Games PC Painkiller - Heaven S Got A Hitman
Developed by People Can Fly - DreamCatcher Interactive (2004) - First-Person Shooter - Rated Mature
Painkiller is a first-person shooter set in the sinister world of gothic horror. As the mercenary known as Painkiller, players are charged with the task of eliminating the undead in whatever lair, tomb, or residence they may be lurking in. Dressed in a black overcoat and wearing sunglasses to protect himself from the harsh glare of sunlight, Painkiller has earned a reputation for his no-nonsense approach to demon hunting. Yet he also hides a secret: a pact with a demon has granted him special po... Read more
Developer: People Can Fly
Publisher: DreamCatcher Interactive
Release Date: April 12, 2004
Controls: Keyboard, Mouse
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Games PC Painkiller-heaven S Got A Hitman, size: 5.5 MB
Games PC Painkiller - Heaven S Got A Hitman
Duke Nukem vs Serious Sam vs Will Rock vs Painkiller vs Dark Salvation vs Dreamkiller ...
User reviews and opinions
|Dipmoscow||9:24am on Monday, September 20th, 2010|
|you will love the 9 inches screen. You will enjoy the touchscreen experience with iPad Fast, Lightweight, Compact The iPad is exactly what I expected, easy to use, very well executed so long as you understand that it is mainly a device to consume media.|
|Theoderich||8:04pm on Monday, May 31st, 2010|
|My Company uses Citrix, so I am able to run Windows Applications, SAP, even flash and all my GO TO corporate applications on the device. Does this device have any real flaws? Lets address some real shortcomingsÂ of the iPad.|
|helv||12:54am on Thursday, April 29th, 2010|
|Bought the 16G WiFi for my wife. She enjoys playing games, surfing the web, reading books, reading email and catching up on her Soaps at ABC.com. Awesome game player, and has replaced my laptop but I do not have to need for business and so I do not know about how those work. Great for traveling,...|
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Ludic Reality: a construct for analysing meaning-mapping and epistemology in play
Dept. of Creative Technologies, University of Portsmouth, UK email@example.com http://www.ceetee.net
Abstract: First Person Games induce presence, thus fulfilling Steuers definition as virtual realities. As such, it is worth considering the qualities of the realities they form and how these may help us understand the relationship between the player, the contents of the game and the game system itself. Ludic reality is proposed as a construct to elucidate this relationship: an artificial temporal space in which the constrained rules of the system, the semantic contents and sequencing constructs it contains, and the behaviour and subjective experience of the player are combined into a more-or-less stable and effective state of being-in-theworld. Ludic reality bridges directly addresses the question of the impact of internal, semantic factors in the experience, such as world, narrative and agency, together with the adoption, by the player, of a schematic, structured means of effectively interacting with the system to draw out its specific systems of affordances and reward.
Ludic reality is presented here as a construct developed to assist in the analysis of homodiegetic structures within immersive games, particularly first-person perspective games. It focuses on a player-centric, psychological approach to game analysis that examines the relationships between ludic affordances, embedded semantic devices and the mapping of one onto another. As such, it may be a useful model for questioning the epistemological process of early gameplay, with specific regard to the use of integrated, homodiegetic devices. The core of the construct revolves around the argument that it is both appropriate and efficient to consider the subjective experience of FPS play as the
temporary construction of a form of artificial reality. In order to make the case for this, however, we first need to re-consider what is meant by reality, and in particular, attack the folk psychological conception of a stable, whole experience of the world. Instead, we shall argue that our subjective reality is best conceived as an illusion of holism formed by projection and bootstrapping from fragmented and reduced stimuli set. As such, we can draw direct links to presence and virtual reality theory, cognitive science and anthropology, drawing a series of concentric circles around the act of play and using this as the basis for our construct.
