Blogging Portfolio 3

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My Blogging Portfolio 3

 

            A lot has happened through out the J-term semester. I have read a total of four intense books, most of which I enjoyed. I have honed in on my critical thinking skills. I have given my opinion which has been respected by my peers and I have respected my peers opinions. It was an emotionally moving class that has talked about issues affected us today. We (my peers and I) accomplished all this with in the four week limit. The best thing about this class is that it was about VIDEO GAMES.

 

Depth

Much of my past blogs have been very much in depth. Here are a list of my past in-depth blogs:

May the Force be with You, Realism, Video Games as Art? Pffft, Super Mario World, Ms. Lara Croft, My Role Model, Just Another Text Game, and Disagreements. My explanations can be found in my past blogging portfolio. I expressed my feelings about a subject and took it another level. After the last blogging portfolio, my most in-depth article was about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. I did an analysis of the game and pointed out aspects of the game that made it so wonderful. It was enjoyable to write this article because LOZ is one of my favorite games. Another in-depth article was Household Decorating. This article also meant something to me because it was refute of my final essay. As I started reading Persuasive Games, I wanted to be truthful about what I read. I explained in Persuasive Games..Chpt 1 that the book was a very difficult read and how I felt about the book.

 

Interaction

Interaction with my peers is very important. Commenting on your peer’s blogs allows them to see what other think through different lenses. These are some of my past interactions: Wikipedia edit, Shade? Interesting, Flustered, Video Games as Art? Some say No?, Mr. Ebert,  IF/if/id = harmony,  Cadre and Short, and Plotkin's "Shade". These were all great interactions that were made by me and my peers. Not very many new interactions have been made because I was away for a few days. A few days goes along way in this fast paced course. In Juul is finally done I answered some of my peer’s questions that they had for me. It is very fun answering my peer’s questions. It is also fun to comment on others comments of my blogs, as seen in Persuasive Games..Chpt 1.

 

XenoBlogging

XenoBlogging is the best factor of this class. It is not just interacting with your peers but giving them in depth comments. You can find some of my old xenoblogging in my older portfolio. Not much xenoblogging has been done between my peers because I think a lot of us have slowed down and are becoming exhausted. One recent xenoblog was on my article Household Decorating. My peers not only commented on my article but asked questions. I answered these questions in-depthly to everyone who asked. Also no articles have really been debatable enough to question.

 

Coverage

My past blogs can be found here. The rest of my blogs written since my last portfolio can be found right below:

Online Presentation.           Presubmission Report.

Persuasive Games..Chpt 1       FatWorld.

Household Decorating.           Juul is finally done.

Differences Between New Games Journalism and Original Reviews

The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess

 

This has been a really great class and I enjoyed taking it. I would take this class again if it was longer so maybe I had more time to concentrate on my readings. It was a great four weeks, and I wish everyone the best of luck in the new semester.

Swap Essays.

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I was wondering if someone would like to send their essays to me for me to peer review. I should be on most of the day. My email is snazZy55@hotmail.com.

 

Thanks!

Online Presentation.

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            Have you ever played a video game where you felt connected to the character? Or perhaps you have felt the need to take care of your character and guide your character? I have. I have felt it through a few games that I have played in my lifetime. In any game that you play some type of object always represents your self and you have the need to protect it or help it achieve it’s goal. My goal is to interpret the relationship a person has with the character they play and how it affects the person’s want to play that game. To define ‘character’ so there is no confusion, I mean what the player directly controls and is the main object of the game. I also believe that the stronger the relationship, the stronger the need to play the game (to interact with your character). I know I have felt the urge to play Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess because I wanted to help Link finish his quest to save the princess. My own experience showed me that it is possible to want to play a game because of how you feel about a character.

