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.