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    Latest Topics


    Games as Multimedia Storytelling

    Approached from the perspective of being an interactive story, what is unique to games like MMORPGs (esp. sandboxes), metroidvania, war games or survival games, as stories? What are some of the ways that gaming has innovated new ways of telling stories (think non-linear, interactive etc). Games can pull together disparate storytelling techniques like visual, auditory and interactive in a way that books, comics or film alone can’t. Has the gaming industry harnessed this potential?

    If you want to narrow it down to a specific category i’d recommend visual novels and RPGs, as they feel a lot closer to the question.

    • It would be very helpful to mention Final Fantasy XV, which one could argue spread itself too thin with the multimedia storytelling. It was a double-edged sword: People could access the series through the anime, the feature length movie or even the retro style gaming experience of A King's Tale. For someone like me, who was heavily invested in the series already, it was wonderful and got me excited for the game in the lead up; but for a casual gamer who just wanted to play the game, or a movie-goer just wanting to watch the film, it would make it difficult for them to grasp the entire story without turning to the internet to fill in the blanks. – AGMacdonald 7 years ago
    • You could also look at the different ways games try to pull a story. For instance The Last of Us is an excellent example of envrionmental storytelling and how you won't get the full plot without actually interacting with the space around it. If you're mentioning comics, the Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us (anything Telltale, really) are great examples of how the universe expanded beyond the game (or how the game expanded beyong the comic) to create a larger universe – Mela 6 years ago
    • I think a good recent example of non traditional story telling is the game Nier Automota. In order to play the game to completion, you have to complete three different storylines, each of which that follows the more or less same story, but each is from a different character's perspective. Depending on which character you are playing as, different information about the story is available to you. For example, one of the characters cannot read or understand the language of the primary antagonists, so when you are playing as that character, the language and writing of the antagonists look and sound like gibberish to you. However, when playing as another character who does understand their language, you are able to read and understand the speech of the enemies. There are also multiple endings that differ substantially depending on which storyline you are playing, The game also breaks the 4th wall a lot. The way that the game represents your character's status is seamlessly integrated into the gameplay. As another example, since your player character is an android, some enemies can hit you with a computer virus that will mess up your vision. The game does not just make it harder for you to move, or harder to attack though; the game actually screws up your visual display so its like your own vision is messed up. Other attacks may cause 'glitches' where your screen jumps in and out. Overall, I thought the integrated HUD did a great job of immersing you in the world and it was probably one of my favorite narrative elements in the game. – alexbolano92 6 years ago

    Gods and the Nature of the Deity in Pop Fiction

    American Gods, Battlestar Galactica, Xena. People’s fascination with gods seems to have shifted from worship to a kind of character archetype. Are "gods" essentially malleable symbols open to interpretation, or is it fundamentally incorrect to draw a line connecting pop fiction gods with their cultural basis?

    Potential here to expand the subject to include comics (the Wicked the Divine), games (God of War franchise), film (Bruce Almighty, Dogma, Gods of Egypt).

    • Fascinating topic. One thing I'd suggest for the prospective author to consider is difference in representation between the pantheistic "gods" of antiquated mythologies vs. the monotheistic Judeo-Christian "God" who has remained the cornerstone of much of the world's contemporary theology. Despite all deriving from similar religious foundations, there's a clear distinction between Chris Hemsworth portraying Thor (whom few, if any, people still hold sacred) and Morgan Freeman playing Yahweh (which, quite literally, breaks a Commandment that many people still consider blasphemous). How do the authors/filmmakers approach these two classes of gods differently, and does the latter adhere to the same archetypal logic as the former? – ProtoCanon 7 years ago
    • The comparison of superheroes to Gods may serve the purpose of this article well, both in comparing and conceptualizing superhuman deities with supernatural powers. Superheroes such as Batman, Superman, or Spiderman, have become symbols of the potential within all humanity for greatness. – iRideChallenges 7 years ago
    • Perhaps the issue boils down to a laziness, limitation, blockage in the English language and American culture with regard to the concept of godliness. What is a god, anyway? Immortal, all-powerful, divine...the words usually hark back to our religious heritage. Those who maintain and value that religious heritage are understandably pained by callous use of the term, perhaps because of the confusion it engenders. Those who do not feel a connection to a religious heritage might express their ignorance, but also a concerning anger or rebellion towards it by careless use. The term "superhero" has wide appeal perhaps because it does not trample on belief, but moves in a different, fantastical and immensely interesting direction. According to an article in the New York Daily News, the term superhero was first used in 1917, long before Marvel and DC came into being. It's a tremendously useful 100-year-old word. Maybe it's time for another even more descriptive word. After all, we have made some progress in that length of time, haven't we? – CLHale 7 years ago

