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Latest Topics

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The Illusion(?) of Free Will in Sandbox and Role-Playing Video Games

Using both popular examples (e.g. Grand Theft Auto series, Elder Scrolls Series, Minecraft, Skate, Assassin’s Creed, etc.) and less popular titles, analyze how games give players the freedom to do as many things as possible with a main mission line looming in the back.
Which games limit features that can only be unlocked by progressing far enough in the main story?
Do some games unlock all features before the main mission is even completed?
Games like Skyrim and Spider-Man (2018) can randomly generate enemy encounters for the player. Is this implemented to give the illusion that there is another world outside the main story? That the player can comfortably abandon the main story since the rest of the game’s "world" keeps on going?

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    The art of recycling in creating a game franchise

    We can all name more than one game franchise that’s essentially a recycling of sorts. A lot of R&D goes into improving features and adding new ones, but they still "feel" the same once gameplay begins. Why does this happen? Are such games not receiving enough hard work? Or is it just us feeling that way while the truth is different?

    • I think it often has to do with cost management. If Ubisoft makes an Engine for Assassin's Creed, it is cost effective to reuse the Engine on multiple games rather than start from scratch each time. – Sean Gadus 7 days ago
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    • The Sims 4 cops a lot of flack for this very reason. Could be an interesting game to explore in such an article. – Samantha Leersen 6 days ago
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    • @J.D.: I have a few games in mind. Source engine based ones, Unity based ones, Pokemon, COD, Sims, NFS, Elder Scrolls primarily. And yes, the amp is coming because the symbol isn't allowed to be formatted into here, but won't be a problem in the article.@RedFlame: I will definitely specify more than a few franchises so readers have a clear idea of what exactly we're talking about. And valid point - perhaps, I'll tackle both types of recycling separately. Makes sense to let people learn there's not just one kind of recycling that goes into games. – Abhimanyu Shekhar 6 days ago
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    • I think this article can do very very well if you also throw in some numbers in terms of development cost and creating new IPs in general. It wasn't touched on extensively, but I remember when watching the documentary on developing God of War (2018), they briefly mentioned how tough it was starting a new IP in general with new mechanics. If you have numbers or at least quotes of reputable people in the industry talking about the numbers then this article can go far. – Daniel Ibarra 5 days ago
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    Why some games create such an unforgettable impression

    Witcher 3 – why was it more than just a game? It was the prerequisite for the Netflix show. Pokemon games – why did they spawn a whole franchise of merchandise, TV shows, and more? In this article, I will dissect what makes a game have that sacred "emotional connect" for most of the people who play them.

    • Gungrave is another game which ended up creating a fine anime adaptation. You may want to check it out. – RedFlame2000 5 days ago
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    The Morals of Video Game Violence

    Video games that require or encourage violence are prolific. There have been countless studies on whether the violence of such games has psychological impacts.
    But, what are the moral implications?

    Using a selection of games that involve violence, consider whether it is morally wrong to ‘physically’ harm a virtual character. Explain why.

    You could argue either side of this argument, or argue that the moral implications differ depending on the situation. For example, perhaps some forms of violence are more acceptable than others (e.g. fighting vs. murder). Or, maybe there’s a difference between harm the game tells you to inflict to complete an objective, and the harm you choose to inflict but has no bearing on your completion of the game.

    Ensure sound justifications are provided for whichever stance you take. Relevant philosophical discussion would complement this topic well.

    • Dealing with morality in anything encapsulates a very broad landscape, so I think the focus should be on video games where violence is so easily accessible or even promoted. Some franchises that come off the top of my mind would be Grand Theft Auto, Assassin's Creed, Elder Scrolls/Fallout, or even Infamous because these games have built-in consequences for committing morally "wrong" actions. There could also be an inclusion of games with multiple endings that rely on a player's "good" or "bad" choices such as any of the Telltale Games, but even then that might require an entirely different essay. Personally, I believe this topic could be made into 2 essays: one about games with easy ability to commit violently "wrong" acts and how they punish players who commit them, and games that embed the moral and ethical dilemmas of violent situations through its storyline. – Daniel Ibarra 1 week ago
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    Famous Actors Appearing in Video Games: Yes or No?

