RPC online response 2
C. Video game/ online game/ mobile game
My chosen cultural artefact, “Undertale”, is a single-player role-playing game published by indie game developer Toby Fox in 2015. The story revolves around a human child who accidentally fell into the underground of Earth and was desperate to find the way home. The game is advertised as “a friendly RPG where nobody has to die”, as the player can either peacefully pacify each monster on the way or straight up murder them just like every other RPG. The game was critically acclaimed due to its phenomenal story-telling and was awarded the “Best PC Game“ award by multiple game publications like IGN.
At first glance, some players might judge the game base on its reminiscence of the classic Japanese RPG style and criticize it to be unoriginal. As cited in the lecture notes, standardized cultural artefacts like Popular Music are simply unproductive and predictable rearrangements of a fixed formula provided by the cultural industry. They gradually turn passive listeners into brain-numbed mass as we indifferently get used to these tedious products, thus socially destroying our individuality as well as the creative culture itself (Adorno & Horkheimer, 1944). Undertale does take the style of Japanese RPGs like Pokémon, where the player controls the protagonist to move on a 2D platform and explore the game world. Both games provide similar methods to interact with in-game characters, like pressing a certain button to talk with NPCs and using a turn-based combat system to fight enemies. However, as the game progresses, players would find Undertale to be much more than a standardized RPG.