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January 24, 2010

EL 250 Article Presentation

The discussion on Mortensen prompted me to take a closer look into blogging. My original entry looked at blogging from my point of view. The second part of my entry was on mutual fantasy online gaming. I did not feel that seclsion, which I feel about mutual fantasy online gaming, was adequate. I felt that personal blogging questions were more informal to my coursemates. That way they could be open about their positive experiences and negative. I do realize that the assignment was to discuss mutual fantasy online game play, but I looked at the situation from outside the box. Anything that goes online, text based, is always open to comments. Some enjoy it while others fear it. I got the idea about my questions from a previous visit by Mortensen. If there was anything I could have changedd, it would have been to open the discussion with blogging questions, but end it with mutual fantasy online questions. A part one and part two forum.

My peers' were assigned other articles that I answered questions to. Taylor with Jessie and Matt prompted me to answer accordingly. For Matt's question, I chose the Xbox 360 as a platform for all of my gaming, and Jessie, I found that through community brings interaction.

Susan was assigned Grimes. In my entry, I shared my personal experiences with Terms of Service contracts. That was a good subject to discuss since service contracts accompany games and gaming equipment, also the fact that a large percentage of gaming is done by children.

Keith was assigned Eladhari. Keith associated online gaming with personalities. In my entry, I discussed why it is important to play yourself in simulated situations.
Cody had Wilson. His question regarded indie games. In my entry, I discussed why indie games are good, but the technology whould be made available to everyone, not just high tech companies that can utilize the technology.

Overall, I thought that giving students the opportunity to lecture the course was a good idea. It incorporated reading from the text, but was thought based as well from personal experiences.

January 21, 2010

EL 250 Social Networks and Games

I personally do not like the idea of games like Farmville on a social network. All it does is draws in a large populatioon from a particular site until something better comes along. I played the everso popular Mafia Wars on MySpace. It was fun until I was receiving email after email from my friends to play it. It just got out of control. Now, nobody plays it that I know of. Indie games are a good idea, not to contradict myself, just not for social networks. It slows down the networks and overpopulates them.
As I said in an earlier blog, I played a game called Skate. It was a rip-off of Tony Hawk, but the music was better and the controls were a bit more accurate. But now, it won't play any longer in my system. Go figure.

EL 250 Portfolio 3 Video Games are More than Meets the Eye

EL 250 has been very fast-paced and informative. The instructor, Dr. Jerz, has taken his students to new levels of learning through video games. During the last wee, students have written a term paper (draft), discussed Grimes with Susan Carmichael, had a gruop discussion on Eladhari with Keith Campbell, had a topic discussion on modding, machinima, and motion capturing, discussed Wilson with Cody Naylor, student presentations on Thursday and Friday, and a final term paper to end the semester with.


Grimes with (Susan)

Eladhari with (Keith)

Wilson with (Cody)


Elizabeth Swartzwelder

Jessie Krehlik

Susan Carmichael


Grimes with (Susan)

Eladhari with (Keith)

Motion Capturing


Student Presentations

Grimes with (Susan)

Eladhari with (Keith)

Wilson with (Cody)


Elizabeth Swartzwelder I went into why they print TOS documents.

Jessie Krehlik on my personal experience with a TOS document.

Susan Carmichael on why it's nice to be somebody else online.

Modding and why it's so great that this technology exists.


S-t-r-e-s-s. Stress is a killer. Stress is not fun. Stress can make you heavy or thin. Okay, I think I got my point across. My readers may or may not realize that I am stressed out. I have valid reasons for being so. It is my last semester at SHU. So far, I am enrolled in two active courses. Not much of a vacation when you think about it. Anyways, the point of this entry is that I do not know where to go after this. Will I still be a poor college student upon graduation? Everyone has these grandeoise ideas that if you go to college, then you are guaranteed a job. I don't think so. With all my experience so far, I just had an interview with WDVE, the radio station in Pittsburgh. The interview went reall well, but I lost hope as they never called me back. Oh well, maybe next time slugger. Now I go back to the real world and focus on my studies so I can graduate. Just thought by writing this, it would serve as a grim reminder of how realistic the world really is, and the fears a future grad has.

EL 250 Student Presentations

My presentation takes a closer look at women and how they are viewed by society and the mass media market, especially video games.
I chose to do my presentation on women and video games, how culture reflects
upon them. I used James Brown’s song This is a Man’s World as a contradiction to my
presentation, and me being a man, well, I thought that the song just fit. I in no way am
trying to offend one gender or another. I just feel that society, because of our culture,
targets females more than males, especially the media. I thought of advertisements about weight loss. The ads show an actress that was once heavy. She comes out from behind the curtain and looks like she just had liposuction. I used a Window Movie Maker to edit and publish my movie. I filmed most of the scenes using a Sony Cybershot digital camera. I then uploaded the movie to Youtube. Throughout the movie, I ask the audience several questions that will engage them to think a little about the subject-are women really that different from men? And, why do video games make women either really tough or “whore” like? I used Youtube to find pertinent subject matter.

Work’s Cited:

Brown, James. “It’s a man’s world”. King. 1966.

Donkey Kong. Nintendo. 1981.

Happy Gamer: Pac-Man Fever. YouTube. 10 September 2007.

Video Games and the Female Audience. YouTube. 28 June 2009.

Miscellaneous pictures used in presentation. Compliments of the web and Sony Cyber


I tested out my coursemate’s presentation. I particularly liked Susan Carmichael’s. Susan focused on the game Resident Evil 4. I have never played that game, yet, but I like that a female chose, not being sexist here, a game where violence and infected, zombie-like creatures are incorporated into it. She also inspected every aspect of the game. It was as if I were reading the booklet that accompanies such games. I really enjoyed it.

On the other hand, something a little more formal was Elizabeth Swartzwelder's presentation. It looked more at the educational value that war type games serve. I thought that this was important matter because war games; although fun and entertaining, can also be history lessons for all generations.

January 20, 2010

EL 250 Motion Capturing

I like the idea of motion capturing. It is a new technology that is state of the art. You see a lot of it in movies. The graphics are so life-like. I think that it is with these new types of CGs that draws so many people to movies and games or any medium that utilizes this. People want reality while demanding fantasy. With the combination of the two, the public is assured to be entertained. The fact that I can be manipulated into something else using this technique is really upscale in design techniques.
"When animation is too real for our brain to process it as a cartoon, but not real enough for us to accept it on a deep, instinctive level; something seems wrong." I will contrast this. I think the opposite. I think people go into a movie or game wanting something different. When they receive this, they get what they paid for. How much reality is required for consumers to accept its existence? I for one think that the technology looks real enough. Separating reality from fantasy is something our brains need to train us on before endulging into a 3-D effect.

January 19, 2010

EL 250 Wilson with (Cody)

I have in fact played an indie game before for the Xbox 360. It was a rip-off of Tony Hawk called Skate. The premise was the same, but there was more detail and variations to Tony Hawk. I began to like Skate better than Tony Hawk because it offered better music and the controls were completely different. I was looking for an alternative skateboard game.
I made an IF game in a Jerz course before. We didn't focus on games the entire semester, but learned the basics of how to code the game. I don't like IF, but I like the technique of creation. I was able to design my own text based game using any scenario I wanted. Being ablt to use my creative expression was a positive thing in the course.
By answering the last question, I am going to stay in the middle by saying both. I do like the fact that the technology to create cutting edge experiences are not available to just anyone because that narrows the game filed down to just a few, the elite. That way, only good games are made other than so-so games. Also by narrowing the field, there is more quality put into games. Okay, now I will play devil's advocate. I reallly don't find it fair that the technology is not available to everyone. This hinders them from the opportunities to make games, decent or not. By monopolizing, that prevents anyone except widely known game designers to put out work.

