Sunday, October 14, 2012

Lost In Space~

What does the Space inside Video Games refer to?

When playing games I never think of such topic. However, taking a class on video games I have learned that many videos games have limited space for characters/players to travel. Games like the Gauntlet, GTA series and Crash Bandicoot makes players have to complete certain requirements and missions for a player to precede to a new level (space). Spaces in games that lack reality are merely rewards. In one of my earlier posts, I thought about what make games addictive…… obtaining landmasses in games would be a great example of what makes a game addictive. A reward as such gives a reason to play a game and achieve to the next stage/level. However, unlocking a board/landform for a game is just one dimension of space of video games.
Another example of space is included in the GTA series. There was this famous game called GTA: San Andreas and this series featured a jetpack. One had to beat various missions to unlock various parts of the surrounding cities in San Andreas. Nonetheless, there was this jetpack cheat code that allowed the player to fly over to surrounding areas of the city. One of two things happened. One, I would get in trouble by police because it was seen as illegal activity, trying to cross over to another landmass. Lastly, when using the jetpack there were these invisible walls replicating new landmasses, however, these were merely walls showing your limits within a city. I find this game design interesting because a lot of games project reality, however, do they really project reality? Similarly, such cheating tactics were seen in earlier movies of the 20’s. The invisible walls in GTA: San Andreas reminds me of paintings in silent movies in the 20’s where these artworks projected false images that didn’t really exist (actors use these stage paintings as props).
            Lastly, the game Sonic. The space in this game is parallel. Sonic is always in the foreground, with the background covered by a cheap beach setting. This game lacks dimension, reality and 3D setting. However, space, this game is hard to play when there are two players. Sonic & Tails is one of the worst 2 player games invented.  Space and camera wise, whoever is the first player they navigate the game and directionality. The second player is merely for the ride and is sometimes lost in space. In reference to space and two players, I believe Sonic & Tails were one of the first under achievers to try such two player dimensionality on game consoles. I’m not sure if players can retract their steps within this Sonic series; however, this game suffers from limited space. Similarly games like Crash Bandicoot, -- allow players to retract their steps. However, if a player doesn’t retract their steps they have to repeat a certain level from the beginning. So checkpoints are the best for games as such. Games today are rewarding, however, quite similar and ironic to the real world, one has to work for their space to further their selves in the world (game). 

1 comment:

  1. A couple of my classes have talked about this concept of space in relation to different fields, so its neat thinking about it how you've described. I can relate most to how you spoke about GTA and the idea of unlocking new space as an achievement. In my world, unlocking the space was the ONLY achievement - I would use cheat codes to unlock the entire map, and at that point wouldn't even worry about completing the missions. It goes to show that even if there is a task-based storyline or whatnot, the objective is commonly to unlock new unexplored spaces.

    In my information studies class we talk all the time about compressing space - how the means of communication and even transportation is lending itself into a more accessible world. I think its interesting how this is working in opposition to the way many games work. If you think about it, though, many causal mobile games that have gained popularity with the rise of smartphones offer an "instant gratification" and don't require time to be spent unlocking radically new spaces...?