in Game Design -- Cultural Critique
Tuesday March 7, 2005
Gender in Game Design
Inventory of experiences
gender or personality
gender part of personality
Why do we pay attention to gender in game design?
- because of the obvious gender difference in computer play
-a s a reminder to challenge ourselves to do things differently
Is this already a form of cultural critique?
- to identify and make strange cultural values, norms, and stereotypes,
in order to
- to question the effects and products of such cultural values, norms, and stereotypes;
- to alter existing practices that reiterate, reify, and reproduce such values,
norms, and stereotypes
- to acknowledge and enable alternate modes of being
- socialization/enculturation: becoming part of a cultural space
- reinforcing cultural norms and values
- irony, boundary testing/transgression: a form or means of cultural commentary
Am I alone in thinking it's kind of cool the way some games sort of sat[i]rize
or present a game world which has enough connection with things recognizable
in the physical non game world that it can also serve as a critique of mass
culture, personal disposition, aesthetics, style, and human behavior? I'm not
just talking a story here. I'm talking something, whatever it may be, that resonates
and stimulates ones thoughts, emotions, perhaps expresses poetic truth-- it
can be interactive details, sense of geometry and architecture, characters,
ambiance enhancing details, expertly crafted gameplay which seems somehow organic,
a unique perspective on events, cool themes, or even a cut scene; It's in the
eye of the beholder. Games have to improve in this regard. There's so much effort
and technical excellence involved in the best games that it's a shame in other
ways the level of artistry and expression is not equal or relevant to the level
of technical excellence.
"Game-inspired art works represent a vitally important emerging form that
explores new modes of visualizing space and time, and from these investigations
emerge new narrative models for interaction, new formats for cultural and political
critique, and alternative interfaces for game play. John Klima?s multimedia
installation, Go Fish, is a novel first-person shooter game with real-time consequences
?the death of a goldfish. Housed in a retro-styled arcade cabinet, the game
asks participants take moral responsibility for their trigger-happy behaviors.
]games have collided with the world of art to forge a new genre of art
games. As artists, we have much more to explore in the game format in terms
of both spatial innovations and also game play. It is our responsibility as
artists to ?break out? our software design abilities to continue to refine,
via formal structure and cultural commentary, the realm of game architecture
to create new interactive structures for expression."
1231 Market St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Z @ Hilton SF (415)626-6103
Tues.&Wed. nights: John M., Ryan R., Jon D., Sean B.
Wed. & Th: Mjumbe P., Jason A., Paul
Wed. & Th: Jacob S., Adam, Brian
Wed. & Th: Janna, Selene, MacKenzie
Wed. & Th: Siobhan, Linsey, Robin
NOTE: If you order any room service or use the phone
you'll be responsible for those charges!!