Archive for August 2018

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[ecrea] Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 10.2 published

Mon Aug 06 12:14:00 GMT 2018

Intellect is happy to announce that the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds 10.2 is now available! For more information about this journal, click here >>

Articles include:

*_Illusions of space and time: An ethical approach to temporality in games_*

Authors: Steve Wilcox
Page Start: 115

Time is a much-explored topic in game studies, as are questions of historical accuracy and ethics. However, an ethics of time in games remains relatively unexplored. This article takes an ethical approach to theorizing game time, drawing on French philosopher Michel Serres’s distinction between linear and topological time. Serres argues that conceiving of time linearly commits us to the belief that progress itself is a deterministic and oftentimes violent series of upheavals. Contemporary video games that play with time seem to exemplify this. Games like Braid, Assassins Creed and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time have players manipulate time for the explicit purpose of reproducing a singular narrative, compelling players to synchronize their decisions with a violent, linear series of events. In this article such games are contrasted with more temporally topological titles such as Her Story, The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Life is Strange, which deconstruct linearity and demonstrate the ethical affordances of non-linear game temporalities.

_*‘Very much like any other Japanese RPG you’ve ever played’: Using undirected topic modelling to examine the evolution of JRPGs’ presence in anglophone web publications
Authors: Jérémie Pelletier-Gagnon
Page Start: 135

What types of discourses characterize Japanese role-playing games (JRPGs) as a genre of video games? Why is the genre so difficult to define, and why has it become polarizing within the gaming community? This article suggests an outline of the evolution of the discourse surrounding JRPGs based on a macroanalysis of the anglophone online gaming press. Using undirected topic modelling text mining methodology to analyse a corpus of 2053 JRPG reviews gathered from ten different online journalistic outlets posted between 1992 and 2014, this article demonstrates the circumstances of the gradual introduction of the term Japanese role-playing games in online publication, first as an extension of other examples Japanese pop culture in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and subsequently as its own genre appropriated by anglophone gaming culture in the mid-2000s onwards and subjected to this community’s particular regime of values.
Ideology and the virtual city: Social critique and conformity in video game power fantasies_*

Authors: Jon Bailes
Page Start: 149

This article analyses three video games based in modern urban settings, Saints Row IV, Grand Theft Auto V and No More Heroes, to consider how they convey different ideological responses to modern consumer societies in their structural and narrative elements. Using Marxist and psychoanalytic concepts, I consider how expectations surrounding work, leisure, property and relationships create antagonisms that individuals must reconcile with life experience. I then show how the three games exemplify different forms of ideology, in the shape of ‘power fantasies’ that manifest these antagonisms and attempt to resolve them. Throughout the article, I reference social theorists such as Fredric Jameson, Slavoj Žižek and Herbert Marcuse to define the ‘neo-liberal’ cultural background from which these ideologies emerge, and outline their features. Such perspectives help evaluate the games as cultural products of today’s neo-liberalized social order, which, I argue, struggle to interrogate systemic issues, but nonetheless contain hints of deeper social critique.

_*‘What is my Call of Duty?’: Exploring the importance of player experience in a first-person shooter video game*_

Authors: Marina Krcmar, Rory McGloin And Shu Scott Li
Page Start: 167

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between previous gameplay experience and game responses and perceptions, such as guilt and stress, as well as in-game behaviour. Based on a dual-processing approach, we expected more experienced players to process games using a more effortful, system 2 type processing; whereas, less experienced players would process the game using the more automatic system 1 type processing. Further, we expected these differences in processing to be related to differences in guilt, stress and in-game outcomes. Consistent with these predictions we found that more experienced game players perceived game characters as less anthropomorphic and experienced less stress from shooting at in-game characters. In addition, perceiving game characters as more anthropomorphic was related to increased feelings of guilt after gameplay as well as an increase in stress resulting from shooting at in-game characters. Stress was negatively related to lower overall bullet counts and increased feelings of guilt. Results are discussed in terms of a dual-processing approach to video gameplay.

*_Book Review_*

Authors: Saffyre Falkenberg
Page Start: 189

(En)coding identity: The politics of representation in video games
Gaming Representation: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Video Games, Jennifer Malkowski and TreaAndrea M. Russworm (eds) (2017)

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