‘Beating the prostitute, as with other aspects of the game, ties into dominant notions of masculinity and its representation, an aspect of the game that can’t be denied- even if it is contextualised in terms of a supposedly bygone retro-masculinity. The ‘70s drug culture/gangster underworld context operates to sanction the player (of whatever gender) into doing what would be, in reality, for most, unconscionable.’
Can you think of any game titles which presume a female or more feminine gamer? How does this potentially impact of female gamers, and the female gaming experience? In what ways does GTA, CEE, or any other videogame presume the player is a heterosexual male?
How relevant are issues such as narrative or visual design when you play a videogame? What aspects of the gaming experience are not considered in concentrating on such aspects? What are the limitations of focusing only on the visual and narrative aspects of gaming?
Context Gender Construction Gender Representation Gameplay
Noah Wardrip-Fruin & Pat Harrigan (eds) (2004) First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: The MIT Press Barry Atkins (2003) More than a game: The computer game as fictional form Manchester & NY: Manchester UP Justine Cassell & Henry Jenkins (eds) (1999) From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: The MIT Press Geoff King & Tanya Krzywinska (2006) Tomb Raiders and Space Invaders: Videogame Forms & Contexts London, New York: IB Tauris Diane Carr, David Buckingham, Andrew Burn & Gareth Schott (2006) Computer Games: Text, Narrative, Play Cambridge & Malden (USA): Polity Press
game designers social scientists media analysts
narrative or storytelling aspects Narratologists : Geoff King & Tania Krywinska (eds) (2002) Screenplay: cinema/videogames/interfaces London & New York: Wallflower Press traditional forms of audiovisual and narrative media media texts
games: chess, tag, hide and seek Ludologists : criticising the assumptions, arguments and methods of narratologists rules, structure, formalism
Narratologists don’t understand games Ludologists v Narratologists : Narratologist, in emphasising videogames’ similarity to film, television, literature, ignore what makes games games Narratologists want to reduce games to films
Does Lara Croft provide voyeuristic pleasure for heterosexual males
Or does the male videogame player playing Lara Croft become feminised through playing as a female character? Does Lara Croft provide voyeuristic pleasure for heterosexual males
Is Lara Croft something to be looked at, or is she someone to become? Or does the male videogame player playing Lara Croft become feminised through playing as a female character? Does Lara Croft provide voyeuristic pleasure for heterosexual males?
Andrew Darley (2000) Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres London & New York: Routledge
James Newman (2004) Videogames London & New York: Routledge
Henry Jenkins: ‘The character is little more than a cursor which mediates the players’ relationship to the story world’
Helen Kennedy (2002) ‘Lara Croft: Feminist Icon or Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis’ in GameStudies Vol 2, Issue 2, December
Espen Aarseth (2004) ‘the dimensions of Lara Croft’s body, already analyzed to death by film theorists, are irrelevant to me as a player, because a different- looking body would not make me play differently… When I play I don’t even see her body, but see through it and past it.’