This topic is based on a tumblr post (or tweet I can’t remember) that I saw saying “actual play D&D podcasts have done more for POC and the LGBTQ community over the course of a few years than the film industry has done in its entire existence.”
I think it would be interesting to examine what’s so appealing about actual play shows (The Adventure Zone, Critical Role, The Broadswords, Dimension 20,etc) that draws in underrepresented groups.
This article would delve into the notion of exploitative game design. For example, game devs will make virtual products that can be bought with real world money (such as gems, crates, keys, etc.), yet these products have no actual value. Basically, the prices of these products are arbitrary, being made up based on the developers’ whims.
App games are notorious for such practices, trying to incentivize the player with the need to buy these products to get further in the game in terms of buying more time or status/rank. I mean, who wouldn’t want another chance to beat that insanely hard Candy Crush level or get that one super OP weapon/character in an RPG?
Do you think this is okay ethically? Does there need to be legal action? How can people be made aware, or do they know and just don’t care if they’re being exploited?
Analyse what makes a silent protagonist work and what doesn’t: when does a game benefit from having one? When does it not? What are some instances where a silent protagonist could have been better as a speaking one, or vice versa?
Or maybe, what warrants the use of a silent protagonist, particularly in plot-heavy, character-driven series’ like Persona? How are they characterised, if at all, and why?
Could look at Link in The Legend of Zelda as well! – Sean Gadus4 months ago
There's also the case where silent protagonists stop becoming silent in the series, such as Jak in Jak and Daxter. – Emily Deibler4 months ago
One could consider the role of the silent protagonist’s “silence” as it pertains to immersive purposes. Some silent characters are not only mute—they have no explicit Idiosyncrasies or traits to establish themselves as full characters. Others, like Link in “The Wind Waker,” have more a sense of character through facial expressions and other complex reactive behaviors to story and gameplay elements. Exploring this dichotomy can prove useful in answering the question of the benefit of a silent protagonist. – James Polk1 month ago
I think it’s worth examining the power dynamics in fantasy games and what makes each particular game feel satisfying. Games like "Monster Hunter" and "Skyrim" both offer the player a degree of power over the world, but the difference lies in degree. "Monster Hunter" empowers the player as an exceptional hunter, but only allows them to practice that power in particular ways. "Skyrim" allows players to kill people with only their words. Yet both these games prove to be immensely satisfying. My question is what common factors lie between them? How do each of these games (and others) feel satisfying despite the difference in how they allow their players to act in their worlds?
This is an interesting topic definitely, though a bit too broadly conceived right now -- the games are quite opposite genres, for example. A tighter article could, for example, compare the thematic import of player agency in an open-world game where players have lots of freedom (Skyrim) and players have comparatively little freedom (Monster World, as I understand it). In other words, but fixing the genre (open world) and fictional context (fantasy), a comparison can be made more clearly.Lovely idea. – Derek2 months ago
Analyze the evolution of popular RTS games such as the Age of Empire series alongside others like Medieval and how they serve as education through entertainment by using historical battles and events as the crux of their gameplay material. Also analyze how well-sourced the relevant histories being represented in these genres of RTS games are.
A nice idea for a topic, there could be further exploration and balance involved by looking at intentionally educational games (good or bad), games that have the potential to be educative but aren't yet and those that are breaking new ground and providing engaging experiences that are both fun and educational. – CAntonyBaker2 months ago
That works well too. I guess RTS games may make the article limited in its discussion. Speaking of intentional education games one could also tackle the Learn Japanese visual novel games which are well known to get you familiar with japanese but not necessaroly all out educational tools. – ajaymanuel2 months ago
With a myriad titles being re-released on the Nintendo Switch at their original full price, the question is raised if games should still be worth the same amount as time progresses. Are we expected to pay the same for products that are re-released or should there be some reduction? It requires work to port and in some cases remake sections so profit is needed to pay for salaries, however, is the game still worth the same after time has passed. For example, Skyrim on the Switch is worth around £50 (original RRP) despite being 8 years old.
I think this could be an interesting topic. In addition to Skyrim releasing the game for different consoles, there are also remasters/retooling, such as Pokemon's Let's Go, or Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin. Looking at the differences between having to port over an entire game to a new system vs making modifications to the game itself vs cost of materials (why are digital games the same price when there are no physical goods?) provides a lot of ways to look at this. How much are fans willing to pay for the same thing again and again? – InvertedMobiusStrip3 months ago
I think this is an interesting topic. Whenever a game is ported to a new console or platform, the question of price comes up. Remember that most companies are looking to make a profit when they port a game, so there is usually a price range they may be looking to price their game. This is also interesting for Independent games which have pricing model between $40 to $4.99. Does it matter it you are supporting an indie game or a AAA game? Will you pay more to support a smaller studio? – Sean Gadus3 months ago
The number of female protagonists in video games has sharply increased in recent years. From Lara Croft to D. Va and Widowmaker in Overwatch or Ellie in Last of Us, there’s no denying the move to cast women characters in the lead in many of today’s gaming franchises. The question I have is whether this is in fact a shift in the direction towards gender equality and a real desire to branch out the target client base to include female consumers. The evidence to the contrary lies in the character design of these string, intelligent, independent women and girls who nevertheless remain depicted in what constitute for CIS male players as erotically charged and sexually arousing body types and outfits. Further proof of this underlying trend can be seen in the fact that all of these “empowering” characters are extremely popular in rape based hentai games and videos. Is the gaming industry (designers and consumers) still in the end just a cesspit of misogynistic desires despite the work of women challenging gamer culture through a history of conflicts as #gamergate?
I do not much play many games, but I believe that females characters in games have been and continue to be portrayed sexually. In most games, a female character's outfit reveals more skin than a male character's outfit. In some cases, the strength of a female is lower than a male character's strength. In some sense, this brings up the concept of male domination and female subordination. Although this is not true to all cases, I still believe that it is a reoccurring theme. It also leaves a negative effect on individuals because they might not want to choose a female character because it is weaker than the other male characters. – decalcomania3 months ago
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim was released in 2011 and almost 8 years on still has a thriving community of players and content creators. Why is it that a fairly linear, story-based RPG has so much replay potential? Analyse the reasons why people keep picking up this game!
Love this topic! I think a lot of the "replay-ability" comes from all the different side quests (ex. guilds) that you can play alongside the main quest line. In addition, open-world RPGs leave so much potential for the player to create their own narratives. There are also a ton of fun add-ons. The popularity of Elder Scrolls Online also likely has something to contribute to this. – EJSmall4 months ago
So it's hard to doubt Skyrim's popularity, however, a lot of this has been down to the sheer volume of mods and additions made by the community. Bethesda stopped producing new content for Skyrim a while back (excluding ports to new hardware) and so the community has kept it alive. It would be good for the writer to consider both sides of the argument and look to linear RPGs without modding capability and other games with an accessible mod platform to see if this has had greater impact on the longevity of the game. – CAntonyBaker2 months ago
Well one reason would be accessibility, for sure. Skyrim is an RPG, but it is a streamlined one complex enough to warrant multiple playthroughs, but not so daunting that it becomes frightening. Another would be production values; Skyrim has aged fairly well due to it's graphical fidelity, sound design, game play elements, etc. And of course, there's the modding community, which can transform the game into something all new all over again. Speaking from personal experience, I'm back to Skyrim again as I type, going through with an all new perks system and gameplay overhaul tham makes playing it fresh again. I have to agree with CAantonyBaker and urge a look into the modding community of games. – majorlariviere2 months ago