MITJA KOŠTOMAJ Thames Valley University, Faculty of the Arts Interactive game play – week 06 Social and contextual issues of CG Today’s topics: This lecture discusses social and contextual issues of CG in following dimensions: 1. Censorship & Violence 2. Addiction to games 3. Mental and physical health 4. Positive aspects of games • • Games can teach Diplomatic games 5. Gender - Women in games conference 2005 Violence & Censorship Violence is “Sword of Damocles” of CG industry. Censorship >> auto censorship >> anti censorship. David Cronenberg interview about auto censorship http://www.igda.org/Forums/showthread.php?s=52408f8d755129e641eec293e4c 919ff&threadid=18671 Movies: Crash (1996), Videodrome (1983), ExistenZ (1999), A History of Violence (2005) Violence & Censorship David Cronenberg: "As an artist, one is not a citizen of society. An artist is bound to explore every aspect of human experience, the darkest corners- not necessarily-- but if that is where one is led, that's where one must go. You cannot worry about what the structure of your own particular segment of society considers bad behavior, good behavior; good exploration, bad exploration. So, at the time you're being an artist, you're not a citizen. You have, in fact, no social responsibility whatsoever. http://www.igda.org/Forums/showthread.php?s=52408f8d755129e641eec293e4c 919ff&threadid=18671 Violence & Censorship David Cronenberg: When I write, I must not censor my own imagery or connections. I must not worry about what critics will say, what leftists will say, what environmentalists will say. I must ignore all that. If I listen to all these voices I will be paralyzed, because none of this can be resolved. I have to go back to the voice that spoke before all these structures were imposed on it, and let it speak these terrible truths. By being irresponsible I will be responsible." -- David Cronenberg, Mondo 2000 http://www.igda.org/Forums/showthread.php?s=52408f8d755129e641eec293e4c919 ff&threadid=18671 Violent video games and real-life violence 2000 USA Health department produced a review of the possible link between violent video games and real-life violence. 25 reports of scientific studies were identified at three age groups: – – – preschool and elementary school children; middle and high school students; and college students and young adults. (7 to 9 studies per age group) Violent video games and real-life violence Study concludes: “At present the research evidence is not supportive of a major public concern that violent video games lead to real-life violence. However, this conclusion might change as more research is conducted on more recent and increasingly violent and realistic games.” Violent video games and real-life violence Preschool/elementary school children (ages 4-8) Research indicates (3 out of 4 studies) that preschool and early elementary school children show increased aggression or aggressive play immediately after playing a video game with aggressive content. >> Report questions experimental designs (providing strong evidence of causality) and the realistic outcome measure (behavioral observations during free-play), >> studies did not provide evidence that harm was inflicted as a result of the aggression, or assess whether there were any long-term effects. Violent video games and real-life violence Middle and high school students. Research indicates that at this time it is not known whether violent video games have detrimental, positive, or no consistent effects on aggression in this age group. (1 experimental study showed no effect 8 others had varying findings) 3 studies looked into “whether more aggressive boys are more likely to prefer violent video games”. Results were mixed >> 1 study found the predicted association, 1 found no association, and 1 found the reverse pattern (boys who preferred non-violent games scored high on a measure of delinquency and boys who preferred violent games did not.) Violent video games and real-life violence College students and young adults. Studies showed mixed results. 1 of 4 experimental studies of self-rated hostile mood after violent video game play, only two showed increased hostile mood. 1 of 4 studies using other measures of hostility / aggression, only 1 showed an association between hostility/aggressions and video game play. >>Because of these mixed results, this research indicates that at this time it is not known whether video game play affects aggression or hostility in this age group. Violent video games and real-life violence Major limitations of the current research include: 1. Lack of experimental studies addressing whether playing violent video games causes increased aggressive behavior in teenagers or young adults; 2. Lack of studies addressing whether individuals with other risk factors for violence (e.g., a history of being abused) might have more negative responses to video game violence than other youth; 3. Lack of longer term measurements of behavior in young children. Violent video games and real-life violence Summary: findings from experimental studies indicates that playing violent video games may lead to increased aggression in young children immediately following play. >>> additional well-designed, experimental studies are needed. >>> with levels of violence that reflect games currently available to children. >>> studies should focus on moderate to long term