Game Culture

https://www.jesperjuul.net/text/endlessriverofgames/

Jesper Juul, the ludologist, an contemporary active video game researcher of today wrote the article Sailing the Endless River of Games. He co-founded the paper Game Studies.

Juul comments that the video game history has changed in ways experts have not predicted that includes casual games, independent games, free to play games. This drives us to consider different facets of video games and how they are categorized.

Categories of games that were discussed in the lecture were:

  1. Based on core elements – fps, rpg (open world map); subcategories like sci-fi fps
  2. Regional games, how culture can affect the style of the game
  3. Puzzle games, point-click
  4. Cross-over categories

Definition of what is a video game: electronic game that involves human interaction that uses the medium of a user interface displayed on a video device like computer monitor or TV screen.

The medium of games makes a statement by how it occupies and intrigues us through seeking out different combinations and ways to provide beyond entertainment to an active engagement and attitude development. It may expose the slightly more passive media such as watching television.

Games is a platform that enables the player to present themselves in whatever way they chose, to become an alter ego, a different part of themselves in a virtual world. Each players personal abilities to conquer games vary, thus exist different motivations are revealed, as enjoyment comes in various forms. One interesting type of game to consider is interactive drama whereby decisions made when a situation is presented will alter the outcome of the game. Multiple possibilities can be produced.

The alter ego is nonetheless the same person as these are the choices made in the context of the game are made none other than the person. It is platform that reveals more about the self, thus interactive drama games such as The Walking Dead by Telltale and Heavy Rain by Quantic Dream, when statistics are collected can demonstrate which choices were the most clear and which choice was the most challenging that could go either way. Telltale would present the percentage of choice, in which players can view if they were in the majority or not. I think there is potential to undertake research in the psychological choices and within the realm of the game and the player in reality.

An example of TV series that portrays this idea of choice making is Westworld. The whole park Westworld is where the player can enter and live in a western-themed park. The “hosts” are human robots that are assigned personalities and follow routines. The “newcomers” or “guests” are the players that enter this park and make their decisions, doing whatever they wish in the park without fear of retaliation from hosts.

A quote that relates to the topic at hand by one of the hosts William states:

I used to think this place was all about pandering to your baser instincts. Now I understand It doesn’t cater to your lower self, it reveals your deepest self; it shows you who you really are.

Thus this is why I find fascinating about the topic interactive drama games is that it is a platform to observe the choices of the player and the decisions made. The Game Ego presence is also a concept that is related, and something I shall delve into after further research.

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