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    Sep 26th, 2017 at 23:46:50     -    Prison Architect (PC)

    Upon opening the game, the options presented are already hilarious. The player is given various options when starting their new prison that take common prison archetypes and downplay them to present them in a simple, comedic light. The simplicity of the game is deceiving when you actually take the time to consider the weight of the elements presented in the game. While even just simply crafting the layout of the prison I found myself considering things like "the hallway needs to look like this so that when they escape, there's nowhere for them to hide or escape". Even without any prisoners in the jail, I've already assumed the worst of them and am prepared to give them a terrible time as retribution of whatever unknown crimes they've committed.

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    Aug 31st, 2017 at 23:39:58     -    Life is Strange (PC)

    Today for the first time I tried just ignoring an event and not rewinding. I can't believe I can actually just ignore certain events and I can't believe I never thought of just ignoring things. Does that make me a busy body? Are we all by nature busy bodies that want to finish all the quests and side stories just for some brownie points? Admittedly, even though I made the conscious decision to skip some events, committing to just doing nothing about a situation, deciding not to help people or fix the situation when an unfavorable reaction was given make me feel just slightly guilty as if I missed out on a big opportunity. Much like in the real world, action and inaction both carry equally heavy consequences. There are a couple situations where I chose inaction and as the narrative progressed, I felt increasingly guilty. I felt like I could fix the whole world but chose not to, to leave it as cruel and negative as I found it and as if that conscious choice of inaction in and of itself was a crime.

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    Aug 31st, 2017 at 00:42:45     -    Life is Strange (PC)

    Since my previous post, I've been coming to terms with the choices presented in the gameplay. That doesn't mean I don't still grumble on occasion when choices I don't agree with appear but the narrative is immersive by nature and I'm getting pretty invested in it. While getting to and choosing the "correct" answers are becoming routine, I still find myself trying to deviate every now and then. Like I discussed in my previous post, despite being given choices in the game, there is always only a single correct way to play and only through that method is the player allowed to advance through the game. All other choices lead to a simple response that has no impact on the character or narrative and only feel futile. Despite the futility of choosing other choices, or perhaps because of the futility of the choices, I regularly find myself testing the waters and trying out the "wrong" choices just to see what kind of response they will garner. Even though there are no consequences to picking responses other than the single correct response, in a scenario of a simulator where the player is immersed in a character's narrative and makes decisions on behalf of the character, is it still wrong to purposefully pick choices that are knowingly wrong only because we are certain there will be no consequences?

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    Aug 30th, 2017 at 01:05:44     -    Life is Strange (PC)

    Personally, I've always gravitated towards games with strong narratives and Life Is Strange is no exception. The difficulty with narrative driven games is that creating a game where a variation of choices make an impact on the world and your experience of the game is logistically insane. Therefore, I understand when games shepherd players towards a "correct" response despite providing a small variety of choices, only one of which actually leads to an advancement of the narrative. Life Is Strange is no exception to this. Players are first shuffled into a world and are given choices that only result in less than positive responses from the world and other NPC's. After gaining the power to reverse time and redo all your decisions and actions, the player can now answer everything "correctly" and advance through the game continually revising their less than perfect responses or actions. This initially obviously useful power does come with some ethical issues however. There are times when the correct answer required by the narrative to advance carries negative consequences or leads to less than ideal results. Regardless of whether the player agrees with the decision dubbed by game-makers as the correct choice, it is required for further progression through the game and the player has no choice but to play along. This creates a bit of a dilemma. Should the player continue the game and experience the game even though they don't agree with the choices required to advance through the narrative or stubbornly stick to their own morals and decisions? Most people would just keep playing. Afterall, it's only a game.

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