Video game culture
And as long as we're at the lists for game design students, this one might come in handy as well: A list of 20 game design blogs that students will love:
As video games continue to rise in popularity, game designers are being asked to create even more challenging and satisfying user experiences. Game design students are looking for information on the latest tips, tricks and techniques to help you take your games to the next level. Fortunately, there are several high-quality game design blogs to help guide your studies, skill development and provide you with the latest trends in the field.
Of the many game design blogs in cyberspace, we selected 20 that we think you’ll find useful now and long after you earn a game design degree.
I would, however, add three other blogs worth checking out:
- The Border House Blog: Yes, it has a clearly feminist twang, and don't always agree with them. But the point is: this blog keeps on reminding you that there are female, gay and lesbian players out there that do not constantly have to be reminded of their non-mainstream existence just because you, the game designer, once again designed the game to fit the wet dreams of a heterosexual 13-year old male …
- Robert Yang: Game Designer at the Parsons University in New York – provides thoughtful analysis of games, level design and general out-of-the-box-thinking.
- Terra Nova: This clearly goes into the realm of game studies – as such, the articles are usually rather long and contain convoluted words. Never fear!
It's clearly not the first time I stumbled over the assumption that the mainly heteronormative depiction of gaming characters causes "severe disconnections between player and avatar if the player identifies as a minority".1
So maybe this seems "logical" at first, but the weird thing is that I can not really relate to that. The character might be male and hetero – as long as he looks good, I don't have a problem with that. After all, most of the cultural products I consume now (and consumed in my childhood – books, films, plays) usually feature heterosexual couples. The world would look pretty bare if I set aside every medium that does not involve (exclusively) a minority.
So, instead of keeping the question "How does a girl gamer feel while playing as Mario, a stereotyped Italian male plumber in Mario Sunshine? How does a gay gamer feel while playing as Jack and being forced to marry a girl or live alone forever in Harvest Moon?" purely rhetoric, it might be time to ask people exactly that. Do they feel disconnected? Can't they play a game because the main character isn't gay, or female, or black? Or do they accept those figures as stand-ins, purely metaphoric representations to deal with the game mechanic, just as a board game token? As parts of a story, where the characters just happen to be male and straight?
I should not put everything in the title, it leaves me nothing to post in here.
Well, if you're remotely interested in game studies, you might want to check out eludamos's new issues, where you might find articles about World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, GTA IV as well as Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2. And as an added bonus: hyper-ludicity, contra-ludicity, the magic circle and the mundane circle.
Found, of course, via Jesper Juul.