My Position on the Platform War

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Over the years I have played games on several different platforms such as X-box, PS3 and PC. Personally, I find that PCs are the true master race in comparison to other platforms considering they offer a lot more customization. However, this varies greatly if you do not build your own computer. Most PCs bought out of stores are very overpriced and don’t function as well as one would expect. This makes store bought PCs very similar to consoles which are manufactured, branded and sold in stores.

I build my own computers and as a result have saved myself a good bit of money. I know the quality of my parts and can say with confidence that my computer is equivalent to the amount of money I invested in it. If any of my parts were to break I could simply install another part. Console users don’t have this luxury and generally have to send in their X-box or PS3 for repair or buy a new one entirely.

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Additionally, PCs can be upgraded at any time. For an console user to upgrade they have to wait until a newer version of their console is released which often takes several years. A PC user can simply go to a computer store and pick up a part with higher specs than his or her previous one. With this in mind, PC users have the potential to make their computers perform and look better than consoles.

Finally, PC versions of games that are on consoles sometimes have mod support. Mod support allows users to install mods which can increase a games playability by adding new features. A good example of this would be the Fallout franchise. They have continuously supported PC players with mod support which usually results in some crazy funny mods. Overall, I think PCs have a lot more diversity in comparison to consoles.

Why I Enjoy Single Player Games

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There are a lot of games installed on my computer. Most of these games are multiplayer, however, I typically enjoy my single player games more. This is because I feel like single player games have a lot more to offer than multiplayer games in terms of story and immersion. Multiplayer games are typically focused around player versus player content and don’t always have a story to tell. In comparison, single player games essentially have to have a good story in order to survive. That is the biggest difference between the two genres of video games.

Multiplayer games are usually very fast paced and as a result certain aspects of the game are intentionally neglected. These aspects are typically graphics and story. Single player games are focused on exactly the opposite considering practically every single player revolves around a story. A video game story is no different than a book’s story. There is a introduction, climax and a conclusion or resolution. As any story does, video game plots need characters in order to function. These characters are often very well rounded and have different personalities. This makes them much more relatable than characters we see in multiplayer games who generally don’t have personalities. A good example of a single player game with an amazing story in Metal Gear Solid Five: The Phantom Pain which I have reviewed.

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Quality Over Quantity

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In this blog post, I would like to talk about how some video game series tend to ruin their own games by over complicating their game mechanics. The Call of Duty franchise is a perfect example of this. My first COD games was Call of Duty 4 which was an extremely simple game. You simple picked your favourite gun load-out and off you went, competing against other online. The COD franchise went downhill when they developed Call of Duty: Ghosts and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Both games introduced new game types which were completely different from previous game modes. Sure, its great that the franchise was looking to bring new content to its players, however, I found the added content to be extremely linear and not well thought out.

Personally, I think this is because both Ghosts and MW3 were developed mainly by Infinity Ward, a game development company. Most Call of Duty titled developed by Infinity Ward have been relatively linear and  uninteresting. This spans across the entirety of the game from campaign to multiplayer. There never seemed to be much depth to the quality of content. Overall, I think Infinity Ward suffers when they develop games for the COD franchise because they simply throw in filler content.

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The Dark Side of Video Games

 

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“I will not scatter your ashes to the heartless sea…I will always be with you”

In this blog post I would like to talk about a mission in Metal Gear Solid Five: The Phantom Pain. Mission 43 in MGSV took one of the darkest most unexpected turns in any video game I have ever played in my lifetime. This level of depressing tops even that of the Final Fantasy endings. As most dark turns do, mission 43 contains death. A lot of death. Throughout the entirely of the mission I found myself face palming and cringing. Being a real man, I will admit I did tear up just a little. For the sake of this blog I guess I will delve into the depths of my memory to tell you the depressing tale that in Mission 43.

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Fallout 4’s Only Problem

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Being a typical Bethesda game, it comes as no surprise that Fallout 4 contains several bugs. More often than not, these bugs are usually hilarious and bring character to the game. For this reason, my problem is not with the game’s functionality, but rather with it’s disappointing graphics. Trust me, by no means am I a graphics fiend; I find enjoyment in games that make use of simple graphics such as Terraria and Minecraft. However, for a next generation game, Fallout 4’s graphics seem fairly lackluster in comparison to what they could be. Fallout 4’s graphics have certainly improved from Fallout 3’s yet, I feel as if the game cannot be compared to the likes of other open world games released in the same year such as MGSV or Mad Max.

