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Latest Topics

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Grappling Hooks are the Best Feature of any Video Game

Video games have been around for nearly fifty years now. Over the past few decades, trends have come and trends have gone within video game culture. When games started utilizing open worlds, many other games followed suit. When games decided that climbing mechanics were the next big hit, many games began to replicate this feature in their own way. But there is one game mechanic that no matter how much time passes or what stage in the video game zeitgeist we are in that remains, bar none, the best feature a video game can have. That’s right, we’re talking about grappling hooks.

There is just something so wholesome, so endlessly fun, and so rewarding about being able to traverse a wild terrain by slinging a grappling hook and getting the job done; perhaps there’s only one way to cross a wide ravine surrounded by waterfalls, maybe you need to gain the high ground on an enemy and lunge your katana into their torso from above, maybe you’re being chased by a horde of undead and a quick grappling hook to the rooftops if your best escape, or maybe you just want to see what happens when you grappling hook an enemy soldier and tether them onto a moving helicopter.

Explore the top games of the last fifteen to twenty years that featured grappling hooks and discuss the value of such a useful mechanic while also discussing other games, their mechanics, and how and why those mechanics are inferior (I.e. yellow markers to indicate climbable structures, active building mechanics, stealth mechanics, dual-wielding, etc.).

  • OkaNaimo0819, I see your point, but I can assure you that there is definitively enough material and that an article can be written highlighting the grappling hook above all other mechanics. I've gone ahead and added an edit to include your suggestion but perhaps reserve judgment for the final pending article before shooting it down because what you're suggesting is a different article all together. Which you can feel free to write because I'm not going to. – FarPlanet 4 days ago
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  • Uncharted 4 and The Tomb Raider remake both use grappling item. Also, would you count the hookshot from The Legend of Zelda series as a grappling item (Wind Waker also had a great grappling hook). – Sean Gadus 2 days ago
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Escapism and The Sims

Arguably, any type of entertainment offers some form of escapism (which is why we are often drawn to it). However, The Sims seems to present a unique situation.
I suggest an article that looks at the element of escapism with regard to The Sims. In that it is just simulating life, does it really offer a sense of escapism? This could present some discussion points like, the inclusion of supernatural beings, the lack of negative consequences for life decisions, the ability to play out an idealised life.
Do people play The Sims to create what they want/are missing in life? Is it just enjoyable to escape ones own life and control someone else’s? There is an entire niche of YouTube dedicated to The Sims gameplay, this could also present content for this article, in terms of how people play.
In the first player-voted pack for The Sims 4, a pack that allows players to do laundry won. Perhaps this article could offer suggestions as to why players are so enthralled in simulating the mundane, and to refer back to the key idea, is this a kind of escapism?

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    Enter the Gungeon Slaps so Hard

    Enter the Gungeon is a rogue-like video game (procedurally-generated dungeon crawl levels featuring unique gameplay and permanent death of the player) released more than four years ago. The game features four playable characters, with three additional characters that may be unlocked through completing in game objectives, each featuring their own unique weaponry and bonus items to help the player on their journey into the Gungeon: a bullet-hell dungeon where at the bottoms lies the gun that can kill the past.

    The title alone must sound silly. The explanation, perhaps even more so, but let me tell you: Enter the Gungeon slaps so hard. It’s unique gameplay, storyline, unlimited pop-culture references, and rewards for each Gungeon run(geon) that encourage players to come back again and again make this game endlessly replayable.

    In this article, delve deep into the gameplay, why the game is so relevant, highlight its pop-culture references, why the gameplay is so much fun, why its structure makes it the perfect game for long-form gamers or those that only have an hour at a time to enjoy, and all around why it deserves as much attention today as it did upon its release.

    • This sounds really interesting, but I think the article would need to be cautious that it is not too subjective. Rather than looking at why it is so fun, this could translate to a discussion of what elements of the game play are most enjoyed by those playing it. Then, WHY are those aspects of game play so popular? (I'm not familiar with the game so forgive my generalisations, but is it suspense, or mystery, or action, that players enjoy?) I think this would need some form of evidence to avoid coming across as just opinions, whether it be reviews or statistics to demonstrate popularity, etc. – leersens 3 weeks ago
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    • Leersens, Thanks for the advice. As this would be an article a bit close to my heart due to my (obvious) admiration for this particular game, I would be weary to make this a subjective glorying article about the game. The highlight of the article should be about what it is about the game that makes it so enjoyable and how it's in depth pop-culture connections keep it relevant to anyone playing it as well as people of any age. (No need to forgive as no offense was given. Perhaps the article would give inspiration to want to try the game out?) I would want this to be a review piece but also touch upon why after four years it's still (pardon the repeated terminology) slaps so hard. – FarPlanet 3 weeks ago
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    2

    Should indie game developers exhibit at E3?

    With the growing number of independent game developers, it is becoming more challenging for smaller studios to get recognized. One of the major ways to get fans is to attend and exhibit at gaming shows. Cost is the elephant in the room regarding these shows, and the cost for E3 is insane considering it being the largest expo for gaming in the world. However, investing in a trade show proves very beneficial when done right.

