Games becoming a Reality!

The topic for this week was so interesting because it made me think about video games in a whole different way. I love to play video games and therefore consider it entertainment. To know that people use it to make a living takes away the characteristic for why it was invented. Either way it shows that gaming is really becoming serious business.


Question:

CHINESE GOLD FARMER

Could racism have anything to do with why the “chinese gold farmers” are being attacked so aggressively?


THE LABOR OF FUN


Why can’t the game be played for fun? Why do you necessarily have to invest so much time into it?

I LOVE VIDEO GAMES!!!! :)

    Playing video games in class on Thursday was very fun to say the least. Even though we had to do an assignment on our playing experience it was very fun to see people who don’t really play video games to do so. Especially when the ladies in the classroom started playing the FIFA game. I forgot who but even though she was a novice at the game she did a trick dribble with the ball and SCORED! It goes to show that experience doesn’t always necessarily mean anything. Out of the games that we played I chose FIFA and GTA: San Andreas. They are both from different genres in gaming therefore it would be interesting to compare how different they are.

Win a copy of FIFA 10! by Shine 2010 - 2010 World Cup good news.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shine2010/4028777909/

The FIFA: 2010 game was published in 2009 by EA Sports. The genre that it falls under is the sports game. I love playing sports games so I have to say I enjoyed watching and playing the game in class. The game and the structure are alls different when compared to other games. Unlike other games such as GTA for example you have to play as many different types of characters as opposed to just one. Whatever team you choose to play with, you will have to control every single player that’s playing. At the beginning you see the huge presence that is EA Sports and then you have to start choosing your team, the uniform color, difficulty, choose to play home or away etc. You really do control everything regarding the world you are about to enter, but only a couple things you actually do once you enter the world of gaming. Diegesis takes over! It remediates soccer on the screen as if you are watching it from a live match. When you are controlling one player you have full control over what he does. The rest of the team on the other hand has to run to where the ball is. You don’t control the team and what they do but you do control the player (who ever you choose for him to be). The players on the teams are the characters therefore you are really playing with more than one character. The story of the game is basically one exhibition soccer game. You are trying to win! The machine acts control the characters. Like I said before you only control whichever player you choose and then once you have control of him the machine controls the rest of your team and the rest of the players on the other team. Other examples of machine acts are when you leave the control untouched for a small period of time. The game enters into a mode called-idle. Basically you have not pressed pause therefore things are still going on but you really act as if you were to stand still in a soccer match you do nothing as everyone else plays on. In this sense the game is very realistic. It also contains the same rules as the real soccer. If you go out of bounds then you must thrown the ball back in, if you commit a penalty you get a penalty kick etc. If you were playing the game that’s how operator acts work. When you control the soccer player you have the ability to instruct when he will shoot/pass/score/commit penalty and everything you can think of doing if you were the actual character himself. As a matter of fact you can take him and put him out of bounds as everyone else plays on! So you really do have full control over your character. GTA is very different than the sports genre.
   

My Take On The GTA IV HUD! by Raphael Essoo-Snowdon.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ressoosnowdon/2418025798/

 

GTA: San Andreas is a RPG (role playing game). You become the character (CJ) and you are him for the entire duration of the game. GTA was published by Rockstar Games in 2004. The best way to describe the game would be with a third person action game. In every RPG there is a storyline and the way to progress through the game is by doing the missions. That’s the game structure also while the game loads you see a collage of pictures and scenes that you would normally see during game play. Unlike FIFA when you start the game, you are introduced to a cut scene in order for you to understand the plot of the story and to learn some characters you will encounter as you play the game. Since you are already in this game playing world at the beginning you can’t stop the cut scene from playing because the machine took over and you are encountered by diegesis. Throughout the game you can steal cars, run people over, kill people, you can also get run over by a car, killed, punched etc. Basically anything that can happen to someone in real life can happen to you. The scenery represents L.A which is where San Andreas really takes place. you see trees, stores and different types of cars. You see suburban places, urban places and the life that can be lead in L.A. You are CJ throughout the game and you do not change your character. You are living his life and trying to build him back up because he just got out of jail. Which is basically the story of the game. To build him back up you have to go through missions to work your way up from a nobody to a somebody. The machine acts in this game are incredible! When left idle the game looks around its environment as if you were there. You get a sense of where CJ lives. You see the trees rustling, the different types of people in the street (hookers, drug dealers, models, regular citizens). If you run a pole over after while of it being on the ground you can see it disappear which is a machine act. In the idle function you can also hear peoples conversations in the street. The operator acts I think are what brought GTA to its popularity among us all. The things you can do in that game are incredible. You can fly a plan, ride a boat, drive a car, shoot whoever you will, change the radio station in cars, what clothes you wear, who you date, what weapon you use, and how much money you gain. THOSE ARE JUST THE TIP OF THE ICE BURG. That’s the reason why it was made so popular and why people can’t get enough.

