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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Guild Wars 2: The next step in MMOs?

Moving is serious business, especially when you're playing tetris with your furniture. While not everything is unpacked yet, I didn't expect it to take quite this long to get back to blogging, but life is life. That said, I want to continue the discourse from my last post regarding how cooperation is executed in games. With the advent of Guild Wars 2's first anniversary August 30th, I thought it would be a great parallel post to focus on.

Gotta love XKCD

I've only been able to be at launch for one other MMO in my life so far and that was Shin Megami Tensei Imagine. While I loved the idea of the game and the ability to persuade demons & youkai to my team and go around Pokemon style in a cyberpunk setting, the MMO never quite picked up like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars has. The lag, lack of players (and friends playing with me) after the first couple of months, and the inability of my laptop to play the game made me give up. I needed friends to really do dungeons, and when you can't even get a party together after a couple of hours because you can't find anyone within your level range and willing, it's rather a detriment. I'd like to go back eventually because I love the whole SMT series, but ultimately I think the MMO failed because of it was an earlier free to play MMO. To get ahead in the game, I would have had to spend money- money I couldn't afford, which was why I was happy to play this MMO.

A great game artistically at the very least, I hope it's something I can go back to someday without having to pay to win/play.

With Guild Wars 2, While I never played the original, I paid my initial $60.00 to buy a physical copy (I'm a bit old fashioned in that aspect I guess, I like being able to hold a game if I can) But having a company at least having an initial bit of money to fund the production of the game plus any money spent into its in game currency called gems in this instance, Guild Wars two takes a middling approach from the traditional monthly subscription fee business model. I for one enjoy this. I don't have to feel guilty that I'm wasting my time not playing because of how much I might pay a month or that I would need to cancel and renew as needed. With this more laid back attitude, I'm more relaxed in playing and thus I think more people are willing to play as the MMO is not bare bones, yet not as grindy for a constant need to keep player count active. I will say though that player count did drop significantly for a few months before they started releasing their monthly and bimonthly Living Story expansions. By these mini expansions coupled with a few game mechanic aspects unique to Guild Wars 2 gamer attendance is relatively stable.

Rawr! I'm a dragon!

The biggest mechanic that I want to mention here is the dynamic event mechanic. A player can find come across a random event that will trigger upon arrival into the area. It can be pretty much anything from collecting to escorting, to killing something really big. You don't have to be there from the start however and any amount of participation (whether alone, or in a zerg group) will net you some amount of reward. With this along with regular heart quests (which take place of regular quests), regional bosses, and three behemoth sized dragons make playing together in a group or as a map easier and much more fun. Luckily, most of these dynamic events and heart quests can be soloed, but for any world events or map event such a the claw of Jormag, Tequatl the sunless, or the Shatterer, dragon champions representing elemental dragons that have been plaguing the land of Tyria with their corrupted minions in tangent with Zhaitan, the games ultimate boss must be played cooperatively. Because of this, Guild Wars 2 rewards accordingly. Along with daily, monthly, and a slew of other achievements, the rewards for most of these feats are rather nice. In addition, a character is never vying for a fair share of the loot; every person is allotted a balanced share of the awards so there isn't the tension of rolling for loot within a party or guild.

Tequatl the Sunless, who is actually going to get beefed up in the next expansion since players have figured out pretty much everything about this guy.

Finally dungeons round out the PvE experience. These are the one other aspect of the game that cannot be soloed. One has a party of up to five people (though it's possible with one or two less) to tackle a dungeon particular to that area. There is incentive too to play more than just the initial time in “story mode” as there are three different branches opened up to the player after story mode in “explorable mode”. Explorable mode has a different boss to fight at the end of each branching route of varying difficulty and add extra fun and variety to an existing dungeon.

Honor of the waves, one of the prettiest dungeons, you're fighting on a giant ice ship trying to save the Kodans, giant polar bear people who have had to flee from Zhaitan, the colossal death dragon that's the boss of the MMO so far.

