Game art, art game, indie game

Sketching the relation between the worlds of contemporary art and video games

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The interaction between art and video games might seem obvious since popular video games now have dedicated exhibitions in museums, as in the case of “Game Story” displayed at the Grand Palais in 2011 or “Design / Play / Disrupt” showcased at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2019. However, before this wave of institutional recognition during the 2010s (Colville, 2016; Ter Minassian, 2012), there were already connections between artistic practices and popular entertainment. Even if contemporary art is a multifaceted movement and difficult to define, the concept of experimentation, the aestheticization of everyday life, and the use of new materials are prevalent components (Millet, 2009). Continue Reading

A Multimodal Approach to Video Games and the Player

A book review

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In A Multimodal Approach to Video Games and the Player Experience, Weimin Toh describes the process that led him to develop a new, exhaustive model of the relationship between storyline and gameplay in video games. He synthesizes many of the theories of narrative game studies’ through the lenses of the multimodal approach, basing them heavily on the idea of ludonarrative dissonance as introduced by Clint Hocking in 2007. Grounding his research in the previous works and acknowledging the controversies regarding the concept, Weimin Toh does not concentrate solely on ludonarrative dissonance but rather regards it as one of a few types of relationships between two game modes, next to ludonarrative resonance and ludonarrative (ir)relevance. Continue Reading

Remonetizing Nostalgia

eShops and the virtual battle against piracy

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Despite the availability of some older games within eShops and virtual marketplaces to curb illegal video game piracy, mitigate losses, and offer products to users, limitations placed on the user may be a motivating factor for downloading games illegally. While many scholars of digital piracy take an economic approach by underlining the value of missed sales (Brown, 2014; Downing, 2011), it is important to also analyze how players are affected as well as their reasons for piracy by utilizing more qualitative analysis from authors like Caraway (2012), Downing (2011), and Vida et al. (2012). It is important to consider not only the larger entities like developers and publishers, but also bring the consuming individual back into frame, as this allows for a more nuanced understanding of the issue. Continue Reading

First Person Podcast: Episode 34

Can You Pet the Dog?

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This month on the First Person Podcast, you join Lia Black, Betsy Brey, Sarah Stang, Nicholas Hobin, and Sabrina Sgandurra to discuss their favourite pets in gaming history. We are going to be looking at the autonomy that has been allowed to animals in gaming ranging from the Final Fantasy Series to Pokémon. Through these games we will address themes like friendship, consent, and the proper pronunciation of the word Chocobo. So, tune in for a furreal experience. Continue Reading

Plague Tale and the Pied Piper Myth Turned on Its Head

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In the story of the Pied Piper, it is always a town and thus citizens of a lower status that suffer from death or loss. In A Plague Tale, I encountered many empty towns and cities where those who are considered lowerborn are the first to suffer from the plague of the Macula. While at the time the Grand Inquisitor doesn’t hold the power to control rats, it is clear that he and his Inquisitors are still using their position as authority figures in order to pick and choose which individuals will be thrown into the jaws of death in order to profit off the plague itself. Is it any surprise that the common folk are considered ripe pickings, such as they were in the Piper story? With no money, no protection and no insurance of a profitable life—their being left to suffer seems a given. Continue Reading

Play During Quarantine

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Since the FPS crew are all working at home too right now, we have decided to collect some of our thoughts here on how play factors into our routines along different axes right now. Feel free to join in the discussion either in comments or on our social media channels, and stay safe. Continue Reading

What Fate Brings

Final Fantasy XV's Chosen Ones

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FFXV makes use of a rather classic storytelling trend: that of the chosen one. But as opposed to a game like The Legend of Zelda where you might only have one chosen one, FFXV has two that are diametrically opposed throughout the entire game to a certain point. With that being said, the two chosen ones, Noctis Lucis Caelum and Ardyn Izunia, were handed their chosen one status by the gods of the game’s universe known as the Astrals. Both were given specific roles within the grand scheme of the story and were never really given much choice in the matter. This sort of setup was something that really caught my interest and helped further my love for both of these characters. Continue Reading