Casual vs. Hardcore…not so simple?

Like Brandi, while reading the chapter from Casual Revolution, I found myself disagreeing with the methods in which casual and hardcore games were compared and analyzed. The descriptive terms used to wholly distinguish casual games from hardcore games were almost dismissive of casual games, delegating them to a class of gamers who are much less involved with the games they are playing.

As I mentioned in class, I believe one of the primary examples of this discrepancy can be seen with rhythm games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. While these games were created to also be accessible to those not adept at playing, they also have significant elements that I would consider ‘hardcore,’ where a user must hone their technique to advance to a higher skill level.

When I first began playing Rock Band, I could barely pass on the Medium skill setting, however with practice, I was eventually able to work my way up to consistently scoring highly on Expert level songs. Likewise, there are many individuals I know who would almost be offended if Rock Band / Guitar Hero were to be lumped into the casual gaming category, simply based on their level of time commitment and advanced skill level. In addition, while many ‘casual gamers’ may play in short spurts, I have known a great number of people who can play online flash or card games for hours on end. These types of people certainly blur the line between casual and hardcore gamer, and it is for this reason I believe the chapter to not accurately describe the subtle difference between the two main types of games and gamers.

Final Project

For my final project I am looking at Jason Rohrer's game "Cultivation". 
Rohrer developed this game to stimulate a non-violent conflict setting. 
The game will be interesting to analyze both as a videogame and as an art form/statement.
The trouble I am having right now is finding a balance between an analysis of core mechanics verus the "deeper meaning behind the game".
Also, playing the game may pose difficulties. There are no walkthroughs and I keep ending up in the middle of a lake with no way to get back to land...
Anyways, with so many different concepts and theories it will be difficult to decipher the most applicable ones. Only time will tell the outcome...

Final Project…?

I really have not decided concretely on any specific topic. I want to use the Sims 3 to explore societal impact and something along those lines. I know there are a great deal of scholarly resources on the topic as I ran into them while working on the inquiries. I think that the platform is high enough and know that I would definitely have to narrow my topic down to actually be able to make an argument that can be presented in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. The narrowing will come once I’ve been able to explore the game a bit more. The reason I chose this is because I don’t have any systems here at school. I have my N64, but not many good games (my brother lost them all :/ what a n00b). I have my laptop and Sims 3 and also the regular Sims with the expantion packs so I could contrast them in that capacity as well. I think the most difficult thing will be narrowing topic because the Sims is such a broad game with a great deal of societal impact.

Final Project

I have been searching for a game to analyze yet I still havent decided on what game I would be using for my paper. I am sure of how I am going to write about the game and analyze it. In order to get started on my research I have to establish a game to begin with. I have played couple of PC games but did not think that I would be able to get much out of them. Therefore, I dont have questions yet since my project has not gone that far yet. Hopefulll I am able to establish on the game soon to have questions about the process.

The Beatles: Rock Band / Rock Band or Guitar Hero games in general

In thinking about what games to work on for my final project, I decided upon The Beatles: Rock Band as it is the game that has most affected me in the past few years. I have decided to focus on three main points. First, how the creation of the game incorporated many key figures from the Beatles including Paul, Ringo, Dhani Harrison, and Giles Martin, which stylistically, artistically, and kinetically affected the gameplay in significant ways. Second, I’ll focus on how The Beatles: Rock Band has brought The Beatles to a whole new generation of fans which might have otherwise not been introduced to the Beatles. Finally, I’ll write about how The Beatles: Rock Band and other rhythm games in general have helped to bring those not very interested in videogames to games. Depending on how the paper goes during the writing process, I may choose to focus more on certain areas, or exclude an area as I see fit. Perhaps my only question would be is this too broad of a focus, and should I concentrate more specifically on only one or two aspects of the game?

Final Project Videogame

I chose to study the game, ‘Manhunt 2’ for my final project. The system I chose to focus on is the Nintendo Wii. The reason that I chose this game is because of the controversy surrounding its gameplay- specifically on the Wii. The game is very violent, and requires the user to copy the motions of the lead character while he murders a slew of nurses, doctors, and various other people. So far, I have played the game myself, have watched others play the game, and have also tried playing the game on the PSP. I have been thinking about what I will talk about for my final project, and I think I will most likely focus on the difference in gameplay from system to system, and why the Nintendo Wii version of the game has caused the most uproar. When I watched others play the game, I found their reactions to be very interesting, so I wanted to talk about that as well. The more I play this game and research this game, the more I find to talk about.

