January 18, 2006

Call For Papers

“Call for Papers” seemed to be very much to the point. I think that they have come up with a great strategy because they can easily ask for suggestions and in return they get many people responding with different opinions and responses as to why they came up with the ideas that they did. One negative reaction that I had to the article was that I do think that they should have allowed the papers being submitted to exceed 500 words because when you have a great idea it takes more than just roughly three paragraphs to get your point across.

I think that designing a game that would focus on “Video game villains and anti-heroes” would be very interesting. I like it because you can twist and move that topic to fit every obstacle that you might come across. You can include good guys who perform good deeds and get rewards for their actions and still include “villains” who act disturbing and face both rewards and consequences for their actions.

One thing that I noticed is that the topics that the article mentioned seem to be very similar to games that already exist. I think it will take a lot of hard work to create a game that is totally different that has different goals from the many anti-hero games that exist presently.

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How Hurtful Is It?

Violence in Videogames
To start off, I have mixed feelings on this topic. I think that violence in videogames can both help and hurt society especially children, but it all depends on the individual.

For example, Madness Combat 2 Redeemer, is very violent but the characters playing the game do not resemeble human beings and do not speak throughout the whole video, which could be used as an argument stating that the creators can not possibly be held responsible because they did not make the game something that children can relate to in reality. The charcater being portrayed is a "person" that has supernatural powers( killing more than one "person" at the same time, having knives appear out of nowhere, having unlimited survival skills and strategies).

On the otherhand, although the characters do not resemble human beings, the game implies that the charcters are human beings especially because at the end of the game the main character performing the killings actually sheds a tear once he knows that he was caught. Also, the ending message states: Moral: Don't try to shoot the sheriff. Body Count: 80

As we can see there is this crazy videogame that shows one charcter performing multiple killings and unrealisticlly outliving almost everyone. To me Madness Combat 2: Redeemer is a totally outrageous game in which it entertains and soley that. I can not see a child viewing this game and it influencing the child so strongly that he has an urge to go out and shoot hundreds of people. But as I have been researching there are people who live in reality and believe that it is totally unacceptable that we allow videogames of this content to be available to children on-line with just one click of a button.

Violence in Videogames will always be a controversial subject, but to people who oppose it I say: "You don't allow children to play violent videogames, but you allow them to watch the news, where there almost nothing but crime being viewed and talked about?" Atleast in videogames children realize that they can escape reality, but in "reality" there is no escaping the hard, cold truth of the world we live in.


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January 13, 2006

Blog 2

Coverage and Depth:

“Sim Sin City: some thoughts about Grand Theft Auto 3” I really enjoyes readind this article. I thought that the author was absolutely brilliant when he spoke and he kept me interested throughout his article.

Grand Theft Auto This was my summary and detailed description of how Grand Theft Auto is played and the object of the game. I think that I did a great job of describing the actions throuhgout the game and thanks to Jerz's sugesstions I think that the article came out great.

Games and The Effects they have I loved Spetember 11th but I found Madrid somewhat boring, I would never want to play this game again because I do not see the point of the game.


For my comments I found myself conversing over the phone and instant messanger rather than actually writing comments. I know that I have to work on that and I will but the course goes by so fast that it makes it hard!

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January 12, 2006

Similar yet Different

Ex 6: Article Analysis (40pts) -- Video Gaming (EL 250)