EL 250 Eladhari with (Keith)

The last game I played mulltiplayer was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I played the "Kill em' all mode" which is a free for all. The last person standing wins. Not really wins but, gains a higher status and more online points. I used instinct. I figured what would I do in this situation? I would duck behind a wall and wait for a sitting duck, and you know what? I did and gained a higher rank. By jumping the gun and running into a place where you know there is trouble, you eventually end up getting killed. It helps with a map. I also used experience when there was a lot of warfare going on in front of me. I relied on better artillary and again waited for someone to come along. I feel that the game would serve as an online manual for anyone entereing the service. It is good to see war and conflict electrically before entering it in real life situations.

I would have to pick a player who plays themselves. I never get caught up in the video game world. I like it a lot, but understand that I have other obligations in life besides games. I am not a role player. Never was, never will. By playing myself, I get a sense of who I am. That betters me as a person. I also get to use my brain as opposed to a computer's brain to think for me. I like to be self-taught in situations. I also ge a better sense of my qualities. When I am playing against someone else, I see how I would react in real life situations.

EL 250 Grimes with (Susan)

1. I have a huge problem with not paying attention to contracts. This in turn gets me into trouble. When you do not read the terms of service, you are adhering to all the terms without notice. Therefore, a contract may hinder you from understanding what the regulations are in adult games. I breached a contract once. It was not necessarily my fault. I ended up going to court over it and loosing. It was my fault for not reading the full terms of the contract. I had to face severity which were the consequences. I now read everyting I receive. No matter what the quantity of pages are.

2. Now, how in ghe hell is a child supposed to read all that technical jargon. An adult should step in and assist. If a conract is aimed at a child, then there is a point where the parent should step up to the plate and say "I'll go over this first". That's a parent's job. They should be there for their child. It may also depend on ghe child's intelligence. Not solely rely on it, but sort of read it with an adult.

3. Of course I'm going to say that it should remain with you because I'm not about "Big Brother" stepping in and taking out of our pockets. Afterall it's only virtuaL porperty. It really only exists on screen. Not like its a physical entity where someone can step in and take it. My view stays the same with children. They are more valurnable than adults so a child in essence is really the victim here.

4. I'm not trying to be contadictory here, but yes, any contract that is signes should be legal. That in terms should hold up in court. If you sign something, then you are binded to it. Let the buyer beware.

5. I feel that marketers know what they are doing when a project is aimed at children. That sort of is immoral to do that to a child, but I do not think a child should be making adult decisions without a parent's consent first. It becomes a question of morals and ethics.

January 17, 2010

EL 250 Scratch

I think that a design program like Scratch is great. It gives children and adults the chance to express themselves creatively while becoming informed on design. Scratch is also great because it is more than just playing a game, it's laboring as well.One has to design a game of preference before playing it, and it seems to have a large data base for design, not only a few default graphics and controls. I would really like to use Scratch at some point. As for education purposes, Scratch offers the chance of creation which for a child gives them the necessary building blocks for adulthood. What I mean by that is, it takes college level coiurses to teach some software like Dreamweaver and Moveable Type. With that knowledge, a college student is able, with the expericence, to go out into the "adult" and get a job. Teaching a child to use a design program is really futuristic. I also feel that Scratch is fun, it looks as though, as well as educational.

January 16, 2010

EL 250 Questions

A few questions I came up with about blogging.

A fairly new concept, what are your expectations for blogging? What was your first exposure to blogging? How different is blogging in college from high school, if mandatory?

What ae your fears about getting comments left on your blogs? Have you ever been accomodated in a blog? What were some of your negative experiences with blogging?

EL 250 Jessie and Matt

Matt- The platform that I choose to be my favorite is the Xbox 360. There is a reason behind this. I was a Playstation gamer for years. Nobody could get me away from it. I was then exposed to the Xbox by a roommate. At first, it was annoying, the controls were difficult, and it was not much better than the Playstation 2. The more my roommate played a multiplayer version of DOOM; although I hate the game, the more I became interested in the Microsoft game console. The controls became a lot more easir the more I played. By the time the Xbox 360 came around, I waas really comfortable with the controls. I especially like the RT/LTlet and right trigger controls.

Jessie-I think it is because academics see more of a community when involved with multiplaying and online gaming. Single playing is like playing solatire. It's what you do when you are bored, but when there is interaction, the game brings on a whole new context.
I think a game's content is everything. It is either hated or liked. Either way, it is still judged. Some content is not put on the computer because it will not call for a huge gathering of people.

January 14, 2010

Portfolio 2: Middle of the road for games in society

EL 250 has gotten off to a good start. The commenting on the readings has kept up, and participation is high. This portfolio 2 contains the second week of the course. So far, this week we have studied the remainder of Koster, Keller in Williams and Smith, Montfort "Continous Paper", "Somewhere Nearby is a Colossal Cave", Pac-Man Dossier, Rodriguez on Lara Croft, Laurel, a case study, classic choice, Darfur is Dying, the inappropriate game Columbine Massacre RPG, Fatworld review, more Laurel, Delwiche in Williams and Smith, IF games, Mortensen with Jeremy and Beth Anne, an open choice category, education in games, Squire and Jenkins, and James Gee. Whew! That was all within the second week of the course. If I haven't told anyone, this is an online,fast-track course at Seton Hill University.


Mortensen- Fantasy Online:Playing with People, I was one of the leaders as I blogged on my
personal expreiences with blogs.

I really went off in this blog on Super Columbine Massacre RPG.

From Williams and Smith, the Delwiche article really hits home as I told a personal story of a family member involved with a game.

The James Gee youtube video really made me think of how children are being treated in our educational programs these days.


Shelly Polly's blog on "Learn the way you want to learn, play video games!"

Keith Campbell on Williams and Smith.

Susan Carmichael on IF gaming.

Keith Campbell on the Columbine Massacre RPG.

Jessie Krehlik on Koster.





Classic Choice-Donkey Kong.


Super Columbine Massacre RPG

James Gee.


Fatworld Review.


Susan Carmichael on the finish of Koster.

Jessie Krehlik on the finish of Koster.

Susan Carmichael on Somewhere Nearby is a Colossal Cave.

Elizabeth Swartzwelder on Pac-Man Dossier.

My pick of the week representing my best blog is: Super Columbine Massacre RPG


For this, I want to discuss the existence of the legendary Greengate Mall. It was a mid-size mall located in Greensburg, P.A. The mall was torn down years ago to make way for a super center that of course involved a WalMart. I was sad to see Greengate go. I spent a portion of my youth there, especially in the arcades. Yes, in its heyday there were three arcades, maybe four. Not all at the same time. The first one was called The Boardwalk. How fitting. Not really, seeing that boardwalks are located at the beaches. But it was fun. I remember playing "classic" arcade games like Frogger, Donkey Kong Jr., Baby Pac-Man, and Mappy, a cat and mouse game.
Greengate was almost like a boardwalk. It had all the elements of one, arcades, a food court, and speciality shops. You would walk in that mall and hear the bells ansd buzzers of the video games. I don't know why they tore it down. Well, I do kow. It was a lack of money. But of all places, a WalMart went into that space. There will never be another mall like Greengate. I do not visit malls anymore since they went hi-tech. I leave that to the teenagers.

EL 250 James Gee

Implementing learning into children seems that there is a scientific approach to it. A competitive means to a simple idea. But my thought after reading and listening to the assigned readings and videos, are children the guinea pigs for the next big thing to come in the educational system? What about girls? Guys? Drop-outs? Overachievers? How do these people fare with being tested daily? I personally think that there should be a control group of select individuals. It seems to me like it is more of an IQ test. Eventually these children will be placed in an academic heirarchy-slow, normal, and advanced.

EL 250 Squire and Jenkins

"Card’s school is a constructivist utopia in
that nobody teaches kids what to do in these games; they are left on their own to
experiment and solve compelling problems, and as they do so, they master strategies and
tactics they will eventually apply to the world beyond the games."---Squire and Jenkins

Teaching skills that go beyond a game are essential survival skills for reality. I can buy that. I wish that there was a school like that when I was growing up, but times were a lot different then. Games were more of a preoccupation than a learning tool. They now serve the purpose of educating. Being left to figure out on your own what to do in a game is important because if someone lingered around you constantly telling you what to do and how to do it, you would never learn anything. With the economy the way it is, most famalies work more than one job. Children who learn skills through video games may learn to do the simplest of duties like how to make a sandwich or waht to do in case of a fire. These are basics for survival in our world. If a game can teach that, then society is doing something right with its youth.