My next step is to start looking for academic sources which focus on violence in videogames. I will also be looking for articles in newspapers and magazines that talk about the controversy surrounding this game.

Pokemon Snap!

For my final project, I have decided that I want to look at the game Pokemon Snap, which I enjoyed playing as a child and still occasionally enjoy playing. I haven’t begun researching what gamers/experts have to say about this game, so one of my concerns is that I won’t be able to find any scholarly articles about it. I am also unsure as to what aspect(s) of the game I want to highlight and what questions I want to ask of the game. However, I find it interesting that the game is from the point of view of a first person shooter, so perhaps that is one aspect of the game I can explore.

Final Project

My current idea for my final project is to build a prototype of a text-based life simulator. The main difference from something like The Sims is that this game would be focused not on minutiae of daily life like eating dinner and going to the bathroom but rather on the handful of decisions that we make day-to-day that are actually somewhat significant, such as choosing to study vs. hanging out with friends and so forth. Similarly instead of hunger, bladder, etc. the parameters would probably have more to do with the person’s overall mental state. The version that I would be actually making would be, because of time constraints, much simpler than the actual vision that I have in my head for a final product; in particular there would probably not be a parser, but instead you would just choose one of several options at each stage.

The main problems/questions that I have with this (that I can come up with at the moment; I know there are a few more that I’ve forgotten) are:

1. I have a feeling that this will be considerably more clouded by my own fairly recent experiences than I would like it to be. The eventual resolution of this would be by having others contribute their experiences, adding new extra events, adding a parser for increased flexibility, and in general making the code object-oriented (this first version will probably be simple enough to not warrant object-oriented programming).

2. I’m not sure where to go with this in terms of sources, really, but then I haven’t yet gone very far in that regard so that’s part of the issue.

3. I don’t really know about how this alternate project works exactly. Is there some kind of stage where they allow the class to play our game? If not, how exactly does the game aspect itself work–is the game and its driving focus what’s mainly interesting or is our analysis what’s mainly interesting?

And just to make this easy to identify in the vast swath of posts in the last and subsequent few minutes:

Ian Johnson

Half-Life 2: Finding the G-man

I wrote briefly about this in a previous blog post, but my final project will be on Valve’s 2004 dystopian opus Half-Life 2. I will go in-depth about the storytelling techniques employed throughout the work, focusing on a few things like the lack of cutscenes in the game, the silent protagonist, and the role of the mysterious G-man. This is one of the defining games of the last decade, so it’s only fitting that my final project tackle it.

Obviously, Half-Life 2 is part of a series that includes a prequel and various add-ons, but I will focus on Half-Life 2 on its own as a singular entity.

Final Project

I have yet to choose a game for our final project.  However, I have been thinking about the type of game I would like to do my project on.  Of all the types of games we have discussed in this class, I find interacted fiction and the social statement games (such as Save Darfur) to be the most intriguing.  However, I have yet to find a game that is suitable for my final project.  Anyone have any suggestions for games?…if not, I guess I better start looking.

Final Project

Jeanette: I would like to create a game which I think is missing from the current video game market – a cooperative, two-player casual game (probably a puzzle game or series of small mini-games). No problems thinking of the concept – the real challenge will be actually creating the game!

Michelle: I haven’t started working on my project nor have I given it much thought. I do know that I am kind of interested in interactive games, so I think that I might want to find an interesting interactive game and study the gameplay of it. 

There’s still a lot to do and think about before I decide on a particular game. I’m in the works of finding one.

Har har har.

For the final project, I’m making a countergame. I have a good portion of it done already (thank you, three-hour-long politics class), but I’m not sure if I want to continue it. I have no programming or game-making skills at all, so I downloaded the Scratch program. It’s easy enough to use.

What I wanted to explore in my game is the whole social acceptance angle– how some games seem to offend people. How far will a person play a game if they’re being offended? If they don’t like the content?

The only thing I’m worried about is how the game is going to be graded. It’s a countergame so, you know, it’s not very good. I’d just like to know more about what kind of qualities it would be graded on, so I can make sure I’m not going completely off the mark.

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…