To begin with, let us consider our experience of the world. It is generally accepted that an objective reality is likely to exist, given that the co-incidental possibilities of such a large number of affordances and invariants being shared by such a large number of organisms at such a complex level is even more unlikely (Searle 1995). Our experience of this reality is formed through a number of sensory channels operating in tandem with that which is already known (Schank & Abelson 1975, Lakoff & Johnson 1999, Damasio 2000). As such, it has been argued that our entire construct of reality is always already mediated (Loomis 1992, Botella et al 2003). Further to this, our experience is formed by a necessarily reduced, or filtered set, of the available information existing in the environment. This may be a combination of both the physiological capabilities of our sensory equipment, and pre-existing psychological structures designed to assist both conscious and unconscious epistemological mapping of meaning onto incoming stimuli. The latter are often termed schema (Bartlett 1932) or, with cosmetic adjustment, scripts (Schank & Abelson 1975) or frames (Minsky 1975), and can be seen to exert an active control over what is subjectively experienced the literal incarnation of the adage that we see what we want to see. In addition to this, the illusory holism of subjective reality is created via the process of distal attribution, that is, the attribution of affordances, invariants and other characteristics to objects outside our direct experience and thus distinguishes us from our environment. This process may also be argued to be managed and mediated by both physiological and schematic structures.
Fig 1. Dennetts four models of creatures. Adapted from Dennett (1996) 110-133
Thus, it is simple to trace a direct line from schema to this Gregorian, evolutionary model. Schema are a mechanism for the application of prior experience to a situation; more than this, they are mechanisms for the construction of interior test-beds for interaction with an environment, as well as a set of established procedures for allowing a flow of tools, conceived here as formalised units of information, backwards and forwards between the constructed world as experienced in the mind, and the distally inferred one existing outside it. Put another way, schema are rules for being-in-theworld. As Juul states in specific relation to videogames, Rules specify limitations and affordances (2006: 58). So it stands, in a very real sense, for our experience of reality.
We carry rule systems about the physical, the mental and the cultural: a folk physics and a folk psychology, none of which, as has been noted may be particularly correct (Churchland 1984). These rule systems exist to map meaning and significance onto the stimuli from the inferred world; that is, they fit signal to pattern to enable safe prediction to occur.
Ritual is frequently conceptualised as a formalised system of culture, often with the aim of either reinforcing the status quo, or managing (or virtualising) change within the system. Turner (1974, 1982), in particular, has been identified by game theorists as an important source of cross-disciplinary models for ritual and games. His concept of rituals as liminal spaces, that is, transformative spaces that suspend normal social rules, constraints and affordances, has been co-opted by games theorists to describe the extradaily structure of play (Dovey & Kennedy 2006, Flynt 2006, Pinchbeck 2006). Dovey & Kennedy draw attention to Turners crucial distinction between the liminal and the liminoid, that the liminoid is a commodity, which one selects and pays for [rather] than the liminal, which elicits loyalty and is bound up with ones membership or desired membership in some highly corporate group. One works at the liminal, one plays with the liminoid. (Turner 1982: 55). The liminoid thus tends towards the postindustrial; the individual as opposed to the collective; non-centrality or additive to core social or cultural practice; symbolically idiosyncratic as opposed to being formed of widely collective representations and, importantly, set into a critical, as opposed to, supporting position in relation to the society or culture they originate from (1982:54-55). Both however, are characterised by a shift in the rules by which the object or event is engaged with, and these may even involve a shift in some core assumed rules themselves, in form of folk physics or psychology. There appears to be no problem with adjusting the distal rules, so that the scientifically impossible can be accepted without problem, dead ancestors, and transubstantiation included. That is not to say that the actual physical reality, i.e. the shared source of environmental information distally accessed by co-located organisms undergoes any shift of features or function though, of course, this is entirely possible in artificial realities - but that a new set of filtration and significance attaching rules are layered into the conscious set at a suitable
level. In other words, transubstantion does not even require that each individual actually believes in a change in substance from normal to divine, merely that there is no contradiction or challenge to this shift apparent within the group. Likewise, in terms of presence, immersion and virtual reality, Slater & Steed have argued whilst it is perhaps prohibitively difficult to ascertain whether subjects fully believe in the synthetic environment, what can be measured is their ability to operate, to all intents and purposes, as if they did (2000). Slater & Steed thus developed Breaks-in-Presence as their suggested unit of measurement, along similar lines, Zahorik & Jenison argue for a model of presence based upon Gibsons ecological perception theory, describing it as successful being-in-the-world (Zahorik & Jenison 1998).
