I have previously mentioned Star Wars Battlefront’s lack of division among race or gender, which makes is a unifying game. I am one of the gamers that not only appreciates the graphics in a game, but also is a fan of the community that the game can offer. Recently I was able to read an … Continue reading “Multiple Iterations of a Game Can Bring Unity”
I have previously mentioned Star Wars Battlefront’s lack of division among race or gender, which makes is a unifying game. I am one of the gamers that not only appreciates the graphics in a game, but also is a fan of the community that the game can offer. Recently I was able to read an article that discussed the success that the game had all over the world, but one fact stuck out to me the most. The game is now being translated into Arabic, after having already been translated into multiple other languages (Corless). While this may not be important to some people, it is a sign of a deeper unifying sense that videogames can bring.
In my lifetime it seems that the United States has always had issues with the middle east, a region where Arabic is mainly spoken. Ranging from 9/11 to the current Syrian crisis, there is a certain connotation that is associated with the language and its people. I believe that it is a step in the right direction where a game that was developed in the United States is being translated for Arabic speakers. These people will soon be able to enjoy the game that we are enjoying, and while it will certainly not solve our country’s issues with the Middle East, it brings us a little bit closer together. Arabic is spoken by 290 million people worldwide, so the decision to create this translation is not a small one (Corless).
Those who are not fanatics of videogames will claim that electronic digital narratives cannot impact society and do not have much value. I however, would like to bring up my formerly mentioned admiration for the community a game creates. While countries may be at war with each other, we still share similarities. These similarities may not be vast or wide in variety, but they exist. They can even be videogames that we laugh, cry, or get frustrated at, but they remind us that we are not always different from one another.
A second Star Wars Battlefront play through brought to light a characteristic of the game that I had not seen before: the lack of discrimination based on gender or race. I am not saying that there needs to be discrimination in games, but the fact that the game does not have it brings to mind … Continue reading “Battlefront exemplifies lack of race difference”
A second Star Wars Battlefront play through brought to light a characteristic of the game that I had not seen before: the lack of discrimination based on gender or race. I am not saying that there needs to be discrimination in games, but the fact that the game does not have it brings to mind Anna Everett and Craig Watkins’ The Power of Play: The Portrayal and Performance of Race in Video Games as well as our discussions of women in games. I first began to notice this characteristic when playing as Princess Leia and noticing that her moments were the same as those of the in-game soldiers. When discussing women, we delved into their role as “damsels in distress” and the difference in play between male and female characters. I thought it was interesting and noticeable that this difference was not seen between a princess and army-trained soldiers.
There is also no race difference in the game. Clearly the protagonists of the movie are the same race that they are in real life, but there is no discernable difference between other characters based on their race. The gameplay is not changed whether the player is an Asian rebel soldier or a black one. Everett and Watkins discuss the simulation of “blackness” in videogames and the overall development of race in this setting. Videogames often attempt to make the game feel “real” from the perspective of different races, and sometimes they fall into social stereotypes. The Stormtroopers and other soldiers do not show race, as they are in full body gear, and this is a characteristic that separates Battlefront from other first person shooters. While the developers could have had the soldiers take their helmets off to reveal their race, as has happened in the Star Wars universe before, they decided not to. Here is where the previously mentioned race characteristics in the game combine to truly demonstrate the power of play.
Battlefront demonstrates race, and when it does so it makes sure that there are no differences in gameplay so the races are equal. When it does not demonstrate race, but it can, it chooses not to because it has already commented on racial differences. Ultimately I find the power that Battlefront has is found in the fact that they do not make a player wish to be a certain race or gender because of special skills or abilities. They end discrimination before it can begin.
My final game was “Star Wars Battlefront” for the Xbox one. Having only played Lego Star Wars and several iterations of lightsaber based videogames, I was unsure of what to expect from an FPS game. As per usual the “tutorial” phase of the game did not give me much insight as to what made this … Continue reading “Star Wars Battlefront: Same Controls, New Game”
My final game was “Star Wars Battlefront” for the Xbox one. Having only played Lego Star Wars and several iterations of lightsaber based videogames, I was unsure of what to expect from an FPS game. As per usual the “tutorial” phase of the game did not give me much insight as to what made this game different from any other shooter. It was only until I got past the tutorial phase and into the multiple game options that made Battlefront different than your regular Call of Duty or Battlefield. The game did not offer a single player story mode, as is commonly found in first person shooters. This is perhaps the most surprising observation I made, as I had never previously played a shooter game that did not offer some sort of narrative mode related to the game. There are options to play solo and co-op missions, but these felt like extensions of the tutorials than a single game in particular. Thinking more about the lack of story, I see Battlefront attempting to break the norm that is expected of FPS games. The gaming community has long dictated what components games must have to be categorized into a genre, and Battlefield is going against these norms. One must wonder whether the developers meant to intentionally create a different type of FPS, or if they simply wanted to focus their efforts into the online battle modes.
While the game differs from mainstream FPS in certain perspectives, it follows the control trends that this genre offers. The buttons to jump, aim, shoot, and throw are the same as other games, so I was able to come in and immediately know what I was doing. While it was comforting to know that I could dive right into the game, I pondered the further implications that something as simple as controls have. Why does the A button always signify jump and the right bumper to shoot? What specific game started the trend of these “basic controls” and why do most games follow this specific formula? It seems that games are now unwilling or perhaps unable to change the controls. I can see how developers would want to stray from offering new controls systems that might discourage players from buying the game, yet I see novelty as an enticing feature. One thought lingered after I ended my gaming session: what if all first person shooter games are the same and we are just getting reskinned versions sold to us as “new”? The consumerist in me was alerted.