Saturday, May 17, 2008


Gaming Review
I thought the concept of persuasive games was a very interesting one. The parody of MacDonald’s, which illustrates to the player the corrupt inner workings of MacDonald’s really stuck out to me. I think that a video game is great way to get information to people. Many people don’t have time or don’t care to read, and playing a video game would be a lot more appealing to them. The incorporation of education and gaming is a very important concept, because games keep people interested and motivated, unlike a lot of lecture based education in schools. I am always more engaged in a class room when a teacher tries to incorporate a game into the learning in the classroom. Today video games are easy to access over the internet and very popular, and therefore a great tool for learning. What do you guys think?
I think that Ryan Lambourn’s V-Tech Rampage is very sad and sick. I really think that someone who would design a game like this so quickly after such a tragic event is truly unfeeling and needs help. Anyway, I think this kind of game really illustrates that creating games to make a statement is a very powerful tool and it can be used for both negative and positive purposes. I personally believe that the creation of games should not be limited or bound by laws, but I also think that one of the negative effects of having such freedom and in the game world is that it can be abused. Although I think that the positive effects outweigh the negatives. What do you guys think?
The first game I played was called Fat World. I have to say I think the concept is interesting, but I don’t think that playing the game will have the desired affects on the users of the game. For example, the game may spread awareness of the fact that many people are obese and, that it is generally much more convenient to buy cheap fast foot than make healthy food at home. Yet, I don’t think a game like this would encourage people to go out and exercise and buy better food. On the contrary I think that it may cause people to sit in front of their computer and play the game instead of exercising. I think the best way to get people to eat healthier or exercise is actually to get them to do it somehow.
I think the concept of the Wii fitness is a great way to get people to exercise who don’t normally. The Wii fitness unlike Fatworld actually gets people exercising while playing the game. I think this is a much better incoporation of exercise and health in a game.
Also I thought this game was not well thought out. It was pretty boring first of all. It froze every time I tried to exercise, and the games like running were really unexciting. I don’t know about anyone else but pressing the G and H buttons over and over again to get a little animated player to run fast is not my idea of thrilling. I even play video games and I am not a fan of Fat World.


jvcesena said...

I also played the McDonald's Game and while it sticks out to me as well, I feel as though it sticks out for a different reason too me. While I am no fan of fast food I feel like this game went a little too far to try and make McDonalds look like the evil fast food empire it is. If they had made McDonalds a little less evil I believe the game would have more validity and better acceptance by some. Below is my review of the game.
McDonald’s Game

Game Play:
After four plays I have yet to be successful at keeping the company alive for more than a few years. With in the first few years I try to destroy rainforest, which agitates the ecologists, and I implemented plans to brain wash children into wanting McDonalds and to introduce it to the third world but I have still been unsuccessful. I’ve tried corrupting everyone I could get my hands on and there was still no change. If only I had the CCP working for me. I was extremely unsuccessful.

My Impression
The game was rather difficult and showed to some extent what is known to happen but I feel as though they took it a little over board. The propaganda images and messages were a little much. They took everything to the extreme and embellished a little. This could lead to some lack of support in their cause.

Caroline said...

I also find the game based on the Virginia Tech shooting pretty sick and troubling. I don't understand what the point of a game like that would be. The author challenges other gaming companies to create a game based on the shooting, but I don't understand what the point of such a game would be. Is the purpose to raise awareness or reflection? How would a game truly facilitate faculty or student reflection on a past traumatic event?
I haven't yet tried the cancer game, but from what you say, it seems neat and could potentially play a positive role in empowering sick children and helping them to understand their disease. I am interested in health care/medicine, and can definitely see "disease games" as a great resource for educating and raising awareness in children on how a disease works and how best to prevent the disease.

Mollie said...

In regards to the concept of Fatworld, I agree that it doesn't directly motivate anyone to exercise or eat healthily. Although, for any that provides information that is only helpful when paired along with actions (such as learning new hairstyles and then styling them, or learning how to count cards and then actually doing it the next time you play poker) as opposed to information that is just information, (like who the U.S. presidents were, or why certain wars were started), there is only so much anyone can do to actually produce action. The least someone can do is try and persuade people to act on their own. Even though Wii gets people moving, it doesn't provide valuable information like I think Fatworld could...
No one can control weather or not people work out or eat healthy, but games like this is a way to start feeding people healthy and important information, so that even though they might not act on it right away, they will at least have the knowledge of where to start hovering over them and in the back of their mind when they are making their choices. So many children may not choose to eat healthy, and probably don't even want to, but at the same time I would estimate that over half of them also don't know what IS and is NOT healthy in the first place. So don't you think spreading the information is an important way to start? You're right that this game doesn't directly get results like Wii can, but it I think the information is equally as important.

scsorto said...

I think that these games are great and I like that they give great information (Especially the health oriented ones), but i think the problem is the simplicity of them, and thus they are boring. Some of them that I played, one called Tropical America about the history of the mayas, had really interesting topics, but it was just clicking on random things and the character did stuff that was programed into the computer. i wish that more games like these could be made into mass-marketed video games, instead of stuff that has no benefit to it.

Amanda said...

The major thing with Persuasive games is that a message is actually being conveyed. When Lambourn created the V-Tech Rampage game, he wasn’t trying to teach kids about the horrors of school massacres, he was just trying to get his name out in the open and call attention to himself. I agree that game topics should not be limited but companies that create games for a profit should have a positive message embedded otherwise it is giving the troubled youth ideas for rebellion like shooting up with classrooms. On the other hand, games that are produced by individuals and not for profit, they should be monitored closely because they can be cries for attention, which might be the case for Lambourn. To be able to create such disturbing media, you must be a little disturbed yourself.

I agree with Bogost in that I think games that are created by individuals are good ways to deal with our emotions in times of tragedy. We deal with the pain the best way we know possible- with technology. I am totally for creating games that highlight the United 93 heroes and others like this.

Amanda said...

The overall question for the “Stick it to the Man” article is: Will these games really make a difference in corporations? Personally, I don’t think corporations (like McDonalds) will change their ways, I think for things to change it is up to the people to change their own daily actions. What do you think?

Peronsonally, I love the Wii video games because I feel like they promote a limited amount of exercise (but hey- at least it's better than sitting on your ass all day staring at a computer screen just moving your hands). Wii boxing is actually really tiring and makes my arms sore. I love it! I think it's a great way to get kids off the couch but still appeals to their love for video games.

Although nothing is better for killing the obesity epidemic than to promote actual exercise at the gym or through recreational programs.

deb said...

Just to make another point, Wii fitness is an actual separate console type thing (I am not totally sure it's a console) that you buy and it actually does give information about what weight you should be and diet plans ect... I think its a great idea especially for those who have trouble motivating themselves to exercise. What do you guys think?