Thus, when we talk of reality, particularly in relation to media objects, it is important to avoid the folk psychological construct of a holistic, believed in, immersive world, and perhaps consider this instead as a network of rules which allow for an appropriate and effective mapping of meaning and significance onto the experienced, particularly in allowing the functional process of prediction testing and evaluation. The essential property of assembling the illusory coherence of subjective reality is seen to be reduction a process of filtering according to rules sets derived by physiology and embedded within mind, media and surrounding culture. Extra-daily phenomena, whether liminoid or liminal, are created by the adoption of new rules for this process. We can therefore begin to understand homodiegetic devices within games as forms of filtration rules, structures which can be adopted by the player to create a new system of reduction, focusing attention and significance upon the stimuli provided by the game world, rather than the wider set comprising of the system and its rules, the physical environment and even ones more permanent sense of self. In other words, presence, or at the least, a deep level of immersion and engagement. Games that trigger presence, which, as Nunez & Blake (2005) have found, is often deliberately sought out and maximised by players, can be seen not as adding a characteristic type of affect to play, but honing the filtration and meaning-mapping process in a particular manner. An increased pressure is thus placed upon homodiegetic devices in the game, as the epistemological process must be routed to within this reduced set in order for
2.2 World It has been noted that the sensory fidelity of a virtual environment is only one factor in generating a sense of presence in the user (Darken et al 1999, Dinh et al 1999, Zimmons & Panter 2003), and studies have repeatedly demonstrated that presence is induced in many games, particularly first-person shooters (Lessiter et al 2001, Schneider et al 2004). Indeed, the direct mapping of player to avatar perspective is an
important factor in justifying the description of FPS games as mass-market virtual realities (Pinchbeck et al 2006). As has been noted, by re-considering the notion of a ludic reality as a set of rules for managing meaning-mapping, significance, affordances and expectation, rather than a fully formed, all-encompassing objective environment, we can begin to understand how presence would be generated. A more substantial problem is the vast reduction in affordances from normal reality to the one presented by the game. Supporting behaviour and action is crucial to the success of a synthetic reality system, and once again, we can understand homodiegetic devices as being directly responsible for negotiating this balance between expectation and system constraints. Whilst on the one hand, we can make the argument that reduction and filtration is a psychological pre-disposition, the affordances gap between game environments and reality is very large indeed. The formation and support of an alternate rule set, or ludic reality, is one of the primary means of plugging this gap. As Pietro (2002) has pointed out, what is important is less reality than realism, an analogous distinction between naturalism and symbolism in the theatre. Halos altered gravity may not be realistic, but it is consistent and, more importantly, there is an effective fit between the reduced affordances set and the semantic content of the environment.
Game designers have long used a mix of structural and semantic devices to signal the limits of play, and the homodiegetic toolkit deployed by FPS designers goes a long way to explaining the relatively unchanged and limited content found within the genre. This goes beyond demographics and the narrative power of the heros journey and is in fact a demonstration of the kind of meaning-mapping that enables any form of immersive play to take place. Just as the lone wolf or avenger motifs that pervade most early, and a substantial number of contemporary, games bypass the expectation for agency and thus avoid highlighting the systems artificial intelligence constraints, so projecting the action into a liminoid phase, often in the form of an alien or supernatural context, allows a reduced set of affordances to be co-opted by the player with comparative ease. The vast empty Forerunner ruins that dominate Halo are occupied by an almost total lack of identifiable controls or interactive objects; the Strogg facilities of Quake 4 are not accessible to human operation even when the player finds themselves
Stroggified, the operation is interrupted before access to many of the (non-interactive) technologies required to make the industrial feel of the environment valid can be bestowed. Casting the player as a grunt means they have limited skills beyond the obvious anyway, and thus complex interactions can be farmed out to elsewhere in the ludic experience, as we shall see. Liminality is not simply a state of play, it is a requirement for any effective filtration, enabling a ludic reality to exist: it is the means by which a performative interaction can occur.