EL 250 Education and Games

"And of course, perhaps the biggest reason why games are getting serious
is that the “Super Mario Generation” is coming of age. Gaming is as
familiar a medium to them as television, film, or books, so it’s only
natural that they look to include it in their adult lives, says
Jenkins. “People who grew up with games are now entering positions of
power, and they’re saying, why shouldn’t we embrace games?”"---Ewalt

In the late 80s and the coming of video game age, the 90s. Super Mario appeared on the circuit. I really didn't realize that I was oone of that generation. I am now on my way to graduating from college. Wow! Tiem has really gone by. Super Mario has even kept his social status in the gaming world. He is still a huge part of it. Mario has kept the Nintendo generation a popular entity for years. It's just strange how fast time goes by. Currently video games, even though Mario is still a huge icon, have advanced from Mario. Making the gaming world a bit more competitive.

As for the 50 free educational games. I think that's wonderful. They are even put into categories. Anything educational obviously teches while informing. I think that many shools should tech by the ways of video games. It is less expevsive than books, and I think more children would show interest.

January 13, 2010

EL 250 Torill Mortensen

I would of loved to see the faces of students when she walked through the door after sending her nasty comments in email(s). After reading the blog, I'd say that I havwe to agree with Mortensen. I feel that a blog, at times, should be a quiet little haven where you can jot down whatever you want. I have a private blog. No one knows about it, well I'm sure some people do, but the general public has no clue or just doesn't care. It serves as an online diary for me. I used to blog almost every day of the week. As time went on, it got less due to school and other committments. But I really don't want comments. Not being a stick in the mud. My blogs are my thoughts. They belong to me. Why would I want someone else commenting on my thought? Unless it's for a course of course.
Mutual Fantasy Online: Mortensen. I found the passage, "From series such as Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels, movies such as Star Wars and television series such as Star Trek, fan culture participants have facilitated the development of a fluency in using language, telling stories, and enacting them through directing these stories at each other, " to be ineresting. When I first read this, I thought she was talking about me. My best friend and I have a select data base of movies in which we recite them to each other all the time, especially when we are out. After a while, that obscurity becomes frustrating to others. The inside joke nobody gets unless they are into the same films. That is not usually the case though. I have a huge "geek" side to me. I chat about video games and Star Wars constantly. I'm a fan. Anyways, when someone knows more than me in a group, I fell pinned up against a wall. I then flee and watch the movie or play the game over again. That's a bit neurotic. I think. Elitists we are not. Annoying we are. Nonetheless, our little secular group is a community that was formed from sharing the same interests. By closing out others in society, we have built our own group.

EL 250 Open Choice

I want to show that the "classic" game of Pac-Man helps improve motorskils and memorizartion of patterns. Pac-Man may be contrued by some of being a "simple game", but when looked at closely, it carries a lot more weight than just gobbling dots and being chased by ghosts. It can also serve as paart of a rehabilitative skill. After a patient has been in an accident or suffered paralyisis from a stroke, Pac-Man can help. Each level is basically the same, but as the games progresses, it gets faster and to the point of impossible. It takes a skillful hand to allude the ghosts. That's why I feel the game can improve motorskills. And, I have seen how they rehabilitate people. They give them blocks or a puzzle. What is better? Video game stimulation or a puzzle on cardboard? I would choose the video game. Although a case study like mine may have been done in a secret lab before, I looked on the web for any such thing and found an interesting case study. It involved using a Pac-Man game to study fear. You can use almost any video game to rehabilitate a person. I chose Pac-Man for its simplicity and levels of speed. I would ask my pateints what type of accident they suffered. What age? Have they played Pac-Man before. How did they do before the accident. Male or female? I would give my patients a maze on paper first to see how they handle that from a video game. As for ther medium. I would use the "classic" version of Pac-Man. And it would be in one of the stand-up arcade sizes.

EL 250 Laurel 59-108

"For young people today, the desire to take action is much more likely to eventuate in a purchase than a vote."

Yes, that quote is true, young people have the tendency to make spontaneous purchases of a hot, new, popular game rather than focus on their rights as citizens. I do not think the younger generation are informed enough to make decisions like who should run our country. A few years ago, MTV had was propagating young people to vote with "Rock the Vote!" that got a small percentage to the pools, but not enough. I think that it's silly that young people find enough time to play video game, but not enough to keep up on current global situations. Maybe game designers should set their focus on making a game that teaches teen on how to vote and what exactly the president does.

"We construct ourselves out of two deeply intermingled kinds of material: our life experiences, and our cultural context...Stories are content storytelling is relationship."

Stories are gathered tales told in a certain perspective. They are trickled down from one generationn to the next, all the while being told to another generation to eventually be told again. The cycle is repititive. The end result is a relationship. Take video games fro example. The beginning of some of our video generation started with PacMan. A simple game of being chased while powering up to be the chaser. Then came Donkey Kong. A game of skillful climbing in order to reach Mario's love, Pauline. Mind you, these games are all based on stories. When we play the games, we develop a relationship with the story. In soome way, the content is related to our lives. Mario goes on to have his own success in a plethora of games. I thought that this analogy would help. It makes sense to me.

"The dot-com story was: get there first, build it fast, cash out."

Wish I would have been one of the frontiers. They made their money, and now, they probably laugh at how overfilled the web is anymore. I began going on the web in the mid-nineties. It was not as fast and successful as it is today, but being on the cutting room floor, definetly gets your foot in the door. These people are successful. I know, it's not all about success. It's more on the lines of innovation. Today, there are billions of people who own dot coms. With the population rising, profit goes dwon. Simple math.

January 12, 2010

EL 250 IF Part 1

Lost Pig I liked the language in it "that what forest means". Simple farm talk. This game was less easy because I kept getting stuck in the forest looking for that pig. Every command I put in didn't get me anywhere except stuck. It intrigues me to play this game further in order to save the pig from being lost.

Zork. How do you climb down the canyon? This IF did not give me any hints. I was stuck for ten minutes. Ugh! I am frustrated with this one. Everytime I tried to "climb", it said "climb up/down what?". I typed "canyon". It did not recognize that.

ELIZA . The last game in the group. I really liked this one. Think I will use it more often. I cannot believe that it understands mostly everything I was typing. I gave a personal story of mine, and it was talking back to me in text of useful things. I actually apologized tio it after I had said something negative about her. Okay, the more I told my problems, the more it kept repeating the same things over and over again. That got on my nerves. I thought I was, at first, talking to a robotic therapist. Guess it was just the computer. It only has a selected text base so it will only understand certain words.

EL 250 IF Games

I played mostly all of the games, but the one I focused on more was The Dreamhold. I played it continously because I did fairly well at it. What I liked nost about this game that it had an option "help basics". That helped me get out of the tight corners of the game. Everything could be simplified to. For instance, all I needed to type in was n,e,s,w. Not north, east, south, and west. THrough the easy maneuvering, I was able to check out a plethora of rooms. So far, I got a 1 out of 7. This game basicall gave me the commands. That was a nice change going of pace. When I thought less in detail and more on the game, I had gotten further than I did in any other game. I think I will continue play even off the record; although my thoughts have been negative about IF. It wasn't all that bad after all.

EL 250 Delwiche (91-109)

I was really glad that someone wrote on America's Army. I had no clue how big it was until my brother started playing it, religiously, a few years ago. He is so addicted to the game, that he doesn't go one night without playing it. He has AA dogtags designed for him and his platoon. He has even gone as far as letting his son play into it. But,the worst of addictions, he has met so many online friends that he has gone out of the state and visited them. They have renunions every so often. He has tried to convert me to AA, but I see the game as propaganda. It is a way of brainwashing. I'll stick to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It's a much safer bet, and I recognize it as a hobby, not a lifestyle.
I thought an important question was raised on page 94, "Are games such as Special Force and America's Army educational or propagandistic?" After I saw my brother fall into the game, I saw just how far his patriotism was. It was almost as if he was a nationalist. I mean, he would tell me stories about his online excursions. They were violent like and were made up of a team of elitists. That's outrageous. It's only a game. My point of this blog was that after reading the article, I recognized to what extent some groups go by playing these video games.

