January 2008 Archives

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>.

The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time started a craze that swept America. It changed the way games were played and also how games were mapped. It was a long journey only yourself could take through clues and only a bit of direction. No one ever thought it could be continued with a adaquete predecessor. When other games, such as Majora’s Mask and Wind Waker came out, they did not raise the bar from Ocarina of Time. Could be anything be better then the original adventure Link took you through the first time? I think so.

            While graphics are mediocre on the Wii console, Twilight Princess was extremely surprising. The intregrated graphics were done beautifully and while not be easy to match on future games. Every detail was clearly seen, although most TVs will need a slight adjustment to brighten the screen. The world you enter in this game starts off like it did in Ocarina of Time. Many people and places you’ll get to revisit like the Gorons in Death Mountain and Karkario Village. As the plot unfolds you experience other realms that are not of Hyrule. You are introduced to characters, love interest, and as planned the Princess Zelda. Without a fairy to help lock on enemies and help you along the way, it seems it could be difficult. However you meet a very important character named Midna. Midna gives the story another boost because she has the player wondering whether she is on your side or not. Unlike other games, there are two forms in which the player can play. The other form is wolf form. Wolf form has some advantages because it gives you a faster speed and pace while allowing for major attacks on certain creatures. It gives senses that are not known to man, allowing you to follow scents and dig up items. You can talk to the animals on the game too.

            Every know Link gets a bow in the game, but what makes it s exciting is the fact you playing with an interactive remote. Swinging the remote to slash enemies helps you get more into the game and feel like your actually playing. Point and click makes it easier too. If you want to shoot an arrow in a certain place you simply point your remote and click. The nunchuck I say has to be the best invention ever for movement in a game. I could not imagine using anything else. It help navigate easier as well. While in wolf form controls are basically the same and not confusing in any matter. There is no special combinations and a lot of buttons to press rapidly and that is a nice change. One you start playing this game you will not want to stop and when you hand is not cramping you do not have too.

            One you start playing you get lost in the storyline and find yourself exploring new worlds, wondering who is the Twilight King, and will Gannondorf return. It is a difficult, challenging story that can make any mind wonder. The game consists of animated blood and violence which is not suitable for younger children, however I recommend it to from young teenagers to a person of any age who enjoys exploring large maps, great action, interesting puzzles, and an awesome adventure.

Portfolio 2.

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My Second Portfolio

Thus far in my student career Video Game Culture has been one of my hardest classes not only requiring a lot of hard work but critical thinking. Our professor requires expanding our thinking past our opinion or bias, while still letting us express our true opinion on a subject. This is the first class where my opinion can be respected and understood by the teacher/peers without them telling me why I am wrong. So far this class has allowed to me to expand my mind in a whole different way on a subject that I love: Video Games.

Depth

As I mentioned above I have really been able to express my thoughts in this class. I not only covered the surface of the subjects but I was able to explore deeper into meanings and my own thought. As a biology major. I have learned to study other people's opinion before being able to give mine. This class has really allowed me to express myself in ways I have not been able to express them before. In my blog, May the Force be with You, I talked about my initial reaction to New Games Journalism. It may not be a long blog but it is interesting. Here I gave my thoughts on the Realism in games and if it is necessary to have such realistic gaming.  While I do agree with most people on their perspective of video games, I did not agree with Mr. Ebert’s view of video games as an art and challenged it here in Video Games as Art? Pffft. I not only agree or disagree with an author’s article or book but I also tried giving my own version of a NGJ game review for Super Mario World. In this class I even defended Ms. Lara Croft, My Role Model. I also thought a lot about what makes Interactive Fictions so fun to some people, Just Another Text Game. Taken into consideration as well was my biology background of disagreeing scientists and how video game theorist will constantly have Disagreements for generations.

Interaction

What most online classes miss is interaction. Even though this class is small, we do interact with each other on our blogs. We know each other by name, not face like my regular classes. I enjoy reading other people's opinions about a subject, although I do not always comment. I do enjoy answering people's questions and if I do not agree then that is the best way to start a conversation or a debate. I try and keep up with my peers as well so we are all on the same page or still thinking about the same article. One of my blogs even sparked a Wikipedia edit by my professor. Shade? Interesting that started a conversation about the similarities between ‘Escape the Room’ games and interactive fiction. My peers also understood some of my opinions like in Flustered. Video Games as Art? Some say No? was written by Derek Tickle and it was the first blog that I was able to debate against and state my opinion. I also tried to help my classmates better understand where the author was coming from such as Zach T.’s blog about Mr. Ebert. The blog What should a Game Contain? allowed me to I express my thoughts on virtual reality and its future. My comments were short at times, IF/if/id = harmony.  I also have noticed how different some of my classmates are to me in Cadre and Short. We also expressed our opinions on the psychology of video games in Kevin McGinnis’ Plotkin's "Shade". 

