Monthly Archives: February 2012

After recently establishing the good that can come from video games that represent sports, I wanted to play other games asImageide from basketball.  Football and tennis did similar things to 2k, but FIFA 2012 had a much bigger message than the other sports video games I played.  Since FIFA is soccer or “futbol”, the most popular sport in the world, the game exemplifies the way the league really works.


This game demonstrates a lot about the role that the manager plays and players interactions with the managers.  The way that the game integrates real life economics is what makes it so great in my opinion.  It teaches players who are interested in national soccer the pros and cons of the game through the difficulties that money brings.  Where the richer clubs get the better players (just like in the national league itself, players struggle to put their teams together and deal with the press when things go wrong


Ultimate team, which is a disk that comes with FIFA 2012 helps teach kids and players the most in my opinion.  The disk itself allows players to build their own team (the ultimate team) through earning coins and buying players in groups.  I believe this teaches kids about the real economics of supply and demand without letting them realize through spending real money.  In my opinion, FIFA 2012 is a great game for teenagers to play as it teaches the truth about something that interests players.


Stanford School of Medicine has just completed a new video game to help teach medical students to treat sepsis. Sepsis is a severe medical condition that begins as a bacterial infection, and quickly expands to become a systemic disease that can kill patients within hours.

The game, which can be played here, is intended to put doctors into the situation of having to treat patients under the same time limitations that they would encounter in a hospital setting. The player must review patient reports, charts, and history, administer tests and treatments to multiple patients. As the patients’ health decreases, they fall towards the bottom of the screen, and as they are treated (properly) their health increases and they rise towards the top of the screen. The player (or medical student) must manage treating multiple patients before their health drops too low and they die. The game ends when all patients have either been cured or have died.



Though I didn’t enjoy the game much since I do not have the medical background to know how to treat sepsis (and thus lost quickly), this game is another great example about how video games can be used for educational purposes. It may eventually help doctors be better able to treat this rapid and severe disease, and if more games of this type are created, video games may become a large component of medical education.

Doodle or Die is an online game that a friend of mine recently recommended to me. It describes itself as “Telephone”, a game many of us are familiar with from our elementary school days, but with illustrations. How the game works is you are assigned descriptions which you must doodle (using a variety of colors and brush sizes), as well as doodles, which you must write a description for. Your doodles and descriptions lead to “active chains”, which one can later view to see the progression of words and images. In this way, you can see where the descriptions you wrote and the doodles you drew ended up. The rules of the game are simple, you can only skip 3 proposed descriptions/images, which forces you to think creatively to keep the game going.

I found that what made this game fun was the hilarity of some of the interpretations of the doodles. Looking at the chains of doodles and the way that one idea could, several descriptions later, be turned into something completely different is what makes this game appealing. Also, it allows people to interact with people from around the world (I’m assuming).

I think the meaning that this game conveys is that each individual has a different way of interpreting a statement or visual. Doodle or Die definitely draws upon differences in perspectives to create this never-ending chain of images. By setting up interactions between users, Doodle or Die also creates a sort of network or community within the game.

More than anything, though, I feel that Doodle or Die serves as a creative outlet for a diverse audience. Some of the doodles are detailed, and some aren’t. And, of course, along with the option of being anonymous in the game comes the occasional vulgarity. Overall, Doodle or Die is a fun way to kill some time and to keep oneself entertained.

While browsing through, I found myself looking over the list of categories that the site files all games under. The categories include things like “action”, “strategy”, “puzzle”, and “funny”. What caught my eye, though, was the last of these categories–“girl”. Confused as to what gives a game a gender, I clicked ahead to see what the subsection had to offer. I was suddenly presented with a list of games that were just about all about fashion, horses, and/or kissing Justin Bieber. I decided to try out a game called The Boyfriend Trainer.

