Video game culture: Wikis

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Video game culture is a form of new media culture that has been influenced by video games. As computer and video games have increased exponentially in popularity over time, they have caused a significant influence upon popular culture. This form of entertainment has spawned many fads. Video game culture has evolved in time, particularly in connection with internet culture. Today, one can see the impact of computer and video games in politics, television, popular music, and Hollywood.

Contents

Demographics

The average age for a video game player is about 30[1], a number slowly increasing as people who were children playing the first arcade, console and home computer games continue playing now on current systems[2]. The gender distribution of gamers is reaching equilibrium, according to a 2005 study showing that 57% of gamers are male and 43% female[1]. In early 2008 the NPD reported that 72% of people age six to forty-four in the U.S. played video games in the year 2007 with most players using the computer to play video games.[3] The average age of players across the globe is mid to late 20s, and is increasing as older players grow in numbers. [4]

One possible reason for the growing increase in players could be attributed to the growing number of genres that require less of a specific audience. For example, the Wii console has widened its audience with games such as Wii Sports and Wii Fit. Both require more activity from the user and provide more reasons to play including family competition or exercise. It could also be because people who played video games when they were young are now growing older and still have that interest in video games. now the largest entertainment industry for children is gaming. according to a recent survey, over 70% of children between the ages of 8 and 18 own a video game console.[citation needed]

LAN gaming

Video games are played in a variety of social ways, which often involve domestic gatherings or even in public places. A popular method of accomplishing this is a LAN (Local Area Network) party, which if hosted at a home involves family and friends[5], creating a social event for people friendly with each other. LAN parties are often held in large scale events conducted in public spaces and have a great number of participants who might not usually socialise.

The Everquest Fan Fairies for instance, provide weekends of socializing and playing, at a large gathering (an event of several thousands) of dedicated game fans. Terry Flew in his book Games: Technology, Industry, Culture also emphasises the Online Gaming Communities- “where players aren’t physically located in the same space, but still socializing together”[6]. This raises the notion of Wark’s “Global Village”, as people are able to transcend their physical limitations and communicate with people, possessing a similar interest, from all around the world. Shapiro also stresses the possibility of “Using technology to enhance one’s social life”[7], as friendships no longer have to be structured by physical proximity (e.g. neighbours, colleagues). Shapiro states that “the net (Online Gaming Communities) gives individuals the opportunity to extend their social network in a novel way, to communicate and share life experiences with people regardless of where they live and form online relationships”[8]. Thus, such online communities satisfy a genuine need for affiliation with like-minded others.

Online gaming

Online gaming has drastically increased the scope and size of gaming culture, although this has much to do with the usage of the Internet itself as a communication medium. Online gaming grew out of games on bulletin board systems and on college mainframes from the 1970s and 1980s. MUDs offered multiplayer competition and cooperation but on a scope more geographically limited than on the internet. The internet allowed gamers from all over the world - not just within one country or state - to play games together with ease.

One of the most groundbreaking titles in the history of online gaming is Quake, which offered the ability to play with sixteen, and eventually up to thirty-two players simultaneously in a 3D world. Gamers quickly began to establish their own organized groups, called clans. Clans established their own identities, their own marketing, their own form of internal organization, and even their own looks. Some clans had friendly or hostile rivalries, and there were often clans who were allied with other clans. Clan interaction took place on both professionally set competition events, and during normal casual playing where several members of one clan would play on a public server. Clans would often do their recruiting this way; by noticing the best players on a particular server, they would send invitations for that player to either try out or accept membership in the clan.

'Clan'- or 'guild'-based play has since become an accepted (and expected) aspect of multiplayer gaming, with several games offering cash-prize tournament-style competition to their players. Many clans and guilds also have active fan-bases, which, when combined with the 'tournament' aspect, contribute in turning clan-based gaming into a semi-professional sport.

Clans also allow players to assist each other in simulated combat and quests in game advancement, as well as providing an online family for friendly socialising.[9]

From Quake, gaming grew beyond first-person shooters and has impacted every genre. Real-time strategy, racing games, card games, sports games can all be played online. Online gaming has spread from its initial computer roots to console gaming as well. Today, every major video game console available offers degrees of online gaming, some limited by particular titles, some even offer up entire virtual communities.

