Push My Love Over the Borderlands

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Background

Borderlands 2 is an action role-playing first-person shooter video game developed by Gearbox Software and published by 2K Games. I like to think this game has a very different style in comparison to most other shooters. This is as much as an RPG as other games so do not let the title of “shooter” fool you. There are numerous side missions, story quests, collectibles, recordings, skins, gear, guns, guns, and guns. Missions provide you with weapons and gear as well as experience which you will need to level up throughout the course of the game. Missions also provide in my opinion the very best portion of the game and that is the story and lore that is deep inside of the Borderlands Universe. The stories are extremely well done, they are extremely challenging without being overburdening, the missions are equally spaced out enough to where you feel like you do not have too much on your plate. On top of that, they are fun to do which is not something you see too often in RPG’s where usually you have some 3-5 stand-out missions, in Borderlands 2 it was safe to say most missions were fun, stand-outs to me. Like I mentioned earlier with obtaining experience and leveling up, the game serves as an incredible RPG in the sense that you do have a skill tree, there are individual roles that your character can take on to either traverse the world of Pandora alone or with a team (roles such as Tank, Support, and Damage to name a few). There are 4 different classes (now there are much more but I will stick to the pre-DLC game as I think that is fair) each of which possess their own skill trees, preferred styles of play, and abilities to use in battle.

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Axton (Soldier), Zero (Assassin), Salvador (Gunzerker), and Maya (Siren)

This is the second installment of the Borderlands series and plays as a bit of a sequel to the first game. Just like the first game you are to choose from four different treasure hunters. Unlike the name may sound, they do not hunt treasure in order to just find numerous riches but because they have no other choice. All of the selectable players have their own individual backgrounds that explain how they all ended up in the same boat. Essentially they do not have a choice, due to past actions the characters were banished to the desolate planet of Pandora as a means of punishment, the thrill of adventure and the lack of choice leads these 4 protagonists to cross paths, work together, and find the treasure that they seek. These individual stories about each protagonist are not explicitly known in the game. It is through the scoured ECHO devices throughout the game that helps to uncover not just the past of the protagonist but many other characters, as well as you, meet them through the game.

Plot

The Plot of Borderlands 2 pits the player in trainwreck from an explosive trap left by the main antagonist Handsom Jack. This is when you are prompted to choose your character and proceed on with the game. You wake up in the snow to find a small, annoying robot who rambles on and on about everything but more or less, all you need to know is that his name is Clap-Trap and he is a friend. You are then presented with a woman’s voice to trust Clap-Trap and stop Handsome Jack before things get way out of hand. So you like any good Role Playing Game, you listen, do what you are told, and watch what becomes of your actions as the game unfolds. As you progress through the game you can see that there are two sides that combat each other through the entirety of the game, the Hyperion Corporation led by Handsome Jack who is at constant odds with the Crimson Raiders led by one of the main characters from the first game, Roland. Essentially the Hyperion Corporation wants to dig and find the treasure located in something they call a vault. Hyperion has the time, money, and manpower to locate the vault much faster than most and the idea of that scares all other inhabitants of Pandora because they know if that kind of technology, riches, and power fall into the hands of Handsome Jack then everyone is good as dead. So it then becomes the player’s job to help the Crimson Raiders to combat Hyperion, halts their vault search as much as possible, as well as find the vault yourself, all while helping the locals of the planet. The main story is actually really well spaced out and sized, riveting, and most importantly, it is fun to play and extremely funny if you key on what they say or get the bigger picture as to what really is going on in a lot of the missions.

 

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Jack and the Hyperion Corporation

Emotions and Aesthetics 

To start of the aesthetic and emotional journey that Borderlands takes you through, we need to look at a few definition first.

  1. Emotion:  an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness.
  2. Aesthetics: relating to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.
  3. Art: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

One final scope I would like us to look through would be Niedenthal’s definitions of game aesthetics as they are thus.

  1. Game aesthetics refers to the sensory phenomena that the player encounters in the game (visual, aural, haptic, embodied).
  2. Game aesthetics refers to those aspects of digital games that are shared with other art forms (and thus provide a means of generalizing about art).
  3. Game aesthetics is an expression of the game experienced as pleasure, emotion, sociability, formgiving, etc (with reference to “the aesthetic experience”).

