CFC Day 3 Game Culture

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  • 1. Games Culture
    Emma Westecott
    Assistant Professor: Game Design, OCAD

2. What is culture?
There are many definitions of culture. Most of them directly or indirectly involve what people think, what they do, and the material products they produce. Games culture refers to the surrounding context of game-play itself.
3. The broader picture
Considering games as culture entails moving beyond the borders of the magic circle to consider how games interact with the contexts that lie outside the game itself.
When we consider a game as a cultural representation, we are considering game as a cultural text, allowing for an interpretative reading of a game.
4. Reflections and transformations
All games reflect culture, reproducing aspects of a cultural context.
Some games also transform culture, affecting genuine change.
In addition to understanding that games can representand that they are representationswe can frame them as cultural representationsreflecting the meanings of the contexts of where they are produced and played.
5. Conceptual debates
Media Studies
The effects of technology are socially determined
Active audiences
Centralised media
New Media Studies
The nature of society is technologically determined
Interactive users
Ubiquitous media
6. Play Culture
Social life is endowed with supra-biological forms, in the shape of play, which enhance its value. It is through this playing that society expresses its interpretation of life and of the world. By this we do not mean that play turns into culture, rather that in its earliest phases culture has the play character, that it proceeds in the shape and the mood of play.
(Huizinga 1955: 46)
7. Brian Sutton Smiths 7 Rhetorics of Play
8. Co-creative media & critical play
The old rhetoric of opposition and cooptation assumed a world where consumers had little direct power to shape media content and where there were enormous barriers to entry into the marketplace, whereas the new digital environment expands their power to archive, annotate, appropriate, and re-circulate media products.
Jenkins, H. 2003
9. The Art Of The Game
Where The Art Is Located?
Not what games look like but what game flow offers, the art of the game is about the player, and provides a kinesthetic poetry of performance.
What Type Of Art Are Games?
10. The Art Of The Game
The game experience results from the collision of game world; game rules and game play in a given moment in time. The palette that the game artist holds consists a toolbox that creates these multiple media moments that have the potential to emotionally resonate with a future player. The intent of this form of choreography is to create a synthesized player experience where the visuals, sound and interaction converge to immerse the player within the flow of an emotional moment.
11. The Art Of The Game
Tiffany Holmes has used the term art game to define an interactive work that challenges cultural stereotypes, offers meaningful social or historical critique, or tells a story in a novel manner (Holmes, 2003).
12. The Art Of The Game
the lively arts
digital games are coming out of the entertainment closet e.g. political, educational, social applications of form. the dance between technology and art spawns multitudes of new form e.g. locative experiences, convergent media, etc.
applying the lens of art history e.g. effect of photography to liberate older forms from realism, what might drive digital game form to escape current aesthetic?
13. modding - subverting the rules
Waco Resurrection (2003)
14. The Art Of The Game
MODDING - subverting the rule
Waco Resurrection (2003)
15. The Art Of The Game
MACHINIMA - recording the engine
Dance Voldo Dance (2002) Chris Brandt
16. The Art Of The Game
with other intentions
17. The Art Of The Game
with other intentions
18. The Player Character
Engagement in games is manifest through the players representation of agency. Our main mechanism for engagement in game is through direct control of our player character, or representation of action in game. A player character acts out the movements of the player and marks her progression in game.
19. The Player Character
20. The Player Character
21. The Player Character
22. The Player Character
World of Warcraft Horde
GAME ACTOR : Lara Croft
23. The Player Character1st Person Camera
Mirrors Edge
24. The Player Character3rd Person Camera
Prince of Persia
25. The Player Character
We tried not to give him [Snake] too much character because we want players to be able to take on his role. Snake isnt like a movie star. Hes not someone you watch, hes someone you can step into the shoes of. Playing Snake gives gamers the chance to be a hero.
(Kojima, 1998: 43)
26. The Player Character as Puppet
'... The fascination with puppets reaches so far back into human history that it must be regarded as a response to a fundamental need or needs. It is, clearly, a projection of the obsession of human beings with their own image More profoundly, it reveals a yearning to play god, to master life.'(Segel, 1995: 4)