My word cloud

The text I chose is from the 52 lore entries from a video game called Destiny. These lore entries are rewarded one-by-one from collecting secret items scattered around the game called Calfcified Fragments. In video games, lore is used to explain the backstory, and if used properly, can provide essential backstory to characters in the game. Essentially, the lore here provides us with an understanding of one of the villain’s back story to understand how far they have come.

While some of the entries follow a close narrative, others make time jumps, but all follows similar themes and show the journey of loss and gaining of unbelievable power. The story follows “Oryx” and his two sisters who go from being extremely vulnerable and weak to obtaining god-like power through making a pact with the “deep”. Those words are some of the biggest ones here. I remember reading this when I was a kid and I was so amazed at the capability of world building that this game could do. To me, it it peak storytelling through lore.

I chose to use a scroll for my page since some of the text uses antiquated words and can read like an ancient scripture. Some words give the idea of obtaining influence such as “king” and “power”, but other words are specific to the game, and do not exist outside of it, so it definitely conveys a sense of mystery. The font I chose also reflect an old looking font, while at the same time, the colors are also the same colors of the items in the game. Overall, I feel like I did a good job of representing the mysterious and powerful theme of these lore entries. Now, the next question is how I could represent other significant lore entries in the game, especially those longer than this one.


Inside #2

After a break, I realized that I was wrong. The puzzles are indeed both creative and a bit complex. The ability to take control of someone else, who then takes control of someone else makes for a very satisfying reaction when you overcome the obstacle.

This game makes me more anxious than the previous one I played since I constantly must keep running away from things and avoid being spotted. However, there are some portions that make me feel at peace. One of these instances is when I take the submarine and plunge deep into the water for the first time. The music here is key. It reminded me of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy and how the music plays an important role in the nostalgia for replaying those games. More specifically, the music during this part of the game reminded me of the aquatic ambiance music from DKC. 

I swear this game is catching me off guard sometimes since my deaths are mostly because it tends to hurl obstacles at you and my reactions are a bit late. 

As I progressed through the game, I found that I needed to take control of the figures more and more. It seems like it is quite the opposite of Limbo, where you are the one being controlled for some areas of the game.

I continued, but there are two parts that stuck out to me. The first was the seismic wave which blew me apart a few times, and then the mermaid. The mermaid was very interesting because I felt like I was being trained to avoid her since she was aggressively chasing me, however, once she inevitably got ahold of me, I felt that the game was over. I would not have been surprised since I feel like the developers tend to make ambiguous endings like that. Surprisingly though, I was still alive and continued my journey.

 I found that once I entered the factory again, the puzzles got a bit harder. Many of them now required me to avoid and time things closely at the same time. It reminded me of the Limbo factory obstacles, although these were on another level. I had more trouble here and I got stuck on certain parts, like the section where I had to stack boxes that would propel me upwards. 

I have noticed that the game is both unsettling and calming. It is unsettling since there are a ton of dead or zombie-like people but is also calming since the scenery feels like it would be something straight out of a dream. 

I felt like throughout the game everything was working against me, from nature to the people chasing me. I worked through situations where I was against the current, but here it was different. Once I began to break into the facility, everything was different. There were many people there, but I was not faced with any resistance. It was odd to the point that I did not know what to do or where to go. Eventually, I consulted a guide where I found that I had to move things around to get inside the water tank in front of me. 

Nothing could prepare me for what I saw once I got in… I did not even know what I was looking at or how to feel about it. I approached it and took off the mind control caps and then I was consumed. I had a feeling that I knew where this was going, and I began to control the thing. It was a mess of bodies stuck together. I felt like I was controlling a wild animal, and then I burst out going on a rampage! 

This portion of the game is the most unnerving, the sounds of the groans emanating from the player, the screams from the other people, and the change in movement really took me by surprise. It was the first time in this game that I felt like I had power, specifically, the power to destroy, kill, and make my own fate. Another surprising aspect is that the other normal people, who I thought were against me, began to help me escape which made me a little better.

This leads me to the ending. The ending results in our escape but inevitable death. I see this as a fitting end since our character was clearly in pain and confused. The good nature of the ending is also symbolized by the beam of light shining down on the dead corpses. Of the two endings, I feel like this is the more solidified since we are now dead. Unlike Limbo, we do not have any other reasons to hypothesize what will happen next. The overall story here became clearer since I concluded that I became a part of the experiment and was trying to escape from what were most likely government forces. 

Overall, I feel like while this was more stressful than Limbo, it was a great game nonetheless, the scenery and the gameplay made it very interesting to play and hard to put down the controller. 


Inside #1

Published by the same studio, you can really see the similarities in the gameplay and even the way you start the game.

Like Limbo, I knew about this game a little bit since I had watched a part of a playthrough when it came out a while ago but that is it. I did not watch all of it, so I can say that I am still going in blind to this game.

The most distinguishing difference in this game, so far, is the choice to make the game in color. 

