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Games and Popular Culture

Serious Gaming or 'who cares?'
by

Britta Pollmuller

on 17 February 2010

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Transcript of Games and Popular Culture

Games and Popular Culture
Games IN Popular Culure
Raymond Williams (1921 - 1988) proposed a three part view of culture:
the lived culture, the culture of the selective tradition and the recorded culture.
Williams distinguishes between two broad types; a commercial kind that focuses on drama series, movies, and general entertainment, and a 'public' service' kind that provides news and public affairs, features and documentaries, education, arts and music, children's programs.
High Art (Culture)
Low Art (Culture)
Mass Culture
Trash Culture
Can we learn to appreciate and value images and artefacts across times and cultures?
Can we understand the context in which they were made?
HOW?
Game and online culture is the object of public analysis and criticism.
Youth culture and the statistics of youth violence, school truancy and academic achievement, all point to social and economic causes, but also to [their] personal and cultural interest, such as games and social networking sites.
Byron Report 2008)
Pac-Man
Doneky Kong
Cultural Values
New Cultural Forms
John Storey emphasises that popular culture emerges from the urbanisation of the industrial revolution, which identifies the term with the usual definitions of 'mass culture'.
Noun1.mass culture - the culture that is widely disseminated via the mass media
culture - the tastes in art and manners that are favored by a social group
Games in Popular Culture
Games as Popular Culture
Consider whether diverting from popular culture can engage with, and allow for, a different form of imagination and creativity. Can there be a balance between experiencing popular culture and imitating popular culture? And, if there can, what does this say about authorship?
Cultural values, for example are described by Dutton (2001) as ‘imitationalism as a theory of art that is a cultural construct […] of what have been features of human culture for millennia.’ He also asserts that ‘art forms are found everywhere, regardless of culture […] and developments have become incorporated into the very essence of humanity.’
Questions:

How do 'game genres' develop?

How do game genres develop within popular culture?

How do we recognise, and define and categorize games that we are using while participating in game culture?

Select a digital game (pref from the 80s) that you consider to have started a new genre.

Give a short description of it and give your reason for attributing it as the first in a particular game genre.

Pay particular attention to the way you define the genre in question: is it defined functionally though its interaction styles, or with reference to a specific them or iconography, through its unique difference form other genre, or simply with references to marketing and/or fan discourse?
Full transcript