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    Feb 13th, 2017 at 15:31:02     -    Thomas Was Alone (PS4)

    Today, I played for about an hour. I'm not at my console right now so I'm not really sure what stage I got to.

    So far, we have some pretty interesting developments. It turns out that Laura's usefulness is that she serves as a sort of trampoline so that the other characters can jump on her when they need a boost onto other platforms. Interestingly enough, Chris has fallen in love with Laura, which is odd because Chris is normally pessimistic, and I can't see him liking anyone. At first, I was getting kind of annoyed with Chris because of his negativity, but once he showed some emotion towards the other characters such as Laura and Thomas, I figured he can't be that bad.

    For some reason Laura has an ominous black pixel cloud that follows her around, which makes all the AIs in the game (other than Chris) wary of her. At where I'm at in the game, the black cloud eventually eats Thomas and Laura. I have a theory that the developers of the simulated world have programmed the cloud to remove AIs from the simulation when they've become too self-aware or have become a roadblock. I doubt that is the last we've seen of these characters, so I'm excited to see where they show up next.

    I still don't know how I'm going to relate this game to topics we've learned in class so I'm still hoping that as I continue playing that this makes itself clear. I have a feeling that if I finish the game, it'll reveal why the AIs are where they are and what their purpose is. The puzzles are getting harder and harder and more frustrating as I advance through the stages so hopefully I can finish this game or at least get to a point where I have enough material to write about.

    I really like the concept of the game though thus far. I like how the creators have managed to add humanizing traits to these little shapes. It is really important how the AIs must depend on each other to get through the stages. This adds usefulness to each and every character, which helps to portray values of friendship and selflessness to the player.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 13th, 2017 at 15:36:59.

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    Feb 12th, 2017 at 03:01:36     -    Thomas Was Alone (PS4)

    I played this game for the first time today. My session lasted about 45 minutes and I got to level 3.2. So far I'm really enjoying the concept of the game. It is quite unique and I like how it's more of a puzzle game where you have to use your brain rather than a role playing game like the last one I played. So far I've been introduced to Thomas, Christopher, John, Claire, and Laura. I like how each AI character that is introduced comes with their own personality and abilities. Thomas is an introspective character who hates being alone, Chris is a negative square who can't jump that high and would rather be alone, John is tall and extremely athletic but also positive and helpful, Claire can float in water and thinks she's a superhero, and I'm not sure yet what Laura's skills are.

    My initial thought was that I like the music playing in the background. I also like how the narrator has a British accent. The idea of the game is quite intriguing because the characters all have to depend on one another to get through the portals and stages. I have grown to be fond of these colored blobs through the narration because I've gotten to know them as the stages have advanced. I thought it was so cute when all the characters had to get on top of Claire during one of the stages so that she could float them across the toxic water.

    So far, I'm not really sure how this game relates to the class. I have a feeling that as I keep playing more aspects of the game will make this apparent as I find out more about the simulated environment that these AIs are in and why they're there in the first place. Level 3.1 also had a mention of splitting entities and a hint of danger and caution through Laura's dialogue so I'm sure more interesting things are to come. I am excited to see how this turns out once I play some more.

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    Jan 20th, 2017 at 00:00:40     -    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)

    Today's session went A LOT more smoothly than yesterday's. The objective I was stuck on yesterday was to "Follow the Nilfgaardian soldiers' tracks using your Witcher Senses" in the "The Beast of White Orchard" quest. For some reason, I kept going to this same location and getting killed by wild dogs. So today when I started off, I decided to follow a different objective of the quest first which was to "Ask the herbalist about buckthorn". I followed a map and talked to an herbalist who told me about where I could find a specific herb, buckthorn, in order to lure a griffin that has been harassing the village of White Orchard and killing people. I then gathered the buckthorn and then decided to try again on the first objective I was stuck on and surprisingly I completed it pretty quickly.

    Next, rather than luring the griffin right away, I decided to do some side quests to gain more experience and level up. The secondary quests I completed were very interesting and showed more depth about the game and the game's creators.

