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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. 2 months ago
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Taken by Beatrix Kondo (PM) 2 weeks ago.
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Replayability in games: is it really necessary?

Replayability is a measurement of how much fun a game is to play over and over again – how much new content there will be on each playthrough, how much you can vary your playstyle, how many different endings or paths the different quests/stories have for you to explore each time. It is something it is generally considered good for a game to have, especially in certain genres. Many players want to be able to play their favourite games again and again, but with enough variation that it is never boring.

However, replayability is something that cannot be (and isn’t) pursued in every game. Many story focused games are not particularly replayable, as their goal is to focus on telling one very good or in-depth story – and to focus on replayability could take away from that. There is also the fact that to make a game very replayable takes a lot of time and effort to code and design all the different playstyles/endings/quests etc. This is time and effort that may be needed elsewhere or would possibly be better spent polishing the main game. Not everyone plays again and again after all, so is it really so crucial to ensure that every single playthrough is entirely unique?

This article would delve into the concept of replayability, exploring whether it is truly important for games to be infinitely replayable or more important to create a good experience the first time round.

  • Very nice! As a longtime player, may I particularly suggest Hogwarts Mystery for examination? The developers added a replay option within the last year or so, so that players could change their houses or relive certain moments if they wanted. The downside though, is that replay kicks you all the way back to first year, and you lose access to anything you've won or purchased. It's a conundrum for sure. – Stephanie M. 2 months ago
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  • A very interesting topic! Although I don’t think every game has to be replayable, replayability is certainly a feature unique to the game as a storytelling media. If there is only one possible storyline, novels, anime, or film allows the producers to polish the story even better because those media have a better control on the pace of the stories than games. However, Baldur’s Gate and Elden Ring cannot be easily transformed into other media, because they have various possible ending. That is something only possible with games. – AlisaN 1 month ago
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  • Cool point, I've found that replayability has a bit of a personal edge for me. Replaying games at different stages of life is way more of an experience than any new game plus content or add-on. – jsmilo 3 weeks ago
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Time-out features in video games

Video games can often be addicting, and it can be very tempting to play for long periods of time without stopping. To stop this, some games (mostly those designed with kids and families in mind) will implement features designed to stop players from going overboard and playing for too long. This can be a pop-up message noting that you’ve played for quite a while and should take a break (such as those seen in Wii games like Wii Sports) or a feature integrated into the game itself (such as the iconic phone call from your dad in Earthbound).
These types of features serve a useful purpose, especially when it comes to games for kids whose parents might want to regulate their screen time but also for anyone. But of course, they also break immersion and can feel frustrating. This article would discuss the time-out features of video games, and their positives and negatives.

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    The draw of idle games

    On flash game websites (such as Kongregate), there is an abundance of idle games, and every time I look there seem to be more. They seem to be very popular, despite the lack of gameplay (hence the ‘idle’). So what is the draw behind idle games, and why are they so prolific? Examples to consider could be cookie clicker, anti-idle, crush crush, etc.

    • I like the idea of investigating this further, however, I think maybe there needs to be more suggested for the discussion. A lot of these games have a psychological impact on the player of achieving and collecting so exploring these player motivation models would be a good foundation. Then building it out into a wider context with similar systems in other games. So using something like City Skylines or other sim/management games as these have a capacity of idle gameplay to support further, more active gameplay later on. – CAntonyBaker 4 years ago
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    • Expand, please? I'm not familiar with this term. You might compare/contrast with whatever the opposite of an idle game is, and define what the opposites are as well. – Stephanie M. 4 months ago
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    Why Do We Just Want to Be Pixelated Billionaires

    In modern games, the connection between capitalism and virtual realms reveals intriguing dynamics. An engaging aspect lies within the intricate economies crafted within these digital landscapes. Many of us feel broke in the face of the allure of accumulating virtual wealth, even in the game world. How inherently capitalistic is this?

    Consider the Smooth Love Potion (SLP) within the realm of Axie Infinity or the coveted PLEX of Eve Online. These alternative currencies serve as beacons of virtual prosperity, beckoning players to pursue the coveted status of rich players.

    In the vast majority, if not all, modern games, players willingly invest their hard-earned dollars to acquire these alternative currencies, which can be far more valuable than traditional forms of wealth within the game. The acquisition of extravagant skins, weapons, and treasures becomes a symbol of status and achievement, driving players to strive for in-game riches.

    Amidst this pursuit, it is essential to understand the motivations that fuel such dedication. What really lies beneath the surface of this quest for virtual wealth? This article will delve into the intricate ties between the virtual and the real, the motivations that propel players, and the profound implications these virtual economies have on the broader scope of the gaming industry and its connectedness with the realm of capitalism.

