Recent studies has been talking of how people will turn to video games in order to avoid boring routines and everyday lives (Molesworth, 2009).
Is this escapism a byproduct of people desperately attempting to escape what postmodernists call the spectacle?
Continue reading “Video Games versus the Spectacle”
Not too long ago, people identified themselves as gamers, fully knowing exactly what the word meant.
The stereotypical gamer was a person who would spend hours on end playing games, and enjoying particularly difficult, brain-shattering challenges. (Juul, 2010) But more importantly: The gamer identity came – just like any other label – with a community, and a sense of social security.
In recent years, however, with the rise of app stores, smartphones, and the possibility to download and distribute games in a matter of minutes, everyone is a gamer. From commuters to kids. So is the “gamer” stereotype still relevant?
Continue reading “The Inadequacy of the “Gamer” Phrase”
Prune is a game designed by Joel McDonald and published by Polyculture for Mac and Android tablets in 2015.
The game is, quite literally, about pruning trees. As you cut branches off your newly planted tree, the remaining limbs will grow further. The ultimate goal is to reach for the sky, soak up sun, and give life to as many cherry-blossoms as possible.
Continue reading “Prune: A Game Review”
Psychologist Sigmund Freud came up with the idea of the “uncanny” in 1919.
The uncanny is a specific emotion of fear that is experienced when something isn’t quite as it should be. Like a taxidermied animal, or an antique doll.
In 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori warned that robots could indeed also provoke these negative feelings of unease, if they appeared too human. Based on these findings, Mori introduced the theory of the uncanny valley, depicting a drop of attraction towards the animate object, after it achieved human features. This unsettling feeling will – according to Mori – only disappear when the robot is completely indistinguishable to an actual living human being.
But is the uncanny valley theory likewise applicable to animated digital characters, like the ones found in animation movies and video games? Continue reading “When are Animated Characters Uncanny?”