I am charged by UCF’s Contemporary Topics in Digital Media course to create a persuasive or radical game that uses the game structure and mechanics to convince players to agree with or at least think critically about a value I hold. In order to do this, I will attempt to follow Nissenbaum and Flanagan’s Values at Play (VAP) approach to game design:

1) Discovery: the activity in which designers “discover” and identify values relevant to their project.

2) Translation: the activity in which designers “translate” value considerations into architecture and features into game iterations; and

3) Verification: the activity in…

Journey on Steam (steampowered.com)

In her book “Critical Play: Radical Game Design” Mary-Flanagan defines critical play, by exploring the definition of play. Play, she says, is hard to define, but “play is central to human and animal life; is generally a voluntary act; offers pleasure in its own right (and by its own rules); is mentally or physically challenging; and is separated from reality, either through a sanctioned play space or through an agreed upon fantasy or rule set (Flanagan, 2009, p.5).” She also importantly mentions that play is an essential aspect of human brain development, meaning that play can…

Disclaimer: I am not a trained mental health professional, so everything in this article is just based on the personal experience of someone who has struggled with depression.

GRIS Gameplay Walkthrough Part 1 FULL GAME [1080p HD PC] — No Commentary — YouTube

Video of Full gameplay, only watch if you don’t want to play it yourself. Still a beautiful experience if you only watch it, but obviously intended to be played.

Gris’ description on the steam store and on Nomada’s website is as follows:

“Gris is a hopeful young girl lost in her own world, dealing with a painful…

“videogames offer a promising way to foreground the complexities of political issues without overwhelming the layperson” (Bogost, 2006). In other words, video games are accessible. Many people play them, and they have an expected straight forward structure that people can quickly parse. There is usually a win state, a goal, that people can quickly and easily identify with the goal. …

Glitch has a critical role in “promoting awareness of the materiality and infrastructure of audiovisual media” (Ferreira and Ribas, 2020, p. 115). In other words, creating, happening upon, or viewing glitch art, allows one to better understand how that information is packaged, how it works, that it is tangible rather than ephemeral, and that technology is imperfect despite it’s trappings. It is a feeling and understanding similar to one I get when I watch people make computers, because I can literally see inside the magic black box.

RGB shift is when one takes the color channels in an image (either…

“Sky: Children of the Light” is a free-to-play mmo mobile game by Thatgamecompany (TGC). In the game you play as a child that can fly and explore a world TGC’s small team has crafted. Because the team is small, the game is also fairly small, and the main storyline can easily be completed in a few hours. Even though the game is quite small, the draw of friendships facilitated by the game, cosmetic items to unlock, overall artistry, and daily tasks have garnered the game a dedicated following of players, many of which play daily. You might imagine that in…

Pual Steen created a game mod called “Art Assault” of the FPS “Assault Cube,” in which the player/audience experiences familiar FPS mechanics and gameplay, but it is set in a museum with bots tagged with the names of successful living artists. In his interview with Gamescenes (Interview: Paul Steen’s First-Person assault on the Game Artworld — GAMESCENES) he mentions having purpose behind his art, and briefly touches on the idea that he meant to explore fame and strife in the art industry. The interview also explores how this piece fits into a genre of game mods that place violence or…

Game modding is when players and other non-professional game developers alter a game. Anne-Marie Schleiner(2018) discusses how mods can range from cheats with the intention of progressing toward a game’s goal in a different “often easier” way, to mods created by artists that render games “unplayable” but make enjoyable experiences or subversive statements about game culture. She also talks about the culture around mods, and how modders and developers use one another to further their own ends. Modders use the games they have purchased or pirated as a foundation for their own vision and large companies will sometimes profit off…

Fortnite: Battel Royal is a popular free-to-play game created by Epic Games using their Unreal Engine. The Unreal Engine is free to download and money need only be discussed if you start making a significant amount with what you produce. Interestingly, Epic also added a tool to Fortnite called “Creative” where users can design their own experiences within Fortnite. This tool seems to occupy a space between sandbox game and the requirements for Henry Lowood’s (2016) definition of a game engine as a tool that:

Encompasses the fundamental software components of a computer game. These components typically include program code…

I recently started playing Portal 2, because I enjoyed the mechanics, puzzle solving, and the thrill of the story in Portal. I also enjoyed learning that Chell was the main character, and I enjoyed finally understanding “the cake is a lie” joke that ran wild through the internet. The dialog from the antagonist, a robot named GLaDOS, struck me as different in Portal 2 than it was in Portal. GLaDOS had started fat shaming Chell, who looks to weigh in the ballpark of 120–140 lbs. The comments comparing Chell to a whale or hot air balloon were clearly not interpretations…

Samwise Majchrzak

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