VideoGameProf

Contributing writer for The Artifice.

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    Latest Topics

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    Gaming: The Effect of Acheivements/Trophies

    Acheivements have been available for quite some time in the form of PC gaming on Steam. However, with the addition of these starting the XBox 360/PS3 era, I think there has been a shift in how many people perceive playing games. For myself, I research video game literary studies, so I have seen my own perceptions in playing games. When I was younger, I played simply to enjoy a game, play a story, do a little grinding, but when it moved to this acheivement system, I found myself playing game differently. No matter what, the trophies are in the back of my mind. I am constantly thinking about what I need to get the Platinum. Also, when I play as a researcher, I am looking for more story moments, so games that are combat heavy (BioShock Infinite) that have a great story tend to feel like a slog. How can we, as gamers and researchers, keep these different gaming "personalities" in check so that gaming doesn’t feel like a job or chore, and what does it mean for gaming in the future? Looking at somthing like a David Cage game (I’m looking at you, Detroit: Become Human) is obviously great for the research, but playing to get the Platinum is an entirely new beast altogether, and they tend to meld when playing.

    To boil it down, how has the advent of achievements/trophies changed the way gamers look at, and subsequently, enjoy video games? Do the trophies make them more fun or more of a chore after so long?

    • I think this is an interesting topic. I have found that chasing platinum trophies keeps me playing a game well past the point of it being fun. The competitiveness of a given game reaches into a kind of meta-realm where the achievements of gamers are comparable through an achievement/trophy system. The desire to escape this phenomena could possibly be linked to the resurgence in retro gaming. No recorded achievements, simply gaming for gaming's sake. – Kormax 2 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    There are definitely some in which I would go one way or the other. For something like Dragonball, I grew up on the dubs, so I am used to hearing those VAs as opposed to the original Japanese counterparts. For something like Attack on Titan or Sword Art Online, I was introduced to the subs first, and so they feel more natural to me. If I am invested in an anime, I will go with the sub, but if I know I am going to go in and out when it comes to listening to and watching it, I would go with the dub so I can at least get the gist of the episodes.

    Are you a Sub or a Dub?

    I’d have to say that the two biggest antagonist driven stories that tend to come to mind easily are Wicked and Maleficent. These are two stories that take very old characters that, for decades, have been seen as the main antangonists of their stories until they get turned on their head. It’s easier to be more interested and relate more to these stories because they are flawed. Often a protagonist that wholly good is hard to relate to because humans are complex. It is easier to relate to someone who walks a grey line, and it is generally more enjoyable to see that sort of story played out in book, on the screen, or through a controller. We enjoy being a little evil, and we understand what it is like to be misunderstood. We also typically see these “villains” get antagonized by people that are often thought to be good. It has definitely gained popularity, and has given commercial rise to a new trope that has breathed fresh air into centuries old story styles.

    Antagonist-Centered Stories: What Can We Learn?

    This is something a professor of mine and myself have been playing with for quite some time. The illusion of choice is clearly the largest player in the Bioshock series, and as such it is used as both a motivator and a demotivator. I believe that the illusion of choice used in the context of the Bioshock games works perfectly, because it understands that we, as players, want to think that we are making the decisions in the game, and yet at the end of the day, we are at the mercy of the 1’s and 0’s playing behind the screen. I think that to make a truly choice-based game will be impossible, at least with our current technology. To look at something that is even procedurally based, such as No Man’s Sky, as having choice is impossible. The narrative will still be the same for the most part. All the major parts still exist. Even in something like Infamous, no matter if we choose the good or bad side, we will always fight Kessler at the end, learn of our past, and then start Infamous 2 being chased by the Beast down to New Marais.
    We all love the thought of being able to choose everything in a game, but right now, the illusionof choice we currently have, whether used to the best of its abilities, or having it turned on its head, is where we currently stand.
    Good article, solid research, and a well versed conclusion.

    Bioshock and the Illusion of Choice in Gaming

    I can agree on the shortcomings here. I think that Breath of the Wild can be seen as a flagship for a new generation of Zelda games. It is difficult to make this open world transition to a game that is typically pretty tightly controlled with specific mini quests and repetition of play.
    For a sequel to this game, or another Zelda game of the same thread, I think that making the world feel more lived in would be important. This is the great problem of open world games. They are very open, but is there a lot to do? For BOTW, it does have the 120 shrines spread throughout, but I believe they tend to get repetitive in their actions. The first 20 are fun, but after that, it feels like a slog. I believe this game was a good way to play with these new mechanics. I think of something like Twilight Princess, a larger world that had a lot going on, especially because you traverse the areas as a wolf first and Hylian second.
    Don’t get me wrong, BOTW was great, but I do believe it felt like Nintendo dipping their toes in the water for what will become a stronger Zelda game next time.

    Ways That Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Sequel Can Improve