Xenoblogging

Xenoblogging is a term my teacher, Dr. Jerz, created to encompass interaction between peers that involves answering a question or leaving a more in-depth comment. I did not leave many of these types of comments because I could only write a passionate comment about something I felt passionate about. Certain blogs really caught my attention and I felt as though the author of it can benefit from reading someone else’s opinion or comment on what he wrote. In Effort or Fun we discussed some of our generation’s expectations of receiving rewards for our effort. I expressed how different my opinion was to Kevin’s in Cadre and Short.  The defined example of xenoblogging is the blog The Role of Women in Video Games. Every one makes their opinions extremely clear and I felt very strongly about this article in general.

Coverage

I feel I have accomplished much of my readings and gave my thought on each subject. I tried my hardest to have my blogs written and finished within the same day that they were assigned. Many blogs were posted the day after seeing I had more time to really think about them and read other people's opinions as well. I tried to include my initial reaction and then finish off with a deeper thought about the subject. Many of the texts were interesting enough where I could really be passionate about what I wrote. This list includes all of my blogs up until now about each of the assigned text.

- Shanahan, "Bow, N*gger"           - Ex 1a: Traditional Game Review

- Ex 1b: Comparative Analysis      - Strong Bad on Videogames

- History of Video Games              - "Storytelling in Video Games."

- Interactive Fiction                      - Historical Perspective on Video Games

- IF (Cadre and Short)                    - "Somewhere Nearby Is Colossal Cave"

- Plotkin, "Shade"                           - Douglass on "Shade"

- Ex 2: Game Analysis 1                   - Laurel (to page 65)

Laurel (Finish)                               - Ex 3: Game Analysis 2

- Juul (Preface to Ch 3)                  - ''The Myth of the Ergodic Videogame''

- Juul (Finish)                                   - Ex 4: Article Analysis

- Video Games as Art?                    - Effort: Work and Fun with ''Adventure''

- First Blog Portfolio                  - Gender and Games

- WB7 (TBA and Juul)

Many of these entries express my opinion, an opinion that in this class people respect. I have learned many things about various subjects pertaining to video games. I looked forward to the end of this class so I can really understand exactly what I have learned. I am proud of the blogs that I have written so far and I hoped you enjoy them.

Workbook Thesis.

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Playing with distinct human player-characters allows a player to understand what the character is going through. If you’re getting shot at you are most likely paniked and sweaty, in games that happens as well. You feel more attached to the character I believe. You can also recognize how a character is feeling or understands if he/she is out of breathe. I do not think you would be so emotionally attached to the nameless explorer. It would happen though if you were so emotionally attached to yourself, then feeling like another's life was put in your hands.

            Playing with depersonalized characters feels like it is just a representation of yourself or you are acting like the spaceship or box. I believe those games are more technical then they are emotional. Emotional games you put more thought into then strategic games where it is more the likely based on reflexes.

 

Newman's theory about non-ergodic games would apply to a game's character that a 'onlooker' could have emotional feelings about; relating to the character rather then playing it.

Disagreements.

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           Coming from a field where great scientist's theories are found out to be wrong about every 200 years, I can see why there are so many disagreements in the video gaming world today. The main question: Is the structure and formula enough to consider video games an art along with things such as literary works, drama, and paintings? This question will never be answered until people can agree on what components make a video game and how they make the video game greater then other video games. Juul, Newman, and Aarseth have very different views on how to judge video games. Juul believes they should fall under his six-part system and I agreed with him. Aarseth said games must be ergodic, "requiring effort." I also agree or a game would not be fun or appealing to the consumer. Last but not least Newman believes that video games should also be enjoyable to those not giving effort or 'onlookers' of a video game.

"The pleasure of videogame play does not simply flow through the lead of a joystick."

            Once again I love the idea. As many of you know, I am a girl who grew up in a boy’s world. Since I was a girl I was not usually allowed to play with my brother or dad so I had to learn how to watch. Some games would be boring to watch and only the person playing would fully get any joy out of it. Other would be exciting for me to watch while getting into the story and I did not even have to play. Some game's stories invite non-players into their world along with the person actually playing the game. I know for a fact I used to get really into the Resident Evil plotlines even though I have never played. Watching my cousin play gave me just as much excitement as playing the game.

All of these authors had great points and when someone is finally able to mash all these together, games are going to have to take it to another level and become an actual art.

Newman, ''The Myth of the Ergodic Videogame''

Rules rule the game.

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Half-Real by Jesper Juul (what a cool name) has been a really good read so far. This book you can compare closer to a text book then the past books we have read in this class. The similarity to a text book has made me enjoy it more actually. I am used to my biology books; reading exact theories and/or guidelines. For example, I liked reading his classic game model. I understood exactly what he meant when he was telling us what basic guidelines something needs to be considered a game. The classic game model was the perhaps the most interesting part of the book so far. He proposes six distinct features a game must have to be considered an actual game. I have applied a few games that I have played to those rules to see if they would be considered a game and they were. Perhaps these are the beginning guidelines to get video games considered an actual art, not just a medium.

"Game rules are designed to be easy to learn, to work without requiring any ingenuity from the players, but they also provide challenges that require ingenuity to overcome."

