Here we are, down to the final count. Only two days left and soo much to do. I have to be honest, after taking Seminar in Thinking and Writing with Jerz I swore that I would never take a class with him again because it was so difficult. But now my feelings about this man has changed. I enjoy his unique teaching style even though there is a lot of work involved. I am very glad that I decided to take EL250 Video Gaming because I have learned so much, not only about the area of study but also about my work ethics.
This class has taught me a lot about video games and new media journalism . I have learned that video games are more than what they appear, there is a lot of effort that goes into creating games and they have more behind them than what appears on the outside. I have learned that gaming is more involved in mainstream society than what I had assumed. I used wonder why my brother would lock himself in his room and play games for hours or even days without stepping into the sunlight. He gets so frustrated at these games, and I never knew why but now when my parents tell him that it is only a game, I tell them that its not just a game, it is a part of him life. Gaming is a relm that I was afraid to travel before but I feel much differently about. I have opened myself to review games on a more intellectual level than before. I would have to say that my proudest piece of work throughout this class is my final review of Mortal Kombat. I have always been drawn to the game and I feel that I became a gamer when I wrote that.
Throughout this class I have met some very intellegent people that I could have never gotten through this class without.They knew their stuff every well I might add. I have made reading Leslie's blog a daily activity because she knows what she is talking about and she makes everything very interesting. Gina seems like a very nice girl who like me is not as familiar with gaming as Leslie, but she puts a new spin on things in the gaming world which always makes it a good read. We have shared many of the same ideas about the gaming world which maked me feel more comfortable about taking this class. Evan definitely knows his games! I find his comments very helpful and informative when I have difficulty understanding certain concepts such as IFs. And last but definitely not least Stephan! What can I say about Puff...he has made my Video Gaming experience entertaining. I love reading his blogs because he makes very vaild points but he does it with humor. We have exchanged emails quite a few times during this course and every email always has something in it to make me laugh.
Like I said in my blog portfolio 2 I have become the game nerd that I never thought I would be. When I play games, any game, I think to myself "what is the importance behind this game? What is it teaching? How does it fit in with Dr. Jerz's class?" To be honest I love being able to ask and answer those question on my own and understand what I am talking about.
Taking this class is one of the best things I could have done for myself because it has helped me transition easier to the new semester. Since Jan. 2 I have been working my tail off in this class trying to keep up with the amount of material that we are required to do. Even though I have procrastinated a bit (see the late work box on J-Web) I have been able to keep up and do a decent job at it. So in the end I have found this class to be very useful in the area of NMJ and in my life and for that I am greatful.
So we all know how important technology is to each and everyone of us correct? There is not a day that goes by that I don't have or use my cell phone, iPod, and laptop. These things essentially become apart of us and as soon as we get comfortable with the electronics that we have, we get newer and faster devices. However, one thing is sure to stay the same...learning. We all have different ways of learning but we do learn. A generation 10 years older than ours more than likely learned the old fashioned way...pens, paper, and books. And a generation 10 years younger than ours are learning with a mouse, keyboard and computer screen. Our generation is in the middle--the comfort zone. However, the newer way of learning is a trend that has become one that has seemed to help kids learn better.
In this presentation we will take a look at how video games can be looked at learning tools for today's youth.
First check out:
href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missile_Command">Missile Command. I would like you to play this game to consider the question have video games taught you anything relevent to generel education?
Missile Command may look like your average shoot 'em game but there is a deeper meaning behind it.Does anything look familiar in the game? If you know history then you also know that it is based on the The Cold War. In an article by GameSpy Missile Command is commended for its connection to reality.
Now Look At:
Many of today's modern video games teach as well. Many of the first person shooters and RPGs teach such tools as stealth and survival skills. Platformers teach values such as patiences. There are also games that are specifically made to teach values such as Brenda Laurel's Purple Moon. There have also been games that are made for children in schools to teach the three Rs reading, 'riting and 'rithmetic such as Word Worm, BookWorm,Number Cruncher, and Where In the World Is Carmen Sandiego?. All of these games have traditionally been enbedded in the educational system but today's youth wants more.