Frasca’s article “Sim Sin City: some thoughts about Grand Theft Auto 3” was a very interesting article to read. I mainly enjoyed reading Frasca’s article because he did not hesitate when stating his opinions, especially when it came to children and violence. He and the authors’ that we have studied so far all have one thing in common: games. Frasca’s article was very short compared to the books that I was required to read so I do not have as deep of an understanding with Frasca’s as I do with Koster and Laurel.
Frasca and Laurel seem to have similar ideas about games, but their jobs are very different. Laurel’s main focus is to create videogames for little girls, whereas Frasca creates games for people all over the world, excluding no one. Frasca mainly focuses on and creates controversial games because his audience is much older than Laurel’s audience. Laurel has to be very careful about the type of games that she creates because her job is to sell the game; not create controversy.
Koster and Frasca have the same idea about what makes a videogame “fun.” Koster analyzes games and their meanings, whereas Frasca edits a game without giving any textual support, for example, September 11th. Frasca let you figure out the game by yourself because he trusted his players and knew that they would figure out his message. Koster and Frasca also spend a good amount of time talking about storytelling and the influence that it has on the game being played. Frasca says, “Storytelling plays several roles in games. It "grounds" the setting mainly by bringing a set of rules and values into the game.” They both agree on the definition that Frasca provided, but in my opinion Koster believes that storytelling is somewhat more important than Frasca seems too.
Koster and Frasca also have a similar understanding of literature and videogames. Koster says, “If you took out all the sex and all the violence, you wouldn’t have very many movies, books, or TV shows.” (176) I am going to assume means that Koster feels that there is no need to destroy violence in the video gamming world, but include violence carefully and maybe not so bluntly, especially if children will be able to have access to the game, whereas Frasca seems to get defensive when talking about the effects of violence. He becomes sarcastic and criticizes literature and its meaning. “There is actually proof that books are extremely dangerous. They should be considered weapons of mass destruction. If you are really concerned about media effects, forget videogames: you should start burning libraries right now.” Frasca makes a joke out of the criticism that violent videogames have been receiving. He is also right when he said that there are no documented deaths linked to videogames, but that does not mean that the videogames are actually harmless.
Each author has a different experience and a different viewpoint of videogames. Koster wrote a book that was easy to read for adults, who have children, or for people who want to learn about the chaotic world of videogames, Laurel wrote about her job and the certain rules that she has to follow and lastly Fracas wrote an article defending negative feedback given to violent videogames. After reading their work, even though they are different, they all have a valid point and their appreciation for videogames shines through.

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January 11, 2006

Uncle Sammy

My family does not get together as much as everyone would like and it seems that the only family “reunion” that we have is when someone is getting married or has past away. Unfortunately, on January 5, 2006, my great-uncle Dominic passed away and once again my family got together. I was not able to attend his viewing/funeral because I was working, but of course my parents went.

While my father was socializing with his relatives he came across my great-great uncle Sammy and one of the first things out of his mouth was about me and my blog. He said how impressed he was with me and had nothing but compliments to give my father. He wondered if I would remember him so my answer is yes and uncle Sammy I wrote this blog for you.

How can I forget you? Whenever I would see you, you would always be throwing money at my sisters and me saying “Here, take it!” I know that we have not managed to keep in touch because of distance and such things, but I want you to know that I’ll never forget you. You have no idea how much it means to me that you sit down and actually read what I write, so thank you, it means a lot to me. I guess my father was right when he said, "A dollar goes a long way."
I hope that we get to see one another again and thanks for not forgetting me.

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January 10, 2006

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Ex 5a: Close Playing 2 (10pts) -- Video Gaming (EL 250)

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City takes place in Miami during the 1980s. There is no disagreement that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is very violent enriched with graphic images. After playing Grand Theft Auto for a few minutes, the player will soon begin to realize that the fastest and most convenient way to make money is to do it illegally. The player has no other option if he wants to beat the game but to steal cars, kill people and cheat innocent people.
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is full of exciting options for the player to make. He can chose whether to drive a car, ride a motorcycle or he can even chose to fly a helicopter. Money plays a very important role in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The only way to make money is to act as a “criminal.” The player will have to perform missions and the more dangerous the missions become; the more money you receive. It sounds pretty easy so far but it is not because once the player commits a crime the police are notified and the player has a chance of loosing his life. At the top of the screen there are six stars and they begin to light up once the player has the police chasing him. The more police there are the greater numbers of stars are lit.
It is loosely based off of the movie Scarface. At times, the scenery in the game resembles the events and places that were in Scarface, for example, the mansion and work ethic of the characters. Also, the main character is similar to Tony Montana because their main goal is to sell drugs and eventually take over all of the drug pins in the city. Throughout the video game the player has many varieties when inflicting harm on their victim. Some options include, chopping up people will a chainsaw, beating people with a bat, shooting people and stabbing people
The main goal of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is to take over Miami and be the most powerful drug pin. In order to do that you must continuously put your life in danger and the more violent you turn out to be the higher your role in society becomes.

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January 09, 2006

Games and The Effects They Have

Ex 3: Close Playing 1 (40pts) -- Video Gaming (EL 250)

September 11th
Playing "September 11th" personally affected me. This game made me realize how hard it must be for our troops in Iraq. Civilians are mixed in with terrorists and it seems nearly impossible to only kill the terrorists.
While I was playing this came I couldn't help but wonder why the civilians would put their lives in jeopardy, but then I looked around at the scenery and I realized that they were trying to live life as normally as they could despite the circumstances. Although, there was war going on in their streets they still wanted to go on with life and did not want the war to overcome them with fear.
I found myself feeling bad when I would attempt to kill a terrorist and by mistake I would kill a civilian. With my conscious eating away at me, I tried to think of every strategy that I could to prevent the deaths of innocent people but it was useless because after I bombed a certain place I would almost always hear the families mourning the loss of a loved one.
After playing this game I think it opened my eyes to the war that is happening in Iraq presently. “September 11th” shows that even if what you’re doing is right it still comes along with side effects that are wrong.