 

VIDEO GAMES!!!

    I like the different approach that both readings took on. They did not try to explain to me how a video game works, or how the video game spawned something. It was very straight forward and really made me want to think about video games more deeply; considering that I am a gamer myself. I only had one question for the reading by Galloway:


How is losing the machines decision? Does the operator not have a choice between death or life?

This is in reference to when the author says that winning is the operators doing but losing is the machine’s fault. Wouldn’t the operator keep trying to find a way to stay alive making it his decision whether he wants to win the level or not? I mean when I play games whether I win or lose is up to me, because I determine whether to keep going or not.

Take a Look @ this Pic from Flick!

   

SICK GRAFFITI FROM FLICKR!

 

Grafitti - Science Wall by Landahlauts.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/landahlauts/1356033909/

 

 

 

The reading by Clive Thompson definitely showed how society is catching up with technology. Like Raymond Williams said he does not believe that society is adjusting to technology because the makers of technology are subjects of society. I disagree with this because of my definition of what society is. Society to me is defined as the entire population in a country. Whether you are a lawyer or a homeless person you are still part of society. The makers of technology are engineers, scientists etc. This is a very few group of people who control what we always use (technology). Therefore because they are such a small part of society, society as a whole is still catching up with  the newest technology; simply because they are not creating it. The perfect example is when Mark Zuckerberg added the news feed feature onto the Facebook site. People at first didn’t want to deal with it but a few days later they were as comfortable with it as if they had seen it all of their lives. They simply had to adjust to the way that Facebook changed and after they did they thought nothing of it. I know there are instances where Facebook changes a certain feature that I am not happy with and a few days later I don’t even notice it. When Facebook allowed ads to be placed on the sides of the screen. At first I thought “oh well, now Facebook is going commercial and it’s starting to lose what it was once used for. It’s going to be overrun by company advertisement and it will soon lose its appeal.” A couple weeks later I find myself not even realizing the advertisements are there. I have actually found some of the advertisements to be interesting. That’s the same way I feel about flickr.

    Flickr is a website that is a sort of photo networking website rather than a social networking website. You can add photos online and people can comment on them but besides that there is not much to it. Benkler’s article talked about creative commons and  how it works etc. Before Ms. Anable’s class I did not know what creative commons was. Now I am so glad that I can go to a website and go to the creative commons area of advanced search and use images without being worried about licensing issues. Wikipedia works the same way; it relies on the help of thousands of users to create input in order to make the website work. Benkler’s article talks a lot about the economic side of these websites and how it can be really beneficial monetarily to the companies. I agree that if you have a website and you have to only employ 25 people to supervise and have the rest of the world add input little by little whenever they have time; it would definitely be cheaper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Networks

    The readings of this week were really interesting because they deal with things that we encounter everyday. All of us check our Facebook at least once a day. It makes sense that more young people are on Facebook therefore the information about seventy five percent of teenagers have a Facebook, didn’t surprise me.

When a online profile is deleted, is it not still somehow accessible?


Did Myspace come before Facebook?

What makes Facebook more successful than Myspace and Xanga?

These are just a couple of the questions that I have concerning this weeks readings.

facebook logo by AJC1.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajc1/503165914/

AVATARS!!!!

    Cybertyping in Second Life can easily be done. I mean the choices that you have are not really all that vast. I chose my character to be someone who I thought looked like me in terms of skin color. I thought I did a really good job designing my avatar, therefore I was really excited. Besides the bald head, the strip of facial hair running under his mouth like drool and the “surprised” look in his eyes it was a miniature representation of Eduardo Padilla. As far as designing a male avatar I thought that the Second Life interface did a really good job. The only problem I encountered was when I wanted to buy clothes for my male avatar and when I was creating my female avatar. Every clothing shop I went to in Second LIfe contained clothes that were a bit on the feminine side. The male models posing with the clothing all had really spiked hair like almost glue was keeping it together and all were of a light complexion while having the tightest shirts and jeans on. This to me screamed out “Cybertype!” It portrayed male models as if they were all feminine and with womanly features such as the size of their noses and the ways their eyes were displayed. I didn’t really have a problem with this, it wasn’t a cybertype that actually offended me but if a male model were to see that I am sure he would not consider it a fair representation of male models.

