Research Journal 2

Posted: 04/12/2012 in Games, Research

Bringing Emotions to Videogames

            The article takes a very in depth look at the ways emotions are evoked from videogames, and the future of emotions and videogames. A few revolutionary ideas are discussed in the article; one game developer talks of a realistic artificial intelligence in a game called Façade, where the player uses his voice to enter an argument between a married couple; another developer discusses a fighting game called Zen Warrior, in which the player is able to use a very powerful attack, but only when the player is in a “Zen-like state of inner calm”; the same developer discusses the idea of a horror game where ghosts could appear, or other events, based on how the player feels, instead of what the player does. The article also mentions a few stand-out games from an emotional standpoint: Final Fantasy, The Sims, and Ico. All of these games are somewhat breakthroughs in the gaming world, being the first few to draw real emotions from players. It mentions that Final Fantasy relied on almost film-like storytelling to get players involved in the story, while The Sims allowed players to insert their own emotional story through their Sims.

The article is from MSNBC.com, and gets its information from true game developers, so it seems to be credible. The article was written very professionally, and doesn’t seem to lack much, if anything. It will definitely help me with my research paper, as it can help me to incorporate the future of videogames and emotions, instead of just discussing how they are now.

Citations

Loftus, Tom, and Msnbc.com. “Bringing Emotions to Video Games.” Msnbc.com. Msnbc Digital Network, 11 Oct. 2005. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. <http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4038606/ns/technology_and_science-games/t/bringing-emotions-video-games/&gt;.

Advertisements

Research Journal

Posted: 04/12/2012 in Games, Research

Can Videogames Make You Cry?

            The article tries to get a general idea about emotions in video games. It asks the question whether games can be more to people than just special effects. To get this information, the author ran a relatively small survey of 535 gamers, and asked them about emotions and video games. He found that most participants listed role-playing games as the most emotional by a large percentage, followed by first-person shooter. The author makes the connection that most gamers feel more emotions when interacting with computer-controlled characters, rather than other players. This is reinforced by that fact that there were 104 specific mentions of the Final Fantasy franchise, one of the most well-known role-playing games franchises in the history of gaming. The article also explains some different emotions that gamers feel when playing games.

This article is a credible source, as it is a very popular and reputable gaming magazine. The article was also well-written in my opinion. The author sounds very unbiased, even mentioning that his presupposed ideas about which video games were the most emotional were wrong. The argument is pretty convincing, making me realize that the only emotions from video games are not story or character-related. The only thing missing from the article seems to be a conclusion to bring together his main points. I definitely found this survey useful to my research, especially as a starting point. This article reinforced my idea that role-playing games are the most emotional for people.

 

Citations

Bowen, Hugh. “Can Videogames Make You Cry?” Editorial. Game Informer Magazine.BowenResearch.com. Bowen Research. Web. 09 Apr. 2012. <http://www.bowenresearch.com/studies.php?id=3&gt;.

Life in a Day

Posted: 03/12/2012 in Joy

This week in English, we watched a movie called “Life in a Day”. Basically, the makers of the movie sent out hundreds of cameras to different people and places all over the world, and had them all videotape their lives on the same day. They ended up having footage from over 190 countries, and something like 4,500 or 45,000 hours of footage, I can’t remember what it said, but either way,  the result was a movie showing a whole bunch of different cultures and people and places, vastly different from one another.

I remember the first thing I noticed while watching it was that the majority of the footage chosen to be part of the movie, was footage of people who were happy, or at least content with or thankful for their lives. A lot of the movie at one point was a whole bunch of pregnant women excited for their babies, or women who had just given birth. When looking up the definition for the word “joy” on urbandictionary.com, one of the definitions actually gives childbirth as an example of a common source of joy for people. There were other people, however, who weren’t exactly joyful about their lives, but they were grateful to be alive and with the people they love. There was one father of a family of some crazy amount of kids, I think it was eight or nine, who lived in a graveyard shed in a barren countryside, who had no money, running water, electricity, or anything; nevertheless, he talked about how he was grateful to be with his children, alive.