            Now that we did a quick overview, I would like to specify my claim. The Sims is the highest selling pc game of all time. It has this spot of honor for a reason. The Sims draws players in and the players get hooked. The Sims is a simulation of reality that attracts consumers because it not only simulates life its self but consumers can relate to the characters they create and control. Do remember that this is my opinion and it has not been proven. Players can relate to the Sims that they play and that is why they love the game. After they create their Sim and build their house, they begin their new life with their Sim family. It has been known that the personality of the player reflects the personality of the Sim. My priorities in life are passed on to my Sim because it is ultimately me controlling my Sim’s life. Griebel undertakes a study of human personality and the likeness of this personality in their Sim. It is a really great read. It is not only about The Sim’s but the influence on the human mind. Think I am right so far when it comes to my thesis? I hope so. Another great article does not go over the relationship between the player and his/her Sim but the impact of videogames in real life. For a person to develop a relationship with a fictional character the game must impact their life. Can The Sims be a social game without human interaction? This is also discussed in the article. The Sims 2 includes an expansion pack that allows you to date and explore downtown areas. It lets your Sim to have the relationships with other Sims. So not only do you get to control your Sims life, but you get to control their love life. Relationships are everywhere in The Sims and it attracts you even more to game. The Sims 2 Online is a social game where The Sims are taken to the internet. This proves socialism can be done through a game.

            Another fact I think why people love to play the Sims is because of the realism. The game is realistic to a real day in real life except for Sim-gibberish and a few other things. Realism attracts consumers to buy a game. Everyone knows this. In this day and age people aim for realism. They aim for realism in videogames, television, and movies. Galloway expands on the word realism and discusses the controversial topics that come along with it. Gonzalo is another author who loves realism. He despises anything that is fantasy, including Star Wars. Who hates Star Wars? Anyway he explains why people should play more realistic games. It is very good study on why people get addicted to simulations and how they make people look that the differences between simulation and real life. The article is humorously called The Sims: Grandmothers are Cooler Than Trolls. Get it?

            The best way for anyone to get the philosophy of The Sims is to read Will Wright’s exact words. He speaks about why he created The Sims and what he did before it. The interview was very interesting and Will Wright sounds like the biggest nerd alive. He is also a very rich nerd.You can find his interview here.

            There are people who reject my thesis. Many say the best part of The Sims is build mode. One person says that they just do not like the Sims at all. The author believes The Sims is repetitive and unappealing. The best article I could find is one by Charles Paulk. Paulk claims the main draw to The Sims is build mode. It allows you to customize the environment for the Sims. It is a very detailed article I have wrote about before. Build mode has inspired many websites, such as this one, that have new items to download for your Sim house. Users have created thousands of pre-made appliances, furniture, wallpaper, and more so you can decorate your house accordingly.

 

It is a tough debate because I do agree that build mode is fun. I do know that the real reason I play is because I like playing with my Sim seeing what kind of life I can create. I hope you enjoy my quick online presentation.

Presubmission Report.

