The best thing about playing an RPG or most games in general is having the opportunity to create your own character who will be representing “you” during your time with a game. The possibilities are literally endless. You can either create a likeness of you to play as in the game or you can create an entirely different character who looks nothing like you. It’s your choice. When you’ve got options at your disposal, there’s no telling how long you’ll spend on the character creation screen until you get your character just right.
It’s November 18 and it’s a special day for all Dragon Age fans. And if you’re not a Dragon Age fan and have no idea what I’m talking about, then I’m surprised you’ve been able to steer clear of all the video game news bits leading up to this day. Dragon Age: Inquisition has finally been released in stores in North America and it’s literally like Christmas for the whole lot of us.
The buzz and excitement around E3 may have died down, but my own personal excitement over the presentation Bioware gave at the conference for their next installment of the Dragon Age series, Dragon Age: Inquisition has not. A new game trailer for the game has been released and its spectacular. Fans of the series are cautiously excited from the comments I’ve seen in articles pertaining to the game. Understandably, some are still sore over how the ending to Mass Effect 3 was handled and Dragon Age 2 wasn’t exactly the strongest installment of the series, but I’m particularly confident about Inquisition.
One of the biggest problems you don’t anticipate when you are slowly taking stock of the games you’re trying to complete in your backlog is where you go next from the last point you saved. The problem is only made worse when you haven’t touched the game in about 4 or 5 years.
Black Desert, a new MMO that’s still in closed beta, is a gorgeous-looking game that I’ve just had the privilege to discover. Developed by Korean company Pearl Abyss, Black Desert will deliver a variety of experiences inside of its sandbox atmosphere including open-world combat, castle sieges, and real estate opportunities that will allow a limited amount of houses to be bought by players. The game itself looks beautiful and definitely “next-gen,” which becomes obvious in the latest character creation video. Continue reading Black Desert’s character creation is amazingly impressive!
Usually when we choose to purchase a video game, we tend to make our choices based on reviews, gameplay, graphics, and story. What often gets overlooked is the time and detail artists take to make the environment you’re playing in truly spectacular.
According to a scientific study (these scientists love performing studies), spending time as a virtual character in a role-playing game can “numb you to realizing important body signals in real life.” This supposedly includes a change in a person’s response to physical pain as video games somehow manage to desensitize a person’s perception of pain not only in themselves, but in others as well.
“Participants were asked how much time they spend each week playing video games. Their responses were then correlated with a measure of pain tolerance by counting the number of paperclips that they could retrieve from ice-cold water. In a second experiment, participants played either an immersive or a nonimmersive computer game before taking part in the same pain-resistance task.
“The immersive video-game players exhibited a reduced sensitivity to pain and removed significantly more paperclips from ice-cold water. They were also more indifferent to people depicted as experiencing displeasure than were the nonimmersive players.”
This reaction is apparently caused because the “human-machine boundary is increasingly being blurred, either by humans entering virtual machines/robots, or by anthropomorphizing, in other words adding human qualities to animated figures and toys. Machines are being programmed to attract human inclinations, while virtual characters and robots have started to perform tasks or roles that were traditionally held by humans, such as that of robot counselling therapists. In such an environment it becomes increasingly easy and normal to regard artificial beings as akin to human beings.”
I can’t be the only one that believes the absolute opposite. RPGs — my favorite games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy– all of them have only introduced more emotion to my life. If anything, compelling stories, consequences, and immersive characters have only made me more sensitive to the beauty and tragedy of life. These games have tested my morals and patience, my ability to choose between ruthlessness or mercy. If anything, these games have only introduced an intense depth of emotional understanding.
Ulrich Weger of the University of Witten/Herdeck in Germany stated, “We see this blurring as a reality of our time but also as a confused and misleading development that has begun to shape society. We believe this should be balanced by other developments, for example, by working on our awareness of what it really means to be human. We should also look into how we can best make use of the beneficial applications of robotic or artificial intelligence advances, so as to be able to use our freed up resources and individual potentials wisely rather than becoming enslaved by those advances.”
Perhaps it’s because I’m extremely passionate about the emotional capabilities of gaming, but I only see ignorance inside studies such as this. Besides… I’ve put in countless of hours into RPGs. Physical pain still hurts like a bitch!