Is it possible to design videogames that deal with social and political issues? Could videogames be used as a tool for encouraging critical thinking? Do videogames offer an alternative way of understanding reality?
These were a few questions posed by Gonzalo Frasca in his article titled Videogames of the Oppressed. I personally believe that yes is the answer for all of the above. People make and program games, which means that if you could imagine it, you could make a game out of it. Games could be, and some are already indeed educational. Could games deal with social and politcal isse? Sure. What about the Nintendo Jeopardy? That has questions dealing with politics. I believe the question asking do video games offer an alternative way of understanding reality, is the only question that could present an argument. There are those who believe that gamea are game...and nothing more. But, there are also those who believe that games do indeed offer this sort of "other world". A world where players can somewhat escape to. Some believ ethat some people who play excessivley, start to try and live like they are in a video game. I am not so sure how I stand on this issue. I believe that perhaps both can be true. I guess if someone were to play games nonstop, the line between what is real and what is a game may start to become blurry.
relationship between games and story remains a divisive question among game fans, designers, and scholars alike. At a recent academic Games Studies conference, for example, a blood feud threatened to erupt between the self-proclaimed ludologists, who wanted to see the focus shift onto the mechanics of game play, and the narratologists, who were interested in studying games alongside other storytelling media.
This was excerpt from a recent article about the relationship between gaming and stories, written by Henry Jenkins. There seems to be a constant battle between theorists concerning video games and narritive story. Some beleive that the future of games is in storytelling, while others believe that games should stick to the simple mechanics of games. I personally believe that games teh best video games involve a little of both. Take Super Mario Brother for example, there is a definate story that is told throughout the game, but there are those "free" levels where you just play a simple game or go through a maze to earn some extra points. I think it's funny that people are getting so upset while trying to put a single definition on gaming. I think part of the point of video games to have no boundaries or to break any boundaries.
I have recently come to the conclusion that blogs, along withmany other things such as video games, are all stories. I have relized that much of what we do as humans is storytelling, whther we realize this or not. The games we play, the movies we watch, the entries in our blogs, text messages, and even our conversations....it's all one big story we're telling. It's fascinating. I think that so many people are unaware of the stories they are telling or living because they can not see them..they are not actually reading the words. This is why things such as blogs are validating the fact that much of our life revolves aroud stories and storytelling.
Nines is a group that is dedicated to having more peer reviewed scholaraly work online. I find this interesting. It seems that throughout history, people are constantly striving to have ther work or stories approved by others. It is just not good enought to have it published or on the web, you have to have others telling you your work is good. I understand that they are seeing that more and more scholarly work is appeaaring on the web, and they would like to see that this continues, but do they really need to establish a peer-reviewed network? I mean, isn't the internet a place where you can escape the usual standards that the real-world paper texts bind you to?
It seems ad though the site Ivanhoe is dedeicated to helping people experience the variety of text, along with the power that text can hold. Ivanhoe is a game that is based around the player interacting in a story. Again, here we see the power of storytelling in games. Storytelling is very much the beginning of text as we know it, and because it is so powerful, it has become the backgound and base for many games. It is the story in these games, that makes the player so involved and interested.
Eric Zimmerman, author of an electronic essay about gaming., brings up a very interesting point that much of gaming revolves around a good story. He says, " game developers increasingly rely on filmic story techniques in the design of their products, turning present-day computer and video games into a kind of mutant cinema." I have never thought of gaming in this manner before, but it is incredibly true. Everyone loves a good stoary, so in turn, a goood story is a good game. I beleive the art of storytelling is incredibly powerful and overlooked. Many people do not realize teh power a story can have over them. They can make a happy person sad, or a sad person happy. I truly believe stories can be life changing. I believe that we need to pay more attention to story telling, even encouraging it more often in children. Storytelling is an art that undoubtably needs to be preserved.