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Film Studies


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Film Studies

  1. 6. More than a cut scene <ul><li>It may seem logical to apply the analysis of film studies to the most filmic aspects of the game, the cut scenes, as they resemble a film and it’s conventions the closest. Tools from formal analysis of film can be used to engage with the game as a time based media that creates a fictional environment. </li></ul>
  2. 7. Point of View <ul><li>The Point of View structure (not to be confused with PoV shot) is important when engaging with a game, it will effect the way the game is played. Frameworks from film studies are useful in accessing the effect of different points of view. The view point orientates the player inside the game. </li></ul>
  3. 8. A perspective on First Person Perspectives <ul><li>Within a first person game, (for example the first person shooter) it is indicated that the software camera has taken the point of view of the avatar (replaced the eye) through the inclusion of signifiers such as the hands or gun at the bottom of the UI. </li></ul><ul><li>I will give a few examples... </li></ul>
  4. 9. Quake , id software, PC [1996] DOOM , id software, PC [1993] Call of Duty 3 , Activision, Wii[2006]
  5. 10. First Person Shooter, Aram Bartholl [2006]
  6. 11. A perspective on First Person Perspectives <ul><li>Cinema finds it very hard to indicate to the viewer that the camera has replaced the eye without context. Within film it is very difficult to show this without a follow up shot. A shot in which a character looks at something (and the camera has replaced the eye) is usually followed by a shot of the person looking at the object so the viewer can orientate themselves within the scene. </li></ul>
  7. 12. Smack My Bitch U p, dir. Jonas Åkerlund, [1997] Black Christmas , dir. Bob Clarke, [1974] POV Porn First Person Perspective and the filmic medium.
  8. 13. A perspective on First Person Perspectives <ul><li>The first person perspective situates us in the action, we become the avatar, we are on the battlefield, we are holding the gun, and we are firing the bullets. It adds to the feeling of immersion within the game environment. In a first person game we are the killer, the hero, and we run around the environment achieving the goals set by the game. </li></ul>
  9. 14. A perspective on Third Person Perspectives <ul><li>The orientation of the software camera within the game will have a massive effect on player interaction (or the effect on the viewer), an over the shoulder camera shot, referred to as a third person perspective. The third person perspective puts the player in a situation where they are controlling a character or person with in game. In Resident Evil 4 you control Leon and Leon saves the presidents daughter. </li></ul>
  10. 15. Resident Evil 4 , Capcom, Game Cube, [2005] Tomb Raider , Eidos, MS DOS [1996] Gears of War , MS Games Studio, Windows [2007]
  11. 16. Mise-en-scène <ul><li>Mise-en-scène is a term in film studies used to refer to the setting of the scene, it refers to the objects and environment in the frame. It can be used in game studies in a very similar way, it creates the atmosphere of the game and helps to solidify the sense of immersion in the environment. </li></ul>
  12. 17. Mise-en-scène <ul><li>The Mise-en-scène in a game is the game environment; it is the setting, and the objects that the player interacts with, it forms the mood of the gameplay. A forest within a survival horror game will be very different to a forest with a action adventure game. </li></ul>
  13. 18. Sound <ul><li>Within film studies there are two main ways to talk about sound, Diegetic and Non-Diegetic. </li></ul><ul><li>Diegetic sound is produced from the events within the scene and gameplay. These are usually sound effects, spoken dialogue, and sounds produced through play </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Diegetic sound is added sound, usually music/soundtrack. </li></ul><ul><li>Both Diegetic and Non-Diegetic sound have an effect on the players engagement with the game space </li></ul>
  14. 19. Iconography <ul><li>Iconography in cinema is the study of recurrent visual motifs which become associated with a certain set of films, a genre or a director. </li></ul><ul><li>Talking about the iconography of a platform game, we might say that you can expect boxes that usually have a question mark on that hold bonuses inside, a first person shooter usually has terrain littered with crates etc. </li></ul>
  15. 20. The Fourth Wall
  16. 21. The Fourth Wall <ul><li>The fourth wall refers to the invisible barrier between the viewer or audience, it forms a boundary that divides the entertainment and the viewer. </li></ul>
  17. 22. The Fourth Wall <ul><li>The fourth wall refers to the invisible barrier between the viewer or audience, it forms a boundary that divides the entertainment and the viewer. </li></ul>