As with the dramatic intensity of an experience, a well-crafted world serves a double purpose. Not only is it a means of essentially hiding the structural constraints of the system, it also expands the presented environment beyond the boundaries of the directly experienced. If our reality is a result of distal attribution, then the realities of FPS games are inferred and insinuated to an exponentially larger degree. Indeed, one can measure the confidence of developers in their worlds by the disposability or ambiguity of the stimuli. It is not simply a case of establishing a content set that will remain relatively unexhausted by all but the most explorative of repeating players, but of siting the actual action of the game within a wider context, thus reducing the need for play to cover all the aspects of this wider world. Those parts of the world that are deliberately rendered inaccessible but visible should not be deemed as simply decoration or even illusion. They are part of the mediated inference that legitimises the ludic reality by suggesting its persistence and scale.
It is also worth noting that the inferred physical environment of a game world may play an important role in the formation of subjective play time. Drawing from Lakoff & Johnson, who argue that most of our cognitive and, therefore, understanding of our experience, is rooted in our ecological and biological embodiment, Hart suggests that To a major extent, all narrative, whether literary or theatrical, depends on the embodiment of space to conceptualise time. (2006:44). A similar function of space can be found in games. Not only does the actual in terms of immediate ludic activity environment have a profound and very deliberate affect on the implied pace and playstyle but the intimated total scale also has a role to play in the construction of a stable
and rich inferred subjective world. The first effect can be seen easily in the cramped and immediate-scale tunnels and corridors of most linear shooters Doom 3 (2003) being the most obvious example, whereas larger, more open spaces which allow a greater diversity of distance to be utilised quite literally buy the player time to think, and more importantly, time to look. This feeds naturally into the second aspect of the worlds impact upon time. The scale of Halos Forerunner ruins suggests age: partially perhaps due to our cultural association with megalithic architecture, but also as a result of both the relative scale of the environment to the players avatar, thus establishing a status relationship, and the kind of kinetic-relationship embodied primary metaphor that Lakoff & Johnson discuss: it takes time to traverse a distance, therefore we can conceptualise time according to the perceived distance it takes to take in a space, kinetically and perceptually. Thus, according to this idea, it is not just about the impressive visual scale of the Forerunner environment, there is a direct and deep level cognitive link that forms substantial projection both spatial and temporal dimensions simultaneously. 2.3 Agency The population of a given environment also serves this double purpose expanding the inferred scope of the world whilst reducing the affordance set needed for it to function in a manner that hides the system and its constraints. The increase in use of allied NPCs, from Half Life 2: Episode Ones (2006) near ubiquitous companionship of Alyx, to the persistent, if less formed, characters comprising Quake 4s Rhino Squad enable developers to map more complex semantic goals onto action without increasing the affordance set. Any actions required to deliver a more convincing reality that fall outside this set are simply mapped onto the accompanying NPCs. In both cases, this essentially means performing any non-combat action: Alyx opens Combine doors and hacks computer terminals; in Quake 4, Kane operates as an escort and bodyguard to Tech. Strauss for a significant portion of the game. Although much has been made of the potential of persistent NPCs to deepen the emotional impact of game (Freeman), the structural function of such NPCs, as homodiegetic devices to control the interface between inferred world and player is paramount. It is only with the introduction of such devices that complexity and diversity of the goal can begin to be internally convincing
alongside a more sophisticated arc of narrative and play. Doom 3, with no persistent ingame NPCs, is forced to progress the story through a sequence of rather creaky cutscenes, and suffers from a lack of diverse and unconvincing when operating outside the straightforward blow something up, find the exit goals. Although the presented action is certainly liminal in terms of its suspension of the norm, the lack of distance between the liminal world and the initially presented one leaves obvious solutions to problems outside the affordance set, thus immediately highlighting system constraints. In Dooms Mars Base, not only is the player not allowed to do things that seem perfectly normal to try, but there is a lack of consistency about doing some of these normal tasks in specific sequences. Quake 4 bypasses this problem by allowing Strauss to effectively do all the thinking. His characterisation as a kind of genius figure places the player in a low status position, where they are relieved of the need to do any problem solving themselves and can be directed along the linear path of the game entirely naturally after all, soldiers normally obey orders from superior officers. Additionally, the fact that the majority of Rhino Squad are ultimately doomed, but essential to ludic progression as individuals prior to their deaths, means that the game can operate a much more sophisticated and interesting affordance arc, creating an illusion of an expanding and contracting set by virtual contracting out action to these additional characters.