Borderlands 2 is famous for its spunk, visual pleasing aesthetics, unique audiovisual experiences, music/sound choices, and of course, the emotional rollercoaster that it takes the player on and rarely lets us go. Looking at the setting and art of the game, you will notice that is a very unique, cartoony almost comic-book-like style of art. The actual name for this style is called Cell-Shaded and it basically just bolds all the outlines of objects giving a much more “in you face” kind of feel, as well as it maintains the desolate, wasteland feel that Borderlands captures extremely well in my opinion. One other feature I would like to mention on behalf of the art in the game is the guns and mods within it. There are ENDLESS amounts of guns and loot in this game. One of the biggest artistic feats in a game I feel would be how the individual guns in the game have so many different variants in style, damage, accuracy, sight, range, ammo capacity, as well as most guns have their own unique abilities that they bring such as some guns explode when you reload them, others have elemental effects, some get more accurate as you shoot, and others shoot triple-bursts when aiming down the sights. The sheer number of options in this game keep it so fresh in my opinion because no one playthrough will be exactly alike in this game with a number of different gear options available.

 

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Example of Gun Stats and how they vary

 

The emotion behind this game is immense as well. This game will have you wowed at times, leaving you breathless to the sites, sounds, and findings throughout. Other times you will be sad, you will see the horrors of Hyperion and how terribly they treat and use everyone. You will grow attached to characters and watch them make the ultimate sacrifice. The game will shoot adrenaline up and down your body. The combat to this game, in my opinion, is second to none. From insane boss battles to an overwhelming number of enemies, too resistant enemies, scaling, ranged, up close, fast, slow, invisible, big, small, you will see all sorts of different encounters in combat, and you will find that they all have their weak spots. I always find myself leaning up in the chair every time I enter a big battle because this combat is so fast-paced but smooth as can be. You will laugh, it is bound to happen, this game HILARIOUS. Yes, the humor varies from each person’s perspective but for me, this game had me laughing out loud to some of the crude, sadistic humor that it throws at us. Plus the easter eggs found throughout and the relationships between the characters always make for a nice break from all of the action as you sit back and laugh alongside the other characters. As Niedenthal stated

“The core of formal meaning of a game, according to many current approaches, radiates out from the procedural nature of games, through rule sets and mechanics to sound, graphics and the controller; the core of experienced game meaning radiates out from the brain and cognitive awareness towards the senses and hands. Game aesthetics research allows us to pay full attention to what we have tended to think of as peripheral, the edges of the spheres. New gaming technologies point us towards these peripheries, and new understandings of the significance of touch, the senses, form giving and pleasure help us better understand what really happens when we take the controller in our hands. Where hands, senses, bodies and the tangible qualities of games meet, the aesthetic meaning of games emerges.”  Niedenthal

 

Conclusion

Borderlands 2 stands as one of my highest rated games of all time, not just because it had the cool guns or the combat itself, but because this game took me and never let me go. I found myself invested, I cared about the characters and what became of them because I saw a lot of humanity in the depictions that Borderlands gave me. I saw characters laugh, I saw them cry, I saw them mad, I saw them fight. Being witness to all these humanistic characteristics is what put me in the game. The fact that I was laughing at the witty writing, and that I found myself actually upset at the deaths of some characters really showed that the game itself did not just put on a show, that it really dug deep and invested the player into it, making me feel like I was just as much part of the story as anyone else. That style of game, that engaging combat, that customizability, that emotional investment that Niedenthal mentioned is why I am willing to argue that Borderlands 2 can be labeled as an “art”.

Resources

Niedenthal (2009). What we Talk About When we Talk About Game Aesthetics. http://www.digra.org/wp-content/uploads/digital-library/09287.17350.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borderlands_2

http://borderlands.wikia.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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NCAA College Football 14: An Artistic Competition

 

The cover of each NCAA Football games is always voted on amongst the fans, this year it is represented by Denard Robinson of Michigan

 

What is a “Game”?

