Essay research, More than a game.

Atkins, B, (2003), More Than A Game; Manchester: MAnchester University Press.

How do games claim varieties of realism?

Atkins states that computer games hold a different relationship with the real world than other forms of media, this could be because of the way that a game is constructed; it invites the player into the world. Immersive techniques allow the player to become fully attached to the game world. Atkins questions the form of the computer game – just how realistic is it? This links up with the idea of hyperealities and immersion as it is asking how far the world is pushed to make it believable to the player.

“We are confronted with a form of narrative storytelling where the production of story is the end result of play”, this statement backs up the idea of the narrative being only concerned with the subconscious immersion of the game, it is not what makes a player hooked. What do players find addictive in a game? Another view is that the statement fully links the idea of narrative immersion that requires the player to utilise the game mechanics. A player needs to feel content with the game mechanics to become immersed in the narrative. It is in its essence the mechanics and dynamics that are the key to the level of immersion; “A player needs to feel content with the game mechanics to become immersed in the narrative”(Atkins 2003). A good example of this is Katamari, you get addicted to the gameplay but the narrative is so bizarre that it takes a back seat. The whole concept seems a little weird – why are you collecting balls of objects that then get turned into stars and planets?

“The computer game takes its toll on the body even as it promises a disembodied and virtual experience.”, does this mean that the player still feels a sense of reality whilst playing the game, they are still aware of their emotions and surroundings and the game world is simply a temporary escape from this.

Idea of simulation within games – promoted through the marketing teams but the reality is that games fall short of this idea. The hype of a game is what sells it, the reality is that the player will always want more.

It is about becoming accustomed to what amounts as the visual style of the game. A player will become more immersed with something that is realistic and believable. This means that the mechanics and dynamics need to reflect a sense of reality. The level of reality depends on the player – psychological aspects that make us more susceptible to believe.

I am researching too broad an area, need to decide which one to do! Narrative? Concept? Visual? All? – could link to sensory values, theory.

“Convincing in their ‘illusion’ that the image presented could have been connected mechanically with a ‘real’ object because that ‘real’ object is actually located within the imagination and not the observed world.” – I should look into what makes our imagination work, the game reality lives within the imagination of the player – suggestive thoughts from the games mechanics.

 

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