Tag: gamecult

Defining the Undefinable: What Constitutes a “Game?”

What defines a “game” has always been a tricky question for both gamers and non-gamers and there have been numerous titles that have been hotly debated as to their entitlement of the “game” label. This has been seen with “Animal Crossing, “The Sims,” “Journey,” and many, many other titles, and the debate touches further than on a surface layer. Some might argue, “who cares if some people call it a game, it still exists in its own right and why need a title to justify the existence of this program of 1’s and 0’s?” While this is an idealistic idea in theory, it ignores a very real and somewhat unfortunate side effect of sectioning off what is and what isn’t a game.… Read the rest


Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice seems to be everywhere in recent movies and videogames. The themes of her adventures in Wonderland resonate still. Several popular recent videogames have referenced Carrol’s classic work. Many of the references, direct or indirect, include puzzles and other in-game interactions.

Bioshock, a game which this class will begin playing shortly, has a character who is obsessed with Alice’s world. (WARNING POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD!) Orrin Oscar Lutwidge, a character who you think is an antagonist briefly, established an organization known as the International Order of Pawns. Lutwidge, the head of this organization, referred to himself as the Red Queen. This is an obvious Alice reference, but the first of many.… Read the rest

The Mystery of the Adorable Shrinking Hero

The story of The Legend of Zelda franchise is a tale seen repeatedly in observing the successful structuring of any franchise across various media. Wherever any popular franchise goes, it is certain that there will always be a collection of common themes (friendship, victory against all odds, the hero’s journey, etc.) put into the story before the protagonist finally returns home safe and sound to his/her pet dog/cat/pet cuckoo. Now before everyone gets up in arms to stand up for Legend of Zelda and their favorite version of Link’s tale, let’s clarify and say that I am not saying all of the Legend of Zelda games have always been the exact same, as Shigeru Miyamoto has always been brilliant at bringing new tools to Link’s satchel, or new ways for Link to banish Ganondorf from Hyrule.… Read the rest

It’s the Same Game . . . But in HD!

Last week, Nintendo held “Nintendo Direct,” an online presentation where they announced a bunch of big games coming soon to the Wii U and 3DS.  As is always the case, one of the biggest announcements was that a brand new HD Zelda game for the Wii U was coming.  While that’s great and everything, the announcement that got me excited came after: an HD remake of my favorite Zelda game, and game in general, “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.”  Even though I don’t own a Wii U, and probably never will, this got me incredibly excited that Nintendo was revisiting one of my fondest childhood memories and reworking it for a new generation of gamers. … Read the rest

Are Video Games A Weight Loss Fad?


Americans are always trying to find the best and sometimes easiest ways to work out without going to the gym.  One of the more recent trends is using your game console, whether it’s Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3 etc., you can now exercise using video games.  Nintendo’s Wii Fit, EA Canada’s Sports Active, Ubisoft’s Your Shape Fitness Evolved, and The Biggest Loser’s Ultimate Workout are just a few examples of exercise games.  I personally have never used any sort of exercise game due to my mixed feelings-whether they actually do help with weight loss/staying in shape or it’s just a gimmick.… Read the rest

The Identity of a Series, Sequelitis, and Half Life 3

The big titles and new releases that sell more copies than any others tend to be sequels to sequels of sequels, which seems to be the current state of the video game industry (see: Resident Evil 6, Grand Theft Auto 5, Skyrim: The Elder Scrolls V, Halo 4, Final Fantasy XIV, etc.). While this trend can be argued as a lack of creativity, distrust of the consumer base for new and innovative products, or even as a stagnation of the industry as a whole, a more interesting analysis can be made on the nature of the sequels themselves.… Read the rest