Pioneer Project

Enjoying video games a little differently.
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  • I think I’m nearing the end of Bloodborne… I’ve really enjoyed it. Not what I was expecting at all.
 
 
 

Inspiration

I'm often asked why I like video games - particularly as a girl. It's actually quite hard to explain an interest that's been running in parallel with my entire life. I'll do my best to describe my own personal affiliation with games.

Community

Despite what non-gamers may say about video games one of the things I most appreciate about it is the community, despite the press we’re a really friendly, imaginative bunch. I particularly enjoy the conversations I can have with someone that shares my love of games. This is often quite rare as gamers are often forced to keep largely quiet about what they’ve been playing so nothing pleases me more than to sit and actually listen to someone’s experiences.

Video games have allowed me to meet loads of fabulous gamers from all over the world, and although online services such as Xbox Live allow users to play multiplayer games, being able to play games with people in the same room as me is one of my favourite things to do.

The classic pose of Sonic the Hedgehog

Customisation

I like being part of something that still young and while excellent, still has room for innovation and change. One of the nice things about being part of something that’s growing exponentially is that it still has a long way to go before becoming properly mainstream, so many pleasant experiences feel very personal and unique to the player.

There are usually a limitless number of ways a game can be experienced, imaginative gamers invent new ways to play their favourite games, and progression in PC games (and increasingly) console games show that games can be modified by the player to tailor the end experience more often.

A wireframe of Final Fantasy 7's Midgar.

You exist because we allow it, and you will end because we demand it.

Sovereign, Mass Effect

Wanda and Agro chase a flying Colossus.

Creativity

I think games are an incredibly powerful form of entertainment as they have the ability to provoke a spectrum of emotions from people. This is because it’s much easier to to feel immersed in a situation if you are actually playing it.

This is because of the amount of work involved to polish the game experience as much as possible. Artists, designers, programmers, writers, user experience developers. The creative energy involved matches other mediums. Video games can be beautifully crafted or thrown together, but their individual creativeness is certain to entertain someone, even briefly.

Lester looks over an alien world.

Strength without determination means nothing, and determination without strength is equally useless.

Godo, Final Fantasy VII

Music

Most of the music I listen to is from video game soundtracks, mainly because they are beautiful or catchy outside of their original context. Game music is diverse, extraordinary and usually quite beautiful, often composers have to work that much harder to work with the restraints of the system the game needs to work on, and the result is an extremely polished set of original songs.

Fan remixes and tributes are ever popular, and they occur because game music is examined in great detail through repeated playthroughs. Music becomes the background to the mood of the game, an important mood-setting device that helps the user settle into the experience.

Orta and Lagi the dragon fly together.

Yet even then we ran like the wind whilst our laughter echoed, under cerulean skies.

Chrono Cross

Leon, Ashley and Ada face the Los Ganados.

Nostalgia

For every moment in my life there has a great game. I remember my earliest memories, and my happiest and saddest times as they are bookmarked by what I was currently playing, in the same way that a piece of a music can return you back to another time.

I also spend a lot of time trying to capture the magic of playing a game back when I was child, I replay games I’ve completed before, or try new games from the same era. Favourite games are remembered and discussed forever.

Three PSO characters meet in a shop on Pioneer 2.

That gun came off of one of the same hunter choppers that you are up against. I always like to bring a little irony to a firefight.

Half Life 2

Ico and Yorda escape past the windmill.

Locations

The setting of a game is as defining as its central characters. A good game isn’t just the backdrop for the narrative, but the tie between the player and the game experience. This is because every great game location sticks in the mind for a particular reason. Even the most linear of environments has detail, colours, objects and events which help to cement a clear picture.

It’s the location that usually dictates the artistic direction for the game, the sights and sounds in HD or 2D. The most successful game locations stick in the mind as clearly as real towns or cities.

My horse in Oblivion.


Recently played & written about
Animal Crossing: New Leaf, 3DS Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate 3DS. Ni No Kuni, PS3 Panzer Dragoon Saga, Saturn Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, PS3 & PSP Tombi, PSX
 
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