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Cultural models

Cultural models



Guest lecture on Jim Gee's "Cultural Models" and an intro to games studies from an STS perspective, for an undergrad class

Guest lecture on Jim Gee's "Cultural Models" and an intro to games studies from an STS perspective, for an undergrad class



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    Cultural models Cultural models Presentation Transcript

    • Cultural Models
      video games as mirrors and shapers
      John Carter McKnight
      ASB 344: Technology and Society
      Guest Lecture
      Arizona State University
      October 2010
    • that quote on the syllabus
      “Technology is not positive or negative. Nor is it neutral.”
    • what does that meeeeannn?
      One answer comes from “cultural models:”
      That’s where we find meaning for technological systems
      (and other stuff)
    • the Long Island overpasses
      you interpreted them through your own cultural models
    • cultural models
      not true or false
      meant to capture only a partial view of reality
      not conscious – kind of a subroutine
      become conscious when threatened or in conflict
    • cultural models and gaming
      what’s a “gamer”?
      who are they?
      who are they not?
      how do they talk?
      what do they eat? wear?
    • what do gamers play?
    • you probably didn’t mention
    • FarmVille: 81 million players
      Tetris for GameBoy: 35 million sold
      WiiFit: 22 million sold
      The Sims 2: 16 million sold
    • games & gamers:a socio-technical system
      a game isn’t just what comes in the box – it’s
      hardware & the electronics industry
      PAX, E3, etc.
      cheat guides & walkthroughs
      walkthrough videos
      your friends
    • shaping
      all of those parts shape the game
      they also shape the gamer
    • cultural models and design
      designers have cultural models of their customers
      the reflexive user
      the projective user
      the actual user
      the invisible user
    • we’ve seen this before, right?
    • cultural models and technology
      the stove is a piece of technology
      (neither positive nor negative nor neutral)
      our cultural models gender it
    • “Bow, Nigger”
      what cultural model was in play in Jedi Knights II?
      “the game allows ‘bad behaviour,” this is a good thing. It means by avoiding ‘bad’ behaviour, you can demonstrate how ‘good’ you are.”
    • cultural models: how do gamers talk?
      is there a connection with the “prospective user”?
      what about the invisible actual users? the people who won’t become users?
    • Under Ash
      if you play as Ahmed, do you share his values in the game?
      if you play as Ahmed,
      do you share his values
      in real life?
    • what about this game?
    • cops & robbers
      is it immoral to play the robber?
      is it a game if nobody does?
    • The Hurt Locker
      was the actor who played the suicide bomber making an immoral choice?
    • why are games different?
      is playing the Taliban in Medal of Honor different from acting in a movie?
      From playing a robber?
      From playing Shadow, the dark Sonic?
    • if games enable us to experiencedifferent cultural models…
      … well, then what?
    • want more at ASU?
      PSY: Johnson-Glenberg, Psychology of Games & E-Learning
      ENG: Daer, Gee, Hayes – mostly graduate level
      LAW: McKnight, Governance of Virtual Worlds (open to Honors College students)
    • contact me!
      John Carter McKnight, MIA, JD
      Blog, CV, presentations
      + Twitter, Facebook, last.fm
      LinkedIn, Goodreads, etc.