Threes!

Threes. Its all I hear. Its all I see my friends doing at lunch. Heck, its all I DO at lunch. This mobile game has taken my school by storm.

For the unintiated, three is a puzzle games set in a 4 by 4 board. You match tiles to make larger numbers and attempt to make the largest number possible. 1’s and 2’s are combinded to make 3’s, and from there onward only doubles can be added (i.e 3 and 3 or 96 ad 96)

Threes has several factors which have driven its rise to prominence.

1. It is easy to learn, but hard to master. Many of my friends have learned the rules of the games just through observing a game or two.

2. You can’t win. Your objective is to last as long as you can, trying to get the highest score possible. It is endless and addicting.

But it is the final factor that I would like to explore more.

3. Everyone is playing it.

Social pressure was a major factor in pushing this game forward (at least in the context of my school). My friend Miguel showed it to me, and slowly everyone was playing it. Everyone was comparing scores, trading tips and playing together. Threes became a uniting social factor in which we were all involved.

Like Candy Crush and Puzzle & Dragons before it, this game has single handily stolen our collective attention. Some may say that is a bad thing, but the happiness from playing it and watching others play is most certianly not. At the very least, its better then flappy bird.

 

William

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The social evolution of gaming

***This post was conceptualized during the summer of 2012. Although I made a post everyday, it never made it around to making this. So today, on my little “creation day” im finally going to get this out of draft limbo***  

Over the summer I realized that my gaming experience had become more social than ever. More and more I abandoned my haven off single player games to play games with my friends. Great examples would be left 4 dead 2 and League of Legends. For the entire summer I never played alone. We explored these new worlds together.

It was not limited to that either, when friends came over we played games split screen using controllers. It brought back memories from my youth where my brother and I continuously played n64 and ps2 all day.

However the term social gaming has taken for the worst in the form of Facebook games. Big companies farming the public with in game purchases. Notifications and updates. Ugh.

Although solo games offered an arguably more immersive experience  if continually choose “social games” over them. I suppose it had something with the wanting to fit in with them, or it was fun to do just about anything with them.

Mobile gaming also had a resurgence this year where I live, in the form of the games Candy Crush and Puzzle and Dragons. Everyone. I mean everyone played it. It was a fad, but while it lasted everyone had some common ground, something to talk about and share.

Thank you for reading my unorganized thoughts on how games have evolved into my social experiences.

Media

I’ve been thinking about media and how it is more than just entertainment. There are things that we can actively learn or take away from media that we can use in life.

Books are a perfect example. Never have a read a book and walked away stupider or without learning something. At the very least it has given my mind something to think and about and he inspired by. Books can be thought provoking. They are the only media that you can go at your own pace. Stop. Came back to. Or never return at all.

Music also has great potential as a source of inspiration. Lyrics that speak to you and help you get through the day. They often have deeper meaning then you think. All you have to do is listen.

Movies. Man do I love movies. An easy way to lose a couple hours in a completely new world. A common topic in casual conversation. A common binding force for those that have shared The experience.

Games , more specifically video games are perhaps the most controversial In their worth as media, and the newest of the media formats. Time after time they are blamed for violence seen on the news. But they have the greatest interaction between media and consumer. It can change and evolve around the player. You can play it by yourself and with your friends. And now, more than ever it is easy to buy and create games. And that is why, they are my favorite media. What’s yours?

Midnight Gaming Session

I thought I had failed. I was planning the entire night to play games, and by midnight I had only played two rounds of love. A lucky break, I could stay up. Here is how it went.

Assassin’s Creed

This game had been frustrating me for a while but today it finally decided to give me a break. No weird crashes. No glitches. Almost no clunky controls. Instead of assassinating the target, I decided to make it easier for myself. By saving citizens I created groups of vigilantes that help me against nearby enemies (I found the easiest way to do this is to using throwing knifes). They grad onto guards allowing me to  walk over casually and stab them. I don’t even have to worry about hitting the vigilantes, because they can’t die!

When I get into the assassin’s creed mood I feel great. Everything seems so smooth and done expertly. I casually pickpocket knives. Hide last-minute on a bench as guards run past. Take on groups of 20 guards or more without getting hit once. It makes me feel like an awesome bad ass!

Then I moved onto Sanctum

This was the game I wanted to finish next month, a hybrid fps and shooter. I did not like it at first, I was overwhelmed by its complexity and the enemies abilities to waltz through my defenses. But once I got into it, it became an addicting experience. I learned to time my upgrades with the waves and work alongside the turrets; Slowing bigger targets and taking down their shields so they could tear them up. I breezed through the first level, completely losing track of time.