Game players do not even realize how much rules control the games that we play today. We do not question them. If we go to the end of a map and can not go past a mountain we do not question the game, we just know that we can not pass that mountain. What is nice about video games though is that the rules are set by the computer. When you play made up games such as tag with you friends, everyone has a different set of rules. Video games however have defined rules which both players can not question and it makes the game a lot more fair. Let us look at the definition of ingenuity. Dictionary.com says it means, "the quality of being cleverly inventive or resourceful." So basically that quote is saying that the players should not have to create the rules, but the rules should be difficult enough that overcoming the game should be challenge. What fun is there in a game if you do not have to try?

Juul (Preface to Ch 3)

Transmedia Culture.

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            Utopian Entrepreneur by Brenda Laurel was a very interesting book indeed. She made lots of points on how the culture business can bring you to the top, then chew you up and spit you out. Laurel brought forth topics that not only had to do with video games but main stream media or popular culture. I was very confused through out the book because she transitioned from one subject to another very quickly and I often had to go back through and reread chapters. I do, however, love the fact that she is a woman. Women can write books about video games too?! She shows me we can. While the book was a decent read, during the last half of the book I read something that I have noticed in my generation -- Transmedia.

"...the transmedia process has thus far consisted of repurposing content from one medium for another -- film to tv, comics to film, dolls and toys to videogames, movies to dolls and toys, or movies to the Wed. In a transmedia world.."

            If you haven’t noticed any item for sale has a website. People expect them too. How else are you to find information on an item that you would like to buy these days? You see an item, type in the items name then slap on a .com at the end and viola! your item is on a web page. Also people who market items want to reach out to all communities. For example let’s talk about Disney. Disney is probably the best transmedia marketer to date. For example, lets use Aladdin. It was a very popular movie in the 90s. They based this movie off books that had to do with a magic genie and lamps. Not only did they create a book of the Disney version; they came out with a TV show, a video game (SNES), arts/crafts, legos, and toys. They basically covered all areas of Toys R Us. Believe me I know, I worked there. Disney reached out to all areas that kids like to explore. Other then Disney, businesses basically are doing the same thing to survive in the industry these days. If a video game is popular they are more then likely to come out with a movie to broaden its audience. No longer are businesses in it for one certain type of genre, they are in it in to get as many people hooked as they possibly can. 

Laurel (Finish)

Barbie <3

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           Up to this point in this book, it has been a hard reading for me. Laurel's use of words confused me and she gives them her own defined meanings. I do, however, see her as a strong well-defined woman. I can look up to a woman who created a business solely for the purpose of little girls. As I was growing up, I played a lot of video games and was very good with computers. I wanted to be like my dad and brother. My first computer game was Moneytown. It was a game that could be enjoyed by girls and boys equally. Next was Barbie Makeover. I LOVED this game. I could change the hair color, put make up on her, and choose her jewelry. I would also sometimes try and make her the most hideous thing that the game would let me make her. While I am of ethnic background I always chose Teresa over Barbie, but basically they are the same thing. So naturally the part of the book that really stuck with me was Laurel's opinion of barbie.

"Barbie represents possibilities to girls -- Fashion Model Barbie, Teacher Barbie, NBA Barbie, Dentist Barbie, Working Woman Barbie. She can be whatever a girl wants to pretend she is -- a plastic-limbed scaffolding for imaginative play. Nevertheless, I hate her."

            When I played with barbies I never really thought I should be like her. I chose my barbies according to how they would fit in a scene I acted out with them. I had soap opera-like stories in my head, and I would act them out with my barbies. I always made them dramatic like Ken cheated on Barbie with Teresa and Barbie would find out, losing her best friend. I watched a little too much TV when I was younger. The only barbie I think I ever wanted was Veterinarian Barbie because I have always enjoyed animals from childhood and knew I wanted to be a vet. That is beside the point. I never wanted to be like Barbie. I never thought I should look like her or be skinny like her because no one ever told me I should look like her. I played with her, she was a play toy. I think that parents are the ones who put into their child’s mind that kids feel like they should look like barbie. They tell their kids that they can not play with her or they will become anorexic. I do not understand the psychology of the mind, but I would want to become skinnier because of the real people I see on TV or in the magazines...not the toys that I play with because they are simply..fake. 

Laurel (to page 65)

Unrelated ---MOTAS

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Dr. Jerz pointed out that he was playing a point and click game called MOTAS. I was bored so I decided to play it not knowing whether or not I should post a blog. Well I am because it is a VERY COOL game. It involves puzzles and clues. What I wanted to point out was a quote that popped up in the game.

"OH REALLY? ILLOGICAL? THIS PLACE SEEMS AS MUCH OF A LOGICAL NIGHTMARE AS THOSE TEXT ADVENTURES...."

I thought that was interesting because both the 'get out the room' and text adventures are very logical games. They require you to think more then most games that require action do. It was also funny because as I was playing this game I thought the same thing.

Ashley, on "Shade".