There was one scene that really stuck out for me, and it was this one Indian man, living in Dubai. He said he had been living there for thirteen years. Throughout his explanation of his living situation, it was showing him doing all sorts of mundane jobs, like watering grass and plants, and fixing up things. As the camera panned out you could see there was a large hotel behind him, and he said that he worked as a gardener, and he loved his life. That stuck out to me because something people are always saying is that money doesn’t equal happiness or joy. That guy is proof of it. He reminded me of myself, because I’m one of those people who just kind of accepts what he has and is happy with it. I don’t need much to make my life meaningful to me or anything like that.

I kind of wish that I knew all the countries that were shown scene by scene, because there were some cool places that looked like they would make for great vacation trips to travel to. I also wish there was a number showing how many cameras were sent out, and how many people actually sent back in the footage, or how many ignored it. I don’t know if anyone would want to ignore a project like that, that basically connects the whole world together to show how much we have in common.

Fiora, the Grand Duelist

Posted: 03/05/2012 in Games, Internet, Joy, LoL

I am very happy with Riot Games this week. They just released their new champion to the League of Legends: Fiora, the Grand Duelist. Fiora is the first female AD (Attack Damage) carry in the game, and the first AD carry to be released for more than a year. I unlocked her as soon as she was available, and fell in love with the heavily French-accented fencer.

The first thing that made me excited for Fiora is the simple fact that she is an undefeated fencer. I’ve always wanted to fence but don’t have the money nor the time right now. Once I’m out of college I will probably try to find a fencing school, but for now, I’ll play as Fiora instead, which is cheaper and less time-consuming. In her lore, she comes from a long line of renowned duelists, and she strives to live up to her father’s name. She has never been defeated in a duel, and she is very egotistic because of that. Controversially, in a duel against another prominent duelist, her father was revealed to have slipped a mildly paralyzing poison into the wine of his opponent. This shamed her entire family, and other fencers refuse to acknowledge their worth as duelists anymore. Fiora hates her father for besmirching her good name, and joined the League of Legends to bring back her own honor.

Now onto the fun part of a new champion: actually playing as her. Fiora has four skills and a passive skill, like every other champion: her passive gives health back when she auto attacks enemies; her Lunge allows her to lunge to an enemy’s position twice within four seconds; her Riposte parries the next attack made against her and deals damage back to the attacker; her Burst of Speed grants her heavily increased attack speed for a short time, along with movement speed; and her ultimate skill, Blade Waltz, attacks random champions five times in quick succession, dealing heavy damage per attack.

Playing Fiora feels like playing a very fast assassin-like character. She is a great duelist 1v1, as her name implies, but she has a tendency to die fast when team fights break out. I often found myself quickly being focused, and unable to cast my ultimate to try to save myself, even while spamming the button. One nice thing about her Burst of Speed ability is that it allows you to focus on augmenting other stats aside from attack speed, as she already has great attack speed. She is very dependent on Armor Penetration and Lifesteal, at least in my opinion. Lifesteal is a must, as it turns her ultimate from a deadly team attack, into an even deadlier “oh shit I’m dying” skill, as she can use it to become untargetable for the duration, and regain a massive amount of health from her Lifesteal.

Her Lunge makes it so that you can keep on an enemy easily, especially once you get Frozen Mallet or red buff to slow your enemies down with every attack. Her Riposte allows you to parry attacks and do damage back, which is great for one on one fights. Riposte is also your best friend when solo topping against a champion with ranged harass such as Gangplank’s Parrrley. Burst of Speed is also great as it allows you to win easily any small one on one or two on two skirmishes.

All in all, I am very happy with Riot Games’ new champion, who is quickly turning out to be one of my favorites to play.