By having parties team up and creating a bonding experience over something completely new or the slightly familiar, I think Arena Net, the creator of Guild Wars 2 has the right idea in the particular mix they have going for them. There are other aspects which I haven’t mentioned such as World v World, a gargantuan map that pairs server vs server or SpvP which is more scaled down to individual teams of players fighting against each other with the mob Ais aren't enough of a challenge anymore, but that will be for another time. The cooperative focus on parties and spontaneous groupings of players to defeat a threat create a more engaging and familial environment, building upon the MMOs that came before it. Coupled with the biweekly expansions constantly churning out new content, Guild Wars 2 certainly can be considered a evolutionary step up in the MMO theatre.

The events even overlap with other heart quests or even other dynamic events

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cooperation is the Name of the Game

No post last week due to some birthday celebrations. Next week will have no post as well unfortunately due to it being near moving day. This week's post however will be a two partner post. This week's post will focus on Cooperation mechanics in games and how they evolved to reflect gamers for nearly 30 years. The post after will then focus on Guildwars 2 for PC, focusing on the cooperation mechanics in it and how they compare to current MMO's in the market.

With that in mind, it's a great idea to first get acquainted with the onset of playing cooperatively rather than competitively. In Pong, one could play against both the computer or another player. Competition was encouraged and while the game was simplistic, it started a trend as the first successful video game to play against a friend rather than with them. Usually when we think of games, we think of a player by themselves or playing against another player. Back when games were taking off in the 70's the limitations on technology blocked the progress of co-op. Therefore some of the earliest co-op games were beat 'em up/brawler games like Double Dragon or Streets of Rage which came out in the 1980's and culminating popularity with Street Fighter II. Later on when more advanced games came to home consoles, they reached a new level of popularity. Some series like the Tales games were unusual in that they were co-op RPGs. They had the ability to play with up to 4 players which otherwise would have been controlled with AI. Games like Sonic, Donkey Kong Country and co-op sports games continued the trend which continued until the introduction of 3D games like the N64.

Once the N64 came out with 4 ports for controllers, other consoles followed suit including Dreamcast, Xbox and Gamecube. With the new threshold came more delay in co-op as the 64 was limited in capacity at first. Two games even required extra ram which was sold separately a few years later but only had competitive multiplayer in Donkey Kong 64.

It's as fun as a mine cart full of monkeys (and apes of course)

On the PC side however, technology was introduced much faster by nature of the PC itself. This rapid improvement led the PC to become a mainstay for co-op gaming. Doom, release in 1993 led the way for FPS's. While it's competitive deathmatches were most popular, it did support co-op. Diablo the help of Battlenet let characters complete campaign modes together. It wasn't much of a jump then until the early MMOs then started to emerge. MMO gaming changed the whole outset of how many gamers play games today. The ability to actively fix a live game for bugs rather than live with a defect or to interact with players experiences and wishes gave rise to the notion of a connected gaming community. In games like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. The most well known MMO of course is World of Warcraft. By partying up to work on completing quests and later on in Dungeons, world bosses and raids, players could collaborate on a much wider scale and could then accomplish feats that simply weren't possible with console games. Antics such as the famous Leeroy Jenkins meme show the consequences of individual's actions on the group are that much more magnified as such acts can have widespread repercussions. Everything is live compared to redoing or restarting a game. Taking the time to plan dungeons runs or strategies to take down a boss are dependent on everyone withing a group.

Yay! They did it!

 Games such as MMOs could also retain a constant presence in cyberspace as it could be played around the world. Some more recent MMOs that are great examples of games that have complex co-op games such as EVE Online (a truly neutral environment), Left for Dead 2 (one of the most popular Steam co-op games) and Guildwars 2, by Arenanet. Guildwars 2 uses WOW's techniques and builds upon them, stressing cooperation between other players on the server by not dividing a set amount of loot when dropped by an enemy. Each player receives their own nominally equal share of the loot. In addition, one gains experience by reviving a fallen player. More will be discussed on this and how such reciprocity affect the culture of Guildwars 2.

The Claw of Jormag, a rather fun battle that can draw players from all over the world map.

The next time you play something, try thinking about the general atmosphere and culture of the game you're playing. How does it compare between competitive games and co-op games. While many competitive games are great ways to release tension and aggression, co-op can can be help in creating community and bonds between players as they much work together to solve a problem which I think can be under appreciated sometimes. Every player has their own preferences of course, but I must encourage others to think on the amount of positive impact they can have as compared to competitive games, especially for younger gamers.