EL 250 Fatworld Review

Any game that attacks child obesity is an attack on society. What does this say when we resort to designing video games that target overweight children? Let alone play them. I think it's as sick as the Columbine RPG. Two issues that have gotten out of control in the 21st century. I would have to wonder what people in other countries think of this. There are so many open-ended subjects that can be made into video games. Why obsesity? Will this game control the problem? It seems like The Sims have paved the way for a faux society to exist on screen. The Sims challenges the same content-relationships, family, employment, and other societal needs.

EL 250 Research Bibliography

1. The first article on gender in video games---Mastering the game: gender and the entelechial motivational system of video games by Charles Soukup. The article takes a look at the logic of perfection in the vocabularies and discourses of video gaming. Gender identification is dicussed from a feminists point of view. I want to take a look at how video games identfy with genders and how they portray them.

Related work: I can reference Mia Consalvo's article From Dollhouse to Metaverse: What Happened When The Sims Went Online? This is from a good female perspective about gender gaming.
I can also use Rodriguez' work on How far is too far Ms. Croft? In her blog, she creates the illusion between a sexy Lara Croft and a strong Croft.

2. An Examination of Violence and Gender Role Portrayals in Video Games: Implications for Gender Socialization and Aggressive Behavior. Source: Women and Language published in the fall of 2000. The article looks at violence and the roles of genders in video games. The article samples 33 popular Nintendo and Sega Genesis video games.

Related work: I can use "Classic Choice" . The concept of this assignment was to find a game and find a debatable game about gender.

3. From Princess Peach to Lara Croft: Gender Representation in Video Games by Kelly Phillips. Phillips' artcle examines male superiority in mediums. This is an interesting article coming from a woman's pooint of view.

Related work: I can cite sources from Laurel's book Utopian Entrepreneur . I tie the article and book together because both are coming from a feminist's point of view.

EL 250 Project Proposal

I want to explore classic games. Particularly 1980s arcades. What the appeal of them was and why most of the games basically worked on the same premise. I remember growing up as I was always in an arcade in one of the malls in the area. Why did their existence die out? Was it because of the economy? The rising popularity of game consoles? I have found http://www.videogamey.com/v/video-arcades-worst-knockoff/, http://spyhunter007.com/the_disappearing_video_game_operator.htm, http://kotaku.com/5037387/, http://suicidegirls.com/news/geek/20220/.
As for an academic article, I found only one so far A socio-cognitive model of video game usage by Robert LaRose and Doohwang Lee. It is a theoretical model of video game consumption. Another good source I found was Interview: Dan Morris discusses the demise of Atari by Weekend All Things Considered. I do not feel that there is to much written on the decay of video arcades. It is a subject that regresses me to my childhood. I really miss arcades.

EL 250 Laurel

"The answer for our kids and our culture is not "no" as a default response. Socially responsible people must take up the challenge of creating games and movies and stories that both engage and nurture young people." - Laurel

That's not as easy as it sounds, engaging and nurturing the younger generation. Children are impressionable. They act as they see. Making some type of medium that does this is challenging. I will take LEGOS for example. How do they comfort a child? Well, as a toy, they keep a child busy letting them create. As a video game, they occupy a child to advancing to another level while challenging their memory banks with the toys they know they have had so much fun with. And currently, there is LEGOLAND. An amusement park that caters to the toys. I can understand how marketing has to go through so much scientific research before implementing a medium for children. The question of "no" as a default, well that comes with the territory of being a child. Children are inquisitive. They are always asking for what is next to come, and a parents first instant thought is "no".

EL 250 Case Study September 12

As I played the game, which was good because there was no wins nor losses, I saw a pattern in what we are studying, roles in society. I felt as though I were the US Military bombing an Islamic city. Not fair to racially profile, but I think most people have that same thought. It is not a game of survival as the people in the game run the same pattern. They serve as sitting ducks for the missles to hit them. With the current situation in the Middle East, I felt like the game would build success on some levels; although it is a simple Flash game for the PC. As I have read about shooting games. There is a sense of self accompolishment in them. The more I killed, the more I played.

EL 250 Darfur is Dying

I remember playing this game in one of my earlier classes. I do not think this game is as exploitative as the Columbine. I say this due to demographics. We, western society, are not well educated on Darfur. Only by what we read and hear on the news. But a game like the Darfur RPG is more realisitc because we have been exposed to such incidents. Like last year, the young man from SHU who was shot by the police after a standoff with them. The Virginia Tech shootings,and also the man who went into a school in Lancaster, P.A. and shot himself and others. I would say that the m ore we are knowledged on a subject, the more we enter our own comfort zone. Darfur is Dying was all about escape. Escape from the evil militia.

EL 250 Donkey Kong

I chose the "classic" game Donkey Kong. Not because of its claim against gender, but due to the controls of it. Donkey Kong makes off with Mario's girlfriend Pauline, and carries her to the top of a construction site. Mario, as played by a player, job is to rescue Pauline from the ape while he throws barrels at you. This is an example of a claim against gender. A man kidnaps a woman and holds her captive. The job of the rescuer os to free her from the kidnapper. I can see this in several ways. One being that Pauline is a chils and Mario os her father. Another being the theme of love. Mario is attempting to rescue his love from the grasps of another man. Three, I can see this game as a spoof of the monster classic King Kong. A monster is terrorizing a city and holds a beautiful woman captive. All three scenarios seem to have the same values, but different themes.

EL 250 How far is too far Ms. Croft?

In one depiction we see Lara Croft as a sex object, in the other we see her as a strong female. The role of Lara Croft is characterized as a contrast. Being built as a strong woman may gain the female community while as a sex object gains a male perspective. Gender roles in video games are of designation. I can see what graphic designers go through in order to get an audience. I can remember playing the first Tomb Raider, the lead character, Lara Croft, was built and sexy as most of my friends saw her, but I saw her as a video game character. One that had the role of taking on certain adventures. I guess that's what they mean in the saying "sex sells". Ses sells video games as well as it does anything else.

January 11, 2010

EL 250 Columbine Massacre RPG

Okay, where is the line drawn? I know I blog about the Call of Duty games, and the reality within the games, but this is crazy. What about the victims? Is there any closure for them? When I googled "Columbine Massacre video game", the first thing that ame up was the RPG. That's sick knowing that when it is searched for, the first thing tha pops up is the game. I remember watching Bowling for Columbine by Michael Moore. It was the first time I was exposed to a shooting in reality. I mean I have seen them before in movies, but this was recorded live. It made me sick that Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris could do such a thing; although I validate why they did it. I watched the trailer over and over again just to make sure this was not some kind of spoof on the massacre. Where does this crap end? I am a very open minded person, but hey, the joke ends with this, at least the Call of Duty games are not based on one single situation. This was done, definently, for shock value. What other purpose does it serve? If I were Marilyn Manson, I would have my name and likenesses revoked from this game, bad publicity. A form of aartisitc expression, yes, but man, that's insane. At what friggen' cost? This really angers me. I have never heard of such a game. I would personally never play it. Under the A WORD TO THE WISE category, it states "Save your game whenever possible and explore! This game is intended to deepen the understanding of the shooting and its possible causes. What the player takes out of it is ultimately dependant upon what the player puts into it." Maybe making a little sense to me. I am blogging after I read every litle tidbit. I still do not understand. If this game is possible, then why don't designers create a 9/11 game. Make it so terrorists are overthrown during a plane hijack to destroy the State capital. Why? Because a game like so could probably never pass the standards to become a game. The content is way to much for society to handle. Much like the Columbine game. I read Violent Video Games can Increase Aggression by the American Psychological Association. The first paragraph states "Playing violent video games like Doom, Wolfenstein 3D or Mortal Kombat can increase a person's aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior both in laboratory settings and in actual life, according to two studies appearing in the April issue of the American Psychological Association's (APA) Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Furthermore, violent video games may be more harmful than violent television and movies because they are interactive, very engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor, say the researchers." I feel that given the ages, a gamer identifies with success. The success of being awarded something. When there is an ends to a means, then Ii feel tha a player is more prone to playing a game. The Wikipedia article sort of validates the game. It makes it feel okay due to Ledonne's own feelings of insecurity. I am left with the question of where does the reality stop? Games like Call of Duty and The Outfit are all about the depiction of war. That's fine, but it still pushes limits. There is always going to be an opposition to a risque game.

