January 12, 2006

Similar yet Different

Ex 6: Article Analysis (40pts) -- Video Gaming (EL 250)

Frasca’s article “Sim Sin City: some thoughts about Grand Theft Auto 3” was a very interesting article to read. I mainly enjoyed reading Frasca’s article because he did not hesitate when stating his opinions, especially when it came to children and violence. He and the authors’ that we have studied so far all have one thing in common: games. Frasca’s article was very short compared to the books that I was required to read so I do not have as deep of an understanding with Frasca’s as I do with Koster and Laurel.
Frasca and Laurel seem to have similar ideas about games, but their jobs are very different. Laurel’s main focus is to create videogames for little girls, whereas Frasca creates games for people all over the world, excluding no one. Frasca mainly focuses on and creates controversial games because his audience is much older than Laurel’s audience. Laurel has to be very careful about the type of games that she creates because her job is to sell the game; not create controversy.
Koster and Frasca have the same idea about what makes a videogame “fun.” Koster analyzes games and their meanings, whereas Frasca edits a game without giving any textual support, for example, September 11th. Frasca let you figure out the game by yourself because he trusted his players and knew that they would figure out his message. Koster and Frasca also spend a good amount of time talking about storytelling and the influence that it has on the game being played. Frasca says, “Storytelling plays several roles in games. It "grounds" the setting mainly by bringing a set of rules and values into the game.” They both agree on the definition that Frasca provided, but in my opinion Koster believes that storytelling is somewhat more important than Frasca seems too.
Koster and Frasca also have a similar understanding of literature and videogames. Koster says, “If you took out all the sex and all the violence, you wouldn’t have very many movies, books, or TV shows.” (176) I am going to assume means that Koster feels that there is no need to destroy violence in the video gamming world, but include violence carefully and maybe not so bluntly, especially if children will be able to have access to the game, whereas Frasca seems to get defensive when talking about the effects of violence. He becomes sarcastic and criticizes literature and its meaning. “There is actually proof that books are extremely dangerous. They should be considered weapons of mass destruction. If you are really concerned about media effects, forget videogames: you should start burning libraries right now.” Frasca makes a joke out of the criticism that violent videogames have been receiving. He is also right when he said that there are no documented deaths linked to videogames, but that does not mean that the videogames are actually harmless.
Each author has a different experience and a different viewpoint of videogames. Koster wrote a book that was easy to read for adults, who have children, or for people who want to learn about the chaotic world of videogames, Laurel wrote about her job and the certain rules that she has to follow and lastly Fracas wrote an article defending negative feedback given to violent videogames. After reading their work, even though they are different, they all have a valid point and their appreciation for videogames shines through.

Posted by GinaBurgese at January 12, 2006 06:10 PM | TrackBack
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