My own toon. If you're on IoJ, maybe you'll see me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

JRPGs Today: The Dissipating Health of Full Blown JRPGs in the Global Theatre

When was the last time you played a proper JRPG? No, I'm not talking about something on your phone, or a ported DS or Vita version of something, I'm referring to one which you can view on that flat screen of yours in all its glory. Such occurrences and getting fewer and fewer as many JRPG's that are localized are  either being ported to handhelds or simply not making their way to the States or the EU at all, forcing lovers of certain series to obtain translations or find non region locked handhelds in order to play the next installment  What happened? Is it simply a money issue that we aren't seeing such games? Was the 90's truly the end of a golden age for non Japanese RPGers?

When I talk about RPGs or Role Playing Games to those that are new to the genre, I'm typically talking about some grand epic that you have a party of characters setting out for in a turn based or RTS based setting. Such games usually get the most bang for your buck if you are speaking simply about content completion, having many games span over 40 hours and more if you intend to play any side quests that are frequently there to flush out the game or incorporate character development. One of the most important aspects of such JRPGs is the bonds that you create with your party. After developing your characters for hours living a story with them, you tend to grow attached to them. When a game can get you caring about a character by the experiences you've shared with them, I'd like to say that makes a great game.

A perfect example of some of the issues I'd like to bring up can be found with the Tales Series. Developed mainly by “Namco Bandai Games (formerly Namco), and primarily developed by its subsidiary, Namco Tales Studio” (wikipedia), It has had the issues of lack of localization, porting to less powerful systems, and overall, a general lack of advertising outside of Japan. While advertising has always been an issue for any non American game in the states, the ability to procure legitimate copies of games or games on their original formats is quite troubling. You can find a list of the games in the series here.

Tales of Symphonia was the first 3d Tales game and the first released on GC in the States. Tales of Phantasia here is the first game of the series and used a side scrolling battle system for their battle mechanics.

With the Tales series, if you had wanted to play Tales of Phantasia, the first game in the series in America, you had to wait til 2006 from 1995 to play it. A difference of 11 years is rather much. And while each game (with a few exceptions) is an independent installment of the next games, the fact that such things are so out of touch with outside markets where there are plenty of fans and potential customers seems to only harm the outlook of future games. In addition, Tales of Phantasia originally started out on the SNES. While in this instance being ported to GBA was an inprovement in systems, the difference of 11 years needs to be taken into account as Nintendo wasn't selling regular Game boys at that point. For Their newest released games which I am currently playing, Tales of Xillia released August 6th of this month here in the states. In Japan, Tales of Xillia 2 is already out. The original Tales of Xillia being released there in 2011. While a difference of 2 years is much more understandable, especially in regards to laws and the task of translating, my interest is piqued as to why at this point in time if trends of popularity for games such as this have been proven, why not incorporate alternate subtitles upon release of the original game? Money and capital are usually the answer to this, but I would think that with a greater length of time to sell units would be a plus compared to waiting years to possibly release something on a global scale. Namco isn't a small company. 

The first Tales of Xillia

While most people new to RPGs would think of the Final Fantasy series being the first JRPG that they would think about, Square has had different issues to contend with. Unfortunately, while they have been great about porting their games within a understandable time frame and their rendering abilities have only increased, their content, use of rehashing older installments, and general lack of understanding the MMO world have dropped them from being the crown jewel of JRPGs. No I don't think they are dead, but they are floundering. I believe the upper echelon has become stagnated, and that they need to work on new IP. With the renaming of Final Fantasy XIII Versus to Final Fantasy XV after years in development limbo, I think they've lost their focus on trying to make a great game instead focusing on increased cup size and  of  boob jiggling Lightning, their Protagonist for the Fabula Nova Crystallis series.

 B to a C eh? Lemme just use some of my magic here and distract these Malboros from using bad breath. 

 The apparent trend to cater to fan service while leaving story and strong female leads to the wayside tells me that Square is falling prey to following rather than leading in the market. The originality of story line and mechanics were defining factors back in their hey day. Do I think they can rise again to their former greatness? Possibly, but they're going to have to act fast or fail if the next few games keep disappointing us with sub par gameplay. In addition, with there being much more female gamers within the demographics now, ostracizing and focusing on male geared fan service probably isn't the best tactic to use. While I love alternative outfits and JRPGs have always had a penchant for the impossible as far as keeping things in their proper place, it's getting rather ridiculous when the characters starts to lose their sense of self in lieu of some extra boob jiggle.

