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Posts tagged “OUDF106 – Critical and Contexual Studies

Case Studies for Article

Kingdom Hearts, Square Enix, 2001 – 2010

Collaboration between Disney Interactive Studios and Square Enix

Director: Tetsuta Nomura (Square Enix character designer)

The first game begins with giving the player the options of choosing one and giving up one of the three items (staff, sword and shield) that are revealed to Sora. The next stage determines what ‘path’ the player will take, making his journey harder or simpler. The player goes through various training process to familiarise with the gameplay but this seems to appear as a dream because Sora wakes up on the beach at his home world, Destiny Island. During this part of the game the player assumes that they will be performing normal day to day tasks by competing against other characters and achieving small milestones in the game. This also provides the player a calm environment to practice the skills of the character. Sora has a flashback of his childhood with Kairi in the cave while he draws himself giving Kairi a star fruit. This demonstrates that Sora’s affections towards Kairi could be something related to the Narrative yet to unfold in the game. Sora is then interrupted by a being in a dark figure which then introduces the dangers yet to be faced by the player.

The conversation the characters have causes the player to immerse and believe in what the characters say and come to believe the virtual world they’re in to be almost reality. Suddenly their world also becomes the world of the player. The narrative then starts off with King Mickey’s letter and then concludes that there are other worlds that all of them are in danger of disappearing. This is why Donald and Goofy set out to find the wielder of the Keyblade and to help King Mickey, taking along with them a cricket names Jiminy who records knowledge that the player uncovers.

The narrative of the game is centred on Sora, Kairi and Riku, even though the gameplay involves Sora, Goofy and Donald. The player generally controls the protagonist of the game series called Sora, who is aided by non-playable characters Goofy and Donald. Whilst visiting other worlds the player is capable of swapping Donald or Goofy for that world’s protagonist (e.g. Mulan while visiting Land of Dragons or Aladdin while visiting Agrabah). This offers the gamer a sense of change to use diffreent techniques. The games include real-time combat that incorporate physical attacks, magic and summonings but the battles in each game are different.

Kingdom Hearts series is a third person role playing game that is influenced by the parent franchise, Final Fantasy; it contains action and is set in fictional worlds derived from the Disney theme. The gameplay and the narrative link all the Disney themes together and characters from Final Fantasy. Like many RPG games, Kingdom Hearts has an experience points system, which determines character development.

Although Alice in Wonderland is a theme within the game, it appears that Kingdom Hearts is influenced by the narrative course of Alice in Wonderland. He is away from home like Alice and is aided by Donald and Goofy just like Alice is aided by many more but the White Rabbit and the Hatter at the most.

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Gamers “Worse Drivers” Than Non-Gamers

This article covers how gamers are statistically worse drivers than non-gamers. Gamers are more likely to have an accident or run a red light on the road. They appear to speed and overtake a lot and playing games more often could worsen this. On the contrary gamers are more confident and develop useful skills; however gamers are likely to “take more risks than non-game drivers, possibly due the lack of real consequences in games.”

http://www.next-gen.biz/news/gamers-%E2%80%9Cworse-drivers%E2%80%9D-than-non-gamers


Reality

Over the next few years, the inflation of hyper-real illusion will result in audiences so jaded that there will be a backlash against digital fantasy; viewers will want guarantees that they are seeing reality itself” (Romney, 1997, pp.222-3). While looking through the presentation I found it odd as well as Zoe that people would want to escape from reality itself to become part of a fabricated reality. I’m personally fascinated about such things as hyper-realities; I’ve always thought of technology evolving in the future so well that it could provide almost real life experiences. I would love to create a type of technology where you can link your mind with an extension of yourself created from your own DNA, like in Avatar (2009). It just seems a great way to experience things that our bodies limit us to. Regretfully the disadvantage of this would be that people could use these creations to commit crimes and get away with it. I would love to play games that give a real life experience rather than a fabricated experience, as long as it has ‘safety belts’. I suppose in some sense it can be dangerous because people that have a weak state of mind might not be able to differentiate the difference between the two realities; an example in Inception (2010) if a ‘seed’ has been planted from this fabricated experience then a person can change the way they think or it could affect their identities. I think that Inception (2010) portrays the negative and positive effects of something that feels as real as reality itself.

As a creative I would want to exceed the limit of what we already have to something much more extraordinary. I’d rather experience a fabricated reality of the game myself without the dangers, than sit in front of a box with a screen. I like the concept of gaming in a fabricated reality, not in ‘real-life’. In reality there are no second chances but there are several second chances in a fabricated reality if you should fail to complete a stage of the game. Everything has its advantages and disadvantages, this cannot be helped, people just need to realize what they are getting themselves into and know their limits.