EL 250 Koster (160-223) There's more to the picture

"If we consider games to be solely the design of the formal abstract systems, then only the system designer is properly a game designer."---Koster p.164

Yes, if we only look at a game itself, then we are just fooling ourselves. There is much more to a game than just the interface. Space ships and a monkey throwing barrels at a man who is trying to save his love are "fun" graphics to watch, but what went into constructing that before it hit the arcades and cartridges? As Koster mentions, there are games designers, lead designers, creative directors, writers, level designers, world builders, and everything else in the case of large games. a prime example of this is seen in Pittman's article The Pac-Man Dossier . Before becoming Pac-Man, a team of many had to go through so many munipulations before becoming a success. Way overlooked in the videogame world and other mediums. Koster mentions films. When we go to the movies, we watch actors on a screen. We do sit in our seats wondering how they got a particular shot. That is what a cinematographer does. There is also the director, producer, editor, and others who are involved with a production. Koster made me think back to my initial definition of what "fun" is. I now have a new understanding of the word. From now on, when I play a game, I am going to look at all the people who are involved in the making of it, not just the aesthetic look of it.

EL 250 Willliams and Smith (276-297) in my opinion...

"In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Legend Entertainment and Magnetic Scrolls were two companies that released text-heavy games offering graphics as an option- players could turn off the graphics at any point and play solely through the text." p. 286 (Keller)

I still don't think I'm sold on the IF deal. But after reading What makes Interactive Fiction unique I started to see some form of light. As stated in the quote above, graphics were offered. Graphics produce a visual on the screen. I would much rather play a game with graphics included than play it with only text. That's what Chose Your Own Adventure books are for. I also thought of the two companies that produced these games. Were there only two back then? It doesn't seem that IF was lucrative then. Or were they? I am left with many unanswered question rergarding this genre of games. I don't mean to be so pessismistic about them, but I just don't know what else to say about something that I am not to crazy about.

EL 250 Somewhere Nearby Colossal Cave

Focusing on the actual cave is good in part to get the detail aspect of the game, but most importantly, I think that by playing the game gives good insight to what caves offer. If I were going caving, I would most likely play a game like so; although changes have been made in order for it to be a game. There would have to have some fictional element in it. What I didn't know was that text games representing environments were ever so popular during the 80s and 90s. I was always under the assumption that the 80s and 90s were more fantasy based. I would think that 21st century games would be more depicting of detailed environments. The difference between a real cave and one in a game is that a person(s) "are likely to get tired, get ticks, and get lost.", but in actuality, a person that goes cave exploring does not have those experiences due to guides and experience. I think that after reading the article, most people relate fantasy to reality. Yes, it is good to base a game after something concrete, but to relate it can be dangerous.

EL 250 Continous Paper

"Early interaction with computers happened largely on paper: on paper tape, on punchcards, and on print terminals and teletypewriters, with their scroll-like supplies of continuous paper for printing output and input both."---Montfort

That seems innovative, but primitive. If computers have been around for decades, then why has digital technology come so late in life? Programming was done on paper. That had to be difficult and involved mass amounts of pulp to write one game or program. It seems that the "screen" saved our lives. This falls back on to digital technology, as I mentioned before. Electronic writing saves so much time while enabling little effort. By electronic writing, we can see mistakes that are made before publishing. I think that this is one good aspect to digital technology. Another value to digital technology are the budgets. As mentioned in Montfort's article "These were important; they were also high-budget exceptions to the rule." Technology has made it possible for programs to be made very inexpensively. It seems that 30 years ago, they were high budgeted. While technology is convienent, it is important to read articles like Montforts. It gives me a better outlook on the way things used to be, and how cutting edge they were for their time, it also lets me see that these men and women put hard work into their effort. They made it possible for things to be so less complicated for modern society.

EL 250 Gameplay Video

It was suprising to see Peter wanting to play another one after some of the difficulties he experienced during the first round of play. Frustrations come naturally upon playing text based games. Simple commands never seem to work, and common sense never seems to prevail. Commands like "go south" or "look under bed" only work to an extent. I think that if IF games were more inclined to accept commands like "tell man to put body in trunk", and worked, I'd be more willing to sit down and spend countless hours on them. I get to frustrated. That's why I chose shoot em' up and games, there is always an end to them.

January 10, 2010

EL 250 Adventure Gameplay Video

I wanted to comment on the perspective of Peter during gameplay. It was refreshing to see another perspective, young, playing an IF game. It seems that Peter, while reading the text, looked at it through a young person's mind, a rookie, as opposed to Dr. Jerz, who is an avid IF gamer, a veteran. I liked the contrast.

EL 250 Pac Man Dossier

First off, I want to mention that they mention Galaxian in the article. That was one of my favorite games, but as mentioned, it got its but kicked, enjoying mild success, when Space Invaders entered the scene. Puc Man made me giggle when I read this because it appeared as a spoof. But before becoming the "real" PacMan, the game had to suffer a lot of moderations. I was glad to read on that the game was a huge success. Selling over 100,000 machines the first year. That's amazing considering that game consoles were so scarce then. It's not like the market was open with the exceptions of arcades. In order to make a game back then, it seemed like it was more work than anything else. In the article it mentions that "In addition to a programmer, Iwatani's team would usually include a hardware engineer to develop the various devices and components, a graphic artist to realize his visual ideas, and a music composer for any music and sound effects needed in the game." all those people to make one simple game. I wonder if they knew that they were on the verge of creating one of the most decadent games ever? I also liked in the article that Iwatani wanted to create a game that did not focus on violence, but some may construe PacMan as mildly violent due to the moonsters chasing and trying to eat him. I reallly don't know how the rating board would see that for the time. So PacMan is based off of a fairy tale? That's really interesting. I had always thought that the game was off of somebody's head, but I am recognozing a pattern here. Remember reading the article Somewhere Nearby is a Colossal Cave?

January 8, 2010

EL 250 Koster 110-139

"The real problem with people is that even though our brains feed us drugs to keep us learning, even though from earliest childhood we are trained to learn through play, even though our brains send incredibly clear feedback that we should learn throughout our lives, PEOPLE ARE LAZY." -Chapter 8, A Theory of Fun

I like that quote alot because I completely agree with it. Some people, most of the ones I know, with a few exceptions, do not use their brain even though we are rewarded daily with information. Our brains are like computers. They process data and other information then send it throughout our bodies. That's amazing yet some people do not use it to their advantage. They, instead, take it for granted. There is where the laziness comes in. I do not think that Koster is blaming one particular aspect of soceity, but overall as a whole. Games are the best evidence of this quote. When we get bored with something, we move on to the next big thing. I am totally guilty of this at time, but I do not consider myself to be lazy. I stick with a game until the end, whether I defeat it or it defeats me. I know gamers who stick to one game before going on and trying out another. I have been this way lately. During break, I got into my games and cleaned house. I got rid of the ones I didn't play that often to make room for new ones. We get lazy with trying to figure something out. That's why I give IF gamers credit. When they get stuck, they pull out their ten page map. They are dedicated to the art. I blame game designers. This is a flaw that they overlooked. The more games they make, the more lazy Americans become. I have read on childhood obesity due to video games also. Game companies definetly have a monkey on their backs.

