Video games textual analysis


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Video games textual analysis

  1. 1. Video Games<br />Textual Analysis<br />
  2. 2. Background<br />In the exam you must write about contemporary examples of masculinity in media texts. <br />One of the mediums we will be analysing is video games.<br />You will need to analyse keys scenes from games using micro aspects (mise en scene, music, camera work etc) just like you would for film.<br />We will analyse/play 2 videogames in class as key texts for the exam.<br />
  3. 3. Aspects to analyse<br />1. Narrative/structure<br />2. Action<br />3. Character<br />4. Visuals<br />5. Sound<br />You then need to decide how these micro aspects represent masculinity.<br />
  4. 4. Narrative/Structure<br />Does the game have a back-story? The use of backstories is very common in video games and is often used to:<br />Establish the nature of the problem within the game and justify the situation the character finds themselves in at the start.<br />Introduce the central characters and help the player identify with their character.<br />Establish the visual style of the game that can influence the representations of characters and of the conflict in the game.<br />Is part of a game that is often skipped by more experienced players.<br />
  5. 5. Narrative/Structure<br />How is the game structured - does it have levels? How does the opening sequence help us to understand how masculinity is represented?<br />Do you have to follow a set path to complete the game? How much freedom do you have to explore the gameworld?<br />Which narrative theorists can you apply to the game e.g. Todorov, Propp, Barthes, Levi – Strauss? Explain how.<br />
  6. 6. Action<br />What happens within the game?<br />What actions does the character have to perform in order to succeed?<br />Is the game all action or is it a mix of different types of sequences?<br />What type of player-action does the game require?<br />Does the action reinforce notions of masculinity?<br />
  7. 7. Character<br />How are good/bad characters represented within the game?<br />What abilities does your character have?<br />Does the character construction rely on an understanding of any existing cultural iconography?<br />How is the character positioned within the gameworld?<br />How is the character presented to you as a player (first-/third-person view)?<br />Summarise your character’s representation in terms of their masculinity. Stereotypes?<br />
  8. 8. Visuals<br />What does the game look like – its image and style?<br />Are the visuals intertextual? If so, what are the references?<br />How do the visuals affect the way conflict is represented within the game?<br />Do the visuals help to create an atmosphere – what kind is it?<br />How do the visuals affect the player?<br />
  9. 9. Sound<br />How do sound effects affect the way conflict is represented within the game?<br />How are diegetic and non-diegetic sound effects used?<br />How can sound effects affect the player?<br />
  10. 10. Task<br />Answer the following essay question:<br /> How do the two videogames represent masculinity?<br />Use your grids to help you.<br />Make reference to theories.<br />Make reference to wider contexts.<br />