"Horror" has become a rather subjective term nowadays in that people define it differently and recognize certain qualities of a horror game differently. What is it about certain horror games and/or horror franchises that makes them so successful and so appealing? Is it atmosphere? Is it the amount of jump scares? Is it audio? Is it all of these things combined? Analyze the way the horror game has evolved over the past few decades.
The writer may want to consider (but is certainly not limited to, or required to consider) notable franchises and games such as the Silent Hill franchise, the Resident Evil franchise, Doom, Alan Wake, Five Nights at Freddy’s, Amnesia, Until Dawn, Outlast, and/or Dead Space. What is it about these games that makes them so successful in the horror genre? How thin is the line between horror and just plain silly or ridiculous? Lastly, how might publishers prevent recycling and rehashing the same horror tropes when making a new horror game?
Amnesia: The Dark Descent would be great to talk about here because it's been deemed one of the scariest games ever by many, so much so that SOMA, it's successor, was deemed not as scary. I disagree with that because SOMA is mature, brilliant, tension-fueled sci fi horror. (Maybe the genre crossovers like sci fi horror could be a point to bring up? Dead Space, SOMA, Alien: Isolation, etc.) But Amnesia definitely had an influence on horror games. I also think the way Frictional Games changed from Amnesia to SOMA, from frights to existential dread, is something to talk about because it deals with the way horror has changed and is received by an audience. (The reaction that a game is not "scary" without jumpscares and many chase sequences, much like how movies like The Witch are received...) On a smaller note, there's the third person (Silent Hill) and then the now ubiquitous first person POV. I could go on, haha. – Emily Deibler9 months ago
I've never actually had the guts to play horror games, so I'm very interested in reading this once someone takes it (if someone takes it!). The closest I've ever gotten to horror is F.E.A.R. and Bioshock, neither of which are that bad. – Christina Legler9 months ago
About F.E.A.R and BioShock, and also Doom, it's possible their accessibility can be discussed when talking about cross-genre horror games, and how the action shooter element may make the horror less alienating for a player who doesn't enjoy horror games without some genre-crossing. Some may be more open if they, say, like fantasy and sci-fi, and the horror is dark fantasy or sci-fi/cosmic horror rather than "plain" horror. – Emily Deibler9 months ago
That's a really good point! For me personally, I enjoy things with dark elements and the macabre, and Bioshock felt like that for me...which is what made the jump scares and occasionally creepy/horrific parts less traumatic for me. Lol. F.E.A.R. is interesting because, like you said, it's more of a cross-genre game. Parts of the game focus on the creepy horror elements, whereas other parts seem to be strictly FPS (if I remember correctly...I haven't played that game in years). There is a nice balance in there that makes it bearable. On the other hand, something like P.T. (which I didn't have the nerves to play...I only ended up watching walkthroughs on Youtube) terrifies me because of the atmosphere and the constant sense of inescapable dread, since you don't know what will happen or when it will happen because the AI is so advanced. – Christina Legler9 months ago
I was pretty freaked out by the first BioShock, despite being a horror fan. The Splicers were pretty scary, and I have this fear of the ocean. And P.T. is terrifying. It definitely feels confined--and many horror games like P.T., Amnesia, SOMA, and Layers of Fear have no shoot/fight option. In some, you can run and hide, but if it's like P.T., it's just a hallway. There's nowhere to go. And the unpredictability of the A.I. definitely enhances the terror. – Emily Deibler9 months ago
I love horror games. I think the genre is so broad because you have action-horror games that have many jump-scares and monsters, but you also have games that focus more on the atmosphere and narrative to create the horror aspect. It is very interesting. I hope somebody picks up this topic. – Lexzie9 months ago
Explore the difference between RPGs and Literature as the first-person narrative is you in a much more explicit way than the "you seeing through someone else's eyes" of novels. Horror is such an engaging gaming genre not because of the individual elements but because of the user's experience in dabbling in adrenaline and conjuring real and lasting images in the user's mind. You have the safety of playing from your living room, but it feels instead like you've invited the horror into that living room, rather than stay removed form it.If we want to pick apart the elements, the ever-evolving graphics, acute plot writing, dark visuals, swelling and eerie original compositions are all contributing factors, but it's the reward of the cinematic, particularly the jolt in transitioning from "how do I react/escape from this once I regain control" and are thrust back into the game post-cinematic. Those cutaway scenes have developed in ways that contribute instrumentally to the user experience. – PiperCJ9 months ago
Talk about the concept of grinding in video games (Single-player console games. MMO’s would be an entirely different topic). Often RPGs, especially JRPGs, require players to spend time mindlessly fighting enemies to up their level enough to advance the plot. Is that still warranted in today’s game environment? Was it warranted in the past? Is the level-up system outdated?
