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Sonic 06

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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Teaching the player: Prelude and First Screens

You know what sucks in a game? Being force fed how you are supposed to interact with the world. You know what also sucks? Not knowing what to do, or knowing exactly what to do and making it nearly impossible to accomplish. There are a myriad of ways this can be done correctly or incorrectly and I’m sure there were active decisions as to why certain designs were chosen, but they all contribute to or take away from the player experience in one form or another and it’s left to a good level designer to understand what works best for their game and how to design the level around making the most out of the player experience.

Continue reading “Teaching the player: Prelude and First Screens”

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