Agents also expand the temporal dimension of the experience, thus lending weight to inference of persistency that is so crucial to maintaining a sense of reality. A simple but powerful device is referring to outside the temporal scope of the game: Halos NPC artificial intelligence Cortana, who in another example of the wonderful economy of the game is represented by a disembodied voice, transported around inside Master Chief on a chip, states If I still had fingers, theyd be crossed. Not only does the intriguing ambiguity of such a statement, running as it does contrary to populist conceptualisations of artificial intelligences immediately deepen the players sense of a wider world, but it attaches a prior existence to the game to the character. Halo furthers this by intimating at several occasions that Cortana and Master Chiefs relationship is not initiated by the outset of the games action, that the two share a past. Quake 4 also utilises this, with
characters repeatedly commenting on past, shared victories and conflicts.
Nor is agency limited to devices occupying the same temporal position as the player. System Shock 2 (1999) utilises isolation as a powerful motif in the world with only one persistent real-time NPC. S.H.O.D.A.N., the insane AI who forms the games main antagonist is represented through audio files and emails, meaning she requires no costly visualisation. The emotional punch of the story - the human face - is delivered through found crew audio logs, a tactic employed rather less successfully in Doom 3. The love affair and failed attempt at reconciliation and escape by two now-dead crew members not only attempts to trigger an unusual affective state in the player (hope that two unseen, never met characters manage to escape, and even loss at the discovery that both have died in separate parts of the ship, each leaving messages for the other to abandon them and save themselves), but it creates a parallel narrative operating only a short time before the action of play. As well as creating a temporal depth, this device decentres the players position to a small degree, mapping an element of the drama to both an alternate temporal line and two unknown characters.
Email, personal logs and, more frequently, radio communications enable a large amount of epistemological, structural information about effective play approaches to be delivered homodiegetically. This can range from the explicitly goal-based, as the players aims are managed in real-time, thus avoiding the need to refer out to cutscene or loadscreen instruction, to the more immediate and explicit notification of threat, reward, or advice. In the former case, real-time adjustment of goal can be used not only to deepen the sense of reality and temporal persistence of the world, but to better manage the general temporal flow of the game, once again manipulating the state of the player. The anthropomorphising of the system by utilising agents, thus tapping into existing schema, enables a more fluid shift in affordance, environment and goal to take place. In other words, agents carry the illusion of human qualities and humans, according to our folk psychology, are inherently time-based entities, thus they are effective tools for managing control and development within a synthetic environment. The instructions of Far Crys (2004) ally-cum-nemesis, Doyle, not only orientate the
player to their goals, but they establish a powerful precedent; just as Strauss superiority and status reduces the players expectations of having to find solutions to situations themselves, so the relationship with Doyle legitimises the fact that although there is little sense of long-term persistence and development in Far Cry at any given point, the player is repeatedly informed that there is a logic, a stable arc, but they simply not aware of it. Doyle is the structural device to reassure the player that there is a plan, that they dont need to worry about the why that someone knows what is going on. Indeed, there are many examples of the near-deification of persistent agents in many FPS games, the most obvious being the transformation of JC Denton as avatar in Deus Ex (2000), to living god and puppeteer agent in Deus Ex: Invisible War (2004). Cortana serves a similar purpose in Halo; Strauss is a more human version in Quake 4; S.H.O.D.A.N. is not simply a deluded would-be-God in System Shock and its sequel for most intents and purposes during the play experience, she effectively fulfils the role. In all cases, the result is similar: the player controls the short-term, with its relatively small affordance set; the system, through its Metatron NPC controls the long, where an illusory much larger and more complex system is operating.