    One of the quests I completed was "Twisted Firestarter". The context of this quest is that there is a dwarf/blacksmith in White Orchard named Willis who accepted money from the Nilfgaardian soldiers and helped craft their armor and weapons. As a result, Willis believes this made the villagers angry as they have shunned him and his forge was burned down. Willis asked me, Geralt the Witcher, to find out who set fire to his forge. When I discovered the arsonist, he was very drunk and angry and was shouting derogatory things about dwarves and how they are selfish, stingy beings. Again, we note how the creators of the game have incorporated a theme of class levels and discrimination into their game although they used fictional groups such as Witchers, dwarves, and the Nilgaardian soldiers as the people who are discriminated against. The arsonist tried to bribe my character with gold into not turning him in. I like how the game let me make the choice of whether I would take the money or whether I would turn him in. This allows players to make decisions of what they think they should do and the game is influenced by this choice. After I chose not to take the bribe, the game let me choose whether I wanted to fight the arsonist to bring him to Willis or to be calm, put a spell on him, and say "No, you're coming with me." When I chose the second option, I gained experience points, which was cool because it's like I was rewarded for making the less violent choice. This encourages me to perform in a moral way when playing the game in the future so I can be rewarded with more experience points. I was surprised at how the dwarf handled the case of the arsonist though. Rather than talking it through, Willis called over the Nilgaardian soldiers who took the arsonist away to be hanged on a tree! I was shocked and chose the dialogue option, "That seems harsh" to which Willis seemed completely justified and said that it was justice.... Makes you wonder.. like the quest description says, "Harsh justice - or maybe just harsh?".

    Another secondary quest I completed was "Missing in Action". In this quest, I was asked to help a peasant from White Orchard, Dune, find his brother who enlisted to take up arms against Nilfgaard, but never returned from battle. We went to the battlefield and searched around until Bastien's (the missing brother) dog caught onto his scent and led us to a hut where we found Bastien fraternizing with a soldier. Geralt asked them what was going on and Dune was quick to assume that the soldier had taken Bastien hostage (again.. theme of discrimination and stereotypes appears here). Bastien replies that the soldier saved his life and that he needs a place to stay. Dune is hesitant about taking in a soldier but then I was given the option to choose between telling Dune either: 1) "You're right. His smell will put off the others and draw too much attention" or 2) "C'mon. He saved your brother". I, of course, chose the morally correct option 2, which convinced Dune to take him in. He paid me for helping him then I was on my way to kill a griffin!

    That is where I currently am at in the game. I tried to kill the griffin twice but died both times so I'll probably continue to play when I'm free and level up with other side quests before trying again. I am liking the game a lot more now after my successes today. I also learned more about collecting items to making potions and go to craftsmen to have armor and weapons made, so I will be using that knowledge to my benefit in the future.

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    Jan 18th, 2017 at 23:50:20     -    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4)

    Not much happened in today's gaming session. I basically just ran around the map the entire time still trying to figure out how to accomplish my current quest. The quest was to go to the site of the murdered Nilfgaardians and use my witcher senses to try to gather clues. However, I kept running into wild dogs and then they kept killing me so I'd have to start over from the most recent saved state. So that was annoying.

    So, in yesterday's log I said I felt guilty when I had to slay the wild dogs, but honestly... after today, I got so frustrated and the dogs were so mean that eventually killing them did not evoke that emotion for me.

    I noticed something interesting though when the hunter took me to the site where the Nilfgaardians were murdered. He seemed very distraught about their death whereas Geralt's character was unphased. All he said as a response was that "life moves forward. They were just Nilfgaardians" to which the hunter replied something along the lines of "Nilfgaardians are like the rest of us. Except they wear black armor." This shows that even in gaming worlds, class and racial disparities are present. To further illustrate this point, the loading screens of the game shows a scene from the game as well as little hints and sayings at the bottom. One of the times when I had to restart the game, the saying said something like, "Humans and non-humans don't get along. Often times, when they are together, a massacre occurs." This shows how the creators of Witcher tried to portray real life issues in their game which could encourage ethical reflection by players.

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    1Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons (PS4)Playing
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