Cultural models


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Guest lecture on Jim Gee's "Cultural Models" and an intro to games studies from an STS perspective, for an undergrad class

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Cultural models

  1. 1. Cultural Models<br />video games as mirrors and shapers<br />John Carter McKnight<br />ASB 344: Technology and Society<br />Guest Lecture<br />Arizona State University<br />October 2010<br />
  2. 2. that quote on the syllabus<br />“Technology is not positive or negative. Nor is it neutral.”<br />
  3. 3. what does that meeeeannn?<br />One answer comes from “cultural models:”<br />That’s where we find meaning for technological systems <br />(and other stuff)<br />
  4. 4. the Long Island overpasses<br />you interpreted them through your own cultural models<br />
  5. 5. cultural models<br />not true or false<br />meant to capture only a partial view of reality<br />not conscious – kind of a subroutine<br />become conscious when threatened or in conflict<br />
  6. 6. cultural models and gaming<br />what’s a “gamer”? <br />who are they?<br />who are they not? <br />how do they talk?<br />what do they eat? wear?<br />
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  8. 8. what do gamers play?<br />
  9. 9. you probably didn’t mention<br />
  10. 10. FarmVille: 81 million players<br />Tetris for GameBoy: 35 million sold<br />WiiFit: 22 million sold<br />The Sims 2: 16 million sold<br />
  11. 11. games & gamers:a socio-technical system<br />a game isn’t just what comes in the box – it’s<br />hardware & the electronics industry<br />PAX, E3, etc.<br />cheat guides & walkthroughs<br />magazines<br />blogs<br />walkthrough videos<br />your friends<br />
  12. 12. shaping<br />all of those parts shape the game<br />they also shape the gamer<br />
  13. 13. cultural models and design<br />designers have cultural models of their customers<br />the reflexive user<br />the projective user<br />the actual user<br />the invisible user<br />
  14. 14. we’ve seen this before, right?<br />
  15. 15. cultural models and technology<br />the stove is a piece of technology<br />(neither positive nor negative nor neutral)<br />our cultural models gender it<br />
  16. 16. “Bow, Nigger”<br />what cultural model was in play in Jedi Knights II? <br />“the game allows ‘bad behaviour,” this is a good thing. It means by avoiding ‘bad’ behaviour, you can demonstrate how ‘good’ you are.”<br />
  17. 17. cultural models: how do gamers talk?<br />is there a connection with the “prospective user”?<br />what about the invisible actual users? the people who won’t become users?<br />
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  20. 20. Under Ash<br />if you play as Ahmed, do you share his values in the game? <br />if you play as Ahmed, <br /> do you share his values <br /> in real life?<br />
  21. 21. what about this game?<br />
  22. 22. cops & robbers<br />is it immoral to play the robber?<br />is it a game if nobody does?<br />
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  27. 27. The Hurt Locker<br />was the actor who played the suicide bomber making an immoral choice?<br />
  28. 28. why are games different?<br />is playing the Taliban in Medal of Honor different from acting in a movie? <br />From playing a robber? <br />From playing Shadow, the dark Sonic?<br />
  29. 29. if games enable us to experiencedifferent cultural models…<br />… well, then what?<br />
  30. 30. want more at ASU?<br />PSY: Johnson-Glenberg, Psychology of Games & E-Learning<br />ENG: Daer, Gee, Hayes – mostly graduate level<br />LAW: McKnight, Governance of Virtual Worlds (open to Honors College students)<br />
  31. 31. contact me!<br />John Carter McKnight, MIA, JD<br /><br /><br /> Blog, CV, presentations<br /> + Twitter, Facebook,<br /> LinkedIn, Goodreads, etc.<br />