Friday, April 22, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
Play Joust (see the two links below this blog to access).
As a group, contribute to the group thinking in comments. Your posts should build on one another's comments to this blog.
Describe the game:
--Purpose/how to win?
--point of view/perspective?
--Values in Game?
--Where's the gender?
--How does this game support/enhance/disturb themes in RPO?
See your email for details.
Put 4 types of play up on whiteboard:
How does RPO fit in each category?
Provide specific evidence
What does Gender have to do with any of this?
DO: post or email your final project bullets.
DO: Play Joust and one other game. Analyze joust together in the blog.
Joust all together...
Describe the game:
--Purpose/how to win?
--point of view/perspective?
--Values in Game?
--Where's the gender?
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Monday, April 4, 2016
Computer link to free 80's games (thanks Taylor!)
Free Pac man
A history of driving games (thanks to Corinne's brother for sharing):
A history of pong and tennis games (another brother link):
If you find more links, put them in the comments section!
- A character in the novel
- General audience from the world in RPO
- Tumblr page
- A fictional text that provides an additional point of view not provided in the novel.
- I hope the audience is able to see a Tumblr page that is based off of what one that Art3mis created might look like.
Monday, March 28, 2016
Women are largely used as sexual objects within video game play. Misogynistic, sexist and violent representation for women in videogames is the norm in our society. There are probably too many games to name that continue to over sexualize women and use them as decoration, instead of interesting, complex, and intelligent characters that you can use for game play. This virtual realm is an absolute depiction of our patriarchal culture and how these dominant ideologies influence and dictate how women are treated and represented within reality and games. I get frustrated at times when people say there is no need for more diverse representation in videogames, more women are playing video games than ever before and yet we’re still not fairly being represented in the proper way. Too many games fall under the dominant discourses and its hard to find a game with a leading female character that isn’t overly sexualized or manipulated in someway. This concept of women being background decoration is literally everywhere in popular media and culture. Sexual objectification happens to women all the time in advertisements and commercials to sell products, and it perpetuates the idea that women are objects instead of actual human beings with thoughts and feelings.
The idea that hiring more women within the gaming design industry alone will fix the issues with representation is much too simple for the real problem at hand. Even if gaming is a virtual reality, this does not mean this realm is excluded from dominant societal issues within the United States. Though I am extremely happy that more women are going into the gaming field and finally being allowed more positions, this does not mean there aren’t road blocks within these institutions to align with dominant ideologies. I did just see recently that statistically more women are actually playing video games than men nowadays, yet we still have this stereotype that gaming is for straight white guys. The problem with thinking that representation within games can be solved as easily as hiring more women within the industry is assuming that, A, all women are feminists, or B, they are very aware of feminist issues. Also, this suggests that the men within this industry are not capable of creating anything other than things that align with themselves or their over sexualized fantasies. I believe that the whole system has to be revamped with a feminist lens, if people aren’t aware of difference or willing to try and be understanding of others experiences, then the continuation of the same norms within games will continue. There is no good enough reason that all different types of people aren’t allowed fair representation within games. The continued thinking that marginalized groups aren’t relatable or interesting enough perpetuates this Black or White mentality, when really people are much more complex and fluid than the dominant discourse displays, especially within games. There is a spectrum of people out there that have many intersectionalities, which deserve to be heard, understood and normalized. All of these issues are due to dominant ideologies/discourses within our culture that helps perpetuate the norm and continues to allow the creation of games that are hyper masculine, hetero-normative, misogynistic, and homophobic. More diverse people need to be involved within the gaming industry, not just women, and the people that do align with the dominant norms need to become allies of marginalized groups and work towards diversifying videogames within the future.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
Tampon Run is definitely a counter narrative. I almost wanted to choose a different game after I finished my first round (and did horribly!), but then I thought more about the game and this assignment and I realized there was no need. I think the reason I wanted to switch was because the game itself was so easy, but the message was so much more than the game. I have been researching menstrual taboos for a couple of classes which is probably why I chose this game in the first place. To begin, I love that this game was designed by two young girls who are sick of the stigma about periods. To summarize the game, the only playable character is a little girl who is being attacked by boys on the ground and flying. You must hit them with tampons before they reach you while also collecting boxes of tampons to use against your enemies. The intended audiences is not limited to girls but certainly engages them with the title “Tampon run”. Because of the stigma, i'm sure this title will discourage many boys from playing and therefore receiving the message. This is represented in the game itself, I don’t believe it was accidental that the enemy is boys at all. In a way I see the tampon as a metaphor for normalizing menstruation around those of the opposite sex. It is accessible to the masses because it is free, it isn’t limited to people with expensive gaming consoles, and is simple enough to where anyone can play. The only drawbacks that i can see is that, you can’t change the way you look as the playable character and we are assuming all boys are an enemy. Which of course we know it not the case, women have been known to shame other women, in fact it is usually our mothers who teach us how to hide our periods and to stress how secretive it must be, thus perpetuating the stigma.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
This game most definitely supports a socially unpopular counter narrative. When it comes to gender, the United States really only validates two genders, male and female. Player one in this game is a transgender female, born with male anatomy but is in the process of transitioning to female. The transgender community is almost never included or talked about in games, unless they are poorly treated prostitutes. This game however is very different, it starts at the beginning of the transition process. Walking the player through daily issues people who are transgender may have to deal with like shaving, using public bathrooms and interacting with family and the community. It continues by giving the player different tasks like choosing a doctor, paying for hormones and other medical and social challenges. The game displays very real issues the transgender community experiences, even the issues around being addressed by the correct pronouns. The game involves simple controls, only the arrows keys are used to work through the game. These controls give player one very limited options, which again symbolizes the issues the transgender community faces. There are not enough options for them concerning their own bodies and possible treatments. This game is very different from traditional games, as its purpose is less about entertainment and more about the process of educating people on some of the issues the transgender community faces in a gaming outlet.
