Case Studies for the Critical Studies Article

This is a list of the case studies I have so far thought of, looking at why they would be a good choice for my article.

Uplink, Introversion software, 2001.

The idea behind this game is that you play as an Uplink agent, a hacker who does various jobs for fictional companies. The game starts off as a normal game but then part way through the style of the gameplay tricks the player into thinking that the hacking that they are doing is real. The player then think that they are actually hacking in reality instead of in the games reality. This is an often unseen method of immersion within games. Uplink was pretty obvious that it was trying to make it seem like real life, but it is a good example of immersion. I think this was achieved through the interface of the game, you are often looking at general computer screens, which is what you would be looking at when you were hacking something. The style of the game is reinforced by films that depicted a similar style of hacking, like Swordfish for example. I suppose this links in with the idea of genres being the thing that allows people to have a mutual understanding of something. Another interesting thing about this game is that it is set in the year 2010, it would be a good example for  an actual game released in 2010.

Final Fantasy XIII, Square Enix, 2010.

This is a third person role playing game set in a completely fictional world. The concept of the whole FF series is immense, it is a fully functioning fantasy realm. I think the creatures are the most impressive part of the whole FF universe, they span across all shapes and sizes. The gameplay follows the adventures of a group of outcast L’cie, people branded by the Fal’cie, players control a variety of combination’s of battle teams throughout the storyline. The immersion within the game comes form the concept of the story and world in which it takes place. Gran Pulse and Cocoon are massively impressive sci-fi landscapes, in which masses of people live. As you play through the game there are two options you can take, be the casual gamers following only the cut-scenes for information, or be an obsessive, the ones who sit and read all the entries in the datalog, or try all components to find the perfect one to upgrade weapons their ultimate form. The datalog basically holds all the information you ever could possibly come across in the game. In terms of immersion, the datalog holds data that allows the players to becomes more immersed in the game. They can learn about all the different types of enemies or a mass of other stuff.

Bioshock, Bethesda, 2008.

The game interface is first-person, with no insight to what the playable character looks like at all, this gives the player free rein to who they want the protagonist to be. This immediately creates more immersion because the player can picture themselves as the protagonist as they have no prior visions of them. The story unfolds quite nicely, as you skulk around dark corridors looking for various things to progress through the story. A twist halfway through the story makes the player become obsessed with the story as you find out the main antagonist isn’t the guy you just killed. I think Bioshock is so immersive because of the unknown aspects of the game, you find out most of what happened down in Rapture through audio diaries that have detailed entries from the past inhabitants of the environment that the player is as new to as the character is. The player experiences everything at the same pace as the protagonist, which also gives the player a valid link to the character.

Fallout 3, 2008.

This is really similar to Bioshock, it is FP and follows the character through a series of events that they have never experienced before. It also has audio diaries and terminals which have masses of information for anyone who wants to read them. The unique thing about Fallout is that it allows the player to choose whether they want to be good, bad or neutral depending on in game decisions. This allows some freedom that the other case studies don’t. A good example of this is in one of the random vaults in the wasteland that was devoted to cloning. As you go inside the vault you see normal males roaming around shouting about someone called Gary, after you kill one of these guys you realise that he is called Gary 34, upon realising this you already know that you are in a hostile environment with a bunch of Gary clones, in total I think there are like 60. You can search around the vault to find out who the original Gary was and what posessed him to clone himself. The amount of time spent on the world of Fallout is amazing, this locations is one of around 120, all with little bits of information about past inhabitants, or weird tests they were running on the vault inhabitants. For me this adds immersion, the need and want to search everywhere just to be rewarded with information is beautifully executed in Fallout.


Worries on my case studies:

I don’t know whether Fallout and Bioshock are too similar.

Is Uplink a good early exampe of a game. Maybe I should swap either Bioshock or Fallout for a really early game.


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