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                On the pages that I read Douglass seemed to point out a lot of details about Plotkin's Shade. Because I was not able to beat the game, he basically told me how the game ended which was okay since I do not think I would go back and play it. Games that confuse me or do not get my immediate attention are not that appealing and it is hard for me to stay on track. Games that are not my idea of 'fun' are frustrating instead of just giving my brain a good work out. As I read how the game ends, I wondered exactly how Plotkin came up with that crazy storyline. I mean a whole story about the apartment being an entire illusion?! Mind boggling. Designers of video games need to have a great imagination for their work. They develop storylines that have to keep people entertained for hours upon hours. Television writers and screen play writers have nothing on a game designer. I believe that any team of people who can keep one's attention for such a long period of time really have a mental gift. It takes hard work and that is something lets say, Mr. Ebert, should take into consideration.

"There are many ‘you’ roles to explore. Infocom’s catalog eventually encompassed a wide variety of generic tropes (including detective fiction, espionage, fantasy, romance, science fiction, and space opera), often with corresponding characters to become."

                This is basically the guidelines for any video game. I have noticed in almost every game that people play, you are playing a certain character. The character may not look like you, but you yourself are that person, you take that identity the first time you play. Many different games have different types of characters some of which you can choose, like fighting or driving games. It is nice to choose your character sometimes because it can suit you more. For instance, I always pick the girl character because I am a girl. It sometimes is weird when you are playing a guy involved in some type of love story, but when I am really into a game I do not notice it. That is how much the designers capture you into their game; you do not even realize who you are in real life, because at that moment you are Link, Mario, or whoever you choose to be. 

Douglass on "Shade"

Just Another Text Game.

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Jerz, "Somewhere Nearby Is Colossal Cave"

"Nevertheless, many things that “Adventure” players enjoyed — logic and resource-management puzzles and the exploration of a complex virtual topography within the context of a framing story — remain staples in adventure, role-playing, and multiplayer game genres."

  The definition of nerd is what the quote means. Of course, I am just kidding.  However the points that he makes are exactly what gamers looked for in the past and what they look for now. A game is not fun if it does not challenge your mind. Would anyone go back and play a game they have already mastered in their childhood? Not really unless you are going to reminisce.

I think that those games are more exciting and compelling when you are trying to overcome a challenge. They give your mind a mini work out as your mind is also having fun. When you overcome challenges this supposedly makes your brains release endorphins making you seem or be 'happy'. When computers first came out they were a task in its self to learn how to use them. One someone mastered the most advanced technology of the time, what were they supposed to do for fun? That is when Will Crowther invented his game Colossal Game Adventure. Even though his game was not intended for these purposes, computer wizards LOVED it once they discovered it. I understand perfectly how they felt. I learned how to use a computer from a young age. I remember the .dos program that used to be on my computer. My first computer game was called Moneytown. It was the best game I have every played. I had to play games and earn money to fix up a town. That was my first experience with video games in general. I could not beat it until I got older.  

"...remain staples in adventure, role-playing, and multiplayer game genres"

All adventure games on today's market have vast maps and huge areas for you to explore. I remember it used to take me at least 10 minutes cross one side of the map to the other. Also you play as the character in the game so you are role-playing. I love being someone else. It allows me to escape from one world to a vast imaginary world that is never likely to happen in my life. Games allow you mind to run free and all these experiences where first experienced played Colossal Game Adventure..

 

Ms. Lara Croft, My Role Model.

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Not only do I love Lara but I believe that other then looks and guns she is an extremely powerful woman. When you think of powerful women these days you think CEOs, managers, and entrepreneurs. Lara Croft is neither of those. She is a woman making it in a man's world. I would look up to any woman who can physically beat a guy and be brave enough to explore caves. I do not see her as a feminist or as a nude character. I see her as a determined, strong woman out doing her own thing. Looking at Lara Croft through a lense I still feel the same way and I think people think other ways just to cause controversy. Do you think maybe that is why? Do you think that feminists are too sensitive about certain subjects?

I believe they created Lara as a "pretty babe" because men would not play a game with an ugly girl on the cover. Does further into the subject of girl' self-esteem problems? Maybe but girls have to remember Lara Croft is not a real person, just like Barbie. They are just pretend, they are play and I do not think should affect society so much. Growing up a Barbie Collector I never thought I should be built like Barbie or Lara Croft. I just thought they were cool role models to play with. I distinctly remember playing Lara Croft for the first time and I did not play it because she was pretty. I played it because for once it was a girl as the main character and just her being a girl really empowered me. It showed me not only men can be in games. That is a personal experience I would like to share with everyone because there is no opinion. I am telling you how Lara Croft affected a young girl within the ages of 8-12. I did not become a feminist nor did I become anorexic.

Lara Croft is character that was not intended to show feministic ways and was created to appeal to both genders equally.

Super Mario World.

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Super Mario World was the first game to be loved around the world. It is also the first game loved by all cultures, countries, and gamers. Super Mario World not only represents unity, but a classic fairy tale that all children once experienced in one way or another. Not only is the main character lovable by males and females but he is Italian, a main character showing some ethnicity which is not common in video games. Why is Mario loved so much by all? Let go deeper into the subject.

