Category Archives: Gaming

Treatment of Life and Death in Videogames

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I read this interesting article called Loss of Death: Suicide in Videogames. It was fascinating because it brings up the question of how we treat death in video games. The author (Ryan Kuo) poses the question:

The vignette raises questions about the way that games treat life and death — questions that still haven’t been answered. Does a surfeit of lives cheapen our notion of life, rendering it as easily dispensable as coins or bullets? Or is the cycle of life, death, and resurrection a rich platform for contemplation?

Kind of a big question isn’t it? What does the perception of having multiple lives in games have on the human psyche? Furthermore, what would happen if we took that vital piece of integrated gameplay out of gaming altogether?

Personally I think the removal of multiple lives from gaming would cause a kind of outcry in the gaming universe at first. I think perhaps a few gamers would enjoy the challenge of trying to survive without dying through the whole game…but they would be a minority in the gaming world. Such games, I feel, wouldn’t survive (pun intended).

Humans want to be allowed to make mistakes. They want to be redeemed of those mistakes. I think that is a great appeal for gamers. Gaming offers the do-over we don’t get in real life. That is why I game personally. Then again, I cannot really allow my feelings on the matter to be the standard for the gaming world.

Leave your thoughts below.


Turning The World….

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I read a quote on Ello the other day that one of the writers I follow posted. I’m not sure if it was one of her own or from another source, but I found myself wondering about it a great deal.

“Many people, especially in technology say their productivity is changing the world, and this is irrefutable. But no one seems to know what they’re changing it into.”

Many commenters posted their thoughts, and much of it was about technology it’s self. I couldn’t understand that. Technology it’s self doesn’t have fully functioning rational consciousness…yet. So why is so much being said about technology when there are minds behind it? I decided to put my two cents in and commented:

This is precisely the point I had been trying to make in my computer ethics blog in college, and why I personally believe in the “design for good” movement. I think the use of technology and how to cause change in the world stems from the individual user and their choice, not necessarily the creator of said technology. Though I think the creator is the one who gets the ball rolling, it is the users who manipulate the technology’s usefulness and influence one another. Though, that is more or less dependent on the situation. Without context I get the implication that the quote speaks more on the unpredictability of the technology user to change the world and not necessarily the technology it’s self.

I think when it comes to technology we are too willing to blame situations on the device. Too often I hear parents ridicule their children about phone and computer use, but in the context of the technology. “I should get rid of that damn computer…” Kind of commentary is often times too common, but what it does is dissociates the user from the responsibility. It is not the computers fault that the individual spends so much time on it. It is the choice of the user to spend time on it, and in this particular case, it was someone’s failure to set appropriate boundaries for such use. Weather it be the parent or the child is another story entirely.

To take away the computer is far too extreme. It is useful. It is necessary as well. Technology use causes the world to turn. Most of our educational and work environments require the use of a computer for nearly everything now. Perhaps another case of people’s failure to set boundaries? Feel free to put your thoughts on that in comments below.

I must put a disclaimer as well. There are some technologies that are changing the world for very specific reasons. The above commentary I made speaks more on programs, games, social networks, internet use, apps etc. More socially oriented technology. There are technologies that are made for specific uses, like medical technology, where the goal is to change the medical field for whatever reason, and usually with a passionate cause and predicted out come. In those situations, the use of technology is entirely dependent on the proper functionality if the technology as well as the user, and the outcome is usually predictable because it is being made for a specific goal. That may seem obvious to mention, but I would rather mention it since occasionally, the technology has other outcomes as well that develop into another kind of technology altogether. Much of our popularly used tech was developed from military tech made public once it was found to have a variety of uses.

What are your thoughts on technology development and the quote above? I would love to hear perspectives.


True Story

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How a 3DS Can Change Perspectives

Screen Shot 2013-05-05 at 1.35.15 PM“I cried the first time I held a Nintendo 3DS. The experience was a revelation that I’ll not soon forget, and even if everyone stops making games for it tomorrow, my blue 3DS XL is not going anywhere. That little machine is a window into a part of human experience that most people take for granted, but which is otherwise inaccessible to me.

