Play versus Performance

In some ways, a player is always performing, whether for himself or others. Even within games that have no plot, gamers may build their own stories and narratives. One may take any of the NHL games and come up with his own narrative or story. The performance aspect in this pushing the player to further his progress in the game, and making his/her narration or story telling a motivation to push the boundaries of the game. When people finish a game they usually stop playing it and get on to another one, yet in some cases, people try different levels of difficulty or challenge themselves with rules that were not established/programmed in the game already. Some of these challenges may entail not dying, and if doing so starting the game over. In first person shooters this could be applied by using a single weapon in order to beat the game or in anything else. Whether it comes to speed, running or modding there is of course a love for a particular game that motivates people to push the game and their experience as far as they can. But it could be possible that people push these boundaries to continue the narrative that they initially started at the beginning of their experience. The goal of players in modding and changing games could simply be to re-experience the feeling that they had when they first played. In making something new out of already existing content, players can in fact learn to renew with their first time experience of that specific game. What is exciting about the modding and networking communities is that this love for a medium can be shared and explored with others. People can start games and stop playing them after short amounts of time because they do not enjoy the experience. Now, with modding and such, people who dislike the the original games have a chance to experience games again through a different lense. In Real-Time Performance:Machinima and Game Studies” the author wrote about Quake, and such games. On older consoles the narratives were usually kept short and at times it was harder to make-out the stories. This required the player to build on the story and make his own when there were gaps to fill. With the evolution of the media this is pushed further as people can now create these worlds and provide a tangible result with regards to expectations that were not fulfilled, or simply to further their love for a game.

Platform and Accessibility

The question arose as to whether or not having more platforms to play on is beneficial or a hindrance to players or people. It is true that people may save money in playing if they were to buy only one console instead of different platforms for play different games. But there is truth in the fact that certain platforms are better suited to certain people’s needs. For instance, one might be more comfortable with the layout of a Playstation controller over that of the X-box. It is true that different controllers could be made for different players; in this case which players should be prioritized, who would be the judge of which players need a more ergonomic controller over others? Further, how is it possible for everyone to agree on the same thing? We live in a dystopian world, and although some people agree, there will always be people disagreeing and fighting. It is unfair that people with disabilities cannot play certain games. However, if companies attempted to accommodate everyone, how long would game development take considering all types of disabilities and players and having new products out in a reasonable amount of time? Above all how much money would they have to spend to do so? If too much money is spent then games will not be profitable and these companies will shut down or have no reason to produce new material. We unfortunately live in a capitalist system where people want money in exchange for their work; even if this line of work is pleasant people still need to be rewarded.

Platforms are not all that bad, and comparing companies may help to show the necessity for multiple platforms. Nintendo makes games that are more family oriented, less violent and appropriate for children; but Sony has violent games that might not be to everyone’s taste and not suitable for all ages . There are obviously some flaws in the system and the need for more unified concepts, more consoles and games should be adapted for people with disabilities. Companies should be criticized, but it should be understood that gaming is a choice and that people should not be judged for their tastes or gaming preferences or interpretations. Ultimately, it maybe a good solution to have consoles designed for people with disabilities, yet it should be agreed on that these people may still choose to play the other consoles even if they are less suited to their needs. Being colorblind myself I sometimes have a hard time playing multiplayers because I cannot see the colors properly but I have found my way around that and can now play these games without feeling disabled.

Francis P

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