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Adrian Forest
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There are several problems with this convergence concept. First, you're essentially getting the people playing the fashion design game to work unpaid for the people making the GTA game. I'm not sure the games industry needs any new ways of exploiting the people interested in fashion design. Second, the problem with linking the games in this way is that the criteria for judging the fashion design part of the game are made subservient to the desires of those playing GTA. You're no longer playing a fashion design game, you're playing a 'design clothes for a GTA game' game. Second Life is relevant not because it's already a place where you can design and sell virtual clothing, but because it's already a place where you can design and sell clothing to be worn by the people in a virtual world. Second Life already *is* lots of different games being played with the same kind of convergence between them.
Toggle Commented Oct 10, 2010 on Convergence Culture at Click Nothing
I'm not discussing censorship, I'm talking about looking at this game critically. Why write this game off as not worth looking at critically? I'm also not discussing artistic credibility either. I'm saying this game does merit criticism, that is, thinking critically about it, rather than just dismissing it and writing it off as yet another indictment of the sorry state of the world, etc, etc. Since you bring it up, I think it can be said that Team America did further the dialogue on the War on Terror. Its overtly satirical representations of Arabs as Orientalised, gibberish-spouting Others worked towards defusing the power of such depictions in a non-satirical context. I'm not suggesting that this game is similarly overtly satirical. What I'm suggesting is that it's too simple to treat as 100% sincere, and that there is evidence of it being conflicted in its perspective. Writing it off isn't interesting. It's dull and unthoughtful. Of course this game is offensive, but saying so isn't telling us anything new. Asking questions about it is more productive. And the most prominent question to ask about this game is: What does this game say about the context in which it was produced? What does this game's Orientalist, reductionist representation of Arabs say about a) its audience's perception of Arabs, but more interestingly, b) its creators' perception of its audience? What are we to make of elements such as the 'Uncle Sam' bonus?
Toggle Commented Jul 27, 2010 on Arab shooting gallery at Brainy Gamer
1 reply
I do think it's impossible to read it devoid of irony without assuming both a) incompetence in designing for American jingoism on the part of the creators and b) uncritical reception on the part of players. Both of these assumptions give far too little credit to the humans involved. Honestly, I think we can take it for granted that there is irony in the 'Uncle Sam' bonus. The more interesting question is why it is there. Why assume it's indicative of incompetence at appealing to American jingoism rather than incompetence at injecting a note of irony? Yes, it's a grossly, monstrously insensitive representation of the Middle East. That's not even in question. But it's not necessarily *just* that. It's glib and simplistic to say it's just another example of Orientalist othering of Arabs, and naive or facetious to suggest it exists in isolation.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2010 on Arab shooting gallery at Brainy Gamer
1 reply
I'm not entirely sure it's as simple as that. Yes, the game is reprehensible as a ridiculously Orientalist representation of the Middle East. But it's also a Polish-developed game that's explicitly aimed at Americans. And it's impossible to read the 'Uncle Sam Would Be Proud' bonus as being devoid of irony. I don't want to sound like I'm condoning this game's representations, but it seems like a mistake to write it off. I think it's a mistake to ignore that this game and its production are embedded in a context of a) the existing wide propagation of these sorts of Orientalist representations and b) the complex and globalised nature of the games industry. Is this game meant to be taken at face value? Is it marketed on its face value but produced with a sense of irony on the part of its creators? Could it be produced at least partly with the intent of exploiting a perceived comfortableness with such representations on the part of its American audience? I don't know. It'd be a lot more interesting to me if it were, and I'd be quite interested in finding out.
Toggle Commented Jul 26, 2010 on Arab shooting gallery at Brainy Gamer
1 reply
Care to elaborate on how you think "Apple has fucked up, this year, bigtime"?
Toggle Commented Jul 6, 2010 on 5 things I'm thinking right now at Wonderland
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Jun 20, 2010