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Competition

Slang and terminology

The DreamHack LAN party.

Certain words and phrases have been invented by, or have become popular with, the gaming community as a whole. Internet slang is similar to Leetspeak although the Internet Slang has derived over time from Leetspeak. Some terms are used to describe gaming events, games themselves, or aspects of games. Many games, especially online games, have their communities create neologisms to refer to specific events, situations, actions, or people in the games. Notable recent examples include Diablospeak and the expression "aggro" from MMORPGs such as EverQuest and World of Warcraft. Other notable terms include:

  • LAN party
  • Leetspeak (or simply "leet") – A pseudolanguage, with its own unique system of grammar (or lack thereof), multiple systems of spelling, and unique words.
  • Noob
  • Button mashing – The aimless pressing of multiple buttons in a single instance for the purpose of performing an action in-game.
  • Headshot
  • Gibs
  • Frag
  • One-Shot – Killing a player in one shot or hit.
  • Leet (video gaming), opposite of Noob
  • Uber
  • Own or Pwn
  • Trash talking
  • Grinding
  • Farming
  • Backpacking – During team matches, when a player allows his teammates to do all the work.
  • Camping
  • Lag – When your connection runs slow during game-play causing choppy speech, teleporting, and unfair game-play for other members in game, or the person lagging.
  • Box Boy
  • Beast or Beasting – When a single player has a skill above the rest and can not be stopped by any of the other players. (Common in FPS Games; e.g. Call of Duty and Halo)
  • B.K. – Stands for 'Bad Kid'
  • Screen Peeker- When a player playing split screen looks at the other players screen to find out where he is.
  • Tank- Typically a warrior or similar class that can take a lot of damage

Video game slang often varies between genres and games. For example, slang from shooter games including Counter-Strike: Source will greatly vary from slang used in party games, such as, Super Smash Bros. Brawl or MMORPGS including World of Warcraft.

Massively-multiplayer online gaming

The shift from console-based or "shrink-wrap" gaming to online games [10] has allowed Massively-multiplayer online gaming today to become ubiquitous in the computer gaming realm. Due to the openness of the Internet's architecture, users become producers of the technology, and shapers of the whole network.[11] This allowed Massively-multiplayer online gaming to expand to include gaming clan forums and game support facilities which allow the producers of the Massively-multiplayer online game to gain player feedback about the games.[12] Titles like World of Warcraft and Lineage have millions of players. Within this population base, gamers are divided into servers of tens of thousands of people, often called realms. The importance this virtual world has is highly varied among gamers. Some gamers spend as much free time as possible, while others play much more casually. Massively multiplayer online games have become so important that virtual economies have sprung up that allow players to pay real money for virtual property and items, commonly known as RMT(Real Market Trading). One game, Second Life, has its entire focus on the usage of real-life currency for everything in the game world. Some gamers make a living "farming" items and selling them on auction sites like eBay. Since most, if not all, online games issue 'Terms of Service' documents that specifically prohibit such transactions, any players that are proven to be selling any game assets (items, weapons, etc) will have their game account closed and may face legal action.

Social or anti-social technology?

There has been much debate among media theorists as to whether video gaming is an inherently social or anti-social activity. Terry Flew argues that digital games are “increasingly social, a trend that works against the mainstream media’s portrayal of players as isolated, usually adolescent boys hidden away in darkened bedrooms, failing to engage with the social world”[13]. He asserts, rather that games are played in very social and public settings, for example computers and consoles are played in living areas of domestic homes, where people play with family or friends.

Jody Berland argues the assertion that “social construction of technological systems stimulates a desire for human connectedness creates a paradoxical situation”[14]. The Web offers a sense of place and community in the new wired “spaces” of the web. “Webness” assures Derrick de Kerchove (1998) is “connectedness”. However, Berland highlights the irony that “personal depression increases in direct proportion to Web time!”[15]. She describes that in an industry sponsored study, internet use made family members isolated and depressed, and actually decreased the size of their social networks (Kraut et al., 1998). The researchers concluding that, “we are surprised to find that what is such a social network has such anti-social consequences”. People are communicating more, just as the McLuhanites claim, yet feeling less “in touch” than ever[16].

