Why Zelda is Great — Part III

Saturday, Jan 8, 2000:

Quest is Everything, Thirst is Nothing.

Thirst is a hankering or scrambling toward some temporal goal driven by an itch more often than not localized either in the belly or some place just below the belly. Thirst is earmarked by terms such as bigger, better, faster, further, prettier, fancier, etc., etc., etc., — basically different versions of how many, how much? Continue reading

Why Zelda is Great — Part II

Tuesday, Jan 4, 2000:

“Not Handle” to “Handle”

The progression from “Not Handle” to “Handle” is such an important aspect to any game. This teaches the player first that it is possible to make the transition from “Not Handle” to “Handle”. And second it demonstrates the difference in how one can be in a space once one has learned how to “handle” a particular thing. Continue reading

Why Zelda is Great — Part I

Monday, Jan 3, 2000:

Let’s see if we can figure out part of what makes Zelda great.

Almost without exception everyone who has actually played Zelda agrees that it is a great game. And here we are of course talking about Zelda I. The others may be good, but Zelda I is great.

Let’s see if we can figure out part of what makes Zelda great.

Later let’s consider the elements of a game. For now let’s just take one element and look at it: Story Line. Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #16

Sunday, December 12, 1999:

Recall, Recollection, Reconnection

Have you ever been in the situation where you almost remembered something? It’s right there, just on the tip of the brain. You can almost get it. But not quite.

How about when you wake in the morning from a dream? You can remember that you were dreaming but you can only almost remember the dream. Then as soon as you remember one part of the dream whole segments come streaming back in. Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #15

Tuesday, Dec 6, 1998:

Below is the letter I wrote to accompany materials advertizing a gaming workshop. Thought you might like to see it.

Once a signal makes it past the data receptors (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin, etc.) into the processing network of the body the processing network can not tell whether the incoming information is from a “virtual” or “real” input source. There is no difference. This is how the subtle brain works. The “beta” brain may know that the virtual input is not “real” and discount it. This does not stop the deep processing functions from accepting the input as real and acting accordingly. Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #14

Friday, September 18, 1998:

“You can’t hope to answer a question until it is properly formulate.”

Doesn’t this phrase suggest a couple of other questions. For example what the heck is “formulate”? Or, more importantly what “question”?

Video games lose much of their potency for transformation when you as a player have no question you are currently working on. Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #13

Thursday, September 17, 1998:

Well, just how silly is it to select games based on whether or not the game goals match your personal goals as a player?

A lot silly.

Unless your goals as a player are to run around the edge of a cardboard square passing by a specific square marked “GO” and collecting two bright orange pieces of paper with the number $100 printed on the front then it would be real silly to ever expect your goals will match the character goals in Monopoly. Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #12

Wednesday, September 16, 1998:

What is the big deal about “having the double view of being both the character and the player”?

It must be a big deal. I think I used the phrase about a dozen times in the previous article.

Well, tis simple. By holding these two opposing views a reconciling element is created. This element can act as a corrosive to erode the tendency toward identification. Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #11

Monday, September 7, 1998:

Respecting the character in the game.

The character was there before you showed up and will be there after you leave.

Radical thought? Not really. If you take but a moment to consider the context of the character there is a context.

In the game of Zelda we are inside a character known as Link. Link obviously had parents, a childhood, friends and the rest. When we are not riding around with Link hacking and slashing our way to the inner chambers of Gannon, Link has a life. How hard can it be to respect that life? Continue reading

Effects of Video Games on the Dead #10

Monday, September 7, 1998:

What would be the player’s goal in a game?

Good question.

Here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head:

Spend some time with the other players.

How many Bridge games are just an excuse for the players to sit around and chit chat having a good time?

Learn how to pronounce “s” without hissing or lisping.

Strange as this may appear on the surface, I played the game Sorry for hours and hours when I was in elementary school. I was in speech therapy to learn how to pronounce ‘S’ without lisping. So rather than sit around saying words over and over again we played a game with lots of ‘S’ sounds in the game.

Teach your child simple counting skills.

An adult playing a simple game such as snakes and ladders with a small child may be simply trying to teach said child his or her numbers and the art of counting.

Beat the socks off your older brother.

Maybe you are tried of what a big mouth poor sport your older brother is and since you are better at the game then he is you relish the thought of grinding him into the dirt over a friendly game of chineese checkers.

Unravel the mathematical mysteries of Game Theory.

Yep, there are university graduate departments devoted to the study of game theory. Every now and then they may even play a game or two in an effort to understand what is happening on a mathematical level.

These examples should give you a few ideas of what might be meant by the question: “What would be the player’s goal in a game?”

Now then. Gather answers to this question yourself. What possible goals for a player can you discover, recall, makeup or weedle out of friends and family?