Unlike September 11th, I can not say that I completely get the object of Madrid. I found the game impossible to win because I was not able to get all of the candles burning strongly at the same time. I found myself agitated but I wanted to understand what the meaning was behind this message?
I do know that Madrid was created in response to the terrorist attacks happening in Madrid. I would think that the creators wanted to create a positive game to show the people that the only way to prevent harm being done to our cities is by joining hands and working together.
The background of this game played huge role in the impact of this game because the yellow candles reflect brilliantly off the black wallpaper. It is also important to note the writing on the people’s shirts. It expresses such diversity, but it shows that people are still willing to come together and fight for the same cause even if some of our beliefs are different.
Unfortunately, Madrid did not have a strong influence on me and the beliefs that I have because it did not capture my attention. I did not want to continue trying to light the candles because I did not see a valuable cause for doing so.

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January 05, 2006

How's Blogging Going?

Portfolio 1 (Draft) 20pts -- Video Gaming (EL 250)

I thought that I would never admit this but I actually enjoy blogging during J-Term! I love that there's only six of us and I know everyone except Evan, which is pretty good!

For my Coverage section I included articles that I had a strong reaction too, I basically gave about a paragraph or two of my opinion and reactions to the stories and movies we are watching.


My Trip To Liberty City

How Society Views Videogames

Storytelling in Videogames

Groundhog Day

Spy Kids 3-D

For Depth I included articles that I wrote a more detailed explanation as to why I felt the way I did and whether or not I had the same feelings as the author I was reading.


Beyond the Review


Bow N*gger

For Interaction I did not comment individully much because we had such good "group discussions" so I basically just linked some of the discussions that I contributed too.


Comment Informative



Discussion Again!

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Beyond the Review

Insaniquarium was founded by Flying Bear and is hosted by PopCap. Insaniquarium is a game that is full of bright colors and non stop action that will have you clicking the mouse button faster and faster. Insaniquarium allows the player to have hands on experience with the game. It forces the player to challenge himself to come up with the best strategy. There are twenty different levels and four different backgrounds that you can successful choose, once you complete the required levels.

Insaniquarium never gets boring because the game is always introducing new characters. On your journey there will be a total of ten "friends" that you can choose to help you beat the levels. They can either help you collect coins that the fish are dropping, they can help you fight aliens, they can have babies which will increase the fish that you have and they can protect the fish from aliens. You will have to make the difficult choice of only picking three to help you complete the levels, which can be hard because they are all valuable.

In order to beat each level, you need to buy three egg pieces. In order to buy the egg pieces you must have enough money and fish. You can get money from either your fish, a “friend” that sings, or by conquering an alien. As the levels get harder, naturally, the egg pieces become more expensive and difficult to get.

Money plays an important role in Insaniquarium because without it your fish will die and you will lose, its as simple as that. Money is your biggest enemy in this game. You can increase the amount of fish you have, you can upgrade your tank and you can buy important items that will increase your choices of beating the level.

One of the things that I love most about Insaniquarium is that fact that if you do not achieve the levels successfully, you can start off from where you died last. This is very important because it does not hold you back from completing your mission. But do not let this advantage trick you because it extremely difficult despite the advantages that games offers, I still have yet to beat the game.

This game can be fun for everyone to play, whether you are young or old. If the player is a young child it can help him/her learn the value of money and make them realize that having a strategy will usually benefit them in the end. Insaniquarium can be an "escape" for older players who need a break from "reality."

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January 04, 2006

How Society Views Videogames

Aarseth's Game Studies editorial -- Video Gaming (EL 250)

"Computer games are perhaps the richest cultural genre we have yet seen, and this challenges our search for a suitable methodological approach."

I liked this quote the best out of the whole article. This quote really sums up everything that I think the author was trying to explain. I never did a research on how videogames were viewed in society but this question was asked alot during this course. Like this article states videogames are not yet accepted in the art/literature society, which is unfair because the creators do just as much work as any other.

To look on the positive side atleast people are becoming aware of videogamming. I did not know if I should take this course because I didn't consider myself a hard-core video gamer but I'm exteremly glad that I did. I have found myself blogging more than I have ever done before and I truly hope that videogames get the admiration that they deserve.

