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Latest Articles

Latest Topics


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?

  • I love this idea! My favorite video game of all time is Bioshock simply because the alternate histories and realities are so mind-blowing and it makes my head spin with possibilities. – Jenae 7 years ago
  • You could do an entire article on Assassin's Creed! Bioshock and Infinite are great examples because they capture the look, feel, and sounds of their distinct eras! Great Topic Idea! – SeanGadus 7 years ago
  • Several wartime FPS games like Call of Duty would also be a good example. – SarahKnauf 7 years ago
  • Great topic! It's engaging and would definitely interest a lot of readers. I believe working on 2 to 3 examples, analyzing the effects of the alternate histories, is a good way to write about this topic. – klepa 7 years ago
  • Very interesting idea. It could be said that the alternate timeline set in the game's story allows the combination of "the present-day," with elements from another distinct era, giving players something familiar, yet totally new/different. You could also bring in other game examples like "Wolfenstein" and the "Command and Conquer" series. – Jaeb512 7 years ago
  • What about Wolfenstein? I took this topic as more about the "what if's" of history. Wolfenstein asks, "What if Germany had won WWII?" and creates that as an entirely separate history. It asks us to consider how different things could've been then and now. – Christina 6 years ago

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Latest Comments

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.

What You Missed From NieR

Just a fair warning to everyone, I believe there are spoilers in the video (If so I think he warns you beforehand).

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

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!

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

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!

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

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!

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

Greatly appreciated!

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

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.

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

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.

Video Games and Morality: The Question of Choice

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!

Dark Souls: A Game of Two Genres