Individual Dossier #DIGC310

Go and Stop is strongly inspired by the board game, which today called Snake and Ladders. It was originated in ancient India where it was supposed to be known as Mokshapat or Moksha (good deeds that bring people to heaven) Patamu (evil deeds that lead to a cycle of rebirths in lower form of life) (Sanskriti,2014). It was said that it was invented by Hindu Spiritual teachers but there was no evidence that proves who and when is the exact fact for this board game invention. According to some qualified historians, it was invented by Saint Gyandev in the 13th century AD (Sanskriti,2014).

In India, it was very popular and mostly played by the children in India which in a way to reflect the Hinduism consciousness in everyday life. In India, Snake and Ladders is a part of their education which teaches the values of good deeds and as well as the bad deeds (Shah, 2010). In other words, it represent a stand of moral virtue as instruction to children. The ladders stands for moral values such as faith, reliability, generosity, knowledge, asceticism and humility whereas the snakes indicates as bad omen which includes bad luck, murder, anger, disobedience,vanity, vulgarity, theft, lying, drunkeness, debt, greed, pride and lust. (Shah,2010; Extra Credit, 2014). Moreover, the placement of squares and the sizes of different versions have some of the religious virtue representations.  The game was then globally shared in the latter part of 19th century by England and that was when Snake and Ladders was officially named.

“Snake and Ladders requires no skill, relying purely on the luck to demonstrate to the player that fate is beyond their control, and that they will stumble upon both sins that bring them down (snakes) and moral actions that lift them up (ladders) on the passage towards their goal in life” (YouTube; Extra Credit, 2014).

According to Kain 2012, his contribution of board game mentioned that “You can buy a great board game for under $20, and every time you play it, it’s a new game,” “This is a toy that can be played over and over again, so the consumer sees value in this type of purchase” (Jim Sliver; Kain 2012). In this quote of Sliver demonstrates that board game is valuable and every time you play it, it’s a new game again. Applying this quote to Snakes and Ladders’ mechanic and invention, it is obviously a strong educational board game for children and no doubt for affordability. Every time you start playing it, it means it is a new game again. In Snakes and Ladders, every time you start playing it, it has to be a new game thus the values of each ladder and snake do mean something valuable. Same goes to Go and stop, every time you start playing it, it has to be a new game; it is possible to not make the same decision as the previous game play when it is all beyond your control.

Therefore, Go and Stop is inspired by the luck and fate beyond control which similarly required from Snake and Ladders. Go and Stop indicates some values likewise Snakes and Ladders’ values such as decision-making which requires the moral of virtue whether or not to go or stay. It requires exactly no skill and yet modified by simplicity. Go and Stop is a board game, which is also a combination of truth or dare game that requires die to roll in order to move and make decision.

According to the category of “chores” which provides opportunities and support for all kinds of social interaction; one kind of chores that Go and Stop involves is “Reflection on Gameplay”  which indicates reacting and reflecting after a move; one important part of the gameplay to maintain or update the game state. In some ways, “Strategies” was found on this game that it may lead to the discussion before a move or a decision made; “Out-of-game chore may be found when players being more attached to the gameplay and start conversion with each other. Nevertheless, ”Game itself” is definitely possible to occur when one commenting on the game itself (Radu, Gandy et.al, 2011). This game helps players on reflecting on what decision is made for good.

In addition, referring to the report of the findings, social play experience of board games enhances the foundations of players to interact with each other such as discussing strategies, negotiating outcomes, reveal of individual expressions and making jokes out of the gameplay (Radu, Gandy et.al, 2011). To this statement I found on one of the readings for this subject, Truth or Dare game was then included as a part of the game invention. The ideas that I used was inherited from Truth and Dare websites such as (Appendix 1). According to the Doctor of Health, Truth and Dare game is a good party game which allow to select questions without making people feel uncomfortable and it is yet a great way to spend time and keep the game going. At this point of view, Go and Stop uses this to be a part of the game not only to reduce the risk of production but also it is a way to keep the game going. Moreover, the review of Truth and Dare game is always positive. One commented that it is the most fascinating game that you get to know your partner in hundred ways and yet its review states that it is a great game for couple which brings laughters and lots of humor and  most importantly it enlightens your relationship through the gameplay (Martin, 2008).  Some commented that it is just a fun way to know your partner and sometimes it reveals secret from one who never gets to tell out. These reviews inspired to use in Go and Stop in order to achieve one of its goal, enhancing relationship and social interaction. Nevertheless, even there are YouTube playing Truth and Dare digitally such as @SourceFed providing a number of episode of Truth and Dare video (Appendix 2). Through all these video of Truth and Dare game, it always has laughters with playing it and never once been seen moments of sorrow rather than revelation of secrets.

