TPA97

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics

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    Are Microtransactions Ruining Video Games?

    Ever since the meteoric rise of mobile gaming, microtransactions have plagued the world of modern video games. Games are being released with DLC content available from day 1, leaving many to consider such games incomplete upon release. DLC used to be used as a way of extending the playability of games after they have been out for a while. However, it is now being used as a cash grab for developers who sell game content separately. Is this trend leading to the downfall of video games? How long will players continue to shell out wads of extra cash to play a game that they already bought?

    • I think that one should be careful to separate microtransactions, DLC, and expansion packs. Like the difference between a Sims stuff pack, Oblivion's Shivering Isles, mobile game shenanigans, and buying a crate in a game like Overwatch. It might be obvious to some, but clearly delinating what's what will likely prevent a lot of confusion. – Scarlety 2 years ago
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    • Make sure to define your terms very clearly, microtransactions, DLC, expansion packs, etc. Good, relevant topic, lots of resources to look and draw upon from across the internet/gaming sites. – Sean Gadus 2 years ago
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    • To me microtransactions along with companies such as Netflix has started to lead us down the path of games as a service rather than or alongside buying and owning games. Because of this I don’t think microtransactions, as frustrating as they are, are ruining video games. Instead they are reshaping the way companies develop and provide games with continuing income in mind. – mfgorey 2 years ago
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    • I don't think microtransactions are inherently bad. Free to play games, for example require this kind of business practice to get some form of money to maintain the game. Microtransactions in AAA games are going to be the norm now due to games like Overwatch and Hearthstone. However what I think is bad about them is how malicious some companies make them. For example, the Harry Potter mobile game recently held your character hostage until you could pay up the money to do so. Those kind of practices are outrageous and should be frowned upon.But that doesn't mean microtransactions themselves are ruining the game. It's like DLC, they could be cosmetics or they could be full blown expansions. How obtrusive they are to the game that the player is playing is something else. – Vladimito 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    For decades, the formula has been the same. The origin story is the first movie in a series of movies about a superhero. Very seldom is there a superhero movie that is the first in a series where an origin story is not the driving force behind the plot. For most average viewers, as in those who have not read the comics or learned the backstory to a character, this can be helpful. It provides context and makes the movie more enjoyable. I see no problem with this approach. However, it makes departures from this formula such as “Hancock” “The Incredibles” stand out. I think that more movies should stray from the origin story at least for the first in the series, but I also think that abandoning it entirely could mead to less enjoyable viewing experiences for the mainstream audience.

    Origin Stories: Do we need them?

    I love this article. I feel like too few people play these games without batting an eye to the deep and philosophical meanings behind them. One of my favorite games with an overarching philosophical theme is “Dishonored.” You must make decisions that in turn affect the outcome of the game. Every person you kill in order to complete a task increases the amount of disease present in the environment. Killing may make a single moment easier, but it will eventually increase the overall difficulty of the game as it progresses. My favorite aspect of the game is that the developers created it so that it is possible to complete it without killing a single person. This is incredibly difficult, but the reward is both fulfilling, and a bragging right. I would love to see more games in the future implement this type of decision making beyond simply making choices from a list like in “Mass Effect.”

    Video Games That Ask Deep Philosophical Questions

    I had seen this whole series several times over through reruns on Comedy Central before I ever took the time to watch each episode in order. One of the best aspects of this show is that you can watch it either way and still enjoy it. The very first episode has just as little context leading into it as any other. You can watch any episode out of order and it will hold up on its own. However, if you choose to watch the series in order, it offers a whole new perspective. Although the premises and types of humor remain consistent throughout the series, there is a clear progression of absurdity that presents itself as you watch each consecutive season. You can tell that the producers were aware that they had a cult following on their hands, and rewarded the audience with more and more outlandish plots, clearly pushing the envelope of what they could get away with. The show started out ahead of its time, and had to adapt to stay ahead of itself, since it most definitely paved the way for many others like it. I strongly believe that without “Always Sunny,” we might not have some of the other raunchy and cringe-inducing shows we have today.

    "It's Always Sunny" and Why We Laugh at Bad People