"We need to incorporate into our classrooms the same combination of desirable goals, interesting choices, immediate and useful feedback, and opportunities to "level up" (that is, to see yourself improve) that engage kids in their favorite complex computer games" (.Listen to the Natives) Children want what Chris Morris calles the three Rs--recreation, reflexes and RPGs. Children's attention spans grow shorter by the years and there needs to be something there that keeps their attention. So if the classroom was like a video game they would do better. In saying this I am not denying that children should be put in the traditional education because they should. The classroom itself is a location for learning and traditional teaching works well but what about those kids that have a hard time in the traditional learning setting, they need help too. Video games as a learning tool is a good source of learning for toddler too young to go to school, it helps get their minds flowing and gives them an advantage when they do go into schooling.
So In conclusion the next time you play a game, think about what you're learning within the game and relate it to the way you learn. Which do you find more appealing--reading, writing and arithmetic or recreation, reflexes, and RPGs?
As I continue my quest for video game knowledge in Dr. Jerz's EL250 I find myself conforming to the game nerd I never thought I would be. In the past two weeks I have learned a lot about New Games Journalism .When I play video games anymore or watch while someone else plays I analyze the meaning behind the game, look in depth at the motives of the game designer, and reference to ideas that Juul, Koster, and Laurel have. I feel that I have begun to become a better writer and become more open with my opinions (see New Study Linking Video Games and Aggression).I have begun to analyze certain aspects of games such as graphics in an entry called Is it all about the gameplay? I have begun to blog like I never blogged before in order to help gain knowledge in the field of New Media Journalism. I have sparked many conversations on my blog such as my close reading of Tomb Raider, Close Reading 1 and Are we living in a simulated world? In a game review of Mortal Kombat that I am very proud of I exhausted the game's characters, techniques, graphics, and my personal view on the game. I think I now know the ins and outs of the game! I have analyzed pieces by Juul and Aarseth both involve the game designers' motives within games. I feel that I am starting to understand the detail and thought put into games that I would have never considered before and as the class progresses I hope to learn more.
[Coverage] Hayward's 'Videogame Aesthetics' Here I look at how the graphics influence gaming and gamers alike.
[Interaction] 'Life after the Video Game Crash' Here I comment about Leslie's asumption about Wong's accuracy about another video game crash.
[Coverage, Depth] Analyzing Game Studies In this class blog entry I explain how hard it is to find creditable sources about video games.
[Coverage, Depth] What is Fun? In this entry I try to answer the age old question 'how is fun a learning experience'? Based on Dr. Jerz's lecturette about how Koster defines fun.
[Coverage, Depth] Laurel; Close Playing; Etc Here I take a look at what the close playing exercises have taught me.
[Coverage, Depth] Issues within Juul's Readings Here I examine Juul's theory of rules for video gaming.
[Coverage, Depth, Interaction] New Study Linking Video Games and Aggression Here I get emotional involved in a topic that I feel very strongly about; gaming violence, and the involvment of parents.
[Coverage, Depth, Interaction] Parental Concern about Gaming Here I post a comment about how I feel that video games do not cause violence in adolescents.
[Discussion] Are we living in a simulated world? Here I discuss the definition of simulation with Leslie and Dr. Jerz.
[Xenoblogging] GTA:Vice City Here I share my love for GTA with fellow gamers.
[Xenoblogging] Juul, Half Real (Chapt.4) Here Evan and I discuss text-based games and how they are better in the end.
Tomb Raider-A Reference List Here I find 10 creditable sources for Tomb Raider and Lara Croft.
Close Reading 2-Tomb Raider Here I try to describe Lara's influence on young girls mean while sparking up a discussion.