Use examples of RPGs from the older generations (SNES, PS, PS2, Gameboy, etc) and modern generations (WiiU, PS4, XboxOne, etc). Did technical limitations play a role? Is it an old tradition that’s stubbornly clinging to life? Am I wrong in suggesting it’s outdated and it is still an essential part of RPGs?
Wow! This is a really really fascinating topic. I think you are really diving into a very deep area of discussion with this topic! But it is one that merits alot of discussion.One question I might ask the writer to think about is this: "when writing this topic is how deep will this conversation be?" Will a casual reader be able to read an article about grinding and understand the article with little to no knowledge of RPGs or will does the writer have to include alot of background to help clear up information and make this topic more clear to people not immediately familiar with rpgs.Just some food for thought. Regardless, this is an AMAZING topic to address in an article! – SeanGadus2 months ago
As a gamer, having played a certain amount of mmorpgs, and other games which require a grind, I am sure you can relate to all the other gamers that have probably been familiar with it. Today I feel there is a more of a "Pay2SkipGrind" option in all games. I am not sure that level up is outdated but it gives players a goal to get to feel that their countless hours atleast got them something. – Fluxz4 weeks ago
Honestly, this might be a little too philosophical, but I have always appreciated grinding. It has always felt a little closer to true life than a lot of aspects of video games. For instance, grinding seems to connect closely with practicing sports. When you practice something like baseball, you simply need to go to the batting cages and hit a baseball at a certain speed over and over and over again. It might get a little boring, but only by crazy amounts of repetition can you ever expect to improve and advance as an athlete. I think this is true of almost all areas of life--the necessity of practice to perfect a craft. You know, the whole 10,000 hours, Malcolm Gladwell thing. Anyways, I feel like I would argue FOR grinding because of this idea that it connects the game a little more closely to the real world. – Squirrels3 weeks ago
Are video games getting better or worse at depicting women? What should they do to change it? How can they find a balance?
I don't have a lot of knowledge on this subject because of my limited experience with video games, but I think it could make for an interesting article. The first female characters that come to mind are the tough warrior types (female knights in medieval fantasy games) or, on the other hand, the overtly sexual types (such as Cortana in the Halo series). This article would need many examples to form a complete argument. – AlexanderLee2 months ago
There's also the tropes of the damsel-in-distress (re: plot device) or the naive/innocent girls who are really there to be love interests (or to be killed off to spur the protagonist onward in his journey). I think the topic might be difficult when considering the amount of female representation across many genres of games. It might help to narrow it down to specific genres or even specific series, or high-selling games with notable female characters. You can even discuss the seeming absence of female characters in certain games. – Karen2 months ago
Could you suggest some thought-provoking video games that could compliment the topic? Some suggestions with a strong female protagonist or sidekick could be helpful. The only one I can think of now is Bioshock Infinite with Elizabeth as the sidekick. Other than that, I think this is a promising topic. – AbeRamirez2 months ago
I would suggest looking into Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite and the damsel in distress trope and how it confirms and breaks from this trope.Also, you might possibly examine Ellie from the Last of Us. She is a very interesting female character.– SeanGadus2 months ago
Write about how morality plays an important role in the story of a video game
Interesting topic. A discussion of morality in video games could cover both aspects of the game that lurk in the moral grey areas or are blatantly immoral and whether players might feel remorse or hesitate in performing an action (i.e. just because you can doesn't mean you should). – S.A. Takacs1 year ago
Grand Theft Auto would be a suitable reference for this topic. Munjeera – Munjeera1 year ago
I think this is an interesting topic. I agree with Munjeera about Grand Theft Auto being applicable to this category. In fact I think a whole article could be written about morality in the GTA series.