So while I hope to get as many games as I can legitimately, if I have to I will find a way to play Tales of Destiny here in America, I'd just rather pay Namco properly you know? Unless they really do want to keep such games just for Japanese, but I don't think that's just the case. In the mean time, I better go brush up on my Katakana or look for a translated script...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Logo Progress

No formal post this week, I'm working on a new logo for the site here. Posting will resume this weekend. The topic for this week will be The state of JRPGs in the current market. Are they doomed to be moved to handhelds (which are being ousted by smartphones themselves)? How about the free to play,  or pay to win models? We shall see...

A rough drawing of what's to come.

and... a color version. Now to figure out how to adjust it as a header and all that jazz after adding some swanky font.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Siren's Song of Gaming: Symphonic Renditions of Video games

I was a weird kid. I grew up without exposure to a lot of popular music of the day, unfortunatly so I was always behind the curve on what my friends were listening to. But because of this, I had always had the fantasy of hearing some of my favorite video games in concert instead of these more well known bands. Never would I have thought years later that I was not alone in such endeavors. Nowadays, you have a plethora of concerts touring around the world. Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy, The Legend of Zelda's Symphony of the Goddesses , and Video Games Live are just a few of the big name concerts to emerge within the last few years. Many of these concerts are affordable to go see as well, selling seats for around $25.00; less than a brand new game in most instances (Steam sales excluded of course). In addition to these professional concerts, numerous tribute bands, remixes, and inspired renditions by fans assault the internet everyday. These showings of appreciation for music emphasis to the casual onlooker the importance of music and musical quality that many developers are now striving to implement in their games as well.

I haven't gotten the chance to see Distant Worlds yet, but it's on my list.

While we are long done with the days of 8-bit music, retro games such as Minecraft make use with the comparable graphics as it fits the nostalgia factor. Many franchises are hitting 20 and 25 years respectively, bringing about an awareness of the progress they’ve made throughout the last two decades in video games. While some companies are getting back to their roots with ports and reboots, others are shooting for more and more realistic graphics using motion capture technology. This new standard equally calls for quality musical composition, of which more and more composers and organizations are collaborating with. Pacific Symphony orchestra in Costa Mesa did the music for Diablo III. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, a Level 5 game for PS3 had the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra as its soundtrack for the game (and no wonder, with Studio Ghibli doing the art for it!). Even if Music isn’t your “thing”, you can't deny the power of presence that it evokes on a game. 

Rawr! I'm a dragon!

Another interesting phenomena that has been taking place are the introduction of soundtracks in collector editions or on their own on sites like Amazon or itunes. The notion of being able to listen to your music from a legitimate copy rather than a rip from the game helps to bond fans further with the games they love. And while not everyone loves every games they play, you have to admit, it’s rather fun to drive on the highway blasting some fighting music (Soul Calibur V is a favorite of mine right now) on your way home after a day of work.

Not to mention an artbook, but that will be a post for later when I touch on concept art.

While classic composers like Koji Kondo, Shoji Meguro, or Nobuo Uematsu might not be household names yet, there are nonetheless a current stream of up & coming composers that are redefining the industry with the current pace of technology. Composers such as Jesper Kyd of the Assassin’s Creed series, Gustavo Santaolalla from The Last of Us, (normally a film composer) are taking center stage with their music. This focus on quality music rivals many tent pole films nowadays, so the next time you unwrap a new game (or finish downloading it) give a thought to who is making the music, you might just hear it in a concert near you.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Evolution of the NPC & Morality Mechanics

I apologize for not posting last week. Real life kept me busy a bit more than I thought and I recently got into Magic the Gathering, so I was off learning about extort & detain mechanics

NPC's are without a doubt essential to gaming. They move the storyline along, provide goals & incentives for the player, help them out via actions, items, or upgrades & add to the overall immersion & ambiance of believably for a game. Having a town with no people is rather an eerie thing in real life, yet when working in the early days of 8 & 16 bit gaming, NPCs solely for ambiance were few & far between to where they are nowadays. Regardless of how such rendering has improved, the fact that they are there & interact with the player are crucial factors that lend to the immersion. 