The design of game board is a brain-minded shape structure (Appendix 3) which contains lobes in order to be placed with numbers to race. Brain-minded shape design demonstrates mind where it thinks and makes decision with lobes included while every part of the brain is functional as a way for every imagination and thoughts (Kosslyn and Miller, 2013).  Go and Stop achieves not only in a way to enlighten relationship and have more physical social interaction but also it allows to think and make decision as abovementioned, a game which faith is beyond control.

The first draft of brain shaped design was not quite good which did not really indicate the realm of brain (Appendix 4). But, it was able to maintain the simplicity of game design as Snakes and Ladders; it goes with decision-making which similarly to Snakes and Ladders that it represents in a way of good and bad deeds. Truth (green cards) represents the good which is to tell people a fact which related to honesty, reliability and faith whereas Dare (red cards) is to represent the disobedience, lying, greed and pride. Lightbulbs are used as counters where it represents the symbolism of ideas. Most subversions are the appearance of light bulbs appearing over the heads of characters indicates one has a thought or idea and a character getting the bulb turning off demonstrates that a second thought appeared and decided it wasn’t a good idea (TV Tropes Org). Some people do comment on the question of why people represent an idea with a light bulb over their head, a few states that it is like when you’re “in the dark” and then suddenly come up with an idea; that is when the light bulb appeared in a way like “bingo” (Appendix 5). Go and Stop is a genre of racing board game that uses die in order to move forward or update states as how Snakes and Ladders works.

One thing that makes Go and Stop negative could be the design of it. It is really a good design when none of the board games uses brain-shaped as the design of a board game but some friends that have seen this design said that it could be confusing for some players when the number placement does not go all horizontally or vertically but a mixture of either way. The number of placement had to follow the way how the lobe look like in brain as to fit the requirement of its design. This could be seen positively and negatively that people find it interesting or confusing. The placement is a bit challenging when this converted to digital file but the first draft (Appendix 4 ) was only using colorful circular to be placed on its design in order to put numbers. The colors used on the first draft was an idea of color representation when colors can mean something mentally but in my perception to this design was not that good when it looked too colorful. Theoretically, it is most likely to get black and white when searching for a google image. Black and white tend to be the most classic in photography yet always noted as a whole whereas the color street photography is not nearly as popular (Kim, 2011).

“When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”  – Ted Grant 

 

Indeed, black and white reminds us of the past in photography ;when you photograph  people in colors – it emphasizes their clothes but if you do it in black and white on human, you photography their souls. Anyways, as what is most important is, none photography is meant to be taken in either black or white or colors rather the appropriation of description. As it is said that, in order to indicate simplicity, black enables concentration on the image itself rather than the color (Kim, 2011).  Thus, black and white are then used to replace the colors on the first draft to enhance the simplicity of its design. But, Black and White are somehow too simple for its design, so blue was included as the color of numbers where blue represents trust, honesty and loyalty. It is also an indication of sincerity, reservation and quietness which is not to make a fuss. In addition, this can be relied on it to take control and do the right thing in difficult times (The Color Blue, Color Psychology). Therefore, this color is considerately used in Go and Stop for numbers.

Numbers are one challenging part that makes it seem meaningless when Snakes and Ladders used 100 for the end of game as salvation (Appendix 6). Go and Stop has it 97 as the end of game which in a way does not really represent something but it does make sense as brain function that we human never ever be able to have an end of our brain; it is like 24/7 going all day and all night which exactly fits the design of brain structure. As it demonstrates, Raichle MD, professor of radiology noticed that whether it is consciously engaged or not, the brain can never ever rests (Purdy, 2010); therefore a number of 97 as placed for the end of game in some way represents as brain function which never has an end for it. What makes this game a decision-making game is that you will have the ability to choose not to or to do. While Snakes  and Ladders used snakes to represent moving backward, Go and Stop uses “Dare or Not” as how Snakes indicates going down.