“September 12” is very much a counter narrative. From the name alone I figured it would have something to do with the September 11th, bombing attacks and I figured it was going to be about American troops. In reality, it was about bombing a Middle Eastern town and watching the destruction unfold on the people that live there. As soon as you start the game it starts off by telling you how much it is not a game and how it’s a simulation, something that can happen or has happened. And you can either choose to shoot or not to shoot. There are men walking around with guns, these are the terrorists, and the rest of the town is full of pedestrians, simply walking around and minding their own business. When you shoot, you hear the guns charging up and watch as a missile heads towards the buildings and explode on impact. The bodies of those around it, whether they had guns or whether they were innocent bystanders, remain and other characters begin to surround them. You can literally hear the sobs of those surrounding the dead bodies. This game isn’t the narrative we’re given. We’re given the narrative that when America bombs other countries, we do it to fight off the terrorists, we’re never really told all of the innocent lives that are lost along the way. You don’t hear about the parents who lose their children or the children who lose parents because it doesn’t help build this idea that our war is good and necessary. This game tells this story of the devastation that every attack that has been issued in Iraq and Afghanistan has just left millions devastated exactly like the attacks on 9/11 had done to America. This game just goes to illustrate the issues with war and the effects that aren’t reported to us each and every day.
One thing that stood out to me, especially considering the article "Games You Can't Win," is that this game does not really focus on win/loss states (though you still have to "progress" through the game in some manner). Rather, the game presents a series of vignettes that the player "experiences" interactively. It is interesting that many people, including my brother, consider this a bad thing, and say that it makes the product "not a game." But that sentiment is incredibly exclusive in terms of what games are allowed to be and do. Games can do more that stick to spacial genres (driving, shooting, platforming, etc.). Developers are now figuring out how to take the mechanics of the game and turn them into something that the player experiences, much in the same way that a movie can make a character seem isolated based on their position in the frame. In this way, Dys4ia continues to go against dominant media by generating an emotional experience for players rather than a spacial one (and uses space to further this, as well).
Digression: there are two pretty great videos on the question of "what is a game" if anyone is interested:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blj91KLOvZQ - Extra Credits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgu76ql6FSo - Errant Signal
Saturday, March 19, 2016
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Question 3. How does critically looking at videogame(s) highlight flaws in our current society?
Videogames often reflect real life values and morals in order to connect with its players. Unfortunately the majority of designers create games targeted for the stereotypical game consumer. The white, middle class, heterosexual male which we know statistically, does not actually make up the majority of videogame players anymore. However these stereotypical games continue to be made because we continue to buy them. The supporting argument for these sexist, racist and heteronormative games is frequently “it’s only a game, why do you have to analyze it?”.
Well it may “just be a game” but designers are portraying real life situations and real life injustices in a desensitizing way. Players become desensitized to the brutal and unjust treatment of women and minorities in games because it is currently a common theme across games. It is a common theme in games because it is a common reality in our society. Games like “Grand Theft Auto”, “God of War” and “Fallout” have further pushed the polar opposite characteristics of genders in gaming. Commonly creating player one as the dominant white male, who has power and control over the female and minority characters. But wait that sounds familiar… We live in a society majority ruled by white males, who have power and control over female and minority citizens… But “it’s only a game”.
Values and morals that reflect our current society are often hidden in games, appearing to be just another part of the game. But the designers had to purposefully include those aspects; like racism and sexism, they did not just appear in the game on their own. Designers create games that they think will sell, and when racist and sexist games continue to sell year after year, that tells us something about game consumers.
Not only are games designed to include sexist and racist themes, those beliefs carry over to the some of the real life players as well. The majority of game designers are male, and many think they have power over the culture of gaming. That the culture of gaming is theirs to design, theirs to control, and theirs to play. Female gamers are constantly scrutinized, disrespected and sexually objectified in the gaming world…. But wait, doesn’t that sound like the real world as well? The sexist and racist society we live in, is what gave white males the idea in the first place that they could monopolize an ever growing entertainment outlet like gaming. White male supremacy in the gaming world will not stop until it is stopped in our reality.
Monday, March 14, 2016
Notice: Class will meet in Horace Mann 182 on 3/14
Midterm Blog (20%)
Choose ONE question to answer in your blog:
1. Make some connections between class content (a blog post or class discussion) and Ready Player One.
2. How does looking at Ready Player One highlight flaws in our current society?
3. How does critically looking at videogame(s) highlight flaws in our current society?
4. Shaw (linked here and in your syllabus) finds two problematic approaches to rectify the misrepresentation of women in games: The “Add women and stir” approach (increasing the diversity of game-makers), and placing the burden of change on representatives from the marginalized group(s). Choose one of these two approaches to write about in your blog. What’s the approach and what are issues related to the approach? Then think beyond the problematic approaches: How can we “create critiques of representation that are politically engaged enough to resist market logics and nimble enough to encompass interactive, personalized, customized media texts?”
Blogs will be scored on the following items:
1. Is your name on the blog?
2. Did you WRITE the question which you are answering?
3. Did you ANSWER the question (starting with a thesis sentence)?
4. Did you reference concepts discussed in class, the blog, or class texts?
5. Is your opinion/perspective represented?
6. Did you use conventional English and grammar?