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  • Thesis Statement: The Sims is a simulation of reality that attracts consumers because it not only simulates life its self but consumers can relate to the characters they create and control.
    • Humans feel more emotional about what they can relate to. For example humans feel strong emotions and can relate to monkeys, who resemble and act like humans, more then they like a grasshopper.
    • The Sims is the highest selling video game for a reason. People do not normally all agree that one game is good. If the majority of people in a room all agree that The Sims is a good game, then it must be something most people would enjoy for a similar reason.
    • Not only do most people agree that The Sims is a great game but The Sims broke gender barriers. The male to female ratio of people who play the game is 50/50. The game satisfies all genders, so the game must have a certain aspect that appeals to men and women.
    • Creating your own character and stories allows you to play god, and people enjoy being in control of life. Many people wish they were in control of their own life and if not they can get satisfaction from this game.
  • Quotations from Literary Sources that support my theory
    • “I remember a couple that was really concerned about the lack of handicapped virtual babyz. Others were a bit concerned about the amount of time that people "wasted" playing with virtual babies while real orphans where starving for affect. I really do not care if the discussion was driven by real concern or political-correctness. The fact was that a game about humans engaged the audience to take a critical look at both the simulation and reality.” (Frasca)
    • “Unlike other failed attempts to realistically simulate human life and language, Wright came up with an elegant solution that not only works but also encourages the players to project their thoughts on the cute little computer people.” (Frasca)
    • Videogames have long been cast as an almost purely masculine domain. And not merely masculine, but regressively, tree house macho, trading in lurid, invariably violent adolescent fantasies. (Paulk)
    • Almost eerily devoid of such bias, The Sims has pulled the neat trick of building a player base evenly split along gender lines, drawing in women without alienating male gamers. (Paulk)
  • Some Quotations that Refute My Theory
    • “Unlike other failed attempts to realistically simulate human life and language, Wright came up with an elegant solution that not only works but also encourages the players to project their thoughts on the cute little computer people.” (Frasca)
    • “Particularly intriguing is that the better part of The Sims' fanbase may have less interest in the Sims themselves than the spaces they inhabit. According to Psychology Today, "most long-term players say designing Sim households is the chief delight of the game" (Thompson, 2003), and indeed, The Sims' construction and interior design aspects are as impressively realized as its "human" element.” (Paulk)
  • Quotes from Outside Sources that Support My Thesis
    • [“The Sims changed the way people play videogames and also changed the kinds of people who play videogames," said Bing Gordon, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer of Electronic Arts ](TMCnet)
    • “Since it launched in 2001, the series has gone on to sell a staggering 58 MILLION copies, and with a new version for mobile phones just released, that number is sure to soar into 2006.” (TheSun)
    •  “Will Wright: When we launched there were few women gamers and the casual gaming market was not established the way it is now. That has been our secret weapon as half the players have been female. They play it for a lot longer too; it is more of a hobby.” (TheSun)
  • Quotes from Outside Sources that Refute My Thesis
    • The Sims 2 players have created over 125,000 Sims & Houses for their Sims, and uploaded these to www.thesims2.com to share with other players. The player-made Sims & Houses have been downloaded by over 5 million unique visitors from around the globe. (TMCnet)
  • Preliminary Conclusion
    • Humans show interests and emotion for things they can relate to in life. The Sims allows players to relate to life it’s self. The Sims proposes problems that real life proposes every day. It attracts people to problems they wish they could solve in real life and but are able to solve in a game. This game helps people who are not able to control their own lives, yet they can play god to a whole city or town. (There is going to be more but until I start writing I do not know how to really make it flow.)
  • Parenthetical Citation

Many consumers play The Sims because of control over the lives of the Sims that they create, however, TMCnet states the build aspect of the game attracts users as well:

The Sims 2 players have created over 125,000 Sims & Houses for their Sims, and uploaded these to www.thesims2.com to share with other players. The player-made Sims & Houses have been downloaded by over 5 million unique visitors from around the globe.

Persuasive Games..Chpt 1

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I am only about half-way through the first chapter but once I reach around the 3rd or 4th chapter I will add some more onto this blog's reflection.

So far I have not read anything so persuasive in this book written by Ian Bogost. It has been a very difficult book to read and I am glad I have been able to get a head start on the book before the first workbook is due. Not to make my self sound dumb in anyway but Bogost uses big words that are difficult for me to understand my first time reading through. As I read more and more I do understand what he means about rhetoric and procedure. Procedure, in my own definition, is a sequence of steps to accomplish a goal. Companies and businesses use procedure so there is not any confusion when accomplishing a task. Steps are easier to follow then thinking of your own way to finish the task. Also it would not be uniform or appealing to the public. Computers do follow a very strict procedure with out any emotions. If one day our world is ran by computers, it would be more uniform and less hectic.

With me saying that would you want the world run by a system that did not waiver or change emotionally? I think the world would be fairer to everyone except the people who designed the computer who would probably add in their own benefits. Procedure is necessary to prevent chaos. Can there be too much procedure not allowing for one's creativity? The world is at a point where it is changing rapidly into new political policies, training methods, and overall lifestyle. We live in a fast paced world and with the technology it is only going to get faster.

 

FatWorld.

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This reflection will not be long because I did not finish playing FatWorld. The graphics lagged on my computer and caused me a major headache and dizziness. Certain games do that to me. However I did get through the first half of the tutorial and I took some notes on what things I noticed and how they affected me. The first thing I noticed is that when I went to create my character it started me off as a 62 year old obese male with all the health condition and on top of that I was middle class. That describes a good part of the population in America today. After seeing the male I changed it to a pink haired girl in the likeness of me. When I choose my girls weight, I noticed that underweight was the most aesthetically pleasing. It also made me feel that I was underweight since I am on the thinner side. I do not consider my self skinny or underweight, but do you have to have a gut to be normal? I guess that is why they call it FatWorld.

