What is with all the gaming, guys?

Like many of you, I read the piece in Fairfax media titled ‘The Games We Play’ about men and their gaming habits. I’m not going to link to it here, but you can easily find it with a quick google or twitter search. As Dan Golding over at Crikey has already pointed out, it feels like a continuation of an easy media narrative about games and those who play them. I also think that the responses from the gaming community are part of their own evolving media narrative which contains its own collection of faultlines – especially the industry-centric focus and language, but I’ve written about the use of that particular word many times and won’t revisit it here.

But, despite all that, I think that buried somewhere in the piece, the article does actually have a point. All media has an influence on us, and there are metaphors and ways of thinking about the world embedded in the systemic and thematic structures of games, and we should be conscious of them as adults when playing games, just as we should be conscious of the messages from the endless whirlpool of media that makes up modern life. We discuss and teach media literacy as ways of decoupling, understanding, and immunising ourselves from the subtle and not so subtle messages bombarding us, but we rarely talk about games literacy in the same way. I think we should, and I think, somewhere, deep in the piece, that’s what it’s trying to get at. It is buried though, and what it is buried beneath is what I find problematic.

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My thoughts on the R18+ discussion

Well, I guess Amnesia Month is well and truly over…

I wasn’t going to weigh in to the R18+ issue largely because for a long time I’ve maintained that it didn’t really affect developers, and there was already a well-motivated and very vocal contingent of gamers who had the time and the energy for the fight. I also couldn’t find a way to add anything more to the argument than has already been stated elsewhere.

But now I think I can.

…if the latest surveys about the average gamer being a 32-year-old single male who sits at home and plays games all day are correct, then what I am proposing is not going to have much impact at all.

From Gamespot.

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The trouble with games reporting…

It’s rare that I feel the need to write any sort of opinion piece on this blog, but over the past few weeks, there’s been a sudden upsurge in the number of poorly researched and negative games pieces in the mainstream media, and I wanted to draw attention to them all in the one place and maybe start a discussion about what we can do to address some of those issues.

Every new medium, no matter how similar to what has come before, has had to deal with the cries of the earth falling or our youth corrupting or the very threads that hold our decent society together fraying and unravelling, and games are no exception, but recently the number of mainstream articles with exactly that form have appeared online in the mainstream news.

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