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Blog Update 2

December 9, 2011

As you may know the gaming blogs that I have been following throughout the semester for the class are Grand Text Auto (GTA) and Critical Gaming Project. (CGP) Since my last blog update, there have been many interesting posts on the GTA blog, but CGP went on vacation I guess, with only 4 posts since October.


Once again I’ll begin my update by discussing gamification, since that’s something that both blogs talk about most frequently. In one of there recent posts, CGP takes a critical stance on the situation claiming that “the problem is, gamification assumes a rattomorphic view of gamers in the appropriation of techniques and principles from games.” The article describes this as “pop behaviorism,” or conditioning through rewards and incentives. According to the post, this type of conditioning only works for the short term and ultimately back fires leaving the person unsatisfied. Therefore, gamification is as he likes to call it corrosive, and it’s also potentially dangerous in that by presenting something as if it’s a game, you create this “game layer” that really doesn’t exist. CGP is concerned about this because games are becoming increasingly more gamified themselves which will only lead to disaster leaving the gamer resenting the game. Likewise, in following the other blog, GTA also recently blogged about games and reward systems. According to this post games are by definition all about rewards. According to GTA, as well, people like receiving instant feedback and instant gratification for doing something good in a game, just like the rats in the CGP post.


Another interesting thing that each blog discusses in a number of posts are these various ideas for unique game designs as well as an opinion on already uniquely designed games.

In a post on the CGP, the way in which some games are designed around time, and how various games are designed in different ways depending on how the creator of the game expected players to spend their time in the game. They use World of Warcraft as an example of how game creators allow players to spend their time doing different things, however, I was better able to relate to the post thinking about Skyrim. There’s so much to do and so much to see I often times find myself just roaming around for hours looking at cool stuff.
GTA also offers up a couple posts in which the writer discusses various unique game designs. In one of the posts, they discuss the unique up and coming Telemetry-Supported Game Design. This design was used in most recent versions of Madden Football. Telemetry is designed to give designers feedback and help them answer the following questions: How do players interact with the game? Which features, modes, and content are players experiencing? Why do players quit playing the game? The way in which the game interacts back to the player makes it very useful in sports games like Madden where the computer can mold itself to the gameplay style of the player.


Another interesting post on the CGP that sort of deals with game design as well, is the post about multiple forms of interaction in games, but honestly I read it and enjoyed it and just wanted to write about it. The post talks about recent developments in the gaming world that with their design allow players to interact with the device/game more fluidly. It talks about the Nintendo DS and its revolutionary touch screen also containing a second screen, buttons, wifi, now a camera, and a microphone. Its versatile design allows for a number of ways in which one could possibly play a game depending on its design. The post also talks about how the Androids and iPad/iPhones have a built in accelerometer which adds a whole new spin to ways in which games can be played. The post ended with a particular question that I felt was interesting. “That being said, while this is all pretty theoretical, I wonder if this transition between different modes of interaction could be emulated in an analog game. Or perhaps this feature is unique to digital games?” I feel like many analog games for sure have the potential to go digital, especially with the gaming world increasingly moving towards more interactive forms of gameplay, like with the PS Move, the Wii, and the Xbox Kinnect. Not to mention that there’s already Yahtzee! for the iPad/iPhone where you shake the phone or whatever in order to roll the dice. Furthermore, I also have the Monopoly game on my iPad and it’s so much more convenient than the real thing and faster too!




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