 

Appendix (1)

Truth and Dare websites

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Appendix (2)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_gE-kg7JvuwCNlbZ1-shlA

Appendix (3)

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Appendix (4)

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Appendix (5)

 

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Appendix (6)

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The Future of Gaming ; All go digital

Australia began relatively in video game production in the early 1980s, with the Beanm Software in Melbourne which successfully released a hit game the Hobbit and Way of the Exploding Fist in 1982 and 1985. Australia has never been impacted by the proximity of Asia in game development and rather it was one of the priorities of pirate arcade machine in between 1980s and 1990s (McCrea,2013).

In retrospect, Australian game industry had been facing some critical challenges which delayed its development in video game industry. These factors are related to geographic, economic and political which definitely play a big role in distribution, retail, manufacturing and publishing in progress of game industry. Australia is positionally placed near to Asia which could boast a large market to its potential growth of game industry into the future but language and cultural differences indicate a significant barrier in Australian industry (Hinton,2012).
In discussion of Australian game industry, a number of companies noted that the distance is one of the reason involved that against to its game development. A producer from Brisbane said in a interview in 2006 that the distance has worked against us in the past where publishers do not feel secure if the developer is not a local that they cannot visit easily and for purpose to further steps to fix a project (Hinton,2012). An extreme significant challenge is found with game development is the risk associated financial. Auran, the Australian developer, worked on a major development project in 2005 which is a multiplayer online game called Fury which differs from other MMos like World of Warcraft. Fury first failing to attract subscribers and a AUD $4 million investment from Chinese (Hinton, 2012).

What set Australia apart from Europe and America is the exorbitant pricing for game which makes consumers in Australia felt beset. The high cost of participation and the censorship of video game in rating system at federal level are now highly concerned (McCrea, 2013). However, GameSpot AU had an interview with Australian game industry heads to have a talk over high video game prices in Australia.

According to the figures released by the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association in 2014, a significant change is found from the total industry value in Australia. Its figure demonstrates that digital download and sales for games is highly increased (Serrels,2015).
A decline is found in traditional retail software sales among all new current platforms such as 3D and the Wii U. In addition, it is possibly a decline for transition Xbox 360/PS3 to Xbox One/PS4 whereas digital game sales were a huge driver in 2014 that its sales increased 39% year on year; The mobile market saw a larger opportunity that the sales will be increased year on year for the next coming years (Serrels, 2015).

A short documentary that been found talking about the independent Australian gaming industry.

Nevertheless, Kovic and Bruce talked about how mobile game is talking over the games sales today and whether you like it or not, it is still the fact.

Machinima : A New Way of Teaching Tool

Machinima is an act of animated film making in a real time within a virtual environment. It is also described as a new medium of filmmaking that began with self-directed experience as an expressive communication-mediated art form (Moore and Barwell, 2013). In other words, Machinima is a combined word from machine and cinema which enables to create characters and film scenes within computer games in order to create distinct narrations.

The experience of students learning in higher education within the capacity of Web 2.0 and digital platforms are enhanced by their daily activities involvements where digital media production involves creativity, economic, popular cultures and distinctive self (Moore and Barwell, 2013). Maintaining network connection, informing information, uploading or tagging images, updating statues are the activities which succeeds the development of skills, attitudes, understandings which in division of participatory media cultures development.
According to Raessens 2005, the concepts of participatory media cultures is characterized from interactivity and participation of computer games. Participation in films and television shows is what it is called interpretation which refers to the critical ,social and cultural practices. Moreover, reconfiguration is one of the elements in video game system as a part of the concept of participation yet construction allows unlimited to cultural forms in realm of computer games (Raeseens, 2005).

As a participatory media practice, it is believed that it must be combined with traditional literacies in order to allow machinima to find new approaches to doing things with the availability of technology (Moore and Barwell, 2013). In other words, the use of machinima has extended as a teaching tool to empowering media users as a key for creation and production.

