Friday, January 3, 2014

January 2014: Forces of Nature

January 2014's topic, Forces of Nature, was submitted by game researcher Nick LaLone.  As the first snowstorm of the season sweeps through the East Coast, this topic seems particularly fitting.

He writes:

One of the first games I played with "Wind" was Ninja Gaiden 2 for the NES.  In of the levels, you're running along some mountain tops.  Coming down in the form of white dots is wind.  These white dots would change direction and in doing so, I could not jump as far.  Video games, through technology, are an attempt at creating, virtually, that which we experience in nature.  As unreal as a video game could be, the way we understand nature cannot be radically changed insomuch that any alternative to nature is not able to really be understood.  So, if a game uses some force of nature (for instance, Mega Man, Ecco the Dolphin, Monster Hunter, etc.), how do designers that create that forces of nature, the very thing modernity wants to control, into something fun?

Do you have any experiences with games that feature a force of nature as a main component of the game?  Was it done well and believable?

What are the challenges with depicting a force of nature as an antagonist or an opposing force?

As always, submission guidelines along with submission procedure can be found on the right hand side of the blog.  Topic suggestions and articles are welcome!

Nick LaLone is a graduate student working on an MA at Texas State University-San Marcos. When the video games are turned off, Nick can be found writing about modernization theory, gender, and social media. His work on these subjects with regard to video (and board) games can be found at


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