Qiqi Zuo

Response 4

Qiqi Zuo



  1. Summarize the arguments made in the paper re the main question posed (You know the one that is the title of the article.)


Could game represent more than the escapist entertainment? Undoubtedly, as the documentary game emerges, they could reflect some realities and some unique viewpoints in some degrees with real world. The answer of the article is yes. Functioning similarly as documentary films, documentary game contains not only fun but also some realities and connotations. Although those two mediums belong to different genres and represent realities based on different tools, both documentary game and documentary films still function as documentary media forms which transmit some connections to the outside world and extend their capacities beyond pure entertainment. However, since the greatest difference between the film and game is that the movie is static and passive meanwhile game is interactive and flexible. The definition of documentary game is ambiguous since it’s very hard to keep the balance between historically accurate and creative expansion of interpretation. It’s hard for a game designer who aiming at portraying the reality of the real world event to design some game plots or selections out of original historical event script. From the article, we’ve learnt that the transparency of a polemical point of view that representing by documentary game is not as convincing as lens-based media. Also, as the approach of documentary game is so different from other medium genres, it allows players to experiences historical event from an abnormal angle.


  1. Play Super Columbine Massacre RPG! AND one of the short games listed below, then describes each game’s polemical point of view. Specifically how the game designers positioned the player’s role to go for an effective point.

I would acknowledge that the Super Columbine Massacre RPG indeed made me uneasy when I was playing. First of all, the intentional made low graphic quality of the game and the chilly background music triggered some doom feelings of mine. Initially I didn’t have any idea about the original historic event of Super Columbine Massacre, but gradually I began to doubt the morality of the game designer, then I was impressed by the ruthless of the two characters. From my understanding, game designer tried to decipher what happened on the massacre day of the murders’ perspectives, therefore trigger more thoughts of people who have really played the game and really pay attention to the root of the tragedy. By analyzing the world from the shooters’ perspective, the game actually simulates the shooters’ own tragedies and addresses that school bullying could cause some terrifying social problems. Comparing with Super Columbine Massacre RPG, the other games I pick to play from the list did not really shock me that much. I played the McDonalds one. The polemical point of view is kind boring, just about how to farm animals and recreate the management and producing process of McDonalds.


  1. You’ve played some “polemical games” – what’s is your opinion of the potential (or lack there of) of games as a medium for expression a point of view? does this “get in the way of the fun” ? is it possible/helpful to play and be critical at the same time?

To be entertaining is not the only and ultimate purpose of games. There are even some games aiming at reveling and evoking other emotions and thoughts other than fun. It’s shallow and offensive to say a game that only “get in the way of the fun” reaches the highest achievement of being a great game. Games indeed reflect some situations and provide some thoughts with the players if the content makes sense to the players from my understanding. However, I think the selection of how transparent the polemical information should be provided with the players is a challenging task to make. Since the game has to contain some certain degrees of realities and reflect some situations, it’s tricky to provide players with neutral information without any bias. For the final project, I would like to design a game which reflects a certain degree of a serious situation but meanwhile provides players some thoughts instead of making the game just being fun.


  1. How do you see the relationship between “documentary game” and “documentary film” ? what are the limitations / advantages of each medium in this context?

Documentary film delivers information in a static and passive way but documentary game is interactive and flexible. Instead of staying in the seats and look at the screen, game players could interact more with the code and make some meaningful choices to experience a unique unfolding of the story. As none-linear story-telling are commonly seeing in the games, it seems easier for game designers to insert more information which based on diverse perspectives, therefore, by going through the plot and collect information, the audiences of the game may get more information by themselves rather than passively absorb the information pre-installed by film makers.