games are defined as being difficult, time-consuming, and emotionally negative. Casual games are defined as positive and easy. Wait, what? Now there’s not just a division between games, it’s turned into.. elitist gamer versus noob. Noobs play happy, easy, casual games– and elitist play the good games. I have a hard time accepting Zimmerman’s way of dividing games. I can see what he describes as hardcore games being a category, and causal games being another category, but amongst other categories. Not just hardcore and casual.

Games that aren’t dark and heavy aren’t always easy. What about rhythm games? What about puzzle games? What about RPGs? What about adventure games? Yes, these categories tend to be easy– but it’s unfair to say that just because they’re not shoot-em-up games, they’re easy. Overall, I see Zimmerman as dividing games this way: what he personally finds to be a “good” game, and then everything else. This chapter is elitist. He needs to expand his horizons and keep an open mind to different types of games.

3rd world farmer

While searching for social simulation games similar to the ones that we played I discovered 3rd world farmer.  I played the game for a little bit and soon discovered the point of the game; to lose.  Even if you are great at playing this particular game you will eventually lose some way or another.  It wasn’t a pleasant game to play either there are decisions that you make that may kill one family member of all of them.  It is extremely frustrating game that tries to put you in the shoes of a poor farming family.  That being said I don’t exactly agree with the methods of the designers.  I think that they are victimizing a faceless family that lives in some generic third world country.  While the intent was good I still think the generalizations made in the game take away from the message because not all third world countries are like the game depiction.

Maybe it’s just me, but…

I know my blog post is a couple days late, but I still thought I’d go ahead and give my take on Nelson’s anti-games.  In class on Tuesday, Professor Sample mentioned that Nelson’s background and education was in poetry, and I was able to call it from a mile away – I found the games to be very interesting from a gaming perspective, but moreso from the perspective of poetry.  In my inquiry assignment I talked about how through his anti-games, Nelson has created a new way to “win” a game.  Unlike traditional, mainstream video games (or any type of game for that matter), winning in these anti-games isn’t based on scoring points, defeating an opponent, or accomplishing a set goal as instructed by the game itself.  I think that Nelson’s games are designed to be an experience – more specifically, an exploration of poetry (this is at least true of the game I focused on, I Made This. You Play This. We Are Enemies.) Instead of publishing his poems in the traditional form of, say, a book, Nelson has tried a more experimental medium.  After playing the game I felt like I had just finished reading a book of poetry, not that I had just won a game.

When I played this game, it took me FOREVER because I decided to slow down and read all the little snippits of poetry Nelson had patched on to each level.  I was actually excited to advance to the next level and see what he was going to include next. The joy of this game definitely came more from the aesthetic elements than the gameplay itself.  In fact, I think the whole point of the game is to focus on the aesthetic elements – the poetry, the videos, the screenshots, etc.  And if you’re the kind of person who enjoys that type of stuff, you’ll probably come out enjoying the game, and you probably accomplished exactly what Nelson wanted you to.  If you’re not, you’ll probably be frustrated and say you “didn’t get it”…and you lost the game.

This game reminded me a lot of my previous gaming experiences outside of this class.  It’s kind of pathetic to think about how many hours I spent as a kid playing Grand Theft Auto 3, but not actually “playing” it as the game intended, but driving around the streets of Liberty City listening to the radio stations.  I did the same thing with Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3, just skating endlessly around the parks and button mashing because I didn’t really care about the points, I just wanted to listen to the sick soundtrack.  With Nelson’s games, I got a similar experience.  I didn’t have to worry about any complicated gameplay, I just had to focus on the aesthetics. Unfortunately for me, there aren’t more games like this, so I have to make do with my own modifications of mainstream games such as Tony Hawk and GTA.

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.