Ideas About Game Studies

I’m keeping and organizing my notes about recent news of communication and game studies area which may be furtherly researched within academic aspect in order to express the need of scientifical (psychological – sociological – economical – political) understanding.

This page will be rewritten. It is just collection of notes.

The Westport Independent – a game about ethics in journalism.“As the head of a newspaper in a country caught between an authoritarian government and anarchist rebels, players must edit articles to influence the public’s opinion, and deal with the aftermath of those actions and the individuals they affect.”

This is one example of indie (small companies & studios) development – growing industry which tries to include criticism within “simulations” about real world. My main focus is how we can more effectively use “gamification” and educate people meanwhile they play games.

CourseEra: Gamification. This is done with games such as “Microsoft Flight Simulator” for pilot training programs since it is reasonable to not give real plane to not experienced users and another example can be “Forex Trading Simulatior” to train peoples about stock exhance – currency exchange within simulation without losing real money.

It is very important to remember that Reuters News Agency recruited peoples while evaluating them with their success within game named “Second Life”. Those peoples were following and writing “news” about events within virtual simulation, exactly working alike news reporter in real life.

So what about Municipality? Can we re-design Simcity or create alternative for it where player controls and try to create better city as Mayor, and eventually can we give recent Mayors a run within game to see their scores, or maybe going further and including those scores into evaluation of next Mayor candidates…?

And on the other hand, can we develop more games like this and re-define (at least some part of) “game industry” as “a tool to improve personal education / awareness / thinking capability” rather than “leisure time activity”. Does technology realy gives us this chance / opportunity / capacity?

John Cridland (Director general of Confederation of British Industry) encouraged teenagers to study arts so computer games of the future are not designed by “spotty nerds”, and this became big debate since obviously John Cridland got no idea about how a computer game developed – who is developing what part of it… But reality is obvious, he is one of big majority who actually got more understanding than avarage. We need extra coders – dozens and dozens of them but nobody is going to play a game designed by a spotty nerd. We need people with artistic flair” was exact phrase that lead to such big debate.

What about owners of big companies? What they aim when they decide to develop new game? “Who” wants to play AAA (Game Industry “title” which equavalent to companies of Hollywood in Cinema industry) products, “who” decides their storylines and social issues, who wants to educate them to influance players in good manner?

Can we reconsider and include better values in ESRB Ratings rather than just warning about blood and alcohol? Is it possible to “label” good benefits of a specific topics on cover of product as equal to “danger warnings”? This is very similar to products we see everyday in stores. Difference is, not for “advertisement” purpose, but informing audience and public.

Those are just ideas in my head and I’m looking for comments to understand what can I do with them… This post became great explanation of my thoughts and concerns about game industry as communication area, and Im willing to research more in this way.

Things need research:

Link to “Critical Political Economy of the Game” article.