Podcast #13 – You Playing the Game, or the Game Plays You?

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Could you guess what line of what film the title of this podcast is derivative of? Please tell me if you do, and if you’re the first one you get a free Steam key for…something. So let’s make this into a contest; I’ve got a bunch of extras, and nothing to do with them.

Moving along, are our choices in-game a reflection of our true selves or are we just playing? Do the actions we perform in video games somehow reflect real-world actions, or is there a divorce between the reality of the situation (me sitting in a comfy chair doing nothing) and the vicarious experience on display in the game (probably something involving conflict, more often than not)?

These are the questions Zachery Oliver, M. Joshua Cauller, and Ted Loring cover in this week’s podcast. Topics include intentions versus action, reductionism, dialogue trees, choice in games, Ogre Battle, systems and rules, The Last of Us, adventure games, Monkey Island, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schaefer, The Walking Dead, Telltale Games, Infamous Mass Effect, Heavy Rain, SimCity, Call of Duty online, the fighting game community, Mario Kart, and (of course) World of WarCraft. Also, photobombing minor gaming celebrities. And the Candy Crush Saga Killer.

Also ludonarrative dissonance and ludic language, but I hate academic terms for seemingly simple concepts, so why bother putting those in a podcast description? Haha, I kid. Or maybe not. Sarcasm in text is hard to detect!

Podcast 13

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About Zachery Oliver

Zachery Oliver, MTS, is the lead writer for Theology Gaming, a blog focused on the integration of games and theological issues. He can be reached at viewtifulzfo at gmail dot com or on Theology Gaming’s Facebook Page.