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Alternate Histories in Video Games
Analyze the use of alternate history in video games. Why is this a common trope? What are the effects on the player? What are the implications of doing this? Great examples would be Bioshock Infinite with it’s alternate dimensions ending, as well as Fallout 3’s alternate history which separates from ours in around the 1940’s. Thoughts?
Thank you so much for your reply!
While I haven’t played Nier, I did watch Super Bunnyhop’s video about it which was excellent and has me very interested in both the original and the upcoming sequel.
Just a fair warning to everyone, I believe there are spoilers in the video (If so I think he warns you beforehand).
I can vividly remember trying to give a beggar in Skyrim as much money as I could. Just like you said, I think you could only give them 1 septim at a time. It was rather disappointing that nothing ever came of it, but it is quite silly to think about the implications: some beggar in Skyrim became rich yet is pathologically continuing to pretend that she is poor. Thanks for your comment!
I imagine that would require some hardcore technology. But I guess anything is possible now that computers can beat us at chess! I agree though, and I hope we get there too. Thanks for your comment!
I agree, and they also managed to do so much with so little. The game can be boiled down to simply pressing “accept” or “reject”, and the implications and consequences are so far reaching. I’ve played through it so many times and the amount of little details just astonishes me. Thanks for the comment!
Thanks for the comment. I certainly have to concede that many games for me are time killers: agar.io, pac-man, flappy bird.
However, I couldn’t disagree more with you when you say that that is all they are. I wonder if either:
a) You just haven’t played anything you feel worth your attention (for literary, mechanical, or aesthetic reasons).
b) Perhaps they might have not been something you have given much thought to?
Even the games I listed above have merits on their game mechanics alone. Piaget, Huizinga, and others have delved into the nature of ‘play’ and ‘games’ in ways that changed how I thought about games, and video games by extension.
Let me know what kinds of game you have played. I might be able to recommend some that could change your mind.
Thanks for the comment; you have some interesting points. Immersion is a phenomenon that has been studied heavily with regards to film and recently video games (not too sure about television). As it turns out, for most people there is a threshold that games cross whereby they lose sense of the world around them and become ‘immersed’ in the game world. Interestingly, music serves as a facilitator for immersion (at least that is a common hypothesis). I would recommend reading “Effects of Contingent and Non-Contingent Audio on Performance and Quality of Experience in a Role-Playing Video Game,” by John Baxa for some hard experimental data on this kind of thing.
I will grant that games are often better suited for environmental storytelling versus character storytelling; however, it’s rather subjective to say that all character development in video games is incomparable to film and television. I can think of many great examples. Also, there are plenty of bad examples of character development in television and film that take away from a sense of immersion; it happens within any medium.
I assume your comment is coming from first-hand experience? If so, I’d love to know what games you’ve played; I might be able to give you some awesome recommendations for games that have good writing and character development.
Interesting article. I had never thought of Dark Souls challenge runs in this way so it was great to get this different perspective. I loved how you brought up player’s past experience with Souls games as a contributing factor in Dark Souls 3’s reception. Great Read!