Side note, I think choice based games could be looked at as well because it puts players on the spot for situations that may highlight their morality. – Lexzie11 months ago
No other medium demands a more intimate relationship with the audience than video games because the player is perpetually required to progress the story forward. In this way the player becomes an active participant in the world as opposed to a passive observer. This is why being the player on your last heart in "The Legend of Zelda" will feel incredibly epic but will look like a bunch of cheesy blips and beeps on a screen to anyone else watching. Creating a game in which it's central mechanics would rely on the players morals would be so effective because of how emotionally invested the player feels already. – mynameisreza11 months ago
I agree with Lexzie about the importance of choice-based games when it comes to morality. Games developed by Telltales (like The Walking Dead) might be suitable examples. – faezew11 months ago
If you're gonna write about morality in video games, what better example to use than the Bioshock series? There's still a lot to explore there. – Tanner Ollo11 months ago
This raises questions about what exactly should be allowed to be shown in certain films to certain audiences. There is much scandal surrounding violence in video games and films especially involving young people. This scandal sparked from the Columbine massacre and has become more and more controversial. Maybe change the aim of this topic to 'the influence of ethics from video games' – Brandon T. Gass5 months ago
Are you considering working anything like Half-Life 2 or Portal into this? I feel like these games could be a fertile ground for analyzing ethics within a video game medium. – Matt Sautman4 months ago
It would be interesting to explore the idea that Fable 2 starting with "mortality". I remember it being a huge deal that, instead of dying, the character would just receive facial scars. It took away that "punishment" that gamers either love or hate. – kaseyshaw4 months ago
Bioware games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect games would make great references for this. – hagenb4 months ago
It's important that games don't label their moral choices as "good" or "bad" each action should come with its own package of pros and cons and the player should make their decision based on which set of pros and cons they feel better about. – JacksonAP4 months ago
It seems to me that game studios are becoming more "moral" the late 80's and 90's produced really violent games for the sake of being violent, now at least (most) games give a proper context as to why the violence is needed and is less for the sake of creating a hype around violence or sexual content. – LelandMarmon3 weeks ago
The Wii-U was a commercial flop, with only 13 million units shipped, yet everyone continues to love Nintendo and all of their franchises. With the Nintendo Switch coming out soon this could be Nintendo’s last chance at hardware if this console doesn’t succeed. If this console fails, will Nintendo become the next Sega and become focused just on software instead of hardware?
An interesting topic. I believe we already have an article exploring what the Nintendo Switch needs to do in order to succeed, but I do think it's at least important to address that. Perhaps one can give examples of Sega's own failures or trace their own history - can any other major comparisons be made between the two? Or will Nintendo simply bounce back from any potential failure of the Switch because they are so well-loved due to their brand or franchises? What would it even mean to become the "next Sega"? – karebear72 months ago
I haven't been into Nintendo products for awhile now, but I was surprised that the Wii-U flopped.The parallels with Sega are a little scary, though I would say Nintendo has much stronger legs to stand on than Sega did, This is a great topic. – MikeySheff2 months ago
Hi! I wrote an article about the Nintendo Switch and what factors might determine its success but I think there is plenty of room to discussion the idea of Nintendo getting out of the console making game in a new article.Maybe focusing on pros and cons of the move from making both software and hardware to just hardware would be a good fit for this topic. What is gained and lost by Nintendo no longer making hardware and focusing just on software. – SeanGadus2 months ago
From a literary perspective, are video games worth studying, or should you put down the controller and pick up a book?
