January 2010 Archives
- Scratch that Itch was my reaction to the MIT program Scratch which teaches kids how to do basic programming for video games. I question whether it would've been easier to learn IF programming if I'd had experience with Scratch.
- Children's Online Gaming--Anything but Childish was my response to Susan's discussion questions. I used NeoPets as my main example concertning online gaming with children.
- Gaming Reflects Who We Are was my reaction to Keith's discussion questions about what type of gamer I am. I expanded by mentioning that I am a different gamer depending on what kind of game I'm playing.
- A Future for Indie Games? was my response to Cody's discussion about Indie Games. I don't have a lot of experience with them, so I really didn't have a lot to say this time.
- Modding...Sims Style was my reaction to the class topic of Modding, Machinima and Motion Capture. I chose to discuss the Sims because it was my first real interaction with Modding. I share my story about combing the web for all kinds of user-made objects and clothings, etc. I also mention that Maxis utilized user-created content in the The Sims 2 & 3 by including object exchange on the Sims2.com.
- FarmVille vs. Harvest Moon was my take on social networking games like FarmVille. I mention that it took me a while to "jump on the band wagon," but that it's another way to pass the time. I then spend a little bit of time comparing FarmVille to Harvest Moon.
- Violent Video Games Presentation is my final project for EL 250. I discuss the importance of following and understanding the ESRB ratings, because violent video games do harm our kids and heighten aggression. Unfortunately, YouTube disabled my sound because I used music that's copy written. Sorry Guys.
- Gaming Reflects Who We Are was a brief discussion between me and Susan.
- Children's Online Gaming--Anything but Childish had a lasting discussion between several coursemates and myself.
- Susan's Student Presentations: The Devolution of Resident Evil Instead of simply telling Susan "good job," I tried to engage with her and Jeremy concerning how Resident Evil has evolved over the past decade.
- Keith's Modding I mentioned that I always forget how much possibility sports games hold for modding.
- Children's Online Gaming--Anything but Childish had more comments and discussion than any of my other blog entires.
- Taylor Discussion Intro--even though I included this entry in my last portfolio, I'm including it here as well, because discussion for this topic continued after I produced my portfolio.
- A Future for Indie Games?
- Children's Online Gaming--Anything but Childish--The Link Gracious: I linked back to Susan's discussion questions.
- A Future for Indie Games?--The Link Gracious: I linked back to Cody's discussion questions here as well.
- Matt's Mods--The Comment Informative/Grande: I left a detailed comment concerning the Sims 2 Create-a-Sim program that was released prior to the actual game.
- Beth Anne's If you want to play, you have to agree to my terms--The Comment Informative: I talked a little bit about NeoPets in this comment and linked to the TOS on its website.
- Peter's 9:05 gameplay is a short reaction to Peter's first experience with Interactive Fiction. In this blog, I mention that Peter's minor experience with Nancy Drew games probably prepared him for Interactive Fiction.
- Reaction to Peter's Adventure Gameplay offered enthusiasm concerning Dr. Jerz's D map of the world within Adventure. I also mentioned that he had a huge advantage to playing this difficult game because Dr. Jerz was sitting with him to help him out whenever he needed it.
- Farewell Koster, Who's Next? was a final entry for our Theory of Fun text. In this entry, I expressed amazement over Koster's Tetris analogy, referred back to the Shanahan review, argued that video games are art and entertainment together and ended my entry arguing yet again that we shouldn't blame violent video games for our youth's voilence.
- He She It was my response to an article in The Player's Realm. I expressed enthusiasm over Keller mentioning female gamers inadvertantly, but then expressed dismay over the fact that 17/20 players polled were male. I concluded this blog with a comment that what attracts me to most games is their ability to put me into their stories. I love getting lost in a good book, movie, video game, etc.
- Long Live Paper!! was my response to Montfort's Continuous Paper, in which I connected the text back to my own personal experience. While playing some video games, I used to take notes to help myself progress through a story.
- Coding for Dummies was a response to Dr. Jerz's article about Colossal Cave. I expressed a lot of interest in the coding that went into this game, because it was a lot more technical than what I experienced with Inform 7.
- Pac-Man goes Complicated? was my reaction to reading the Pac-Man Dossier. Aside from being amazed that Pac-Man was actually such a complex game, I found the section concerning the ghost and Pac-Man passing through each other to be interesting, mostly because it's amazing that gamers not only found the glitch, but also figured out why it occurs in the game.
- Lara Croft, the icon for both genders included a video from G4's Xplay that illustrated just how sexist some male gamers could be by exploiting Lara Croft in her early games. This blog was a response to another blog by one of Dr. Jerz's former students, Leslie Rodriguez. I explained that Lara Croft was initially created as a sex object for male gamers, but still appeals to female gamers because of her hard-core nature.
