Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Gaming Cultures; are they really all that bad

Online cultures are ever growing with internet access becoming easier and cheaper to acquire, more people are becoming members of online cultures, from chat-rooms, Facebook, Myspace, and online games. I myself am a member of Steam, a program that allows you to have I.M. conversations with people from all over the world; it also has its own store and member profile pages.

I am also a subscriber to ‘World of Warcraft’, which is not just an MMORPG (massive multiplayer online Role Playing Game), but it is also its own gaming society, cities full of people buying and selling with other players, it even has an auction house for people to sell rage items for extortionate prices, well in certain situations anyway. I am a Member of guild known as ‘The Shadow Vanguard’ with currently around 250 members from all over Europe. There are many, in fact most of the people I know on ‘WoW’, I only know as a virtual character, and have never met in real life, yet we become good friends. I think being a part of these gaming cultures takes up a majority of my spare time.

Game cultures are often criticised because of the lack of social interaction, yeah you might get square eyes from sitting in front of the computer, but you are given the ability to interact with people from all over the world, discuss many different topics, not just games. You can also gain a lot of knowledge from this, for example a friend of mine, has been learning Dutch from someone that he has met via these gaming cultures.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Music, how much does it influence our gameplay?

Music plays a very important role within games, and that is basically to create atmosphere, just think about it, whenever you play games such as survival horrors, the one thing that creates the most tension, when you walk though the dining room door is the music, it help to create that sense of fear, it help you to believe that you are there walking through that door way, not knowing what it is that awaits you. Games that are very renown for this are Resident Evil, Silent Hill (a person favourite even though I was scared s**tless as kid.) But it’s not just the music it’s also the sound effects, the creaking of floor boards, the wind whistling thought the crack in the windows, these all add to the eeriness, and making you feel more a part of the game The themes from certain games (like films) becomes so well know that it becomes part of the identity of the game.

One remarkable men that I have found out about is ‘Chance Thomas’, he did the music for games such as King Kong, X-men, Lord of the Rings, Quest for Glory V: Dragon Fire. Thomas was the first composer to score an amazing Oscar winning film and Registration more than 1 million downloads of his game music.

The amazing thing about his guy its it was by pure chance when he started a spark, in 1997, that by May 6th 1999, the game score would be allowed to compete for a Grammy from the 42nd Gammy Award Ceremony in 2000. Here is the link to the article that I read that contains this information. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3433/working_the_grammy_angle.php