The Second Life avatar workshop’s two goals were to design an avatar that resembled me and one that didn’t look anything like me. The first obvious decision for me was to make the second avatar a female considering it’s exactly the opposite of what I am. When I was designing the second avatar I thought about things that I held in my point of view to be beautiful in a woman in a physical sense. I made sure the avatar had nice eyes and a nice body. The avatar was five feet and six inches tall and as far as the picture showed looked to be around a healthy decent size, not skinny as to resemble a stick. You can style your avatar to be anyway you want it to be but what’s interesting is that the starting avatars they give you so you can later modify, are all a bit hyper-sexualized. The woman avatar had huge breasts and their waists was probably an extreme version of an hourglass. I want a generic avatar and those are the first things I get?!? I realize why woman are sometimes uncomfortable or not proud of their own bodies because the above mentioned avatar is considered the “norm.” Therefore it is very easy to create cybertypes especially among woman. Let’s not even go through the experience of shopping for my female avatar, it was porn central! The closest thing to nice clothes for woman in Second Life were sexualized teacher costumes. The models for the clothes that I just mentioned had a pencil to her mouth and the glasses of a teacher yet her shirt was unbuttoned. Wow, is all I had to say therefore I just left my avatar the way it was.
   

Cybertypes can be made by the dozens in Second Life. Nothing in the game has changed since it has been around therefore I guess not a lot of people are complaining about what is happening within the game as far as cybertypes that come along with it.

Race and Gender

   

 

 

Lara Croft Tomb Raider by IvanTortuga.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ivantortuga/2619053739/

This week’s readings were very interesting and made me think a lot about what we consider common. I love to play video games and to think that it can possibly be considered a form of white supremacy is insane, to say the least. I just have a couple of questions regarding the reading.

BLACKFACE:

It is as if black men are only good enough for the sports world? This is regarding the beginning of the reading when the David Leonard said the “. . .video game industry confines. . .black men to the virtual sports world. . .”

By controlling the black players? When the author, Leonard, said that whites affirm their white privilege through virtual play.

How is sexual potency displayed in games?

What if the use of the games are not to assert whiteness but it’s to enjoy an American pastime such as football? It just so happens that Blacks are the race that dominate the league as compared to anyone else.

How would they be punished, they’re playing a virtual game? When Leonard says that white players can punish.

CYBERTYPING:

What mannerisms must you show online in order to appear “white?”

LARA CROFT: FEMINIST ICON OR CYBERBIMBO?

There is a problem if women are portrayed as “highly sexual” but there is also argument when the women is portrayed doing manly things; what is the middle ground, how can women be portrayed in order for it to be considered correct and accepted by everyone? I am not upset with women for thinking the way they do. The only reason I ask this question is because I am just curious.

How it feels to be a man? When Kennedy says “. . .conceptualized as a feminine coded ‘desire to know’. . .”

 

THE DOMINICAN AND THE FOOD!!!!!!!!!!

   

 

Dominican Republic Flag by Mihnea™.

When I first had to think about an example of transmedia convergence I really had nothing to say; finally when I read the essay written by one of Jenkin’s students I realized that I had been affected by this “phenomena” long before I knew what it was. My family is from the Dominican Republic, therefore every summer when I was younger we would go visit this little island very close to Florida. The moment that I am recalling I must have been around seven or eight years old. I can still remember how excited I was to go back to the island that I adore. I always loved going to the Dominican Republic because it just really displayed for me how much my mother has worked in order to give me what I have. When tourists go visit the island, most likely than not, they spend their times within the confines of the resorts. Little do they know that beyond the white sand beaches of Punta Cana and the beautiful scenery of La Romana, poverty is prevalent. Even with the obvious mounds of garbage by the road that can be seen and smelled from blocks away, to me this island is what I consider one of the most beautiful places on earth.    

