Gameplay Journal Entry #1
by Giovanni Minus
For this journal entry I would like to talk about the game known as 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. In this I will talk about an aspect of technicity the game has that influences the players identity as they play the game.
I started playing 13 Sentinels about a month or so ago and have had a lot of fun going through the game’s mystery sci-fi story as well as its top-down strategic battles. 13 Sentinels has a very confusing yet intriguing story, filled with tons of twists and a lot of unexplained elements that you slowly figure out as you play. These story elements are all experienced by the player in nearly every aspect of the game, but most prominently are experienced in the games dialogue sections. In these sections the player talks to characters, walks around, and does different actions to move the plot along. During this the player can gain keywords that have an important meaning to the character, these are then saved to the characters thought cloud for future use to progress story sections. The keywords and thought cloud game mechanic molds the players identity into that of a ‘critical-thinker’ as not only is the character trying to piece together story elements in their heads, but the player as well. This can especially be seen in certain character stories more than others as you repeat story sections to get different outcomes based on the new information the player has already learned up to that point. The more I think about it the thought cloud concept along with the execution of the story are ingenious as it puts the players in the same position as the character. Making them a ‘critical-thinker’ trying to find all of the pieces to solve a complicated problem. Which based on what Dovey and Kennedy said in our readings covering Technicity, would make 13 Sentinels game mechanics “a critical aspect of the construction of that identity” (17).
Coincidentally I started watching a LP of 13 Sentinels on YouTube around the same time. While I am not the biggest fan of the YouTubers stopping consistently to try and piece together the plot, it definitely reinforces the ideas I mentioned before. Whenever they reach a new plot point brought up, they take a moment to talk it out amongst themselves on the possibilities of what that could mean. The game provides the means to help them theorize with things like the thought cloud, an event timeline, keyword database, and even a message log that can be pulled up at any time. This is a really good thing for the game to do as the game has so many mysterious plot elements in it that it can make players second guess what they believe is happening. This can occur many times as you play 13 Sentinels, and I have had many occasions where this happened to me. If you are someone that already has the mentality of wanting to piece things together, then this game will certainly help to further reinforce that type of identity.