effects of playing violent video games among young children. >>> more experimental studies for students in middle and high school. Violence & Censorship Games Censorship or Self Censorship? Anti-censorship http://www.igda.org/censorship/ IGDA Position statement: The IGDA opposes any effort that would treat digital games differently from other forms of art and creative expression. Digital games are an expressive medium worthy of the same respect, and protections, as movies, literature and other forms of art and entertainment. The IGDA fully stands behind voluntary, industry driven, content ratings that allow consumers to make informed purchasing/playing decisions for themselves and their families. Games are part of our cultural fabric and are enjoyed by diverse audiences. Addiction to games www.Gameaddict.org.uk is a website dedicated to providing information to gamers on healthy gaming along with providing advice and support to those affected by gaming addiction. Positive aspects of games Games can teach! Nesta - www.nesta.org.uk/ Learning and Skills Development Agency www.lsda.org.uk Mitchell, A and Savill-Smith, C (2004). The Use of Computer and Video Games for Learning: A Review of the Literature. Learning and Skills Development Agency; Ultralab; mlearning Games That Educate, Train, and Inform www.gamasutra.com/features/20051031/chen_01.shtml Diplomatic, negotiating and games a la “How to save the world from poverty?” www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/15/AR2005101500218_pf.html Games can teach Learning and Skills Development Agency Mitchell, A and Savill-Smith, C (2004). www.lsda.org.uk “How “good” computer games are?” >> producers, parents, teachers, governments … Many young people spend a significant amount of leisure time each week playing computer games (often 7 hours or more) Computer games have become for many children the chosen form of play Computer games might improve visual intelligence and reaction times Some complex computer games might incorporate as many as 36 important learning principles. Computer games are seductive and the challenge of wining the game is motivating. Frequent gaming help users to adjust to a computer-oriented society. Games That Educate, Train, and Inform Dr. Mark Wiederhold, co-founder of the Virtual Reality Medical Center, states many uses of video games in modern medicine; • • • • to distract patients during painful medical procedures. to improve rehabilitation. to improve motor skills. for therapeutic interventions. • • to teach doctor and nurses. to raise awareness of their health problems (ie. diabetes, asthma). www.gamasutra.com/features/20051031/chen_01.shtml Games That Educate, Train, and Inform First CG that merged fitness and computer games was Konami’s arcade game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), (1991) re-released for console in 2001. HOSPITALS AND HEALTH CARE • Hospitals experiment with alternatives to treatment and therapies. • Integrating video games in treatment and recovery process. • Video games as training tools for doctors and nurses. Games That Educate.. Distraction Therapy How much pain a person experiences often depends on how much conscious attention the person gives to the pain signals? Video games and virtual reality (VR), with their ability to immerse the individual in a computer-generated environment, have been shown to be effective in focusing a patient's attention away from their medical treatment and the pain they are experiencing. Immersed in the world of the game, they are not as consciously aware of what is going on around them, and they miss a proportion of the pain signals. Games That Educate.. Distraction Therapy Believe In Tomorrow Foundation (USA charity 1982) >> uses distraction as a pain management technique >> virtual reality immersion via headsets Anticipatory anxiety >> Children feel this more deeply than adults >> partnerships between Believe In Tomorrow Foundation and BreakAway Games (2005) resulted in a new study in the effectiveness of VR techniques. Games That Educate… Self-Management Self-management - key element in the treatment of chronic diseases (asthma and diabetes). >> patients adjust their lifestyle and habits to deal with the disease >> consequences could be health problems or even death. “Watch, Discover, Think, and Act” (2000), a computer game designed to enhance self-management skills and improve asthma outcomes in inner-city children with asthma. Packie & Marlon, by ClickHealth, was designed to help children and teenagers with diabetes improve their diabetes self-management. Games That Educate… Self-Management Glucoboy (Guidance Interactive Healthcare, 2005) - a glucose meter that can be connected to a Nintendo GameBoy. As a reward for maintaining good blood sugar control, Glucoboy downloads video game programs into the GameBoy. Win the diabetes (2001-2005, Slovenian Diabetes society) awareness games for children and teenagers with diabetes. Games That Educate…Health Education and Physical Fitness “EXERGAMING” or “EXERTAINMENT” Games try to help players stay healthy nutrition, physical fitness, sexually transmitted diseases Squire's Quest Dance Dance Revolution (1991) – RedOctane’s Ignition Pad (2004) Sony EyeToy (2003) for the PlayStation 2 Games That Educate…Health Education and Physical Fitness Squire's Quest – medieval game >> from squire to full knight >> nutritional