Beyond the Review-Final Draft I am very proud of this piece, I love Mortal Kombat and here is a piece of writing that shows my love for the game.
1. Offical Tomb Raider Website In this site I information about the upcoming Tomb Raider game. The site also has information about all of the previous games in the series. I never realized how big Lara Croft is; the site has her whole back-story, her outfits, gear, and photos. There are forums devoted to the game as well as other links. I found this site to be very useful.
2. Tomb Raider News I found this website useful because not only does it have information on all of the games in the series, it also has information on the Tomb Raider franchise. It also has offical links and links to numerous fanfiction links. I never realized how many fan sites there are for Tomb Raider.
3.Wikipedia This site gives detailed information on the series and Lara Croft. It goes through her background, repertoire, even romantic history. I found this website extremely useful.
4.Tomb Raider Inc This site has recent information on the Tomb Raider: Legends and the previos games in the series. It also goes through the many cheat codes of all of the games within the series.
5. The Croft Times is a great site where I found a large amount of information about Lara Croft.
6. Virtual Characters Analyses the appearance of characters and the realism of game characters. I found this article useful because Lara Croft and other characters are described and Laura is compared to her on screen self: Angelina Jolie.
7. Game Studies This is an article that examines games that tell a story such as Tomb Raider. I found this very useful because it has a lot to do with the series of Tomb Raider.
8. The Myth of Ergodic Video games is about the interactivity of players and games.
9. Does Laura Croft Wear Fake Polygons? This is about the gender analysis of Laura Croft. I found this article very useful because it asks questions of sexuality in games and feminism.
10.Who is Lara Croft?
This website examines the life behind the adventuress and ticks of the trade to beat this game.
If anyone has any suggestions on how to make this a better close reading please let me know because I don't think I did it correctly.
Laura Croft is one of the first female main characters to hit the gaming world. She sparked a phenomenon of a series of action adventure games and two box office hits. Croft is an educated, sleek, and sexy equivalent to Indiana Jones who goes on missions to find ancient artifacts around the world. Even though she is seen as a sex symbol to men she appeals to the ass kicking side of women.
In the original Tomb Raider for the PC Laura has been hired to track down ancient artifacts that are pieced together to create the Atlantean Scion which is a device that in the wrong hands could case mass chaos and millions of deaths. She travels to a tomb in Peru where she encounters bad guys and rabid animals. She leaves nothing alive however does leave a track of empty gun shells. She visits many recognizable places such as Greece, Rome and Atlantis. In the end she finds that she has been set up to return the device to the wrong hands and so she destroys it. The back-story of the game is set to engulf the player and inevitable become Laura Croft. Men and women both enjoyed this game because of its action and adventure, but opened up the world of gaming to women that sparked a gaming revolution.
As a woman I was fond of Tomb Raider because I related to Laura more than any other main character. She is seen as a feminist icon for her sensuality, roughness, self-confidence and strength. I wanted to be just like Laura as a young girl because she was an awesome archaeologist who didn’t take crap from anyone, especially men. My favorite part of Tomb Raider was touring her home. Players had the ability to tumble through the spacious rooms, travel to her library and swim in the pool. However, the game play is an important aspect of the game as well.
Throughout the series Croft travels to several different parts of the world on different adventures collecting artifacts. The 3D graphics hold their own in the game because the locations are extremely recognizable. London has the essence of the English lifestyle. However, the graphics are disappointing because they are not complete. When a player reaches the end of a pathway and tries to turn around, the graphics stall and the player is looking at a pit of nothingness for two seconds. The controls are not the greatest because sometimes Laura doesn’t respond to the command and the player is stuck in a corner frustrated. However, overall the game has its good points such as its many locations and tasks.
Laura Croft not only is the main character, she is the female’s version of Indiana Jones with her lust for adventure. She is a sultry action fighter who has influenced many girls to become more than what they are…girls. She teaches girls to stand up for themselves, to have the motivation to become what the want in life and to kick butt at anything they do.
