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    Feb 16th, 2018 at 00:31:56     -    Firewatch (XBONE)

    Firewatch #3, 15 February 2018 approximately 11:32 pm, NOT any inaccurate timezone report Gamelog may have produced. Please do not mark me down for lateness.
    Through my last binge session of Firewatch, I had the opportunity to see the game to its conclusion and take a moment to reflect on my experience. I've previously heard folks complain about the ending, decrying it to be anticlimactic and inadequate ultimately failing to wrap-up the story that was otherwise so compelling. I figure that they simply have short attention spans and bloodlust at cause of their longtime dulling from Call-of-Duty-esque narratives and expectations. Firewatch is a game situated in idle pleasures and the joy in slow composure and subtle unfolding. While the narrative has a central conflict, twists, turns, surprises, and palpable mystery, it all progresses at the leasury pace of the rest of the game. Firewatch is sentimental, nuanced, and emotionally compelling, and doesn't need to rely upon high drama and the usual tropes we've come to expect admittedly, their is a death, but it isn't what makes the story evocative and tragic. The moral dynamics of the game lie not in massive, binary decisions, but rather in human relationships, and questions on what obligations we truly have to others this is likely what I will be writing about for the coming paper. We find in Firewatch the moral dimensions of human relationships, conversational speech, and the small-scale decisions of small-scale individuals. There is nothing grandiose in the actions of this game, nothing of massive weight and influence for anyone else but the few individuals involved; Firewatch is a game about, well, people that sit in towers and watch for fires in desolate forest nothing more, nothing less. Moral struggles emerge in the lives of individuals.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 16th, 2018 at 00:33:20.

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    Feb 14th, 2018 at 11:41:02     -    Firewatch (XBONE)

    Firewatch #2, 14 February 2018
    As I progress through this game, I can't help but fall in love with the overall aesthetic and the visceral experience evoked therein. One wouldn't typically assume that a game that consists almost entirely of hiking around and chatting with a faceless woman on the radio could be so damn compelling, but it really is. There is a certain tranquility and decompression that emerges from simply navigating around the environment with map and compass. As of yet, the central conflict or point of tension in this game is yet to appear, aside from a few isolated mysteries seemingly associated with the dealings of the other people treading through the same forest. It is presently difficult to derive any moral weight from Firewatch; aside from the possible moral implications of the protagonist's abandonment of his wife to take on this post, nothing seems entirely too provocative perhaps there will be more substance of the sort to pick out as the narrative moves forward. The whole choice mechanism is really cool thus far: while one can't make huge waves in what happens in the story, names that the player has selected for certain natural fixtures seem to stick throughout. My decisions ultimately resulted in the apt names of the "Flapjack Fire" and the protagonist's dog in the game's initial moments. I feel very special and involved.

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    Feb 13th, 2018 at 00:30:36     -    Firewatch (XBONE)

    Firewatch #1, 12 February 2018
    The initial moments of exposition were captivating and tragic. Like many of the forlorn watchmen of the woods, Henry seems to have taken the job in order to escape from something; namely, the consequent loneliness of his wife's descent into dementia and the departure to her parent's house in Australia. Firewatch is clearly a game that is influenced by player choice, though I sense that it doesn't have profound bearing on the overall narrative. So far, the decisions seem to be purely aesthetic: my choice to have the Henry of the past pose as a Victoria's Secret model for his wife resulted in a scandalous illustration of the sort in his journal, and dialogue choices with Delilah provoke different replies. I plan to pay closer attention to the consequences of these seemingly minor decisions, and determine just how aesthetic and nominal they really are. Aside from all of the philosophy jargon, this is a very beautiful and intelligent game, and I look forward to progressing deeper into the experience.

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    Jan 18th, 2018 at 04:41:00     -    Shadow of Mordor (XBONE)

    Shadow of Mordor #3

    This session I finally allowed myself sufficient time to really mouth-breathe and become absorbed by the game. It is evident that the developers really wanted to embrace and emphasize the open-world structure; while a linear story does exist, primary quests that forward the narrative are spread all over the place and are never compulsory. It seems that two parallel narratives emerge as one progresses through Shadow of Mordor: 1) the protagonist's onslaught for vengeance and exposition and 2) the hierarchical power dynamics amongst Uruk tribes.

    It is obvious that Assassin's Creed was a huge influence here, as the map is illuminated by climbable, spire beacons, stealth and parkour maneuvering is central, and the combat system is super similar.

    I haven't been able to derive much about the history and sociopolitical geography of this world. It appears that all that is left of humanity are slaves and disperate resistance groups, and the Ork/Uruks rule the land entirely. While they don't seem to be at war with anyone but one another, they are constantly militarized and on patrol.

    I overheard a conversation between two of these creatures about the protagonist, discussing as to why he persists upon killing them when they can recall actually finishing him off previously. They ultimately conclude that he is a ghost; though, really, aren't all beings in this game recurring, deathless ghosts and entirely aware of it?? Whether through reviving souls or constant rematerialization, all of the fallen captains return after death, just as the player does, and they always mention having been killed before one even got a scar from our last encounter, and mentioned it!

    Could this world be hell, or purgatory?

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 18th, 2018 at 04:43:03.

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