    It seems as though in more recent years, video game developers are adding familiar faces to their stories. We saw Ellen Page in Beyond: Two Souls, the star-studded cast in Death Stranding, and Keanu Reeves in the highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077. Does seeing a specific actor in a game entice you to purchase it, or do you lose the immersion factor?

    • You could include cyberpunk as on one of the video games including actors as well since it features Keanu Reeves. I also agree with the previous post. You can angle it by arguing why actors should be featured in games. Or, you can argue the opposite. – Passerby 4 weeks ago
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    How Will Microsoft's Purchase of Bethesda/ZeniMax Affect The Upcoming Launch of the New Xbox Consoles

    On September 21st 2020, Microsoft purchase Bethesda Softworks and its parent company ZeniMax Media in a massive $7.5 billion dollar deal that has the potential to reshape the video game landscape. Due to the massive deal, Microsoft now owns acclaimed game studios like Arkane Studios (Dishonored), ID Software (Doom), Machine Games (Wolfenstein) and Bethesda Studios (Elder Scrolls and Fallout), all of which create multiplatform games that regularly release to critical and commercial acclaim. Microsoft and Xbox have been criticized for its lack of first party games (in comparison to its competitors Nintendo and Sony) but the purchase of Bethesda and its parent company could rewrite this narrative and push more consumers toward the Xbox platform. Will the massive purchase help Microsoft sell its new Xbox consoles this fall?

    • One factor that would need to be accounted for would be that most or all of the games are non-exclusive to the Xbox, which would affect how many new Xbox users come forth. – J.D. Jankowski 1 month ago
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    • It seems like Elder Scrolls and other massive games will be on PS5, but they will also be included Day 1 on Gamepass, which is Xbox's Netlfix-like feature. So Xbox owners who have the subscription will get them for the cost of subscription rather than the likely $70 price tag. – Sean Gadus 1 month ago
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    Storytelling in Gaming

    Gaming in many ways is another medium that requires writers, and yet the approach to story telling in writing is unique and quite different as opposed to traditional storytelling via books. I propose an article that might entertain looking into the deeper facets of story and writing in the gaming industry and the unique approach that is taken in completing a script as opposed to traditional writing. Focus could be placed particularly on discussing the need for adaptability in characters, characterizing empathy and emotion within a character as we follow them while also playing as them, the duality of the protagonist and the gamer etc. which while coming naturally in traditional writing, have to be balanced against what is possible within the given game dynamics

    • Love the topic! May I suggest profiling Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery as part of the article? I'm an avid player and enjoy a lot of aspects of the game, including story. But I also find that the writing is somewhat lazy, and a lot of my fellow players complain that the story has dragged out way too long (because chapters aren't released every week, so there can be 2-3 weeks that you go without information and get a side quest instead). I think HM lends itself well to analysis. – Stephanie M. 1 month ago
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    • I mostly only play video games that have a story too it. I don't game much nowadays due to school, but I always like the first and second Bioshock games. Red dead redemption is good for this too. Just wanted to throw some games to consider. – AbeRamirez 4 weeks ago
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    • If I may, I think that The Last Of Us (part I and part II) could be interesting to analyze in such an article. (Interesting topic, by the way!) Indeed, Part I won numerous prizes and was, among others, acclaimed for the quality and emotional depth of its storytelling, while Part II deeply dived the fans, mostly because of its writing and narrative choices. (Such an analysis may be the theme of an entire article, but perhaps the subject could still be evoked in the article related to the current topic!) – Gavroche 3 weeks 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 8 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 8 months ago
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    • This would be a good topic to write about. – OkaNaimo0819 5 months ago
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    • In addition to the cancellations, I'm interested in hearing how playing games has changed in the face of COVID-19. Who's playing more, or less? Who's discovering new games? What do gaming audiences want now? Why? – Stephanie M. 3 months ago
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