1. September 12
This simulation is a reaction to the events that occurred September 11. It is a simulation of the terrorist attacks on Kabul, Afghanistan. When the “game” first loaded the instructions said that it was not a game but a simulation where you decided to shoot or not. When you target an object and shoot it the scope becomes red and doesn’t allow you to shoot until its timer goes out. When you shoot people, others come to mourn and cries are heard. Those mourners become the terrorists and if you continue to play the simulation more and more terrorists are created.
This simulation is a perfect representation of the cycle of war. Once an attack has been done, the country that was attacked retaliates and wastes no time or money. Anyone who gets in the way is destroyed innocent or guilty which is why in the simulation innocent mourners become terrorists. They feel they must take revenge on those who killed the others. This simulation produced by Kabul Kaboom is a depiction what violence does; it creates more violence. It is trying to say that the worst way to take revenge is by force because it will only lead to more violence.
I did not understand this simulation at first. I understood the task but not idea behind it. After trying to keep the candles lit, I found it was impossible to keep all of the candles lit at once. The idea behind the simulation is exactly that; keep the candles lit. The people who hold those candles were victims of bombing. Each is wearing a t-shirt saying I love (a city). They are trying to keep their memory alive but as hard as you try it is impossible. I think the point of this simulation is to remind people of what and who is lost in these bombings. Even though we have learned so much from each bombing they don’t seem to stop. The attacks keep happening due to hatred. The people in this simulation are portraying community, friendship, and togetherness, things that are not seen in the world as much because of the attacks. The candles represent hope, remembrance and innocence. Keeping them brighter is a sign of hope that maybe the fighting will cease one day and people will ban together to make the world a better place (wishful thinking huh?).
Mortal Kombat: More than A Video Game
Here I stand, staring at my opponent dripping in sweat and blood. I can feel blood pouring down my body. My black and blue kimono is torn to shreds and drenched in sweat. The sweat is stinging my eyes and open wounds; the pain is excruciating but I must ignore it. His eyes are his weakness. I can see the pain and rage deep within them. His clothes are sopping up blood that has been cut from his body. He stares at me, reaching into my soul ready rip it out. Both of us near death, we catch our breath in the dark cave. The humid cave is still; all I hear is the sound of my heart race and the stale smell of decaying animal is an annoyance. We both know what needs to done, one of us will have to die; an end is needed to this long and painful duel. I know that if I don’t move quickly it would be me. I see the twinge of a finger and I quickly through my hand in the air releasing my ice spike. He staggers for a moment then falls. An ocean of blood rushes toward me but I do not move. “Winner: Sub Zero” announces a deep and demonic voice. I hear his final breaths, which sound like gurgles covered by the deep coating of blood but I stand motionless thinking of what just happened. I replay the fight in my head and know that he could have killed me. I am not the young man I once was; I have grown weaker but am wiser than he. My body aches; it tells me that I should not go on but I must continue on in this battle in order to gain respect and become a master fighter.
In 1992 when Mortal Kombat was first introduced to the world of gaming I was just a mere seven years old. I had watched my older brother play even though I wasn’t supposed to. I took a liking to the back plot of the game and wanted to play. Every so often when I was left with my brother I would sneak off to his room and fight the game’s AI. I remember the excitement I had when I ripped out the spine of an opponent and watch him fall to the ground twitching. After a while I found that I had begun to master MK and had my brother show me the tricks of the trade. He taught me how to use the “special” move of each character, each becoming more violent; I loved it! Ever since I have found the game to be my favorite.
When it first made its mark in video gaming history, its graphics and controls were better than average for the arcade. The large amount of gore made this game to be controversial. With the addition of “blood physics” blood was more prominent and the entrails of characters were more realistic. The game soon caught up with technology and the more that the game was modified for new systems the more realistic gory the game became. The game had its ups and its downs, however it has proven to be extremely popular in the gaming world.
