Entry Five

Hello again! This entry is overdue mostly because i am overdue king! However i have been super busy with life in general so i just haven’t had the time to sit down and actually complete this entry. For this week(actually last week) we talked about my favorite subject so far, which are video games! Now i say it is my favorite one because i can relate to it the most, seeing as video games are one of my main hobbies!

On march 6th looked at several topic, everything from video game culture and it history, to its terminology and how academic journals try to identify video games. Now in terms of video game terminology i think i would have a decent amount of knowledge and academic journals are rather dull in my opinion. However, what really caught my attention was how video game history unfolded several chain reactions which are recreated in similar ways still to this day and age!

History in general can be a rather boring or fun way to explore the origin on some of our favorite topics and interests. I for instance found the part about video game having a huge cultural impact in the aftermath of world war 2, (from the lecture on march 8th) really interesting! Mostly because i can draw a similar line between the positive and negative cultural influence that video games had and still have. Back then the cultural impact of video games changed the mentality of young people both in japan and usa based on how they interacted with video games. In japan in particular, in the aftermath of world war two they discovered not only great potential economically, but also a stimulating side of video games. While the video game developers used their tech from former military equipment to recreate some of most iconic video games and systems of our time.

Ultimately the pioneer games such as PONG, PACMAN and TETRIS gave rise to a new age of video games and video game systems, transforming the dull home TV into a video game platform. Sure enough longer down the road we got PC games which took over some of the market from the consoles that ruled the first era of gaming. Now the interesting part in my opinion is the influence these video games had during that age and our age now. Originally there was no intent of making video games as a never ending fun distraction but it developed more and more as such. People were hooked and used the interaction of video games to dull the everyday struggle and negativity with something that would be both social and fun! As the marked and technology grew to what it is today, we see similar trends to how video games influence people. We still used them as a escape from reality and still have fun playing games while having the ability to interact with others. As with anything that develops and changes, huge debate sparked about the influence of video games on today’s youth in general. Several countries such as the US, have questioned the influence of video games. In some extreme cases even linking them as a direct influence of certain behavior. An example would be a school shooting, where the shooter had been playing a certain types of video games prior the their actions. This the leading to the claim of certain influential behavior from the game had transitioned to the shooter and how he was thinking. This is just a bald statement, as it is literally impossible to prove a claim such as that one, but still begs the question whether or not certain games are safe to get consumed by? So it peeked my interest how video games were made as an side project out of military equipment scrap, to something that would be considered passively damaging and mind altering to the grade of the used being able to do the most unthinkable. I am fairly certain that the makers of today’s video games never had such an intent, but have video games transitioned into something else besides just an never ending fun distraction? Or have we just started to interpret them as something else judging on the direction they have developed? Hard to say, yet interesting topic to discuss in my opinion!

I however still believe in the magic of video games where they make up for some of the best moments in our life’s. Here is a clip from some of those moments from the gaming community!

 

 

 

Who decides the rules?? week 6.0

When building up the rules and aesthetics for a game there must be a lot to have in mind and take in consideration.

Who are the target, in what context should this game be played and what should be the outcome?

I was thinking about for example a shooting game, where first (?) player are out to get “the bad guys”. Who is the first player and who are the bad guys? How does one represent the good and the bad without anyone, for example person, organization or minority taking offend? Should the characters look like humans, what kind of color would they be? How should they dress, and which colors? I have been running colors through my mind and I associate every color with something.

Everyone got offended in 2017, at least in Norway… I´m not just thinking of how games aesthetics might offend someone, but also how the aesthetic contribute to player´s attitude, feelings and opinions. How a game alone and parallel with society can have an impact on a person and maybe even change perceptions. I´m noticing that I´m steering this in a negative direction, how ever, it must be important to take this into consideration and be aware when producing games. Must it not??

On another note. I believe that some people change for better or evolve in a positive direction after interacting with others online or through game. What if a game can help you gain confidence, help you get to know yourself better, help you dare to take place, show you what you are good at, what if a game can make it easier for you to go out that door and be you. What if there was a game that can help you figure out possible directions or life paths, a game that would help you maybe water thee seed that once was planted in your mind.

Did this end to deep? I just had to get my thoughts down and out there. I am probably not the first.

Before I wrote this I did not google, so I think that will (or at least should) be the next step.

And HEY I´m wondering!! How big of a deal is politics when it comes to games??

A reflection on technology

I was not able to take part in the Emilio studio visit myself, but I watched the video after it went live.
It got me thinking about my past experiences with technology. Growing up in England, my family had a massive box-like TV in the lounge that weighed a tonne. It had 5 channels, and I was only allowed to watch it on the weekends. I got my first phone when I went to secondary school in 2008, which was a Nokia brick phone and had 2 games on it (snake and ping pong) and had no internet.
Thinking about how far technology has come in the last 10 years is actually a little scary. My next phone was a pink flip up phone (which was all the rage in 2010), I remember feeling really jealous that my friend’s phone had a (very fuzzy) front facing camera on it. The phones I’ve had since then have gradually got more and more technologically advanced, to the iPhone 5 I have today. It can do all sorts of things that 10 years ago-me would have only dreamt would be possible to do from a phone; such as editing a photo, tracking your steps or doing online shopping.
Furthermore, at home, we didn’t have even have WiFi. We had a dongle that plugged into your laptop if you needed to use the internet, which meant that only one person in the family could use the internet at a time. Crazy to think about that now.
My sister, who is 7 years younger than me, has just started secondary school herself and already has an iPhone 6 as her first phone.
I’m trying to imagine what technology will look like 10 years from now, and it’s making my head hurt!!