As I continued playing there was the projects, suburbs, and estates. Fatworld has all the classes in this fictional world make which makes it even more realistic to our world. When I chose my foods I figure I could choose what was most appealing because I was 'underweight'. Is it not what they say in America? That only the thin and starving can eat what they want and be healthy. I do not think people want to lose weight to be healthy but rather lose weight to be more appealing to the public. The most common word used after fat is ugly. 'I am fat and ugly.' I do not think this is true. I think people are beautiful in every shape and size. However Fatworld showed me that obesity in America is indeed getting out of hand. McDonalds and Burger King make it worst because they make unhealthy food available to the public for cheap prices and all hours of the day. Who really is to blame? Is it the government, fast food chains, or just the people who choose to eat? 

 

IM GOING TO DISNEYLAND!

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My title may sound more excited then I am really am. Anywho I will be transporting to Florida to the 20th. I should have internet, I do not see why not. SInce my days will be filled with Mickey I will not be as active as I have been but I hope to keep up the work. So everyone knows I have not gone missing I am putting this blog up. I will still be commenting and reading your blogs while I will still be writing mine. :D

Household Decorating.

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Household Decorating

            Designers have been creating fictional worlds since video games started about thirty-five years ago.  Fictional worlds lure consumers in with promises of new places and imaginative creativity. Different games target different consumers and their taste. The Sims is a game that all consumers can equally play. The difficulty of the game is not hard and the controls are simplistic. Studies have been done to show that both genders play the game equally showing that The Sims is for both genders (Paulk). What is surprising about the studies though is that a decent amount of people play because they get to build and decorate houses for their Sims. Paulk declares that The Sims popularity is due to the fact the game allows the user to construct and beautify houses for their Sim family. He writes:

In short, people relate to the game in a fascinating variety of ways. Particularly intriguing is that the better part of The Sims' fan base may have less interest in the Sims themselves than the spaces they inhabit. According to Psychology Today, "most long-term players say designing Sim households is the chief delight of the game" (Thompson, 2003), and indeed, The Sims' construction and interior design aspects are as impressively realized as its "human" element.

Paulk has found that throughout the years popular culture has led to rise of house hold decorating. He did not have to research or take surveys to see this. Decorating shows, such as Trading Spaces, Extreme Makeover: House Edition, and Trick My Trailer, makes up most of the television playing in our living rooms. The fact that these shows are popular shows even more interest in interior design.  Not only do woman host the shows but men do as well. A man hosting pa popular interior design show shows that it is not a one-gender interest anymore. The Sims has shown it as well. Players who play the game spend most of their time decorating. As mentioned before in the essay, half of these players are male. If a male is now doing what a ‘woman’ is supposed to do, does show that it is more widely accepted by all classes and races? In our society if one border is crossed then the rest of the borders jump on the same bandwagon. For example, African-Americans gain rights then woman take their stand with their new found feminism, but that’s another story. It could be argued that men do not like to play Sims for the reason that the decorating makes them feel feminine. However in our culture today men can be more open to their feminine side and other options.  Not only is it decorating that lures players into playing The Sims, but it is human resemblance to the game. The Sim world is fictional but it is more closely related to the human race then any other video game available. Not only do people enjoy building for their Sims, but they enjoy controlling their lives, dressing them, and caring for them.

            Paulk’s article differed from a traditional game review. His article had nothing to do with how you played the game or if you should buy it. It dealt more with a certain aspect of the game in this case, build mode. A New Games Journalism review would have probably focused more on how The Sims affected their life or how it affects a population. NGJ gives readers a deeper read then this academic article. Academic Articles are a little bit of both worlds. They do define some points of game play and really look into the game. Paulk’s article was about how a consumer decorated and why a consumer decorated.

 

Ex 4: Article Analysis 

Juul is finally done.

