In response to "A Shot to the Gut" from The Escapist Forum: Sounds like a novel idea, though atm it seems more of a gimmick then something that would enjoy mass market appeal.
However, it strikes me that this product will never be able to appeal to everyone. If its stimulation effects are not powerful enough, then it can be perceived as a bad thing. From reading this article it sounded like the reviewer actually enjoyed getting hurt because of the vests response. Thus give the anti-gamer lobby a new song to sing: a product that gives the user a pleasant physical sensation in response to & causing violence. I personally find this somewhat harder to refute. I'm not a big fan of immersion in games because I like their detached, sensationally neutral nature; invoking an emotional but not physical response. If this vest, which it sounds quite possible to do, can be made to give the sensation of killing & being killed in a virtual environment feel physically pleasurable, I don't see that as a good thing.
But, on the other side of that; if the vest gives too strong a feedback response, the resulting jabs will be a major distraction & annoyance, the actual sensation of pain will more likely simply cause the wearer to take the vest off & throw it on the heap of discarded gadgets rather than be provoked into playing safer. There's a seemingly very fine line in this case between something that's sellable to mass market, & acceptable to consumers.
I've been waiting for this. I was overjoyed when I discovered a Laser Tag set that shocks the user via the gun when he gets hit, it adds a whole new dynamic to the harmless skirmishing when you can feel the impact, bringing it closer to the level of Paintball, without the risks. Aside from a heart attack, that is.
Unfortunately, I see only that the 'immersed' gamer will have to sacrifice efficiency in the name of enjoyment. Inevitably, the distracted player is less likely to win the fight. There's something to be said for the heightened reflexes fear might offer, when you fear dying more due to the physical aspect introduced by the vest, but the pro-gamer type will inevitably forego this in favour of b00m h34dsh0t.
I'd love to see them offer a box set of these for LAN gaming and splitscreen console action, and if they could shrink down the impact zones til we had closer to a hundred, dynamic shapes could be formed to simulate melee slices and shrapnel damage..
In response to "Quibus Lusoribus Bono? Who is Game Studies Good For?" from The Escapist Forum: The thing is, i don't understand how the fluck you can have a game "studies". I am an engineering student, but I am a gamer first. You don't study games, you play them. With that love for gaming, you develop that drive to make them, and that is where good games come from. You cant just go study games, then pretend that you can go make it and expect it to be fun. Almost all good games came from one simple idea from a game designer, like portal, which was a senior design project. Like how you quoted that lady, Janet or w/e, something about you must make games to study them and you must study games to make them. Imagine if Mozart had to get a Ph.D in " Musical Studies", he would of never developed that freedom of thought and creativity that comes from loving music. like wise for games.
I agree with you, lets stick it to these "Game Studies" doctorates. Games are an art, but an art full of masochistic codemonkeys!
It seems that many of you are misunderstanding the nature of game studies. It's not about about someone with a clipboard asking gamers what they liked or hated about a game, and then using that information to spew out the "perfect" game over and over. It's about understanding how all these elements work together and how they affect us. It could be something as complax as examing financial flows in MMOs, or how a background evokes a particular mood. Last week, I read an essay that compared compared Katamari Damacy to the myth of Sisyphus. Great stuff.
If game developers were also involved in game studies, it would actually help to distinguish their works instead of cloning others because it encourages the student to consider the meanings and connotations behind everything. Some might throw a pair of aviator sunglasses on a character and call it a day, but what stereotypes do aviators spark? What about wraparounds, circles, or no sunglasses at all? 99% of games are not art, because the developers don't put that type of thought into their products. They don't consider how all of these visual and gameplay elements are going to affect gamers. They just know that the kids these days are all about guys power armor.
In response to "Hard Times" from The Escapist Forum: Most games nowadays appear to come equipped with a 'I Win' button built into the game world - and I'm not just talking about those dodgy cheat packs you can put into your system. I mean, for instance, let's look at DMC4 which has been brought up in this very thread: Have any of you actually mastered Pandora yet? For those of you who don't know - Pandora is the gun that Dante acquires which has miscellaneous uses - one is that it can shoot missiles which cripple even the 100-foot last boss in a number of hits. Certainly, such numbers increase with difficulty levels - and it becomes harder to stay alive, but as long as you're agile, even the climax remains a piece of piss.
I like hard games. Sorry, let me correct that statement: I liked hard games. This was back in the days when I had more time to play. With practice came mastery, and the challenge was its own reward. These days, I don't have as much time to play games, and so the worst thing a game can do is waste my leisure time by forcing me to repeat something I don't want to repeat. Unskippable cutscenes are by far the worst offender, but having to repeat a tedious gameplay sequence is just as bad. Maybe this just reflects poor design, since the gameplay itself is supposed to be the reward. If the reward only comes at the end, I'm going to find the most time-efficient way to get there, and if that means playing on "easy," so be it.
- Alan Au