Video Gaming (EL 250)

9 Jan 2006

Ex 3: Close Playing 1 (40pts)

Two parts, each worth 20. For each part, write an essay (200 words) based on a "close playing" of the game.

For more help with the assignment, see this brief paragraph, from an article by Janet Murray, that efficiently analyzes another game by the same author, Kabul Kaboom.
Frasca's game focuses on the situation of an Afghani child, presented as a figure from Picasso's Guernica , a painting that is emblematic of the horrors of civilian bombardment. The child is positioned in a game screen similar to Space Invaders , in which bombs and hamburgers, rather than space ships, fall from the skies. The game is a political cartoon on the irony of a "humanitarian" war, in which the U.S. is dropping both food and bombs on an already war-ravaged and famine-threatened country. The irony of the game is that you cannot move the figure so that the screamingly opened mouth can receive the food instead of the bombs. Like a child caught in the horrors of war, you are helpless to determine which is your fate. And like a civilian under a bombardment campaign, you cannot shoot back - or even choose when to end the game, since it begins again as soon as it is over. "Kabul Kaboom" works because it subverts our expectations of a game. It immobilizes us where we expect to have power, forcing us to experience the dramatic situation that is the focus of the expression.

See also pages 123-130 in Half Real.

In literature, a "close reading" is an essay that looks in detail at the specific words that make up a work. Take a look at the following website, which explains the concept of a "close reading" in detail; it gives a sample paragraph from a literary work

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Games and The Effects They Have
Excerpt: Ex 3: Close Playing 1 (40pts) -- Video Gaming (EL 250)...
Weblog: GinaBurgese
Tracked: January 9, 2006 04:41 PM

What time is this due?

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at January 8, 2006 08:06 PM

I wasn't sure where you wanted this to be turned in, so I posted it on my blog.

Posted by: Leslie Rodriguez at January 9, 2006 08:38 AM

Good for you, Leslie.

I'll accept it until 4pm today.

You're welcome to post it on your blog, but I've also created a J-Web upload slot if you prefer to use that. Either way is OK with me.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at January 9, 2006 11:26 AM

I posted it on my blog

Posted by: Kayla Lukacs at January 9, 2006 12:25 PM

I posted my responses here:

Posted by: Evan at January 9, 2006 03:06 PM

Oops! Forgot the other one...

Posted by: Evan at January 9, 2006 03:59 PM

My commentary was similar to those that I read, the games were frustrating but made a valid point without having a definitive end.

Posted by: Stephan Puff at January 9, 2006 07:53 PM

Posted by: Stephan Puff at January 9, 2006 07:54 PM
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