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    Latest Comments

    This was an interesting article, but it felt very short. There wasn’t really anything said about the pathologizing of sex in Western culture, which would have provided a solid background on which to centrally frame people’s issue with the art, and I was surprised that nothing was said about Mann’s children’s views (insofar as they are known) about their mother’s photography.
    Otherwise, it inspired me to read more about the artist. Thanks for writing and sharing 🙂

    The Controversial Art of Sally Mann

    Thanks for writing and sharing 🙂 I live in Australia and we get a lot of second-hand pop culture from America, and other things along with that but without the cultural context. I’ve been meaning to see Hamilton or buy the album, this was the motivator I needed to actually go ahead and do it.

    Hamilton and the Construction of Post-Obama Americanism

    Thank you so much for this article. I’ve been looking for a concise and readable example to show friends who have never heard of this trope or think it’s harmless. I’m glad also that you pointed out it isn’t a comic-exclusive trope, though I did feel it was possible to include other books and movies in the list. I was also hoping you would touch on other ways that female characters are removed from story lines, if only to point out that WiR isn’t alone in being a gatekeeping mechanism to keep casts predominantly male.

    But those things aside, this is one of my favourite articles i’ve read so far on this site. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Women in Refrigerators: Killing Females in Comics

    This was interesting article with some engaging subject matter, and provided a fairly tight distinction between two different types of separate universe.

    I think you could probably have explored the subject deeper, and possibly looked at the varying ways science has been used to justify a parallel or alternate universe. There also wasn’t much exploration of the distinction between those things and a commercially-motivated remake (you mentioned all the movie adaptations of Superman – this would have been a good paragraph to put it in).

    Other than that, I liked the article. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Parallel and Alternate Realities; Fiction Tells us the Difference

    It’s refreshing to read an article that defends textspeak and the use of emojis, though I thought there were a couple of missed opportunities. I haven’t read all the other comments so i’m not sure if anything I have to offer has already been said, so if i’m repeating anything I apologize.

    I thought the article might have benefited from a stronger background in sociolinguistics, as there were some excellent points which could have been expanded upon to strengthen the article. Linguistic shift is one example, and how sociolects impact linguistic shift. Internet-based sociolects entered common use over a decade ago, but are still thought of as being extremely new because they evolve far, far more quickly than non-internet-based sociolects. Yet this also makes them easier to study from the perspective of corpus linguistics.

    That aside, I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    Creative Texting: Writing and Textspeak

    I’ve been wondering about how exactly the “sublime” works as both and neither a positive and a negative experience. This article summed it up, while talking about some of my favourite people and books. Thanks a bunch for writing this 🙂

    The Sublime's Effects in Gothic Fiction

    Balanced and articulate. I like that you started with Chesterton, that really helped introduce the paradox of Peter’s choice.

    I did want to read a little more about Wendy, and not just about the role she played for Peter but her role in the narrative as a character with choices of her own to make. Otherwise, loved the article. Thank you for sharing.

    The Problem of Peter Pan: Should Choices Hurt?

    This is the first thorough and serious investigation of what a troll is that I’ve ever come across. By taking it seriously, in a way you’ve de-fanged a figure that has been granted too much power over emotion and discourse, especially in the last couple of years.

    I like the broad approach, including James Veitch, fictional characters and history and mythology. Very interesting and entertaining.

    The Art of Trolling: A Philosophical History of Rhetoric