Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Games Britannia Documentary Questions (Sam)

1. What different genres of game are discussed?
Several generic genres are discussed such as RPGs (role playing games) spanning to MMORPGs as the gaming industry introduced online role playing games. Genres within these categories such as fantasy (eg. Heavenly Sword), Sci-fi, 'God Games', sport and racing games all played an important part in the development of games.

2. What does the documentary say about character development?
The first character that was really identified with in video games was Lara Croft. As she had a backstory, a family and goals the player could engage more effectively with her character and actually care about the character. However, the character has to be 'hollow' enough to allow the player to create their own identity within the game. More modern games allow customisation of a character and definition of a set of personalities through speech choices, meaning that the character can become 'owned' by the player. This meant that the gameplay was more personal for the player and therefore more enjoyable. The relationship between player and character became more dynamic and the player would play the 'story' of their character, through the narrative of the game.

3. Does it discuss technological developments and advances in the industry?
The documentary shows how board games such as Dungeons and Dragons were inspired firstly by books such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. They then led to fantasy genre games. 2d platform games led to more free, 3d games and soon the player could play online with other people. The transition from computer, to console to handheld was also discussed and this showed how gaming became a common activity, often for the family as well as simply playing alone and being stereotypically 'nerdy'. Games such as Little Big Planet encourage players to create their own 'game', making their own levels and sharing it with other players. This online, creative aspect has been seen as a new twist in the gaming industry.

4. Does it make an criticism of the industry?
The documentary does highlight the moral issues of gaming - such as is it acceptable to do morally questionable acts in a game that we would not do in real life? When does it push the boundaries too far, and how can we measure that point? Games such as Grand Theft Auto created a lot of controversy when they were first released, as the provocative and gory nature of the game allowed the player to commit acts that would be against the law and morally very wrong.

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