Backing up:

I am mostly stereoblind. Stereoblindness is a blanket term for any condition that prevents a person from perceiving depth using binocular vision. Depending on whom you ask, it affects somewhere between 3 and 15 percent of the world’s population, which creates an interesting demographic hurdle for the 3D television industry. Some people are stereoblind because their vision in one eye is severely impaired, others because their brains are unable to coalesce images from both eyes into a three-dimensional result.”

To read more please visit this link.


A Recommendation: Atomix

I came across this awesome free online subscription while I was browsing my iPad newsstand. It’s name: Atomix magazine. What do I love about it?

1) Awesome interactive layout.
2) Great displays.
3) Some valid and thoughtful insights into some of the games we know and love.

As a designer and gamer, I highly suggest using this beautiful and helpful resource.

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Family Safe Online Games…That Don’t Suck.

Screenshot taken from Kabam.com

Screenshot taken from Kabam.com

One of my goals this semester was to survive my senior project: Complete success! Hopefully I will have more time to post things from now on (and I say hopefully very lightly).

My senior exit project was to create a design campaign that encouraged parents to become more actively involved in their children’s online lives and offering them all the quality free resources a parent ought to be able to get their hands on all in one website. However, since the project is only a prototype and I do not have the funds to keep the project running, I figured I would take all of my knowledge and offer it to you, my faithful readers (again I use the word faithful lightly).

One of the challenges I faced with this project was finding online family friendly gaming that…well…wasn’t a complete waste of time. Some games are neat, but overly violent, and other games were…well…they really sucked and were poorly designed…it was a nightmare.

One of the unique things about this generation is that we have an increase in parents who are gamers. Sure we all love Halo and Catherine just as much as the next guy, but are those games really appropriate for children to play 9or even be present while playing)? Then we run into the problem of how to choose what kinds of games kids like before we go out and find games to buy them? What do they even like out of a game?

I offer you a solution of various safe online games to help get parents in the right direction and help them give their gaming children a taste of variety.

Safe-game.com: Okay, so the site it’s self is pretty lame looking, but it’s got gold…trust me. You’ve got you classic games many of us grew up with like Donkey Kong, Tetris, and Pac Man. In addition to that you’ve got a variety of gaming genres to get the kids started on and help them figure out what games they’re good at and what interests them. Great for ages 8+…and possibly a few parents looking for a taste of the old arcade.

Gamehouse.com: An awesome mixture of classic and contemporary games with varying game styles. You can also purchase games for both Mac and PC here and they also offer reviews and top picks. Better for older kids…I’d say for  ages 10+ maybe 13+ depending on the game. Parent discretion advised.

Bigfishgames.com: Not entirely family friendly. These games are catered to a much older audience and parents are cautioned to review games thoroughly before game-play begins (or are encouraged to  test run the game to see if they think their child can handle some of the content). However, there are some pretty cool graphics in a bunch of the games and most of them are pretty mild. I’d say for ages 13 and older (some of them I’d play myself ).

Kabam.com: I play on here all the time. Great free online strategy games with awesome graphics. They have a freaking Hobbit (yes as in LOTR) game on here. What’s not to love? Some mild violence (let’s be honest… it’s war strategy games). Best for ages 13 to 15+ …and mom and dad. It’s a bit more mature.


How Video Games Can Help You Save Your Sister from an Attack Moose (NO JOKE)

Taken from thenounproject.com

Taken from thenounproject.com

Moose is charging you and your sister…so what do you do? Everything World Of Warcraft taught you of course!

This kid (I think Canada or something…someplace there are moose…moosen? Meese? Whatever…) saved his sister’s life from an angry Moose using skills he learned in World of Warcraft (an online game).

Check this out: http://humorswitch.com/57749/who-said-games-are-useless/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign=hamza

Researched it…and it’s legit.