The Boyfriend Trainer has the player taking on the role of a girl who is attempting to use operant conditioning techniques to improve her boyfriend’s behavior. You play through a series of levels, each of which have a different behavior and setting for which your boyfriend must be reprimanded. The controls of the game are very simple, it involves just clicking the mouse on the boyfriend character whenever he does something wrong. Some examples include slapping him when he checks out other women (pictured below), Tasing him when he makes a mess, hitting him with a tennis racket for changing the channel on the TV, and choking him with a collar when he drives too fast. There is also a time limit on each of these levels, by which time the player is required to have “corrected” a sufficient number of missteps.

The narrative and gameplay of The Boyfriend Trainer blatantly suggest that relationships are a type of power struggle–the female character is trying to maintain her control and dominance over the male. When the player doesn’t score enough in the prescribed time period,  the game ends with an image showing the boyfriend leaving the girl, with the words “Escaped! You didn’t do it right.” (pictured below). Thus, the game conveys the message that a girl can’t keep a guy unless she controls his behavior.

I know that this game isn’t meant to be taken seriously, and that its designers’ intent was most likely to be humorous, but I honestly didn’t find it funny at all. In fact, it was ridiculously problematic in its portrayal of both men and women. I feel like it does encourage women to be maniacal in their obsession over their partner’s every action. Although women obviously aren’t going to start being abusive to the extent that the character in the game is, it could have an effect on people’s attitudes about relationships in general.

I might be taking this game too seriously, and in all honesty I’m hoping that it is meant to be satirical. Do you think that games like The Boyfriend Trainer can have any effect at all on their audience?

click HERE to view trailer
Inspired by the namesake movie trilogy, The Godfather: Five Families, the mission of the game is for you to rise to power of the five families in the New York underworld in 1930s. In terms of its back story, this game stays authentic to the basic keynote, for it retains the dark visual and portrait of vivid map of the NY city territory.
The Godfather: Five Families is a multiplayer, strategy adventure game that I found on the internet. In the game, you are an up-and-coming mob boss, battling for Supremacy of New York. Your job is to revitalize a family who is in a slump. You being the game by choosing your character (male or female), then by choosing a family. Then you are then given an estate that’s in disrepair. As an incentive for starting the game, you are given approx. 3 days of free protection. This means that no other gang or families can attack you and your land. Your job is to construct resource buildings, restaurants, and a hideout (which are all given as different task). You also have to complete task like researching better ways of running the family’s business, illegal activities, trafficking, etc.
This game is liked for its’ visual appeal, easy navigation, and activeness. At the same time, its very slow paced, and very tedious. But what is this game trying to say? I, personally, think that the game creators for this game are one, continuing to attack an audience of game players who thirst for the violence, learning, and real life appeal in video games. I also believe that the creators are trying to teach the newer generation, what our parents, grandparents, and so forth, observed when either hearing or watching the Godfather films.

So what do you think? How do you feel about video game creators using films to construct video games? What do you think, if anything, this game teaches those who play it?

If you would like to play, click HERE!

The NBA 2K12 is the most recent of a series of basketball video games, published by 2K sports.  The idea of the game is for gamers to have control over their favorite, most iconic basketball players, and play against their friend’s teams.  I learned about this game through a close group of guy friends, who have in fact set up their own “2K league”.  The game became interesting to me after witnessing how much my friends cared about winning these games, and in fact beating the other teams.   While the teams are not reflective of current teams these players play on (Lebron plays for the Knicks in their league due to a separate draft), their real talent is demonstrated through the game.  Based on how well they play in the 2K league, players can even get inducted into the “Basketball Hall of Fame”.  To make the game seem even more real, there is a broadcasting team that makes the audio of the game realistic.

Since I am a basketball fan, I started to pay a lot of attention to exactly what the game entails.  For a while, I could not understand why they would not just watch a game.  But 2K actually teaches these boys how to develop basketball plans and win games at an elite level.  I find it cool that this game gives fans an opportunity to compete as if it were March Madness, but also that they can learn more about the game.  I would be interested to learn if this game benefits real basketball players in the success of their game.  At least for kids playing basketball, I would assume the 2K gives them a better sense of how to move around the court successfully.Image