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Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
Mac129 Video Games And Representation
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Mac129 Video Games And Representation

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Lecture slides used in MAC129 Intro to Cyberculture

Lecture slides used in MAC129 Intro to Cyberculture

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  • 1. Video games &Representation <br />MAC129 - Cyberculture<br />
  • 2. Economic success: GTA IV<br />Released April 2008<br />Day 1 sales: 3.6 million ($310m)<br />Week 1 sales: 6 million (£500m)<br />August 2008<br />Sales: 10 million<br />June 2009<br />Sales: 13.2 million<br />Source: http://www.vgchartz.com/games/index.php?name=grand+theft+auto+IV<br />
  • 3.
  • 4. Historical business<br />A struggle to define a place for early games <br />(see Marvin, 1988; Poole, 2004)<br />Historical accounts tend to be lists of names and dates<br />
  • 5. First game?<br />5<br />Tennis For Two 1958 (William Higginbotham)<br />Spacewar! 1962<br />(Steven Russell)<br />
  • 6. Cold War kids1950s….<br />Emerged during a period of intense socio-economic and geo-political changes:<br />Space Race (USSR)<br />Cold War paranoia (nuclear anxiety)<br />Decline of heavy industry<br />Major changes in life style<br />Advent of domestic mass communication<br />Consumer confidence<br />
  • 7. Game development…<br />Largely due to<br />“university computing departments, the military, the interest of the first game developers, the first games and the subsequent development of game playing as an activity embraced largely by young males” <br />(Kerr, 2006: 14; see also Haddon, 1988; 1993)<br />
  • 8. The console wars<br />http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars<br />
  • 9. The console wars today<br />
  • 10. Popular claims about video games<br />Negative associations – health and violence<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCuKQIMg0I4<br />Columbine shooting: Doom<br />http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1295920.stm<br />Car-jacking: Grand Theft Auto<br />http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/3680481.stm<br />Stabbings: Manhunt<br />http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3936237.stm<br />
  • 11. (Un)popular claims about video games<br />Positive claims?<br />Surgeons who played games for at least 3 hours a week made ‘37% fewer errors, were 27% faster’ than surgeons who did not play games. (Hall, 2007)<br />Safe environment to enact fantasy<br />Creativity of ‘modders’<br />
  • 12. Games emerge from a cultural context<br />US military funding?<br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHLJ_hZt2ds<br />
  • 13. Always a ‘politics’ in every representation<br />Representations are never innocent. <br />Representations are always a ‘construction’ in accordance with the producer’s politics. <br />
  • 14. Representation and race<br />Black culture as animalistic, subservient, sexual, violent and dangerous<br />
  • 15. Resident Evil 5 Race Row<br />
  • 16.
  • 17. Representations of gender<br />1950s<br />Women as domestic, maternal, naïve, consumers, etc<br />
  • 18.
  • 19. http://www.feministgamers.com/?p=466<br />http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2008/07/i-write-letters.html<br />http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/07/23/well-that-was-bound-to-happen/<br />
  • 20. Representation of gender<br />Feminist critics have argued that many media texts represent women as:<br />Sex objects<br />Dutiful housewives / virginal daughters<br />Mad, bad, dangerous women who need punishment<br />Are video games any different?<br />Jiggle physics?<br />http://archive.gamespy.com/fargo/january02/jiggle/<br />See also:<br />‘Top 10 Boobies in Video Games’<br />‘Sexy Video Game Babes’ <br />
  • 21. Game design<br />Studies of digital games have noted a ‘consistent pattern of male technocratic privilege’ <br />Williams, cited in Kerr, 2006: 19 <br />Game development & design, production, marketing & construction, dominated by heterosexual masculine fantasies<br />Gansmoet al, 2003<br />
  • 22. Gender in games<br />Traditional stereotype of femininity evoked<br />Relationships<br />Romance<br />Emotions<br />Role-play<br />Gansmo (2003): little understanding within the industry about how game design might be linked to gender socialisation <br />
  • 23. Consequences of stereotypes…<br />Games are a ‘prime example of the social construction of gender’ (Cassell and Jenkins, 1998: 37) and they may significantly influence people’s attitudes towards the use of computers in school or later career choices<br />
