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Audiences and video games


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Audiences and video games

  1. 1. Audiences and Video Games
  2. 2. Uses and Gratifications Theory • This theory states that audiences are attracted to media texts that are USEFUL or which provide them with some GRATIFICATION (pleasure) • Blumler and Katz (1979) theorised that these uses and gratifications fell into four categories: – Diversion – something to pass the time – Personal Relationships – something which allows you to make more productive friendships, for example by giving you something to talk to your friends about – Personal Identity – something which allows you to define who you are – Surveillance – something which allows you to find out about the world around you
  3. 3. Uses and Gratifications Theory • David Morley (1991) argued that there were five types of uses and gratifications: – Cognitive (learning – the text helps you find out something) – Affective (the text affects you and provides emotional satisfaction) – Tension Release (the text allows you to relax or let off steam) – Personal Integrative (the text helps you to define your own personal identity) – Social Integrative (the text helps you with social interactions e.g. by providing a topic of conversation or way or interacting with others)
  4. 4. Richard Dyer’s Utopian Solutions • “Utopia” is an imaginary ideal world • Richard Dyer argues that “entertainment offers the image of ‘something better’ to set against the realities of day-to-day existence.” • This is the idea of “escapism” • Inside the world of a video game your existence can be “better” than in the reality of day-to-day existence
  5. 5. Richard Dyer’s Utopian Solutions Real World Problem • Exhaustion • Dreariness • Boredom • Fragmentation/Loneliness • Scarcity/poverty Entertainment World Utopian Solution • Energy • Intensity • Excitement • Community/companio nship • Abundance/wealth
  6. 6. The idea of aspiration • Aspiration is the idea of wanting something better than what you have • Advertising, marketing and promotional material will often present an idealised representation of the world – a Utopian Solution – as audiences will aspire to that lifestyle and its trappings
  7. 7. How does the trailer/poster/website use representations to appeal to its audience? • Use audience theories in your answer • What uses and gratifications does the trailer suggest the game offers? • What utopian solutions does the trailer suggest the game offers? • Give examples of idealised representations that create audience aspirations
  8. 8. Choose two contrasting games Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs The Uses and Gratifications Theory Explain what kind of experiences are being promised to the audience
  9. 9. Casual or serious?
  10. 10. Are these games / franchises casual or serious? • Call of Duty • Super Mario • Legend of Zelda • Candy Crush Saga • Professor Layton • FIFA • The Sims • Battlefield • Metal Gear Solid • Dark Souls • The Elder Scrolls • Angry Birds • Temple Run • Minecraft • Worms • Assassin’s Creed • Just Dance • Singstar
  11. 11. Video game audience stats Source: Who plays games? • 82% of 8-65 year olds • Over 27.6 million adults • Over 5 million 8-15 year olds
  12. 12. When do people play?
  13. 13. What do they play on?
  14. 14. Gaming is social • 72% of adult players play socially, either in person or online • 96% of children play socially
  15. 15. Games are about social interaction • 72% of players have played with others • 81% have played with others in person • 54% of social network players have played with others over a network • 41% of browser games are played with strangers
  16. 16. Writing task • What three conclusions can you draw from the statistics you have been given? e.g. “Whether the audience plays video games is not dependent on their gender as 49% of gamers are female, and 51% male.”