Tag: video games

Kingdom Hearts: A Cultural Love Child

  What the heck is sea salt ice-cream? Whenever a game is brought over to the US, there is always a question of culture changes. Each culture has different views and thoughts on symbols and events, sometimes resulting in a rice ball becoming a doughnut in a version brought over to the US. There is always the question of what to change and what to keep the same.   But how does this translate into a game with both roots in Japan and the US? The Kingdom Hearts series is the result of a mixing of cultures, with characters and worlds from both the American company Disney, and Square Enix in Japan.… Read the rest

Video Killed the Family Game Night

I don’t know if this is a shared, universal experience but I played a lot of board games when I was younger. More specifically, I was forced to play a lot of board games when I was younger. My mom was very anti-electronics and wanted my younger sister and I to participate in social activities that didn’t involve us staring at a TV and/or computer screen all day. Looking back on this, I was interested in seeing how our society’s view of board games has evolved since the introduction of video games.

There is a coined term for the familial social activity associated with board games: the Family Game Night.… Read the rest

Aesthetically Obese and Still Scrounging

I don’t play many video games – in fact at this point I only have two games for my Playstation 3: BioShock and BioShock Infinite (the latter now making the former redundant because it contains a digital copy of the original). I use the console as a media player more than anything, so I’d hardly consider myself anything resembling a serious gamer, but when it comes to these two games – I am a fiend. I’ve played the original more times than I can count and I’m currently playing Infinite the second time through. These games are so aesthetically rich and contain so much detail that I should have some kind of diabetes equivalent for spoiling my ears and eyes rotten.… Read the rest

“I want a sword too!” Heroines in E-rated Games

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In my opinion, one of the most appealing aspects about video games is the chance to play a hero. As the hero, you get to exist in a world specifically designed for you and your chances to triumph. There are hardships but it’s those hardships that provide an opportunity to empathize with the emotions and situations of the character you play. You learn to relate, and although you may not always view the character as yourself, you definitely grow an attachment. So, if there is a possibility to get so captivated with the game, shouldn’t there at the very least be a gender option for the hero?… Read the rest

CHILD’S PLAY: Educating your Children through your Console

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In recent years there has been a rise in the development of educational video games for children ranging in ages from as young as the pre-K category to elementary school aged children.  These platforms have been explored through all three of the most popular gaming consoles including the Wii, PlayStation 3 as well as the Xbox.

Many of these games are not just simply games one plays for “fun.”  These games serve as a learning tool which assists children with a variety of skills including the development of problem-solving skills, generating ideas in creativity, all while having a good time.  From personal experience I realize the importance of video games as well as PC games and their educational nature in helping a child who may be behind in school. … Read the rest

“Save us!” The Objectification of Women in Video Games

“Damsel in Distress,” is a popular term utilized and personified in media such a literature, movies and of course, video games. But what does it actually mean?  According to Urban Dictionary, there are three definitions:

1. A stereotype of portraying an unmarried female who needs to be saved.

2. any female in need of aid

 3. A usually beautiful, virginal, virtuous, and hopelessly passive young woman constantly in need of rescue by the dashing hero.

None of which are all that flattering…

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This ever popular term can been seen in games as early as “Sheriff,” (pictured above) which was an arcade game developed by Nintendo in 1979 which displays a “female” character referred to as “The Beauty,” who must be rescued from a group of bandits.… Read the rest

Complicated Pixels: Lack of Racial Diversity in Video Games?

 

So in thinking about video games and the “space” and venues in which they are played in, more commonly in ones living room induced some ideas about the WHO is playing video games, rather than the WHERE.  According to statistical data, conducted by The Kaiser Family Foundation:

“African American youth between the ages of 8 and 18 play games 30 minutes more per day than white youth, while Hispanics play an average of 10 minutes more.  Aside from DVR playback, marketers might want to note that African Americans exhibit higher usage levels for watching live TV, DVD playback, and video game usage,” says the 2011 African American Consumer Report” (Tinyuoe)

In my opinion, the only way to answer this question is to examine, who or whom is making these video games behind the scenes. … Read the rest

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