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      The Minecraft loophole: a library of banned journalism

      In 2020, Minecraft transcended the gaming sphere and became a medium through which to read banned journalism. A project started by Reporters Without Borders, the library holds work by censored journalists all across the world, with some of their most dangerous writings embedded and available to read right there in the game.

      In a world that grows more and more fond of censorship and bookburning, how are video games (minecraft in particular as a recent example), and other media being used to subvert the attempted erasure of political commentary? What opportunities do video games open up which circumvent censorship in ways that didn’t exist before? What does this subversion look like in a digital landscape? Feel free to take some of these questions and run with them!

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        "The Moment" in Games

        Many games are built upon several different moment-to-moment events, be it levels, cutscenes, or individual actions the player takes. But sometimes a game becomes defined by a single event, or a single moment that then becomes known as "the moment." Some examples of "moments" would be the nuke scene in Call of Duty 4 (or the ‘No Russian’ mission in Modern Warfare 2), the Scarecrow sections in the Batman: Arkham series, the "Would You Kindly?" twist in BioShock, and Lee’s death in Telltale’s The Walking Dead. They’re moments that shock, surprise, or stun players and become one of the game’s highlights.

        This article would discuss questions such as: how certain games (either the ones mentioned above or others) create these "moments" and what impact they have on players. Does a game automatically become "better" if it has one of these "moments?" Does a game necessarily need a "moment" to be memorable? Does the "moment" succeed in creating the intended impact on the player, and what even is the intended impact? The article could also discuss if these moments become something of a "selling point" for the game, or just how much power they hold for getting new players into the game or get veteran players back.

        • Great idea! I think you could also maybe discuss some of the "mini-moments" that also feature in some of the most well-known games. For example, the tanker mission opening of Call of Duty 4, or even the ending of the game. I think many of these games have "The Moment" but the players decide on it out of a selection of "moments." Very interesting idea! I look forward to reading it! – SetLaserstoFun 12 months ago
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        • Interesting thought, and I think some games are indeed defined by moments. I agree with the questions raised - does a game automatically become better with a defining moment, or can it still be memorable without one? Personally, I believe these moments can elevate a game and make it more memorable, but they shouldn't be the sole measure of its quality. It's also fascinating to consider how these moments can serve as selling points, attracting new players and reigniting the interest of veteran players. As a game mania myself, when a new game releases and I see reviews that say there's "the moment" that really took the game to a whole different level, it becomes hard for me to fight the urge to not download the game - so I'm interested! – Cienna 8 months ago
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        The rise and fall of the turn based rpg

        Turn based rpgs were at one point the height of video games. Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy are some of the most well known, as their success lead to huge franchises that continue today, but there were also many more inspired by them or experimenting on their format.
        Turn based rpgs still exist today – just look at the sweeping success of Undertale, or at strategic turn based rpgs like XCOM or Darkest Dungeon. But turn based rpgs are no longer at the forefront of gaming, instead primarily being a genre used by nostalgic games or indie projects.
        Even Final Fantasy, a game that was once synonymous with the turn based rpg, no longer uses that play style. The popular Fallout series did similar.
        This article would discuss the turn based rpg, why it was so popular in its heyday, and why many major studios moved away from it.

        • This could be a very interesting topic to discuss. I think it's important to focus on the fact that the turn-based RPG stems from the Dungeons and Dragons model of pre-video game role-playing games. The evolution (for better or worse) has evolved as technology has allowed for more immersive experiences for the gamer. On a personal note, I still love playing FFX, but as much of a huge FF fan I am, there's still a reason they added fast-forward modes on the other ports. – A G Macdonald 10 months ago
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        • You also can't ignore the pokemon games, probably the most popular turn based RPG that's still doing numbers, even if it isn't exactly the same vein as FF. – Cedarfireflies55 10 months ago
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        • Miitopia, which originally came out in 2016 and was re-released in 2021, is an interesting game to consider because it uses a very simplified turn-based combat system. The player can control their avatar in battle, but the turns of the NPC party members are all controlled by AI. If the player wants to, they can even select an option that allows AI to control their avatar’s turns as well. While this is just one game (and it has more in common with Pokémon than Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy), Miitopia’s simplified turn-based combat system could suggest that even when contemporary games do use turn-based combat systems, they are not the intensely strategy-focused systems of the past. – Magnolia 10 months ago
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        • Another thing to consider is that is wasn't just rpgs that were turned based; essentially every video game was, even platformers--you lose your lives and go back to the beginning of the level/game or hand the controller over to your friend. This could be because the notion of what constituted a "game" was perhaps more rigid then. Games were primarily competitive and turns where part of ensuring fairness. So, pretty much all games were turned based. Even solitaire had turns. If anything, it might be rpgs and their focus on narrative experiences that helped evolve the idea of what a game is, which, maybe ironically, led to the downfall of turn-based rpgs. – zmedlin 9 months ago
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