Week 6 Blog Prompt

As we reach the final week of the semester, so we find our final blog prompt. And I think it’s time for reflection. I want you to look back on your first blog post, both your own, and those of your peers, and think about how your view of videogames and gaming might have shifted over the past six weeks. Do all the assertions you made then still hold true? Do you have a different view of the role that gaming has played in your life, and the life of those you know? What aspects of gaming do you now think about most prominently.

This is intended to be a reflection, so feel free to take it in any direction it goes.

Thanks for a great semester!

Mark

Elders’ Reaction on GTA V

Recently there is a popular video clip on YouTube showing elders who are not familiar with video gaming, playing Grand Theft Auto V. The clip has reached 7 million hits.  REACT ,the youtube channel that uploaded this clip, has indeed made similar videos to show how elders react with different games such as Mario and Call of Duty. Perhaps GTA appears to be too criminalizing and negative on different forms of media, the elders having fun on this new game becomes a catch to the online public.

Although the elders had a hard time figuring out how to use the controller, they soon enjoy the gaming realm, having fun stealing cars, bumping to people on sidewalks, or even beating or shooting people. It seems that video games like GTA is not really an issue of encouraging crime to them, but rather a game that helps people to relax and entertain themselves.

In an episode from television series Misfit, gamers are manifested as addictive criminal that cannot distinguish the difference between virtual world and reality. The episode seems have exaggerated the effect of immersion that the game could bring.

It is difficult to neglect the hypermediacy provided from the game, such as map, health or number of ammo appears on the gaming screen, can remind us about the mediation. There might be some people that want to steal a car or shooting people to have re-experience the excitement of the game in real life, but it seems such crimes will not likely happen on people have normal cognitive sense.

Shaping video gamers as a psychopath just stereotypes and worsens the image of gamers. Indeed, gamers can come from all walks of life: different countries, ages, race, sex and could be as normal as those elders who played the video game.

WEEK 6 REFLECTION

WEEK 6 REFLECTION

In the past, I like to play some kind of little games to spend my leisure times. And at present, after six weeks study of the video game culture, I play the same kind of games as usual; but the difference is that now I can category myself into the casual gamers, and I know that the game type that I like is also the casual game, which is easier to learn and play aiming to attract more casual gamers’ attentions and always reflect positive emotions to unconsciously encourage people to keep playing. Before I started this course, I only regarded video games as the entertainment tool. However, after I read and listened each lesson, I found that the game world is a magical space, which includes various culture features, race and gender representations, some social issues and the technological developments. In this course, I realize that video game is not only an entertainment manner with complex design work, but also it is a reflection of culture. Because every game could transmit different messages or literally tell the specific perspectives to players. Besides, I know why players have tried many times but they still cannot win in the game, because those kind of games is the mode of ‘no ending’ and ‘no winning’.

Overall, I am so proud that I decide to enroll such an interesting course which could continuously stimulate my interests on the media filed, and it corrects some of my prejudices about video games, because everything has two-side effects – positive and negative and at most time it reflects many good viewpoints guiding us to understand the world in a different way.

Thanks Mark’s lectures!

-Q

Blog – Game world, the real life

When I first saw the title of the game – Every Day the Same Dream, I thought that it must be a kind of puzzle game that aims to challenge player’s logic. And after my first playing, I found that it is just a simple game, which could let gamers use arrow buttons to control the movements of a virtual character and press spacebar to make ‘him’ do something; and it seems that the purpose of this game might be to let people realize how a typical office worker’s life looks like.