Tea and Headphones: The First Half Day 46

For breakfast we ate at the regular cafe. While eating my egg sandwich I got strangly entranced by the Power Rangers on the tv. i was never really a power ranger kid, mostly perferring Ed Edd and Eddy and scooby do. Watching made me realize how some of these kids shows are a bit dumbed down. I suppose there suppose to be. After power rangers came on a show called Fairy Tails came on. It was an anime my friend Chester had spoken about before.

At church, during the young service the lead singer asked for someone to come up and make actions for the song. An awkward silence. “I was in India, and I got a price for the one that comes up.” An awkwarder silence. Trying to keep the ball rolling I volunteered. I was rewarded with some Masala Tea. My mom had brought some back when she went to Hyderabad. I was suprised that the price was relavent at all.

There was a new girl at church today so we played games to make her feel more welcome. The other girl that was new a few weeks ago seems to have become a regular. We played lots of games related to each others names so the new comer could recognize us quicker. We then settled down for a board game called Incan Gold. Its a game where there are 5 rounds. Its based on risk, reward and the greediness of each player. Each turn a card is flipped. It can be gold or a hazard. Each time a card is drawn you can decide if you wanna cut ur loses and leave with the gold or see if you can get more.

As we were leaving my mother was trying to set her computer up. She kept claiming that a certain cable connected the ampflier would show the image on the projecter. Desptie our protest she claimed it was true. We eventually sorted it out, but it was one of the bigger arguements we had in awhile.

We then had lunch at a noodle store and went off to buy my headphones which would be a gift for my good grades in the IGCSE’s. OK, after this im not going to buy anything. I’m starting to feel a bit like a spoilt brat -,-. My brother did not make it easier for me. My mother wasn’t very willing to buy me it and eventually my brother gave her the idea of trading my new headphones for my beats. I begrudignly agreed. I really like them though:

I’m becoming a bit of an audio tech collector, aren’t I?

Day 38: You got mail!

Today I finally received my copy of King Arthur 2 from PC Gamer, my favorite magazine. I had won it in a competition on their website several months ago and after frantic emails and lots of waiting i finally got it :D. I also have been fortunate enough to win a usb (letter of the month, one of my biggest achievements) and a ram kit because they thought it was so good that the featured it again. 

Continue reading

Day 27: Dedication Null

Today I woke up early to help Chester move his pc parts to my house so we could build it. It was great waking up early for a change, having breakfast for the first time in weeks, having a bit of sunshine and getting a bit of reading done. That however ended my serene morning.

I got into the car. I called Chester. He had just woke up. He said it was tommorow. Luckily my mom didn’t make it to the bridge or else that would have been a huge waste of time.

Spent the day playing League of Legends, watching Joel (who came over) play League of Legends and reading about League of legends. I have a pretty uninteresting life sometimes don’t I?

Day 15 Miniupdate

 

What you see is my failed attempt to convince myself to complete so my games ( i own way to many). The stamp is good in that it has a date section, but its too big and it leaks through the pages. Also I couldn’t get a debit card, but at least I deposited some money.

Day 15, Sleepy Beginnings

Today, my mom was merciful enough to let my brother and I skip swimming. Thank you!

I don’t have many plans today, but I do have some objectives I want to accomplish. Yestarday I broke my chain (again) for reading, and I have to start again. Having finished Dawn of War, i’m going to read a book called Book Thief.

I’m also going to get my first debit card! I’ll finally have a bank account all for myself.

My last objective is to get a stamp for myself that says Completed. I’m going to stamp it next to the name of a game I completed on my notebook (where i list my games). Hopefully this will help me keep better track, and make more progress in my games.

Day 13: The day of slight rest

Today was the day my good friend left for the Phillipines for three weeks. Until Joel gets back, I don’t have many people to hang with. He will be missed.

Today was a slow and uneventful day. In the afternoon I:

  • Went swimming which was exhausting. Our coach is really starting to push us.
  • At lunch with my cousins again, getting stuffed in the process as it fell to me to clear the remaining dishes again
  • Helped Chester Plan his pc some more, writing down viable builds. We visited model stores and the computer mall. He’s going to compare prices in Hong Kong. Can’t decide between AMD and Intel.

Then in the evening:

  • Had dinner with my cousins. Stuffed myself silly again, and didn’t stop eating the entire evening (even as i write this)
  • Finally reached level 30 in League of Legends. My plan was for the final match before reaching level 30 would be a Victory. We unded up surrendering :(. First ranked match was a lose, but we suprisngly won the second.

I should really start writing this earlier again, and in mini segments. I promise I’ll blog more tommorow!

Thanks for reading!

-William