There are a number of other common homodiegetic devices we find in FPS avatars that
fulfil the double function of meaning-mapping and focusing away from system constraints. Avatars exist outside the norm, or are swiftly thrust away from it at the start of play, thus enabling a liminoid existence where affordances and expectations are necessarily unnatural and re-invented. System Shock 2s avatar awakens from stasis with no memory, but stuffed full of illegal cybernetic implants: the players interface with the system is thus rendered both ambiguous and in the systems control: no preexisting information is allowed in. Having said that, S.H.O.D.A.N.s existence is introduced in the opening cutscene of the game, and there is a definite and deliberate reward to the player in the form of the dawning realisation that she is behind the whole situation. This kind of ambiguity, which immediately reinforces the players low status relationship with, and reliance upon, the system is there in Gordon Freemans classified sponsor in Half Life; in the intimations that there is something more sinister to the bioengineered super-reflexes that separates F.E.A.Rs protagonist than initially meets the eye; the early discovery that Call of Cthulhus Jack Walters is somehow at the centre of the games narrative although his amnesia prevents him from understanding this; JC Dentons awakening to his place within a global conspiracy, and so on. Conspiracy is another frequent narrative device to render the relationship of the player, through the avatar, to the system, through the ludic reality, ambiguous: it appears in nearly all FPS titles, from the highly literate, such as Deus Ex or Thief, to the relatively brainless, like Doom or Quake. Dentons transformation into a living god is echoed in the inferred mythical status of Master Chief whose introduction to Halo is prefaced with the almost biblical episode title of Unseal the Hushed Casket; in Freemans elevation to folk hero and saviour in Half Life 2; Jack Carvers re-incarnation as demonic, or at least animalistic destroyer of worlds in Far Cry: Predator (2006); or the explicitly angelic incarnation of Painkillers David Garner we are told by the priming information that Heavens Got a Hitman (2004).
Amnesia, conspiracy and all other devices to increase ambiguity in the player/system relationship do not exist simply to provide a knot to be untangled, a reward system or golden thread. They function directly to enable a ludic reality to be formed and maintained: the avatar is reliant upon the system for information; not in control and
therefore limited to what affordances are presented; unable to recourse to normal solutions or schema and focus upon the ambiguity itself, rather than the wider issues of system constraints.
3. The use of Ludic Reality as a construct
Ludic reality offers an alternative approach to the analysis of in-game content, from a player-centric, cognitive, embodied, and integrated perspective. It deepens the relationship suggested by Juul between fictional worlds and real rules, by arguing that there is a relative degree of fiction or, at the least, mediation and reduction in all reality. Indeed, forming an understanding of reality as a dynamic process of relating distal attribution and schema leads us to the view that, without a lapse into either solipsism or naive realism (Loomis 1992), it is a mistake to see reality as an objective out-there that we, as conscious organisms, engage with. Further, distal attribution and schema, alongside other findings from cognitive science and models of mind, lead us naturally to the conclusion that our experience of reality is fundamentally based upon a process of reduction and filtration, thus enabling significance to be effective attached to stimuli, and for patterns in this embodied perception of being-in-the-world to fit preexistent, if dynamic, schema. Juul and Carrs relationship between content and structure finds natural parallels in Turners conceptualisation of ritual, and these models add depth to the ludic reality model. In short, this model argues that immersive games, like liminoid phases, are systems by which reduced sets of expectation and affordance can be effectively managed to yield new rule-sets by which a subjective experiences can be formed according to pre-determined affective outcomes. In order for this to occur, a measure of which we can take to be presence, as either the illusion of nonmediation (Lombard & Ditton 1999) or the projection of the subjective sense of selflocation to within the presented environment, there must be a means of reducing the significance or visibility of the system in other words, a relocation of the necessary epistemological devices for the effective tuition and support of system affordances to within the semantic world. Homodiegetic devices devices that operate from within the content thus become of paramount importance.
