Saturday, March 10, 2007

Cinema and Gaming, SCMS 03092007

Adam Lowenstein -- "Cinema, Gaming, Interactivity: Between Existenz and Un Chien Andalou" -- Looking at the connections between old media and new media. The question really is one of interactivity to a certain aspect. Interactivity can be called false, can be demonized, etc. Kinder calls into claim what is going on here by looking at the interactive in the films of Bunuel.

Then quotes Galloway in Galloway as something that is more than interactive. Lowenstein wants to think about how cinema helps those think about the gaming experience, in partiuclar through the surrealist issues of gaming as associative rather than simply interactive.

Lowenstein wants to anchor Existenz through Un Chien Andalou. The issue that he is drawing on is that of the games such as those of the exquisite corpse. This game did not have an audience beyond the players, whereas with Bunuel and Dali do have one and the issue of reception.

So then we get the famous opening sequence of the film. We get the knife sharpening sequence and the slit moon/slit eye sequence. This is a game of images and not all players play in the same way. This is associative imagery. And the Graphic elements about the imagery that is key here.

Such games of association also happen in the film of Existenz. There is a scene where the game urge takes place. The Game Urge occurs and the game character is somehow "born to do these things" -- do not fight it and this is key... he forms a gun from the bones of the food he has just eaten.

At the heart of the scene is a number of a question of agency that rests at the issues of cinema and gaming. There is a sense of the game's logic that controls the player and desire. This is a common issue here with a formal sequence of the cut scene where the player loses all agency to become a spectator. Galloway notes that this is a regression from Gaming's possibilities and this is a regression.

Existenz asks us to grapple with how gaming cinema can be and vice versa. It asks us to rethink what is "cinematic" and "gaming".

Audrey Anable -- "Come Out to Play: The Warriors Video Game, Moral Panic, and the Remaking of a Decaying American City" -- The game emerges from the subway in the city and people in the game are wreaking havoc on the city. It is set in NYC in the lat 70s and early 80s as a place of urban decay. The Walter Hill film drew on an idea of the city as one that had a been taken over by a lack of moral order.

Rockstar games adapted the film into a game drawing on its most famous game, Grand Theft Auto.

What can we learn about the relationship between pop films and pop games. The film begins with a convention of the games there is an assasination and misplaced (yet strategic) blame.

The Warrior's film is not indexical at all and is more comical. The issue of the city is a heigtened and imaginary one. The narrative suggests that there is an idea of the city as a place of play in spaces of urban decay.

The Warrior's seems more like a mish-mash of martial arts films, gangster genres, even the musical. The Warriors seems like such a video game in many of its elements, it's thin plot, flat characters and action, makes it perfect for video game adaptation.

The opening sequence of the game is almost a shot-by-shot adaptation of the film's opening sequence. But we learn later on that the this film is 3 months earlier than the film diegetic world has initaited. The game explains how members of the warrior became a member and the world is far more complex in terms of space than the actual filmic city. The player works in a way to deal with the map. The map is key in order to deal with the epically scaled world (see games like Grand Theft Auto). What is important to note about game play and the urban city is that the city space needs to be mastered through play. Thus spatial exploration is key since the spatiality is part and parcel of the game.

This paper is part of a larger project on the issue of spatial discourse regarding urbanity in video gaming. Let us think about these games in terms of the other issues surrounding city space policies of the time in which video games emerged.

Erin Hill -- "Achievment Time: Chronotopic Interpenetration or Real and Game Time-Space in World of Warcraft" -- This is a Bakhtinian issue and the chronotope has been adopted for a much more active issue at work here. The mutual effort of the gamer and game where the time of the game and the gamer get's blurred. Bakhtin gives the issue of the chronotope and time can thicken, take on flesh, become visible. It is a real odd time-space configuration that has the chronotope.

World of Warcraft as an MMORPG You have two continents and these continents has to be done in real time and the fact is that you must travel to get there. There is no sleeping, just adventure.

Time in this sense is measured in missions. And the characters are supposed to change and grow, metamorphoses. You have a this sense not from internal digestion, rather from possessions ans skills you get. Also, if you plan hard enough and work hard enough you will almost get success... chance and fate have no place in here. What you get in WOW is an adventure of accumulation. The myth in America is that if you work hard enough can achieve anything and is presented as a fact both here and in this game. When you play WOW you can not really place a hold on the game, you have an open-ended game that can, when coupled by the real/internal time fusion in the game, forge itself quickly into a lifestyle.

In modern life we get a highly segmented and disciplined issue of time. But in WOW and in the place of the computer we often see how these worlds and time types really do fuse. Think about the scheduling of game time and the sheer number of hours. Gamers may make friendships that may be character to character that then become player to player. These confuse the virtual.

The interpentration happens in terms of economics and even in contracts. There are a number of politics that occur such as "gay" separatist guilds.

One of the things that is appealing is given the logic of acquisition, while it happens in "real time" does quicken and is accelerated. And this is pleasurable at a number of levels.

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