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    Jan 24th, 2018 at 11:17:50     -    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    For the second play, it went through more of the rallies the player went through. I felt like this point was drawn out. While important to embed the historical effects and give a history lesson to the player as they progressed, it did not match the progression of the first play through. I’ve experienced this in other games, but it was significant change and didn’t bode well. I found it synonymous to going 0-60 in 3.2 seconds, and then entering a gated community that only allowed for 10 mph. There are little squabbles thrown into the scenes, but they seem almost artificial. The game did end up returning to a faster pace, but it seemed to be either really fast, or really slow.
    With the ability to make choices in this game, it makes me wonder how much of an affect they have on the long term of the game. Am I just going to receive a backhand from my interrogator, or will this lead up to Reza’s death if I’m not careful? It also makes me wonder if the developers are willing to sacrifice historical inaccuracies for gameplay to the extent that people may die or act differently than what actually happened in reality.

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    Jan 21st, 2018 at 20:46:28     -    1979 Revolution: Black Friday (PC)

    1979: Revolution kicks off by immerging the player in the action. With timed options in many of the beginning events, the player feels connected with Reza Shirazi. While you are feeling sympathy for Reza, you are also uneasy with the setup with the game. I should preface, before writing more, that I spent most of 2015 and a good deal of 2016 deployed to the Middle East. Having seen how dirty war and revolution can be, the story hit my heart.
    I wonder if it does the same to others. The game very quickly delves into the interrogation of Reza. It is violent, and you instantly gain sympathy for Reza. No matter what he says, he is oppressed. It reminded me of being in the Middle East and how others are treated along the same lines or worse. While the events in the video game are based on actual events but may not have been the reality of what happened, it still made my gut wrench.
    Reza is reminded of his friend and the scene and chapter change. Things are more light-hearted, but Reza is handed a tape and told its contents are important. It is here that he is introduced to the revolution. The story illustrates that he was living a normal life until the tape started to change things. What I did enjoy about this section was how it outlined historical events that occurred during the protests. While it was important, I felt more connected to the torture portion because of how horrific it was.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 6th, 2018 at 11:28:14.

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    Jan 18th, 2018 at 09:09:43     -    Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC)

    For my final play session of Shadow of Mordor, I continued the main story quests and aided the rebels. They were trying to obtain explosive powders to use against the orcs. I was quickly reminded of an interview I watched with an ex-CIA operative said in regards to the Rebel Alliance in Star Wars. She said that insurgents think of themselves as the Rebel Alliance fighting the Empire. They often compare the US to the Empire. While there are drastic differences between our country and tyrannical hegemony, others outside the US might not see it this way.
    Shadow of Mordor’s rebel groups reminded me of this and made me think of it in a similar light. I also wondered whether it had the same effect as Star Wars on US citizens and non-citizens. Do US players play through the game without any consideration as to similarities and just capitalize on the feelings of vicarious glory? Are non-citizens playing the game and thinking of the orcs as the US and themselves as the rebels, rallying to overthrow them? The game likely would not have the success it did if the term “rebels” had been replaced with “insurgents.”

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    Jan 17th, 2018 at 10:09:44     -    Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PC)

    For my second play session, I delved into some of the side quests available in the game. Those I ended up playing revolved around freeing slaves and captives, both orcs and humans. This reminded of John Brown and his actions as an abolitionist. I found it really cool to have the ability to free slaves and fight alongside them for a greater cause. The developers even went farther than just freeing slaves, and having arcs built around this.
    I hope to see this in future games as it gave a sense of pride. This pride came slightly from freeing the slaves, but more when I realized it was similar to the history of the United States. These actions also illustrated a mental picture on what might have happened during the events leading up to the civil war. By this, I mean missions could have paralleled those encountered in the game. An example would be freeing slaves, then overthrowing a war chief. This could have been similar to freeing slaves and overthrowing the plantation owner or something of the like.

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