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Simulating how Political Systems Contradict Morality in the Narrative of Papers, Please

Beyond its political commentary on border control and bureaucracy, Papers, Please also explores empathy with the state of failure. The “win” condition of the game is deceivingly simple: follow the rules set … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Acts of Identification: Utilizing the Platform as a Tool of Representation in Video Games

One of the reasons I enrolled in this course at Amherst aside from my personal interest in games was to better inform the process several Smith students and I collaborated … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · Leave a comment

Pokémon Go: Diversity in the Gaming Industry

As someone who has dabbled in Pokémon Go, I was genuinely surprised to discover that in doing so, I was complicit in perpetuating systems of injustice and racism. We all … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · 2 Comments

Coming to You From the Indigenous Future: A Showcase of Indigenous Women’s Digital Media

Last month, I attended the extra credit opportunity for the Indigenous Women in Digital Media event, “Coming to You From the Indigenous Future”. This was such an intimate and engaging … Continue reading

May 10, 2018 · 1 Comment

SAO: Crash Course for a Non-Gamer

There is no substitute for active gameplay… BUT, if there is one way to ease into the world of video games if you were a non-gamer like me at the … Continue reading

May 9, 2018 · 1 Comment

Representation and Dystopian Games

If there is one point Russworm drives home, it’s that not all representation is created equal. Calls for “more” and “better” representation in video games is surely warranted, but merely … Continue reading

May 8, 2018 · 1 Comment

On Not Becoming a Gamer

I started reflecting on my gaming experience and why I never got into the experience after reading Adrienne Shaw’s article “On Not Becoming Gamers: Moving Beyond the Constructed Audience.” Because playing … Continue reading

May 8, 2018 · 1 Comment

THUNDERBIRD: Games as an Ecosystem

There is no way to win or lose Thunderbird. You can simply experience the game, and collect as many points as possible. Instead of creating a game structured with prizes … Continue reading

May 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

World Exploration in Games/Narratives

Journey Under the Sea by R.A. Montgomery, is a quest to find the lost underwater city of Atlantis. Through plot choices made by the reader, we interact with (or avoid) … Continue reading

May 7, 2018 · 1 Comment

VOCAB: Post-Play Narrative Modding

Post-Play Narrative Modding (PPNM): “any significant changes to the narrative or to a gamer’s perception of the narrative that happens post game development and without actually changing the code” (Layne and … Continue reading

May 7, 2018 · Leave a comment

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  • Growing Up in an Internet World (Madrigal) May 14, 2018
    Alexis Madrigal talks a lot about how the saying “you had to be there” applies especially so in this age of the internet, and how future historians may not even understand our internet and the way that we interact with it. This made me think a lot about my relationship with the internet in general,…
  • Fears of Being Represented May 13, 2018
    In this class I have been challenged to analyze the way games like Undertale and Stanley Parable give players “choices” that may not actually be choices and the way games like Assassin’s’ Creed are able to represent minorities and how that representation can be either good or bad. I think the question of representation is…

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  • Flaws in Tomb Raider IOS May 14, 2018
    I had known Tomb Raider since Angelina Jolie’s movie. I did not know that there existed a mobile game for this action movie, so I was excited to see what the game would present. Having played it, I was very disappointed. It seemed as though the controls were not made with this game in mind. […]
  • Engaging in CYOA May 14, 2018
    My experience with the Choose Your Own Adventure novel was relatively pleasant. I chose Journey Under the Sea because I had recently read a Korean book about survival on sea, and the idea of expedition under the sea intrigued me. In my first read through the book, I decided to stay true to myself, as […]
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  • How Text Enhances A Game’s Mechanic May 15, 2018
    Brunt Matches is visual novel game with a choose your own adventure style story and a concrete poetry style interface. The game consists of a screen with a concrete poem. You can click on the green words which will end the
  • A Comparative Analysis between Films and Games May 15, 2018
    quinn797 argues that Run Lola Run is like a save point in a video game. In the movie, Lola “respawns” three times and the situation changes each time. This is similar to how a save point in a video game

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  • Digital Ghosts May 13, 2018
    This post was inspired by Exam 4’s “Future Historians Probably Won’t Understand the Internet” and “Game After” readings. Both of these readings suggest that decay is the price we pay for digital media’s convenience and fast-changing nature. Nevertheless, people are constantly trying to preserve aspects of our digital lives, whether through games or Twitter a […]
  • It’s Crunch Time May 13, 2018
    There’s a term in the video game industry that has haunted game developers and quality assurance workers for over a decade: Crunch. This article posted by The Guardian elucidates the term and investigates how its presence within the video game industry has changed throughout the years. But what is crunch? Unless you are familiar with the […]

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  • Why we wish life was a game May 14, 2018
      homo economicus was a term first coined by John Stuart Mill, the influential utilitarian theorist and 17th century economist. Since its injection into the discourse of politics and economy, homo economicus has been a central characteristic of both neoliberal economic theories, as well as a heuristic tool by those infatuated by hegemonic thinking into belie […]
  • Is this good representation or just pandering? May 13, 2018
    I will be focusing on a game I love and enjoy, Overwatch. Overwatch has been lauded for having a very diverse set of characters and bringing representation into the field of triple A games. Despite their efforts, however, it certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement. I will briefly talk about three characters... Continue Reading →

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  • Closing Thoughts on Course May 13, 2018
    Over the course of the semester, we have explored a plethora of topics related to games and how they affect many different facets of our lives: from politics, to identity, to experience, etc. We even learned how to make games utilizing distinct platforms for game creation. Overall, this course challenged me to think about games in a new light. Despite being […]
  • Video games and Politics May 13, 2018
    How can video games be used in politics? What is the relationship between games and elections? Campaigning has grown increasingly mediatized, but little attention is given to the role of video games in both politics and elections. Games and their platforms are undoubtedly affected by politics. In our class, we got the chance to play Killbox that touched on t […]

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  • Seamlessness: The Human and the System May 15, 2018
    Throughout the class, we’ve talked multiple times about the idea of seamlessness and seamlessness in a technological society. In making something seamless, one must thereby conceal the mechanisms and make invisible or obscure the full workings and modes of the …
  • Defining Games Pt. 3: What Can Be Learned From Game Definitions? May 14, 2018
    In my previous two blog posts on defining games, I wrote first on the topic of why people define games, and then on the topic of why people (academics in particular) trying to define games is ultimately very problematic. While I would argue that we should abandon the hopeless task of trying to create game definitions to be used in academic discourse, I feel […]