Empathy games and Easter break

This is the last blogpost before the Easter break. It’s only three weeks since we had the winter break, but it feels like it’s been forever. I have done a lot the past weeks. I was behind schedule on reading and I have also been working. The reason I was behind schedule was because I managed to forget the book at my apartment before I went home during the winter break. FANTASTIC… Anyways, new week and new learning.

In this week, we joined our teacher Mia Zamora at the opening of her art project #Textransformations. The exhibition was way more “advanced” that I first thought. The presentation was cool, and I especially liked that we could make our own poems. Here is a poem that I made (in Norwegian). Taken from my friend Espen

It does not make that much sense, but it is art, and art does not always make sense. The QR-codes were creative, and it made the people watching the presentation more active in the way of learning. During this opening there was served pizza and coffee. As lucky as I am I did not get any pizza and the coffee was almost see through.

On Thursday we had a lecture about empathy games. I haven’t thought about this game genre in any way. Mostly because it isn’t the genre that I usually play games in. As I understood it, empathy games are games where you are affected by the presentation of the games and that the games are based on taking the player on a journey where the makers touch the emotional side of the player.

We used the second part of this lecture on trying out different games. I tried two games, Spent and Bad News. The first game was based on you getting a new job, and your economy was bad. This made me think a lot about how people that are struggling manages to get through their day. A lot of the choices I got in this game were hard. I remember that I got the choice to pay for a surgery for my dog, or pay for putting the dog to sleep. I also had a choice that I could let the dog suffer. If I was in a real situation like this I would hate myself. No money for a surgery and I would not let my dog suffer. The only choice then was to put the dog to sleep. The other game that I tried (Bad News) was about fake news. The whole game was based on you running an account on twitter where you spread fake news. This was fun. A lot of the examples that were used in the game showed how stupid people could be.

I hope you liked this week’s blog. Now I am taking Easter break. Really looking forward to it. It will be a lot of gaming and just chilling. We are also setting the clock this weekend, which means that we are moving towards summer.

God påske!

My video game history.

This week we began our journey through Game design and Video Game history. The next three blogs will focus on different aspect of games and how they affect us.  In todays blog I will share my own thoughts and experiences. ‘My video game story’.

But first, What are video games?
It’s clear that each artistic medium has its own unique language. Painting uses the language of shape and colour. Music is an exploration of sound. Literature uses the language of, well, language. And film is about moving images. Video games can, of course, use all of this stuff. But what makes the medium unique is interaction. Things like mechanics, rules, and systems you can poke at are the language of video games.

In that regard, video games should be the ultimate entertainment, so why do I find it so frustrating and quite frankly tedious, at times.

It’s hard to keep focus. When X number of people work together on a artistic piece. The

A bit of background: 
The Super Nintendo was released the same year I was born, April 1992. I got it 4 years later. I later got the Nintendo 64 for Christmas in 1999. Gameboy Color in 2000. The gamecube in 2002. The Playstation 2 in 2003. The playstation 3 in 2007. The PSP in 2008. Xbox 360 Kinect in 2011. Nintendo WiiU 2013. The playstation 4 in 2014.
= This sums up to 0.5 consoles a year since I got my first one in 1996. 

I have probably played a total of a thousand games. Last year I played two: Zelda and Horizon. I had this notion that video games just take up a lot of my time, and I found movies and books more compelling. I belive this to be the case because games stoped to impress me anymore. Video games are this amazingly multimodal tool for storytelling and exploration. Why don’t it deliver. My frustration with games nowadays:  I’m a huge daydreamer and pretty good at it. When I can make up a better world and story then the game I’m playing I don’t see the point. I want to be placed in worlds I can’t possibly make up my self or so complexed that

From being a consumer of games. I have become, as discussed in class, an ‘Speicalist Gamer’. I like to explore every part of specific games and go deep into the lore. I’ve also reflect more on game design and what it is that makes the games I like compelling to me.

Thereby playing huge open world games where I more or less make my own story. This is interesting when looking at my 5 favourites in the AAA category.

This is true for every medium. I have studied film production and film. Every clip and scene in a movie should

Presents my favourite game from the last decade: Zelda Breath of the wild 

zelda_breath_of_the_wild_2017_2.0

Every open world game experience is different, because each game gives the player options in how they approach their objectives. No games does this better then ‘Breath of The Wild’. Let’s talk a bit about why:

There are only two things you have to do in breath of the wild, finish your tutorial and fight Ganon (The main boss), everything in between is up to you. What this means is that you carve your own path through the world, which is a pretty important factor in an open world adventure. The story is your story defined by what you do and what you don’t do, as you explore Hyrule.

Most open-world games are rather linear in the sense that you have to follow the main storyline to proceed. This can make a disjointed story. In GTA your son is kidnapped but you’ll get to that just as soon as you have blown up a quarter of LA. ‘Ludonarrative Dissonance’ as Patrick talked about in his presentation on Thursday . When there is a disconnect in vision and conflict between story and gameplay. I feel Breath of The Wild gets around this by letting the player fight Ganon at anytime, but since your to weak to fight him, you have to train for it and everyting you do is preporation for that fight.

Zelda Breath of The Wild is interesting in so many ways. Nintendo has learned from the last 20 years of open world games, and in my opinion done it to perfection.

Even more interesting then looking at good games, is looking at the bad once. What makes a game good or bad. I might talk about that in future posts. In the coming weeks, while we explore deeper into the understanding of video games, I will try to play more, explore new topics and hopefully get a bigger picture of the culture and the importens of understanding it.