Reading Note #4

(1) In the article, Bogost and Poremba argues that documentaries and documentary qualities can be applied to digital games. They develop the reader’s understanding of documentaries and categorizes them into different forms that are used in digital games. The defined term deviates from the traditional notion of documentaries being “non-fictional accounts of the world” (Bogost and Poremba, Page 3). Instead, they are described as composed works that produce ‘non-intrinsic documentary qualities’ with a genuine illustration of life occurrences (John Grierson). According to Bills Nichols, documentaries encompass distinct forms, each with “a certain ethos of production and reception,” that generate incidents that bear a sense authenticity and reality. (Bogost and Premba, Page 5). These conventional genres include procedural, interactive, reflexive, generative, and poetic. By “revealing alternate histories and embedding participants in these experiences” through these methods, we are able to maintain and preserve our culture (Bogost and Poremba, Page 18).

(2) Super Columbine Massacre RPG!  isn’t working on my computer. :(

The author and game designer of the polemical game, Ute, powerfully communicates the concept of stereotypical and misogynistic views of a “woman’s duty” and marriage. The digital game begins by Ute’s Grandma giving advice to Ute: (1) Sleep with every man you can get, (2) To get more points, try to move at the right speed when you have sex, (3) Try not to get caught, and (4) When you see another man coming, you have to hurry. The endgame is dictated by the amount of times you get caught, and the number of people you have slept with. If you have had “great sex” by moving at the perfect speed with a particular man, then that man will be who you will be married to in the end of the game. The tactic of placing the player in this limited, and debilitating role presents a response to the conventionalized and societal perception of women and their “place” when regarding sex and marriage.

(3) In my perspective, there is potential in contemporary digital game production for expressing and revealing political and cultural concerns. However, it requires political consciousness and cognizance for the player to understand the intention of the game. Generally, the artist’s intention of revealing stereotypic and misogynistic views of a woman’s duty was clever in the game mechanics, but would be difficult to distinguish the artist’s views if I wasn’t primed ahead of time. Overall I think that the ideas presented do not “get in the way of the fun.”

(4) Coming Soon!