Therefore, ludic reality offers a model in which no distinction is made between rule and content. Both are aspects of a singular construct with a singular aim to allow the player, consciously and unconsciously, to construct an effective ludic reality where the system can be relegated in significance and a subjective location of consciousness within the game world can be supported. Whilst it is important to recognise that this applies to a distinct type of game, of which first-person shooters are the primary example, and that, in others, content structures such as a character and narrative can be more or less written off as non-cardinal, ludic reality demonstrates that the impact of semantic content is not limited to the superficial essentially contributing to the type of affect manipulation Freeman describes as emotioneering (2004). Rather, as we have seen, content is a powerful means of transmitting epistemological information to a player, manipulating the rules by which they engage. Drama is a device for managing attention, pace and expectation; it directs adjusts significance. The game world is not just a backdrop or stage for the action. It can be seen to affect a sense of time, persistence, establish a status relationship between player and system and create a sense of liminoid existence, occupying a space between the known and the unknown where the rule sets of affordance and expectation can be convincingly re-written. Agents offer virtual expansion of this affordance set, thus enabling a more detailed world to be inferred, with a greater scope for sophistication of action and goal. They also provide a means to offer persistency and an existence outside the immediate scope of play. Explicitly, they are used to exert direct control over goal; implicitly, they are frequently used to offer the player a chance of occupy a subservient position to the system, whereby the degree to which they literally think about what is happening is partially placed under the systems control interestingly, this relationship lies at the centre of Turners work on liminality. The avatar is more than a means to action, it presents a reduced psychological mould into which the user can project: where normal affordances are suspended and the avatars set, including expectation and likely action, is either predefined or, at the least, heavily inferred. Semantic devices, such as casting the avatar as cyborg, naturally extend the players relationship with the system into the inferred world, and provide a means for affordance expansion within the reality offered. In all
cases, such homodiegetic devices enable activity to occur within the system, rather than at the system level, thus increasing the potential for presence to occur.
As a tool for analysis, therefore, ludic reality leads us to a new perspective on game content, bridges the gap between content and structure, or rule and world, and argues that what we study is a multifaceted system for affect and affordance integration. A recognition of the current understanding of our embodied realities leads us to the consideration of a dynamic relationship between inferred object and schematic rule, and we can approach immersive games in a similar way.
References (Texts) Aarseth, E. 1997. Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press Bartlett, F., 1932. Remembering: A study in experimental and social psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bateman, C. 2007. Game Writing: Narrative Skills for Videogames. Boston: Charles River Media Botella, C., Banos, R.M., Alcaniz, M. 2003. A Psychological Approach to Presence. Presented at Presence 2003, 3rd Inter. Workshop on Presence. Carr, D. 1986. Time, Narrative and History. Indiana: Indiana University Press Churchland, P. 1986. Neurophilosophy Cambridge: MIT Press Clynes, M.E. & Kline, N. S. 1960. Cyborgs and Space In C. Hables Gray, H. J. Figueroa-Sarriera & S. Mentor, eds. The Cyborg Handbook. London: Routledge 1995, 29-33 Damasio, A. 1994. Descartes Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain. London: Macmillan Damasio, A. 2000. The Feeling of What Happens: Body, Emotion and the Making of Consciousness. London: Vintage Darken, R. P. Bernatovich D. Lawson J. P. & Peterson B. 1999. Quantitative Measures of Presence in Virtual Environments: The Roles of Attention and Spatial Comprehension. Cyberpsychology and Behaviour 2 (4), 337-347. Dennett, D.C. 1991. Consciousness Explained. London: Penguin. Dennett, D. C. 1996. Kinds of Minds: Towards an Understanding of Consciousness. London: Phoenix. Dinh, H. Q. Walker N. Song C. Kobayashi A. & Hodges L. F. 1999. Evaluating the Importance of Multi-sensory Input on Memory and the Sense of Presence in Virtual Environments. Presented at IEEE Virtual Reality 1999, Houston, Texas, US Edelman, G. & Tononi, G. 2000. Consciousness: How Matter becomes Imagination. London: Penguin. Flynt, J.P. 2006. In the Mind of a Game. Boston: Thompson Course Technology