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On the other hand, it seems like Bethesda has put a lot of emphasis on detailing 3D models in the game. As seen above, Fallout 3’s textures seem flat, especially on the robot’s model which seems very pixelated. In contrast, Fallout 4 looks much sharper and crisp with more vivd colours compared to Fallout 3’s very monotone atmosphere.

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Guest Blog #2: The Curse of Gender: being a female gamer with RedsGameSpot

Here is the second guest blog on my site, this time featuring RedsGameSpot who will be shedding light on sexism and its prevalence in online video games, specifically DOTA2. RedsGameSpot is run by Kate, another friend and classmate of mine, who writes excellent game reviews and insightful blogs. By reading about her personal experience as a female gamer, I hope this blog provides you with a new perspective on female gamers and the hardships they unfortunately have to endure. Please check out her site which can be found here, for more amazing content!

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In all honesty, I haven’t experienced a vast amount of hate for my online gaming participation from the largely male community. Most often, when someone hears me speak over mic in game (especially with Dota 2), immediately there is an overwhelming “IS THAT REALLY A GIRL?”. And then we lead into the three responses, which can sometimes overlap; sexual advances, hate and support.

To begin, the most common reaction I’ve had, especially when playing Dota 2, is for the other male players (typically under the age of 20), to start by being quite kind, and then quickly become sexual in their comments. I have had an Invoker ask me for nudes. I’ve had a Dragon Knight protect me and sacrifice himself for me while speaking like a medieval suitor over the mic. I’ve had complete randoms, even from the other team, make dirty jokes or say something that when I respond is a “that’s what she said” moment. Half of the time, it can actually be quite hilarious. In one game that I actually posted on my blog, some kid said he had to lock his brother out of the room because my voice was turning him on. It is kind of funny! But there is an underlying issue with this. Apparently video games are teaching young men that it’s okay to talk to other females like this. It has become okay to overly sexualize and make a woman into an object just from her voice. And of course, I cannot really ask them to stop this banter because if I do, I will be labeled in a negative sense.

This leads to the hate aspect. In some moments when I have told people to buzz off with the weird comments, I then begin to get called all sorts of ridiculous names. But this is kind of a rare occurrence. What happens more often than not is that I take all of the blame. “She is a girl, she is playing support, she’s the inferior sex, she is not welcome in our community, I will take all of my frustration out on her”. Or at least, that feels like the train of thought for me. For example, the other night I had a terribly awful day, I decided to play a game of Dota after work. I also have been trying to get into Twitch streaming more, I stupidly announced to the team that I was doing this. We lost the game, who gets all the blame? “Yeah you think you’re so good at this game twitch whore? We lost”. Exact quote. So as much as some of the playful sexual banter can be fun, sometimes people get too heated (as they often do in Dota), and it becomes too much.

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Guest Blog #1: Are eSports Competitors Really Athletes? by SoloQueue

Here is the first of two guest blogs I will be featuring on Gamer’s Cavern! This first blog comes from Trevor DeHaan, a friend and fellow classmate of mine in my Digital Communications class who runs his own site called Solo Queue. In this blog you can expect to find an extremely informative outlook on whether or not E-sports competitors should be considered athletes or not. If you’re interested in amazing blog posts like this then please check out Trevor’s site Solo Queue! He posts about a variety of game related content such as reviews as well as prevalent issues within the gaming community. 

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eSports have grown as an industry more in the past few years than almost any other sport over that past 50. Not only is the idea of an industry centered around the commodification of eSports as entertainment extremely recent in its birth, but also incredibly successful despite it being so young.

As of May 2015, the cumulative market value of eSports was $747.5 million, with analytical professionals like Newzoo predicting total value to reach $1.9 billion by 2018.

While those are great numbers, it is the annual growth that marks eSports as such a rapidly emerging industry. In Newzoo’s report on Global eSports Markets (a report that can be accessed for only $4,900 US!), they outline the year-over-year growth of the market, and how it compares to other traditional sports markets. The chart below on the left shows the projected growth of consumers for both eSports, and the two most popular American sports: Football and Hockey. So, in terms of entertainment consumption, it can be seen quite easily that eSports are just as relevant as other sporting markets. But what about the money?

We all know that there is a lot of money in sports, and I already outlined the total market value of the medium. But, what about the growth? Because the industry is so young, it is unfair to judge it’s fiscal impact on total value alone. The report recognizes that and the chart on the right, we see their visual representation of this growth; projected using the existing revenue-per-consumer information.

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So, a growth of $194 million to $465 million over two years would show that the industry is indeed booming. That is a whopping 135% increase, putting it well in line and in most cases, over said line in comparison to other sports markets at the time of their emergence.

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