- Loss for words--Reaction to September 12 gave my initial reactions to an online game where the player's objective is to shoot all of the terrorists and avoid killing innocent civilians. I had several links in this entry, including one to Keith's blog, as well as to a few sites that gave statistics on how many casualties have resulted in the Iraqi war.
- Heartbroken--Reaction to Darfur is Dying was an opportunity for me to address the importance of awareness concerning this tough subject. I mentioned that the game was probably more effective than reading a book (They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky) could ever be, because interaction holds interest much easier than reading a book.
- Gaming for Columbine showed my change of feelings over Super Columbine Massacre RPG. Initially, I was horrified that this game was even created. I then mentioned Bowling for Columbine, and discussd some of the safety issues that were apparent at my high school. I concluded the entry with a comment concerning the creator's statement. I was very impressed with his reasoning behind creating such an awful game.
- Thank you Laurel! was my response to the first half of Utopian Entrepenuer. I agreed with Laurel in that saying "no" isn't the right answer with our youth, and then disagreed with her saying that if something is popular, it's probably bad for you. I closed my blog with a friendly comment concerning Mario Brothers, Tetris, and Myst being games women typically played, because my mom played all three of those games while I was growing up, and Tetris continues to be a favorite of hers.
- Pokémon & Gender :-/ was my Classic Choice Case Study on guess what? Pokémon and Gender. I talked briefly about the fact that despite many young female gamers, the Pokémon franchise did not release a game that allowed the player to be female until 6 American game releases later. I also linked to an article that suggested that some of the pokémon in the game were stereotypical female characters.
- Project Proposal gavemy primary idea for my research project--video game violence and its effects on people. I listed a few links to EbscoHost articles that I found to be useful and mentioned which games I'd like to focus my study on.
- War & Peace gave my response to another article in A Player's Realm, about video games being used for propaganda. I expressed my discomfort that the government thinks it's okay to use a video game as propaganda.
- Review of a Review gave my opinion on what Dr. Jerz had to say about Fatworld. I mentioned that I briefly tried playing the game, but the majority of my entry focused on Dr. Jerz's method for writing the article. I compared his article to one that we read earlier in the course and explained why I thought Dr. Jerz's piece was more effective.
- IF Experience was part 1 of 2 blogs in which I experimented with a few different IF games. I've done this exercise before, as I mentioned in my blog, so I tried two games I've never played before, and then went back to Fine Tuned.
- Finely-Tuned Extended Play was part 2 of 2. I chose to write about Dr. Jerz's IF game and raved about why this game is so much game, agreeing for the most part with the review of the game that I found online.
- Thanks for the Good Advice! finished off my analysis of Laurel's Utopian Entrepeneur. In this entry, I commented on the value of personal storytelling, the value of being well informed and the value of business innovation working together with technological invention.
- Personal Blogs--Public Diaries was my response to a blog posted by a famous blogger. I expressed my own issues with blogging and explained why I agreed with Mortensen. I also expressed aprehension towards personal blogs because I think people who write personal blogs are a little bit self-centered.
- What if God was one of Us? was my Case Study on Black & White. I linked to a previous blog that showed a video of the intro to the game and also provided a link to a review of the game, arguing that it is worth studying simply because it forces it's players to weigh the pros and cons of every action they make.
- "Just for Kicks and Giggles" was an entry that I wrote just for fun. I talked about introducing one of my friends from high school to Dr. Jerz's Fine Tuned and my friend's initial reactions.
- Games & Learning--Endless Possibilities. was a chance for me to mention how important I think it is to utilize games for learning, because kids learn by doing.
- Video Games Aren't Training Our Kids To Kill was another blog entry dedicated to video game violence. Starting to see a trend? I quoted a few passages from the selected reading, and then explained why there are more factors than simply video game violence to consider.
- Taylor Discussion Intro is the beginning of my guided discussion through the reading in A Player's Realm that deals with the battle between PC and Console Gaming. I pose several thought-provoking discussion questions and link to an article online that gives the advantages and disadvantages to each type of gaming.
- Educational Entertainment was my response to an article about how modern video games can be used in today's society. I reflect back to my childhood educational games like the Magic School Bus and question what the future for educational games may hold.
- Farewell Koster, Who's Next?
- He She It
- Pac-Man goes Complicated?
- Lara Croft, the icon for both genders
- Loss for words--Reaction to September 12
- Gaming for Columbine
- Thank you Laurel!
- Pokémon & Gender :-/
- Review of a Review
- Finely-Tuned Extended Play
- Thanks for the Good Advice!