  • According to the Oxford Dictionary, a game is “a form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.”
  • And according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a game is defined as “a physical or mental activity or contest that has rules and that people do for pleasure.
  • “A game is a rule-based system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels emotionally attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are negotiable”.  – Jesper Juul

NCAA Football 14 is an American football simulator developed and produced by EA Sports. This game boasts numerous different online or offline, single or multiplayer game modes to not only be an escape for one person but also a competitive experience for friends sharing a room or an online server. There are numerous different means of playing this game as well by either taking on the role of a Head Coach and customizing that avatar with the allowed customizable options and choosing where he will be coaching for the next few years as you pursue top high school athletes and make your way to the top to eventually obtain the infamous National Championship Trophy. There is also a Road to Glory setting where you create a high school athlete and play as him as you traverse your senior season and dependant on how your performance was you will then choose a university who had offered you a scholarship to play for them in the upcoming years. This game mode includes climbing your way to the starting position on the team and competing against others in order to help lead your team all the way. Like the installments, prior to this game, there is still a quick play mode and a mascot game to play as well.

 

RTG is one of the various game modes to experience

 

NCAA College Football 14 As a Game

Through the lens of a “game”, NCAA 14 I feel, falls perfectly in that spectrum being a competitive, rule-based, sport of skill and strength. As Juul describes games as “an activity which is essential: free (voluntary), separate [in time and place], uncertain, unproductive, governed by rules, make-believe.” (Juul). You are in a competition to either beat the AI or another player. The goal of the game is simply to win. You are free to choose from a host of different college football teams, to play at numerous different fields with different offensive and defensive schemes to try and best your opponent.  I personally have sunk an incredible amount of hours into this game, toggling the difficulty and increasing my player skill in order to beat the best. I found most of the enjoyment from the game has come from the Dynasty feature where you assume the role of an active head coach for a college team. My enjoyment comes from coaching a “cupcake” team such as New Mexico, UMass, or Air Force and seeing if I can take them to the big game and win it all. Like I said, I have sunk a lot of hours into this game and that is because it relies heavily on player skill and recruitment strength. You must devise a mean of recruiting excellent high school athletes and train them so they may compete to their highest level against the other schools.

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As a game, this installment of the series remains fresh and always continues to be an enjoyable experience. Though it is 4 years old now, this game is still one worth keeping for my PlayStation 3 and that is for the easy to hop in games and always fun and competitive feel that it brings to the table, more so than Madden in my opinion.

What is Art?

  • According to the Oxford Dictionary, “art” is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
  • And according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “art” can be defined as “skill acquired by experience, study, or observation; and occupation requiring knowledge or skill.” such as the “art” of making friends, or in this case, the ART of customizing, strategizing, and mastering the game.

NCAA College Football 14 as an Art

 

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My attempt at creating a team through the TeamBuilder website

 

This installment of the franchise offers a wide array of customizability to a tune for all the different players and fans of the game. From choosing your favorite teams to the gear worn by your players, the design and look of the coaching staff and the field with completely customizable uniforms and players inside of the newest TeamBuilder feature that EA Sports has provided. Through this feature, you can also search for and download different teams generated from different users keeping the community alive and running as well as witnessing and experiencing the artworks of another player. This goes into Becker’s opinion of works of art when he says,“works of art, from this point of view, are not the products of individual makers, “artists” who possess a rare and special gift. They are, rather, joint products of all the people who cooperate via an art world’s characteristic conventions to bring works like that into existence.” (Becker)  You as a player now have the freedom to create your OWN team on top of the 150 different teams already programmed within the game. Through this feature you can upload photos and create uniforms for the players, you can toggle the skill levels of the individual players as well as spec them to a specific strength they may possess (some more run heavy, hard hitting, coverage, speed, or power). These different features and constant creativity from the player’s end is a strong component as to why I feel this game will stand the test of time as it continues to feel fresh each time I play it time and time again.

 

Illustrates the customizability of the game

 

What really stands out to me through the lens of “art” when looking at NCAA 14 is the occupational requiring knowledge or skill to play. What I mean by that, is this game is extremely tactical, more so than most make it out to be. It takes prior knowledge of the sport to help the player excel. Knowledge such as, when to call timeouts to maximize time, knowing which new recruit would fit best in the program that you are trying to run, to knowing your strengths and weaknesses in your defense and making adjustments towards the identified strengths and weaknesses of the offense and vice versa. It is a tactical game and there is an acquired skill that goes into truly mastering the game. To me, that is the beauty of this game, finding the best way to attack and at the same time strategizing my squad in order to reach the overarching, sole purpose of the game, to win.

 

 

 

Winning is not everything, it is the ONLY thing

 

Sources:

Jesper Juul. (2005). “Video Games and the Classic Game Model” in Half-Real: Video Gamesbetween Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge: MIT Press: pp. 23-54. [PDF]

Howard Becker. (1982). “Art Worlds and Collective Activity” in Art Worlds. Berkeley:University of California Press: pp. 1-39.