592 Words


TERA

Posted: 03/05/2012 in Games, Internet, Joy, TERA

This post, and a great deal of this blog, is going to be largely about video games, MMORPGs in particular, and so if that is not something you are knowledgeable in, I apologize ahead of time. I have recently pre-ordered an upcoming MMORPG name The Exiled Realm of Arborea, or TERA Online for short. This MMO redefines the genre, breaking the mold that MMOs have been stuck in since the original Everquest dominated the market. It essentially combines a traditional MMORPG (dungeons, raids, PvP, questing, leveling, and different races and classes), with an action game (real-time combat, dodging with skills instead of “dice roll” RNGs, not much reliance on gear, and intense combat situations).

By pre-ordering the game, I automatically am granted access to the closed beta testing for the game, which occur every two weekends up until the launch on May second. I have played in the two beta tests that have happened so far, and let me tell you, if you are a fan of MMOs, you will want to give this game a shot. I have played it for all of maybe twenty-four hours total, and now it sucks because I have no drive to play any other game. It’s that good. Playing it is the most fun I’ve ever had in an online game, and I don’t know how I ever could have thought that a game like WoW was fun when compared to TERA. Ignorance truly is bliss.

In contrast to traditional MMOs such as WoW, Everquest, or Guild Wars, you cannot lock-on to your target and just hit buttons to attack them. Like an action game like Devil May Cry, you actually must aim your reticle at enemies or allies, and attack or heal them that way. There are some skills that can lock-on to enemies to guarantee it won’t be dodged, but it still can be blocked, and those skills are few and far between. By requiring you to actually aim at your target and accurately predict his movements and actions, this causes the game to be much more reliant on player skill than any other MMO on the market right now. In TERA, if you can effectively dodge or block ever attack made against you, and be able to accurately hit your enemy, you can win. Gear certainly will make the killing process faster, and your defense higher, but in no way is it even close to the deciding factor.

Another mold that TERA breaks in some ways but not all is the traditional model for tanking and healing. There is no pure healing class. The two healing classes that are present in the game are support classes. Healing is their main job, but  a good Priest or Mystic will also be DPSing, buffing allies, debuffing enemies, and crowd controlling in between healing their group-mates. There is a traditional tank class, the Lancer, who wears heavy armor, uses a shield, and whose job it is to keep the enemy’s aggro on them, and take blows without dying, which makes sure their teammates, who are much squishier than he, aren’t taking the hits and dying. The Warrior, on the other hand, is a different style of tank. The Warrior wears light armor the same quality of an Archer, and tanks by evading and dodging blows, instead of taking them to the face like the Lancer and traditional tanks. The Warrior is a very hard class to play, as he is just as squishy as an Archer, but still needs to keep the enemy’s aggro on him to protect his teammates. One mistimed dodge and you will be flat on your ass, and chances are you won’t be getting back up.

I am very excited for this game to release fully, and in the meantime, I am eagerly awaiting the next beta test on March ninth, ready to hop into the game and have fun.

652 Words

Joy

Posted: 02/20/2012 in Games, Internet, Joy, Katelyn, Spanish, Teaching, Writing

So I decided on joy as my abstract noun. According to Google, Joy is defined as “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” My personal definition when asked to define the word myself without information from outside sources was “A feeling of being happy; comes from an event or activity that makes you feel good.” Synonyms of the word are amusement, delight, happiness.

Now that I have laid down a common definition from which this blog will derive it’s content, I can start to discuss with you what I consider to be some sources of joy for myself, and maybe you if you’re anything like me.

I would have to say my biggest source of joy, or my most frequent source anyways, would have to be my computer. Whether I am playing video games, watching Netflix or Hulu Plus, reading forums, surfing Youtube, or getting lost in Wikipedia or TV Tropes, the biggest chunk of joy out of my pie chart of joy comes from the computer and internet. Maybe you don’t consider joy to be just a feeling of happiness, and instead consider it to be a “great happiness”, as Google suggests; I however, don’t experience that often enough, nor do I want to write about happy sappy occurrences enough, to write about it every weekend. Instead, for the sake of this blog, I will be going with my own personally created definition, of a simple feeling of happiness.