However, during the second playing, I noticed the words which the elevator lady’s said – “5 more steps and you will be a new person”; hence, I continued to press the spacebar to see what would happened differently when the character get into a different scene and whether I could ‘be a new person’ in this round. Till to the moment when the character suddenly jumped off the rooftop, I was shocked and realized that a boring life might make a person depressed so that he would choose to end his life and get free. However, I asked myself, if he has a distinct way to live, will he be happy? So I decided to choose something different: letting ‘him’ do not wear clothes, leaving his car and walking to a farm to pet a cow, catching a falling leaf before work, and at last he was fired because he did not wear his tie. And the game screen faded to black again. This time, I had not let ‘him’ to be a new person, as the usual life was started again. At this moment, I felt so confused that whether the game just wants me to watch my character suicide and the ending must be the death, in order to let me understand how hard the future life is; but it might not be true, as I remembered that the elevator lady had said that there was only “one step” left to be a new person, when last time I played. So I tried to let ‘him’ do not go to the work and go back when ‘he’ arrived at the car park, then ‘he’ met a homeless stranger who took ‘him’ to a graveyard; and when I press spacebar again, the homeless man said he would take ‘him’ to a quiet world. And then, the game automatically shifted to the beginning scene without any fading scene, and I thought this time the game would show me a happy ending. Surprisingly, ‘he’ moved automatically, and there is nothing around him as usual: no colored TV, no wife, no elevator lady, no traffic, no boss, no colleagues; and finally when he arrived at the rooftop, there were another ‘him’ stood on the rooftop, but ‘he’ could not move forward to save another ‘him’, hence ‘he’ was forced to stand there and watched another ‘him’ jumped off the roof at last.

This game always makes me sad and confused, because this gameplay seems to portray a typical modern life – everyday, most people have to repeat the same routine of living and working, they do not have much free time to enjoy life, and they have to face many competitions which may make them stressful. However, if you try to choose another way to view this world or have a break, I believe you will feel differently and may find a fruitful manner to free yourself up for a better life, and the death is the worst way to solve any problem.

  • Q

Review: Throwing back then

I looked back to the first post for this course, I had a deep review toward those viewpoints that I made for video games and gamers. I do realize my attitude and views toward video games and gamers have changed throughout the process of this course. In my first post, I do make a relatively prejudiced judgment toward video game and gamers that I mentioned them as undesirable social group. But, I think I have the excuse for it as firstly, I never have immersed into any hardcore games. And secondly, I was just an “outsiders” who learn fragmented pieces of information from secondhand report materials, also failed to look at meanings of video games and controversies built around it in a comprehensive and coherent way.

Throughout time, I began to have sympathy toward video game industry and their consumers as I rarely find mass media out there that are accustomed to claim themselves neutral, offer impartial judgments and sensible description toward video games and gamers. The mainstream media continuous to devalued video game as only being a source of destruction threatening social well-being. It is true that video games caused addition and have the agency of violent. However, I think that mainstream media has been overweening and narrow-minded where most media materials including academic journals have coherently merely condemned video games and making biased judgments based on pre-constructed stereotype of gamers. I feel sorry for video games industry by some point in the way that if violence and addiction of kids are problems caused by video game, why there is rarely research on solution treating in response to that? For instance, someone from those mainstream media should address the issues with a neutral point of view and perhaps start working with school to teach kids the right attitude coping with this new exciting media form: video game. I think video games deserve more social respect and recognition. At least, media industry should view it without seeing it upon previous prejudiced judgments and continuously distort video games and gamers.

However, after this course has finished, I am still uncertain whether the mass popular culture has “othered” video game or the video game has other itself from the mainstream group due to its unique characteristics that distinct it away from others.

Video Games integrated into Urban Setting: Part Cuatro + course reflections

Today i want to bring your attention to Daan Roosegaarde who develops interactive technologies, particularly within landscapes and urban settings. His TED talk is as follows:

I am really intrigued in how video games, or games in nature, and how they are beginning to crossover into methods of design and interactiveness within not just Urban settings as my series suggests but on systemic level within the production and design of a society. The physical evolution of games amongst our everyday lives is a great way to take us from socializing and playing on pones and other devices to being able to interact with your surroundings directly and meet people amongst your community who would otherwise be strangers. This ‘ice-breaker’ could well be the thing disjunctive societies need in order to form a collective community that is so prominent on-line within the existing gaming community.

To summarize my experiences within this course- the role games have played, are playing and will play in future is staggering and to be deemed a cultural ‘other’ is no short of sheer ignorance. The representational and democratic substance behind new emerging platforms gives games the ability to act as a catalyst for change that, i believe, will be unprecedented.

