The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory – Volume 2
Edited By Rebecca Ann Lind
Contributors reflect varied perspectives in their approaches to the spaces formed as a result of rapidly developing and swiftly deploying new communications technologies and social software. They shine multiple spotlights into the intersection of audiences and production, providing a guide toward a nuanced understanding of the interstitial spaces.
Chapter Seven: “For this much work, I need a Guild card!”: Video Gameplay as a (Demanding) Coproduction (Nicholas David Bowman)
C H A P T E R S E V E N “For this much work, I need a Guild card!”: Video Gameplay as a (Demanding) Coproduction Nicholas David Bowman “Games are a series of interesting decisions.” (Meier, 2012) lthough there are likely as many perspectives as to what video games are as there are players, a central underlying theme of all video games is that they demand the player make decisions for the game to progress. To test this hypothesis, we need only to plug in and turn on our favorite video game console and advance to the start of actual gameplay (navigating start menus and options for continuing from previous game progression points and browsing past a litany of options to adjust game difficulty, color balance, and so forth), and then . . . simply do nothing. In most games, the gameworld will simply exist around the stationary avatar, executing its code and existing as if there were no other being, certainly not recognizing the player-avatar’s presence. Other games—especially when combat oriented —will immediately recognize the player-avatar and set out to execute him/her/it as expeditiously as possible; without active resistance or avoidance by the player, such execution is likely swift. On its surface, Meier’s (2012) comment about games being “a series of interesting decisions” seems somewhat banal. After all, many flock to the medium largely because of the levels of autonomy and control—the number of interesting decisions available—not found in most entertainment media. Video games are what Jansz...
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