Celadon City, the early days

In addition to NPC's being more present in current games, that means we have more and more ways to interact with these NPCs. New mechanics such as the paragon/renegade stat in the Mass Effects series (or morality as a stat which effects choices you can make in general), the morality mechanic in many of Bethesda's games & the Fable series, of which then alter your character psychically to reflect their inner self.

 In regards to a good/evil dichotomy which many games started out with when dealing with morality mechanics, many were either be too simplistic in its transparency of choices. By blatantly having you make choices that were extremes of good or bad, it could deter from the game in not giving the player interesting or ethical questions to think about. Such black & white sides often block out deviations of plot scenarios or force the player to make uncharacteristic choices according to the story. In addition, many games that utilize this mechanic do not have the player take responsibility for their actions. If you were to go and kill a village of people in a game, most likely the next town wouldn't react to murder on that scale and treat you as any other traveler. With a more grey scale system, such acts could either be accumulated in points or scale of the act. 

As with the  Mass Effect series, Shepard's morality is based on the paragon/renegade system. While the player is able to complete the storyline with a focus on either paragon or renegade, dialogue is changed or may not be present, and character reactions are different as well. Her physical appearance changes as well, if not to the degree of the Fable series. While the responsibility factor is not as highlighted as other games, this control and customization over the Shepard's personality & reputation help to form a better bond between Character & player through her interaction & decisions with NPCs.

Just because she's evil doesn't mean she can't do nice things now and again.

In regards to the utility of NPCs in current games, the Fable series is a great game that integrates morality & how NPCs can interact with the player as well, which change depending on the morality (and corresponding psychical appearance) of the player. It's a bit of a simulation, so you can eventually get married, have kids, and even rule a kingdom, which only highlights the choices you have to make. 

Yes minion, your  service is appreciated.

Having more interaction also means having more dialogue. We've come a long way from the one liners that never change, even if the protagonist is on the run from the royal guard or some princess gets kidnapped . By engaging and reacting to the players' actions with more realistic and empathetic responses, the NPCs within a game are another major factor in creating an established connection and giving a sense of a game being alive. Having a city with a bustling market & only 5 people in it doesn't lend to its credibility in this day and age. Before, having to create multiple characters for background purposes and aesthetics was cut down heavily in lieu of other mechanics that mattered more or because a developer might have had a deadline to meet. With the advancement of rendering technology, different textures on NPC's, more diverse character skins, gender markers (such as bows or beards) and bigger budgets from larger developers, such parts of games that were previously glazed over are seeing proper treatment as developers realize that these additions can lend to a more polished game.

Looks much more like a market now doesn't it?

In addition to these deeper bonds, some will lead to romantic relationships. Some games, such as Persona 3 & Persona 4, even track more advanced interactions usually seen in dating sims. By maxing out a relationship with a character, the protagonist can become closer to an NPC, which grants better stat bonuses and a greater affinity for the arcana she represents. This affects the ease of capturing certain personas and also unlocks the ultimate persona of that arcana. These added benefits are the driving force in how someone picks how they interact with another character, but the amount of choice required to build that relationship makes the gameplay much more morally ambiguous. 

I went for Yukiko myself, she was such an Oujousan

Having that "market feel" as a character is introduced to a city, the sorrow of seeing a child you helped in an earlier side quest get killed, the excitement to joining a guild and learning all about them & their secrets are all much more believable now that these choices must be made. And while imagination will always trump an  a a game with a certain visual setting, much like a movie of a book can change how you see the book from then on, the refinement of NPCs via their relationships with a character as well as their reaction to a player's choices all lend to the sustaining of believably and enjoyment of a game.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Mad (and not so Mad) Scientist

WORLD DOMINATION! A UTOPIA! FREE ICE CREAM FOR EVERYONE! All could be valid excuses for the myriad mad scientists within videogames. From the outset, these power & control hungry men & women of science have been standard villains. Many of these villains also frame our term of "classic" videogames and are the foundation for popular games today. My question here is why do they make such great villains to begin with & how madness (in relation to villains) affects the story & player.

