Topics I've Started
18.10.2012 @ 05:40I liked this Penny Arcade video on the differing aesthetics of games and how they relate to genres. (can't get it to embed- maybe someone can provide an assist)
Edit to provide some definitions for the categories. These are based on the video but are my characterizations of how I understand them:
Sense Pleasure- sight and sound stimulation- game music, visuals, etc.
Fantasy- the ability to roleplay something you cannot be in real life- not referring to "elves and dwarves and wizards" type of fantasy
Narrative- the main authorial story the developers provide
Challenge- overcoming arbitrary (but I assume, interesting) obstacles
Fellowship- cooperative play
Competition- ranked results, one-upping other players
Discovery- exploration of new things
Expression- being able to put something of yourself into a game
Abnegation- using games to pass the time
20.09.2012 @ 23:04I know that this is a subject near and dear to some Witcher fans, and I thought you might be interested in this essay on political novels:
Between the Lines
It makes several points about what makes a compelling political story. One of them is that politics can be a personal thing and not just a question of factions, and also that the best political stories will not hit you over the head with the writer's agenda. I think CDPR did a good job on both these scores in TW2. You had two paths which seemingly represent two factions, but with TW2's shifting political alliances, this is not as clear-cut a choice as RPG's usually present. Geralt's personal stake has also been presented pretty well in both TW1 and TW2. What really reminds me of the Witcher games is this section:
"For a reader what will matter more than anything else in these novels—especially those that purport to engage with politics and ideas— is what Natalia Ginzburg called the 'spiritual attitude' discernible in the work. What is a spiritual attitude? It exists for a reader as the sign, or token, of the seriousness with which ideas are entertained. Novels in which politics plays a central role purport at least to represent reality in a way that will seem plausible to an adult intelligence and read the relevant implications in a richly complex way. And yet often the spiritual attitude underwriting such works is deficient, portrayals of reality flagrantly one-dimensional, ideas taken up as if they were merely tools or weapons with which to impress readers and thereby to evade the difficult questions implied or invoked."
My thoughts on this are vague, but I would like to hear what people consider good foundations for political storytelling and maybe some other examples you could give, positive and negative, in games or literature.