            The classic fairytale is shown in many Disney movies and various cartoons is a beautiful princess is trapped by the evil sorcerer/witch, and her one true love must come save her. That is the exact plot of SMW. Browser, the evil sorcerer, takes Princess Peach to his castle. This is the part where one plumber takes on the world to save his princess. Every child has been read a fairy tale or has seen one in a movie. It is in your subconscious to believe in fairytales and that they all have happy endings. I believe this is why so many people can relate to Mario. Mario has a goal to find his happy ending and who is not looking for their own happy ending? So through Mario we achieve a little bit of happiness in ourselves. Mario does not shoot up bad guys, his game is basically PG rated but kids and adults alike can play. He also has an honorable sidekick/best friend Luigi and the infamous companion Yoshi. It is like having a best friend and a dog.

            In some way is it comparable to real life. Mario was a hard-working plumber whose girlfriend got abducted by some freak so him, his best friend, and his trained attack dog go out and search for her. Mario is just a regular guy with a fairy tale ending. Not only he is just a regular guy but Mario is ethnic. I think that makes the game reach out to a bigger market. Not to sound racist but everyone loves Italians. They really have done nothing wrong in society except making the best pizzas and running the Mafia. We all know Mario is not part of the mafia because he is a struggling plumber. Therefore the Japanese knew that an non-dominate ethnic character was more marketable then per say a Caucasian or African-American.

            When you try and look at good and bad points to SMW, I do not believe there is not one bad point you can point out. Mario is not a violent game and it does not contain profanity. That is why it has become the basically the symbol of all video games. It encompasses everything you wish for in a video game including: secrets, action, fantasy, Yoshi, and bad guys. Super Mario World is the most revolutionary to hit the market and still affects even the newest gamers in some way. Super Mario World is a gateway game to the video gaming medium and shows what the gaming world is capable of.

September 12 and Madrid.

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September 12th was a interactive model that gave a lot of meaning. I did not expect it to hit so close to home as I played. After a moment or two of playing I realized, the more civilians I hurt while battling terrorists the more terrorists I created. Iraq and America are two countries on two parallel lines. When our country was hit hard by the events of September 11th, many of us were filled with anger. We all wanted to bomb any country who messed with us. Is it not so different what Iraq citizens want to do to us after we killed their innocent family? The game makes an excellent point that the war on terror is not a game nor can you win/lose it. As I sailed a bomb to a spot where a terrorist stands, a innocent walks into its line of destruction. I can not stop the bomb after it has been sent. That is the problem our country faces today and that is why our country is slowly dividing. Many think we can win and many think it is a long shot against terror. The model shows that the war on terror will never end. Can it be solved by war or crime? No, it can’t and I think that is what it is coming down to today. Is there another alternative to the war on terrorism? Many seem to think so. It brings tears to my eyes that I know the country I live in is hurting other families in less fortunate countries. It hurts to know my brother is in Iraq fighting for a country that does not know it’s alternatives. Perhaps it is the same for another girl in Iraq who’s brother is a ‘terrorist’ fighting to protect his country from a more powerful country. Perhaps her brother does not know any alternatives. To play a game (or model) that does not end and pertains to real life, shows that games can not only show you the real affects of what your doing but show you and let you interact with something you may not want to be involved in.

           

            Madrid was interesting as well. I believe the point of the game was to give every person representing a country hope. The game was nearly impossible because I could not satisfy every person’s candle. After I gave up the game told me to keep trying and that I could not give up. What does this mean? Perhaps I am not to give up on my own hope and determination for a better world.  As the faces looked at me I felt sad I could not make all their hopes and dreams burn brightly. When I gave up their dreams dimmed quietly without them saying a word, as if they knew I would give up. Madrid underlying message is a little bit blurry, but if you have the ability to help the world do not give up on yourself keep pushing yourself further or..perhaps keep clicking those candles. It may seem impossible at first but I think if a person were to keep trying perhaps one day they will succeed. Maybe one day they will die but someone my see how hard they worked and that person will continue their work. When I read the last screen I wanted to refresh the page and start over. If only the real world could be so easy as clicking a button.

My Blogging Portfolio.

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My First Portfolio

Thus far in my student career Video Game Culture has been one of my hardest classes not only requiring a lot of hard work but critical thinking. Our professor requires expanding our thinking past our opinion or bias, while still letting us express our true opinion on a subject. This is the first class where my opinion can be respected and understood by the teacher/peers without them telling me why I am wrong. So far this class has allowed to me to expand my mind in a whole different way on a subject that I love: Video Games.

Depth

As I mentioned above I have really been able to express my thoughts in this class. I not only covered the surface of the subjects but I was able to explore deeper into meanings and my own thought. Where I come from as a biology major is to study other people's opinion before being able to give mine. This class has really allowed me to express myself in ways I have not been able to express them before.

- May the Force be With You.  - Realism.    - Super Mario World.   - Video Games as Art? Pffft.