    Near my home in Santo Domingo (the capital of the island) there was a food joint, for the lack of a better word. I call it a food joint because it was not a certified restaurant yet it still was not something considered run of the mill. The woman (whose name I cannot remember because I was so young) who ran the food joint ran it from her home. She had a large patio space where chairs and tables were set up in order for people to eat after they had served themselves from the kitchen. The woman cooked the food and just had clients enter her house and serve themselves. This is where the beauty of it all comes from, how simple it was! Americans who have lived here all of their lives and have not experienced a country like Dominican Republic would not understand why it’s beautiful; hopefully I will do it justice by explaining as I proceed. In the city where I come from, you would be crazy to leave your door open during the day, but back in the island it was customary to have the door open at all hours of the day. Don’t get me wrong, we locked it at night but during the day it was free to whomever chose to enter. That’s why the food joint was so popular it allowed strangers to enter the home sit wherever and just enjoy a hot steaming delicious plate of Dominican food! After which they would go up to the woman and tell her what they had and she would charge them. If that happened here that would not work because we would consider the other so untrustworthy that we would not only not let them into our home but also second guess them whether they were telling the truth or not about what they ate. To be honest I had tasted the food myself and considered it so good that it could possibly rob you of your ability to lie.    
   
    People from all over would come and have their mouths’ watering because they could not wait to get a good plate of food. There were no bounds that people would not cross in order to get to this food, therefore they made it a part of cultural convergence. I remember picking up fliers from the floor advertising the food that made the joint so notorious. Taking into account that it was an island the word of mouth spread like wild fire. So the word of mouth, fliers, and the smell converged all to make a melting pot of amazing media together!

    Reading Jenkin’s post of his student’s essay was an inspiration and I am so glad that I read it because it brought me back to that moment in time that I will forever cherish. It’s also amazing to think that I was being bombarded by transmedia convergence at such an early age without knowing it.

Television's Influence

    When reading Brian Stelter’s article the first thing that came to mind was how much I love the show “The Office.” First, I would like to say that Paul Lieberstein who co-writes some of the show’s lines was a Hamilton College student. I think that is awesome! Besides that I had just one question regarding this reading:

  1. Why did people think the computer screen was not going to replace the television for another couple of years? Hello! We live in a fast paced society, people rarely ever have the time to sit down and watch television shows. Especially when you can only catch the shows on a certain time of the week, that’s so limiting because you could probably think of a thousand better things to do than to sit at home and watch T.V.



    The reading “Living on Dawson’s Creek,” by Will Brooker was more about the study that he conducted. I thought it was pretty interesting too because it deals with a show that I remember used to be on. I thought the reading was very straightforward, thus I have no questions about it.


 

MATRIX!!!!!

(Multiple Artists) - The Matrix Revolutions by jeroen020.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeroen020/74395723/

 

The article by Henry Jenkins Searching for the Origami Unicorn was very interesting because it related to something that I was very familiar with, the Matrix. The movie was a phenomenon during my early teenage years. I remember bracing myself for the next installment because I thought it was that cool. I actually bought the game when it came out for the Playstation console. I was given the choice of picking between Niobe (Jada Pinkett-Smith) or the character named Ghost. I always thought Ghost was uninteresting, unlike Niobe who I could run up the walls and shoot with. Jenkins talks about how the Matrix story was spread throughout different media in order to enhance it. I also agree with him that because it was very lucrative it was an added incentive for the companies and manufacturers of these products. Even though spreading the story to different media outlets made it more intriguing I doubt the companies would have done so if they were not seeing profits from it. To be honest, I would have done the same thing to gain more revenue. Spreading the story to different media was very smart but also a bit disappointing for the non-die hard fans who didn’t supplement their experiences with the game for example.
    The fact that I missed a couple of very important cues within the story made me disappointed. I remember when I was watching the third Matrix and the “mission of the Osiris” was brought up; I thought to myself “What the heck is an Osiris?” Even though that is one part that I missed within the story, if added up that can be detrimental to the experience of the movie goer. At the end of the article Jenkins explains that a lot of people are fighting this form of entertainment off because it only includes the younger informational age, rather than the older adults. I do agree that the older generation that is not used to transmedia storytelling will reject it, and for a good reason.I consider myself not new to transmedia storytelling and I am soon to be twenty; therefore it’s only a matter of time when transmedia storytelling will no longer be seen as “new.”
    Marsha Kinder’s article was one that I found the least interesting just because I couldn’t relate to it as much as the Jenkin one. I do agree with Kinder’s perception that database cinema has been around for much longer than we thought. I thought it was really cool that she had also used some of the vocabulary that has been used in previous readings such as, technological determinism, which I was first introduced to while reading Raymond William’s article. To think that Marsha Kinder is instructing the next generation of Spielbergs’ and Lucas’ is fascinating to say the least.

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