- What if God was one of Us?
- Video Games Aren't Training Our Kids To Kill
- Taylor Discussion Intro
- Lara Croft, the icon for both genders--After Dr. Jerz explained that the original Tomb Rader was a man, I commented further on the fact that the game designers were geniuses for creating a female character to her calibur.
- Video Games Aren't Training Our Kids To Kill--Although Beth Anne and I agreed, I furthered my argument with more detail.
- Personal Blogs--Public Diaries--Dr. Jerz and I discuss why blogs are essential and how he tried to make our academic blogs non-personal.
- In Shellie's The Horrors of Playing Darfur is Dying, I disagreed with her statement that games like this shouldn't be created nor played. I argued that if anything, more games should be created like this in order to raise awareness.
- Peter's 9:05 gameplay--After Jeremy's initial comment, Dr. Jerz and I held a brief conversation concerning Nancy Drew games. I mentioned that I hope his kids continue to enjoy them as much as I did (and still do).
- Farewell Koster, Who's Next?--Dr. Jerz and I continued to discuss who we should blame youth violence on and provided suggestions for why kids turn out "bad."
- He She It--Keith, Beth Ann and I discussed the fact that female gamers are finally being acknowledged, especially in Keller's article.
- Lara Croft, the icon for both genders--I shared a brief discussion with Susan and Dr. Jerz about Lara Croft's role in Tomb Raider.
- Heartbroken--Reaction to Darfur is Dying--This entry spawned 3 comments from 3 different people concerning Darfur is Dying. Susan and Matt commented on the overload of information within the village (I later agreed with them), and Dr. Jerz responded to my book/video game comparison.
- Video Games Aren't Training Our Kids To Kill--Beth Ann and I agreed in our discussion that video games are blamed too much and that it is important to consider the environment in which a child grows up in.
- Coding for Dummies--The Comment Gracious: I linked two both Susan and Beth Anne's entries. Both commented that they were amazed that Adventure was based on a real cave--I already knew this, so I used this as a contrast for the base of my entry.
- Loss for words--Reaction to September 12--The Comment Gracious: I linked to Keith's entry on September 12, because he pointed out something that I overlooked in the game involving the civilians and terrorists being one in the same within the game.
- Keith's Columbine tragedy--The Comment Grande: I link to the Artist's statement concerning the RPG game we were looking at, telling my peers that I'm not trying to change their opinions of the game, but I wanted to give them another view.
- Shellie's Montfort--The Comment Primo: My initial comment about how childhoods have changed since the creation of video games was responded to by Susan on Shellie's entry about how technology has progressed.
- Keith's WiiFit--The Comment Informative: I mention that Sony's EyeToy webcam application had some exercises as well. Dr. Jerz follows up with an example of a similar application on display at a museum.
- Fine Tuned--I remembered some of the beginning, but I was still having some issues with where to go next. Dr. Jerz did an excellent job giving his prospective players just enough hints to get them moving along.
- I think I might've found a glitch, though? ( could be wrong tho) When I typed "read flyers," the game responded "(the <illegal object number 3364>Aloysius) You discover nothing of interest in Aloysius"
- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy--I think this game was actually more difficult because of the graphic representation. The illustration was more distracting than anything else. It was a nice change of pace, but I didn't last very long before I died. 19 moves :-(
- Zork--Zork was fun...until I got lost, which was about five minutes in. I grew very frustrated...It definitely reminded me of Adventure and Adventureland. I always get lost in the forest in these games. Big surprise, I got lost again :-(
- Halo Saga
- Call of Duty Series
- GTA Series
- (Adventure game to be determined w/ more research)
- Lessons We've Learned from Society offers statistics concerning game ratings as well as statistics pertaining to Grand Theft Auto and its influence on adolescence.
- The Cause and Consequences of Presence: Considering the Influence of Violent Video Games on Presence and Aggression is a documented study concerning how men and women of specific ages react to playing violent video games.
I remember the first time I played Tomb Raider. I was pretty young, probably 9 or 10 and I thought Lara Croft was the ultimate role model for girls with low self-esteem (or something like that). When I was around 15, I spent a lot of my free time watching the G4 network. This was where I saw the Icon episode pertaining solely to Lara Croft and her legacy. I was shocked to learn that early game designers created Lara Croft as a piece of ass-kicking eye candy. At this point in the video game realm, Croft was still sporting pyramid-shaped *assets.* She's come a long way since then, and I don't think the original designers ever thought she'd become such a smash hit for both men and women. I'll always love Lara, because she's one of the most hardcore characters out there and she's a chick. Yeah, chicks rock.