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Juul was a great read. I learned a lot from him and if I ever took a class like this again I would definitely look for other books written by him. When I started to read chapter 5 the first sentence really popped out at me.

"Rules and fiction interact, compete, and complement each other."

Many games on the market today take place in a fictional world that we do not live in. The world can consist of other planets, natural laws, zombies, and aliens. It may be the fictional worlds that draw consumers into the game as they play it. Different people are attracted to different things in video games. A person may enjoy role-playing when their cousin enjoys first person-shooters. With so many different personalities of a human being, the number of fictional worlds will grow everyday. Along with these visual worlds are the non-visual rules. Rules just hang over a player's head with out the player even noticing it. Rules are so intertwined into game play that they go unnoticeable. I believe that what makes Juul's statement so true. A fictional world can not work with out a defined set of rules. Rules allow game play to run smoother and interaction with the fictional world. They define what is allowed or possible in a fictional place. The most work that has to be put into a game is what the player is allowed to do and not allowed to do. A designer must go through and figure it all out so his created world runs smoothly and evenly throughout the game.

When I first was assigned to due this assignment, I thought to myself that a review is a review and nothing about that was going to change. Until I actually read both of the articles, I chose for this paper did I see the differences. The differences are major because New Games Journalism is entirely different then regular reviews. They each serve a different purpose and I think are for different kinds of readers.

            New games Journalism could be for consumers who want to sit and read for a few hours, but I would not recommend it to a normal consumer. I would recommend this type of article to people who genuinely enjoy video games and want to see how others experienced them. One difference I noticed between the two is who you are as opposed to the game. In NGJ, the author writes as if he is in the game experiencing it and relaying his experience to you.

The prince slips from a moonlit balcony into the warm glow of a bedroom. We see a woman sleeping, hear her gasp. "You may wonder who I am," says the prince, silencing her. "Sit down, and I will tell you a tale like none which you have ever heard." What could be plainer? But gamers have been trained for years to mistrust cut-scenes; what gamers trust is action. And so, once they gain control of the prince, the bedroom and the tale-telling is dismissed or forgotten. Shrugged off as a hackneyed narrative device for setting the game's fantastical scene.”

Edge Magazine describes the game as if it is a book that you opening up for the first time. It does gain your interest to actually read the whole article. People who write these are reviewers expressing their artistic expression or love for a certain video game. As these artists take you through the game as if you were there, a review acts like you are playing the game in your home.

            A review is usually long but the author will let you know if it is a good game or not within the first paragraph. I usually stop after that. A review is not as intense as a NGJ article would be since it covers the basics and general guidelines all reviews have. The author explains controls, mapping, graphics, and compare it to other or older versions of the game. They also give you a overview of the story without telling you much detail so the story is still a surprise. Reading the VGJ article I felt like some of that surprise was taken away with such a descriptive explanation of the game. The VGJ article makes you feel like you already played the game. A review is get you ready for what your about to play.

“The quest seems just as insurmountable from a purely game play perspective. Prince will travel through the entirety of the palace, a huge, hulking thing that stretches up, down, and all around. He'll use his wits, his acrobatics, and his sword, avoid traps and kill enemies, engage in high-rise platforming, balance on beams and swing on poles, climb and hang, dangle and flip, shimmy and slide, run, summersault and fight, fall and rewind, slow time and… fall in love? Well, he does meet a beautiful princess along the way and an intriguing sub-story unfolds. As to just what happens, our lips are sealed.”

IGN clearly states what your getting out of this game without telling you how the game goes. The differences could not be more clear with the quotes I pick. They are exact opposites to each other. They are targeting two different audiences and are not meant for the same purpose.

 

 


Works Cited

Casamassina, Matt. "Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time." IGN. 7 Nov. 2003. 4 Jan. 2008 <http://ps2.ign.com/articles/458/458560p1.html>.

Edge Magazine. "Prince of Persia: the Sands of Time." Edge: Videogame Culture. Feb. 2005. 3 Jan. 2008 <http://www.edge-online.co.uk/archives/2005/02/prince_of_persi.php>.

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