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Games and Society

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piers Hartley

on 12 January 2016

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Transcript of Games and Society

Games and Society
What impact do games have upon society?
To answer this we need to ask:

How significant are games as a medium?
What positive and negative impacts are they seen to have?
What are the psychological impacts of gaming and how do these differ with different players/games?
How does society view games and gamers?
How significant is gaming as a medium?
How many of us have gaming as their main means of consuming media (i.e. play games more than watch TV, read books etc.)

How many of us have played a game in the last week?

2014 figures:
Gaming: 81.5 B US$
Cinema: 36.5 B US$

Aside from being a success how significant is the medium artistically?
Positive Impacts of Games.
What positive impacts do we find games have?

Are these positive aspects widely recognised?

How have games influenced other media or areas of society?
Negative Impacts of Games and Concerns
What concerns are raised concerning games.
How valid are these concerns?
What can or should be done to address them?
Society's View of the Medium and Players
What does the "average gamer" look like?
Age?
Gender?
Ethnicity?
Any other indicators?

Do you think that your view of an "average gamer" is shared by society at large?
If not how does it differ?
On Society
Science - e.g. https://fold.it/portal/
Education - gameification e.g. https://www.khanacademy.org/.
Computing - e.g. HCI - Windows 95-7.
3D Technology e.g. Oculus Rift
Motion Sensing e.g. NASA, helping stroke victims.
Personal Benefits
Fun, escapism.
Educational, especially as incremental.
Other benefits may depend on the type of game played and the type of player (see Bartle's Taxonomy) but include:
Social
Motor skills (esp. FPS.)
Fitness (motion controlled)
Specific skills (sims and strategy)
Problem solving (puzzles) etc.
Seperation From Reality
This is a concern much raised in the press that some gamers become incapable of distinguishing between the game they play (often obsessively) and the real world.
The argument is that this then leads to incidents like mass shootings because "they think it's just a game".
Excessive Playing Time
Basically the idea that too much time spent playing games has a knock on effect on the rest of life including education, work etc.
Can be "minor" e.g. increase in sick days following major game releases (although this may not be minor when looked at from pov of major employers)
May be major with users retreating into virtual worlds.
Social Isolation
Largely concerned with a time before gaming became mainstream though it may still linger.
Strongly associated with nerd/geek culture in the popular conciousness.
Cost
Gaming hardware and individual titles can often be expensive.
This may be a product of the amount of "entertainment hours" contained within this product, £40 for a game vs. £10 for a cinema ticket looks expensive until you realise that the game contains 100 hours of playtime and the film is only 3 hours long.
Representation
Gaming itself and gaming culture has recently come under significant challenge with regard to its diversity and representation of and treatment of gender, ethnicity and sexuality/sexual identity.
Responses to this by the some areas of the communties have been "less than helpful".
ESA Report on gamers
http://www.theesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/ESA-Essential-Facts-2015.pdf

How does this report relate to our assumptions about the "average gamer?"
Is anything surprising and why?
Overview
Why games design?
Is a significant and growing sector of the tech industry.
Developments in gaming technology often spread to other areas of the industry.
"Required reading", studying computing without mention of the gaming sector would be like studying media without mentioning film.
Provides a good grounding in programming structure without having to worry about more difficult syntax.
Has become an important part of popular culture.
Layout of Course:
1. Impact of gaming.
2. Types of game
3. Design and devlop
4. Test and document
Grading
P1: Explain the impact of computer games on scoiety.
P2: Describe different types of computer game.
P3: Produce a design for a computer game from a given specification.
P4: Develop a computer game for a given specification.
P5: Follow a test strategy to test and debug a computer game.
P6: Produce user documentation for a computer game.
P7 Produce technical documentation for a computer game.

M1: Determine appropriate data types for a computer game and show how they're declared.
M2: Use appropriate selection and iteration methods for a computer game.
M3: Use a variety of testing tools.
M4: Suggest improvements to a computer game following user feedback.

D1: Examine the psychological effects of computer games on individuals and society.
D2: Explain how the structure and design of a game can assist in maintenance and capacity for expansion.
To what extent is gaming accepted by society at large?
Is gaming generally viewed as a useful activity?
How are games viewed?
Genre
Action
Role playing
Adventure
Strategy
Simulations
Sport
Combat
Educational
Full transcript