Thursday, April 26, 2012

Introduction

Hello! Before I begin reviewing, I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself and explain what I'm doing here.

I am a library associate in an academic library and am currently working on my Master's degree in English literature. I have yet to choose a topic for my master's thesis, but I am leaning toward writing something related to video games -- thus the idea for this blog. 

This is the first "real" blog I have created, though I have been cataloging my thoughts on LiveJournal since 2004. The format will be semi-formal, meaning that I intend to stick to a fairly specific format with my entries, but I might have a few unusual posts scattered throughout. 

Let me make this clear: I do not intend to get into any arguments or debate any controversies. This includes the topics of video game violence (beyond what I am going to write on it in this intro), console wars, and ESRB ratings. My focus is on making analyses of video games, not discussing politics. Please do not post comments trying to start an argument. I do not tolerate trolls. If you wish to participate in childish debates, I suggest you go here

That said, a disclaimer: I do not own an X-Box, 360 or otherwise. My reviews will likely be strictly Playstation and Nintendo related. I apologize if you were looking for X-Box exclusive reviews.

Now for my brief views on video game violence. I found this blog post that expresses the common opinion of those who assume that video games are nothing but violent and evil brain-suckers. As someone who is well versed in popular and classic literature, as well as popular and "classic" video games, my opinion is naturally contrary to that of the linked blogger. Here is a fact: violence can be found in many popular video games, but it can also be found in equal or greater quantities in popular books (I state the possibility of greater amounts of violence in books because video games are monitored by the ESRB and cannot contain graphic sex, rape, or violence towards children without being rated extremely harshly, but books are not set to such high rating standards). As an example, here is the Amazon.com description of a book that is currently on the New York Times bestseller list at the time I am writing this:
Kill Shot:
In the year since the CIA trained and then unleashed him, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each swift and untraceable kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians in the Pan Am Lockerbie attack become increasingly aware that someone is hunting them. Rapp is given his next target, and finds the man asleep in his bed in Paris. In the split second it takes the bullet to leave Rapp’s silenced pistol, the trap is sprung and he finds himself in the fight of his life.
The next morning, nine bodies are discovered in one of Paris’s finest hotels—among them the Libyan oil minister. Back in Washington the finger-pointing begins in earnest as no one wants any part in what has become an international crisis and potential embarrassment for the CIA. Rapp’s handlers have only one choice—deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way.
Rapp must avoid capture or die quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving such important things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and Stan Hurley will not allow Rapp to be taken alive by the French authorities, even if it means killing him. Operating on his own and outside the control of his handlers, it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.
In Flynn’s newest page-turner, the stakes are higher than they’ve ever been as Mitch Rapp embarks on the journey that will turn him into America’s most deadly asset. The nonstop action in this shockingly realistic political thriller will keep your pulse pounding till the very end.
 I really feel no need to say any more on the matter. Anyone who makes the generalization that all video games are violent and evil either needs to back off or point that finger at all forms of entertainment media, including books.

Throughout my blogging experience, I will likely attempt to categorize video games similarly to the way that books are categorized. We all know that books and video games can fall into distinct genres, but there are other categories to look at, as well. One of these categories is intended audience. The multitude of "casual" games that have been released lately (see the "seek and find" genre) could be likened to "pulp fiction" or harlequin romance paperback genres -- books that are written and published very quickly without very much production or advertisement. There are also games that could be said to fall into the canon of classic video games.

I'm going to finish this post by showing a video I found about preserving classic video games. One of the panelists is even a librarian with the Library of Congress, and another is from the Smithsonian:



Thank you for reading my very long introduction, and I hope you enjoy my forthcoming reviews!


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