“In communications and media studies, for example, machinima excels as “a creative, expressive form … with its own requisite skills and associated social and cultural practices” “(Carr 2007, np).

The context of machinima production is utilized directly from a range of subject areas such as management, PR and nursing which to complete in making machinima, however, it suggests that the potential machinima includes differentiation of a mixture from linguistic, audio, symbolic, visual and information sources that requires to draw “meta-knowledge of traditional and new blended genres of representational conventions, cultural and symbolic codes, and linguistically coded and software-driven meanings.” (Luke, 2003). Its purpose of machinima as a teaching helps to carefully manage and critically reflect themselves in roles, learning and learning or contributing to the relevant subject or task. A valuable video explanation is found on YouTube which to explain help and exploration of machinima to students.

Machinima is valuably enhanced by mods which filmmakers are able to make film with video games as a teaching tool on digital platforms. One of the great examples of machinima is The Sim 4 which has different range of characteristics, people, places and extended version such as Get To Work Expansion and Go To School.

Should Valve’s mods be paid?

Valve’s boss Gabe Newell claims that a better modding has to be paid in order to achieve better performance for authors and gamers which been complaint by a number of players.

The controversy of Skyrim has been a chaos that every player has something to say about paid mods where Newell strongly explained that its goal is to increase the investment in community in order to extend its games (Maiberg, 2015). Nevertheless, it is said that Valve is greedy to make them paid for the work which was previously free and those unhappy emails about this subject where it hits to the infrastructure $1 million from the emails (Gilroy,2015). Newell responded to the statement that Valve is being greedy for sell work.

“Let’s assume for a second that we are stupidly greedy. So far the paid mods have generated $10K total. That’s like 1% of the cost of the incremental email the program has generated for Valve employees (yes, I mean pissing off the Internet costs you a million bucks in just a couple of days). That’s not stupidly greedy, that’s stupidly stupid.” (Fahey, 2015)

Here comes to a point that Valve’s terrible support and the others issues will be fixed but obviously it cannot be done immediately which many customers are complaining about the pricing for the actual quality of mods. One comment has been found on Reddit saying that paying for a better mods experience is not a bad idea but the trustworthy of mods quality is way too important.

“This is the most relevant question. Paying for mods on its own is not a bad idea, as long as its done in a reasonable fashion. I would gladly pay for mods that actively add value to my gaming experience.

HOWEVER!

In a world where Steam can not be trusted to keep quality control over full-blown games and early access titles, can we trust that this system won’t be abused?

The answer is plain to see already, only a few days into this matter: People stealing mods from each other, and posting horse genitalia at unbelievable prices. And let’s not even talk about the actual quality of the mods – hell if anyone checked compatibilities / incompatibilities with the current game version / other popular mods. Or if the mods work in the first place, which is an entirely different matter – who’s to say whether or not I deliver on what I claim my mod does? Or how smoothly it accomplishes it? Again, if we can’t trust Steam to do Quality Control on full-fledged games, we can’t even begin to fathom to trust Steam to do Quality Control on mods.” (MagmaGuy, 2015)

Newell explained in Reddit that it would be dumped paid if this does not work. But, he claims that with Steam’s workshop it has reached the point where the community started paying for their favorite contributors more than they would make as a really good step. In other words, paid mod service seemed like a good extension for MOD developers (David, 2015).

However, whether should Valve’s Skyrim be paid or not is not really the big concern, but whether it is worth paying for is what matters most. No one ever wants to pay for something that they do not want. It is not about the price that matters, it is bout the want that matters.

First-Person Shooters : It Is Not About the Violence

In the world of today, experience has been taken seriously in the field of philosophy as the priority of game design system which includes arts, cultures and human-computer interaction (Klastrup, 2007). Likewise, achieving the goal of experiencing the realm physically in the game design it has to be focused on not only the functional but also the emotional and emphatic design to create certain types of experiences.

