“When you’re developing characters, be very vary of code names. Because once a name is out there in people’s psyches it’s very hard to change.” - Christina Norman
When the new character Elise was being developed, her codename was ‘The Spider Queen’. She was released with the official name, Elise, The Spider Queen.
Riot built their lore aiming to have 30,000 concurrent users, they’re now up to 3,000,000. Christina Norman at PRACTICE now speaking about reexamining storytelling in light of current reality.
I used to not bring my Xbox to college because I thought it would waste time instead of studying or socializing, and while video games definitely do take away time from studying (except of course in this wonderful class) I do not consider them to be entirely pointless, and least of all social. I realize now that I spend a lot of time with my friends talking about other video games, because in theory video games create communities outside the gameplay, as first discussed in Homo-Ludens. And while they are social they are also fascinating in ‘some’ of their constructions, which expose the users to new ideas, theories the designers want me to experience. I am on the look out for these now than before when I was just playing for pure enjoyment. Video games to me now make statements, they speak to the user and the beauty is in the fact that the user speaks back. I think that we are still only unraveling everything video games can do to push culture ahead. But stepping back, this class dramatically changed my attitude toward gaming, and I am a more critical gamer exploring games for everything I can get out of them, and I think some of the authors we read would say Im a better person for it, too(Im looking at you, Mckenzie Wark).
One particular part of my thinking that changed after this class was how we can use what we do during our time in play to really learn about who we are in the gamespace. Before this class I never really looked at the video games I was playing in such depth, I would just play them. Now I can see how the theories proposed by McKenzie Wark on gamespace really links these two worlds with the allegory of the cave, and how we as people interpret what we see in the game world and the gamespace and what they mean to us. I was also surprised to discover how the gaming community distinguishes between spoilsports and cheaters as two distinct species within the gaming community. I never fully understood what the knowledge of knowing someone is cheating can do as opposed to someone you don’t know is doing it and how it can affect the players around you. I am also going to be far more conscious of how video games are structured and what specific message they are trying to send with their rules and procedural rhetoric. After seeing games like Burgertime and building our game (The Pump) it was eye opening to see how easily game designers can create those deeper meanings in a game. Overall this class will make me look at games in a different way from now on.
This class made me realizes that there is so much more to videogames than simply having fun. I had seen Jane McGonigal’s Ted Talk before taking this course, but thinking about games critically really made me understand the unique and unprecedented opportunities that video games can provide us. I used to believe that the entertainment from videogames I got was the most important thing. This class was the first time I critically analyzed a game like I would a book or a poem. Previously, I assumed that some games were just too crazy to have any underlying meaning. Now I know that as a form of media, videogames can provide a new type of insight into society, as well as reveal a player’s own values. (Wark’s analysis was mindblowing, and I wish we had more time to talk about it more!) Learning about the theory and structure of games also helped me understand what I valued in a game, and why I played some games and not others. Finally, on a more personal note, Thinking About Games made me sure that I want to be somehow involved in the gaming industry.
It’s been a great three weeks. I wish it had been longer!
All the best,
In my paper, I chose to counter Ward’s game theory, arguing that gaming, for many, is an attempt to deconstruct the the topological and return to to the childhood ‘topical’ arena of imagination.
My argument primarily utilizes Luden’s theories of play coupled with Ward’s game theory. I chose to explore several examples of ‘variation’ within BF3 in attempt to illustrate the lack thereof in the gamespace.
I will go into more detail tonight. Can’t wait to hear about everyone’s papers.