Reading 05

The development of more interactive games seem to be a combination of the visual flexibility and variety of video games with the sense of visceral movement and activity of sport and other skill games. Seeing this early on, it would appear to mostly be a marketing ploy that was designed to convince people of the technological advance of entertainment. These systems though would often be found to have severe limitations, in which when the novelty of a system wore off it would often demonstrate to be more frustrating then fun. Early examples of this are systems like the Wii and Kinect, in which while the motion sensing technology is there it had flaws and limitations. While these motion sensing technologies at best can be fun party games, they become insufficient motivation for individual play.

This sort of frustration is usually enough to take a gamer out of a flow state that they might otherwise be able to achieve in a system with more tighter controls, and which would otherwise be more traditional with a general game controller or keyboard. Traditional games through the limitation of movement can actually be more immersive, this is due to the fact that by having an individual be put into a passive state they become centrally entrained in the input output system of the game. In this passive state of the player, all external input can be melted away so that the only thing that exists in the players phenomenology is themselves and the game; and even this can be melted in a singularity in more extreme cases.

An exception to this though might come from musical games, examples of this are Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. These games had controls that borrowed from arcade style play, and thus had more past work borrowed from them. The inclusion of music allows players to become naturally immersed in the game themselves, this can be seen anecdotally with the huge scene surrounding these dancing and musical instrument games. These games are often tighter then other ray based peripherals because they largely really on discrete trigger based input such as the pads on a dance mat.

With the fast rise of VR we see better implementation of interactive games. The key to this is the advance is the improved immersion of the systems. The VR system submerges the senses in a visual auditory environment mostly free from external noise. This combined with reasonably good peripherals comes together as a unique experience that can engage flow by tricking the senses and narrowing the attention indefinitely. The headset itself acts as a peripheral, where moving your head changes the game view itself closing the gap between interpretation of movement and actual movement. Many VR sets come with motion sensing peripherals for the limbs, these have been shown to be fairly in depth given advances in dual lighthouse techniques.

The development of AR to me is uncertain, because it necessitates the interaction of a visual virtual environment and visual input from the actual environment. Improvement upon development would probably be slower then in VR because of this fact. The success of Pokémon Go! may prove me wrong, that was a AR game so the key to AR might be in the mobile scene. If the AR system can be successfully integrated in our mobile tech then that suggests a huge future success for AR.

Reading 04

To me, certain video game consoles have a sort of feel to them, which is informed by the specs of a console itself and the special audiences that surround them. Xbox consoles are more geared towards young adults, PlayStation consoles try to sell themselves as serious hardware, and Nintendo consoles go for the family friendly market.

I would believe it would be fairly rare for a console player to choose between a console purely on specs, if even at all looking at the specs. When I was growing up and a lot younger, there would be occasional discussion about the console wars, this was usually between what was superior; Xbox or PlayStation. The people arguing for PlayStation would talk about the consoles overall quality while those on the Xbox side might talk about its games or some ‘otherly’ aspect of the console. The handheld games were their own topic of discussion, and it was universally agreed that Nintendo’s where the best, if there was any possible competitor. From those that I knew, if a person was serious enough about having a console then they would probably also have a handheld. Most console gamers tried to keep PC games out of the discussion.

Most gaming adults that I am familiar with will have multiple household consoles, because it would allow them to play different games in either the way they want to play them or in the way they were intended to be played. A good example of this are Nintendo game systems, for what they often lack in high spec hardware they makeup for in game quality and overall console reliability. Some gamers may prefer playing older consoles just for the sake of nostalgia.

Going off of the articles, I would say that the superior console series is the PlayStation as far as hardware goes. But, usually an Xbox is cheaper. So if someone just wanted to have a console to play games with out as much consideration for performance an Xbox might be their thing. Usually more sophisticated hardware directly translates to more high end graphics quality and potentially more complex gameplay. For my gaming experience, unique style usually outweighs graphical ability and a game doesn’t need to be so complex as intriguing to keep my attention.

My favorite console was my Nintendo GameCube, it was the first console I’ve ever owned and brought me countless hours of entertainment. Some favorite games on the Nintendo GameCube were Mario Cart, Smash Bros., and Pikmin. I remember quite fondly of playing with my younger brother and sister on the GameCube, whether it was Mario Cart, Smash Bros., or Mario Party. Though we later got a Wii and after which I sort of grew out of consoles in general I will always happily remember my GameCube.

For this week I gave the game Sonic the Hedgehog a try, it was a fun an fast paced game and a little different from what I was used to in a platformer. Supposedly this was done by Sega in order to show off there hardware quality.