There is certainly something to be said for the level of artistry that games have achieved in recent years. This justifies intellectual criticism of these new developments and, in turn, justifies criticism of previous "less artistic" developments for a better historical understanding and appreciation of the form (e.g. we don't study The Sneeze as a masterpiece of cinema, we study it as landmark event in the history of film; so too will be the case with Pong). However, I think it is high time that Video Games Studies truly becomes a field of its own. Your use of the word "literary" feels inaccurate, which may be a contributing factor as to why many literary scholars are quick to reject Video Games as a form, since they see it as a low-brown infringement on their domain. At the moment, most academic work surrounding Video Games has been contained in Film (as its closest relative with regards to media) and Theatre (as its closest relative with regards to interactivity) Studies, but it strikes us as being too different from either of these to real belong within them. Only with a Department of its own can the form (and its societal appreciation) truly begin to flourish, as was the case when Film Departments began to appear in the 1920s. – ProtoCanon4 months ago
I think that a interesting way you could pursue this topic is to discuss the Video Games as an art/art form debate. Because if video games are art, then the argument can be made that they deserve to be studied on the same level as art or film.Additionally, I think that thinking about how much of video games are "intentional" could be an interesting angle to pursue. For example, the creators the video game make a conscious decision on art style, what moves a player can do, how the game plays, and what perspective is the game in (3rd or 1st). These are conscious decisions made by the creators, similar to how authors make conscious decisions about how they construct a narrative such as 1st or 3rd person, what information the reader knows about and what is hidden from the reader. – SeanGadus4 months ago
I agree entirely that Video-Games should be studied as an artistic medium; I personally find them to be a somewhat more interactive medium than conventional art-forms though, which leads to a sort of rift between studying games and, say, film studies.
Nonetheless, they should be examined, if not just for the artistic choices made by their creators but the story choices as well. Most games today have a defined storyline or plot in them (though some don't, which is fine). However, the way a developer can portray that story can vary widely across games: some games, such as the Legend of Zelda franchise, give the player a relatively deep pool of lore to sift through just by playing the game. However, other games, such as Cave Story or Superbrothers Swords and Sworcery have a more subtle way of giving the player the story, and may leave parts up to us as players to interpret. There are also games like FEZ and The BInding of Isaac, which have purposefully cryptic storylines which the players must explore for themselves, giving them a greater sense of accomplishment when something finally "clicks" than if they were merely given a predetermined plot point. – bwmaksym4 months ago
Literary studies cannot remain so rigid. For one, the concept of "literary worth" is rapidly changing as self-publishing options are becoming more and more profitable and accessible. Therefore, what deserves to be published (and therefore read) is subject to change. At the same time, other forms of media have been considered "unworthy of academic study" for generations. At first it was film, then it was pulp and genre fiction, and now it's video games. Video games are not literature, nor are they film and therefore need a specific set of tools to analyse their critical and philosophical significance. Yet, they still provide us with a message, they still use visual and audial aids to immerse us in reality, and they still often follow some sort of narrative structure. To think that video games are undeserving of the title of "art" or too banal for intensive literary study is absurd. – X4 months ago
Video games have come a long way and now the technology is very developed, as we can see how hyper-realistic the graphics are and how incredibly intelligent the AIs are. Putting aside people who develop games and who game for a living, I wonder if video games as a sheer form of entertainment actually provide any important values to a heavy gamer’s life–by heavy gamer I mean someone who spend most of their time gaming not for profit or work. Also, in this context, I’m referring to non-educational games, so not the games that is meant to educate kids, but games that is meant to entertain, such as DOTA, Far Cry, Infamous Son, Counter Strike etc. Take Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for example, some kids play it night and day, and all they do is shooting people. One could argue that such time can be spent on reading, an activity that provides not only entertainment, but also important values.