EL 250 Portfolio one---Unleash the game master

EL 250 Video Game Culture and Theory is a fast paced online course designed to educate the theories and culture of a re-formed bygone era. Vidoe game, once nearly extinct have undergone a renaisssance in the form of updated graphics, modern dialogue (something that does not sound so robotic), and strong story lines. Not like there weren't before, it's just that games neeed a facelift. They needed to get into the 21st Century and out of the cave.
Our first discussion topic was "fun" and what it means to each of us. Of course everybody hada different opinion of what the word meant to them. Next we explored Johnson, his book Everything Bad is Good for You argues that technological mediums like video games are detrimental to societal growth. The class then explored a few games Civilization 3 and TImezAttack. Afterwords, we watched a video and then played spoofs of nostalgic games. Before the end of the first day, we had to create or link some form of media that related to ourselves. I chose to construct the progression of arcade games through the decades. The evening then ended with a lecture. The best thing about it was that PacMan was used as an example of theory and culture.
My first introduction to games came at a young age when arcades ruled the land. LEGO toys where a huge success in the 80s eventually growing into something larger as in the case of vidoeo games. Game reviews are used as consumer guides for educating the public on a particular games. One of the first popular first- person shooter games, DOOM, appeared on the market, took many players from jumping on mushrooms into a virtual gameplay. Pac Man resurfaced again in a lecture on looking at games through lenses and mirrors.
A new concept to me, video game journalism, was a gonzo style approach to reporting on games. As I have been playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 lately, I chose to pick this game and write a review on it. Finally into well known territory, EL 250 went into a discussion about Atari's Adventure. Mystery House, another game we studied, was text based. Although I am not a fan of these types of games, I still give them credit. I regressed back to my childhood, lamenting about arcade games and Atari, focusing on Adventure, again. I have always been more a console person (i.e, Atari, Xbox, and Playstation) rather than a PC person. Williams and Smith wrote the Players' Realm. Citing communities as having value in the gaming world.
Theory is not something any of us think about when going out to purchase the latest in-style game, but an important concept. Theory provides how and why something exists. An attempt at a game proposal proved rewarding to me. I am going to write about the COD saga and how realistic they appear to be. Wright and Koster stated that a game on the surface looks "fun", but there is a science to this "fun" aspect. Koster, in his text, coorelated fun with work. Never thought of fun being associated with work.
Text based game, Zork, was one game that was a success. It was made in a short amount of time and made a lot of money. Lamp, a documentary on text games, will showcase in March 2010. Looks interesting. Going back to a time when text based games were king and were played on oversized computers, Adams was one of the first designers able to make a living off of them.
A short re-cap of the first week of EL 250 will prove to an unassuming public that game culture has really re-developed itself. Society has been taken from a stone age persona into a realistic approach to the 21st Century.

Comments left on blogs:

Susan Carmichael

Matt Takacs

Susan Carmichael

Elizabeth Swartzwelder

Keith Campbell

Susan Carmichael

Elizabeth Swartzwelder

Jessica Krehlik

Keith Campbell

Cody Naylor

Keith Campbell

Jessica Krehlik

Jessica Krehlik



Lecture Part 3

Williams and Smith

Jerz and Adams



Pac Man

Video game journalism


Jerz and Adams

Wright and Koster

Video game journalism


I was the first one to comment on Cody Naylor's blog Looking Through the Window at a Mirror whilst wearing Lenses. Although I had basically agreed with him, I think this blog is important because it depicted our personalities.

Wright and Koster section sparked a good discussion between Jessie Krehlik and myself. I feel that it deserves recognition because we both talked about science being involved in games.

The blog, Zork fan, by Jessica Krehlik, was one I felt compelled to comment on first. It was about the short amount of time that the game was made in.


In the midst of a horrible Juanuary storm, I heard the UPS truck pull up to my house. I ran down the steps like a child on Christmas morning only to find that he left me a book that I do not need yet. Out of the three required texts, UPS delivers me the one I expected to receive last.Ugh!!! I may as well stick to the point of video games in this section. My favorite game of all time is Donkey Kong, the original. It's so retro. The look and feel to the game made it so compelling to me. Although they are hard to find, I have seen the stand-up machines in very remote areas of the U.S. I think I will, eventually, treat myself to a machine upon graduation, job pending. I remember going to my grandmas house when I was a child. No, this is not the story of Little Red Riding Hood. This really happened. My brother and I would walk down to the local convienent store, I think it was a Stop and Go. My grandma would always give us money to purchase candy. We would play games instead. Back in the day, many convienent stores had small arcades in them. This one did. It had a Donkey Kong machine. We spent the entire summer there one year. Many neighborhood kids spent most of their time there. We would have contests with a lot of them. For a quarter, if you were good enough, you could play the game for quite some time. That is one memory I will never forget about my youth.

EL 250 Nick Montfort

What is it about IF gaming that compells so many people to play it? I am not coming down on it, but just look at it as so primitive. It's just words on a screen. Not as if it visually stimulating. But I guess that it comes down to personal preference. Maybe IF serves the same anticipation as Atari did in the 70s. It served as entertainment and success. Would an example of a current IF game incorporate graphics and a strong storyline? The way Montfort talks, games like Zork do not exist anymore. I would think that if they were such a success then designers would feel compelled to make more. What are some examples of current IF games, ones that have been made within the last two years?

EL 250 Lamp

What an amazing concept for a documentary. I am a huge fan of docs. and have seen many of them, but Lamp seems like it will be way different from what I have see; although I just saw Zoo, a documentary on beastiality. One quote I particularly liked in the trailer was, "you get to go inside the minds of other people" How strange has society become when all of a sudden we want to do this. But I feel that getting into someone elses mind is what creates things like IF games. Really would like to see Lamp when it comes out.

EL 250 Zork

It's hard to imagine that a text based adventure game that was never meant to be finished made that much mmoney in the 80s. That leads to to wonder what current games are making. Zork, as mentioned in the video was the grass roots for many more of its kind. I never thought of text based advenbture games that way. I had alsways thought they were for an elitist crowd, ones that restrict themselves from playing other game genres. Text based games as the obvious have n o graphics and the wrod commands need to be precise. That's not what I look for in a video game. I am more a visual person.

EL 250 Jerz and Adams Primitive Technology

I am familiar with the Adams clip, think I heard it in a Media Lab course before. I wanted to touch on Adam and the beginnings of computer games. In the lecture, Dr. Jerz introduced Scott Adams as having constructed the first computer game which he made a living from. It seems like ages ago that games were inriduced, but it was only during the twentieth century. And they had to be played from a cassette tape, now that seems like ages ago. Do they even still exist? When a game's characteristics consist of a small memory, textual based, bad graphics, and had to be played on a refridgerator sized machine (computer) that makes it sound like the stone age. Society has progressed so far in the means of game design.When hearing of such innovations, it seems more like a history lesson. I am not getting down on text based games, but they seem more work than pleasure.
When Adams played his game with the audience it probably was much easier than playing alone. Shouting commands like "go south", "pick up axe", you can't go wrong, but what happens when a simple command is no longer required? It becomes much more complicated. When a player gets stuck, they are really stuck, like a car in mud.

January 7, 2010

EL 250 Koster Chapters 4-6

"Games in general tend to be like word problems. You won’t find many games that are pure unclothed abstractions. Most games have more in common with chess or checkers - they provide some level of misdirection. Usually there are metaphors for what is going on in the game."---Koster

I liked this quote because of how true it is. Games are more complicated than they appear to be on the surface. Chess and checkers take strategy and skill as do games. Games offer the option of taking us into a fantasy world for a brief moment, chess and checkers are a hard physical reality. You are not taken into any strange worlds. It is usually a game best played one-on-one. But video games are more of a co-operation. Behind the "mushroom" worlds and fantasy forests lie the machinery. The skill and strategem that games require from the physical world.