Simulacra and Simulation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simulacra_and_Simulation#cite_note-isbn0-7456-0586-9-0

I usually would not use Wikipedia as a source of research but the information provided is from a reliable source.

It discusses the affects of simulation and the relationship among reality, symbols and society.


Identity

The first time I was introduced to anime was in my early teenage years. I used to watch Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon and Tenchi Muyo/Universe/Tokyo. As a teenage girl I was always attached to these anime series especially Sailor Moon and Tenchi. I used to be very imaginative and sort of immersed myself in my own fantasy world, which is why I think I really liked watching these two anime shows in particular.

I or at least the imagined extension of myself in my head could relate to the schoolgirl character Usagi (Serena) in Sailor Moon. As Serena had a secret identity that she was Sailor Moon, I related to that as I felt like I created my own secret identity. Fighting evil, for love and justice was very appealing to me because as a teenager I believed in such things strongly. Although these things aren’t possible in real life, they were possible in my imagination and that’s why I felt strongly attached to Sailor Moon. Her character defied the expectations of a heroine because she was very clumsy yet she had a heart of a heroine. Her disability makes her character stand out and makes the audience love her more because although she is the heroine in the series, she also gave the audience something to laugh about each time she did something stupid. As she grew older she became much more confident and mature and I grew older watching the series. I feel my identity built itself upon her character somehow.

https://i2.wp.com/fxpaper.fatalsystem.com/images/wallpapers/cartoons/sailor-moon/sailor_moon_3.jpg

From left: Sailor Mars, Sailor Venus, Sailor Moon, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Mercury.

https://i0.wp.com/www.myfreewallpapers.net/comics/wallpapers/sailor-moon-02.jpg

Although I don’t know what semiotics was used to construct Serena’s character, however I have observed other anime series that use transformations almost similar to transformations of Sailor Moon. The series Mew Mew Power resembles a Sailor Moon transformation but only slightly. In the series Mermaid Melody the character Luchia’s transformation is almost seems identical to that of Sailor Moon. Luchia’s hair also looks like Serena’s pig tails (minus the meat balls/dumplings) but her outfit looks almost like Zoe’s outfit from Mew Mew Power. The characters of Mermaid Melody almost resemble the characters (especially hair colours and some outfits) from Sailor Moon. The rainbow colours used in both series make the characters look bubbly, fun and good.

https://i1.wp.com/fc09.deviantart.net/fs45/f/2009/080/2/0/Sailor_Moon_Tribute_by_Tetiel.jpg

From top left: Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury, Sailor Mars, Sailor Jupiter, Sailor Venus.

From bottom left: Sailor Mini (Chibi) Moon, Sailor Neptune, Sailor Uranus, Sailor Pluto, Sailor Saturn.

https://i0.wp.com/media.otakuzone.com/store/user/187982/T130234601186609de5d1a689a2384c74bc6827572913.jpg

Mermaid Melody – From left: Coco, Noel, Rina, Luchia, Hanon, Seira (bottom), Karen.

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/4b/Mermaidcast2.jpg

Mermaid Melody – From top left: Coco, Sara, Karen, Noel.

From bottom left: Hanon, Luchia, Rina.

https://i0.wp.com/fc04.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/065/7/6/Tokyo_Mew_Mew_Power_by_SweetAmberkins.jpg

Mew Mew Power – From Left: Renee, Kiki, Bridget, Corina, Zoey.


War of the Worlds Radio Broadcast Causes Panic

http://history1900s.about.com/od/1930s/a/warofworlds.htm

Before the era of T.V., people sat in front of their radios and listened to music, news reports, plays and various other programs for entertainment. In 1938, the most popular radio program was the “Chase and Sanborn Hour” which aired on Sunday evenings at 8 p.m.

From viewing this article I have pinpointed this quote to demonstrate the fact that depending on the time and development of technology, consumers have always been vulnerable to entertainment. This is because almost everyone enjoys a type of entertainment and can become addicted to something that is popular or used a lot at the time. Individuals are highly susceptible to addiction if they already have addictive personalities. This ‘condition’ might be the source of the entertainment industries income but then entertainment can’t help people from becoming addicted to something they created thinking people will enjoy the product.


Teen Accused of Strangling Girlfriend After Watching ‘Natural Born Killers’

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,388402,00.html

As awful as this news is, it just concludes that games are not the only source of media that can cause an individual to have a mental switch. But I think a person can only have a mental switch if they have a weak mental state that is susceptible to switch drastically. We don’t know how the mind of a killer works and so it would be harder to spot potential killers. I think that all GP’s and doctors should perform tests to spot potential killers.