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Latest Topics

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Duality of player choice in modern video gaming

Analyze video games such as Mass Effect, The Witcher, GTA, or any modern video gaming series that enables players to chose the outcome of the match, with long-lasting consequences in vein to real life, then suggest ways this technology could improve in future titles.

  • Don't forget to mention that some games can also carry consequences into their sequels (like Dragon Age). I think it would be interesting if we could use this system to create a game like Dungeons and Dragons, which offers the closest to actual freedom than any game (board of video) has previously offered. – AGMacdonald 1 week ago
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  • We have already published three articles on this topic: https://the-artifice.com/bioshock-and-the-illusion-of-choice-in-gaming/ -- and -- https://the-artifice.com/life-is-strange-the-illusion-of-choice-part-ii/ -- and -- https://the-artifice.com/video-games-morality-choice/ – Misagh 1 week ago
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  • This would be interesting to research. A basic understanding of how games are coded and structured would probably help, I know that how player choice runs is different from game to game, and different companies often develop a kind of trademark use of the feature. Bioware and 2k would both make good case studies. – Cat 1 week ago
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Open World Games: Immersive Adventures or Lacking Structure?

Finally got around to playing Dishonored 2 recently and it reminded me how brilliant level design can impact enjoyment. People love Bethesda titles such as Skyrim and (arguably) Fallout 4 for the unrestricted world they give the player to explore but can they ever be as good as games in which levels, environments, enemies etc. are designed specifically for the player to encounter in a way that the designer had in mind? You could have examples of titles that display the positives of each design philosophy and a few titles that show off the negatives (lack of structure, lack of freedom etc.) and give your own opinion of a possible ideal middle ground?

  • I'm hoping to present on a related topic at this year's Popular Culture Association conference for the Midwest. The push to make throwback platformers or open world games -- almost exclusively -- seems absurd. Happy to write on this topic if it gets the support and notes and upvotes. – Paul A. Crutcher 2 weeks ago
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  • Lack of structure is exactly why I am not a fan of most open world games. Even the presence of infinite quests is bound to be repetitive in such titles. I look forward to reading this. – TheUbiquitousAnomaly 2 weeks ago
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  • Open world games can often lose momentum or interest if they are repetitive and don't have a defined path, games such as Assassin's Creed and Far Cry are fun to play but often contain a lot of missions that are re-skins of previous missions. Games such as Uncharted and the Last of Us can often feel like they are offering more complete experiences since there often feels like these linear-types of games provide greater opportunities for interactive storytelling as well as detail put into characters, environments and enemies. – varunuchil21 2 weeks ago
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  • Right off the bat, I think of franchises like Metal Gear Solid and Uncharted as successful "linear" playing experiences; boss fights in MGS are iconic because they're timeless - the majority of the series is a decade or so old, but you can always revisit them and recall the atmosphere of each encounter.Then there are games like Assassin's Creed and Grand Theft Auto - there IS a plot there, for sure; but the open world aspects that these games claim to have is hampered by the fact they just feel so inconsequential. They're definitely fun for a little while, but at the end of the game's life cycle, collecting all 100 feathers in ACII or completing the Epsilon program in GTA V just can't compare to fighting Talbot in Uncharted 3.If anyone pursues this topic - I'd love to hear what you think about this idea of progression. I think games like InFamous really did well in this sense. The idea of karmic alignment based on the decisions you made as a hero or as infamous guided the progression of your powers and the upgrades necessary for them. It might not be heavily plot dependent, but maybe that can lead to the bigger question of whether open world is truly possible when programming and random occurrences can only do so much to make events in the game world seem organic. – Lmquilantang 1 week ago
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  • This is one of my big problems with MMOs. I usually fall in love with the world and character designs, but that can only sustain me for so long. Personally, I crave narrative structure. In saying that, there is a happy medium. Games like FFVII allowed you to roam the world freely, but there was always an immediate goal when you were ready to delve back into the story. – AGMacdonald 1 week ago
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Making a Case for Remaking Old Games

While Hollywood remakes are rampant at the moment, we have been inundated with a spate of soulless cash-ins; but do video games have to share the same fate? The mechanics of video games are much more complex, and as such can do with a gamelpay and graphics overhaul every decade or two to keep the game alive.
It would be interesting for someone to put forward the case that there is actually a need for remakes within the video game market.

  • This is an interesting article. There are a lot of games that get remade or might get remade in the future.For example: the crash bandicoot collection, FF IIV, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Twilight PrincessI think you also need to define what a remake is? Is that different than a rerelease or the same? – Sean Gadus 3 weeks ago
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  • A comparison between the successful Assassins Creed game franchise and the failure to translate it to film would be interesting – bethlauren 2 weeks ago
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Ruined by the Fandom - How our interaction with fans affects our view of media.

Investigate the seemingly modern phenomenon of media being "ruined" by it’s fandom. Works like Steven Universe, Undertale, and Minecraft all have encountered problems with people being reticent to engage with them despite merit of the works themselves due to preconceived notions of what kind of people engage with those works. In some cases, particularly Steven Universe, high profile twitter users have expressed fear of discussing the show for worry of how the fandom may lash out at them. How new is this phenomenon? Is critiquing a work based on it’s fans valid? How can creators avoid this stigma? Should they have to?

