Category: Blog

Hatoful Boyfriend: Game or Book?


Hatoful Boyfriend is an interactive text-based otome visual novel that follows branching storylines, each story with different choices leading up to a different ending. It was written and produced by Moa Hato in Japan. The story involves a human girl in a dystopian universe where she goes to a high school of pigeons and meets different characters. It was advertised as an otome game because of the multiple male characters the female character would meet throughout the game. Hatoful Boyfriend and multiple other content under the genre of visual novel have had a sort of identity crisis throughout the years. Visual novel have been argued to be games or to just be visual, interactive books.… Read the rest

Life is Strange: The freedom and constraint of consequences

Your name is Max.  You have just woken up in the middle of a storm and need to find out what is going on and get to safety.  You stand up and walk against the wet wind towards the lighthouse on the peak.  When you get there you turn around to notice the worst and most amazing hurricane you’ve ever seen.  Suddenly I boat flies out of the water and crashes into the top of the lighthouse.  The glass top comes crashing down and you wake up in art class.

I never intended to fall in love with a game.  I opened my steam account and quickly glanced at the front page for something new to play. … Read the rest

Fixed Points and Flexibility: Change and Choice in Life is Strange

If you suddenly had the power to reverse time, would you use it every chance you got, or would you save it for important opportunities? How would you determine which opportunities were important? Better yet, what if you desperately wanted to turn back a certain event, but found out that you couldn’t?

Life is Strange explores these topics and more. The game is, according to Wikipedia, an “episodic interactive drama graphic adventure”. In laymans terms, the game plays out like an episode, of which there are 5, and gives the player the opportunity to interact with the episodes by turning back time at certain events.… Read the rest

Tales of Symphonia: Grasping Close to the Heart

Tales of Symphonia is a game that I have played over and over like a song you cannot get out of your head. The emotion it evokes is completely thought provoking. The characters are all different and unique in their personalities and battle styles. Thinking about this game always makes me think about why I have such an intense passion for it. It’s one of the few games I have actually finished to completion.  The mechanics of the game are so amazing that even to this day I love them. Everything is so thought out and detailed. I think one of the reason I became so close to the game was how it was a two disc game.… Read the rest

“F@$% You!” The Friendship Ruining Power of Mario Party

Picture this: It’s Friday night. You’re hanging out with your friends and you are all super bored. You throw around suggestions for different activities you could do together, when it happens: Somebody suggests that you play Mario Party. You hear a collective “NOOOOO” from around the room, but for some reason, you decide to play anyway. You know what you’re getting yourself into, because you’ve been here many times before, but through all the collective screaming matches, and middle fingers, you can’t say no to a rousing game of Mario Party with your friends. What is it that draws people to a game that they know will inevitably ruin friendships and raise stress levels?… Read the rest

Pay $20 DLC for the Rest of this Essay: DLC and Micro-transactions in Gaming

The gaming industry is huge. Triple A companies and indie studios making games for the populace to play (and make money from). Companies make lots of money from games like those based on films, a sequel to a popular game (Final Fantasy and Call of Duty) and such. Grand Theft Auto V sold 45 million copies making it the highest selling game in the series. So with results like that companies find more ways to line their pockets with cash. Enter DLC. A way to not make a new game but could make just as much money for it. This has mixed reactions from gamers (mostly negative) because there are lots of ways DLC could rip them off.… Read the rest

A Slave Obeys: Persuasion in Bioshock.

Warning: Spoilers


Society has a funny way of making people do things they otherwise may not have done, like beating a man to death with a golf club. We have all heard of persuasion. We have all persuaded others to do things they may not have wanted to do otherwise. However, I think it is fair to assume no one reading this has killed a man simply because someone told them to. How does the art of persuasion work? Jack, the unnaturally willing slave in Bioshock one, provides a glimpse on how powerful persuasion can be.

The term persuasion means to induce someone to believe something by appealing to reason or circumstance.… Read the rest

Never Alone: Preserving Cultures through Games

The contemporary fantasy genre is overwhelmingly western and white. Most of the fantasy worlds admired in pop culture, such as the J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, contain lore primarily adapted from European legends. As a consequence of this, many of the races in these universes lack diversity – more than often, they are different variations of light-skinned beings, such as elves, humans, and dwarves. Fantasy races that derive from non-European tradition are often mysteriously depicted as exotic, foreign, and “tribal”. While they may have entertainment value, these works fail to encourage diversity in their industry and make it more difficult for diverse games to succeed.… Read the rest

Some Games Don’t Have Endings

All right I know what you are thinking to yourself: all games have endings. I will admit that usually this is true, usually. Most often when we play a game the goal or objective is to win in order to end the game, however there are some games that really have no definitive ending.

Specifically the one type of game I will focus on where this is true is in design games. Design games is a broad term I am using to describe games where the player chooses the way a particular item physically looks, the most common design game people tend to be familiar with are dress up games.… Read the rest

The Selfless Truth Behind Dark Souls 2


The RPG game Dark Souls 2 holds the premises for the bleak meaning behind human nature. Through NPC dialogue, item descriptions and appearance, and geographic clues The Chosen Undead is sent on a mission by Queen Nashandra to relight the Kiln of the First Flame to save humanity. Dark Souls 2 takes place in a world where a mysterious curse has released that when you die, you are turned into an undead soul that loses all memories of your human life and leaves you as nothing but a wandering empty shell. The Chosen Undead is your character whom is nameless and has been chosen (like many others over the past centuries) to relight the Kiln of the First Flame to end the curse until the flame burns out again.… Read the rest