Tag: videogames

Willingly Locked In

Imagine you are in a room and you don’t know why you are there. The doors are locked and it seems there is no way out except to solve ridiculously hard puzzles and scrounge for clues that can easily be overlooked. It can take several hours to escape and once you finally do there is no conclusion to this story or explanation to why you were put in the room in the first place, it just fades into whiteness.

While that might not sound enjoyable to you, games like that happen to be one of my favorite types of games to play and I’m not alone.… Read the rest

On Bethesda and Mods

Bethesda Game Studios is known for the popular Elder Scrolls series, and in more recent years, the Fallout franchise.  Their open-world RPGs have consistently topped the charts on sales and replay value. But ultimately what makes these games so popular is the ease-of-access for modifying the games files, and the helpful communities that have evolved around this key feature. So the question is, who really makes the content players keep returning to? The developers, or the fanbase?

The original Falllout games were published by Black Isle Studios, and where spiritual successors to the Wasteland series by Interplay Productions from the 1980’s.… Read the rest

Magically Scientific, Scientifically Magical: The Many Genres of Destiny

by Daniel Epperly

One of the most anticipated videogames to be released in several years was Destiny. Developed by Bungie, the studio that originally created the Halo franchise (though the Halo team split off several years ago and formed 343 Industries), and published by Activision, Destiny was awaited with eager, clamoring impatience by the world’s gaming community, but after its release the eagerness and excitement turned to frank disappointment, and even outrage. The perceived failings of Destiny have been discussed, theorized and argued about ever since, but even though it may be difficult to discuss the game at all without at least touching upon the game’s controversies, that is not the subject of this article.… Read the rest

Video Killed the Family Game Night

I don’t know if this is a shared, universal experience but I played a lot of board games when I was younger. More specifically, I was forced to play a lot of board games when I was younger. My mom was very anti-electronics and wanted my younger sister and I to participate in social activities that didn’t involve us staring at a TV and/or computer screen all day. Looking back on this, I was interested in seeing how our society’s view of board games has evolved since the introduction of video games.

There is a coined term for the familial social activity associated with board games: the Family Game Night.… Read the rest

What’s the Point of “Scary” Art Games?

We play video games for our own reasons: because they’re fun, because we’re bored, because we’re procrastinating, because we need something to occupy our time until an event occurs. However, some of us play games as a way to escape our daily stresses, or to break away from reality itself. In this sense, video games act as opiates, taking our mind off of the circumstances that we don’t wish to face. When I use the term “opiate” I’m referencing sociologist Karl Marx’s “opium of the masses” quote, explaining how humans have forms of self-releases to cope with their struggles or, in his words, a “sigh of the oppressed creature.”… Read the rest

Long Live the King

One thing that seems to be missing from most of the games I see advertised these days is humor. Why? Comedy is arguably one of the oldest and most popular aspects of entertainment. Be it the comedies of Aristophanes which have survived hundreds of years or something more recent like the wildly popular musical: The Book of Mormon, it just goes to show that humans like to laugh. While I realize that what people find funny is something that is certainly subjective, I can’t help feeling that as a whole humor seems undervalued by video game developers. Sure I’ve chuckled here and there at finding different Easter Eggs like the computer screen in Halo 2‘s map Zanzibar  and I’ve chortled at the utter lunacy that permeates king conkerSander Cohen in Bioshock, but it has been awhile since a game has really had me in stitches the way that Conker’s Bad Fur Day for the N64 used to.… 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