Fall 4 the Fallout

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Fallout 4 is an action role-playing game developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks (Bethesda Website). The Fallout Series takes place in an alternate universe where the Cold War eventually became “hot” and the world quickly sprung into a large-scale, nuclear  war. This war brought about the worst and destroyed life as we know it, killing off pretty much any and everyone and for those life-forms fortunate enough to survive faced severe mutations. Animals, bugs, vegetation, and of course, humans all endured harsh mutations caused by the nuclear radiation. However, many Americans found themselves safe from the explosions residing in underground homes called “Vaults“. These vaults were buried deep underground to keep the residents safe from the dangerous amounts of radiation festering in the wasteland above ground. These vaults were not as safe as we are lead to believe as numerous social experiments took place in these underground havens such as torturing, self mutilation, and testing the boundaries of insanity.

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Ghoul (human exposed to high amounts of radiation)
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Feral Ghouls (when exposed to too much radiation, ghouls no longer think and become dangerous)
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Super Mutants (Genetically altered humans mutated from the radiation)

In Fallout 4 we are met with post-apocalyptic Boston, Massachusetts in the year 2287 and is frequently addressed as the “Commonwealth“. Here,  we meet the Sole Survivor, the main character of our story as we (the players) bare witness to his/her significant other be murdered point blank and our child taken away. Being cryogenically frozen you are able to fight back and when you are thawed and awaken in the vault, you find yourself to be the only one alive, hence the name Sole Survivor. (the name of the playable character is determined by the player but the story follows as the main character being addressed as “the Sole Survivor”). As the player leaves the vault they find themselves on the hunt for their son and traverse the wastes and face great perils on the way to uncovering the mystery of what become of your son.

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In game photograph of the Massachusetts State House

That being said, I would be very quick to issue authorship to the writer of the story. the author of the main story I feel would be the most deserving but in this case, I feel as though that is not appropriate given the immense visuals, the music and game sounds that really make the game stand out, and gameplay that stands as unique and smooth. I know I may sound bias but in my honest opinion, the story stands to be one of the smallest features in a game that features so, so much. To narrow things down I feel it is appropriate to define the word “authorship”. According to Google, authorship is “the state or fact of being the writer of a book, article, or document or the creator of a work of art.” The key thing to notice here is “the creator of a work of art”. Fallout 4 is absolutely a piece of art but this art did not spawn off of one person, one developer, one designer, but from a collective effort pout forth by a great number of people helping out to produce the final product of what we have today. Howard Becker notes that “the forms of cooperation may be ephemeral, but often become more or less routine, producing patterns of collective activity we can call an art world” resulting that working together as a developer help create an art world or in this case a video game.” From the early beginnings, to the implications of game mechanics, to marketing the game, and finally to production, the collective efforts from Bethesda is how Fallout 4 came to be. That being said, I feel it is MOST appropriate to give this authorship to the collective efforts of Bethesda Game Studios as a whole.
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       Todd Howard           Fallout 4 Game Director

Grand Theft Art V

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Grand Theft Auto V is is labeled as an action adventure video game boasting a free roam and open game style developed and published by Rockstar Games. This game and its predecessors before it stand as one of the most controversial video game series of all time. Hard core fans of the game exclaim how it is an expression and within the game lies numerous freedoms to take advantage of, much like the world we live in now. Freedoms such as yoga, driving all over the map (which is HUGE and modeled after the real city of Los Angeles), purchase weapons, steal vehicles, kill the innocent, kill the guilty, go to the strip club, and various other taboo topics that we see humans indulge in. There is a linear story with in the game where you take control of the three protagonists (Trevor Phillips, Franklin Clinton, and Michael De Santa, List of Grand Theft Auto V characters) and follow their individual stories until all three paths cross. While there is a story and linear missions within that story to progress, Grand Theft Auto V has an ABUNDANCE of side missions and miscellaneous interactions throughout the game. This title has received numerous rewards and accolades such as; Best Xbox Game by Canada.com, GameSpot, and IGN, and the the Best Multiplatform Game by Destructoid (List of accolades received by Grand Theft Auto V.) Clearly this game is highly received and critically acclaimed but with all that being said, can we possibly consider Grand Theft Auto V to be an art?

