CATS – Log Book – Entry #7 (22/11/13)

So today in our CATS session we have been introduced to Critical Perspectives. The aims and objectives of this session are:

  • To consider the relationship of the gamer/user to video games and the web
  • To introduce the concept of Critical Perspectives
  • To identify key theories and theorists associated with Critical Perspectives
  • To analyse a range of cultural products using Critical Perspectives

The first thing to address was the Gamer/User and how the use or interact with the game both Physically and Mentally and how we can use this to our advantage in Games Design. The thing to consider is the Subject:

“A person or thing that is being discussed, described, or dealt with”

Or

“A thinking or feeling entity; the conscious mind; the ego, especially as opposed to anything external to the mind.”

– Directly from our presentation.

We went on to speak about Sherry Turkle and what she tells us about our relationship to technology. Sherry Turkle is offering us a Critical Perspective on social media and technology. You can watch a video on this Here.

Next we was introduced to 2 key theoretical perspectives, Psychoanalysis and Feminism and have been told that over the next few years we will be developing our critical thinking. From this point on we need to start looking at things from a critical point of view. With this in mind we moved straight into our first task of this session which was to psychoanalyse a short video clip of Silent Hill

Here are the notes I got from the group discussion we had:

  • Adding a personal avatar into the game places you in the midst of the horror and terror.
  • The clothing appeared to be juvenile in nature, we believed this to be intentional to place you in an adolescent mindset, due to the adolescent mind being easy to manipulate.
  • All this leads to being able to bring your biggest fears to life.

After this we moved straight on to the next key theme, Feminism, and what better way to show feminism than with a perfect example in Lara Croft AKA Tomb Raider. We watched a short video clip and used talked about Feminism:

Here are my notes I got from our discussion:

  • Attractive woman
  • Clearly designed by men, Big boobs, Short shorts Etc…
  • Adapted in the past few years to make her more independent and strong and less Feminist.
  • She is clearly, from this video clip, being made to be a role model.

So what is Psychoanalysis?

“Psychonanalysis is a theory of the human mind, a therapy for mental distress, an instrument of research and a profession. A complex intellectual, medical and sociological phenomenon.”

 

– Ivan Ward and Oscar Zarate, Introducing Psychoanalysis, 2000.

Psychoanalysis has shown the relationship between sexuality and human motivation and hidden meanings of psychological events, this study is fascinating and has been used in many video games like Silent Hill and Alan Wake to name but 2.

This brings me on to the next key theme of our session, Feminism. So what is Feminism?

“The Advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.”

 

– OED

Feminism shows a movement and progressed to equal rights for both men and women. But in our social construct have we really moved on from feminism with icons such as Tomb raider who was created as a sex symbol but has shown a slight progression into making her more of a role model, and with things like Mario and Princesses Peach, a damsel in distress with a male figure trying to save her. Have we really moved on from feminism.

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