Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Narrative Without Story

I was recently caught by a youtube comment that sent me on an angry rant to myself regarding the commentor's ignorance and inability to see reason. After calming down I decided some of the conclusions I came to reinformed my understanding of Story and Narrative in Video Games. I shall dispense my insights now.

"No, video games without stories do not deserve to exist anymore in this modern age of video games. A video game without a story being made now is like making a silent film from 1920 in the year 2010. It is just fucking outdated and shows insane laziness and overall not caring about the quality of their own products.
Nowadays, either make a story based game, or fucking leave the medium. Gameplay only games are doing nothng else but being damaging to the medium. Such as COD!"

It's funny he should mention silent films and a 1920s aesthetic  Because the most powerful exemplification of how wrong he is comes from a game that brings that style to a modern audience, and laziness is not the game maker's reason for that style -- quite the opposite.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Globalization and Global Media, Final Paper

Grant Tabler
Natalie Evans
MDST 4080*01
29 November 2012
Games Without Frontiers
War Without Tears
First person shooters are a genre of video game, which revolve around the player seeing through the eyes of a character with a weapon, and killing enemies you come across while accomplishing objectives. Many of these games are based around war, be they imaginary and science fiction, or modern and realistic. The critique of war video games is that they trivialize the experiences, and desensitize those who play the games to the violence and horrors of war. What if there was an altogether different kind of first person shooter game? A game where you stayed in first person, but you shot people with something other than a gun. 

The game I propose is one in which the player moves through a warzone as a war reporter armed with nothing more than a camera and editing software as she attempts to capture as much ‘truth’ and experience as she have time to cover. The player would then take this footage, and attempt to edit it together to make a legitimate narrative from the random violence. All the while the war would continue and the player would see that their camera isn’t affecting the broader arc of the war, just the opinions of the viewers back home. This game is currently in development and it is called Warco.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Massively Multiplayer Friendships: An Exploration of Online Raiding and the Implications on Real World Friendships

Massively Multiplayer Friendships:
An Exploration of Online Raiding and the Implications on Real World Friendships

Grant Tabler

MDST*4500 (Applied Research Project)
Section 03, Thursday 11:45

Professor Greg Kelley

November 22, 2012

We lost six of our soldiers in that last battle; we barely made it through alive. We heard this place was hell, but we didn’t expect this. The squads that came back last week were broken and battered, not a hint of optimism among them. I sit here, weapon at the ready, listening to the strategizing going on for the fight to come. We know our enemy and we’re doing our best to get a plan of action.  Beside me is Paul, he’s ex-navy and the oldest of our group at forty-three. Beside him is Jason, a police officer from South Carolina.

Our team is comprised of a pharmacist, a nurse, two students, an accountant, an office worker, a webcomic artist, a police officer, and two guys who haven’t got jobs outside of this. But right now, our jobs and our lives back home don’t matter. What matters is we are here to take down tyranny, and we are damn good at our job. Finally the time comes, we know our roles and we start our assault.  

We’re met immediately with fearsome carnage as enemies swarm us from all sides. The fighting is utter chaos as bullets fly in all directions and our training takes over. “Watch out!” we hear Tim cry as Paul gets blindsided and goes down without a fight. Richard soon follows as we’re picked off one by one. 

A collective sigh echoes through our headsets as we hear Tim say, “It’s a wipe.” In moments we’re all standing outside the area as ghosts in a nearby graveyard. Tim starts going over what needs to happen for next time and we all start the long trek back to make another attempt on the dragon we’re fighting. This is raiding in World of Warcraft.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Mean Between Two Extremes: A Culture of Both Push and Pull

Grant Tabler
Natalie Evans
MDST 3040-03
3 October 2011

The Mean Between Two Extremes: A Culture of Both Push and Pull

                In James Lull’s article The Push and Pull of Global Culture, Lull examines two seemingly divided cultures, and attempts to correlate and harmonize their usage. Lull eventually tries to argue that our changing culture requires a changing individual, saying that we must change the way we view, understand, and interface with culture to survive this new landscape.
Lull starts by examining a changing cultural paradigm. Noting that the post 9/11 world is one that has begun a shift from a culture based around community to a culture based in individualization. Lull looks at the ways in which humans understand themselves and their power structures in a more decentralized way. Through this increasing individualization humans are empowering themselves to be in control of their lives. In addition they are apparently working to be less reliant or less concerned with the community, the group, and any herd mentality that may imply. This aim at individualization, and therefore personal power, is what Lull deems the pull aspect of culture.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Virgin Ankles

This was an Assignment based around and examination of Folk lore for my contemporary narrative class, I was tasked with examining and dissecting this myth as it appears in this comic.

Grant Tabler
Final Paper for AHSS*2030 (Thursday)
for Dr. Greg Kelley, Media Studies, 4th Floor
Dec. 9th, 2010

Virgin Ankles

Comics have the ability to portray many aspects of a story in a short set of pictures and narration. It is through this brevity coupled with the approachability of comics that makes them a great medium for the dissemination of folk lore and legends. Many classic legends have been exemplified via comics in The Big Book of Urban Legends. This paper will analyse one of the legends illustrated there, “The Slasher Under the Car”, examining an interpreted meaning, and looking at how various comic elements work to amplify meaning.

This comic seems to set the story in the 1950s, the women are dressed conservatively, and in a style mimicking this period, the hairstyles and fashion mimic that of 1950’s America as well. The “gang members” are not the stereotyped gangs of today comprised of minorities in baggy clothing. Instead, they are represented as 1950’s greasers. They are all white, with slicked hair styles and leather jackets. This makes some sense, since this legend is documented by folklorist Jan Brunvand to have first appeared in this time period.(Brunvand 134-138) The comic illustrates dramatic tension in a very clear way. Throughout most this comic we only see the main characters from the knees up, we are lead to assume that these women could be the next targets—as indeed one is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Anonymity Undone

Grant Tabler
Ian Reilly
MDST 2020
15 November 2010

Anonymity Undone

The Internet has long been seen as a medium of anonymity and freedom. With the lack of governing or regulations it has become an area of free expression. However, with this freedom of anonymous speech and expression comes the darker side of anonymity. The Internet also allows for people to post slanderous or hateful things with complete freedom and safety. However, recently Blizzard Entertainment decided to take a stand against this kind of behaviour on their enormous gaming forum for the game World of Warcraft. They proposed a system which would link the first and last name from each player’s account information to all posts made on these forums. The response was an outcry from the community to cancel this change. This proposed change encapsulates many of the debates about the decentralized, anonymous model of communication on the internet as a whole, with larger implications of accountability in other aspects of life. This paper intends to highlight some of the key debates related to this change and explore the larger implications this change holds for accountability in other aspects of our lives.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A Razorblade in Our Perspective

Grant Tabler
Greg Kelley
AHSS 2020
4 November 2010

A Razorblade in Our Perspective

Halloween is a time of year that is inherently conducive to a greater amount of freedom amongst its child participants. Children are able to dress up in costume, stay out late, and eat free candy that they receive from their neighbours on a night of general goodwill. However, when one hears of Halloween in the media, this childhood freedom is curtailed by some looming threat of malicious attackers out to hurt our vulnerable loved ones. Though there are numerous examples of this perspective, this paper will choose to focus on an analysis on this media phenomenon from a documentary. In “Bowling for Columbine”, filmmaker Michael Moore’s analysis of the media exemplifies their use of negativity, consonance, and typification to control the United States through fear.