One reason for its popularity is the gruesome fighting style in the game. Personally I find it very stress relieving to rip the head and spine out of an opponent, with my favorite character Sub Zero. The “fatality” feature in this game is amazing; every character has a special move that causes the most gruesome deaths. The adrenaline rush that one gets from this game is addicting. I would play non-stop just to be characters like the seductive Sonya Blade or the warrior Jonny Cage and find ways to use and defeat their fatality move. Then my brothers and I hold tournaments lasting for hours to become a MK master. The level of blood and gore attracted boys to the game. Being able to crack someone’s neck and hearing it appealed more to boys than girls. However, girls were attracted to the cool female characters such as Sonya Blade and use the fatality known as the kiss of death. When a player triggers the right buttons Sonya would blow a kiss (in which was a ball of fire) and the fireball would find its way to the opponent, thus burning him/her alive. Another reason of the popularity of this game is its level of controversy.
In 1993, the Electronics Software Ratings Board (ESRB) was born due to violence in games such as Mortal Kombat. Parents and the government were not thrilled about children having the ability to cause see and partake in that amount of violence. But this did not stop the creators more games were produced and have not stopped coming.
The graphics of Mortal Kombat keep becoming more realistic which draws people to the series. It is more than a game; it is an escape into virtual reality and a stress reliever. Using a game like Mortal Kombat as a release of aggression is an amazing feeling. Being able to cause such a graphic death without consequences give a player a feeling of achievement and release that one can walk away happy instead of aggravated, which makes it an amazing fighting game.
In Hayward's article Videogame Aesthetics the topic of graphics in gaming is discussed. Graphics hae come a long way since the days of PacMan for the arcade. Everything is much more realistic. In games like Spliter Cell 2, Halo 2, Far Cry Intincts and Half-Life 2 the graphics prove to go above and beyond the call of duty. In games such as these the surrounds look more realistic, it makes a player feel as though they are in the game, which enhances the experience.
"By no means am I suggesting that aesthetics are the very substance of games, but obviously, "it" is not all about gameplay."
Gameplay is the very sustance of gaming but the graphics make a difference. I know that when I play a game with poor graphics I get aggravated very easily and give up. Both gameplay and graphics go hand in hand. The question of the day is how can game creators exceed in photo-realism in games if they are already very good? I think with technological advances anything is possible.
I am very proud of this piece and I'm offering it to the world :)
Mortal Kombat: More than A Video Game
Here I stood, staring at my opponent dripping in sweat and blood. He is near death I can sense it and so am I. There is a brief moment when time stopped. We stand in the dark cave catching our breath, we both know what needs to been, one of us will have to die; an is needed to this long and painful battle. I know that if I don’t move quickly it would be me. I see the twinge of a finger and I quickly through my hand in the air releasing my ice spike. He stands there staggering for a moment then fell to the ground. “Winner: Sub Zero” is announced by a deep and demonic voice. I stand in shock at how I beat my mortal enemy Quan Chi; my body aches, I can taste blood and I must continue this battle in order to gain the respect and become a master fighter.
Mortal Kombat, a fighting game that was first introduced in 1992 for the arcade has gone through many changes since it’s birth. When it first made it’s mark in video gaming history, its graphics and controls were better than average for the arcade. The large amount of gore made this game one of first to be controversial. With the addition of the “blood physics”, blood was more prominent and the entrails were more realistic. The game soon caught up with technology and was modified for the many systems to come. The game had its ups and its downs, however it has proven to be extremely popular in the gaming world.
One reasons for its popularity is the gruesome fighting style in the game. Personally I find it very stress relieving to rip the head and spine out of an opponent, with my favorite character Sub Zero. The “fatality” feature in this game is amazing; every character has a special move that causes the most gruesome deaths. The adrenaline rush that one gets from this game is addicting. I would play non-stop just to be characters like Sonya Blade or Jonny Cage and find ways to use and defeat their fatality move. Then my brothers and I hold tournaments lasting for hours to become a MK master. The level of blood and gore attracted boys to the game. Being able to crack someone’s neck and hearing it appealed more to boys than girls. However, girls were attracted to the cool female characters such as Sonya Blade and use the fatality known as the kiss of death. Another reason of the popularity of this game is its level of controversy.