So, I tried to be as sneaky as possible, but there came a point where I was eventually spotted by the dog. One thing I like about this game so far is the sound effects. An important note here is that you can even hear the boy whimpering, which I find helps the game feel more realistic and relatable. 

I just wanted to give a shoutout to the WHOLESOME CHICKS, they are the cutest and I was able to use them to complete my first puzzle-type obstacle. 

For the most part, I had gotten used to the need to think on my feet and be ready to run because of Limbo; but I was not prepared for the hog. Not going to lie, that was my first death, but I did get over it after a few tries. 

Here is where things got interesting, so for one of the puzzles I had to assume control of what looked like to be some mannequins so that I can make progress. My idea is that these probably have to do with the story, I just do not know how yet. 

After some more obstacles, I eventually get to the ruins of a city, with a bunch of people marching, which reminded me of the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall”. So far, I feel like this game devotes more to telling a story, than it does in making the player overcome numerous challenges.


The death of analog tech?

First of all, I want to address my experience with analog technology. Sadly, I have not had too much experience with this form of technology, but my love for old-school techniques has always been there. This is evident in how I prefer to have physical books. In his book, Mod addresses how much of what an average person reads is formless, meaning it can be transitioned to other mediums. While I agree with that assertion, I also see how the digital medium is less comfortable than the traditional printed type. While I have read books online, especially during the pandemic, I find often find it to hurt my eyes after a while. To me, nothing beats a printed book since I can comfortably hold it in my hands, and not have to go through many hurdles to access it. Maybe it is because of how I was raised with print books and I have gotten used to and feel nostalgic when I use them, but I do not think that current digital technology can outdo the print medium.

However, it would be wrong to admit that there are clear advantages to digital books. The biggest advantage is more about its ecological footprint than about aesthetics. Print books are taxing towards trees and are a big reason why I will switch to digital options eventually. Nostalgia, however, will be the death of us…

Nostalgia plays a key role in why we will never exist in a purely digital society. What I mean by this arbitrary term is completely relying on digital technologies as a medium for expression. We see this now with the resurgence in analog technology in areas such as film. I find the argument of nostalgia used in the context of humans always looking back at “simpler times”, and wanting to travel back in time. It is also important to make sure we remember how these older technologies work in order to appreciate how far we have come. While looking back may seem redundant, it is important to see the evolution of a field and nostalgia is important here since, with it, we can use these older technologies to create new products or expressions of art.

Lastly, this debate reminds me of how my mom always has a paper copy of everything, just in case if digital technology fails her, a practice that I have also adopted recently!


Limbo Journal #2

I took a break to go eat and do some other things, so I find it fitting to label this as the second and last part of my journal. The puzzles so far were not that hard, they were creative but not to the point of frustration. Many of the creative ones involved a bit of timing, while the majority require pushing and pulling objects. 

A good portion of the game is dedicated to parkour and puzzles, so I thought I should sprinkle in some of my theories here. 

By definition, Limbo is a hellish place where lost souls, most of the time children, are in for who knows how long. Using this definition, and the information that I obtained playing so far, I believe that we are in that place. I say this because a lot of the bodies look to be the size of children. I also believe that this game shows the main character’s quest to escape this “hell” and reach heaven or someplace better.  

Soon enough the environment starts to change, it goes from a forest to a factory. The two could not be any more different. While the forest gave me more creepy vibes, the factory gave me more anxiety since I felt like there were more dangers in this area. 

This is where the puzzles started to ramp up a bit more in complexity since they involve more precise timing and add more elements, including water and electricity hazards.

Once again, a megalophobia trigger warning should be in place because of the HOTEL sign! This is one of the sections that has stuck with me, although I am not sure why. Going back to my theory, I think that the major events and settings in the game are things from when the main character was alive. In a sense, this game is a story of his journey while also giving us insight into his life, specifically his fears.

The factory is the most “mechanically” pleasing section of this game since the puzzles here contain different objects, you would find in a factory setting and use them to create interesting obstacles. There are buttons, conveyor belts, elevators, etc. 

Another memorable part is when you get to the gear section. Once again, the objects here are giant, and at some points, you spin the environment around you completely. This reminds me of the megalophobia idea since this gameplay mechanic serves to remind the player that he is tiny, and he is not significant in the face of enormous dangers. 

ONE OF THE HARDEST PARTS was right before the minecart cave section. The timing required me to be almost perfect to avoid dying, which I did a lot. It is after this where I see a contrast in gameplay. 

Here we get music that sounds like a church choir, and we get more fantastical puzzles that include odder components such as laser detection guns and anti-gravity switches. To me, this is where I picture the main character getting closer to heaven, or whatever end he may be searching for. Here too is where the puzzles get a bit harder. I would be lying if I say that I did not consult a guide on how to do the final few. I was stuck for a while, and would have been stuck a lot more, had it not been for them.

As soon as I saw the scene where I break through the glass, I knew that this was going to be the topic of my Close Playing assignment. In my opinion, the ending is perfect. It’s an ambiguous ending to an ambiguous game. There is no resolution, we learn nothing, we are just left to imagine what will happen next. 