Reading 03

Computer gaming and console gaming are overall very similar to one another, they are done on two different machines that function very similarly. The advantage of computer games over console games is that the personal computer is more capable of handling a larger variety of different games and supporting software. The person savvy with a personal computer can not only play a variety of games, but customize a computer to fit their needs with games. A console on the other hand has an advantage in its compactness and ability to be instantly set up and played with the use of a television or monitor. Choosing between using a computer or console to play games is largely dependent on personal preference. When I play games, I usually prefer my personal computer. The main reason for this is because it’s what’s most available to me, in which I would have my personal computer for work anyway. Furthermore, I use a form of software that can be used to transfer games I already own from one computer to another, so I don’t lose my games when I need to update my computer.

A disadvantage I found to consoles is that more often than not, old games from the same company aren’t always backwards compatible with new consoles. The was an issue with early Nintendo system, but not necessarily so now. Furthermore, if someone wanted to keep up with the games a company put out, they would also have to keep up with the current consoles of the company. There is a sort of disadvantage to PC gaming, which is the lack of a plug and play nature that is otherwise present in console games. PC games usually take the extra steps of manipulating software and game environments while consoles games have more tactile and ergonomic setups.

As far as particular games go, I would say that first person and third person games are more better suited for consoles. These types of games are better played with console controllers and large viewing sets, these are more associated with consoles than personal computers. While larger sets and video game controllers can be used with modern PC’s, controllers come and are optimized for consoles. Also, if a first person game is competitive multiplayer, consoles affirm that identical hardware is used by all players involved so that no one player is liable to bog play because of inferior hardware on one side or another.

On the other hand real time strategy, economic games, and other sufficiently complex games are more well suited to PC environments. The main reason for why I think this is because a keyboard environment allows for the huge degree of controls necessary for some of these games. Also because there is a larger variety of personal computers and customizable desktops, the needs for complex games can be scaled with the computer used.

I tried some cool DOS games.

The first one I tried was The Oregon Trail, it’s a really neat resources management and travel game with a brutally punishing system. Decisions have to be made from available options and current resources, there can be unforeseen consequences that impact you in the long run.


The next game I played was Prince of Persia, it was a puzzle platformer but the gameplay was something new to me because I wasn’t as familiar with the sort of discrete and flighty movements that the character was controlled with. Overall it was a really cool and intriguing game, one I am definitely revisiting later.


The last game I played was Wolfenstein 3D, which was one of the few first games that attempted a first person shooter setup. Its not true first person shooter though because lateral character movement is non-existent. It’s really cool none the less and a very interesting piece of game history.


Reading 02

The arcade game is one of the most iconic ideas in game culture, from this period of arcade golden age we saw beloved characters such as Pac-Man and Mario enter the scene, along with grand inspiration for games to come in the future. Arcade games shared a huge part of the 80’s culture, which characterized new ideas and forms of amusement that reflected the fast times. These games can still be enjoyed today in many different forms through emulation and derivative systems. While nostalgia can play a huge role in these games continued appreciation, I would like to make other arguments about their very structure and context that also contributes to their staying power.

The games for one were easy to pick up and hard to master. This was born out of the fact that arcade games had to attract players them a chance, but keep challenging them to come back for more. This made the game structured to posses an apparent easiness to them, but also technically difficult to actually play them. This structure of challenge and frustration made these games very habit forming for players involved. Playing a game like this will imbed the imagery and iconography of the game into the players long term memory. Given that these devices are designed for the enjoyment and entertainment of the player, the emotional context that these memories would be associated with would end up being positive and nostalgic.

Because these games had minimal graphical capabilities, they had to rely on unique and novel forms of gameplay. Many classic action genres emerged from arcades, including platformer, racing, and fighting games. The huge varieties of play mostly functioned to have the games stand out from their competitors, though as time went on more formula based conceptions started to take hold as manufacturing became cheaper and cheaper. These sort of experimental forms of gaming still cause old arcade games to stand out even today, despite their lack of visual sophistication. Even if a particular game design didn’t work at the time, the novelty factor of the arcade game could be enough to make it successful. Even now it can be considered a good game design philosophy to make sure that gameplay remains of central importance to a game, with all other factors either being periphery or functional for gameplay.

There was also an interesting culture and atmosphere associated with arcade in the 80’s. Arcades where softly lit so that play can be focused on the screen, the spaces being dark and labyrinthine with the game machines. This caused all focus to be on gaming and game related socialization. The use of lighting in these darkened spaces added a sort of magic and style to an escapist environment. The use of competitive scoring caused these spaces to develop communities of both casual and hardcore players, with many records being set for classic games in arcades.

The combination of these factors all lead to the memory of these games still being alive today. The understanding of these games in their context helps us appreciate them for what they are and where their from, so that we can still enjoy them today.