Recently, my roommate and I decided to go see the new Jumanji movie to see if did the 1995, Robin Williams classic prequel. Not only was it a great movie and one of the better movies I’ve seen in the past year, but it was also based around a video game. For those who haven’t seen the original, first, watch the original because you’re missing out on one of Robin Williams great performances. Second, the idea behind the movie is that a board game named Jumanji, based around journeying through the jungle, comes to life in the real world, and the only way to end the madness is to beat the game. Well, in the newer edition, the Jumanji players are sucked into the video game, and take the role of their selected video game characters. I believe that the movie is not only entertaining, but it makes a serious underlying point. Video games bring together people that would otherwise never talk to each other. The four high school students sucked into the game were a nerdy, timid guy with little self-confidence, an IG model with no awareness of her surroundings, an education buff who rarely enjoys herself, and a jock with no regard for his grades. They all have obvious differences, but when sucked into the game and forced to take on their video game strengths, they work together to solve their shared dilemma. This dynamic isn’t just seen in the movie, though. For me, I see it consistently. Being in a fraternity with a very diverse group of brothers, one common attribute stands out: everybody fucking loves video games. Whether you like adventure, multiplayer, sports, or strategy games, there is a video game for every type of person, and when forced to come up with a group solution to a single problem, camaraderie is built. Outsiders view video games as nerdy, lazy, and unnecessary, but those of that have played it know that it means much more.
This past weekend, Blaise finished the storywriting for our pilot scene of the ‘Midnight Ride’, and I finished the writing for our ‘Back to the Future’ scene, in which President Kennedy returns to Cold War era White House with our created player and Paul Revere. While we hashed out the final dialogue and plot of our respective scenes, Jon worked to improve the battles within our game, and built more scenery. Kaeman finished the cover art for the start menu of our game, which I have to say looks pretty freaking dope right now. He also worked to get the avatars created for our British and Russian soldiers. In class, we mainly discussed how we were to break up the portfolio and exactly what we would discuss in each of our chapters. Blaise almost has the introduction finished, and will soon start writing about the historical research of the Revolutinary era. I’ve been working on the section discussing the influence of other video games seen in our own games, and will also write about the problems we had in our game involving historical context. Kaeman will write about the history surrounding the Cold War Era, and will also write our conclusion. Jon has been tasked with the design document, and timeline of our project. We are much further than expected, but we also understand that there is much more work to do.
Yesterday, Blaise, Jon, Kaeman, and I decided to name ourselves Team Bad Company after the Battlefield game. Although we derived our name from a FPS, we decided to make our game an RPG focused around the American Revolution. We thought it would be fun to not only fight with a couple of historical figures that actually, but it would also be cool to start the story with your own character, and recruit founding fathers on the way to defeating Britannica. Since we couldn’t choose just one historical time period to incorporate into our video game, we’ve also discussed adding ancient Japanese elements through armor and weapons that we will choose for our game. We’re excited to begin buildin, and can’t wait to see how the beginning stages work out!