EL 250 Koster Chapters 1-3

"I also find it curious that as parents, we'll insist that kids be given the time to play because it's important to childhood, but that work is deemed far more important later in life. I think work and play aren't all that different, to be honest. And what follows is why I came to that conclusion." ---Koster

Never thought of it that way. Good insight by Koster. If you love your job then it is like play. Work is defined as exertion or effort in order to produce. Play is exertion and effort in a means of production. So given a general term of the two, they sort of are the same. I have never had a job though that I could have said it was like play.

EL 250 Wright and Koster

"The design and production of games involves aspects of cognitive psychology, computer science, environmental design, and storytelling just to name a few. To really understand what games are, you need to see them from all these points of view."
(Will Wright)

This resorts back to theory. Theory is the construct of something. Most people take video games for granted. They look at the package and if it looks good, they buy it, but there is so much more to it. Video games have become an exact science. As Wright mentions, there is the critical thinking aspect of a game and its demographics. I feel that this is ov erlooked in the world of video games.

EL 250 Proposal Call of Duty: Minor access into restricted territory

Call of Duty: minor access into restricted territory

I want to discuss the Call of Duty games and its content. Does it serve as a training

manual for soldiers? I’ve heard that soldiers are encouraged to play the game to learn

how to read maps and gain knowledge of certain weaponry. I will get into why gamers

enjoy it and how gamers differ from military personal gamers. How far does the game

permit us to go before the content is to much? When we, civilians, think of war the first

thing that comes to mind is violence and gore. What I want to uncover is, how realistic is

Call of Duty? Are gamers restricted from too much or are we exposed to the same things,

simulated, as soldiers are? I feel that this will be groundbreaking content because I am

relating a fantasy-like world to hardcore war. As for someone who has never played the

game, the article will be of interest to them because it is not only going to cover the

game, but the content and why people are so attracted to the Call of Duty series. What is

the appeal? How does it differ from other war-like games? Is its popularity on the rise

because of the current war going on? These and many other questions will be unwrapped

in my upcoming article.

EL 250 Theories pt. 2 Theories are lenses

There is so much more to theory than a basic understanding, it becomes more involved when we look at someting in detail. Theory is a bit complicated, but look at it in simpler terms. Theory, as I mentioned before, is why and how something is to be. Okay, still a bit vague so let's take a look at something and analzye it. As mentioned in the lecture, theory involves research. So let's design one particular aspect of a video game on trees. What do we know about trees, leaving our opinions out of it. How do trees survive? What is the lifespan of a tree? How do trees eat and drink? The theory aspect of this is not the question, but within the question. There are concrete answers, scientifically proven, about trees. What the designers do before a game is out on the market is research first. But we must know about the subject before getting to involved. If you think theory is complicated, the best advice I have is to think outside the box. Come up with your own questions and find the answers.

EL 250 Game and Theory intro...Mirror, mirror, on the screen

Theory is the guts of a subject. The insides of why and how. I think that generally consumers do not tend to think theory before purchasing a video game, but theory is vital to anythings existense. Sometimes it is important to understand why, as mentioned in the lecture, game designers used a particular character and how they portrayed them. If I were making a game about war, I would portray the president character as a strong, domineering peson. But if I were to make a SuperMario like game where a player is engrossed in fantasy, animated type worlds, I would make the president character "fluffy". Animate him while distorting certain features of his. There are reasons why developers create the way they do, it's based on theory. As mentioned in ElizabethSwartzwelder's blog, theory is basically knowledge. It is factual information that strains out the opinions.

January 6, 2010

EL 250 Williams and Smith

Due to the fact that I am a poor college student at the moment, I just ordered the texts, with express shipping, a day ago so to compare Koster to WWilliams and Smith, I'd have to be a mind reader. But to compare the "fun" in gaming as opposed to the external craft of games and its culture, I'd have to say that I like the guts of a game moreso than the fun aspect. I will have to read more on Koster when my book arrives in a few days.

EL 250 Williams and Smith

"Increasingly, new communication technologies allow communities to form among players as we or they share in the gaming experience."--Williams and Smith

Modern games help the lonely find the loner. Much like myspace or facebook, any type of medium that enables communication is bound to form a community of sorts. And I think that everyone is guilty of flowing into some click. For example, Joe (spitwad 38) gets on his Xbox everyday at 2 p.m., Kenny (meatball007) gets on his at 2 everyday. Together a small community grows. I think that important not to isolate society. By having communicapable devices, aliviates lonliness. Communities are also formed by word of mouth. I know I constantly talk about it, but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is a very popular game at the moment. I know how many people I've talked to about the game, and how many people they've talked to. That builds a network of people interested in the same game. It continues to grow from there. The growth never ends. I would like to discuss more about communities built by games in the future.

EL 250 Rogue yourself away

The youtube video kept stopping on me so what the man was saying was difficult to understand. Was that the game Rogue? It seems that Rogue was an origin for other fantasy like games to come along. Maybe it's the title that makes it difficult to find a lot of information on the game. The articles proved for some success. I do not know. Maybe it's PC gaming. I have always been a console person. My interests in PC games are very little. Perhaps I have to stop being so narrow minded.

EL 250 The Adventure of a lifetime

Classic games hold a very special place in my heart. Let me breakdown for a second. Whenever I find an old stand-up arcade machine like Donkey Kong, my body goes into shock. I get the same way with Atari games. I just love nostalgia. The retro fashion that coined a decade still is very strong in my heart. Atari Adventure was and still is legendary. The game was really easy and the music was screechingly overbearing. Things I love, not hate about the game(s). I remember playing most Atari games with the sound turned off. But there is something very distinctive about Atari music. Take a look back twenty to thirt years ago. Games have undergone plastic surgery. They used to consist of dots and squares, now they are so likelike that it is hard to tell if they are based off of a real human.

EL 250 Mystery House still a mystery

Ahh! Now on to my favorite subject, interactive fiction. Not that I'm against it, but I really am not for text based games. No offence Dr. Jerz. I do like the 3-D vector like quality of the game, for I am a more visual, graphic person. Text in a game, in my opinion, is really not necessary. I'm not putting down text based games. I may like them if I'd play them more. Text fills a game because the designers need a story to follow in order for it to make sense. Nearly every game has a story. Even Pac Man. I'm just not sure if Mystery House is what I'm looking for in a game, but I will give anything a chance once.

EL 250 Atari games still retro

Wow, Atari Adventure. That takes me back about...well I won't say, but Atari was some time ago. Who would ever think that mishapen characters of dots and squares would be the blueprint for better adventure games to appear? I do like the vector like quality of Mystery House; although I have never played the game. Rogue, after researching the game, for it's another one I haven't played. That because Rogue is for the PC. I really do not get into PC games. My brother is a huge PC gamer. All thre games are the blueprints for games like Zelda as Cody mentioned earlier.

EL 250 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Review

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

If action is what you are looking for then you’ve come to the right place. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has it all. The game is filled with adventure and excitement. Upon starting the game, you are a soldier coming up the ranks so there are a few small obstacles to conquer before going off to war. Don’t let this worry you. They make take a few tries to complete, but it gets you better acquainted with the game. Upon finishing, you get into the whole story line. Yes, the story is long and hard to follow, being that you just want to go out and kill things, but give the makers credit. They designed the game, the least you could do is follow the story. Once you get into the action, it is amazing. You are in a small city. Appears to be Middle Eastern. Bullets are spraying everywhere. Your job is to protect a layer of bridge. That scene does not last very long before you rise up the ranks and become something else in another land. I will give one part of the game away. You go undercover and hang out with a corrupt Russian ruler. You enter an airport with him and his goons and open fire on innocent victims. Yes, this seems sick, but if I said it once, I’ll say it again, “it’s just a game”, keep repeating this to yourself. It’s not real warfare. The controls are easy to figure out for the Xbox 360. I have yet to play it Live. My experiences with Live playing are that you have to know what you are doing before entering into a realm filled with others who do. I have been called numerous names, been dropped from certain games, and have been schooled by a young child on how to play a particular game. My man card has been taken away from me. I would give Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 a 10 out of 10. The graphics are crystal clear, the language intense, and the fighting realistic. Not to mention, when your player dies, blood splatter fills the screen. It looks realistic. There is also an option when you turn the game on for language controls. It states that there is intense and graphic language inside the game. You are able to turn it off if you cannot stand hearing the words: shit and damn. After playing many games like so, I have become de-virginized to bad language. In fact, there are talks about making a comic book based on the Call of Duty series. Overall, the game is excellent. A bit overpriced at $60, but if you can wait a year, it will go down in price. Besides it is much easier to wait until after the holiday rush to go and purchase the game because what do you think every boy and girl asked for this Christmas? Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

