Project Exposition Day

Getting to play every group’s game and hearing them talk about their project was a really fun way to end the course. It was interesting to see how many different directions we all went in–for everything from interface to storyline to art design. One of the most memorable parts of class to me was when…

Is Reddit a game?

This question was raised in class, and immediately followed by a discussion about the terms of interactivity for a game. They were defined as Making narrative choices (changes game) Engaging gameplay challenges (changes you) Experiencing world (movement through game) If we apply those standards for interaction to Reddit, it should pass–users contribute content that changes…

Playerbases: The Lifeblood of Online Gaming

Whenever a game is shared between two or more people over the internet, it is usually hosted on a server. The server will collect information from all parties, send information back, and generally allow you all to play together with minimal delay. Usually, when a game is released with online play, the developers will dedicate…

“That’s okay,” yes, but…

Reading “Future Historians Probably Won’t Understand Our Internet” put me through a whirlwind of emotions, which changed (almost) as quickly as the temperature on a spring day in Amherst. At first, I was sad and disappointed– we won’t be able to preserve our experiences for future generations? People who live a thousand years from now…

The Implications of Archiving Social Media

In her article, “Future Historians Probably Won’t Understand Our Internet, and That’s Okay”, Alexis Madrigal explores the feasibility of archiving digital platforms such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). She provides an example where Twitter offered their public tweets to the Library of Congress to archive. One LOC librarian excitedly said, “It boggles my mind…

Revisiting the Past (“You Had to Be There”)

After reading the brief piece, “You Had to Be There” and thinking about all the video game related experiences with which I could relate that same thought, I realized just how much my gaming experiences are all about “being there” well after it has happened. Whether it is through replaying old NES and SNES games…

CYOAs vs Choice in Video Games

As an assignment for this class, I read Mystery of The Maya, a Choose Your Own Adventure novel about a young man who travels to Mexico to find his missing friend and encounters many supernatural things along the way. Because it is a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, there are multiple places throughout the book…

Temporal Identities?

Reading “You Had to Be There” gave me intense flashbacks to my thesis. My thesis was about the contemporary revival of Confucianism in China. Comparing the Confucian revival to other religious and nationalist revivals around the world — including the boom of spirituality in the West since the 1980s– I conclude that they all stem…

The Appeal of Simulation

In Ian Bogost’s “Video Games are Better Without Characters,” he states that games can be “non-fictions about complex systems bigger than ourselves” when referring to the realization he came to when playing SimCity for the first time. He notes that although no one would consider it a good idea to make someone mayor simply because…

The Stencyl Struggle

Stencyl was the struggle! Simply programming your character to walk was actually quite difficult for me. Sure it was a simple thing to do, but I remember asking myself: how do I do it? At first, I thought I only needed to add action animations to make my character  move, but I was wrong. I…