One of the great things about Mad scientists is that they truly believe what they are doing (whether it be destroy the world or to turn everyone into robots), so they can have noble intentions that for whatever reason goes askew. Sometimes, the plan is benign as well & it's simply an accident that almost dooms the world that makes the scientist "mad" for simply attempting something. These lovable characters like Lucca are on the low end of the scale. Usually they might be protagonists or friends of the protagonists and they try to right the wrongs they've created. Sometimes you get such characters as villains as they either change their mind & go along with such mistakes or they attempt to solve the problem but makes matters worse.

A little crazy, but a loyal friend to the group. She even sets up an orphanage later on! 

In other instances though, the scientist has either lost touch with their faith in humanity, their empathy, or are seeking revenge that they believe to be retribution for the grievances done to them. Dr. Neo Cortex would be a great example of this. He's seeking revenge in the form of world domination by creating a chimera like army with animals. After creating & rejecting Crash the protagonist (who is linked greatly with Cortex as he wouldn't have such a persona otherwise), he turns his attention on eliminating Crash, who keeps foiling him. 

This Blood feud only escalates every games, making the mad scientist who can try world domination with another invention ( and thus letting the same antagonist live throughout the games) be a great commodity for sequels. By creating a bond with the same villain, it saves on the developers end for roughly the type of relationship between characters and give a sense of familiarity between games. This works for most games as long as they are not too similar in plot and/or mechanics and can even lead to creating a villain gone friend trope by having them both band together against a common enemy. 

Pew Pew guns are cool don't you know?

For many games that only intend to due a limited number of sequels or one shot games (usually, but not in all cases of course) the disconnect of the mad scientist to the rest of the world & the reasons why a "crazy" person has been put in charge of something that can change or destroy the world are possible is the main focus. Ideologies such as alturism, hubris, or playing god; issues that are fragile to begin with that much more dangerous when they become warped or rationalized to the point that everything is going to hell. The brilliant denizens of Rapture from the Bioshock series are great examples of this, not realizing that even though they think they are above scrubbing the toilets, that such jobs are integral functions to society. Andrew Ryan & Sofia Lamb are on opposite ends of schools of thought, but both beliefs are taken out of control, igniting a civil war that turned the city into a dystopia. 

You look errr lovely...dear, that glowing around the eyes really suits you

At other times, the scientist needs to lose their empathy specifically to gain the ability to save the world. I was talking to someone earlier about how someone pressing a button to bomb a city that has a plague for making zombies is in a tight position if they are trying to be simply a humanist. Do you go the altruistic route & knowingly kill people to potentially save the world, or do you quarantine the place with the potential of not being able to stop the plague/virus in the hope that it won't get out of hand? I had previously thought that both would be just as bad because you were unable to save everyone, so you should try & quarantine them, based on the fact that you don't have facts, you have assumptions (that you can't find another way, or a cure, or that this plague won't spread regardless of killing the city). Having the issue be based on logic however, the altruistic choice of killing the city "for the greater good" seems the best of a worst situation scenario. But that also means that you just commited murder as well (you monster!). Or are you? By doing such a thing, you could be labled as "mad" & "monstrous" couldn't you? You lose your reputation & agency at that point unless you continue to act out to keep your power, which could then verify people of such "insanity on your part". And then you have an "us against them" mentality, or a pesky hero trying to stop you from destroying more cities, or coming your way to put an end to you. You see where this is going?

Ultimately such a fine line of labeling is largely based on ethics & perceptions then, which is so interesting to see such a humanized (and thus identifiable) story from a different angle. Some games use this to their advantage having you pick sides that both seem to be "right" to them. In the area of the mad scientist trope however, the "other side" is usually explained as it sets the rules and goals that the protagonist must reside within to resolve an issue or meet a goal.

Cave Johnson here!

In games where mad scientists themselves but the effects they have on a game play a more important role such as the people of Chronopolis in Chrono Trigger & Chrono Cross the Portal series their failures are seen as hamartia of the human race and warnings to future generations. These lasting effects are usually big plot points in a story and play an active role in how a game plays. Because the Scientist trope is all about inventing & imagination, these instances become great little experiments to further explore human nature with things we are believing we can invent (or at least want to invent) & the ramifications of each. And while things may go terribly wrong in the games, the issues being dealt with are all great things to think about as our world is constantly upgrading itself.