Experience Point 1/3: The Context of Violence

Here we are with the age-old discussion of violence in video games.  The problem is that violent video games may or may not cause violent behaviors; this Crash Course Games episode describes it well in a nutshell.  And I am here to say that maybe we have been looking at the problem incorrectly.

In one corner, we have many people, especially parents understandably, who believe that violence in video games influences people to enact violence in real life.  They reason that Continue reading “Experience Point 1/3: The Context of Violence”

Experience Point 3/3: Difficulty Curves and Spikes

I decided to write this one in light of the recent Pokémon Go’s difficulty slope beginning at level 20.  Everybody has a fairly common conception of the ideal difficulty slope which, naturally, looks like y=e^x for 0<x<1 on a graph (pun totally intended).  But as we all know, difficulty curves don’t always actually happen that way.  As we don’t all know, there are sometimes good reasons, or at least understandable reasons, for this.  Oh, and if the math joke didn’t tip you off, I’ve been watching way too much Numberphile lately, so things are going to get mathy.e_x graph

All graphs were made in Desmos.

Back in the bad old days of the arcades, many games would begin easy, Continue reading “Experience Point 3/3: Difficulty Curves and Spikes”

Experience Point 2/3: Artificial Difficulty, What We All Know and Hate

This article is a bit shorter than usual for three reasons:

  1. Rather than actually making an argument (other than the obvious one: Don’t do artificial difficulty, kids!  Artificial difficulty is not cool!), I’m mostly providing a definition.  This is informative, not persuasive.
  2. This is practically an addendum to last week’s article, Difficulty Does Not Imply Quality.
  3. Currently, I write these on the day that they’re published, and I’m tired of them always going up at 11:59:59.999 p.m. every time.  Sometime in the future, I will probably start writing these the day before, like I should be doing now.

So, what is artificial difficulty?  Sometimes, a certain mechanic will be flawed in a certain way: Continue reading “Experience Point 2/3: Artificial Difficulty, What We All Know and Hate”

Experience Point 1/3: Difficulty Does Not Imply Quality

There is one fallacy that I tend to hear once in a while. It goes something along the lines of “It’s not that bad; it’s actually pretty difficult.”  The problem that we have here is that this argument assumes that a game’s difficulty is always proportional to fun (including fear or rage-inducing, for horror or rage games, respectively), and that the relationship is causal (not casual) where difficulty always increases fun.  That isn’t always true.  Continue reading “Experience Point 1/3: Difficulty Does Not Imply Quality”

Rando Follow-Up: Ambition

To begin with, this subject overall went (relatively) quite a bit better than education did, despite its somewhat misleading title.  For recap, the subject was about when young people want to become game makers.

Rando Post No. 4: You Can Ce Whatever You Want to Be*

I forgot to mention how there are reasons other than parents implying otherwise that this isn’t true.  For instance, I used to want to be a fighter pilot, thanks to Ace Combat 5.  Continue reading “Rando Follow-Up: Ambition”

Rando Post No. 6: Seriously Though; Game Making Isn’t For Everybody

Last week, I wrote about how children shouldn’t be discouraged from getting involved in making games when the popular opinion is that they shouldn’t, and how people shouldn’t actively discourage them.  However, some people would find this a rather naive argument.  So, here I consider their side.

It’s alright for a kid to try it out, but not every kid who does is really cut out for making games.  In fact, most of the time, they aren’t. Continue reading “Rando Post No. 6: Seriously Though; Game Making Isn’t For Everybody”

Rando Post No. 5: … Except for a Game Designer.

Last week, I ended by asking you to remember a certain statistic – that the future career of “game designer” is among the top three choices among children aged 8 to 10, as reported by this article.  This week, I plan to talk a little bit more about that specifically, and how it drops off the chart afterwards.

Many children play video games [citation needed].  At some point, a fairly large number of them want to make some of their own, primarily when they are between ages 8 and 10, as stated before.  However, most of the time, they find other things that they find that they would rather do. Continue reading “Rando Post No. 5: … Except for a Game Designer.”