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Default Survey: Reading Books in Video Games: Help!

August 25th, 2015, 20:33
Hello everybody,

I'm doing a thesis on video games and literature (more precisely on their mutual representation). It would help me very much if you could take a few minutes of your time to answer a short survey I created.

It takes less than 5 minutes.

You can find the survey here : https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1YcP…?usp=send_form

Do a good deed and help video games triumph in the university.

Thanks!
Last edited by H_Sellier; August 26th, 2015 at 08:33. Reason: Corrected link
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August 26th, 2015, 01:14
Umm, the link failed!
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August 26th, 2015, 01:39
I would love to take the survey, but yeah, the link doesn't work.

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August 26th, 2015, 02:02
Really people?
Maybe the thesis should be "problem solving skills of gamers on forums".
Simply delete the entire physics line including the [ ] and it works.
Its just a measure so spam bots etc cant link to it.
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August 26th, 2015, 08:33
I changed the link. So it's more easy to access to. Thanks for the reply.
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August 26th, 2015, 11:59
Done. Enjoyed that, cheers!

A couple of additional notes on literature within games:
1) If you haven't already done so, do check out the implementation of books within the virtual world in Ultima VII: The Black Gate. Personally, I haven't found texts as entertaining, humorous and enjoyable to read on the lore of another world. (beats TES for me.)

2) On the topic of mutual representation and self-reflexive dialogue, there's the additional idea of seeing games represented within games themselves as well. (I.E Being able to play Maniac Mansion inside the game of Day of the Tentacle). Would make a fun topic to explore, I'd say.

Best of luck with the thesis.
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Last edited by Pessimeister; August 26th, 2015 at 13:45.
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August 26th, 2015, 13:29
Done!
Go well with the thesis. Honours, masters or doctorate? Also which university? (I'm a part-time research fellow at the University of Melbourne hence my interest.
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August 26th, 2015, 13:50
I usually just read the books to see if it has some hidden gameplay element (location of an epic item or something). Story books? meh.
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August 26th, 2015, 18:23
Done.
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August 27th, 2015, 03:24
Originally Posted by Wisdom View Post
Really people?
Maybe the thesis should be "problem solving skills of gamers on forums".
Simply delete the entire physics line including the [ ] and it works.
Its just a measure so spam bots etc cant link to it.
Hmm, I get paid enough to think at work I can't afford to think on my own time
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August 29th, 2015, 11:45
Originally Posted by Hurls View Post
Done!
Go well with the thesis. Honours, masters or doctorate? Also which university? (I'm a part-time research fellow at the University of Melbourne hence my interest.
Doctorate. In France : l'université de Limoges. My research team works on popular culture (SF, fantasy, mangas…). What are you studying ?
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August 30th, 2015, 11:19
Finished my PhD in computer science looking at what distinguished better IT architects from not so good one. Now part of a research project looking at how come some organisations are getting value from a particular planning approach whereas some don't. I'm a part-time academic and consult around IT strategy.
You research team sounds very interesting. Any English publications?
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August 30th, 2015, 12:58
Done.
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August 30th, 2015, 16:31
The questions about how much you played games from the series of games don't really make much sense.

Not at all
A little (less than 2 hours)
Moderately (between 2 et 10h)
A lot (more than 10h)
Tremendously (more than 50h)

I mean 10h are really not a lot if you need at least 50h to get through one of the games of these series.

Personally my most significant experience with books was in Ultima IX:
I actually copied one Book from the game and presented it in Religion Class. This Book however was not a book from within the game world but a personal note from Lord British / Richard Garriott which is about ethical hedonism. That book explains how a social structure needs to work and basically makes religion / philosophy obsolete.
Link: http://lofs.uorpc.net/wiki/index.php…hical_Hedonism
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August 30th, 2015, 17:56
I only open a book if there is a chance for it to give a skillpoint. Like the bookcases in Divine Divinity sometimes contained a skill book. If there is no skill and the book is just there to read or for lore or to give background story, i wont even bother with it.

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August 30th, 2015, 18:43
Originally Posted by Icefire View Post
I only open a book if there is a chance for it to give a skillpoint. Like the bookcases in Divine Divinity sometimes contained a skill book. If there is no skill and the book is just there to read or for lore or to give background story, i wont even bother with it.

Hun??? A lot of times books let you know how to do a quest or help you figure out a puzzle.
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August 30th, 2015, 19:31
Aaand… done. Did pretty good this time, actually. Always get nervous around these kind of tests. I get the feeling there was a secret agenda at work here, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Originally Posted by Icefire View Post
If there is no skill and the book is just there to read or for lore or to give background story, i wont even bother with it.
Seriously? I can't imagine what would be like, playing Elder Scrolls without reading books…and those (audio) logs in Fallout III were far more interesting than either the main story or majority of quests.
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August 30th, 2015, 20:00
Imho it extremely depends on the length of the texts and how much they contribute to the game.

Just a few examples:
In Pillars of Eternity you had "golden NPCs" all around, which basically acted like "books" in other games. They were not relevant for gameplay but had some stories to "explore" when you looked in their spirits. However they did not give you any more in depth look of the world. They also did not give you hints. Basically they didn't contribute to the game at all but to give small short stories, often without ending. I only read first of them, then stopped it.

In Avernum/Avadon you have some Codex entries. They were walls of text each but only like 10-20 or so in total. But they gave a good overview about the world and helped you to make a picture of the world. I didn't enjoy reading them a lot. But I think they contributed to the game and might have helped making other things more enjoyable.

Also if something has a voiceover there is no question about whether or not I listen to it. I always will.

But as you can see with these examples already, I don't think that it's about books.

Imho it's about any kinds of text. The format in the game doesn't really matter.
The questions to ask are rather:

-How much text is there? And how to the point is it? Personally I didn't enjoy the texts in Pillars of Eternity a lot. As a lot of it was just blahblahblah, especially with the Mother and the Priest
-How interactive is the text/dialogue? If there is only a "continue" at the botton or you rotate through all options anyways, it loses tension and the text lacks importance. Avernum did a great job of not just keeping their dialogues to the point, but to also have some decisions mixed into the dialogues. So you paid more attention reading them as you might just make a decision
-How elemental is the information to gameplay aspects? In a lot of modern games you have a quest log and it might already show you the solution of the task. In that case there is no use to look for hints. Other games might leave puzzling it together to the player. In that case the text in books in dialogues gains in importants and also reading it becomes more exciting.

So it's not about the format, but how the texts are utilized in the game, which then also influences everything else.
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September 2nd, 2015, 04:27
Originally Posted by CelticFrost View Post
Hun??? A lot of times books let you know how to do a quest or help you figure out a puzzle.
I would rather figure out the puzzle or quest on my own. What is the point of a puzzle or quest if there is a book nearby that tells you how to do it?

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September 2nd, 2015, 04:36
Originally Posted by Icefire View Post
I would rather figure out the puzzle or quest on my own. What is the point of a puzzle or quest if there is a book nearby that tells you how to do it?
Okay, though not sure you can get very far in some games that way.

Also not saying a book or scroll that that tells you step by step how to do something in the game. That would like saying I don't talk to anyone in the game as they might tell me something about a quest.
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