MA, Ideas & knowledge

In the last blog post, I decided to examine different aspects of what I do and why I do it. During this process, I stumble upon a few notable similarities between the types of video games I like to play and the interests I have in developing computing games and teaching the subject. The similarities included creative problem solving and a preference for a style of game that rewards its players through delayed gratification. I feel like the last blog post has helped to focus some of the initial ideas I had. In this blog post, I will reflect on some of these ideas and the Intrinsic motivations associated with them.


So what is an idea how do we come up them? Descriptively an idea is a thought that could be used or suggested as a course of action, to solve a problem or set a goal perhaps. For a person to have an idea, do they need prior knowledge? In this instants, the knowledge I have has influenced the ideas I have. However, I do feel I need to be creative while exploring them and there possibly outcomes in order to envision them at there full potential.


The first idea I would like to explore relates to the previous reflection. While looking into why I play games and teach within the subject area, I realised that even though I have a preference for a particular type of game genre there where still many other genres I played depending on my current mood. I then questioned if a person's mood can influence the types of game they play, then could that game be a reflection of there current mood? For example, if someone feels relaxed and calm, would they gravitate towards a more strategic slower-paced game? Alternatively, if someone felt energic would that then encourage them to play a faster-paced game such as a first-person shooter? I think this is an exciting idea and has some good potential because there has been a verity of studies conducted analysing the effects of video games on our mood and behaviour. I think the difficulty would be measuring someone's mood, and I am also unsure if there have been any studies analysing the types of games people choose to play based on their current mood. There are also other areas this idea could branch off into such as the looking into the lifestyle of a person and what types of video games they play.


A second area I have considered exploring was the methods used in horror games to invoke fear. I have been fascinated by fear in video games and still remember vividly getting hold of the family Playstion at a very young age and secretly playing Resident Evil for the first time on the PlayStation one, I still remember the fear that game caused, yet I still went back for more and have enjoyed the franchise every since. Another video game I played recently was a virtual reality (VR) game called Face Your Fears; in this game, you are a stationary character that can only look around while different events occur that are design to scare the player. I have to say this video game was excellent, and I felt afraid and fully emersed in the game. However, despite the differences between Resident Evil with is clunky looking graphics and the more modern Face Your Fears, both games still caused fear. So Why do people get scared when playing games like Face Your Fears or Resident Evil? If fear is an emotional reaction caused by a threat or danger of some kind, how can video games cause it when they are are not real? I think the obvious answer is that computer games and other media platforms trick our brains into believing there is an actual danger. Also, why do people play through games that cause such a reaction?


I last idea I wish to reflect on in this blog post relates to the type of genre I seem to gravitate to the most, which are strategy games. I am interested in understanding what a strategy gives players over other types of genres. Why would some prefer to play strategy type games, is there a preference for delayed gratification? Also, Many strategy games use an omnipresence style of interaction, which allows the player to control more than one aspect of play as well as be present throughout the game world. Could this give the player a more profound sense of control when playing the game and determining the outcomes? If so is that the type of control the player seeks when playing the game? I think this is a good idea but can see many similarities between this and the other ideas. I am also unsure about how this would work as a research project and if it is not just a narrowed down version of the first idea.


I am beginning to wonder if the similarities between the ideas are the Intrinsic motivation I am seeking, and understanding/researching why people play particular types of games will provide an area of focus to build on. The next question is, how do I formulate these ideas into a researchable question? Even though they are similar, they still have their differences. I will reflect these aspects and others, bringing forward the discussion points in the next blog post.

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