Crit Studies Research 1

More than a game, Barry Atkins.

  • “…he or she was released, even, from the kind of judgements inherent in the construction of story through language.” – When related to the game chosen as an example, Close Combat 2, you can see why this statement is so shocking. It describes how a player gets to avoid judgments from actions that would otherwise be unacceptable within society. This conflicts with the idea that the game at hand was a ‘real’ experience. Atkins goes into quite a lot of detail about this aspect of the game narrative as a reality, which also links to the idea of how a game can be an escape from everyday life. Maybe this is why the actions within the game elude realities that don’t coexist with the ‘fun’ side of a game; like Close Combat missing out the political side of war.
  • “Gunman Chronicles is a three-dimensional text, in which we use a combination of mouse and keyboard to move about this ‘virtual’ world.” – Awesome quote for the reality theory – Highlights how games are a transgression from books (in the sense of narrative) and how they have adapted a form of textual story-telling into a much more interactive one.
  • Atkins describes the basic idea of game reality as a ‘simulation’ of real life. This suggests that it is only a fiction of what could be within reality, but does this theory still apply to games that fall into science fiction or fantasy genres?  Often the objects or creatures or components, shall I say, that make up the world within these games are mostly invented by the creative with influences from the real world. This suggests that they are not following the idea of simulating our world but instead of a fictional world, probably taking inspiration from other fantasy based works. The simulation aspect also applies to the narrative. All stories follow basic arcs that keep people interested in the plot, and to keep people within their comfort zone. This means that the visual side of the narrative is shown through easily recognisable objects and places. Atkins gives a good example by saying “Water does not look like ‘real’ water, but it is recognisable as water in terms of negative definition. It has enough markers of the characteristics of water (it moves, it reflects, it is semi-transparent)”.
  • Source: Atkins, Barry (2003), More Than A Game,Manchester, Manchester University Press
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