Computer Game Revision
Codes, Conventions & Analysis
A little introduction to
How much is the computer games
industry worth in the UK?
How much is the computer games
industry worth in the UK?
Entertainment software, games consoles and PC gaming
accessories generated a total of £2.875 billion in the UK in
2010 (figures from www.iabuk.net)
In 2010 Microsoft sold 18.2 million Xbox 360s and generated £538 million from these
sales. This was followed by Sony, which sold 13.8 million Playstation 3s. It made £414
million in revenue
It recently became the country's most valuable purchased entertainment market, with
combined software and hardware sales topping the £4bn mark for the first time: more
than DVD and music sales combined, and more than four times cinema box office takings
Video Game Genres
_bjM - Charlie Brooker ‘Games Wipe’
How many video game genres can you remember?
List Of Genres
• Shooter - One of the oldest genres of video game is the classic shooter
• First-Person-Shooter (or FPS) - This is an example of a sub-genre that has grown enough to become its
• Adventure - Another of the first video game genres, especially from the computer platforms, was the
• Platform - It is believed that the platform genre began in 1981 with the release of the games Donkey Kong
and Space Panic. Games within this genre are usually identified by navigating environments that require
timing and jumping in order to reach a destination while avoiding and/or disposing of enemies.
• Role Playing Games (RPGs) - Evolving from pen-and-paper games like Dungeons and Dragons, RPGs are a
special type of adventure game that usually incorporate several elements.
• Puzzle - In many ways, puzzle video games are not dissimilar from traditional puzzles. What they offer are
unique environments that are not as easily introduced in one's living room.
• Simulations - By their nature, simulations are attempts to accurately re-create an experience.
• Strategy/Tactics - Like simulations, strategy/tactics games attempt to capture a sense of realism for the
game player to experience.
• Sports - As you can imagine, sports games are those that simulate the playing of sports.
• Fighting - These titles pit player against player (usually 2 players head-to-head) and involve one
triumphing over the other
• Dance/Rhythm - Dance Dance Revolution is probably the single largest franchise in this genre.
• Hybrids - It's important to recognize that many games are not limited to a single genre. Some are the
combination of two or more game types. In fact, as gaming evolves, we see lines blurred between genres
more frequently than not.
Representations & Ideology
• The majority of games are based on conflict. The conflict will
be between the ‘player’ and the ‘enemy’. The representation
of this enemy can be very significant. They are usually
humanoid to some degree such as Aliens, Robots or Zombies.
However there is a growing trend towards basing games in
‘the real world’ where enemies are everyday people.
• Games are often based on war scenarios, in a historical or
futuristic setting, in a world realistic to our own.
• Enemies in games are often male, with females often assigned
to the role of allies and helpers. Sometimes there are female
protagonist (Lara Croft) but they are purposely designed to be
aesthetically pleasing to the male game player.
What is the percentage of males to females
who play video games?
Who are the target audience for
Main types of gamers:
In the United States, the average video game player is 35 and has been
playing video games for over 12 years.
In the UK, the average video game player is over 23 years old, has played
video games for over 10 years, and spends around 12.6 hours a week
playing video games.
The term "gamer" is composed of several subgroups.
A casual gamer is a player whose time or interest in playing games is limited. Casual gamers
tend to play games designed for ease of gameplay and don't spend much time playing more
involved games. The genres that casual gamers play vary, and they might not own a specific
video game console to play their games. One casual gamer subset is the "fitness gamer", who
plays motion-based exercise games.
■People who are really bad at games, so need easy games
■People who only play games at work during lunch breaks
■People over the age of 40 who play on the Wii
■People who mostly play games socially
■Kids and adolescents
Hardcore gamers prefer to take significant time and practice on games, and tend to play
more involved games that require larger amounts of time to complete or master. Hardcore
gamers may take part in video game culture. Competition is another defining characteristic of
hardcore gamers, who often compete in organized tournaments, leagues, or ranked play
integrated into the game proper.
In groups, look at the following video game trailers and answer these questions:
What genre are they?
What is their target audience?
What codes and conventions of the computer game do they use?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccWrbGEFgI8 Gears Of War
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGzOKbVC2r8 Little Big Planet Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7BAUNzJvts The Sims 3
How are people represented
in computer games?
A survey revealed that males, adults and white people
are over-represented in games. Females, black people,
children and the elderly are correspondingly under-
Williams and his team found that male characters are
"vastly more likely to appear" in games than females.
They made up 85 per cent of characters, compared to
51 per cent of the real population.
Compared to the real population, African Americans
were under-represented by 13 per cent and
Hispanic/Latino people by 78 per cent. Asians were
over-represented by 25 per cent and white people by 7
How are people represented in this trailer
for Grand Theft Auto?
Are they positive or negative
What Institutions are behind
The Big three -
Nintendo – Founded on September 23, 1889. As of October 18,
2010, Nintendo has sold over 565 million hardware units and 3.4
billion software units. Consoles include NES, SNES, Nintendo 64,
Sony – Founded 7 May 1946. In September 2000 Sony had a net
worth of $100 billion, but by December 2011 it had plunged to
$18 billion. Consoles include Playstation, PSP, Playstation Vita.
Microsoft – Established on April 4, 1975. Company valued at $41
billion. Consoles include X-Box, X-Box 360.
List of game Publishers
Sega Sammy Holdings
The top 10 companies now have a combined revenue of over 24 billion
USD, in a market estimated to be worth well over 50 billion USD.
Focus - Family games and motion
How do these different institutions advertise their
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYMEB8on1UE Wii ‘Family Time’ ad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7pi4KHUtBk Xbox connect ad
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm0XLv0i5ls Playstation move ad