David Marshall argues against the rich source of “effects” based research, finding that games are “deliberating and anti-social forms of behaviour”[17]. Rather suggesting that “the reality of most games is that they are dynamically social- the elaborate social conversations that emerge from playing games online in massive multi-player formats" [18](MMOG). Exemplifying ‘The Sims Online’, he states “has built up entire political and social structures in given communities’ that provide an elaborate game life for participants”[19]. Gamers in these online worlds participate in many-to-many forms of communication and one-to-one correspondence. The games are not only massive; they are also “intimate and social”[20].

Gosney argues that Alternate Reality Gaming is also inherently social, drawing upon Pierre Levy’s (Levy 1998) notion of Collective Intelligence. He states that the game relied upon an “unprecedented level of corroboration and collective intelligence to solve the game”[21]. The issue of collective and corroborative team play is essential to ARG, thus are anything but a solitary activity.

Hans Geser further rejects the mainstream media view that video gaming is an anti-social activity, asserting “there is considerable empirical evidence that Second Life serves mainly to widen the life experience of individuals who have already a rich “First Life”, not as a compensating device for marginal loners.”[22] Thus highlighting the “fantastic social possibilities of Second Life[23], as the intangible reward of social belongingness is of paramount importance. Bray and Konsynski also argue the ability of the technology to “to enrich their lives”, as most Millennials report: “No difference between friendships developed in the real world vs. friendships developed online, and most use the internet to maintain their social networks and plan their social activities”[24].

Social implications of video games

The advent of video games gave an innovative media technology, that allowed consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate and recirculate media content. [25] Consumers can use this media source as an alternative tool to gain access to information of their interest.

Rise of subcultures

Video games promote a do-it-yourself attitude towards media production. [26] In 1999, Doom released a code online that enabled players to develop, modify and extend the game. [27] Hence these "pro-sumers" brought gamers together to exchange gaming experiences. Gaming has not just risen to levels where gaming communities are becoming bigger and more popular, but also has come to a stage where online and offline spaces can be seen as ‘merged’ rather than separate.

Growth of horizontally integrated media

These media conglomerates add value to the media content by encouraging the flow of images, ideas, and narratives across multiple media channels and actively engage with media audiences/users. [28]

MMORPG and identity tourism

Few suggests that the appeal of the ‘’’Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game’’’ lie in the idea of escapism, and the ability to assume the role of someone or something that is a fantasy in real life. He notes that ‘…for some women, [they] enjoy adopting what they feel to be an image of femininity more acceptable or desirable than their real world body…’(p. 264)

This is what he calls ‘’’identity tourism’’’, a form of hopping from one persona to another, for which there usually is a stereotypical discourse associated with the protagonist. This is seen in the case of males who assume the personas of the female gender, and the character’s representation of her gender being overly sexualised and/or passive, ‘…this tends to perpetuate and accentuate existing stereotypes of…women…’ (Nakamura).

Bias of gender exists in games. Terry Flew(2005)[29] writes that generally representations of gender in digital games are stereotyped. In many games, male characters are portrayed in hard bodied muscled man and soft bodied nearly naked women with large breasts are general depiction of female characters. Such depiction can be observed in games such as StarCraft and World of Warcraft. In StarCraft, female character are not as strong as male characters in battle and are designed to cure damaged soldiers but not to fight. Nonetheless they appear as tall, slender, long haired human female body. Similarly, male characters in World of Warcraft, male characters are big, masculine and have hard muscled body. In addition, Terry Flew(2005)[30] also believes that female characters in games are usually are portrayed in a narrowly stereotypical manner. as females are usually constructed as visual objects, and who waits for male rescue and they need to be protected, whereas men are adopted with more power. Such depiction of female in games reflect underlying social ideas of dominance of male over female and theme of masculinity. Although not all video games contain such stereotype, there are enough to make it as a general trait. Ultimately, Flew ends with the statement of the broad demographic's excessive demands, in that '...different genders have different gaming