From a point of view of game perception, the “experience movement” indicates the desire of movement which one might call a first generation of research into digital technologies that signifies understanding of how emotional qualities of interaction experiences acts as a integral part of game design (Klastrup, 2007); it requires more examinations of in the context of production, play, ideological capacity and huge circulation within popular culture (Moore, 2012).

First-person shooter games provide a numerous affects, specifically online players based on military-themed genre with the aim of cognition in relationship and emotional responses. Affects modulate emotions, perception, reactions and the way of how one preparing himself to react to a certain situation (Moore, 2012). First-person shooter not only simply combines first-person perspective, the three-dimensionality, violence and the escape in a distinct way but the virtual environment achieved to maximize a state of player’s potential which is called ‘flow’ by a psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Konnikova, 2013). In other words, it is a condition of presence and happiness.

Referring to Klastrup’s studies of virtual environment in games, offline, as humans, we are always careful of what we do with our bodies because in reality, there’s one one chance whereas in online world, is a risk-free experience which “Dying” can be playful, repetitive, amusing and explorative. This has come to an obvious explanation of how first-person shooter games keep players going spending hours and hours addicted to online interaction experience. However, it was claimed by McLean and Griffiths 2013 that playing first-person shooters can have negative psychological effect on today’s young people. Undeniably, non-gamers are more aware of how first-person shooters negates young adults but none has ever notice that how much “affects” it can do on us positively.

According to Dr Montag 2011, first-person shooters allow brain structure humans use to control the fear and aggression which it is not responded as strongly to the real and negative images when they are used to it in from the daily activities on computers. Moreover, it is not about the violence of images but the higher activity associated with brain-working function and memory recall. In order words, they do not have the time and put themselves into the computer game images but looking for a strategy and solution for a game status (Mauersberg, 2011).

However, it was statistically said that 70% of gamers playing video games are households men aged 33 years old. Daphne Bavelier on TedTalks explains how our brain works powerfully and positively on video games which help us learn, concentrate and fascinatingly multitask.

Freedom of misbehaviour

If you are guilty of what you have done in real life and get really frustrated when you have no clues how to deal with the guilt, video games are such a good way for escapism. Grand Theft Auto is one of the best games for freedom of criminal where to express your misbehaviour, bad attitudes and violence and illegal things that you are not able to achieve in order to fulfill your mental-satisfaction.

“􀀚􀀀􀀑􀀓􀀉􀀚􀀀􀀑􀀓􀀉A free activity standing quite consciously outside ‘ordinary’ life as being ‘not serious’, but at the same time absorbing the player intensely and utterly. It is an activity connected with no material interest, and no profit can be gained by it. It proceeds within its own proper boundaries of time and space according to fixed rules and in an orderly manner.” (Huizinga, 1995[1938]:13)

Playing GTA can gain the enjoyment of real life and yet at the same time it allows you to do things that you can’t do in real life in a real life graphics or virtual environment. I personally think that this game is such as good way of technologically escapism where sometimes in a situation where you cannot express your anger and get rid of boredom. GTA’s map includes the real-life building and it is enormous that the urban sprawl of the city itself is a tangle of roads and definable natures or reality. It gives a feeling that you’re living in a real life through the game rather than a built game for enjoyment (Hoggins, 2014).

GTA provides a freedom of all terms in order to achieve and fulfill satisfaction from all guilt such as pick up a prostitute, knock down pedestrians and steal a police car (Telegraph, 2013). All these crimes are illegal in real but it does exist in the magic circle. From Homo Ludens, it presents the idea of magic circle which states a distinct boundary between games and real life which is of utmost importance as it is quoted;

“To play a game means entering into a magic, or perhaps creating one as a game begins… The term magic circle is appropriate because there is in fact something genuinely magical that happens when a game begins… In effect, a new reality is created, defined by the rules of the game and inhabited by its players.” (Salen and Zimmerman 2003a:95-6)

The Chief tech blogger and commentator Cristina Odone debates about the GTA’s violence and why it has become such a popular video game by The Telegraph

According to Huizinga’s theory, it says that it is not about the establishment of game discipline but something much more like studying about how human play is primary and human culture is a product of play (Pargman D and Jakobsson P,2008).

Thousands of  people are so sick to call in to buy GTA (the most expensive game ever made) when it’s launched