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WAYS TO EXAMINE COMPUTER GAMES

02:29, 27/6/2012  ..  0 comments  ..  Link
Another approach to thematizing Game Night is to group the elements above into larger categories of critique. As an example, we have listed below ten sets of such categories that could contain all of the above elements. These categories could then become foci of individual Game Nights, becoming a sort of curriculum for game study. The above list, of course, can be grouped in any number of ways to create many more than ten categories. We offer these ten solely as examples to indicate how these elements can be grouped to facilitate additional game study approaches. In the table below, the ¡°Examples¡± column lists some of the features that could be grouped in each category. For example, if we wanted to examine a game according to its ¡°psychological elements,¡± we might look specifically at the ways violent activity in the game impinges upon player psychology, the set of assumptions that seem to comprise the developers' psychological model of players (or of characters in the game), or those features in the game that seem designed to elicit addictive behavior. We also note that many of the ¡°Examples¡± could become categories themselves. In some cases, the theme(s) you choose will dictate the games you focus on; in other cases the reverse will be true. No matter how you select the games, however, always consider carefully the impact that the content of the games couldhave on your participants. If a game is particularly violent, racist, misogynist, or is in some other way potentially offensive, think about how you will prepare your participants for that material. In some cases you may want to issue a simple warning. In other cases you may want to preserve the game's shock value but allow for thorough debriefing later. And in still other cases you may want to rethink your selection altogether. This matter is particularly important if some of your participants are young people or are known to be particularly sensitive. If some of your participants are underage, you may well want to obtain permission slips from their guardians and keep them apprised of the content with which their charges will be interacting.

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