Just for the sake of bouncing off ideas with people, another argument I could think of is that, even though some games might have educational values, they probably don’t improve things like literacy as much as reading a book does. I also keep thinking that if a person play violin 24/7, they would become a virtuoso, where as if they play games 24/7, no matter how educational the game is, I doubt they would obtain any actual skills.
Now before you think I’m an anti-gamer, I want to clarify that I’m not. I have played lots of games. I just wanted to occupy one side of argument so that it might be easier for other people to take another (or agree on my side).
This topic sometimes occurs to my mind when I see people just play games 24/7 (again, excluding professional gamers and game developers); they don’t care about other things other than their games. It sometimes seems to be like an addictive mind drug. Such things don’t really happen to people who enjoy other forms of entertainment (music, movies, sports etc), which is what makes the games a different kinds of entertainment than those, in my opinion.
Take away video games from one’s life, I would tend to think it wouldn’t do much harm to a person (assuming that they are not addicted already), but if you take away other arts from someone’s life, I think that would actually do some sort of damage to them. So how valuable is gaming to one’s life? Is gaming just pretty much wasting time? If you were a heavy gamer, how would you justify all your time spent on gaming?
Do you want to focus on extreme gamers (i.e. the 24/7 gamers you described above) or just gamers in general, even the casual ones? I've been playing video games nearly my whole life and have successfully finished many. While I'm not what you might consider addicted (on average I'll play at most 4 hours of a game in a day, but I'll stop gaming for months if I have a heavy school load), I think I'd definitely lose something if they were taken away. I love gaming for the immersion it gives me into a new world, like a book or a movie - I love the escape of it. If you took away my movies or books, I'd be very angry for the same reasons. If you want to think of games as wasting time, then what about books with bad writing/fluffy or meaningless stories, or movies that are just action-packed with zero plot? Every medium has its flaws/problematic culture and I think by just looking at a violent game like Counter-Strike as an example of video games being a waste of time, you lose the games that are actually educational (there are games geared just for children after all), that operate much like books or movies by showing people a brand new world and offering them an escape, or that are just a really fun way to waste time. Wasting time is not, after all, always a bad thing. – karebear72 months ago
Is there a way that you could narrow this topic down? It is really interesting. It just seems like a monuments task, and almost like a research project. I would concur with the above comment on focusing on specific gamers like extreme gamers, or it can be a comparison with casual gamers. – AbeRamirez2 months ago
Get Ready! Nintendo is about to launch its first mobile game on December 15th. This game is Super Mario Run, a platform specifically built with mobile controls in mind. The game will start out free to play, but at some point, you will need to spend $10 to buy the entire game. This is a extremely different business model than games like Candy Crush and Pokémon Go, which have micro transactions built into the game, which you can spend as much or as little on the game as you want to. These micro transactions will shape how fast and effectively you progress in a mobile game. Super Mario Run’s business model flies in the face of what is the norm in mobile gaming. My question is this: is a $10 charge too much to pay for a mobile game? And is this one time fee a more fair business model for consumers than the Free to Play, Pay to Win model that has dominated mobile?
This would be a good topic to write about as the game is releasing. It highlights a key component of the game at a time when the game will have the attention of the mobile market.
I like the idea of the game. I would want to have a test trial to be able to decide if I think the game is worth spending $10. Through the free trial period I would make my decision. I do think that is expensive, but I think its reasonable comparing to other options from other mobile games. I'm iffy about it. I guess it'd have to be a really good game, for myself to pay $10. - Nads – Nads432 months ago
I personally think $10 is tooooo much – Haruskie22 months ago
Could explain why you think $10 is too much. It might help however ends up writing about this topic to get a clearer insight into how people perceive this product. – SeanGadus2 months ago
Could you explain why you think $10 is too much. It might help however ends up writing about this topic to get a clearer insight into how people perceive this product.Sorry for the spelling errors in the message above... – SeanGadus2 months ago