In the end, I feel like my theory was partially correct. However, the end goal here is different, since he made this journey through his hell to reunite with, I guess to be his sister. 

Overall, I enjoyed this game because of many reasons. The aesthetics gave me a creepy vibe, but it was not overly scary. Although Limbo only utilizes a few buttons on the controller, the gameplay is very intriguing since I had a tough time doing some puzzles. I am excited to play Inside and see what is had to offer!


Limbo Journal #1

Due to the short duration of both games, I decided that I would try to play them each in one or two sittings. I also felt that this was best since I would be able to remember more details about my gameplay to record.

I already had Limbo in my PlayStation library for a few years now since I got it when it was one of the free PlayStation plus games of the month a long time ago. It had caught my eye because of the eerie theme that it had, but I never got a chance to play it and I forgot about it eventually. Therefore, I was excited to see that it was an option for one of the games for this assignment.

Upon starting the game, I got the feeling that this would be a creepy game. It certainly did not help that I was playing the game at night. The main menu was spooky enough!

First impressions: it is very spooky indeed. There was no music at all, and the only sound emanating from the tv was the sound effects of my character moving, and some environmental sounds. I’ll admit that I thought this was going to be an easy game, but I was very wrong. Not only did I die quite a bit, but I also got stumped here and there. 

Upon starting the gameplay, I immediately turned left, just out of curiosity, and I found a secret white thing which gave me a PlayStation trophy. I was not really intending to find any more secrets, but I found another one a little bit after. After much jumping and moving objects, I got to what I think would qualify as the first boss: the spider. I’m sure that anyone with megalophobia or arachnophobia checked out as soon as they saw it.

It was interesting since I did not understand how to deal with the boss until after I died a few times. The game aesthetics played a part in this struggle since the black foreground made me think that the beartrap used to damage the spider was just for decoration. After running away from the spider and going through some more parkour and puzzles; I encountered the first other human. Embarrassingly enough, it took me a few more deaths to realize that if I held the x button a bit longer, then I could have a longer jump instead of spamming the button. 

The more I played, the darker the tone got since I started finding dead bodies, what I presume were children. Coincidentally enough, I started getting cold in real life, and I grabbed a blanket. One of the first instances of music appeared when I found another person who was dying. I noticed a pattern that there was music whenever something startling came up, and it worked to convey a sense of anxiety since you could also not see their faces. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this game are the few white glowing objects that must signify something that I have yet to figure out…



Privacy can mean many things. The amount of privacy I want or need probably differs from the amount which the person reading this desires. I believe that there was and never will be any 1 definition of what privacy means, and the digital age has only made it more difficult. Technological innovations which give us a digital identity and a place where we insert our personal information have become more commonplace, which should encourage us to rethink what exactly we put out into the web. Technology has made effectively made priavacy a bigger issue since malicious actors can pose as institutions we trust and phish out information, with us not batting an eye. That is the issue here: our care-free mentality.

Technology’s easy use has put us into a position where we completely trust the institutions we use. Places where we put our personal information such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where we usually skip the TOS and overlook security options, due to our confidence in them, have put us into a false sense of security where we do not really care what we put out there and how our privacy it their top concern. Evidence of our trust is how many people fall prey to spear phising emails. According to research, 70% are opened by people and 50% of the opened emails result in clicked links leading to data breaches. Technology has made us get too comfortable in putting our information online which results in more people falling prey to data breaches and phising, with the end result being more panic about privacy.

Therefore, it is important to recognize that these institutions are not perfect in protecting our data so that we can also think before we put whatever about us online. All in all, there is nothing wrong with a bit of healthy suspicion:)


We the Commodities

One of the important ideas expressed in The Attention eConomy chapter of Reality Lost is commodifying the users’ information does not only serve make consumers victims of predatory marketing tactics. But it also, equally as important, creates a political dilemma where the online public become targets of political micro-targeting. The book briefly mention the idea of developing countries falling victim to data misuse. In these countries, nefarious data collection can lead to abuses which threaten the development in the political sense. Based on all of that, I believe that this phenomenon is only bound to get worse. Unlike the United States, where rights tend to be explicitly defined, these developing countries tend to be more unstable and the looming threat of fake news, is not to be taken lightly. This is because it is disinformation can quickly lead to human rights abuses, due to the unestablished government and/or lack of peoples’ rights. Another important issue, is that on top of dealing with state development, the people and the government have to deal with external forces spreading disinformation. An important point in your lecture that applies here, is that in responding to disinformation one gives it a platform no matter how illegitimate it may be. In effect, this may continue the erosion of trust in the developing government and may even undermine its authority since they are responding to such outlandish statements. Lastly, I also believe that this phenomenon will only continue to grow in developing countries as access to the internet in them increases. I say this because one may just be gathering information online, but as we see in this course, it I important to be a good digital citizen and know how to defend oneself from disinformation, which is easier said than done.