Interaction

What most online classes miss is interaction. Even though this class is small, we do interact with each other on our blogs. We know each other by name. I enjoy reading other people's opinions about the subject, although I do not always comment. I do enjoy answering people's questions and if I do not agree then that is the best way to start a conversation. I try and keep up with my peers as well. These are a few entries/comments I made that sparked some good ole conversation. One even sparked a Wikipedia edit by my teacher.

- Shade? Interesting.   - Supply and Demand.   - Video Games as Art? Some say No? 

- Mr. Ebert  - What should a Game Contain?

Xenoblogging

Xenoblogging is a term my teacher, Dr. Jerz, created to encompass interaction between peers that involves answering a question or leaving a more in-depth comment. I only left these types of comments when they mean something to me or affected me in some way. I think that because I only did this the comments I left really affected the person I left them to and perhaps further their thoughts by reading my opinion.

- Cadre and Short

Coverage

I feel I have accomplished much of my readings and gave my thought on each subject. I tried my hardest to have my blogs written and finished within the same day that they were assigned. Many blogs were posted the day after seeing I had more time to really think about them and read other people's opinions as well. I tried to include my initial reaction and then finish off with a deeper thought about the subject. Many of the texts were interesting enough where I could really be passionate about what I wrote. This list includes all of my blogs up until now about each of the assigned text.

- Shanahan, "Bow, N*gger  

- Strong Bad on Videogames  

- History of Video Games

- Jerz and Adams, "Storytelling in Video Games." 

- Interactive Fiction  

- Historical Perspective on Video Games 

- Interactive Fiction (Cadre and Short)

- Plotkin, "Shade"    

Ex 2: Game Analysis 1   

- Ex 3: Game Analysis 2

- Video Games as Art? Roger Ebert say "No" 

- Effort: Work and Fun with ''Adventure''

- Gender and Games -- Making a Claim (Thesis) 

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Many of these entries express my opinion, an opinion that in this class people respect. I have learned many things about various subjects pertaining to video games. I am proud of the blogs that I have written so far and I hoped you enjoyed them.

Work or Fun?

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Effort: Work and Fun with ''Adventure''

So I got to say that this article definatly smacked me in the head. I completly agree though.

"Another important concept is fluidity -- that that part of gameplay that seems fluid, when you're in the zone, motivated to keep pushing buttons and running through mazes because you're enticed by the wonders your actions create."

Once you get into ANY game, you want to explore every detail, nook, and cranny. IFs require this type of special attention to complete the game. It requires you to really be into it to really be satisfied by the game. WHile I prefer being intellectually satisified by playing games like Tetris or Bejeweled, people get satisfisfaction out of different type of puzzles or probelms. I love math and for me to sit down and do a math equation is fun and requires a bit of effort. IFs to me are not fun even when I put in the effort so therefore I really do not get that fluidity or rythmn I get when I do a math probelm. Different games are created for different types of people. People like different genres like adventure, math, puzzles, search, and shooting. People will find interest in their own way. Like hackers would like IFs because it suits them and what they think is 'fun'. Fun is a matter of opinion. Do you agree? 

Shade? Interesting.

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Shade was a very interesting game. Once again I have to wake up in a dirty apartment, but thats okay. A lot of these IF games are starting to seem like those point and click "Get out the Room" games that I play. Heres a link incase you have never played. I did not get far in this game as well as many other IFs that I played. So I will start by saying concept. Concept, concept, concept is the word of the week for me. Not that I have played that many but the concept of IFs is to find clues in your surroundings and use them to accomplish a task. Ifs make me feel as though I am in a mystery book or something. I do not know the word for it but you have to visualize in your head what the room could look like and where you would look to find your clue. You not only have to pay attention to detail but look beyond what the computer is giving you. Playing games like these would lead to a person have a bigger perspective of the world. Look beyond what everyone says or does.

Once again games could have deeper meanings or goals then what most critics think. A person with a bigger perspective and an eye for detail will get further in life in any job, relationship, or anything else that comes along the way. Maybe that is why our generation is at where it is at today. Many people who are inventing all this new technology more then likely grew up playing IFs. You never know. 

9:05 and Galatea.

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9: 05, another texting game. It is so funny to me how this games work. Why? Because of how you choose you words. I am the type of person who speaks with out thinking and these games really make me choose wisely. For instance, I knew I had to take a shower but the game kept telling that I had possessions even through I had picked nothing up. Finally I decided to just write throw, because I know when Im ready for a shower I "throw" my clothes off..IT WORKED. I feel accomplished. I also noticed when Cadre choose to talk about the neighborhood, it was not a good one. It funny how he choose Las Playas as the expensive alternative. Las Playas basically means the beaches and as always its expensive to live on the beach. Why did Cadre choose a rundown neighborhood as his setting? Perhaps Cadre himself is from a setting of the sort. Its funny how also the place that I live (in the game that is) basically defined who I am as a person. I lived in a not-so-good neighborhood, in a not so good house, but does that have to make me a dirty person with my clothes all over the floor? It brings up some ethical issues about stereotyping. Just because you live in a bad neighborhood doesn't mean you have to be dirty too. It is nice though that I am not in some mystical world and I can actually think about what to do next and what is necessary. Turns out I didnt know who I was, and I had actually killed a man..ha GREAT ENDING.

