Throughout the game log process, I’ve written a lot about immersion in games because I think it’s extremely important for a franchise’s long-term success. Something interesting I found in the game log posts is about Postal Redux, where the author argues that the first installment, played in the third person, is more immersive than the sequel despite it being changed to first-person. It’s completely understandable for people to think playing in first-person helps with a game’s immersion since you’re “in the character’s head”; however, I would agree with the author here, that third-person games can be just as immersive, if not more so. He pulls from Daniel Black’s article to provide support. Black explains that the game’s perspective is not what creates immersion, but rather the game’s ability to bridge the gap from real life to digital fantasy.
One of the three game’s I was discussing this semester was League of Legends. While I discussed its popularity and mechanics, until reading the article FREE GAME!!! I didn’t realize I had left out the game’s more important aspect: it is free. The author points out that this is a big part of the game’s popularity, the fact that it is accessible to almost anyone. Something important to point out is that even though Riot, the game’s developer, doesn’t make any money off of downloads, League of Legends is more lucrative than most video games because of its in-game purchases. The author goes on to explain that by making the game free, it was able to amass a huge fan base with plenty willing to pay huge money for access to more characters. This is a good application to our in-class discussions about the clever marketing strategies used by companies like Atari and Nintendo to stay on top of the video game market.
In the RPG article about Earthbound, I thought the author made an interesting point about the absurd price of original game cartridges, and how playing emulators copies the gameplay but can’t make up for the entire gaming experience. A question I would ask the author is whether or not they thought the rights to a video game should belong to a company infinitely, or if after a specific time period it should be allowed to be copied and shared with people for free?
In the article Racism in Clash of Clans, the author talks about the “racist undertones” in the game, and more specifically, how a character like the Hog Rider is acceptable when it reinforces racial stereotypes. After playing this game, I would disagree with the racist undertones perspective. While it is true that the game might lack diversity, it is important to realize the developers are based in Finland, a predominantly white country. This isn’t an excuse, but it does provide some reasoning to the lack of diversity. The game, however, doesn’t appear to have racist undertones. I would ask the author if they consider troops such as the witch, giant, healer, and skeletons to be part of their own race? It is my opinion that the game developer’s intent was to create new races, not actually reinforce white supremacy or racial stereotypes.
The article, The Addictiveness of Balls and Numbers, is personal considering my roommate chooses to play this game instead of talk to me. The author talks about the game’s appeal and “juiciness”, which is hard to disagree with. The biggest question I would pose is where does the game’s longevity come from? Other than attempting to beat your high score, which gets more and more difficult, there is no narrative and no real reward for any in-game activity. What keeps players coming back for more?