In 1993, the Electronics Software Ratings Board (ESRB) was born due to the amount of violence in Mortal Kombat. Parents and the government were not thrilled about children having the ability to cause see and partake in that amount of violence. But this did not stop the creators, more games were produced and have not stopped coming.
The graphics of Mortal Kombat keep becoming more realistic which draws people to the series. It is more than a game; it is an escape into virtual reality and a stress reliever. A player just gets engulf in the back-stories and the plot of this game, which makes it an amazing fighting game.
We may not be but Truman was. The Truman Show is a perfect example of simulation. His whole life and everything and everyone in it is simulated. The world he knew and loved was created just for him. Simulation in movies is very interesting because it takes virtual reality and adds it to a movie (which is closer to reality than virtual reality).
[Coverage] My Trip to Liberty City -In this entry I describe the freedoms one can have in GTA Liberty City.
[Coverage] New Games Journalism -In this entry types of game reviews are observed.
[Interaction]Interactive Fiction -Here I explain why IF games don't always work for everyone.
[Coverage, Depth, Interaction] A Rape In Cyberspace -Here I raise questions about laws in cyberspace and the perversions humans have.
[Coverage, Depth, Interaction] Sex In Games: Rez + Vibrator -In this entry I examine sex in gaming and have interesting conversations about this controversial topic.
Reactions to Gaming Culture in Movies
[Coverage, Depth] Replayability in Movies -Here I ask about how one simple action can change a series of events in Sliding Doors.
[Coverage, Depth]Spy Kids 3D -In this entry I analysis the Spy Kids 3D with gaming in mind.
[Coverage, Depth] Big -Here I analysis the use of games in this cute movie.
[Coverage, Depth, Interaction]Simulation in Movies -Here I discuss The Truman Show and Leslie and I discuss the relation of the The Truman Show and the Sims
[Depth, Interaction]Effort:Work and Fun with Adventure -In this entry I open up the discussion with thoughts about how everyone views "fun" differently.
[Xenoblogging] New Games Journalism -Here I spark a discussion about sex im gaming.
[Xenoblogging] How socity views videogames -Here I comment to Gina about the big the videogaming world is.
When I heard about the videogaming class was being offered I thought it might be easy. I thought to myself, "what the heck, I need the credits anyway." I was sadly mistaken. Since this class started I have been working on homework longer than I ever had before. I get up at 8am and I don't get done until 1am, however I do take breaks here and there. This class is fun and I feel like I am learning so much about gaming.
Blogging has become a major part of my life and I actually enjoy it. Thus far this class has opened my eyes to how important gaming is to our culture. I have begun to understand the mind of a gamer because I am becoming one.One website that I am getting very familiar with is G4TV. I could spend hours on this site because it is the epitome of the gaming world.
I feel that in this class I am begining to understand why gamer do the things they do. Also I am learning a lot about my writing and opinions. I have found that can be very creative with it but I need to be more subjective; this isn't an English class. I am excited to start the essay because I feel this is where I can show what I truely have learned in this class. I have found so much information on Asteroids that I never thought existed. I never knew that Wikipedia had a whole section devoted to the game.
Another thing that I am learning is that there are so many different types of games. I have come to discover that I am not fond of IF games because it is just too complicated for my simple mind. Overall I feel that I am learning so much from this class and I know that within the next week I will learn even more.
Let’s just say that video games are not my forte; and this is why I am a psychology major and not game design. I used to play video games as a “tween” religiously because I have two brothers but then boys became more important as my quest for adulthood continued. I think that because of my lack of experience in gaming I write so objectively.