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Latest Topics

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Storytelling in Roguelike Games

The topic taker should explore how roguelike games can be used to tell complex stories. Specifically, the topic taker should consider The Binding of Isaac and similar games that use its roguelike mechanics, like unlocking new characters, new powers, or new stat boosters to tell a multi-layered story. For example, in The Binding of Isaac, clearing a run usually unlocks a new ending to the game, and then opens up a new path and/or character for the player to choose.

As always, the topic taker is free to include other roguelike games they know of that use the game mechanics to tell a complex story in their analysis. Things to consider would be as follows:

– The story gets told in various parts, in some manner, as referenced with my example above.

– The roguelike offers a story in some way, so, this excludes things like Brotato, to my understanding.

– The topic taker is free to add in whatever elements they might need for this article. For example, the topic taker, if focusing on The Binding of Isaac may consider looking into how the religious elements in the game tell a deeper story. Or, if the topic taker chooses to include Hades in this analysis, they could include aspects of the Greek Pantheon that highlight elements in the story and/or mechanics.

– The topic taker can consider the merits of comparing and contrasting two different roguelike games to see if storytelling is similar or different between them, but, given the nature of roguelike games, I would advise limiting this article to two games.

Here is a link to the Wikipedia for The Binding of Isaac for topic takers who may not be familiar with the game or its mechanics: (link) Binding of Isaac is,to OS X, and Linux.

  • Hades is a really interesting case study for this topic. A lot of the story is told through multiple runs/run ins with characters, as well as multiple times beating the final boss. – Sean Gadus 1 week ago
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Analyzing Evoland: A Touching Game about the History of Games, or a Retro Gameplay Nightmare

Evoland I and II are games by the indie developer Shiro Games and were released in 2013 and 2015. Evoland was inspired by older games in series like Final Fantasy and Zelda, and, it somewhat takes the player through a bit of video game history in its premise. The gameplay, despite the shifts in playstyles that took place, flowed well, according to a reviewer. Evoland II definitely builds on the premise of capturing the feeling of how older games played, and has more mechanics in it than the first game. However, it could be said that there are too many mechanics that contradict and break flow.

For this topic, the topic taker should look into reviews on both games to see if these games set out to capture a truly nostalgic feeling while adding their own twist to the genres the games were influenced by or if something about the older styles of gamplay simply don’t mesh in the modern era of gaming.

The topic taker can consider the following avenues of research for adding foundation to this analysis:

– Consider the history of the video game industry and the limits of technology that affected game mechanics and graphics and whether the current technology is too good to correctly capture how older games played.

– Figure out what the developer intended for their games, if possible, and if they achieved that intention.

– See if there are any other games similar to Evoland that mixes up different kinds of genre and gameplay and see if they are successful or if they fall into the same problems as Evoland.

– If the topic taker has played Evoland and Evoland II, they are free to add in their personal experience with how the games felt as it relates to this topic.

Here are links that might help the topic taker start their research:

Evoland: (link)

Evoland II: (link)

  • They were both on sale for the summer and I almost bought them just so I could write this pitch. – Sunni Rashad 1 week ago
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The Enduring Power of Mario

It seems like Mario and Luigi have been around since time immemorial. What began as an eight-bit video game with the goal of rescuing a princess from a dragon in the ’80s and ’90s, has become a veritable empire of games. From the 3-D Nintendo 64 edition of the original, which expanded Mario’s worlds and took the U.S. by storm circa 1996, to the nostalgic yet evergreen Mario Kart, to the newest addition Princess Peach Showtime, Mario has reached a broader audience than perhaps any other game franchise.

Discuss the popularity of the Mario-verse and why its creators have been so successful in marketing not only the original games, but also games in completely different genres (racing, fashion and dress-up, and so on). You might choose to discuss characters and how their universes and personalities have expanded over time. Finally, you could speculate on where the Mario-verse might go next, and what worlds and ideas Gen Z and Alpha might find most appealing.

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    Victoria 3: Marxism simulator?

