Archive for the 'video games' Category

David Perry on Video Games

Here’s a TED talk on video games. Perry shows some good examples of how various video game genres have evolved over time (and notice how educational games were not included). He also says that one of the most pervasive topics in video game creation is emotionality: “Can a video game make you cry? These are the kind of topics we care about”. Not sure if I would recommend watching the second half, though. It just shows a student film project on video games and I didn’t find it very interesting. – jimmy

Oscar Lake Reviews

A web of knowledge search gave 2 reviews of Who is Oscar Lake?:

Concha-Chiaraviglio, V. (2004). Who is Oscar Lake? Hispania, 84(3), 514-516.

Nelson, K. (1997). Quien es Oscar Lake? Hispania, 80(4), 821-822.

BU doesn’t have direct access to Hispania, but JSTOR has articles up to 2002. We might want to do an ILL for Concha-Chiaraviglio (2004), although I’m not sure if it’s worth it since it’s a product review rather than an experiment.

Here’s what Nelson (1997) had to say (plus comments):

  • The game has multiple pathways and endings, and players are free to explore the game and the activities (This reminds me of the need for a game engine, which is something Laura mentioned on Tues. According to this walkthrough , the game engine used was QuickTime projector engine 2.12)
  • The characters are entertaining, and even a bit campy (Good to know that we don’t have to be constrained by realism.)
  • Characters speak clearly and slowly enough so that even beginning students will be able to follow the action (This is our idea! Was it really CDS or foreigner talk? There really isn’t enough info, but we need to find out. Also, we don’t know if the characters are given a “guide” NPC to form an attachment to. Maybe this is can be our contribution – emotional connectedness to NPCs + enriched input)
  • There are 3 modes of player interaction: a) listen & choose (click on a text response), b) listen & speak, and c) listen & do (cues tell player to drag/click on an item)
  • The biggest drawback is that there should be more clues to help solve the mystery (Again, maybe this is where a guide NPC would help.)
  • Too much scenery that is not relevant to the progression of the game. Need more “hotspots” (Right… too much useless information gets boring. We want to motivate the player by highlighting significant events and minimizing non-relevant scenes. BUT, this only applies to the mystery game. Would multiple scenes be better if the focus were more on an NPC and less on the environment? (e.g. a walk in the park… multiple scenes would provide more opportunities to strike conversation)


Can anyone find this?

Unnamed author. (2004). Who is Oscar Lake? Hispania, 87(3), 514-516.

Abstract: Who is Oscar Lake?($56), from Language Publications Interactive, Inc., is an interactive CD-ROM on grammar and vocabulary for beginning and intermediate students of the Spanish language in school or college. This program engages students in an interactive game of mystery and intrigue and provides them with the opportunity to learn grammatical structures and vocabulary. It is an excellent supplement to Spanish language instruction.