Galatea. I was not as impressed with this one only because it was an imaginary IF therefore I was lost most of the time. I do not have much of a relfection since I could not get through half of the game only to say that everyone has to start somewhere. As I am a n00b to these sort of games they make me feel inferior to others who play them well. Not only are they better players but I feel as though I am not as smart. It does not, however, make me feel any less of a person. What I mean by smart is being able to choose certain phrases when needed or notice clues that I do not realize. I do not think I am smart for knowing a combination such as LEFT RIGHT RIGHT (A) UP (B)(B)(X)UP. It is memorization or luck. You can not have luck for text games instead you have to actually know what you are doing.

 

Video Games as Art? Pffft..

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I would first like to start off by giving a quick opinion of mine, just so everyone knows where I stand about this situation. I believe that video games are a rising art. Not only do they compile graphics and visuals but there is a storyline and a storyline you MUST follow to finish the game. Video games are interactive stories that someone had to of put together. Just as there is an author leading you through a book, there is a programmer leading you through a game.

 

Roger Ebert probably grew up in a time where movies where still classical perhaps 'Cassablanca' and literature was your means of fun. People from 'these days' have a certain mindset because of the culture that they grew up in.  I do not know exactly what time period it was but I know it was well before the 60s where women were supposed to be stay at home moms. I do not think he gave much consideration to video-gaming just because in his sub-consquence he grew up in a time where new subjects or something experiemental was not accepted. Video games are only about 30 years old and with the rise of NGJ people ARE starting to look at games in a whole new perspective that I think Mr. Elbert is unaware of. Plus so many older people are already already so accustomed to their own thoughts it is hard to get them to think anything else about newer culture.

My generation is more about being open to different subjects. Most people my age grow up insisting to their parents realize what is happening in the world and how it affects us, not taxes or things like that. We ask our parents to be open to video games or open to letting us do things that were not so recommended when our parents grew up. So for me I can see through my generation and the Popular culture I experienced that video-games are an art and that is why they are so popular today.  The aussumptation that the questionaire makes about gaming still being a new form of art hits the spot dead on.

"Was not film itself once a new field of art? Did it not also take decades for its academic respectability to be recognized?"

Games are still being twiddled with and still is being perfected. Would I call it an art form as it is? Yes, I would but it will takes years to have set guidelines in which to rate it or depict is as a masterpiece.

Realism.

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 After I read Historical Perspective on Video Games, I was amazed about how much I have already thought of these things, but I never really paid any attention to them. The first subject I would like to point out is realism. In the 21-st century it a lot of advertising seems to be about realism. For instance, HDTVs give such a better picture and quality you think your watching something through a glass window instead of a actual TV. They say on the commercials, "Feel like your actually there." I think well if I can actually be there why do I need a tv? Realism is way overrated these days and also in video games. Going back to Secret Collect, it was not realistic whatsoever and it was a fun game. Crash Bandicoot is very realistic since it's a character in a made up world and the grpahics have only gotten sharper, not better then when it first game out. When I play a game I don't want feel like I'm in a movie, I want to feel like I am playing a game.

"Modern computer games that aim for “realism” do so under the assumption that “more realistic” equals “better.”  And by “better” the game companies mean “better selling.”"

Marketing panelists and programmers need to get their thoughts together and think about some of the games they used to play and how fun they used to be. There would more selections of games and fun if people got their heads out their butt and stopped worrying about how much money they are going to make. DId Salvador Dali think if he painted melting clocks that his artwork would be so highly look upon? No, he did what an artists does and that express himself.

The only other point I really have was that a 1st person shooter is the same thing as it was 30 years ago. In one of my previous comments I mentioned that I like to replay Golden Eye 007 for Nintendo 64 because its the same thing as Halo except not so many different controls. Games really do keep the same concept over the years. Once a great concept is invented or thought of it will continue to have rebirth. How do I know? Look at all the classic movies and plotlines that have been redone over the years and have made millions even though people already know whats going to happen. (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for instance?) 

Flustered.

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Thats how I feel when I play text games. I DONT KNOW WHAT VERB TO ENTER. I really can not play text games. That really my thought for this blog. I have to visually see what I am doing to do it. I am a visual learner and that game is soo  frustrating. Can visual learners play them? I think so but I also think your mind has to work a certain way to play IFs.

It was just a weird experience.

Interative Gaming means Text?

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Wow. When I went the outline and saw Interactive Fiction it definatly did not click that it meant text games. Im glad I actually read that article, lol.

"But having already played Infocom's three dozen titles, and maybe a few from other text game publishers of the time like Level 9, Topologica, and Adventure International, what were devoted IF fans to do? As the graphics-heavy titles dominating the market took over the professional sector of electronic gaming, inevitably some enthusiasts began writing their own games."

It made me feel bad like I was neglecting part of the gaming world. I think that this neglect has maybe made people a little less imaginative over the years. For example, kids back in the day played 'House' with a cardboard box. Now kids actually have their own little houses to play in. Does anyone think that toys are making kids smarter or dumber? Not a stupid question but if a kid can't figure out something for himself or has no imagination then whats the world going to be like?