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To answer that question I feel we need to touch on what “art” is. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” piecing that definition let us look at the “expression or application of human creative skill and imagination”. Grand Theft Auto V from my experience playing is only limited to the user’s imagination. The game puts forth NUMEROUS imaginative tools with an array of vehicles and being able to customize those vehicles to the user’s desire, to customizing the characters and manipulating the hair, clothing, and actions of those avatars, and of course, deciding what to do. Grand Theft Auto V to me was the all-in-one video game. If you wanted to street race, rob banks, be apart of epic gun fights, do yoga, play tennis, pilot a helicopter, swim in a beach, ride a bike, go hiking, go mountain climbing, or simply go on a murderous spree killing anything and everything in your way, you can. I feel as though this is something Becker would agree with me on through his ideas of “collective activity”. Becker mentions that “arts we know, like all the human activities we know, involve the cooperation of others” (Becker). We can see that Becker understood that cooperation and collective capability is the basis of art and it is what leads to that creative expression that can be found in all branches of art, including video games.

In my opinion, Grand Theft Auto V is a direct expression of the user. From being able to customize your personal home, avatar, and vehicles no two gamer’s experiences will be the same. The game is molded by the user so essentially, the aesthetically pleasing aspect comes from the choices made by the user. Much like a painter would use a brush and paint to construct a unique artwork, the user can use the controller and the massive options within the game to create and genuine, unique and absolutely expressive experience. That being said, the beauty of Grand Theft Auto V can be seen and appreciated by the respective user.

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On the topic of emotional power, Grand Theft Auto V has invoked A LOT of controversy ever since the first game in the series came out on October 1997 (Controversies surrounding Grand Theft Auto V. ) It is ridiculed for its insane opportunities for violence and its depiction of women. One of the big “stand out” scenes in GTA V was the mission that required the user to implement torture equipment to interrogate a hostage. Many felt that mission was in poor taste and those who despise the series for its violent behaviour often bring it up in their arguments. Many journalists and bloggers have sparked debates on how the game depicts women and how violence towards them is condoned throughout the game. The controversy became so bad that Target Department Stores in Australia pulled the game from their 300 stores nationwide for its depiction of women and intense violence. If there was ever an emotionally powered video game, this would be the one. So with imaginative, creative, and emotional/expressive powers taken into account Grand Theft Auto V in my opinion is in fact, art.

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A Game Among Us?

2013-10-14_00015.jpgIntroducing The Wolf Among Us, developed by Tell Tale Games and based off of Bill Willingham’s  Fables comic book series. The game is broken down into five different episodes telling the story of protagonist, Bigby Wolf and his quest to uncover the murder of a mysterious woman. The setting takes place in run-down, New York City. Here we have Fairy tale characters or “Fables” living among humans or otherwise known as “Mundies” which is short for mundane, a word play against those non-magical beings within the game. We see fictional characters being faced with very real issues such as murder, poverty, drug abuse, and sexual abuse. That being said, there is a note of irony the game touches on with the idea of fictional characters tackling the real life and the very real struggles that come with it.  Right off the bat you can see the accents of humor tossed into this game, having the name of the main character (Bigby Wolf) as a play on the fairy tale character, the Big Bad Wolf. One thing worth mentioning is that this game tries to take itself seriously with somber issues it throws in the players faces but still allows those under-the-breath chuckles to be found with a little more examination.

My first impression with the game was a very positive one, and still is. The cell shaded style brings back fond memories of my numerous hours thrown into Gearbox’s Borderlands series, a video game collection that also shares that same cell shaded art style.

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What jumped out right away was the dialogue and the conversations had within the game and the power I had to manipulate how they played out. The choice of dialogue affected the relationship between Bigby and the characters he converses with. This adds a very unique element to the play style in that my play through of the game will be very different than that of someone else due to the selected dialogue and the relationships either built or destroyed by me, the player. Games like these always allow my curiosity to go hay-wire seeing all the effects of my choices and wondering what would happen if I were to choose another outcome instead. This curiosity usually leads me to replay the game and explore the different options. Unfortunately I did not have enough time to run through the game but It already has given me that want to do so in my free time.

