1) Has the X-Box 360 achievement system affected
games usage?
– This was written for my Msc course, but I do feel I could have written a hell of a lot more if I’d had the time. The entire concept interests me immensely so I’m hoping to extend this at some point in the near future.
2) Games analysis and use of Game Theory – This was also for the Msc course. It’s a short piece on the use of games theory to analyse Maxis’s The Sims. It might be a bit of a rough read if you know nothing of game theory. It was a fair challenge to write!
3) Games Engines: Current Offerings, Comparisons and
Research
– Again for Msc. This is, as the title states, looking at the current offerings games engines have and a bit about the future and what will come of them. It mainly focuses on the Source Engine and Unreal Engine.
4) Are video games becoming the new cinema? What
factors would suggest this to be the case?
– This was for my undergrad course in Media Studies. Again a subject that’s really interested me over the years. Its main examples are the PC games Half Life 2 and Fahrenheit. It’s got a brief bit about the film of Doom too which ironically I thought was quite fun, maybe I don’t have any taste :p
5) Proppellian Analysis of Final Fantasy VII – This looks at the ideas of Vladimir Propp, a Russian Structuralist who looked at Russian Folklore and determined a number of similarities within all folk stories. This essay extends the idea to games, in this case the PS1 and PC RPG Final Fantasy VII.
6) We refuse to show the world as it is. – This essay’s a bit different from the others. It’s not focused on games at all. It’s looking at the portrayal of wars, and primarily the genocides, in the modern media. It’s not pretty, it’s got pictures you might not want to see. So this is your warning, if you’re of a sensitive nature. It was hard to write due to the material but I don’t think it should ever be ignored, which is pretty much what this essay is about. It was for my second year undergrad course.
7) ‘I have Mates all Over the World’ – Cultural Aspects of Multiplayer Gaming – Building Communities Online – This essay looks at the concept of community within gaming. The actual topic is huge, and you could write a dissertation on it or a book quite easily. However I only had limited space as well as time so I tried to look at a bit of everything. I’m not sure if I succeeded really but c’est la vie.
8 ) Synergy of Computer Games and Films – This is much like my earlier essay ‘Are video games becoming the new cinema?’, it’s basically an update of those ideas and maybe with a slight more focus on films than before.

I would greatly appreciate any comments on these essays, whether they be negative or positive. šŸ™‚

11 Thoughts to “Essays”

  1. Hi there,

    Just read you essay about 360 achievements, that is very well written may I add. šŸ™‚

    In my opinion players will alwasy find ways to “glitch”. It all depends on how motivated someone is to get the rank/achievement in question. Nowadays p-layers can keep trying to get into ‘ranked’ rooms with friends to boost/glitch , agreed it now takes longer but for some as long as they get a particular achievement then that’s all that matters. It’s a shame DOA4 didn’t introduce the ability to invite friends into ranked rooms to boost, I know as many top ranked players wouldn’t exist. I think you used a bad example here too. In NFS:MW using the glitch you’re referring to leads to a heat 5 chase, which is very hard to get out of. šŸ™‚

    To a point, i’d also agree with your following statement partially:

    ” a game score is more affected by the amount a person plays a game, and also what games they play”

    I think this is simply a reflection of poor achievement design. Some games like NFS:C, GoW and dead rising encourage you explore the game further if you want the full 1000 points. You have to work at it – obviously not a problem if you enjoy the game per se. With the newer game releases though, achievements look a lot more balanced, creative and more challenging. I hope this trend will continue tbh.

    Imo, achievements taht are well designed and though out do add to the gaming experience and personally, encourage me to play that game more.

    Meh, i have rambled enough, back to work now.

  2. russ

    You did a Media Degree? :O

  3. Haly

    Heh yeah I did. Seemed a good idea at the time šŸ˜‰

  4. Rorifett

    Further to 6) – Not only do we not see the full picture of the troubles/distructiveness of war but I don’t feel we even get the proper picture of life closer to home. Where are all the news stories which are entirely just that, news, good news, bad news just an indication of things which have happened recently? You know the ones, wee Johnny down the road won the sack race at school etc. All we hear about from our beloved media ‘x people have died from knife attacks’, ‘terrorists are around every corner’, yadda yadda, it’s, in my views, information force-fed to us to control us and let us know that no matter what, our government is taking care of us, it’s people. Every now and then the media changes the focus of it’s battles, was gun crime which was the ‘big thing’ a few years back, then it was the Maddie McCann circus with a dash of terrorist attacks, now it’s knife crime. The way they’re papping on you’d think that knife crime was on the increase three-fold but, and I may be wrong, as far as I’m aware knife crime in Scotland has stayed at a pretty relative even keel for years now.

    It’s kinda like those tv license adverts, police camera action programmes and all the rest of the tosh they show on our boxes, my interpreted meaning from all of these things – If you do something bad, your government WILL find out. Obey the rules blindly.

    Or maybe I’m just cranky at 4am šŸ˜€

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