I did my class facilitation on the game theories article, but I didn't really get a chace to say everything I wanted to about my thoughts on it, so I will expand on the ideas we touched on in class here.
There were many aspects of games, film and media in this article. The part that most interested me was the idea of storytelling through video games and how 'video game' time works.
"Many factors that have little or nothing to do with storytelling per se contribute to the development of great games and we need to significantly broaden our critical vocabulary for talking about games to deal more fully with those other topics."
The readings on Game Theories this past week dealt a lot with the role of story within games. The theories that the authors present are similar in their exploration of the relationship between rules/prestructured narratives and play/unstructured narratives.
In this weeks readings, the topic of a video game narrative vs a story narrative was talked about. In the "Cyberdrama" readings, an essay by Janat Murray discusses the relationships between games and stories, and questions which came first, the game or the story?
This weeks class discussion engaged the topic of the level of personal connection one feels with a game. I would not consider myself a heavy gamer. I have played Halo, Super Smash Brothers, and was a Solider of Fortune nut for awhile, but I never reached a level of addiction to play any game for an extend period of time. So with that disclaimer, may I say, to me, the idea that one forms a personal connection with the identity of the character he or she plays is a little far fetched.
Our class discussions last week have led me to think of how in general we think about games. While the authors in the selected readings were very good about using specific games when referencing trends in video games, from what I experienced in the class discussions it is hard to make general arguments about video games. That is why I feel that when we speak of video games, we must also speak of the genre at the same time. Thus, when speaking of a specific genre of video games, the conclusions based on the observations that one makes are typically true and in a sense irrefutable.
After examining last week's various readings about videos games, I have found my personal views to align with those of the authors from the Game Theories readings. In his essay "Game Design as Narrative Architecture", Henry Jenkins regards modern game consoles as:
Machines for generating compelling spaces, that their virtual play spaces have helped to compensate for the declining place of the traditional backyard in contemporary boy culture. (122)
In my intro to MS class we were talking about World of War Craft and how a guy committed suicide b/c he asked a girl to marry him on the game and she said no. hmmm i feel like there are starting to be more cases of suicide in general from online interactions that don't go well. what does this say for virtual reality?
Mateas brought up characters needing to be "believable enough so that the participant cares about them (Cyberdrama)." This was a statement in regards to the game The Sims. I found this interesting because this point is similar to issues of virtual reality, emotional bonds, and this unreal world that people want to experience. It is only realistic that one would need to care for a Sims character to want to advance his/her character in the game however, I would ask what is it and how is it that we do care for these characters?
As I mentioned last week, I've got to attend an emergency meeting in New York this Wednesday, so we need to do a bit of shuffling in the schedule. Here's how the next few classes will go:
Monday, April 21 -- Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture, introduction through chapter 2
Monday, April 28 -- Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture, chapter 3 through conclusion
Wednesday, April 30 -- Your suggested readings