KatharineBooth

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    The Art of the Cut-Scene in Video Games

    Video games often rely on story-telling not only through playing the game itself, but from the use of cut-scenes. Many cut-scenes stay true to the visual style throughout the game, while others have 2-D animated shorts. Either way, video game cut-scenes serve a variety of purposes, from enhancing appreciation of the artistic design of the game (such as close-ups on individual characters), to taking away direct control of the action from the player. Looking at cut-scenes in successful (or not-so-successful) video games, what purpose does the cut scene serve? What are its most essential components to make it a successful addition to the game itself?
    (Note: there are of course many examples of video games that have cut-scenes that “stay true to the visual style” as I mentioned—with 2-D animated shorts examples from Atlus’s Persona series comes to mind. That being said, this article may be better written by someone with a wider range of video game knowledge than myself.)

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    Latest Comments

    This article was great! I admittedly have only seen I Love Lucy a few times, but your examination of this 1950s show’s rebellious “firsts” was a good read. The “expecting” (rather than pregnancy) topic made me think not only of how representations of pregnancy abound in modern American TV, but the wide spectrum of representations and subsequent appeals to the viewing public. On the one hand there’s the slew of reality shows that focus on pregnancy, often teen pregnancy–on the other are (arguably) heart-wrenching representations such as Lori’s in The Walking Dead. That the latter is not only acceptable today but adds an emotional, tragic dimension between several characters, shows just one way in which representations of pregnancy in television has grown and gained depth since trailblazers such as I Love Lucy, as you examine it.

    Why Wouldn't Everyone Love Lucy?

    I enjoyed reading this article, but I also thought there could be more discussion about newer features in the games focusing on building up “friendship” with one’s Pokémon. Sagemaster1, you mention bonding features in Pokémon Sun, but such features began notably back in Generation 2 (Gold, Silver and Crystal), mainly the ability to give a Pokémon a haircut (which, for whatever reason, they really seem to get a kick out of). Additionally, there is also the existence of certain Pokémon who require a certain amount of “friendship” towards their trainer to even evolve. This article was fantastic–just thought based on the overall topic that this could have been mentioned a bit more.

    Pokémon and the Animals in Captivity Debate

    I greatly enjoyed your article, as both a recently graduated English major and a video gamer. As you say, there is the unwarranted stigma against video games in our American culture, one major issue being, as you say, that “video games are often perceived as mindless entertainment.” Much of your article looks at the important differences between commonly understood “literature” and video games, specifically the level of immersive experience offered by video games that literature does not offer. But I think it is important to look at a way in which they are quite similar.

    Just as I have certain novels I read and re-read periodically, I also follow suit with certain video games. I revisit the commonly recognized member of the literary canon (albeit more on the modern-end of the spectrum) Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, as well as the non-canon, but increasingly recognized feminist work Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua. With video games, I replay, among others, Persona 3 and 4. The appeal and motivation is the same: the books and the video games impact you on an emotional, psychological and philosophical level, while having killer story lines and compelling character development. They all provide a story to be enjoyed time and again, with new things to pick up on with each new play-through.

    As the video game gains its rightfully acknowledged worth on a broader scale, it will be crucial to look at its unique merits in contrast to other media—but the similarities are important as well.

    Are Video Games Worth Studying? (A Literary Perspective)