Koster and Laurel.

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I enjoying reading everyone's blogs about Koster. I have yet to receive the book from the site I ordered it from but I have a head start reading your opinions on the book and hopefully I can receive it soon. I started reading Laurel's book and I am enjoying her take on things so far. It's nice to see she is a powerful woman who did succeed in marketing/creating female games, some of which I played.

Now that there is a market for boys and girls, do you think the market for older men or women will continue? I say continue because Wii has changed a lot of people's take on games because it is so user friendly. This coming month they are releasing Wii Fit, a system where you can work out on your Wii. Anyway I would love to know your thoughts.

Changed My Mind About Text.

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The introduction Dr. Jerz gave really changed my mind about text-based games. I really understood what kind of work has to go into those games and that they really serve as the basis for many of the games that we play today.

"Walking into a room rendered in the Q3 engine can be lovely and impressive, but when you've only got 16K to tell a story, you have to rely on the gamer's imagination to provide the details. Just the words "You are on a beach" can summon vistas no game can provide. "

That is a quote that Dr. Jerz pointed out and I really understood. I wish I had a great imagination to play a  game with so many choices and so many different ways to play. I know there are games out like that now which give you different ways to finish a game but there probably is not as many choices as text. I don't think, however, I can go out and play a text game now because Im so accustomed to what I play now but I would definatly look at it a different way.

 

Scott Adams was an interesting character. He throughly explained how much work it takes to put into a text game. It was funny how he poked fun at his own graphics but he has to have a great imagination to make games like that. I wonder what games would be like if he did the storylines for todays games. I do think it is important to have other people's opinions on your project. Something only you yourself worked on is only going to be great to you and not marketable. The bear joke was funny and it weird how only 3 letters could make a difference in a game back then.

Supply and Demand.

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While reading through History of Video Games a few certain moments tended to stay in my mind as I finished reading the article. Where Dr. Jerz stated, "Further, during a time when phones were getting thinner and lighter, people felt silly lugging around a big brick like this."  It is true. Companies only put out items that are in demand by the public. Here are a few examples;

People like smaller, multi-functional gadgets. For instance a iPhone has a inovative touch screen, you can watch movies, play music, go on the internet, and use it as a phone. You can also save you contacts have a calander and more. The fact you can do so much on one gadget it is worth the money then buying 10 different items.

Also if a game comes out such as..Halo and becomes very popular, other game companies will take the basic concept and use it for their own games. That is why when one game does well, other similar to the game follow.

This sea-saw of supply and demand allowed for the different generations of games. When Pong came out and did well, other video games were bound to follow. As graphics got better and consoles became more advanced, companies competed to have the best one out there. That is why we are where we are today. No new consoles came out this Christmas because the consoles that came out last Christmas were so advanced it is going to be a while before any new ones come out. Now games have to catch up to the consoles success.

Games are going to continue to get better and better just like phones, tvs, mp3 players, and energy efficient washers or dryers. The world is going to keep changing as fast as we get new video games. 

Old-School

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Every person who has played a video game can relate to playing older games or games on your computer that are not really up to par. People need to realise that why games are so advanced now is that because it had to start somewhere. For instance, Secret Collect was so simple, yet how many games have you played where you had to dodge obstacles and collect items to get to the next stage. (Crash Bandicoot, Super Mario, and even Rhino Feeder had the same concept) I think concepts is what revolutionizes games. If a game that has a concept totally different from anything else then it's going to be a good game. Perhaps a new concept would come from someone who was unbiased and never played videogames before. Perhaps it would come from someone who plays those text games and has a good imagination. Videogames are all about concept. A lot of games now and days have the same concept because the old concepts work, that is why they do games as a part of a series because retailest want you coming back for more of their concept.

May the Force be With You.

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   Well the regualr game reviews are uspeting because they tell me what is happening on what level and how many secrets there are to the game. There is no deep meaning to a review, its just a..review. Now while I am a Star Wars fan, I was entirely interested in Bow Nigger by Ian Shanahan. His words captured me and got me really into what he was talking about. As previously stated by me on one of my refecltion papers, NGJ makes you feel like your in the game and experiencing it, not playing it.

"A beep and a server message: Wanker has disconnected.

I can only dream of the howls of anguish so far away.

My next opponent spawns. And bows. A chat icon appears.

"Awesome" he types." 

This except from Bow N*gger actually shows a lesson that can be learned from games, perhaps something that can pertain to real life. For example, "If you play by the rules or fairness, your share of winning or good fortune will come." NGJ authors express their feelings about certain instances playing video games. I really enjoy reading them. It shows that maybe viokent games could perhaps lead to a more peaceful state of mind.

My First Time

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Hi! I just wanted to introduce my self to the Blog Community. Im used to forums but not as much blogs. I am Ashley F. Im 19 yrs old and I am majoring in Biology. Feel free to comment but I just wanted to do this for practice. :)

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