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Gaming on Data: Gaming Script – By the Word We the Intent

Gaming Scripts series:

Language and Aggressions

Language and Aggression over time

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

Recap from first post :

Looking at a game and its script as a whole, it’s easy to get an understanding of what kind of game it will be. Having violence in a game is one thing, but having the characters in the game be in distress about it are two different things. You play the game and it stresses you. You don’t necessarily become immersed to the characters but the tension does rub off on you.

12- Game Script - Lang use over time, only NonNeutral minus 10k a-g 13 - Game Script - Lang use over time, only NonNeutral minus 10k h-u

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Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Aggression over time. A long time.

Gaming Scripts series:

1 – Language and Agressions

3Number of Unique Words color sentiment

Touching back on what we found out in the previous post was that games, in general, use aggressive language considerably. Granted this is from a small sample size of AAA titles, but are titles that permeate through the gaming community. Required reiterating in-case there are new readers to this post who hasn’t read the last one, yet. (Cough, cough.)

But the last post looked at a game as the sum of its parts and not the parts that made up that sum.

6 - Game Script - Lang use over time a-g 7 - Game Script - Lang use over time h-u

And there’s a reason for that. The parts of a game’s script are a bit messy, jumbly and noisy. The above is the running average of the sentiment, the polarity of aggression where negative (red) denotes more aggressive language and positive (green) denotes more friendly language. But these graphs for the most part are bit too noisy to make sense of them aside from the general feeling that a game is. Comparing say the Call of Duty games, where there’s very little green up top but a whole lot of red underneath, makes it easy to assume that its language is more aggressive in nature than say Portal 2 where the opposite is true with its green hair and ginger public area.

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Aggression over time. A long time.”

Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Language and Harsh Undertones

We play a game and absorb a lot of created by the developers. Gorgeous tropic landscapes; the honks, footsteps and clatter of an urban environment; the dialectic change for stepping into 1950s New York in the Bronx. The developers and artists and writers put a lot of time sculpting and crafting their environment and it leaves an impression on you. When you put down Assassin’s Creed 2, aside from the killing, freerunning, building scaling that you do, you also absorb a bit of 15th century Italy. The architecture becomes recognizable, the attire becomes familiar and you learn many of the ins and outs of getting around the city. This very much thanks to the developing teams request to keeping the game period perfect and because of that, a part of the game seeps into us and we learn from it and grow from it.

For this short iteration of Gaming on Data, I got a bit curious about the scripts behind the game, the writing for the game because gaming is just as much a visual distraction as it is a conceptual one. Much of the writing that a player comes out of the characters that interact within it, so that’s what I focused on.

For this, I scraped the internet for a few scripts for somewhat current AAA titles are prolific in that they cause a large impression on the gaming community. But finding these scripts is not easy, so I managed to only get the following:

Scripts Scraped:

  • Bioshock
  • Bioshock 2
  • Bioshock Infinite
  • Call of Duty – Black Ops
  • Call of Duty – Black Ops 2
  • Call of Duty – Ghosts
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 2
  • Call of Duty – Modern Warfare 3
  • Curse of Monkey Island
  • Grand Theft Auto 4
  • Half Life
  • Half Life 2
  • Mass Effect
  • Mass Effect 2 (Incomplete)
  • Mass Effect 3
  • Portal
  • Portal 2
  • Red Dead Redemption
  • Secret of Monkey Island
  • Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
  • Uncharted
  • Uncharted 2
  • Uncharted 3

1Number of Unique Words in Gaming Script

The above is a graph showing the number of unique words within each game and something obvious jumps out: RPGs and Open World games have a lot of text. Not even by a small margin, like a significant margin.

Continue reading “Gaming on Data: Gaming Scripts – Language and Harsh Undertones”

Taking Yourself Too Seriously, Gaming.

The gap between gaming as a medium to be taken seriously and lightly has been narrowing in many storytelling genres. We can find well scripted humor in the midst in contextual-placement of the player in games like Portal or The Stanley Parable, drama in actions that we choose to do or are helpless in preventing in The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite, or walk through the blackness of our paranoia in Amnesia or Slender Man. What’s interesting though is that other mediums like movies had an extremely rough time getting the average story in a game to not feel forced or that the campiness from genre films hasn’t particularly translated well in gaming as of yet.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a difference between campiness and cliché, and it’s easy to spot one over the other. Cliché is taking what we’re used to and regurgitating it back to us in a form that we are already used to seeing. Campy is taking what we’re used to and being almost self-referential to it by exaggerating the parts that make it campy. I don’t mean self-referential like some side-character saying “Do you think this is a game?” or “What kind of game do you think this it?” because this is already a cliché and completely un-original. The idea of the campy-self-referential is that you make the cliché feel original. Being campy isn’t a bad thing either. Campiness worked in the reboot of 21/22 Jump Street, Hot Tub Time Machine and the more recent Guardians of the Galaxy.

Oh you two. Never the dissapointment
Oh you two. Never the disappointment

Continue reading “Taking Yourself Too Seriously, Gaming.”

Dialogue Delivery part 4: Short but Provocative

The story thus far:

Player-Paced Dialogue Delivery

Character-Paced Delivery w/ No Dialogue

Character-Paced Delivery w/ Verbose Dialogue

 

Verbosity in games, much like any medium, is hard to get right. The dynamics of a game and the habits of a gamer are those that contribute a response towards quick reward systems. Run right and jump = Progression. Turn on console -> Start Game -> Join Game -> Start Killing things, all in a matter of a minute or two. But becoming programmed to this sort of habit goes against what verbosity tries to deliver. We’ve talked about how being verbose can be used correctly before, about not letting the mechanism for delivering the dialogue interfere with the agency of the player as they go about through the game. The delivery should only interfere when absolutely necessary but not for too long otherwise it pulls the player out from the immediate sense gratification that a game presents, but it means that shortened dialogue delivery needs to be discussed.

Continue reading “Dialogue Delivery part 4: Short but Provocative”

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