Video games case study

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  • 1. AS Media Studies MS1: Media Representations and Responses Video Games Case Study
  • 2.
    • Learning Objectives : To recognise the intertextual nature of video games and identify the effect on media audiences.
    • Learning Outcomes : How audiences respond to and interpret video games
  • 3.
    • Starter- Video Games statistics
    • What do you know about video games?
  • 4.
    • What percentage of US households play video games?
  • 5.
    • 2. Gamer age distribution
    • Break the following age categories into percentages:
    • Under 18
    • 18-49
    • Over 50
  • 6.
    • 3. Out of every 5 gamers, how many are female?
  • 7.
    • 4. What is the average age of a gamer?
  • 8.
    • 5.From 1-3 (one being the most played), rank the most popular games console for boys and for girls (i.e Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii)
  • 9.
    • 6. In hours, how long does the average gamer spend playing games per week?
  • 10.
    • 7. How many millions of units have each of the following consoles sold?
    • Xbox 360
    • PS3
    • Wii
    • Sony PSP
    • Nintendo DS
  • 11.
    • 8. What is the best selling console of all time?
  • 12.
    • 9. What percentage of the following consoles break/fail in the first 2 years of ownership?
    • Xbox 360
    • PS3
    • Wii
  • 13.
    • 10. What is the most successful games series of all time?
  • 14. Some points to consider…
    • By 2011, the worldwide gaming market will be worth $48.9 billion
    • UK consumers spent £3.7 billion on games in 2010
    • music and video sales accounting for £4.46bn
    • the video games market has more than doubled in value in the last seven years
  • 15. Why do people play video games? Why do you suppose it is such a popular past time?
  • 16. Genre in video games
    • How many different genres of video games can you think of? Provide examples for each.
    • What are the conventions of video games? Try to suggest common elements that can be applied to ANY game, regardless of genre.
  • 17.
    • Some examples…
  • 18. First-person shooter (FPS)
  • 19. Third Person Shooter (3PS)
  • 20. Simulator
  • 21. Survival horror (3ps sub-genre)
  • 22. Watch extracts from Red Dead Redemption (Rockstar Games, 2010).What can you identify here in terms of genre? Consider film as well as video games.
  • 23.
    • What does this suggest about intertextuality?
    • What genres does it borrow from?
  • 24. Compare the promotional posters and identify similarities.
  • 25. Applying the Uses and Gratifications model to Call of Duty Black Ops
      • To reinforce personal identity by comparing our own roles with similar roles in the media : What do gamers feel a part of here? What is it about the games that an audience identify?
    • Fighting for a ‘good’ cause, albeit one that has a distinct ‘Pro-Western’ sentiment (US heroes/Communist ‘villains’)
    • Becoming a ‘hero’ (aspirational)
      • The need for companionship and interaction : Who or what are they interacting with? How could we address companionship?
    • Playing on-line/in teams/competition
    • Interacting with a narrative structure to progress through the game
      • The need to be informed : What is the game telling the audience? What information offered up from the game could be identified as useful? Does it inform lifestyle for example?
    • Messages about the human ‘cost’ of war OR what must be sacrificed to achieve peace.
      • The need for entertainment and diversion
    • Escapism: the game takes us to foreign lands and into exciting situations. This may be more measured than other games as the game tries to create a sense of realism in its depiction of war. It does however clearly feature fantasy elements (travelling back in time to the 1950’s and 1960’s during the height of the ‘cold war’
  • 26.
    • Apply this model to GTA4.
    • Uses and Gratification Model (Blumer, McQuail & Brown)
    • The model is concerned with how and why people consume the media.
    • Theorists have identified four major types of consumption:
      • To reinforce personal identity by comparing our own roles with similar roles in the media : What do gamers feel a part of here? What is it about the games that an audience identify?
      • The need for companionship and interaction : Who or what are they interacting with? How could we address companionship?
      • The need to be informed : What is the game telling the audience? What information offered up from the game could be identified as useful? Does it inform lifestyle for example?
      • The need for entertainment and diversion