Narratives within video games.

Tragedy and E3: it’s not just the guns, it’s the stories that we tell.  Reading this article on the gaming industry trying to promote their future projects while the tragedy of the LGBT nightclub shooting, this article also goes into the some of the storytelling elements that are commonly used within a lot of the industry’s recent made games and the gap on fiction and reality.

a lot of this article talks about the use of violence to solve a conflict within some video games and that we really don’t care about the weapons used in the game but use “the stories we choose to tell about them.” (Rath, 2016), and the context of the use of violence in narratives.  I do agree in some aspects a lot of games do use violence as a simple way to stop a conflict, though this is not entirely the flat of video games.” Violence is a conflict and stories need a conflict. Now some might argue that it is someway lazy to relay on violence as a conflict but the fact is violence is a very human thing “(Gameranx, 2016) in books, movies and even plays violence is a method of conflict or solving the conflict. A lot of narratives throughout history follow the same structure “The format of storytelling is fixed – the protagonist, the quest, the trials, and the resolution” (Nolan, 2010), this structure is what has entertained people for a long time due to how human nature works, we are entertained by some overcoming or failing trials due to this being an occurrence within human life. Am I saying this goes through all gaming and media no, but saying that the use of violence is a simple native is far from the truth.

Though the use of violence within video games and the reality is different. The discussion happens with any art form, though without discussion art cannot change and evolve into something better in the future.

gameranx. (2016). why is war & violence a major part of video games?. [Online Video]. 14 February 2016. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt9Wn0YSiag. [Accessed: 21 June 2016].

Josh Finderup. 2013. Why violence is good for games — and storytelling. [ONLINE] Available at:http://venturebeat.com/community/2013/06/29/why-gaming-needs-violence/. [Accessed 21 June 2016].

ROXANNE KRYSTALLI. 2014. Dilemmas of Storytelling: Violence and the Narrative Responsibilities it Creates. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.fletcherforum.org/2014/03/10/krystalli/. [Accessed 21 June 2016].
SAGE Publications. 2015. Why do people play violent video games? Storytelling and meaningful choices may play a part. [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150409120443.htm. [Accessed 21 June 2016].
William F. Nolan. 2010. “The Basics of Storytelling”. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.betterstorytelling.net/thebasics/thebasicsofstorytelling.html. [Accessed 21 June 2016].

Overwatch, Gamer/developer relationship

What is the relationship between gamers and the developers who make games? While looking through articles related to the recently released game Overwatch, I noticed their understanding of the audience and the responses the developers (Blizzard Entertainment) gave to fans on their comments and criticisms about the game. In this article I hope to show this relationship between the developers and gamers.

When making games it is important to understand who your audience is and how to appeal to them. Blizzard has had no problem doing this “Blizzard specialises in making incredibly polished, welcoming games that people love, and now it’s turning its attention to first-person shooters with overwatch” (Tucker,2016). Overwatch shows its ability to cater to a large variety of players with a large roster of different playable characters with different playstyles, point systems and rewarding characters differently. This sometimes is not beneficial to the game due to some fans not liking some aspects of specific characters within game and in the fandom itself (Todd, 2016).  I found that some aspects of the characters have to be separated to how is the character is played. According to some average player’s opinions most if not all characters have a fun, unique playstyle to each character and with the difference in play, promotes more time played with different characters (Tassi, 2015). This shows Blizzards ability to produce hours and hours of content of fun with a lot of variety to give players.    

Other aspects of the gamer/developer relationship are the responses to criticism or complaint by the fans about certain elements of the game; “in spite of Blizzards statement, which made it clear that the developer agreed with the comments that had been made and were not” entirely happy with the original pose” in the first place, the cry of censorship rang out across the web” (Gordon, 2016), this quote was from an article about the developers answering the comments about an in-game character pose that certain fans disliked and a compromise was made to change this pose slightly to appease the fans that made the criticism. This shows that the developer is listening to the public and show that they care what their fans think of the game.

Looking at Blizzards new individual property moving forward, it appears to me that they are interested in fan response and feedback.  This allows them to produce games that meet the ideals of their customers.  With gamers giving their input, developers can produce content that meets the standards of their audience.

References

Derrik J. Lang. 2016. ‘Overwatch’ game developers find creativity in diversity  . [ONLINE] Available at: http://phys.org/news/2016-05-overwatch-game-creativity-diversity.html. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

Jake tucker. 2016. Overwatch wants you to love it, and it’s hard not to . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.alphr.com/games/1003622/overwatch-wants-you-to-love-it-and-it-s-hard-not-to. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

 Matt Gerardi. 2016. Overwatch embraces the pow positivity. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.avclub.com/review/overwatch-embraces-power-positivity-237915?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=feed. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

Nathan Grayson. 2016. Overwatch’s New Progression System Is A Big Step In The Right Direction. [ONLINE] Available at: http://kotaku.com/overwatchs-new-progression-system-is-a-big-step-in-the-1758582886. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

N/a. 2016. JEFF KAPLAN REVEALS PLANS FOR OVERWATCH. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.drakemoon.com/overwatch/jeff-kaplan-reveals-plans-for-overwatch. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

Paul Tassi, 2015. Analyzing All 18 Of Overwatch’s Playable Beta Characters. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/11/02/analyzing-all-18-of-overwatchs-playable-beta-characters/#6432ad0d75fc. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

Gordon . 2016. Opinion: Why Blizzard’s Overwatch Decision is Not Censorship. [ONLINE] Available at: http://gamerant.com/blizzard-overwatch-tracker-censorship-opinion-104/. [Accessed 13 June 2016].

Todd. 2016. trapped. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.chaoticblue.com/blog/2016/06/trapped/. [Accessed 13 June2016]