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Showing posts from May, 2012

Face Your Fears and Enjoy Yourself

What makes horror games scary? What draws people toward the horror genre in any medium? What motivates a gamer to dive into an imaginary realm full of nightmarish creatures and fight their way out? These were the types of questions Jacky Tideman and I (Cody Lenox) thought about while approaching this final project. These questions have broad answers that incorporate many aspects of games, including the rules of the game that limit the amount of control the gamer has on the events occurring in the game, the imaginary world of horror games typically full of monsters and bloody corpses, and even the slowly moving narrative unveiling secrets and horrific past events. All of these elements combined create not just a game, but an experience: one must feel some sense of attachment to a protagonist, complete the objectives presented through the narrative using the rules of the game, defeat bizarre, grotesque enemies in a grim, uncomfortable setting, and gain knowledge and skill to p…

Xenoblade Chronicles: Gamer’s Inside Analysis

The Xenosaga series gave the imagination of a story, with epic action and adventure with a feel of Japanese anime, into a different game that is equally large, if not larger, to the Xenosaga series on the PS2. Gamers that play Xenoblade Chronicles will think back to them playing Xenosaga, if they played any of them, and compare to Xenoblade Chronicles by amount of gameplay, the story, and the entire layout of the game itself.
The story starts on the creation of the world the characters live in, which are two giants, locked in battle, over a vast ocean and under an endless sky. The common denominator is the sea and the sky, because they exist in reality, but it’s clear 2 giants are fictional. One is called the Bionis, and the other is called the Mechonis. Then, all of a sudden, they are mysteriously frozen in time. So, “Eons” later, life and machines rise from these giant titans. It’s clear that the name Bionis has the prefix bio- which means life, and the prefix of Mechonis is Mech- me…

Never Enough: A Look Inside Video Game Addiction

Video games. Kids tend to think they are amazing while parents generally disagree. The argument adults reach for first and foremost is that games “rot your brain“ or “turn you into a zombie“. This is completely an exaggeration, as we all know. This dispute’s prevalence has even died down in our culture in the past five years.

Just one more level and I'm done, I swear.

Video games, if leaving any negative effect, might cause a sort of desensitization in gamers young and old. While I know that hardcore, lifelong gamers would beg to differ, I also have had many psychology classes and have completed research projects proving otherwise. Consistent stimulation through any medium, be it games or other sources, causes a person’s brain to constantly be primed or seeking the next thrill. When something comes along that doesn’t satiate that need or if the thrill isn’t satisfying, humans are wired to pass over it until they find something else that gives them the response they crave. I’m sure…

Skyrim // The Psychology of Spatial Immersion

There has been a long history of people being drawn into games as a pastime in modern society one might call this a lifestyle. People who participate in this lifestyle are usually given the title gamer. Playing video games is very common these days, almost everyone I know plays them. It is no longer an obscure hobby that is seen to be what it was twenty years ago.

This medium is at its apex in terms of norms or social acceptance. One might ask why it's so popular or why gaming is such an tedious hobby that it could be described as a lifestyle on its own. It's simple: video games are designed for pleasure and with pleasure one can certainly lose track of time with it. In my experiences I usually blame this loss of time on something about the game that draws me in: immersion.

                                   but What exactly is Immersion?
Feelings of immersion can be present in almost every medium, but what exactly makes something 'immersive'? What does it mean to be im…

Final: Fictional Worlds

Video games draw in an impressive number of people, around 70% of the world’s population, and with all the options available, it’s no wonder. There is almost nothing you cannot find in a video game. Whether you want to partake in wars, build cities, or fight monsters, there’s at least one game out there just for you. In addition, many games feature impressive fictional worlds that the viewer may have the option to explore. These worlds can range from slightly fictitious (like our own, but with different creatures or strange people) to completely fictitious (a completely new world, with almost no ties to ours). Giving players a glimpse into exciting new worlds is enough to draw in quite a crowd.
One game that is close to our own world is Left 4 Dead. In fact, aside from a bunch of angry people with the munchies running around, it is exactly like ours. It has cities, swamps, towns, subways, seemingly endless fields, and everything else. In this universe, however, a rage virus has …

So Daddy Is the Big Baddie

Parents: it is generally safe to assert that everyone has them. They may be alive or dead, maybe a combination of the two. In video games, while they may not be explicitly mentioned, the characters also have parents or parent like figures. In role-playing games (rpg's), which for those who do not know rpg's are story heavy games, there are three main stereotypical elements that deal with parents: both parents are dead, one parent is alive but is killed in the progress of the game, or the father is antagonistic towards the character. Occasionally the mother will be the villain but it is significantly less common than the re-occurring evil father stereotype. I would argue that the rpg genre is a Freudian playground of material and I want to focus mainly on antagonistic relationships between fathers and characters and how defeating or surpassing the father figure is often the an important event that takes place within the narrative of many rpg games.  Spoilers will abound in this…

Final Project: Mass Effect Analysis

By Chad Pelton, Hayden Petitt, and Allyssa Roeske.

At the heart of all three Mass Effect games there is the deeply personal idea of choice. The ramifications of said choices drastically affect the entire story as well as game play. In-game, friends and loved ones are saved and sacrificed, much to the bitter dismay (or joy) of the invested gamer. As the story’s narrative slowly develops like a good novel, the game play too evolves with extreme sophistication.

The goal of this project is to examine the Mass Effect saga through both the narratologist’s and ludologist’s eyes. What we found is a seesaw-like distribution of the level of dedication between the story and the game mechanics as the years progress. In the first game, the importance lies in the story, not the function of play. This is practically reversed with the release of the third game: game play is phenomenal whereas the story suffers from neglect.

----------------------- Chapter 1: The Story -------------------------

The entire…