    Do you think indie developers should exhibit at E3?

    • I'm not sure if you have a diverse enough topic, as you've largely outlaid already the major pro and con. This is one of the times where I think going broad might be better and talking about what options indie developers have today, and weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of the different options. – SaraiMW 2 years ago
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    • I believe this topic with due consideration to SaraiMW’s note holds special significance in the current scenario. With WFH becoming the new norm, people not on the frontlines do have some more time on their hands than before. What new steps and out of the box solutions can indie game developers come up with that will become the next trend-setting game changer (pun intended) in the market? And If successful, what impact can it have on exhibitions like E3? Writers are encouraged to propose new ideas with in-depth analysis and not just copy-paste content from other sites. – Dr. Vishnu Unnithan 1 month ago
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    How Has Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Impacted The Video Game Industry?

    Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a huge public health topic that has affected many facets of human life this year. One of the entertainment industries most affected by the virus has been the video game industry, which is a global, interconnected industry. A variety of conferences (like E3 and GDC) have been cancelled or postponed, cancellations of major E-Sports events and even game delays (Virtuos Studios recently delayed the Switch Port of Outer Worlds) due to complications related to the virus. Other thoughts would be to explore how Coronavirus disease will impact the production release of Next Gen consoles that are currently on the horizon.

    • Great topic. If I were writing an essay on it, I don't think I'd be able to resist somehow bringing at least references to at least one video game about epidemics or infestations. – JamesBKelley 4 months ago
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    • Oh, so timely. Love it. I think it would also be interesting to see if there have been any other big events in recent history that have impacted the video game industry -- natural disasters, other crises, etc. I can't think of any off the top of my head, but it would be interesting to see if there's any point of comparison. Definitely want to read this! – Eden 4 months ago
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    • This would be a good topic to write about. – OkaNaimo0819 1 month ago
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    Taken by Daniel Ibarra (PM) 1 month ago.
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    Analyze the Evolution of the DOOM Franchise

    The release of Bethesda Softworks’ DOOM Eternal this year marks another milestone in what has become almost three decades of video game history for the franchise. For 27 years, the franchise has been a pioneer in FPS multiplayer games, and their fan base has witnessed an ongoing evolution of characters, graphics, and narratives. But this begs the question, why has a game that began as shareware endured with such longevity, outliving other games from the ’90s? So, analyze this evolution of the DOOM franchise, from the original DOOM (1993) to the recent 2020 release. Look specifically at the graphics, gameplay mechanics, lore, and storytelling. Question what exactly makes the franchise so popular, and what has maintained this popularity through the decades. Although the franchise includes films, comics, novels, and more, this article would seek to analyze the video games specifically.

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      When Do Video Games Become Art

      Video games have increasingly become just as much of an art form as television and film and yet it is still stigmatized as unworthy of being considered art. Despite this many games have been able to take claim as being works of art. Discuss what differentiates the games that are considered art with those that are not and critique whether it’s fair for only some of the medium to be considered art.

      • Regarding your last sentence, I think it's worth acknowledging that there are two distinct ways in which something can be designated "a work of art": 1) in the classificatory sense (i.e. that is an example of an artwork because it's a painting), vs. 2) in the evaluative sense (i.e. this particular painting is truly a work of art, because it's so good!). When SOME video games are deemed to be works of art while others are not, it is clearly in the evaluative sense, but it sounds to me like the main question that you're asking here is "are video games (in general, as a medium) art in the classificatory sense?" Reading George Dickie and/or Arthur Danto might be helpful here. Best of luck to whoever tackles this topic! – ProtoCanon 2 months ago
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      Analyzing the Rising Popularity of Visual Novels

      Visual novels (VN) are an interactive game genre that originate from Japan where text-based stories are presented in a narrative style of literature and allow for readers to interact as well as decide on the flow of a story. These mixed-media novels have, in recent years, gained more popularity outside of Japan especially through gaming platforms such as Steam. What sets these mixed-media novels apart from other genres such as film, animation, manga, and comics?

      • Love this! Ultimately it contains a visual narrative that a novel just doesn't have. In addition, I have just been reading The three escapes of Hannah Arendt. I have read her philosophy and theory on tyranny and socialism and as everyone knows philosophy is quite hard going at times. The graphic novel is a great starting point and really gets to grips with both her story and philosophies and breaks it down into amazing visual story telling that transcends any language barrier or prior knowledge to her work. It accessible and at the same time demonstrates emotive power and understanding of her background and the tyranny she and others faced under the oppressive facist regime. https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/37941885-the-three-escapes-of-hannah-arendt – Lousands 3 months ago
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      • This would definitely be a good idea! I think especially because gaming media is still under the impression that story-based games aren't selling as much as, for example, battle royales or multiplayer games. I would look at big AAA games, like Final Fantasy VII, as the most recent story-based game release. For an indie title, Undertale was a massive one and Little Misfortune, which is a suspenseful horror game that recently made the rounds. – kerrybaps 3 months ago
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