FGD — Reflection 7/12/21

I never really was a big gamer growing up, however, I had phases of playing Sims or Wii throughout my time in middle and high school. Back then, I used to not think much of playing video games, even though I was bound to a set of rules in games like Mario Party and Legend of Zelda. After this past two weeks lectures, I realize now the impact games have had on civilization for several years. It’s interesting to think about the surplus of energy we have inside us and how even after a long day of work, the relaxation theory allows us to use this excess energy in the form of play.

I remember learning about play being a huge part of childrens’ development, but this past Thursday’s lecture was my first time thinking about play as a means of socialization for them. I think about how much my play with the Nintendo DS, swingsets, and Candyland have had signinifant influence on the way I strategize things and interact with people nowadays. I see how my nieces finally engage with people they meet through a game of hide and seek or tag, and I think about the impact the game experience has on them forming new relationships with others.

Play within the circle opens my mind to the differences of playing with rules vs. free form. I feel like the circle is the main component of an individual’s experience within a game because if there are a set of rules, than the user has to abide and strategize in order to have a successful experience. All this strategizing leads to competition which can lead to torutuous frustration and sadness within the form of play. We want to release this excess energy we have by playing, however, I now question why some individuals would want to this? Would playing a progressive or cyclical game really fall under the relaxation theory if they have to follow certain rules and complete tasks by certain times? Do some people consider this form of a play “relaxation” after a long day of work? Do these individuals play linear/cyclical games because they get bored with explortiory games?

When I used to think of Space Invadors, I didn’t think there was a story behind the game — I just thought it was a form of play where a user would laser beams at random UFOs. Now, I understand every game has to have a story in order to be successful. I’m curious as to why the creators pivoted from advancing human soldiers to aliens. Was it a sensitive topic due to the Vietnam War? Was the idea of transhumanism too much for 1976? I ponder these questions because I’m developing my thesis around the idea of advance humans and incoproating their intelligence to far greater capacities than earth.

I laughed on page 57 of the Art of Game Design by how they used to add cikired strips of translucent plastic to the game’s display since the technology wasn’t capable of color. It’s honestly one of the most innovative and creative ways I’ve heard incorporating a new feature into a game.

When I saw the game, Breakout, in Rules of Mechanic, the first thing I thought was, Brickbreaker, the popular Blacberry game. After reading for a bit, I realized Brickbreaker was a newer rendition of this game, similar to Breakthru. I love seeing the progression of video games because it shows not just how much we’ve advance in design and technology, but also how much we’ve advanced in storytelling. The game, Life is Strange, is one of the most impactful games I’ve ever played and it was partially due to the aesthetics, but also the story.