My computer and video game fandoms.

Last November in Forum Ludorum (where else), we've discussed the topic of characters in video games, but only recently have I rediscovered my old notes from that meeting and compiled them into a coherent essay.

Recently in the Forum Ludorum seminar, we have discussed the topic of interactive storytelling in games. Based on that discussion, I was able to summarize my own current understanding of the topic below.

Over the last few years, I have been dabbling in both game studies and practical game design, but, being a M.Sc. in artificial cognitive systems, my favorite part of development has always been the artificial intelligence – specifically, the rather unique ways it is used in video games. As I have read about the subject, I have compiled a list of illuminating resources that give a good overview of the topic that I wish I had when I myself started out.

Having published my video game AI reading list, I came to realize that there are two interrelated aspects of video game AI architectures that the academic and industry literature doesn't really talk about: namely, the scope and the frame of artificially intelligent agents. Specialists throw around terms like "squad controller" and "director AI", but never seem to set them in a broader context – possibly because it's self-evident and obvious to them. I don't have that luxury, however, so I will try to present my current understanding of the two aspects and how they relate to each other.

NieR: Automata is, in my opinion, the most important thing to have happened to the video game medium in 2017. It has fun gameplay and a suitably convoluted JRPG plot, but its most essential aspect is how it plays with the conventions and the limitations of the art form to bring across its themes and messages. Since I am not nearly qualified enough to perform a deep-dive analysis of said themes and messages, but fortunately, there are smarter and more knowledgeable people on the net who did. In this post, I put together a reading/viewing list of comprehensive analyses that helped me form a deeper understanding of the game. Needless to say, all of them contain plot-shattering spoilers of the game's story.