Games Culture Emma Westecott Assistant Professor: Game Design, OCAD email@example.com
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.
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.
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.
Conceptual debates Media Studies The effects of technology are socially determined Active audiences Interpretation Spectatorship Representation Centralised media Consumer Work New Media Studies The nature of society is technologically determined Interactive users Experience Immersion Simulation Ubiquitous media Participant/co-creator Play
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)
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
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? Time-based Performative
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.
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).
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?
modding - subverting the rules Waco Resurrection (2003) http://waco.c-level.cc/
The Art Of The Game MODDING - subverting the rule Waco Resurrection (2003) http://waco.c-level.cc/
The Art Of The Game MACHINIMA - recording the engine Dance Voldo Dance (2002) Chris Brandt http://www.bainst.com/madness/voldo.html
The Art Of The Game INDEPENDENT GAME DEVELOPMENT - building games with other intentions
The Art Of The Game INDEPENDENT GAME DEVELOPMENT - building games with other intentions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEI9a2nedEs
The Player Character Engagement in games is manifest through the player’s 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.
The Player Character GAME AVATAR : World of Warcraft Horde GAME ACTOR : Lara Croft ICON : LocoRoco
The Player Character1st Person Camera Mirror’s Edge
The Player Character 3rd Person Camera Prince of Persia
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 isn’t like a movie star. He’s not someone you watch, he’s someone you can step into the shoes of. Playing Snake gives gamers the chance to be a hero.” (Kojima, 1998: 43)
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)