    Depictions of the ideology of Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels are lacking in the world of video games. Many critics of Marxism have at best a child-like understanding of the term often reducing it to a string of buzzwords and malformed propagandist talking points.

    As a result most games that feature any sort of Marxism, Socialism, or Communism, end up regurgitating the same played-out tropes. "No food, no freedom, all leaders are dictators"

    One game that avoids the typical negative stereotypes of Marxism is "Victoria 3." In this grand strategy video game, players can explore and implement socialist policies inspired by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. By prioritizing workers’ rights, collective ownership, and economic planning, the game allows for a nuanced exploration of Marxist principles, demonstrating their potential benefits while navigating the associated challenges. How does "Victoria 3" provide a balanced and respectful depiction of Marxist ideology compared to other video games?

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      The Rise of Cozy Games

      Analyze the rise of cozy games and why they are becoming so popular. Jumpstart Magazine defines cozy games as "a type of gameplay that emphasizes relaxation, comfort and self-care." Cozy games tend to have calm music and a slower game pace. Look at why cozy games continue to grow. For example, cozy games are an escape from the fast paced nature of reality. When compared to games like Fortnite, they provide a much more calm experience. This resonates with a certain subsection of gamers. What is the demographic of this subsection? Additionally, the cozy game sphere tends to be more welcoming to marginalized folk such a people of color, those who identify as LGBTQIA or disabled.

      • Great topic! Just for clarity though, maybe provide a couple of examples of cozy games? I think I know what these are but am not 100% sure, so maybe others have that question, too. – Stephanie M. 7 months ago
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      • A good idea is to compare how long people spend on cozy games vs. other games (I:e animal crossing vs. Call of Duty). As well as research how the brain reacts to these types of games. – kelval34 1 month ago
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      Game On: Exploring BTS's Influence in the World of Video Games

      In this topic, we’ll delve into the fascinating intersection of BTS’s influence and the world of video games. We’ll examine how BTS’s presence has shaped the gaming landscape and its diverse audience by posing thought-provoking questions. We’ll investigate BTS’s collaborations in video games, such as their roles in mobile games like "BTS World" and "BTS Universe Story," as well as the phenomenon of their virtual concerts within gaming platforms. Furthermore, we’ll analyze how BTS’s involvement has contributed to the promotion of gaming culture among their fanbase, and explore the broader implications of their engagement with video games on entertainment and digital media consumption trends. Through a nuanced exploration of partnerships, endorsements, and interactive experiences, we’ll uncover how BTS’s presence in the gaming world has not only expanded their influence but also revolutionized the way fans interact with both their music and gaming content.

      • You're on a BTS kick aren't you? – Sunni Rashad 2 months ago
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      • Yes, and I am writing one about them myself ;) – Beatrix Kondo 2 months ago
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      • This reads like the summary of an article that is already written, conclusion already drawn. The topics are written for other writers to explore, so they would work better by posing clear questions. – Lydia Gore-Jones 1 month ago
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      • I reformulated the topic. – Beatrix Kondo 1 month ago
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      Knuckles is Black: Racial coding in video games

      Knuckles the Echidna, a prominent character in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, has often been associated with the African American/ Black racial identity due to his distinctive design and personality traits. Not to mention his various theme songs in the games. For this article the writer should delve into the nuanced discussion surrounding Knuckles’ racial representation within the Sonic universe.

      They can explore the cultural significance of Knuckles being portrayed as a strong, independent character with traits that some interpret as reflecting aspects of Black identity.

      Consider the implications of racial representation in gaming, including themes of diversity, stereotypes, and the importance of authentic representation. Reflect on how Knuckles’ character resonates with audiences and contributes to broader conversations about race and representation in popular culture.

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        The disappearance of Tenchu

        Tenchu was a franchise of ninja games first released on the Sony PlayStation in 1998. The franchise went on to publish 9 games but the cultural legacy of them seems to have been almost completely forgotten. The final release was in 2008.
        Why is that?
        The writer can write about how the franchise first grew and what decisions or shifts in culture led to it falling into irrelevance.