  18. 23. The Fourth Wall <ul><li>The fourth wall, through separating the audience from the action contributes to what film studies calls the “ suspension of disbelief”. </li></ul><ul><li>The fourth wall is used in almost every visual medium to separate, although it derived from theatre it is often referred to in film studies. </li></ul>
  19. 24. Breaking The Fourth Wall
  20. 25. Breaking The Fourth Wall Out of the Inkwell: The Tantalizing Fly , dir. Max Fleischer [1919]
  21. 26. Breaking The Fourth Wall A few examples that you might remember from TV and Film… Saved By The Bell , dir. Sam Brodrick, [1989>1992] Ferris Bueller’s Day Off , dir. John Hughes [1986] The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air , dir. Andy Borowitz [1990>1996]
  22. 27. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>The fourth wall in Computer/Video games work slightly differently than in film or TV as the player is always interacting with the game or system. </li></ul><ul><li>The pleasure of agency and retaining the fourth wall play off each other and Computer/Video games have some of the most interesting examples of breaking the fourth wall because they work as a system </li></ul>
  23. 28. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>Tutorials - </li></ul>Within the tutorials of Super Paper Mario player is instructed to press the A button, the instructor says “ What is this A Button Anyway? Are we being watched by another dimension?” Super Paper Mario , Nintendo, Wii [2007]
  24. 29. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In Game - </li></ul>In Tak and The Power of Juju , the Shaman refers to the player as an “ Omniscient Being ” throughout the game and gameplay, thus making the player constantly aware of their own presence with the game and their roll within the narrative. Tak and The Power of Juju , THQ, PS2 [2003]
  25. 30. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In Game - </li></ul>Within the game Fire Emblem on the GBA the gender picked by the player determines the interactions on the NPC’s. If a player chooses a female avatar then the NPC’s tend to flirt with the player. Fire Emblem , Nintendo, GBA [2003]
  26. 31. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In/Out of Game – Crossing the 4 th wall </li></ul>The famous encounters with Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid have become a gaming landmark in breaking the 4 th wall. The Metal Gear Solid series have become seminal works in video game history, mainly for their innovations with breaking the 4 th wall. Metal Gear Solid , Konami, Playstation [1998]
  27. 32. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In/Out of Game – Crossing the 4 th wall </li></ul>SEGA ’s use of the avatar in the Sonic The Hedgehog series is a perfect example of breaking the fourth wall in videogames. Sonic left alone in the original releases for a pre-set amount of time will turn to the player and tap his foot impatiently until the player resumes gameplay. SEGA took this one step further with their Sonic CD release, Sonic left alone to his own devices for too long, will try to engage the player by reprimanding him and then leave the screen, resulting in a game over. Sonic The Hedgehog , SEGA, Megadrive [1991]
  28. 33. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In Game - </li></ul>In Jak 3 on the Playstation 2, a monk scolds Jak and Daxter, remarking “This is not a game”, causing Jak and Daxter to turn their gaze towards the player confused. Jak 3 , SCEA, Playstation 2 [2004]
  29. 34. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In Game - </li></ul>In Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Lord Chump turns to the player in disguse and states “You, in front of the TV!” continuing to tell the player not to tell Mario who he is while the other characters took on confused. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door , Nintendo, Gamecube [2004]
  30. 35. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In Game - </li></ul>Within the Simcity series, if the player pauses the game and resumes quickly, a news report will show that a citizen has been institutionalised into a mental hospital after reporting that the world had seemed to stop, everyone had remained still, implying that one citizen had not been paused and roamed around the game environment. Simcity , Electronic Arts, Windows [1985>Present]
  31. 36. Breaking The Fourth Wall in Video Games <ul><li>In Game - </li></ul>Sims 2 , Electronic Arts, PSP [2006] “ Take Control of the being that is controlling you! This horrible creature thinks that it is merely playing a harmless game. It feels no compassion for the lives it destroys!”
  32. 37. Action film to platformers Something lost in translation (or adaptation) Games as merchandise
  33. 38. Cliffhanger , Imagesoft, SNES [1993] Alien 3, Arena, Mega Drive, [1992] Cliffhanger, dir. Renny Harlin, [1993] Alien 3 , dir. David Fincher [1992]
  34. 39. Interactive Movies/Games The 90’s gaming tangent or the merging of two disciplines.
  35. 40. Phantasmagoria , Sierra, MS-DOS, [1995]
  36. 41. Night Trap , Digital Pictures, Sega CD, [1992]