The Game Among Us

“The Wolf Among Us” developed by Tell Tale Gathe-wolf-among-us-season-2-release-datemes is based on Bill Willingham’s Fables comic book series. The game consists of five series and as I was about to begin the first series the first thing that popped up after I pressed the ‘play’ button was: “This story is tailored by how you
play.” As I read that, I though to myself, “dang I guess it all depends on me, no pressure” (obviously in a sarcastic tone). When the game began it was like a movie or a story the game was telling me. As I was watching it, I noticed the colors were dark, but still I liked the details provided in the clothing and in the buildings. Also, as I was watching the scene, the characters began to use profanity and a thought of me not wanting my younger sibling to play this game came to mind.

When the movie scene ended, the toad began talk to Bigby Wolf, or me playing as the character. I, Bigby Wolf, had options on what to respond to the toad. I thought that was odd because I had never played a game that involved language, usually it’s just action, unless it was a language arts came I played in seconds grade. Therefore, choosing what I had to say, I believe does qualify “The Wolf Among Us” as a game. According to Game Studies Scholar Jesper Juul, there are three main ideas that define a game.

1) The system set up by the rules of the game

2) The relationship between the game and the player of the game

3) The relationship between the playing of the game and there rest of the world. If a game has all three attributions then it is considered a game (Juul 28).

The reason I believe “The Wolf Among Us” is a game is because as I played it I definitely saw myself following the rules of the game. The rules consisted of me (the player) choosing the answers I wanted to respond to. If I didn’t follow the rules Bigby Wolf would just be standing there in awkwardness staring at the toad. After Bigby, or me, talked to the toad, Bigby went upstairs to break up an argument between a built guy and a woman. I, then, start physically fighting against the man. The fight consisted of the app telling me where to swipe and what areas to press. Specifically, it would tell me to either swipe left or right when I had to either duck or dodge a punch from my opponent. Other times it gave me options of where to tap so I could throw my opponent like on the couch or at the shelf.giphy

Secondly, according to the Juul, a game is an “investment of player effort to lead to an attachments of the outcome” (34). In other words, in a game there is a relationship between the game and the player. The relationship I have with “The Wolf Among Us” is me playing as Bigby Wolf and making an effort to keep the game going by following the rules. Therefore, I am putting my part in the game by allowing myself to not let the game be over.

Lastly, Juul states that what defines a game is the “relationship between playing the game and the rest of the world” (28). Consequently, the player agrees to be happy if he or she wins the game, unhappy if he or she loses. When I was playing The Wolf Among Us, simply winning the fight and having control over the opponent felt pretty cool. Having control over someone felt good, and when my opponent would beat me I would get upset and replay again searching for that drive to keep on beating him. In the end, I had fun playing the game for my first time.

 

Juul, Jesper. “Video Games and the Classic Game Model.” Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2005. 23-54.

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12 thoughts on “The Game Among Us

  1. I actually tried playing this on my phone and the controls are kinda wonky. I couldn’t really interact with the objects that the game wanted me to interact with. It was as if the phone wasn’t really rendering my actions. Oh well. I do agree that this is a game where you are content with the actions you take and that it followed the set of rules that were thrown at you.

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    • The platform of The Wolf Among Us! definitely, makes the experience feel better or worse due to the game’s use of quick-time events (QTE) as these events can lead to different events playing out.

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  2. I have played this game before and I honestly did not really enjoy it. But it is interesting how you considered following the dialect rules, I consider the dialect more like an interaction than a rule. But I guess following the interactions to get to the next point is considered a rule, in that case this is considered a game. Hope you enjoyed

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  3. Games like this one are awesome because they all depend on your decisions. Great post I enjoyed it because The Wolf Among Us is the definition of a game.

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  4. I really enjoyed the way you summarized the game, even though you don’t consider this your favorite game you made me interested in playing it, because similarly to you I like to be in control. Also, when I play what typically keeps me playing is the drive to keep winning battles, fights, challenges, etc.

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  5. So you played this on the mobile platform? I could see that as a serious impediment to playing the game precisely and efficiently. Although it’s a narrative based game, I could see you restarting pretty frequently due to mission failure. What’s interesting about the decision making options in this game is the crazy amount of variety that these decisions lead to. I’m more familiar with their Walking Dead game, where each decision can lead to a tree of other happenings and occurrences. Seems like a very difficult thing to code and plan, but, in terms of narrative, Tell Tale can’t be beat in the video game world.

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  6. I got really enticed to play this game after reading your post because in class I thought it was kind of boring. You gave a solid briefing of the game which conveys how fun of a game it can be. You’re point of why you think it is a game was solid as well, the rules and actions a player can do makes it a game. Though I thought the graphics and controls on the phone could have been a little better.

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  7. I keep wanting a bit more explanation to your claims. For example, how do you “putting [your] part in the game by allowing [your]self to not let the game be over”? The full explanation leaves a lot to be guessed by the reader. Additionally, what is up with the dancing image. How are you using it/what does it mean here? And of course, I’m curious why do not refer to anything about the game and its choices beyond the first 5-10 minutes of gameplay. Are choices and consequences irrelevant here?

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  8. I enjoyed the use of gif’s and quotes throughout your blog. Both kept me interested in hooked with what you had to say. Overall, really well done and I look forward to your future blogs

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  9. I had never even heard of this game before this course but you did a great job explaining the layout and what the player experiences. Would you say that The Wolf Among Us also has skill-based gambling because the set up has pre-negotiated consequences to your choices? If so, could it then be considered a border line case?

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  10. Yessssss, so glad you did the Wolf Among Us as I love it a lot. I definitely agree though with the above sentiments that you should’ve done a bit more of a deeper analysis as you could really have made some interesting points about the massive surge in choice-based games of recent years and contextualised the Wolf Among Us with other Telltale Games.

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