Gender and Videogames
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Gender and Videogames Dr Ewan Kirkland BCUC. Videogames are an extremely masculine medium. sexualised representation of female characters. male heroes rescuing helpless females. overwhelming masculinity of the implied game player. Soul Calibre. Dead or Alive. Catwoman.

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Gender and Videogames

Dr Ewan Kirkland

BCUC



sexualised representation of female characters

male heroes rescuing helpless females

overwhelming masculinity of the implied game player





Tomb raider heroine lara croft
Tomb Raider heroine Lara Croft













‘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.’


In what ways does GTA, CEE, or any other videogame presume the player is a heterosexual male?

How does this potentially impact of female gamers, and the female gaming experience?

Can you think of any game titles which presume a female or more feminine gamer?


Active male rescue helpless female structure
Active-male-rescue-helpless-female structure the player is a heterosexual male?

Maximo


What are the limitations of focusing only on the visual and narrative aspects of gaming?

What aspects of the gaming experience are not considered in concentrating on such aspects?

How relevant are issues such as narrative or visual design when you play a videogame?


Gender Representation narrative aspects of gaming?

Gender Construction

Context

Gameplay


Justine Cassell & Henry Jenkins (eds) (1999) narrative aspects of gaming?From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: The MIT Press

Barry Atkins (2003) More than a game: The computer game as fictional form Manchester & NY: Manchester UP

Noah Wardrip-Fruin & Pat Harrigan (eds) (2004) First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game Cambridge, Massachusetts, London: The MIT Press

Diane Carr, David Buckingham, Andrew Burn & Gareth Schott (2006) Computer Games: Text, Narrative, Play Cambridge & Malden (USA): Polity Press

Geoff King & Tanya Krzywinska (2006) Tomb Raiders and Space Invaders: Videogame Forms & Contexts London, New York: IB Tauris


media analysts narrative aspects of gaming?

social scientists

game designers


Narratology / Ludology narrative aspects of gaming?


Narratologists narrative aspects of gaming?:

narrative or storytelling aspects

media texts

traditional forms of audiovisual and narrative media

Geoff King & Tania Krywinska (eds) (2002) Screenplay: cinema/videogames/interfaces London & New York: Wallflower Press


Ludologists narrative aspects of gaming?:

games: chess, tag, hide and seek

rules, structure, formalism

criticising the assumptions, arguments and methods of narratologists


Ludologists v Narratologists narrative aspects of gaming?:

Narratologists don’t understand games

Narratologists want to reduce games to films

Narratologist, in emphasising videogames’ similarity to film, television, literature, ignore what makes games games


Representation
Representation narrative aspects of gaming?


representation narrative aspects of gaming?

identification


Lara Croft ( narrative aspects of gaming?Tomb Raider)

cinematic

character:

  • personality

  • history

  • gender, class, ethnicity

  • photo-realistic



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?

Or does the male videogame player playing Lara Croft become feminised through playing as a female character?

Is Lara Croft something to be looked at, or is she someone to become?


Andrew Darley (2000) heterosexual males?Visual Digital Culture: Surface Play and Spectacle in New Media Genres London & New York: Routledge


James newman 2004 videogames london new york routledge
James Newman (2004) heterosexual males?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) Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis’ in ‘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.’


Gameplay1
Gameplay Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis’ in


narratologists Cyberbimbo? On the Limits of Textual Analysis’ in

ludologists

narratives

games

remediation, convergence, intertextuality

social, cultural, historical meanings of play

audiovisual media texts

rule-based systems


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