content of different foods (40 minutes per week in 5 weeks) Konami's Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), (1991) - video game that mixes physical activity with game play. DDR uses dance pad, with four panels, up, down, left, and right, arranged around where the player stands. RedOctane’s Ignition Pad (top selling dance pad in 2004) >> Tanya Jessen, the campaign spokesperson, lost 95 pounds (43 kg) by playing the Dance Dance Revolution). DDR is used in number of studies: >>> increases the metabolism and causes the body to burn more calories. >>> examines the possibility of cutting claim costs from obesity and how exergaming products can help reduce childhood obesity. Games That Educate…Health Education and Physical Fitness With EyeToy for the PlayStation 2 there is an emerging market for new controllers and interfaces: – Cateye GameBike and the Reebok CyberRider for PlayStation 2 or Xbox ($1200). – QMotions >> baseball controller for console and PC. Other games that involved physical activity i.e. arcade games: - Pedalling a bicycle (Prop Cycle, 1993) - Holding ski pole handles while standing on moveable skis (Alpine Racer, 1995) - Sega's Top Skater (1997) >> skateboard, - Namco's Final Furlong (1997) >> racehorse riding. Diplomatic games How to save the world from poverty? Carnegie Mellon University educational CG that explores the Mid-East conflict: -- negotiating peace between Israelis and Palestinians. UN World Food Programme >> online game how to feed thousands of people on a fictitious island. MTV announced a contest for a video game that fights genocide in Darfur, Sudan. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/15/AR2005101500218_pf.html Women in games conference 2005 Conference looked into 1. female representation 2. female players 3. female developers Ernest Adams – Look back in high heels Ref: http://www.womeningames.com/ http://crystaltips.typepad.com/wonderland/2005/08/women_in_games_.html Women in games conference 2005 Female Representation 1. woman as icon 2. “ “ target of misogyny (hatred towards women) 3. “ “ object/plaything 4. “ “ damsel in distress 5. “ “ sidekick/assistant 6. “ “ evil opponent 7. “ “ man with breasts e.g Lara Croft (is manish and does not engage in any female activities/behaviour – does this breakdown gender boundaries or create man in women body for male audience? 8. “ “ herself. This is also known as the fully self-realised woman – she defines her role and is not defined by it. Her choices are governed by her character not gender. Doesn’t give up feminity to advance her aims. Lots of examples from history – Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, Margaret Thatcher. These women may struggle against stereotypes in pursuit of larger goal. Women in games conference 2005 Sheri Graner Ray, Gender and inclusive game design (book) Female Players Purple moon made games for girls but unsuccessful as market driven rather than being led by a vision. Free games on web attract 1000’s of women. Women prefer character depth in games. Need to develop 3 dimensional characters in gaming that’ll appeal to women. 0 dim characters – atomic emotional states jump from hate to fear. 1 dim “ - such as bond girls 2 dim “ - 007 bond – no conflicting emotions or emotional ambiguity 3 dim “ - neutrality, sympathy, antipathy and psychotherapy? – Captain Aubrey in ‘master and commander’. http://pc.gamezone.com/news/05_28_04_01_01PM.htm Women in games conference 2005 Sheri Graner Ray, Gender and game design (book) Female Developers Women bring new perspectives and values to the medium. – prioritise and plan – think of your audience not yourself and bring empathy to the job. Storytelling is mostly about people whereas games are mostly about things? Is this really true? Need to learn to make interactive drama such as ‘Façade – interactivestory.net’ is more about psychological engagement with a story. Women in games conference 2005 Elena Bertozzi Self-efficacy – this is the idea that men are more likely to engage in techy activities and jump in – women hang back if not confident. T.L. Taylor http://www.itu.dk/people/tltaylor/ Social network, domestic configurations, different between girls and women in their approaches needs to be considered. Identity – are you a gamer first or is your gender first? The way we understand sex is socially constructed. Women in games conference 2005 Jennifer Jensen Its not about making better games for women. Keep games for M and F and keep those tensions there. Otherwise there are 2 types of games and no real engagement with gender issue. We’re producing, co-producing and re-producing these findings and research. Need to start asking different questions. Girls don’t have direct access to game playing, don’t have primary access to tech – access is re-mediated thro male relations. Cultural assumptions that females don’t like aggressive games is not found true in research. Can’t make judgements on likes and dislikes of females especially if they don’t have opportunity to try these things out! So if girls already feel ‘outside’ what is point of marketing to them? Women in games conference 2005 Aphra Kerr High level of risks/failure in games which is why companies stick to tried and established genres, sequels etc not a lot of new ideas in games industry in general – mostly in-house teams rather than independent makers. Questions??