Thanks to all the interesting topics raised by lecturer and students alike and hope to see you peeps around!

Stay safe

Week 6: Reflections

I admit I have been guilty of seeing video games as thing but leisurely entertainment and never thought of them as more than art until this paper. recently I now see it as so much more. I look at my experience with gaming from a different perspective now and see that it says a lot more about our world than you would think just from playing these games for ourselves.

If I had to write my first post again I would write about so many more of my experiences and in different ways because I now know so much more about what makes a gaming experience. My video game shelf is filled with so many experiences I could have touched on in that first post; failed experiments with game genres I’ve left to settle in dust and games previous to me that are worn from the hours and hours I’ve spent playing them.

Over these 6 weeks my feminist view of gaming has emerged again to defend the validity of female game, and I wonder if these views would have influenced how I expressed my gaming life in my first post. Should I have written in detail about how I loved the first Call Of Duty game? Possibly but these views hadn’t been brought to the forefront of my mind yet when I began writin these posts.

I love games and I will always love games, even when I’m a lot older and just playing the morning crosswords to ward of dementia. Everybody enjoys play in some form; whether it’s competitive, personal, real world or virtual everybody has experiences with play. I now know how much of my own I have and the place I hold in society for having these experiences.

On eSports…

I just wanted to wrap up my blog posts with a prediction, albeit an obvious one to many people in this class. I believe eSports will be competing with ESPN’s most watched live sports matches in the next couple of decades. We can already see how far it has come in the last 15-20 years.

With the increasing popularity of all gaming it is inevitable that the popularity of spectating games will also increase. The more involved in gaming communities and the more appreciation the average person has for gaming will do nothing but add interest to the future stadium events. I also think the development of photorealistic graphics in gaming will help in breaking the industry through to the mainstream, as that is what the mainstream want. Beautiful action to spectate and teams to support.

I discuss this from personal experience. I understand how easy it is to begin a passion for eSports if you share a love for gaming and a love of the competitive sporting environment. About 4 years ago I bought Starcraft 2 and was absolutely awful, but I really loved the game. The depth of the development in the game, the micro-management and strategy required, and of course the beauty of the game. I haven’t played this game in years but I have streamed many pro matches. I found I could never really get the value out of a game I loved through playing it myself, as I wanted to see the potential for what someone could achieve in it. So eSports has been the perfect means for me to enjoy this great game, without investing serious amounts of time in developing the ability myself (As if I actually could). I believe this will be a common trend in the future leading to the increase in popularity of eSports.

Week 6- Reflections

Like many others on this blog, I have found that my interaction with games has stayed at relatively the same level as when I began this class, but my appreciation and understanding of the games themselves and the surrounding culture has deepened drastically. While at the beginning of the course I very much bought into the gamer stereotypes presented in the media and saw it as being outside of the mainstream (despite the fact that almost everyone I grew up with playing videogames), I now have appreciate it as being a major part of mainstream entertainment that is widening to include many demographics outside of the traditional “nerdy male” stereotype.

I have also grown to understand that, while this medium has grown leaps and bounds, it is still a young medium that was historically very male and as such has a long way to go when it comes to both the representations of females within the texts and the treatment of women in gamer related social media circles (most explicitly during the ongoing Gamergate controversy) . While many of the aspects of this course have been very interesting to me, this is the aspect that I find myself being much more aware of when it comes to playing games and reading press and online discussions surrounding games. I think this is due to the fact that it has taken such a new and  extreme form of the issues that pervade much of our mainstream media and has extended my understanding of a subject that I have studied throughout my FTVMS degree.

While in my first blog post I was clearly still unaware of the huge depth of study in the field of video games, I was surprised to find that I did touch on a number of prominent issues that we went on to study in detail. These include my aversion to microtransactions, the relationship between “casual” and “hardcore” games and the way the moral panic surrounding Grand Theft Auto made it more appealing to me as a young teenager. I think the fact that I was well aware of these concepts even as a layman is testament to the way videogames and their surrounding issues have become so strongly ingrained in our culture, and as such is a subject that needs continuous study in academia as it will continue to grow as a major part of the entertainment and cultural landscape.