The Wolf Among Us has a more interesting play style. The actions in the game are triggered through quick time events and button prompts. Other than that the dialogue manipulation and clue interactions is essentially the only things the player has the power to mold. This being said, is The Wolf Among Us supposed to be considered a “game”? As Juul stated, “Play is mostly taken to be a free-form activity whereas game is a rule-based activity” (Juul, 28). To find out we will look closely at Jesper Juul’s definition of “game” and his 6 criteria that it must hit to be considered.

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Those 6 criteria are thus: negotiable consequences, player attached outcome, player effort, valorization of outcome, variable or quantifiable outcome, and of course, it must posses rules. Now through the lens of Jesper Juul, we will analyze the Wolf Among Us and see where it stands among the criteria listed. When it comes to negotiable consequences, the game allows you to pause and stop playing at any given moment with out any consequences to follow. You can resume at any time from where you left off to no penalty. Player attached outcome can be found numerous times throughout the game. The Wolf Among Us centers itself on the dialogue choices of the player and depending on those choices, the story somewhat changes and thus a unique story forms. The player makes a decision and that decision has consequences leading the player to stand with and attach themselves to his or her outcome.w54.jpg

When it comes to player effort, not much truly needs to be made to continue the game. Some puzzles are placed against the player and very difficult choices are needed to be made. These choices are where most of the effort is found. Some decisions leave you stuck between a rock and a hard place essentially. As far as playing the game though, there isn’t much needed effort on the player behalf, however in my opinion I would argue there is some effort needed to play the game and there is needed effort from the player to determine the outcome of the game. Valorization of outcome speaks to the completed choices of the player and whether they were positive or negative consequences.images.jpg

This game prides itself on the choices of the player. The dialogue chosen will play a role in the end depicting the kind of relationships your worked to build or tear apart, there is no pleasing everyone and this leaves the player’s choices to determine the end of the game. The Wolf Among Us has  variable outcomes, and is based on a “cause and effect” effort from the player. You cause a reaction in the game and there is a following outcome that occurs. As far as rules play into the game, there are natural barriers in place and the game allows only so many choices to be made to influence the game. Based on the criteria in place, I believe it is safe to say that The Wolf Among us is in fact, a game.

 

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While this is not the first time I have ever put my hands on PAC-MAN, the nostalgic experience is always one to behold. The colors are done in a manner that puts you into a futuristic space with sounds and music that seems to almost take you back in time when video games were so much simpler. Speaking of simplistic, the controls are extremely easy to grasp and the concept of the game is thus, to collect all of the little, yellow balls before getting swallowed by the ghosts that constantly chase you throughout your game. As simple as the concept stands, it is that simple mechanic of exploring everywhere and hitting each location that is implemented into so many different games throughout history. Games are what keeps us occupied and take us away from this crummy world that surrounds us. They keep you occupied and the puzzling effect is what your brain craves after a long day of work. “Games are something special and unique. They are concentrated chunks ready for our brains to chew on.” (Koster). Straying your mind from the working world can be the perfect remedy to stress and angst; games stand as the perfect way to make this escape and for me personally, I have found one in PAC-MAN.

Playing PAC-MAN was definitely an enjoyable experience and one that I will for certain revisit when times get slow thanks to the fact that I have access to the game on my mobile device. What is fun about the game in my opinion is the fact that you can play it on the go. That ability to keep PAC-MAN in your pocket and access whenever you choose is what makes it fun to me. What keeps the game fun is the replay-ability. The game does set you up for failure and in the end you will lose but it is the strive to constantly set and break those high scores is what will keep me coming back to the game. One thing to understand is that this game is not one that you can sink hour after hour into consecutively, but a short burst of 4-5 minute plays in my opinion keeps it fresh and makes it feel like a new game in my hands each time I load up the emulator on my phone.

The fun that comes from this game doesn’t come from beautiful visuals or outstanding mechanics. The fun from PAC-MAN can be found in the understanding and growth in the skill level of myself, the player. “Fun from games arises out of mastery, learning is the drug, that moment of comprehension is what gets people hooked”(Koster). There lies an interactive learning curve that can be found within the mechanics of this game, the more you play it, the better you become. Striving to be better, to eventually become the best is what will keep me and many others who share the same opinion playing this game for years to come. This was a great experience having written about my “fun”  with PAC-MAN. This prompt has forced me to look deeper within the game than ever before and has lead me to grow an appreciation for the amount of designing that went into it. I look forward to more games and diving deeper with more experiences during the course of this class.