However it can be argued that video games do not conform to traditional gender roles such as the male being dominant and the female being submissive. One such example would be the protagonist Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider video game series, she is presented as a beautiful, clever, athletic, and somewhat brave English archaeologist-adventurer. Lara Croft has achieved popularity with both males and females as an action-heroine, although depending on what feminist perspective is applied she can either represent 'a positive role model for young girls' or a 'combination of eye and thumb candy for the boys'[[http://gamestudies.org/0202/kennedy/ Helen W. Kennedy (December, 2002) Lara Croft: Feminist Icon or Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis]]. Recently the emergence of female gamers and developers in the industry has led to overall changes in video games to accommodate this demographic, In the context of Lara Croft, her traditional 'DD' cup size and distorted female figure has been toned down to a more modest 'C' cup and with more realistic proportions in Tomb Raider:Legend [[http://www.smh.com.au/news/World/Real-appeal/2005/05/21/1116533572111.html Lara's curves reduced to appeal to female gamers May 21, 2005]]. While there are video games which emphasize a hyper-masculine identity for male characters, this may in fact reflect current [gender roles] and [stereotypes] found in Western society and should not be a generalisation of video games as a whole but rather reflecting cultural norms. For example, video games originating from Asia with narrative RPG elements and anime influences often include male characters with androgynous physical characteristics with narrow bodies, softer faces, big eyes, porcelain skin and long hair often associated with femininity, such as the iconic characters of Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII and Link in the Legend of Zelda.

Ownership

Ownership of video game entities is a major issue in video game culture.[31] On one side, players, especially who played with avatars for several years, have treated the avatars as their own property. On the other hand, publishers claim ownership of all in-game items and characters through the EULA (End User License Agreements)[31].Terry Flew recognises this problem writing, "Intellectual property is much better suited to conventional 'texts' that are fixed or finished, rather than ongoing collaborative creations like games...".[32] He also highlights that these issues will only get worse, with more interactive games emerging, issues of regulation, ownership, and service will only get more problematic. [33] In this case, governments are supposed to establish the pertinent laws.

Violence narrative

Violence content in video game is criticized, which is related to ‘moral panic’ subject.[31] Terry Flew writes that the ‘effects-based’ research which gives rise to the ‘computer games cause violence’ discourse is mostly psychology-based research, influenced particularly after horrific events such as the shooting of schoolchildren at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado in 1999. He says that the assumption behind such research, cause-effect behaviouralist models of communication, is a flawed one. Evidence that games cause violent behaviour is thin and highly contestable (Vastag 2004).

Fox News reported that Montreal shooting case in Canada was carried out by the criminal Kimveer Gill,[34] who is a player of Super Columbine Massacre, whose narrative attaches with strong violence sense. On the other hand, some people who hold social determinism theory assert technology is neutral,[35] but it is the way that humans manipulate technology which brings about its social impact.

Influence of ‘Starcraft’ (online gaming) in South Korea

‘PC Baang’, which is more commonly known as an internet café, is one of the very first phenomenons which occurred because of the influence of online gaming in South Korea (Flew 2005)[36]. This phenomenon sprung in 1996, mainly from the influence of the strategy game Starcraft. In South Korea, more than five million people played the game during that time. Males from their late teens to late twenties were the main players. Game players would usually visit internet cafés to play Starcraft because people could use better computers with faster internet connections compared to the computers they owned.

Numerous clans and guilds were created among Starcraft players and they would gather around in online space to compete or to talk about strategy. Consequently, companies like SK Telecom held Starcraft competitions and these were broadcasted full-time on three cable channels, which continues to this day[37]. Id ‘SSam-Jang’ was the first professional online game player who gained fame, publicity and fortune by winning many Starcraft competitions such as ‘Battle.net’ competition and also he was a winner of the "StarCraft" world competition in 1999. He became a celebrity and also did a TV commercial. He still remains a legendary gamer that created number strategies such as ‘under tank drop ship’[38]. Online, his fans created many fan blogs and web sites which were dedicated to him. These people would also go to competitions where ‘SSam-Jang’ would compete to support him. http://cafe.daum.net/SSamjang is a fan page that is still remaining. In addition, he influenced many gamers to become professional gamers or full-time gamers and introduced the idea of considering full-time gamers as a professional job in Korean society.

Subsequently, online games like Lineage, Kart-rider, Ragnarok and World of Warcraft are those few games which became national online games since Starcraft. There are many online web sites created by players to post information about online games, record diaries of daily adventures, chat-rooms to talk about personal adventure story of online games and more. For example, often Ragnarok players would meet up in chat-rooms to decide when they would log in to meet up online to trade weapons, medicines and others things they need in-game.