  • This is often a huge problem with media (particularly large fandoms), particularly in regards to the 'extreme' fans, who discriminate against 'fake fans' and become overly obsessed in shows, turning off those who are more casual fans. Looking at the fandom before the show is becoming the new first step to becoming interested in something, and it can indeed damage the popularity of a show, even changing the entire target audience (take My Little Ponies, for example, where the growing fandom of 'Bronies' has turned most parents away from introducing the show to their children, lest a middle aged man in a unicorn onesie starts stalking them on the internet - a common idea people associate with the new fanbase). – SophIsticated 4 weeks ago
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  • Some fandoms can also get really out of control, especially if little kids that can't take others different opinions make up the majority of it. This can become an issue on social platforms where the fandom in question is being discussed etc. – airyfrairy 3 weeks ago
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  • Agreed, very much. I loved Once Upon a Time when I first started watching it, for example. I still do. But the negativity of the fandom has left me feeling pressured to say, write, or think negative things I don't necessarily agree with. The same is true for other shows I've enjoyed. Once the fandom gets too vocal, I tend to go "into the closet," for fear that being associated with the show will cause backlash. And let's face it: I often closet myself because I'm just sick of hearing fandom blather. – Stephanie M. 3 weeks ago
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The Sense of Community: Multiplayer Games

Video games seem to be one of the stronger emerging forms of media these days and that in turn has caused a sort of cultural and social shift for some. Consider Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAS) which have friend and party functions built into their games. MMOs as well have an in-built social function with things like public chatting in Runescape. It would also seem that these social aspects in video games would transcend the in-game functions and disperse into various mutual fandoms. Online communities and more for all these games are growing and becoming more prominent along with the medium. How do you think this has come to be? What does this mean for the culture surrounding video games compared to how it was before?

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    Envisioning VR: A wider look at the uses of Virtual Reality

    Most of what we see to see in the media relating to VR technology seems to all come back to videogames. Certainly it’s one of the most obvious applications for the technology, having been brought up in numerous futeristic sci-fi scenarios, but what about outside of that? What are its other uses, perhaps in museums, cinema, or even the classroom? The ‘Scotland VR’ app might be a good place to start.

    • I know Concordia University's been working on VR and its multiple uses, Google as well. It could be worth a look. – JennyCardinal 2 months ago
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    • I think there's massive uses for VR outside of video games, or even general entertainment purposes. VR has massive potential in the education field, and I have seen some really interesting AR applications that allow people to examine anatomy/physiology in 3D space. I think I also saw something about using VR to explore battlefields during history lessons. Any kind of visual information seems like it could be more efficiently studied in VR/AR, especially as it adds an interactive third-dimension. I wouldn't be surprised if the military started using it for training purposes (if they aren't already). It's definitely a fascinating topic. – Ben Woollard 2 months ago
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    • Not only, I am using VR for presentations in design, to show the space, to immerse people in it and to actually be in the space, not just to see it on paper. – aichabrinley 2 months ago
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    • VR has been used in aerospace industry to visualize simulated airflow around the aircraft. Due to the time-dependent and 3D nature of the airflow, VR is a perfect technology to visualize the it. – yigu8115 1 month ago
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    Video Games and Crowdfunding: A Retrospective

    Kickstarter is the crowdfunding platform many video game developers have turned to in order to fund the development of their personal project. Take a look back at the biggest games of the last five years that have been created with the help of Kickstarter (Undertale, Mighty No. 9, Shovel Knight, etc.). What caused some of them to succeed upon release? What made some of these games disappoint backers and players alike when they released?

    • This topic is so good. It is incredibly relevant to the current gaming landscape. With Yooka Laylee out soon and Bloodstained: ritual of the night coming in 2018, the topic is not going away.Shovel Knight is a fantastic game and has thrived really well, with new expansions coming out every year or so. It has a great following. Mighty No. 9 was extremely disappointing for a variety of reasons. – SeanGadus 3 months ago
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    • A lot of people are losing hope in projects that feature in Kickstarter just like how people now naturally assume that Steam greenlight is filled with shovelware. A lot of people ought to know this is a platform that has made success possible for a lot of determined developers. The message seems to be deteriorating as time passes. – TheUbiquitousAnomaly 3 months ago
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    Gentrification and the Fighting Game Community

    Analyze the path the Fighting Game Community has taken and how its path towards more mainstream "Esports" appeal may be pulling it further from its roots. Look at how the origins of Fighting Games, which until about 2009 were competitively played primarily in arcades, separated them from other competitive fighting games primarily played online. Look at how the economic factors required to play online games in the early 2000s vs the quarters required to play in an arcade created two separate groups. Look at how attempts to court sponsors to major FGC events could be seen as disrespectful to its roots. The racial undertones of Evo’s "No Thuggery" rule.

    • Great concept! You might have this already in mind, but I'd recommend highlighting the tipping point where fast online connections turned regional gaming competitions into world competitions, perhaps where people from foreign cultures finally had access to sponsored gaming competitions in the US. That moment when gaming blows up on a global scale is an exciting moment for the origin of fighting games. – Nate Océan 3 months ago
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