tropes-in-video-games

It’s kind of funny when folks anthropormorphise various console publishers and make Nintendo the scrappy kid.

Like, yeah, Nintendo’s the smallest of the Big Three, but it’s also the oldest by a not inconsiderable margin.

Nintendo’s been in the gaming hardware biz since the 1880s; they started out with handcrafted playing cards.

Nintendo isn’t the scrappy kid in this equation; they’re, like, the quirky little octogenarian who’s secretly a wizard or something.

anonymous asked:

Hi, I really enjoy your blog! I have a concept for a game that's a bit complex to explain, but the gist is the protag is able to enter a dimension that's influenced by the experiences of others. He's able to help them, not through 'fixing' their mental illnesses by defeating enemies or anything, but uncovering hidden or repressed issues. I'm sorry if this is a vague desc but I wanted to ask what you think and general tips to avoid unfortunate implications? thank you sorry if this is a weird ask

Oooh, that sounds like Psychonauts, which is like one of my favorite video games of all time (see here).

Alright, so here’s my suggestions:

  • Consult with people who have the mental illness in question. Listen to and implement their input. This is critical. If you only use one of my tips, make it this one.
  • Have the mentally ill NPCs explicitly consent to having the protagonist enter these dimensions and uncover the hidden / repressed issues. 
    • Note - This is one of the few things I don’t like about Psychonauts - for many characters, the consent isn’t there, even though it ultimately helps them.

  • Have the NPCs make an appearance in the other dimension and even be an active part of uncovering their own issues.
  • Go to TVtropes. Look through the tropes on mental illness (here). If you find tropes that exactly match what you’re planning on doing, be very, very careful. Tropes are tools, but be careful to avoid overdone or offensive stereotypes. 

  • Think about incorporating some of the lesser-known mental illnesses, not just the well-known ones.

  • Even if you do only use well-known mental illnesses, shake things up a bit. Research the many different ways mental illness can be expressed. For instance, OCD isn’t always being a germophobe who excessively cleans (see here for some examples).

  • Incorporate the different mental illnesses into the game mechanics of the specific dimension. For instance, you could have the PC move more slowly in the depressed world, or have an escort mission in a world based on dependent personality disorder.

  • This one’s probably obvious, but incorporate the mental illness into the level design. In consultation with people with mental illness (mentioned in my first tip), create an environment that reflects and stylizes their experiences.

Followers, do you have any other tips?


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Just once, I would like to see game dialogue that goes like this
  • NPC: I can give you what you want, but first you must prove to me that you are worthy of your quest.
  • HEROES: Do you mean we have to defeat you in combat?
  • NPC: Don't be silly, that would be stupid.
Video Game Asks

General:

1. Do you play video games?

2. Favorite type of game(s)?

3. How long have you been playing video games?

4. What originally got you into gaming?

5. Favorite video game tropes?

6. Least favorite video game tropes?

7.  Favorite childhood video game(s)?

8.  Favorite game(s) of all time (so far)?

9. What game(s) do you most wish had a sequel or continuation?

10. What game were you hyped for, but it didn’t deliver?

11. What game were you hyped for and it did deliver?

12. Do you have a favorite video game company


You:

13. Has a game ever changed your life?

14. Has a game ever made you cry?

15. Has a game ever changed your opinion on something serious?

16. Has a game ever made you question something about yourself?

17. Have you ever wanted to live in a game? Which one?

18. Have you ever wanted an item/weapon from a game irl? Which one?


Characters:

19.  Favorite video game character(s) of your childhood?

20.  Favorite video game character(s) of all time?

21.  Have you ever been attracted to a video game character?

22.  Have you ever cried over a video game character?

23. Any videogame OTPs?

24. If you could punch one video game character in the face, who would it be?


Mechanics

25. Favorite mechanic in video games?

26. Least favorite mechanic?

27. Are there any mechanics you’ve encountered in one game, and really wanted to use in another? (e.g. A portal gun in Half Life 2)

28. Most overused mechanic in video games?

29. What’s the most ridiculous mechanic you can think of by combining two different games?


Fandom

30. Have you ever been part of a video game-based fandom?

31.  Do you have a favorite video game fic? 

32.  Favorite piece of game fanart?

33. What’s the strangest piece of game-related fanart you’ve ever seen?

34. What’s the strangest piece of game-related fanfic you’ve ever read?

35. What’s the most beautiful game-related fanfic/fanart you’ve ever seen?

Shredder’s mutated jelly heart didn’t burst when Karai stabbed it because it isn’t just a video game boss trope (glowy weak spot) as many presume…it’s a clever metaphor. 

In Darkest Plight, Karai was able to hurt Shredder by punching his heart. What it really meant was that he still cared about her and was heartbroken when Karai called him a monster instead of “father”. Afterwards he knew that in order not to be beaten again he would have to remove all emotional ties to her. Thus, his heart became impenetrable…both figuratively and literally. 

6

          it’s too late for me now. i had a job - i was god’s eyes and ears, made to watch over everything you did. but now the last day is here, and god doesn’t need me anymore. i’ll just … disappear. god just doesn’t like leaving loose ends. this was always his plan. but it’s … harder than i thought it would be.

                                       (ind. sel. Hope Estheim ; origin. ffxiii )

One of my favorite video game tropes is the ‘Boss Squad’

I love when games just have a group of SUPER BEASTS that are established early in the game that you’ll get to fight.

Like Metal Gear Solid has a really cool one

So does Skies of Arcadia

The Trails series too

but the best one is when they have all these crazy guys with different designs and powers

and then the last one is just a fucking guy with a sword and he’s more beast than all the others put together

Gone Home and the Dead Lesbian Trope.

There’s a video-game called Gone Home, where the entire game is walking around your spooky house after you come home from a trip, and trying to find out where your family has gone. Throughout the course of the game you discover that your sister Sam, has fallen in love with a girl called Lonnie. When Sam’s parents found out they forbade her from seeing Lonnie, and Lonnie was being shipped away to start serving in the military. The entire game leads to the attic, and I knew what I would find in there. I would open that door and see a corpse. There would be another heartbroken lesbian dead on the ground.
What was actually in that room was an answer phone, with a recording that Sam had gone after Lonnie because she loved her. I heard that message and broke down. The game knew what I was expecting and it chose to do something wonderful. It’s creators led us to believe that it would fall into an awful trope and gave us hope instead.

Now I look around me at all the shows with queer characters who are doing the opposite. They’re giving us hope and then taking it away. It’s immeasurably crueller. It doesn’t matter how well written it is, how well it falls into the story or makes sense. To me these things can make it worse. If you tease greatness and take it away, right now that feels worse than having nothing at all.