Community Collab: Video Game Literary Classics 101

The Prompt

Students all over the world have to read certain classic literature in school such as: Hamlet, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, Homer’s Odyssey, etc. With that in mind…

Imagine it’s 2050 and you’re helping design a course for high school students called Video Game Literary Classics. You have been asked to suggest a culturally significant video game (or several) for students to academically analyze and discuss, as they would with classic literature. Which video game title(s) would you choose for literary study and why?

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Tales from Retail – Black Friday Edition

Black Friday

The day all retail workers fear. The day the crazies come out. The day you work until you can’t stand and then work some more. One year I was on the long graveyard shift for Black Friday. I came in at 4AM and worked until 2PM. At 5AM, one of our point-of-sale computers freezes for no discernible reason. Aww jeez. We have a line out the door and around the corner, and the store is packed and sweltering. We really can’t afford to be down a register. No me gusta, amigos. Suddenly, another computer freezes. FULL RED ALERT!

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Gendered Careers – Where are the women in Pro Esports?

There has been a notable lack of a female presence at the professional level of video game competition since the dawn of esports as a profitable industry. Despite well researched demographics indicating that around 10% of players are female in most leading esports titles like League of Legends, Dota 2, Overwatch, and Counter Strike: Global Offensive and nearly 30% of esports viewership is female, less than 1% of professional players in these games are women (Yee, 2017).

Where is this gender disparity coming from and what is preventing women from successfully breaking into the esports scene as professional gamers?

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How Video Games Influenced My Life and My Writing

I have a long, involved history with video games. My childhood best friend and I bonded over Pokémon while others took to playing ball or drawing with chalk during recess. The first video game I ever owned was Pokémon Yellow. For the past twenty years I have been absolutely immersed in the world of video games, from the moment I got a Gameboy Color for Christmas when I was ten, to this past year when I finally caved and bought a Nintendo Switch.

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Star Trek Adventures with my Grandmother

I grew up watching Star Trek with my grandmother. Everyone called Grandma “Sugar” because she was so sweet toward everyone in her life. I used to spend entire weekends marathoning Star Trek episodes with her when I would visit while growing up. She passed away eight years ago on Mother’s day weekend, and I miss her.

Voyager was our favorite, but we watched them all! My cousin had gradually gifted her all the series on DVD in prior years, which was a delight. I would curl up behind the crook of her knees on the couch as a child while we watched.

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Video Games, Cleavage, and You – Player Agency in Character Customization

Recently I was asked what my opinion was on large bust size of female video game characters and I thought that would be a great topic for a longer post. The short answer is: The size of a female character’s bust surprisingly does not matter. What does matter is whether that particular physical trait is forced on the player and if or how a character’s attire and animations (chest thrust, “come hither” expression, etc.) highlight it. Some gamers love to play seductive characters, while others prefer reserved or practical looks. Both are fine! The key factor is player agency.

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Calico Kickstarter; “unapologetically feminine”, with so many animals (Fully funded!)

I am a shameless Kickstarter junkie and I wanted to share a little info on Calico, which was successfully funded at 230% of their original goal about a week ago and is now in a brief late pledge period. This title is incredibly cute and worth a look!

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Gris Review (Switch) – an emotional masterpiece

Gris is a game I never knew I needed and yet wish had been developed years ago. Whomever had the idea for this game has a heart made of gold. Gris’s story is one that speaks most clearly to those who have experienced intense hardship or loss. It is meant to resonate somewhere deep within your soul, a quietly rising, inspirational call to the part of you that would never give up in the face of tragedy.

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The World Next Door Review (Switch); a regretful lark

The World Next Door makes a great first impression with its unique character designs and interesting art style, which is a pleasant blend of mystical, rustic fantasy elements and modern urban sensibilities. The environments are vibrant and detailed, with lovingly designed NPCs inhabiting the world. However, there are not enough of them.

While absolutely beautiful, the world feels oddly empty as you move from area to area, even places such as the market that are typically a hub of activity in any other game. Just a handful of additional NPCs would have made the world of Emrys feel more alive. The World Next Door is a pretty package disguising a lack of functional content…

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The Gamer Girl’s Comeback Playbook

As a woman playing competitive online multiplayer games like Overwatch and CS:GO, it can be disappointingly common to encounter targeted, sexist harassment. For whatever reason, when certain types of players realize they are playing with or against a woman, they just kind of freak out –– aaaabsolutely cannot handle it at all. Yet somehow, harassers never expect spicy trash talk in response.

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