Online gaming culture grew as games like ‘Starcraft’ and ‘Lineage’ contributed to the birth of other new online games where people not only play games but also to meet and communicate online where it created almost a new society where it can be seen as imagined community. Moreover, the Korean internet and computer industry believe the popularity of online gaming contributed in many ways to develop a very robust and profitable infastructure. In South Korea, the Online game industry is currently quite profitable and even enjoys government subsidies.[39]

Gaming and popular culture

Advertising

Games are also advertised on different TV channels, depending on the age demographic they are targeting. Games targeted toward younger kids are advertised on Nickelodeon, while games targeted toward teenagers and adults are advertised on MTV, G4, Comedy Central and in NFL Network.

Gaming as portrayed by the media

From the 1970s through even the 1990s, video game playing was mostly seen as sub-culture hobby activity and as a substitute for physical sports. However, during several times in its early history, video gaming caught the attention of the mainstream news outlets. In 1972, Pong became the first video game pop-culture phenomenon. This was followed by Pac-Man in 1981. Other video games labeled as pop-culture phenomena include Final Fantasy, Halo, Metal Gear, The Legend of Zelda, Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, Call of duty, Pokémon, Guitar Hero, and the Mario games.

As games became realistic, issues of questionable content arose. The most notable early example is NARC, which through its use of digitized graphics and sound and its adult-oriented theme quickly became a target of the press. These same issues arose again when Mortal Kombat had debuted, particularly its home video game console release on the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo systems (due to Nintendo's strict content-control guidelines, that system's version of Mortal Kombat was substantially re-worked to remove any 'extreme' violence). In response to these issues (and in parallel to similar demands made upon the music and movie industries), the ESRB was established to help guide parents in their purchasing decisions. 1993's Doom caused quite a stir, with its detailed 3D graphics and copious amounts of blood and gore. In the 1999 Columbine shootings, violent video games were for a time directly blamed by some for the incident, being labeled "murder simulators". Some serious psychological problems have been attributed to desensitization to violence in video games combined with their often addictive nature, though debate has yet to be conclusive about game addiction and other related issues.

In 2001, Grand Theft Auto III was released, which started the controversy over again. The main issue was that the graphics had advanced much, which made the game seem to have a greater potential impact.

Today, video gaming is viewed as a serious industry (and in a non-biased standpoint, since despite multiple outlets reporting on the information above, many of them also report on positive and/or neutral news, such as advancing technology and highly anticipated games) comparable to the movie industry or the music industry. News outlets cover video game console releases in the same manner as they cover the release of a highly-anticipated movie.

Television channels

The first video game TV show was GamePro TV.

The first television channel dedicated to video gaming and culture, G4, was launched in 2002. However, over the years, the channel has moved away from video game shows, and more towards male-oriented programs. X-Play, one of the channel's most popular shows and the highest rated video game review show, is still produced at G4.

There are also video game shows that appear on other channels, such as Spike TV, Fuel TV and MTV.

In Korea, there are two cable TV channels fully dedicated to video games, Ongamenet and MBCGame, broadcasting professional game leagues that are held in Korea.

In Germany, there is one digital cable and satellite channel fully dedicated to video games: GIGA Television. It is also seen via internet stream by a lot of viewers.

In Australia, there is one TV show that is based on gaming and games. GoodGame on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). The show is also available as a podcast on iTunes.

In Russia, there are one satellite, the "Perviy Igrovoy" (Gaming First) and one cable, "Gameplay TV", gaming TV channels. Channels have internet streams.

Internet shows

Pure Pwnage, a fictional series chronicling the life and adventures of Jeremy, a self-proclaimed "pro gamer" has helped define gaming culture with its popularization of gaming lingo such as "BOOM Headshot!"

Red vs. Blue (made by Rooster Teeth), is a machinima (machine-cinema) filmed within many different video games. They consist of hundreds of short episodes with characters acting out short, comedic sections of their lives in their own video game universes.

Consolevania, a game review/sketch show produced in Glasgow, Scotland. Unusually, the show was developed into a broadcast series, videoGaiden on BBC Scotland.

Button Mashers, an original gaming news show for website Gamezombie.tv. It is shot at a $1 million HDTV studio and has millions of viewers all across the internet.

The Guild, a web series in which the cast are members of a guild that plays an MMORPG similar to World of Warcraft.

Influences on music

Video game music has been utilized in many ways. The earliest example is Buckner & Garcia's Pac-Man Fever released in 1982. This album featured songs that were both about famous arcade games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Berzerk and also used the sound samples from the games themselves as instrumentation.

Aphex Twin, an experimental electronic artist, under the name "PowerPill" released the Pacman EP in 1992 that featured a heavy use of Pac-man sound effects. An entire music genre called chiptunes or sometimes gamewave have artists dedicated to using the synthesizer sets that came with past video game consoles and computers, particularly the Commodore 64 and the Nintendo Entertainment System. These bands include Mr. Pacman, 8 Bit Weapon, Goto 80, 50 Hertz and Puss. Moreover, many gamers collect and listen to video game music, ripped from the games themselves. This music is known by its file extension and includes such formats as: SID (Commodore 64), NSF (NES) and SPC (SNES). Cover bands like Minibosses have been founded recently that perform instrumentations, and groups like The Protomen have written rock operas inspired by the Mega Man video games.

Full orchestras, such as the Symphonic Game Music Concert tour North America, the United States, and Asia performing symphonic versions of video game songs, particularly the Final Fantasy series, the Metal Gear series, and Nintendo themed music, such as the Mario & Zelda Big Band Live Concert. In Japan, Dragon Quest symphonic concerts are performed yearly, ever since their debut in 1987.

Video game and film crossovers

Films based on video games

As video games often have settings, characters, and deep plots, they have often become the basis for Hollywood movies. The first movie based upon a video game is 1993's universally panned Super Mario Bros., featuring John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. Most of the other movies released that are based upon video games have often been universally panned by critics, and mostly failures at the box office (with the exception of 2001's Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, despite being also panned by critics), and especially the movies by Uwe Boll. The contributing factors to the unsuccessful transition from home television to theatre screens are attributed to: a dramatic re-envisioning of the video game that provides a disconnect from the game's plot, the game itself not having a plot rich enough to provide a decent script (particularly with versus fighting games), a substantially altered plot to make the movie more "mainstream" (Doom), and an emphasis on using celebrity actors over actors that would fit the part.[citation needed]

Examples: Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, BloodRayne, Doom, House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil, Silent Hill, Tomb Raider

Movies about video games

Hollywood has also created movies that are about video games themselves. However, there are notably fewer examples. Some movies come close to discussing video games, but with a more fanciful approach, such as 1995's Virtuosity. The first film of this kind is 1982's WarGames, which is about a fictional computer game called Global ThermoNuclear War. 1989's The Wizard, starring Fred Savage is the first movie about a real video game. The plot revolves around about adolescents who compete at games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The movie was also a first look at the mega-hit Super Mario Bros. 3. The main character from 2006's Grandma's Boy was a game tester who developed his own game on the side. The movie made multiple references to video game culture and featured the game Demonik, which was cancelled by its publisher shortly after the movie's release. The most current example of a movie of this type is 2006's Stay Alive, a horror movie about a next-generation video game that is so realistic that it kills its players in the same way their avatars were killed.

Interactive movies

Interactive movies as a computer and video game genre was the result of the multimedia expansion of computers and video game consoles in the mid 1990s, primarily because of the increased capacity offered by the laserdisc format. Interactive movies started out on arcade machines in 1983, but quickly expanded to computers and video game consoles such as the Sega CD, the Phillips CD-i and the Panasonic 3DO. The games are characterized by more emphasis on cinematic sequences, using full-motion video and voice acting. Interactive movie games have been made in a number of genres, including adventure games, rail shooters, and role-playing games.

The first interactive movie game was Dragon's Lair, originally released in the arcades in 1983, making it the first game to use a laserdisc and animation by Don Bluth, a man who worked for Disney on features like Robin Hood, The Rescuers, and Pete's Dragon, but later worked for other film companies like Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (All Dogs Go to Heaven) and Universal Studios (The Land Before Time). In Dragon's Lair, you control the actions of a daring knight named Dirk, to save a princess from an evil dragon, hence the name of the game. Since the dawn of this exact game, more and more companies were influenced by the technology used, and decided to make their own interactive movie games for arcades and consoles.

The birth of the 'interactive movie' genre was studded with unimpressive flops, though the genre later came into its own; at the time, video-capture technology was still in its infancy, with short (and often grainy and low-quality) video segments being the norm for games of any length.

Notable examples – Xenosaga, Bioforge, Night Trap, Sewer Shark, Under a Killing Moon, Rebel Assault, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace

Video game paradox

As Marshall McLuhan said, the Medium is the Message.[40] Media narrative creates and reveals culture patterns. Video games as a form of media have the same function as well, as its contents, for example bingo, roulette, casino are all phenomenon that can be found in our culture, and it also creates new cultural customs. Some video games cause controversy, particularly those where the player has internal conflicts about the content of the game; and debates in society are carried out. For example, games about the Columbine Massacre or games based on crime (like Grand Theft Auto) as well as controversial movies like The Da Vinci Code and Left Behind may be praised by some groups, but denounced by others. See also video game controversy. Some video games, that are the subjects of debate but yet are not considered controversial, have given the player the option to play either a good or an evil character, as in Black and White or Heroes and Villains. The RPGs Fable and Mass Effect take a different route, giving the play a choice of actions to let them determine their player's alignment. Released in November 2007, the latest version of Simcity - Simcity Societies - gives the player the option to choose societal values for their city, and the city evolves and changes based on the values that are chosen.

Video game globalization

Video games may be viewed as an invasive, imbalancing force on native cultures, but may also be considered as a form of cultural diversity that makes people broaden their horizon. For example: Japanese video games have dominated the world market since the mid-1980s; but Hong Kong is one of the consumption centers of Japanese electronic games in Asia [41]. The medium of video games can affect global culture in ways that other mediums do not, by transcending specific language and customs. Transcending languages and cultures can be specifically seen during online gameplay where players directly interact with others who live in other countries. Many nations also hold professional gaming to a level of importance. For example, the 2008 Olympic Torch Run included eight professional gamers as torch carriers.

Video game and traditional media forms

With the rapid convergence of all media types into a digital form, video games are also beginning to affect, and be affected by traditional media forms.

In the history, the Television engineer Ralph Baer, who conceived the idea of an interactive television while building a television set from scratch created the first video game. Video games are now also being exploited by pay-TV companies which allow you to simply attach your computer or console to the television cable system and you can simply download the latest game.

Games act in television, with the player choosing to enter the artificial world. The constructed meanings in video games are more influential than those of traditional media forms. The reason is that 'games interact with the audience in a dialogue of emotion, action, and reaction'.[42] The interactivity means this occurs to a depth that is not possible in the traditional media forms.

Computer games have developed in parallel to both the video game and the video arcade game. The personal computer and the new console machines such as the Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox offered a new dimension to game playing. They have now largely been replaced by the Xbox 360, Wii and, the PlayStation 3.

Games are the first new computer-based media form to socialize a generation of youth in a way that traditional media forms have in the past. Therefore, the ‘MTV generation’ has been overtaken by the ‘Nintendo generation’;[43] however, some refer to the current generation as the 'iPod Generation'.

Because they straddle the technologies of television and computers, electronic games are a channel through which we can investigate the various impacts of new media and the technologies of convergence.[44]

Interactive engagement between players and digital games

Digital game is a new form of media where users interact and highly engage with. Terry Flew[45] said unlike ‘lean-back’ type of media such as television, film and books, digital games place users into a productive relationship. In other word, a user is engaged to have relationship where he or she serves to create own text every time when engaged. Digital games are normally lacks in the elements of narrative. In games, rather than focusing it on character development or plot, usually setting is the narrative. For example, games with no plot, characters such as Tetris and Pong could keep players to engage for hours which conclude that narrative is not the most important aspect of game. Furthermore, digital games place players into a position where they have power to control. Players have power because they are the actor in the game. Again, Flew (2005)[46] wrote ‘the engagement comes because the player is the performer, and the game evaluates the performance and adapts to it’. Emergent games are becoming popular style of game as it offer environment and sets of rules where players can result in endless and various unexpected directions occurs from players’ own decisions. Players as users of new form of media, does not only can receive but also can more freely interact and engage in ways where they can actually create own text.

See also

An example of crossover between video game culture and graffiti culture found on the Berlin Wall

References

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External links


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