EL 250 Video Game Journalism

I feel that if one is writing a review for free on the Internet, they should write however they feel fit. Video game journalism is definitely an underground importance. I'm not saying that video games do not deserve recognition, but given the current economical situation, that's probably the last cabinet to get any financial aid. Really popular vidoe games do sell themselves based off of their predecessors. Take Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for instance. I haven't done the research, but it has to be the number one selling game right now. AAs Grand Theft Auto was a year ago.
Now I like the review Bow Nigger. I enjoyed reading it because of its formality. It was written very informal. The review was if you were sitting next to a friend and asked him about the Star Wars game. I was more comfortable with that as opposed to the stuffiness of Game Spot review of Jedi Outcast. Way to technoical for me, but I think this is a matter of splitting hairs. It's all on the player's preference. What they want to read.

January 5, 2010

EL 250 Living in a culture all our own

Genre in video games do divide specific parts of it up. There are so many types that it needs divisions. Digital culture has a way of placing itself into an individual's life. This can be in the form of a TV, PC, stero, or video game system. We put ourselves at the mercy of technology. It seems that we, society, cannot survive without it. And without it, we may not exist any longer. Does analog exist anymore? I think that went out with 8 tracks and vinyl records. That seems like the Stone Age. Digital culture exists to make our lives easier. Society no longer has to wait. It is served at our convienence. I wonder if digital culture one day blew up if we could survive as humans. To me, it seems that life went from simple to complicated. Look at the decade of the 1950s. Everything appeared to be simple: music, employment,and living. Their culture did not require a digital technology. They existed within themselves. You can look at any culture for that matter and contrast it to the way we live today.

EL 250 I got Pac Man fever

A simple game, but yet challenging. Pac Man is about survival. Think of the game in the first person point of view. You are the hunted being chased by scavengers. The only way to stay alive is to eat the dots, for nutrition, and the power-ups to reverse the action and hunt the huntees. Pac Man can be theorized as man vs. man or man vs. wild. Pac Man, being a basic game, has really outlived other video games.

EL 250 MYSTified

The short Myst tutorial did not show me much of the game. I might be interested if I knew a little more about it. The graphics seem realistic enough. I will do more research on the game before commenting any further.

EL 250 DOOMed to repeat itself

DOOM was one of the first, popular, first-person shooter games. I personally never liked it. The action was not good enough for me. The graphics were very plain. My ex-roommate played the first one constantly for the Xbox. He would invite other people over to play with him. I did many times, but grew tired of the game. He did talk me into getting the Xbox DOOM version which was transparent green along with the controllers. I quickly sold it. My favorite forst-person shooter is Call of Duty. Game makers must have really know their information on history and the military to get that game right. It is so realistic; although I have never been in the military. The weapons, graphics, and options. I beat the first one fast. I just got the new one, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 for Christmas. I have yet to play it. I await to see how they modified the game since the last one. With all the other great first-person shooter games on the market, why bother with DOOM?

EL 250 Left for Dead game review

Left for Dead 2
Left for Dead 2 is a first-person shooter game that is filled with action, and best of all, zombies. The makers of the game have incorporated two of my favorite things into one vidoe game, zombies and action. The game can be played Live or solo. It serves several options, survival mode, split-screen, and co-op. The game is entertaining because it takes place in New Orleans. LFD 2 traces its origins to xombie flicks which I have seen most of them. The graphics are intense as well as the dialogue. If a player shoots another player, they have something to say about it. There is also an option to heal yourself in order to continue the adventure. The game received an 8.6 rating by GameTrailer, out of 10. GameTrailer also offers a video review of the game. It is the best review of this game I have encountered so far. It is detailed and offers results from other game systems. LFD 2 is an intense game. The best weapon to use is the chainsaw. It cuts through zombies like a hot knife through butter. I highly recommend this game to anyone who is into the zombie and first-person shooter genres.

EL 250 Lego my Eggo

Rothstein takes a more adult-like approach to Myst. He gives a back story on video games, how they have gone through a metamorphises. Richards' article is s regression for his love of Legos, and how Lego is now being made into video games. Both articles are informative, but Rothstein's is something I am more likely to read. I have played many of the Lego video games as well as grew up with the blocks. I would have to say that Lego should have stuck with the blocks. My nephew received several boxes of thetoy for Christmas. They were the Star Wars ones. I couldn't believe how detailed they were. Legos have gotten technical. When I was young (I know I mention this everytime in my blogs, but I am not that old. I just have a lot of experience with games and toys) Legos were very standard. When you wanted to create something, you really had to use your imagination. Legos, in video games, have become almost SIMS like. I really enjoyed playing Star Wars Lego on the Xbox. As for playing with the Lego Star Wars toys with my nephew, well, that didn't happen. He told me that I would lose them and I didn't know what I was doing. This coming from a six year old kid. Richards' article did take me back to my youth and also put me into the future of gaming. Lego has an amusement park, video games, and toys.

EL 250 Myst: from surreal to reality

"The arcade is where games first seduced players, back in the pre video era when pinball was king. But with the large-scale arrival of video games in the early 80's, the arcade came into its own, offering a world of shadow and darkness: crowds gather around ominous-looking booths, peering at seemingly illicit images." -Rothstein

I can re-call going to the local mall and playing in the arcade for hors. Back then, five dollars would permit one to play, almost, all day. We did stand at over-sized boxes glaring at bright monitors. They had the addiction of a drug. I am not old enough to remember a pinball only arcade, but I'm sure they had the same addictive qualities.
Games have gone from such a transformation. The quote above by Rothstein says it all. One era consisted on pinball machines, the next---stand-up arcade machines, then game systems, now games that are not violently characterized like Myst. Although I have never played the game, it does seem toned down and interesting.
Vidoe games are an art form. Graphics from the 80s were really hi-tech for that era. Pac Man and Donkey Kong are still legends in the world of video games. Audio has undergone changes as well, in vidoe games. 80s dialogue sounded robotic-like. 21st Century games include cuss words and smut. Gamming companies have taken ordinary games and developed them to nearly life-like, like Myst.

EL 250 Interacting with peers in a blog

I wanted to address Matt Takacs' entry on 3-D engines. 3-D seems to be the new wave of entertainment in movies and vidoe games. I have even heard of a 3-D TV coming out. Is that what the future holds for us? Technology has taken us from a plain one-dimensional picture to the thrill of a third-dimension. What a great concept. But wehat holds for a future after that? It seems that 3-D is as far as it can go at the moment. I remember going to Universal Studios where I rode several rides that were in 3-D. Terminator and Spiderman were big ones when I visited. The characters were so life-like. They jumped right out at you. That was my first real exposure to 3-D. I would also like to examine 3-D engines as well.
Violence in video games is another subject I would like to discuss further. Cody Naylor found interest in defending violence in gaming. I to believe that it is more the thrill than the kill when players destroy another life. Gaming should not be taken serious. It is more entertaining and hobby- like. If one is that addicted to games, they should seek help. Violence is simulated in games, it is not real. I think that is step one in deciphering a video game from real life.

EL 250 Blogging for the masses

Blooging may or may not be a new concept for most of you, but trust me, it helps. Blogging keeps track of what you have done throughout the semester. You just link your entry and post it. After posting an entry, make sure to comment on at least two peers' blogs. I didn't know what blogging was four years ago. Now I blog just for fun. It becomes an addiction if you like to write. You will find that people outside of class comment on entries as well. I have received comments from people across the nation.

January 4, 2010

EL 250 Collage of Video Games from the decades

video games.doc