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Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a classic movie. I have watched this movie numerous times so it gave me time to think about what if this scenario happened to me? It brought up many issues for me and made me think about many things that I probably would have never thought about. Groundhog day really makes you realize that Time is precious.

I do not think that this would be a good video game because it would be boring because it would be the same rountine over and over again. It's already laid out for you and there's no way that you would be able to control the situation. On the other hand, as we saw, Bill Murray saw that he could change not what happenes to him, but what happens to everyone around him. It gave him a chance to better himself because he knew that he could. Which could be fun to play, but you will still be trapped because in a game your charcter wouldn't have feelings and you most likely would never have the realizations playing the game as you would if you saw it happening to someone.

After looking at both sides, I think that I am going to stick with my first opinion. Groundhog Day would be better as a movei because it affects the viewer, whereas if you were playing Groundhog Day: The Video it would not be as personal because you do not think of your charcter as real and therefore would probably dismiss this situation as simply silly.

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My Trip To Liberty City

I think that this videogame showed alot of "reality." The speakers voice influenced my opinion greatly because it allowed me to form a picture of what the charcter would be like. I pictured him as a proper well-educated person who would rather have peace then violence. For example, he wanted to go rest in the park lol! I think that it is important because he did say numerous times that he did not want to give in too the violent behavior like Puff said he did not wnat to open the car doors because then he would have thrown the cabbie driver out and stole a car. But the character seemed to step out of his "morals" and gave into society, which is just another example of how society has a huge influence in the way people act and view their actions.

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Spy Kids 3D

This movie was very entertaining. I would think that the movie was created for a younger audience but then again the producers know that a yound child would be watching the movie with an adult, which is why I think that I found the movie interesting also.

I think that Spy-Kids sent across a positive message but also some negatives. For instance when Juni gabe Demetra his life pack he looked at the three boys standing there and winked, which seems to be how men think of women throughout their whole lives. Some men think that all it will take is a simple nice deed and the woman will cherish him and just fall into their hands. They think that they know how to "play" women which Spy-Kids could be contributing too just by that single action.

But I think that I am analyzing the movie too much and critizing actions that children may not pick up on. I think that kids would be more fasinated by the 3-D effect rather that what someone is saying. I like this movie and found it "silly" but worth watching.

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January 03, 2006


Insaniquarium allows the player to have hands on experience with the game. It forces the player to challenge himself to come up with the best strategy. There are twenty different levels and four different backgrounds that you can successful choose, once you complete the required levels.
One of the things that I love most about Insaniquarium is that fact that if you do not achieve the levels successfully, you can start where you died. This is very important because it does not hold you back and force you to start from the beginning. Although, the creators offer this great option I still have yet to beat the game.
The object of the game is to successfully take care of the fish in the tank. In order for your fish to survive you have to feed them and along with that you need money. The game starts you off with eighty dollars and each time you drop food for your fish it deducts five dollars from your account. Once your fish start growing they begin to drop coins and it is your job to collect as many as you can. The more fish you have the more coins that drop. The problem arises when aliens invade your fish tank and begin to eat your fish. You have to have a strategy to conquer the aliens because you do not have much time to think.
Each level gets more difficult and once you continue to beat the levels the game will ask you to choose a “friend” who will help you along your journey. Insaniquarium keeps me interested and always challenges my skills. I encourage people to try this game because it is definitely worth your time. It is full with bright colors and different visuals each time you play.

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Storytelling in Video Games

Adams: Two words! Two words! We don't let you get away with anything here. Ok, climb tree.

This line that Adams recited seemed to sum up the whole article for me. This shows just how difficult it was to create videogames when technology was so limited. In this four part assignment I understood the complexity of creating video games and the obstacles that the challenges that the creators faced.

It was "fun" reading Dr. Jerz's interview with Adams because I personally know him and I was able to menatly vision this discussion. Adams seemed to be a very personable and very intellegient man. He offered some great advice when I was reading his interview such as, "Two heads are better than one. A hundred heads are far better than one. You keep control of the direction it's taking, and let there be creative input coming in."

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Bow N*gger

I hit 'T' to talk and the chat icon appears above my head. But I hesitate. I wanted to say something, but with the little underscore blinking away there my fingers stopped over the keys. Say what? "No, you don't", "No, you aren't", "How can you when your insults are meaningless?", "Fuck you, asshole"?

Posted by GinaBurgese at 04:23 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack