Monday, 24 June 2013

Piracy Issues Facing The Gaming Industry

Piracy Issues Facing The Gaming Industry

What is piracy?

Video game piracy can be defined as the downloading of a game, where the only purpose is to get it for free with no intention of paying.

How does it affect the gaming industry? 

Illegally downloading files from various sources or websites, such as torrents etc - One example of this is with PC gaming, where some companies, such as EA Sport, now deem it too risky to produce games for this specific platform as they tend to be easier than with consoles to torrent and download the files illegally, making it less profitable for them. Many programmers, and various other people who work on the production of these games, loose out on their fair share of what the profits for the total sales should have been. Because of piracy production for certain games on certain platforms has been stopped, and future titles will not be released on them, as it is no longer profitable to make them.
Another example of this comes from the 'modding' of Xbox's, which allows gamers to play pirated games. Modding has become easy and convenient, so that many people can now illegally download and play games, no matter what their background is, resulting in a loss of profit and sales for Microsoft.

How can piracy be combated?

When Microsoft recently unveiled their plans for the new console, Xbox One, they intended to make games only available through download from the online Xbox market place. This would totally eradicate hard copies of games from the shelves of stores, which would in turn combat the idea of being able to lend and share games with your friends. However, after realizing how ludicrous an idea this was, they listened to the response that they had been getting. Many people who play games do not have access to an internet connection, or perhaps can't afford Xbox live. How would they, then, be able to download games? This idea of downloading games is not a very practical idea, and so it may be near impossible to stop piracy.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Video Game Genres

Video Game Genres

Within the video gaming industry there are many different genres due to the diversity of games. (May also include hybrid genres). Below are a few examples;

  • Action and adventure - A hybrid genre that combines some of the puzzle-solving elements of the adventure genre with more active elements from the action genre.

  • Platform - A video game that requires the player to jump through suspended platforms or over obstacles. 

  • FPS - First person shooter - a type of computer game in which the player aims and shoots at targets, and the graphics displayed are seen from the viewpoint of the shooter.

  • RPG - Role-playing game - A game in which players assume the roles of characters and act out fantastical adventures, the outcomes of which are partially determined by chance, as by the roll of dice.

  • Puzzle - A genre of video game in which the main goal is to solve puzzles or fit pieces together to keep the game going.

  • Arcade - Game play inspired by a traditional coin-op arcade game. Arcade games usually have very little puzzle-solving, complex thinking, or strategy skills needed; they focus upon reflexes.

  • Driving/Racing - Driving a vehicle is a main game play element. Usually some type of race element, where you try to be faster than an opponent. 

  • Sports - The player is given control of individual athletes. 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Positive Portrayal of Female Characters

Positive Portrayal of Female Characters 

Below is a link to a webpage that gives a run down of the top ten female characters within video gaming who are portrayed in a positive way. These ten video game characters can be seen as female role models, and are not just identified by their lack of clothing, but actually by what they do. These female games characters seem to embody much of the female dignity, and actually appear to dress appropriately for the situations they are in, which is probably a god send!
This top ten is in contrast to the normal top charts of female gaming characters, that are normally centered on being the 'hottest' or the 'sexiest'.

The Evolution of The Female Game Character

The Evolution of The Female Game Character

Many female characters are increasingly popular in many video games that are aimed specifically for the male market. Soul Caliber is a perfect example of this. Within the Soul Calibur franchise there are many different characters of both male and female. While the male characters are wearing heavy armour and are basically covered from head to toe, the female characters seem to wear hardly any clothing at all (inappropriate clothing for fighting in?). 
I personally play this game and one of my favorite characters is Siegfried.Below is an image of Siegfried that shows him dressed in heavy armor with a sword. This can be easily contrasted with the female characters from this video game, who have a lot of skin on show, and are unrealistic representations of females within video games.
Chai Xianghua

As well as this game, there are many other games that show the evolution of the female game character. Some games such as Zedla and Princess Peach in Super Mario show female characters in a more positive way. Both wear gowns that cover their bodies. However, this too can be seen as an unrealistic representation of women, as it represents the idea of female 'perfection'. 

One of the worst games for seeing the evolving representation of women is Duke Nukem, who can be called the Johnny Bravo of video gaming. Within the Duke Nukem franchise are many female characters who are known as the Duke's 'Babes'. Most of the characters appear to be dressed as either prostitutes or completely naked, and some of them are even affected by the alien invasion and are 'cocooned'.
DNF Babes 2

Many games, such as Grand Theft Auto etc, are readily available on the market, and a female version for the Duke Nukem franchise is clearly in demand by a lot of people. 
DN3D Cacooned babe

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Representation Theories

Representation Theories

Reflective - Understands media representations as a reflection of lived reality. It reflects reality by mediation of media language/ narrative to gain perspective.

Intentional - Words mean what the author intended them to mean

Constructive- Our knowledge of the world is constructed by media representations

Textual Analysis of A Game

Textual Analysis of A Game

Disney Pixar UP

Stereotypes Within UP 

Russel - typical American 'Fat boy' stereotype - seen through his rounded features, and we can also see that he is some sort of scout (or a wilderness explorer) through his clothing. The fact that he is tied up and is not walking alongside Carl suggests that he can be seen as annoying, or getting in the way of him, as he persistently tries to assist the elderly.
Carl - typical old man/ senior citizen - seen through his walking cane, attire, grey hair and glasses. However, from this front cover he seems to be energetic, which contrasts with the stereotypical views of the elderly.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Representation of Gender in Video Games

Representation of Gender in Video Games

Who was the first woman video game character you can remember? Describe her - Misty from Pokemon - Ginger hair, yellow top, blue shorts - However, probably represented as weak, compared to Ash etc.

Who was the first woman you knew that played video games? Describe her - The Twin :) Light brown hair, jeans and top - very academic

Do you think the woman gamer felt she was 'represented' in the character you described? Why/why not? No, as Misty was represented as somewhat weak

Can you think of another female character that this woman would feel is a representation of her? Why? No, as female characters are generally represented as characters that are in need of saving.