Game studies

Paper , Order, or Assignment Requirements

THIS IS NOT A CONVENTIONAL GAME REVIEW. You need to focus on analysis rather than description. You don’t need to comprehensively analyse the entire game, it may be preferable that you focus on one particular aspect of the game.

Your analysis should be written in a scholarly form (with references) drawing on material covered in the lectures and readings, as well as other sources you have researched yourself. You need to reference more than just the readings that are mentioned in the questions. Your analysis should contain at least 8 references. At least five of these should be to academic material, and at least two of these should be material you have found yourself (ie not one of the readings).

Q1: Use Carter’s “The Demarcation Problem” to analyse a controversy in a game or about a game. This could be a media panic around the inclusion of transgressive content in a game, or arguments over rules in games or sports. This means your ‘case’ does not have to be about rules or cheating, but can also be about what is OK or not OK to do in, or with, games.

Game:The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
READING: Carter’s “The Demarcation Problem”

Q2: Explore the representation of race, gender, sexuality, class, politics or disability in a mainstream computer game. Research some of the different approaches that academics have taken in exploring your chosen issue and incorporate these into your analysis. Bogost’s “The Rhetoric of Video Games” might be an excellent starting point to further discuss these representations. it is important that you consider procedural representations that are embedded in the games mechanics and interactivity (ie what the character/player is/isn’t able to do) as opposed to the more conventionally representational aspects of the game (eg, the visual appearance of the characters, their life situation etc.).

You might also incorporate Bogost’s idea of procedural rhetoric to explore how the player’s prejudices and preconceptions around representations of race, gender or sexuality might be challenged by the actual playing of the game.

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