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Metal Gear Solid

Gaming Experiences: Video Game Memes and Shared Vernacular

It always amazes me by how permissive some memes can get with the internet culture, specifically video game memes. It’s not like the general lifespan of a meme where somebody posts some witticism on the internet and it takes off, plateaus, crashes in a firey forest of overuse and misuse only to be resurrected for nostalgia sake. Video game memes are a special kind of coincidence. Where the hive-mind of the gaming population experiences the ridiculous, the outrageous or the cringe-worthy at roughly the same time only to be used as the punchline of ridiculousness in the future.

Karting Etiquette
Karting Etiquette

VG Memes aren’t passed around as readily as Internet Memes and that makes the experience a bit strange for me. It’s not like someone made a funny, then people start passing it around to one another. It’s more like something was coincidentally strange and people just happened upon it at the same time. Like everyone watching a TV Show or skit from SNL at roughly the same time and now it becomes part of the collective consciousness of pop culture. Like using punchlines of Michael Bay for the over the top spectacle, Tarantino for excess in violence and blood, or M Night Shyamalan for degradation of work; we have similar remarks for Hideo Kojima and heavy handed plot, Suda 51 for heavy handed plot, Telltale for Character-Driven adventure games.

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Dialogue Delivery part 3: The Wind Blows Long

When a character speaks, the player listens. When a character speaks too much, the player tunes out. Continuing with our look at Dialogue Delivery systems, we still need to look at when character-paced acting is mixed with dialogue as a means of delivering story, character development and plot points. The previous two can be found here and here which discuss Player-paced storytelling and character-paced dialogue-less storytelling, respectively.

There are various means for pushing dialogue onto the player. Text-based, dialogue-based, interpretive gestures and symbols. I don’t want to focus too heavily on what they are actually delivering, but instead focus on how each will be received.

Information delivery is important to think about when designing a game because you’re asking a lot of the player as they try and soak in the information presented. You’re dropping the player into a conversation among other people and expecting them to take the conversation as seriously as the other participants. If there is too much information, it becomes a chore to participate in the conversation.

Continue reading “Dialogue Delivery part 3: The Wind Blows Long”

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