Playing video games is what takes up the majority of my free time. My girlfriend Katelyn also gets joy from my gaming, as she enjoys watching me and my best friend beat the shit out of any game we pick up and play. I consider myself to be a pro gamer, as well as my best friend Gage. We aren’t “pro” in the professional sense, but “pro” in the sense that we can master almost any game in a very short amount of time, and be able to utterly destroy people who have been playing for months or more, when we have been playing a few days. There is a certain satisfaction to be had when you and a friend work together to dominate a 5v5 match of League of Legends, or competing against each other in a deathmatch in Assassin’s Creed, and basically the only competition for both of us is the other.

Getting lost in Wikipedia might sound strange to some of you, but I’m sure a lot of you types who enjoy learning and who enjoy gaining knowledge can relate to this. I often spend an hour or two just linking Wikipedia articles off of one another; I’ll start with one, and throughout reading it, I will click open many new pages on new tabs to learn about those links as well, because usually I won’t understand something without having some knowledge about something else first. This happens more often when looking up computer or technology information, or scientific mumbo jumbo, but it can also happen with historical articles. This might not come off as joyful to everyone, even those who do get lost on Wikipedia from time to time, but I love learning, and feel most at home in a learning environment such as a classroom, or a site like Wikipedia. This love of learning is also probably my biggest influence in deciding to become a teacher.

Teaching others is not something I had mentioned before, but I mention it now because it is true that teaching gives me a feeling of joy. I often just teach my classmates things that they don’t understand in a class period, and usually to a single student, or a small group of two or three. I have in the past done observations at Inter-Lakes High School however, and I taught my first lesson alone at the end of the observations. Being able to teach students about Spanish, a subject I love, gave me a great feeling of elation. It was like a small taste of what I want to get into after getting my degree at PSU.

The source of my greatest joy is my girlfriend, Katelyn. Always save the best for last, as the saying goes. Katelyn might aggravate or annoy me for a good chunk of time, but I enjoy bickering. However, Katelyn often does amazingly cute or nice or thoughtful things that prove to me how important I am to her. Those are the moments I feel the most joy. In those cases, joy is more than just the simple feeling of happiness I previously defined: it becomes a heightened happiness.

My Writing PTSD

Posted: 02/11/2012 in Writing

I don’t know if I can honestly say I have a post-traumatic stress disorder when it come to writing. Writing sort of comes naturally to me, and grammar and spelling flows out of me as easily as the English language. All my writing teachers in the past have been fond of me, and I’ve never had one that hated me or anything. The closest I had to a writing teacher that disliked me was one who jokingly made fun of the people he liked, because that was the kind of person he was. It doesn’t really count either because I always did the same thing to him, and he told me a few times straight to my face that I was the only one in his class who he thought was worth anything. I did have a writing teacher in seventh grade that I disliked, if that counts. But she still liked me. I did do an assignment in that class once that me and a partner (mostly me) worked very hard on, and we only ended up getting a C. If I ever had a traumatic experience in a writing project, that would be it. Getting a C on an assignment I worked really hard on. My writing teachers after her I think have never given me anything less than a B or B+. I definitely didn’t develop a stress disorder about writing from that C though.  My writing just improved from there on out, and now I’m a pro and knock out word count assignments like they’re nothing. It’s really not in my nature to have a stress disorder or anything like that, especially about something as easy as writing. I’m one of those people who kind of just let things go, and don’t worry about much at all. To me, everything will eventually come together and work out fine. If it doesn’t, then there probably wasn’t anything I or anyone could do to make it turn out any better. I know I just said that I can knock out word count assignments like they’re nothing, but this one is actually giving me trouble, because I have no post-traumatic stress disorder to discuss. I don’t currently have one, but this assignment, ironic as it would be, may end up giving me one. If this assignment gave me one, I suppose I would then go on to discuss how my English teacher from my freshman year in college gave it to me, by making me write a long blog post about a post-traumatic stress disorder about writing that I didn’t possess. My friends would laugh about it, and probably talk about how strange I was for even having a writing post-traumatic stress disorder, since it’s something neither I nor them have ever heard of before this class, or my mentioning it to them, respectively. I’m hoping that my English teacher will read this and find it a little humorous, and forgive me for not having a post-traumatic stress disorder about writing.