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    Tanden's Nier Automata (PC)

    [September 27, 2018 10:36:52 PM]
    Game Log #2 - Nier (Part 3)
    In my final playthrough of Nier Automata (Nier), I was actually reminded of a really interesting concept that works as a follow up for my last Log entry. The concept I’m referring is the sense of emotions that are portrayed by the machines the further the game progresses.
    After progressing through the game slightly you’ll make your way to the desert area which in itself is kind of a boring zone but what’s interesting about this area is it’s the first time that you hear a machine talk and what the machines are saying is really interesting. What’s even more interesting is the response of both 2B and 9S. The specifics of what I’m referring to is when you reach the first quest marker in the desert the machines will start saying vague words such as “Kill, meat, android, desert” however, as you continue to progress with each section of the mission the game gets increasingly more interesting. Another encounter the machines say “K-kill enemy... whyyyy... N-no… Stay...away…” after the machines say this dialogue, 2B and 9S talk about their outfits and face paint. 9S references the fact that it’s very similar to how the human race used to wear long ago. The last reference I’ll give is in regard to when the machines say “Nooo… S-scared… ...elp...meeeee……!” after this dialogue 2B is taken back and 9S says that their speech has no meaning and is just random. With this information in mind, I’ll get to the main point. Following the previous log talking about consciousness at what point would the machines be considered as equals or would it never happen? At this point, although incredible primitive they are mimicking almost every aspect of basic human behavior yet they’re still perceived as an enemy and at this point the game almost makes you feel like the bad guy.
    With all of that being said at what point is it wrong to kill someone/something else? If this game were to become more or less reality would it be ok to kill another being with roughly human consciousness? These are the questions I will more than likely be trying to form a thesis around for my final draft of this game, but in conclusion, I think Nier is one of the most interesting games I’ve played simply based on the fact that there were so many other topics that could have been talked about. The only reason I chose not to touch on them was due to the fact that I found this topic specifically the most interesting.
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    [September 26, 2018 11:35:44 PM]
    Game Log #2 - Nier (Part 2)
    In my second playthrough of Nier Automata (Nier) I, unfortunately, had to tune down the difficulty after one last attempt due to the sheer difficulty of “Hard” mode in this game which I touched in the previous log. Even with that being said the sheer length of the tutorial was still a problem which resulted in the entirety of my gameplay being the tutorial, adjusting savings, and finally getting to the “City Ruins” which is where the game opens up dramatically and the player is able to have more control of what they’re able to do. With this being said there is limited content to talk about however, I did find one particular instance in the earlier stages to be extremely interesting at least in respect to the ethics around the game.
    At the very end of the initial tutorial when the player has finally defeated what is
    presumed to be the final boss you’re surrounded by three more of the exact same boss. It’s at this point that 2B and 9S combine their “Black Boxes” which presumably causes an extremely powerful explosive reaction destroying not only 2B’s and 9S’ body everything within the radius of the explosion. There are two reasons I found this particular instance interesting from an ethical perspective. First has to do with the act itself which refers to the idea of essentially sacrificing oneself for the sake of the mission and android well-being. Second has to do with what happens post-explosion, even though both of their bodies were destroyed their consciousness and memories can be uploaded to what is essentially the main frame of their base and then redistributed into a new body that is identical to the one they were in prior.
    Regarding the first point of interest in more detail, I found it very interesting that the intensity of the action was so severe when both presumably knew that they weren’t actually going to die. At least from my perspective, they reacted in a way that this was the end of their existence. There’s an argument to be made that 2B actually thought that however, 9S knew from the beginning that he could upload both of their information to the mainframe. With all of this being said it made me question what it would be like if real life soldiers could put themselves in the shoes of android. Knowing full well they themselves weren’t actually dying would there still be as much emotion behind the actions they did or would most emotions dull down.
    The second part I found interesting was the fact that their consciousness could essentially be manipulated through a computer system. This begs the question of where do people draw the line ethically in terms of AI. As someone who has played this game more than what I am trying to let my perception be the main focus appeared to be that the main focus of the game is about what is right when intelligence can be created. Because androids presumably have a higher level of consciousness than most of the machine lifeforms are they innately in the right? Answering these questions in this context would be far too difficult but the game is constantly bringing this question up even from the get-go with dialogue between 2B and 9S.
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    [September 25, 2018 09:38:03 PM]
    Game Log #2 - Nier
    Playing Nier Automata (Nier) for this “Game Log” assignment wasn’t necessarily a new experience for me as I have played Nier before, however, with that being said I didn’t want to continue from where I was at and instead wanted to start a playthrough from the beginning again. Since I already have 50+ hours on the game I had the inclination to raise the difficulty from normal to hard, not realizing what I had gotten myself into to. I had completely forgotten how hard the game was to get through the tutorial on normal difficulty as it took me around 5+ hours the first time. Although I was annoyed like my first time playing through it did raise an interesting question and that’s “How hard should games be?” as well as more specifically “How hard should game tutorials be?” I ask these questions because this game had a harder tutorial than any other game I have played.
    The game I immediately compared it to was the original Dark Souls game. Although Dark Souls doesn’t necessarily have a tutorial I felt that progressing through the beginning of the game in Nier was more difficult than Dark Souls which is revered as one of the most difficult Triple-A titles on the market by most gamers. I would attribute that what makes Nier so difficult (apart from the mechanical skill and game knowledge needed to fight enemies without dying on harder difficulty) is the fact that the tutorial itself is relatively long due to cutscenes and dialogue which isn’t necessarily a problem IF there was a single savepoint before the end of the tutorial. The fact that you lose all progression in such a long and difficult “tutorial” is absolutely insane to me. As a reference of length, the first “walkthrough” video on YouTube took the player 37 minutes on normal difficulty. If this player died, however, at 36 minutes they would have to start from square one again resulting in over an hour of playing through the tutorial.
    Some people may say that this is why there’s an easy mode. If normal is too difficult then you should play on easy mode. Which I would completely understand if the game on easy didn’t basically play itself through the use of “auto chips” which do actions automatically such as “auto-heal”. The jump in each difficulty is so drastic and the idea that “normal” which is hard by most standards is supposed to be the average doesn’t make sense. With all of this being said it’s possible that I was an anomaly or naturally bad at these styles of games in which case this was my personal experience. As a side-note, I am explicitly referring to the difficulty of the tutorial once out of the tutorial how you play the game changes in terms of “grinding” materials, currency, gear, etc. so that future fights become much easier. Additionally once out of the tutorial you can save before most boss fights so if you die your playthrough is much less tedious.
    In conclusion, the overlying question regarding an ethical decision is “At what point is difficulty unethical or is it ever unethical?” This question may sound ridiculous at first but from a utilitarian standpoint if the game is overall giving players a negative experience then it may be worth considering. This question should be applied to all games and not just Nier. Nier was the reason the question arose but, if we take a look at games that are exceedingly more difficult to the point where it seems as though the game was meant to solely frustrate people then the question may seem more practical. An example of a game that would fit this category is Cat Mario.
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    Tanden's Nier Automata (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 25 September, 2018

    Tanden's opinion and rating for this game

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    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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