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Showing posts from 2018

Death Comes Quickly in The Forest

Crafting survival games have become popular among gamers, especially for those with Steam accounts. Ark: Survival Evolved, 7 Days to Die, Minecraft, and The Forest are four of the games that I personally enjoy. Out of these, The Forest is the more horror centered and intent on scaring a person with the abundance of mutants and cannibals that are hunting you down and more than willing to eat your dead body.

The game centers around a male character who loses his son named Timmy in an airplane crash over an island. The cut scene shows a large red-painted man picking up your son and carrying him away. When you start the game, you are thirsty, hungry, covered in blood, and have absolutely no clue what is going on. Your biggest guide is the handy dandy survival book your son just so happened to be reading when the plane crashed. One of the first mistakes I made was not reading the key pages and I ate poisonous berries next to the blueberries that my husband told me were safe.

Death came qu…

The Illusion of Choice and Reality of Consequence in Rapture

Bioshock and Bioshock 2 are first-person-shooter games which receive all the stigma that goes along with the category.  With a dark setting and darker themes, on the surface Bioshock seems to exist simply to satisfy horror fanatics.  However, throughout these games a theme of choice and consequence is examined which not only serves as a recognition of how the games are structured, but also reflects philosophies about life. The prelude to choice is free will, and emphasis is placed upon this in the beginning of this exploration with Bioshock.Taking place in an underwater city which has fallen into dystopia, the player character Jack has crash-landed in an airplane and stumbled upon it.After being befriended by a man known as Atlas, Jack sets out on a mission to take down Andrew Ryan and Fontaine, the ringleaders of the hellscape.From the beginning the problem of possession of free will is present in the various inhabitants of Rapture, such as the Splicers.Splicers are former citizens of…

Narrative and Values in Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes

Sengoku Basara is an ongoing franchise by Capcom thirteen years in the making. Inspired by Japanese historical figures and battles, players get to fight their way to becoming the supreme ruler of the country. The series currently consists of eleven games on multiple platforms, four seasons and a movie of anime, a live action television show, fourteen stage plays, and countless novels and manga (comic) volumes. Despite the obvious success in Japan, there has been very little effort to bring it Stateside; only two games were ever translated into English, and the anime was dubbed. The first game, which was available on the Playstation 2, was stripped of anything that associated it with its historical roots. All character names and the title was altered to make it more appealing to American audiences. The only other game to be translated was the third game, but the original title and names were kept. The only difference was that instead of being marketed as Sengoku Basara 3, it was instea…

Pure and Impure Evil: the Fallacies of Learned Assumptions of Morality in Overlord II

Pick a video game.  It doesn’t matter which one, though a game with a proper narrative would be ideal. Picture the protagonist – their colors, their speech, their patterns of movement. Now picture the antagonist; tall, probably, dark and scary and undoubtedly inhuman.  Take a minute to look back and forth between them. There’s a very stark difference, isn't there? A very clean line between Hero™ and Villain™.  Isn’t there?  We’d certainly hope so. We want to be sure we are always the hero, because we couldn’t possibly be anything else. In our games, especially games of violence, we want a fine white line between the Good Guys™ and the Bad Guys™ so we know who to shoot at.  But here’s the thing: Evil™ isn’t real. Not the way we traditionally think about it, at least. You think Evil™, and you likely picture a respectably campy dark-horned something-or-other with glowing eyes, a big sword, and a face with either sharp and angular features or no features at all. There’s probably a helmet i…

Maternal Archetypes in Metroid:Other M

Another Other M Analysis you say? Exactly. But this time I'm here to analyze the BLATANT maternal archetypes thrown in this addition to the series. If you haven't noticed, the titles initials spell out M.O.M. I know it kind of seems like a stretch to assume characteristics in this game are linked to motherhood, but after looking deeper into the narrative and the story of the series as a whole I can prove that motherhood archetypes are HEAVILY placed in this game.


For starters, the main plot of most of the games centralizes around the last surviving Metroid that Samus rescues after the events of Metroid 2: Samus Returns. The interesting thing is that after hatching the baby Metroid imprints Samus as its mother. In doing so, the baby help Samus escape the planet by eating (?) the minerals that hinder her exit. In the next installment Super Metroid, after Samus leaves the baby in the hand of the Federation to conduct research, the Metroid is stolen by the Space Pirates. Fast for…

The Values of the Modern First-Person Shooter

Every year a new installment to the Call of Duty franchise, and every year I tell myself "I am nit going to buy this rehashed sixty-dollar game".The premise being just different guns, different maps, and maybe some Nazi zombie gameplay with friends. The recent title to be launched, Call of Dusty WWII, depicts a band of brothers where each character suffers from a vice. Towards the end of the game, I was invested in the characters especially when one of the main characters squad mates is captured and sent to a concentration camp.


Figure 1. The end scene of Call of Duty WWII

This title also incorporates the ability to play as a strong female in a story mode mission; as well as, being able to customize the multiplayer avatar to be a female. This game was well received by many critics, and restored the franchise to it's former glory. One game however can not be used to generalize the whole genre, nor the predecessors that sold companies millions of dollars.

One franchise I k…

The Aesthetics of Gothic Fiction Within the Survival Horror Genre

If there is one thing the survival horror genre has done this quite well, it is how it deals with and projects abhorrent and harrowing emotions. For this project, I want to focus on a little-known game by the name of Haunting Ground. The game itself isn’t all about gore or shock (although some elements of these are featured within the game). Instead, this game focuses on more “thrilling” elements that I would say are much more akin to a Gothic novel than anything else. At least, this is what went through my mind as I played, and eventually beat it. Suffice to say, I haven’t been able to rid myself of the parallels Haunting Ground has with the genre, or in a broader scope, the parallels between survival horror and Gothic fiction through the medium of this game. Along with the given aesthetics, Haunting Ground serves to truly harken back to Gothic horror, with various tropes scattered throughout it. With that said, I’m going to begin by dissecting the game, the tropes it borrows from th…