I personally think that virtual reality can benefit society in an educational and art context. It could be brought into classrooms to bring experiential learning into a traditional class setting with subjects such as art, astronomy, anatomy, etc. Also it is another technological outlet to create more contemporary art in new and unexplored modes.
The two twine games that I chose were very different in structure. The first twine game I played was called "The Temple of No" and it was just a story that you advanced by clicking the underlined words. It would've been boring had it not had different images and sounds that helped tell the story. You also get to choose what character you play as so I thought that really added to being more immersed in the story even though there was a set outcome. The second game I chose was called the smallest room and it was very different from the first one I chose because the options you chose actually affected how the game played out and you had to go back and forth and click on different things in order to gain different keys and pass codes to win the game. The main difference between these two games is the fact that the smallest room has a way to "win" the game while the temple of no just has a story ending instead of the player accomplishing something. I feel like procedural rhetoric is more present in the smallest room and not the temple of no because there are dead ends and actions the player actually has to take. I feel like one example of this is that in the smallest room, by hitting a dead end or by the process of trial and error, you learn what order you need to click things and explore to get past obstacles in the game to win. I feel like the argument this game is making is that a game can be just as engaging as a game with graphics and sound by the amount that the player interacts. The maker of the smallest room had a brief description of the reason for making the game and it was to be able to make a creative and interesting twine game using only 300 words total throughout the entire game. Playing these games has helped me decide that I want to create my game in a way where there are multiple possible endings, so not only can the person win or end the game, but there are several ways to win and several different outcomes. I don't see myself getting too creative with just a guided story because I don't know how I would get the player immersed in the game.
I'm still not entirely sure on the details of what game I want to make, but I think my audience would definitely not be of a younger age so this would not really appeal to most children or teens. I was thinking of creating an escape the room type game where the player has to find clues around the room and decide which ones are important and which ones are not in order to be able to escape the room that they are stuck in that would require solving a puzzle of some sort or using critical thinking skills. I'm thinking of also having the game span over several days and nights to mark how time moves in the game. I think to "win" the game, the player has to make it all the way to the last night (or escape the room I'm not sure yet.) by making all of the right decisions each day that passes.
I'm not entirely sure yet whether or not I want it to be sort of a thriller horror game or just a puzzle solving game yet. A lot of twine games are just stories being told that you click on just to advance the story so I think that the power of choice is a very important element that I want to include in my game to make it closer to a traditional video game instead of a digital version of guided reading. Also instead of having a set narrative path with one ending, I would like there to be multiple possible endings. One major issue that I think that I am going to have is being able to navigate the process of making the game. I know we had an in class tutorial but it is difficult for me to translate my thoughts on the route this game should take into the format that is available to us. I think it could be a good thing because I will have to think in a different way to achieve a fully comprehensible game in the end. I played some twine games online and some have images or graphics along with sound so I want to try and incorporate more intricate elements in the game, so I think my biggest thing that I have to overcome is the difficulty of learning how to do more advanced technical things. At this point, I think that my overall goal or message that I want to send is the idea of having to make quick decisions under the pressure of knowing that one wrong decision could send you into a dead end of the game or make you have to start over. I feel like once I have the specific details I want to include, I can make a more targeted argument about a certain topic. Overall, I think that the different elements I want to include like images and sound will help me create the tone of the game that I want to achieve more easily.
1. We're being graded on having a complete and coherent game with a clear objective and argument being made and having a specific audience being targeted. In the rationale, we are being graded on the completion of the length of writing required and having citations from the readings from class. Also on writing about the process of making the game and why.
2. I think we aren't being graded on what subject we choose for the game as long as we can justify the argument and audience.
3. I think that we're being graded on these things because the inclusion of articles we've read show that we can relate the content of this whole unit and tie it all together into this one final thing and it's important to know your intentions of creating something like this video game. Knowing the argument and audience in a context outside of the classroom is helpful when having to market yourself or your ideas to other people.
I had played through the walking dead game before, but it was a long time ago and so many terrible things happen throughout the rest of the seasons that it was nice to get a refresher on the first episode. In the first season, you play as a guy named Lee who finds a little girl named Clementine. I won't spoil anything, but later on in season 2, you play as Clementine and the decisions seem to get harder by having to choose from a child's point of view. One of the biggest arguments I think that this game makes doesn't happen until the very end of each episode. After you play through, it gives you a poll of what percentage of player chose what decision in each pivotal moment in the game. It also marks the decisions as either red or green to indirectly show what is morally "wrong or right". To be able to see the most popular choice from actual people is really trying to send a message about what kind of morals people really have. Although it is just a game, the game is very narrative and immersive so I think there is some truth to those results. For example, when Lee was required to choose to give the woman the gun or not, the end result would end up the same in the game, but the difference is what is considered "morally right" with the rest of the characters who remember the decision that you made. I think that this game is an example of Bogost's procedural rhetoric because there are many functionalities of the game that aren't outright explained to you that affect how you make your decisions in the game. One example of this is that each time you have to make a decision, whether it is simple dialogue or saving someone's life, the choices are timed with a bar that compresses on the bottom so that you have to think more quickly. Another example is the question marks on the top left of the screen that show when people make note of what you have done. That kind of makes you more conscious of helping the other characters too instead of just yourself. Overall, the game is a large morality test that makes you question what kind of values you and the people around you have which is very powerful for a video game.