  • 24. Women do play games!?<br />Funk (1993): <br />75% of females play games at home (90% males)<br />Colwell and Payne (2000): <br />88% of females aged 12-14 play games regularly<br />ESA (2004): <br />39% of US gamers are female and females account for 40% of online players.<br />Krotoski (2004): <br />approx 25% of gamers are female in Europe, compared to 70% in Korea<br />Crawford & Gosling (2005): <br />Women much less likely to play the older they get<br />Alexanda (2009):<br />Female console gamers grew from 23 to 28 percent in 2009<br />
  • 25. Krotoski, 2004: 10<br />25<br />
  • 26. The Wii and women?<br />‘Nintendo&apos;s Wii console captures new game market’ <br />John Sterlicchi, Oct 2007<br />http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/oct/10/usnews.internationalnews<br />
  • 27. Domestic access<br />Access to gadgets in home is not gender neutral<br />Highly masculine and potentially hostile to females<br />Is this changing?<br />www.girlzclan.com<br />www.everground.com<br />www.girlgamer.com<br />http://female-gamer.com/<br />
  • 28.
  • 29. Domestic context<br />Space <br />a greater percentage of girls’ play has been centred in or around the home<br />Time<br />females still spend more time engaged in domestic labour than males (typically 1.5 hours per day more than males in the UK)<br />
  • 30. Gaming spaces outside the home<br />Predominantly masculine environments<br />arcades, pubs, motorway service stations<br />Women at LAN parties tend to be in a supportive role<br />When they do compete the media portrays them as:<br />Exotic<br />Sexualised<br />
  • 31. Game content<br />Relatively low number of playable female characters<br />Abundance of stereotypes<br />Masculine themes<br />The damsel in distress?<br />
  • 32. Positive moves?<br />1991: Nintendo release Barbie Game Girl for Game Boy<br />1996: Mattel release Barbie Fashion Designer<br />2000: The Sims <br />2003: Linden Research launches Second Life<br />2004: The Sims 2<br />2004: SCEEurope release karaoke title SingStar on PS2 <br />2006: Sony launches pink PS2 and PSP<br />2006: Cooking Mama released<br />2008: Wii Fit released<br />
  • 33. Children Now study (2000)<br />92% games have a male lead (54% female)<br />50% women portrayed in a stereotypical way.<br />38% displayed women with significant body exposure (23% breasts; 31% thighs; 15% backsides; 31% stomachs/midriffs)<br />Female characters defined by ‘disproportionately large’ breasts (38%) and ‘excessively tiny’ waists (46%)<br />33<br />
  • 34. See: http://www.remedialthoughts.com/2008/11/can-women-in-games-ever-be-more-than.html<br />
  • 35.
  • 36. Positive figures?<br />
  • 37. Conclusion<br />History of games has been male dominated<br />Industry can be conservative and not welcome change (can be risky)<br />Women increasingly more important to the industry<br />Positive changes ahead?<br />
  • 38. Sources and further reading<br />Leigh Alexander, 2009, ‘NPD: Female Gamer Population Increasing On Consoles’, Gamasutra, http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24245<br />Jo Bryce & Jason Rutter, 2003, ‘Gender dynamics and the social and spatial organisation of computer gaming’, Leisure Studies, 22: 1-15<br />Jo Bryce, Jason Rutter and Cath Sullivan, 2006, ‘Digital games and gender’, in Jason Rutter & Jo Bryce (eds.), Understanding Digital Games, London: Sage.<br />Judith Butler, 1990, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, London: Routledge.<br />Children Now, 2000, Girls and Gaming: A Console Video Game Content Analysis, Oakland, CA: Children Now<br />J. Colwell & J. Payne, 2000, ‘Negative correlates of computer game play in adolescents’, British Journal of Psychology, 91: 295-310.<br />G. Crawford & V. Gosling, 2005, ‘Toys for boys? Women’s marginalization and participation as digital gamers’, Sociological Research Online, 10, (1), http://www.socresonline.org.uk/10/1/crawford.html<br />T.L. Dietz, 1998, ‘An Examination of violence and gender role portrayals in video games’, Sex Roles, 38 (5-6): 425-42<br />J. B. Funk, 1993, ‘Re-evaluating the impact of computer games’, Clinical Paediatrics, 32: 86-90<br />AleksKrotoski, 2004, ‘Chicks and joysticks: an exploration of women and gaming’, ELSPA white paper, http://www.elspa.com/assets/files/c/chicksandjoysticksanexplorationofwomenandgaming_176.pdf<br />Carolyn Marvin, 1988, When Old Technologies Were New. Thinking about Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century, New York: Oxford University Press<br />Steven Poole, 2000, Trigger Happy: the inner life of videogames, London: Fourth Estate<br />Steven Poole, 2004, Trigger Happy: videogames and the entertainment revolution, New York: Arcade Publishing<br />G. R. Schott & K.R. Horrell, 2000, ‘Girl gamers and their relationship with the gaming culture’ Convergence, 6: 36-53<br />

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