To conclude this short, but sweet blog post enjoy some of my DDA’s from this week:

 

Have a great week

💜

 

Blog post 5. “Live:Die:Respawn”

We are back this week with the discussion of video games! #nuffsaid

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What is a game?

In the article Rules of Play (2003) written by Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman, a game is defined by “a system which player engage in artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome”.  (Salen & Zimmerman, 2018:12)

Leading this definition I have personally shortened it down to “an activity that has playable rules”. Now both of these definitions has room for error, but to comprehend what a game is, it surely includes the most important aspect of it. Which is in my opinion the playable aspect of any activity that has a fun part to it.

Bilderesultat for nim patentFirst off in the video game history section resourced from the Museum of Play exhibition, this patent machine made in the year 1940 is used to play the traditional game of NIM. NIM plays out where primarily two players lays downs a bunch of dots or sticks, and then pick out the dots or sticks – but avoiding to be the last dot or stick.

(http://www.museumofplay.org/about/icheg/video-game-history/timeline)
Thoughtbox:
For the longest time I have been playing this game with my friends not knowing it was called NIM. This game and the game of tic-tac-toe was two of the more interesting games I had in my childhood, which I then learnt others how to
play”  

*intermission*

What kind of gamer am I?

First off we will take a look at that categories of gamers there are. And really it depends on which kind of games I play. Because I find myself familiar with each of these type of categories, just in the context of each specific game I am playing.

Casual Gamer:
A casual gamer has a casual attitude towards gaming. It is something of a light hobby, used primarily to unwind and relax. This person does not really know very much about the core of gaming, as they will not actively attempt to research anything. Their motivation is more about relaxation over “challenge”.

Social gamer:
A social gamer is one who is motivated by connecting with other through gaming. Their gaming habits are determined by their social circle. They tend to play multiplayer games ranging from FPS games (First-person-shooters), MMO (Massive-multiplayer-online), MOBA (Massive-online-battle-arena) and cooperative worldbuilders like Minecraft. They are drawn to games with strong online community.

Specialist Gamer:
The specialist is a less hobbyist and more of a passion player. The specialist gamer knows what they like. What sets a specialist apart is the focus on getting the most of their gaming experience. They are not looking to play every game, they are looking to truly and fully play every part of specific games.

Expert Gamer:
The expert gamer is not specifically someone who is highly skilled at games. Rather, they enjoy reading about games, researching games, and following the video game industry. The expert gamer enjoys reading gaming-related websites, posting on gaming forums, watching trailers and “Let’s Plays”. They love game conferences (by
watching them live or attending them in person) in order to know about as many games as possible.

There are surely more gamer categories than these four. But it widens the picture of how many diverse gamers there could be and how there is not truly one single type of gamer, because as a famous internet quote says:

Bilderesultat for games choose to have more than one life

*intermission two*

Lastly I want to touch up upon the dimensions of game and such. This is a very “shaky” aspect of games because a game is not necessarily narrowed down to a single dimension or genre. Now taking to account the article from Robin Hunicke, Marc Lebanc and Robert Zubek – MDA: A formal approach to game design and game researchJumping right into it there are multiple dimensions of games:

Mechanics:
Rules & basic code of a game. The information that goes into construction the world of the game (the backend; the coding; the algorithms).

Dynamics:
the way game actually plays based on the mechanics. The events that actually occur or can occur as experienced by the player. Dynamics are the functions of the mechanics. The front end experience.

Aesthetics:
The elements that attracts us to the game:

  1. Sensation (game as sense-pleasure)
  2. Fantasy (game as make believe)
  3. Narrative (game as drama)
  4. Challenge (game as obstacle course)
  5. Fellowship (game as social framework)
  6. Discovery (game as uncharted territory)
  7. Expression (game as self-discovery)
  8. Submission (game as pastime)

Ongoing with this, last weeks kickoff with the “Peer gaming showcase” featuring. Patrick – went excellent. Patrick is our peer student and gaming developer. He has worked on projects like Owlboy, and Savant – Ascent – in which both I have heard of and have in my game library, but yet to play through. What Patrick stated in his showcase is more of the perspective of a game. Like you have a game, that is not just for the gamers. But a game has different perspectives looking on it. There are in example the consumer, which are the gamers. The critics, that critics the game. The developer, that develops the game. And the publisher that publish the game. These are the four pillar perspectives of a game. And of course each pillar can merge with one another.

One of the last points brought up by Patrick as a game developer is the theory of; ludonarrative dissonance. In short ludonarrative dissonance is when the narrative (story) of a game conflicts with the mechanics (actions/activity that the player does). In example *The cut-scene says my character is sensitive and kind… but I just blew off six innocent people’s heads for the lulz and the game was totally cool with that* There’s some serious ludonarrative dissonance going on here.

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This week has been short on time and on the #DailyDigitalAlchemy, but I promise to make a strong comeback next week! So until then, Eat:Sleep:Repeat!

*ThoughtBox:
Like this last image here, just image that the player has been killing over six-hundre-people prior to getting to this state, and the girl in the picture says that he is a wonderful human being and has never harmed anyone*

Check out my latest blog post right here!