When trying to come up with a good example of procedural rhetoric in a game, I struggled to find the answer. My background in gaming is stupid battery wasting apps on my phone or the Nintendo DS games that I played in middle school. My younger brother actually plays games professionally and enters in a competitive league with his friends to win money. They even started a gaming club at my old high school while the most I've ever done with video games is get a perfect score on cooking mama. Bogost defines procedural rhetoric as "the art of persuasion through rule-based representations and interactions rather than the spoken word, writing, images, or moving pictures." A specific example of that mentioned in the article is "demonstrative advertising" where the features and functions of goods and services directly correlate with advertising messages. One game that really demonstrates this is a game app called pewdiepie's tuber simulator. Although the app is free, in order to obtain certain features like money boosts or more missions to complete, you have to watch a thirty second ad until you can use it. I feel like this associates the functioning of the game with having to go through these ads which suggests what content a player of the game should consume.
The whole point of this game is to start your own channel and choose between titles given to you on what kind of videos to make in order to obtain more subscribers and more channel views which are used as money to buy new things to customize your room and your character. In order to level up, you must gain enough xp through buying things from the shop. Bogost states that "I argue that video games’ usefulness comes not from a capacity to transfer social or workplace skills, but rather from their capacity to give consumers and workers a means to critique business, social, and moral principles." This quote highlights the fact that the point of this game is not to teach people how to run a YouTube channel or to accurately simulate it because pressing buttons on a game are much different than actually producing content. I think the point of the game is to criticize the idea behind being a successful YouTuber and selling yourself out to be more marketable and create pointless content just to make more money. Evidence of this in the game is the fact that you can buy piles of money to put in your room or have the ability to customize your avatar to look like popular Youtubers that are known for making terrible content just for more views. The entire game showcases procedural rhetoric by putting YouTube culture in an app readily available for consumption by people very familiar with the website in order to create a new platform to question and criticize what being "internet famous" really means.
The biggest thing that I learned is how long it takes to do what seems like simple things in terms of editing video. The documentaries we did in class were only 5 minutes long and I spent hours and hours filming and editing. There are just a lot of elements that I didn't think about. I feel like in terms of the difference between just a sound or image, full video achieves the most as it is a combination of the two. The tone, emotion, and idea of a video can be much easier to communicate than just sound or image. One example of video being combined with something to create a new meaning is in art museums or shows, video is sometimes placed alongside a collection of works to accent the central meaning or change what you originally thought it was about. Moving forward, I think that I'll continue to use videos the way that I have always been, just more professionally. I make quick ten second skits online that are quick jokes just to get a laugh out of my friends on Facebook so I'll be able to do it much easier now. Another major way I will most likely incorporate video is in my artwork or as a way to present art that I have done.
The video that I decided to write about is a short music video or film (I’m not really sure) about Shia LaBeouf. I feel like even though the purpose of this video is to be ridiculous, it shows many of the techniques mentioned in Wohl’s article. The main question brought up in the article is who, what, when, where, and why? The video is very obvious when explaining who is in the video and what it is about. There are several shots of each group of people performing in the video and the lyrics to the song, even though he is not in it until the end, show the obvious main subject of the video. Although the actual location is not very clear in the beginning of the video, the narrator clearly describes the story’s scene with extreme detail throughout the entire video. The actual location that the people are in though is revealed when there is a pan over the entire theater that revealed red seats and Shia LaBeouf in one of the seats, so the location of a theater is clear to the viewer. Although the entire video is happening at once like one cohesive performance, the editing cuts to different close ups of different groups performing different things. Everyone is not really shown in one shot until the end before it pans across the theater. Like the movie clip of Moonrise Kingdom, every character of group has their own close up shot, but their location in relation to each other isn’t revealed until the end. I think that the reason there was a long pan of the entire theater before reaching Shia LaBeouf is because it shows how large the theater is and how much money and resources was put into the production and the space even though the subject shouldn’t be taken seriously at all. I think that the editing does a great job of showing the drastic amount of production value put into the video in relation to the random subject. Another aspect of the video is the consistent medium close up of the main narrator. I feel like this consistent image of him helps the viewer know when to focus on the story versus the visuals. Also in the middle when it cuts off before continuing, I think that the camera and lights lowering did a good job in tricking the viewer into thinking the video was over. Overall, the editing did a good job of showing how elaborate the performance was for something so ridiculous.