Freeman, D. 2004. Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering. Berkeley: New Riders Harnish, R. M. 2002. Minds, Brains, Computers. Oxford: Blackwell Harraway, D. 1985. Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology and Socialist Feminism in the 1980s. Socialist Review 80, 65-108. Hart, F. E. 2006. Performance, phenomenology, and the cognitive turn. In B. McConachie & F.E. Hart (eds). Performance and Cognition. London: Routledge Juul, J. 2006. Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds. Cambridge: The MIT Press Dovey, J. & Kennedy, H.W. 2006. Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. 1999. Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its challenge to Western thought. New York: Basic Books LeBlanc, M. 1999. Feedback Systems and the Dramatic Structure of Competition. Presented at Game Developers Conference 1999, San Jose, CA Lessiter, J. Freeman J. Keogh E. & Davidoff J. 2001. A Cross-Media Presence Questionnaire: The ITC-Sense of Presence Inventory. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 10 (3). Loomis, J. 1992. Distal Attribution and Presence. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 1 (1), 113-119 Minsky, M. 1985. The Society of Mind. London: William Heinemann Ltd. Minsky, M. 1974. A Framework for Representing Knowledge. In P. Winston, ed. 1975. The Psychology of Computer Vision. New York: McGraw-Hill. Noe, A., O'Regan K. 2000. Perception, Attention and the Grand Illusion. Psyche 6 (15) Nunez, D. & Blake, E. 2005. Learning, experience and cognitive factors in the presence experiences of gamers: An exploratory relational study. In M. Slater (ed). Proceedings of Presence 2005: The 8th International Workshop on Presence. London 335-338 Pietro, G. 2002. Virtual Unreality of Videogames. Psychnology Journal 1 (1), 57-70. Pinchbeck, D. 2006. Ritual Co-location: Play, Consciousness and Reality in Artificial Environments. In L. Friedman, ed. Proceedings of Connectivity: The Tenth Biennial Symposium on Arts and Technology, Connecticut 137-146 Pinchbeck, D., Stevens, B., Van Laar, S., Hand, S. & Newman, K., 2006. Narrative, agency and observational behaviour in a first person shooter environment. In T. Kovacs & J.A.R. Marshall, eds., Proceedings of Narrative AI and Games, AISB Symposium, Bristol: Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour, 53-61 Schank, R.C. & Abelson, R. 1977. Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding: An enquiry into Human Knowledge Structures. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Schneider, E., Lang, A., Shin, M. & Bradley, S.D., 2004. Death with a Story: How story impacts emotional, motivational and physiological responses to first person shooter video games. Human Computer Research, 30(3), 361- 375. Searle, J.R. 1995. The Construction of Social Reality. London: Penguin Slater, M. & Steed, A. 2000. A Virtual Presence Counter. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual
Environments, 9(5), 413-434 Turner, V. 1982, From Ritual to Theatre: The Human Seriousness of Play. New York: PAJ Publications. Turner, V.: 1974. Dramas, Fields and Metaphors: Symbolic Action in Human Society. Cornell: Cornell University Press, US Zahorik, P. & Jenison, R.L. 1998. Presence as Being-In-The-World. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments, 7(1), 78-89 Zimmons, P. & Panter A. 2003. The Influence of Rendering Quality on Presence and Task Performance in a Virtual Environment. Proceedings of the IEEE Virtual Reality 2003. References (Games) Bungie 2002. Halo: Combat Evolved. Xbox: Microsoft Game Studios Bungie,. 1994. Marathon. Apple Mac: Bungie Crtyek. 2004. Far Cry. PC: Ubisoft Id Software. 1993. Doom. PC: id Software Id Software. 2003. Doom 3. PC: Activision Ion Storm. 2000. Deus Ex. PC: Eidos Interactive Ion Storm. 2004. Deus Ex: Invisible War. PC: Eidos Interactive Looking Glass Studios. 1994. System Shock. PC: Origin Looking Glass Studios. 1999. System Shock 2. PC: Irrational Games Looking Glass Studios. 1999. Thief. PC: Eidos Interactive Monolith. 2005. F.E.A.R. PC: VU Games People Can Fly. 2005. Painkiller. 2005. PC: DreamCatcher International Raven Software. 2004. Quake 4. PC: Activision (publisher) Starbreeze. 2004. Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. PC: VU Games Ubisoft Montrel. 2006. Far Cry Instincts: Predator. Xbox360: Ubisoft Valve. 2006. Half Life 2: Episode One. PC: Valve Valve. 2004. Half Life 2. PC: VU Games
Painkiller is a first-person shooter set in the sinister world of gothic horror. As the mercenary known as Painkiller, players are charged with the task of eliminating the undead in whatever lair, tomb, or residence they may be lurking in. Dressed in a black overcoat and wearing sunglasses to protect himself from the harsh glare of sunlight, Painkiller has earned a reputation for his no-nonsense approach to demon hunting. Yet he also hides a secret: a pact with a demon has granted him special powers at the expense of his humanity.
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