When people play games, they usually do it for an escape. Escape from a tough assignment, from needing to interact with people, or even from everyday life. As such, there are some expectations for games. We expect games to give us the flow necessary to forget our real life cares, even for a little bit. We expect games to have controls that are intuitive and seamless. We expect something fulfilling to come from our successes that can propel us forward through our real life challenges.
“Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy” denies the player these expectations. Playing through it for the first time, it feels like everything is stacked against you. Like it sets you up for failure. This makes it really easy to hate the game. However, thanks to the difficulty, “Getting Over It” provides an excellent commentary on living with a handicap and how to approach the struggles that come with having such a handicap.
Important note before I begin: When I say “handicap”, I want to stress that I am referring to mental illness. I have experience with mental illness and so use that experience to make the necessary comparisons. Though I have no experience living with a physical handicap, I use the term to allow inclusion of its similarities. Continue reading
For the past fifty years, civil rights and cultural progression have been big in the United States. Not necessarily big as in “popular”; more like big as in “everywhere”. Large, sweeping protests have been the hallmarks of each movement for equality and, on the whole, make Americans feel very proud that they’ve made a step towards the America they want to see.
The problem? Beneath these large, sweeping statements lies a challenge with smaller, more pervasive forms of opposition. Unfortunately, it’s a trend in American history. And this is addressed best through two avenues, specifically Samantha Blackmon’s initial analysis of “Cuphead” and the theme of “Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus”.
I know. Two wildly different games. But both give us an idea of what America is really made of, and what it means for the future.
The definition of games, despite scholars’ best efforts, changes almost constantly. Even the definitions from leading game studies scholars are critiqued and challenged. Rather than forming a separate definition, Jesper Juul attempts to pinpoint the qualities of games that most everyone can agree on:
A game is a rule-based system with a variable and quantifiable outcome, where different outcomes are assigned different values, the player exerts effort in order to influence the outcome, the player feels emotionally attached to the outcome, and the consequences of the activity are negotiable.
Juul’s definition, while still open to interpretation, provides good criteria to decide what does and doesn’t qualify as a game.
So let’s take a look at David O’Reilly’s “Mountain” to test Juul’s criteria.
It’s not as philosophical as it sounds. I don’t even know if I’ll be able to make this long enough to capture anyone’s attention. But I’ve got to start somewhere, right? You already know my name, so I won’t do that awkward song and dance. Instead, let me tell you what makes me me.
Who am I?
I’m a student at Oklahoma State University, majoring in English with a Pre-Law focus. I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I’m the oldest of three kids. I’m a fan of video games and an amateur stargazer. I want to become an individual who has a hand in helping North Korean citizens have a life free from oppression. I want to write novels and shoot short films.
There’s a lot more to me than what I’ve written here, but these are the things I think about the most.
Why am I here?
I’ve been meaning to start a blog for a really long time, in the hopes I could eventually make a habit of writing and get that novel out like I’ve always wanted. Funny that I actually need a class to motivate me to make a blog. My Games and Writing class will make a frequent appearance on here, at least for three months. Hopefully I will take more time for myself so that I can also post articles on law, how it (and many other things) connect to religion, and what I do each day to step closer to my goals of becoming an expert in international refugee law (and an author).
If you’re reading this, hello! Hopefully you will stick around to see where I go with this, see if I actually do with my blog all I set out to do in the beginning. We can definitely make that journey together!