Our Game History Timeline
1978, 1980, 1981
More Video Game History
Games as a Cultural Form
“….Are video games bad for you? That is what they said about rock-n-roll?” -Shigeru Miyamoto
Games as representational objects - how do we start to understand the inherent sexism and violence that can be found in many video games?
Taking a game’s procedural characteristics into account - what does the internal logic and interactivity of game play prompt us to experience and consider?
1995 study of the top 33 video games
How do video games communicate ideas?
We need to remember procedurality as one of the basic properties of the computer, and by extension, the video game.
-Critic Ian Bogost proposes the term PROCEDURAL RHETORIC: “The art of persuasion through rules-based and interactions rather than the spoken word, writing, images, or moving pictures”
-Critic Noah Wadrip-Fruin examines: “the expressive qualities of computer processes help us understand the aspects of works that are not apparent on the surface.”
Ethics and Games
How do the game rules shape the moral responsibility of the players?
Critic Miguel Sicart: Video Games are moral objects that make players (who are moral beings) reflect on their actions. “An ethically relevant game forces the players to face ethical dilemmas.”
Eg. - Manhunt (a game which forces the player to commit murders), can be paradoxically, illuminating from an ethical standpoint because it is “actually designed to make the player enact an unethical experience.”
In this view, players are not dupes who consume violent content. Instead they are empowered to choose the games they play, and develop their own playing strategies.
Games as Escape
Does all entertainment = escapism ? Passive versus Active forms of escape. -Games as active form of escape.
-Games as a necessity, both for adults and children (in their psychological development).
Critic Mary Flanagan: How can games engage players in activities that make them question the different aspects of human life?
-Play as subversive. The nature of games as rule oriented makes them specifically geared towards activism.
“Video game violence and glorification must be stopped — it is creating monsters!” - Donald Trump on Twitter, 2012
Conservative fear of new media
Games a niche as a contested cultural niche.
Games as mainstream. Games as a cultural object of importance.
If video games was an immediate catalyst, we would have difficulty explaining why none of the shootings involving teens have occured in movie theaters or video arcades where the different stimulus of game playing would be most acute. Instead, these murders have tended to occur in schools and we need to look at real world factors to discover what triggers such violence. -Henry Jenkins