- What is fun??
- Hello EL 250!!
- Video Game Violence--Who is to Blame?
- What a trip down memory lane...
- LEGO review vs. Myst review
- Assassin's Creed 2 Review
- Doom Reaction :-(
- Myst Reaction :-)
- Assassin's Creed: More than an Action-packed Killing Spree
- Driving Digital Culture
- PacMan = Nomad? Whoa.
- Star Wars Multiplayer and Life Lessons
- The Evolution of a House
- Happy Birthday Easter Egg!!
- Rogue Wins!
- Warning: Interaction Required
- Wright's Theories
- Groking is Shocking (lame title time)
- Me: The Exception to Koster's Conclusions
- The Sims & Black and White, economic determinism at its best
- Zork Fan
- Adams & Jerz, Revisited
- Mind Maps
- Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater
- Adams & Jerz, Revisited, because I link to several locations on this blog, including an older blog entry on the same subject, a link to play the classic Adventureland, and a link back to a comical video on Dr. Jerz's EL 236 class website
For those of you interested, the above video is gameplay from Maniac Mansion. Enjoy!!
Shhh. Can you hear it? Listen very closely...dong...dong....dong...that ominous bell tower's chimes can only signal one thing--the end. You'll be dead before you realize what hit you. Welcome to Assassin's Creed II, one of the most highly anticipated new game releases of 2009.
While Ubisoft designers kept the same principles from the Assassin's Creed I, they managed to finally deliver what was missing from gaming experience with Altaïr in the new and improved game play. However, this game is more than just an action-packed killing-spree. This time, players actually learn a little history, had have incentives to complete mini-missions.
Unlike Altaïr, who was trained to become an Assassin from an early age, this game's hero, Ezio Autitore, became an assassin after the death of half of his family, seeking not only revenge, but answers as well.
One of the biggest adjustments game designers made for this M-rated Action-Adventure video game is the amount of freedom gamers now have, not only with Ezio's actions, but with various customization as well.
A big complaint coming out of the originals' gamers was that Altaïr was so easily spotted by the guards unless he walked at a remarkably slow pace, blending. Game designers created a new "notoriety" interface, which allows gamers to roam freely throughout the city if they are completely "anonymous."
Gamers will find a lot more challenge when trying to become anonymous. Hiding in haystacks no longer makes the assassin anonymous--it merely helps Ezio escape from guards. When you remove yourself from the haystack, your assassin icon will glow different amounts of red, labeling the amount of notoriety Ezio currently has. By ripping down wanted posters, bribing heralds or assassinating officials, Ezio can eliminate his notoriety to the point where he can literally run past guards without causing an instant chase--something that was all too common in the original game.
Blending's become a lot easier in Assassin's Creed II. No longer do players need to hold down a button as they walk; as soon as Ezio finds himself surrounded by a small crowd of people (many of which he can hire), the ground surrounding his feet digitalizes, signaling that he's blending to keep hidden from the guards' watchful eye.
Gamers now have the option to upgrade their armor and weaponry, which is divided into several pieces. The more expensive the armor, the higher your health bar will become. The same goes for weapons. While Altaïr was limited to his hidden blade, throwing knives, a dagger and his sword, Ezio is faced with seemingly endless options. Again, different weapons offer different strengths. Some are faster than others, some have more deflection than others, and some deliver more damage than others. For example, a solid club might deliver a ton of damage to foes, but good luck swinging that mighty beast at a group of guards before being struck by a guard from behind.
Players also have the opportunity to pick up fallen weapons from deceased foes. With the help of Leonardo da Vinci--that's right, this game takes place in Italy rather than the Middle East, Ezio's arsenal slowly builds as players progress through the game, offering new "toys," including double hidden blades and a poison-tipped hidden blade to name a few.
Players are encouraged to collect all of the armor and weapons, because the items are displayed in Ezio's home base--the Villa, which is surrounded by a small town, which players can pay to renovate. These renovations give Ezio larger allowances, which he can collect occasionally in the Villa.
One other fascinating addition to the game is the educational aspect of the game play. Players are not obligated to read about each location and character they interact with, but if they do, they'll find themselves learning a little bit of Italian history during the Renaissance. Not a fan of reading? Never fear, you can play this game without reading any of the extras and still have a very fulfilling gaming experience.
Countless other additions made their way into Assassin's Creed II, such as the Assassin's Tombs and the "glyphs" left behind by the mysterious Subject 16, but in order to find out the secrets behind these particular additions, you'll have to pick up a copy of the game yourself. Regardless of the type of gamer, everyone can find some type of enjoyment out of the much-improved sequel to Assassin's Creed.