Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 9: Role Playing Games

I found the readings this week really insightful, although, I think, to many avid players of games, this would be common sense. I am beginning to realise that although I am interested in examining games (particularly BL games) in theoretical ways, I lack the practical experience of playing games, which limits me from delving deeper into the field of Game Studies.
For those of you who are interested in BL games I recently came across this youtube page. It's definitely not scholarly, but it does introduce a variety of games for you to explore.
Now in relation to the readings...
It is fascinating to see the plethora of RPGs and JRPGs, its history, and development over the years. I did, however, find the reading slightly isolating…since the only game titles that I recognized were Final Fantasy and Zelda… both of which I have not played.  HOWEVER, despite my insufficient knowledge of the gaming world, I am particularly interested in the controversy/ debates of what makes RPGs culturally distinct.

Yet as Japanese console RPGs became increasingly more dominant in the 1990s,[76] and became known for being more heavily story and character-based, American computer RPGs also began to face criticism for having characters devoid of personality or background, due to representing avatars which the player uses to interact with the world, in contrast to Japanese console RPGs which depicted characters with distinctive personalities. American computer RPGs were thus criticized for lacking "more of the traditional role-playing" offered by Japanese console RPGs, which instead emphasized character interactions.[50] In response, North American computer RPGs began making a comeback towards the end of the 1990s with interactive choice-filled adventures.[77]

 What lies at the heart of this issue, it seems, is that it does not matter if RPGs are culturally distinct since through adaptation and parody, RPGS, generally speaking, blur cultural difference to ultimately produce a commodity that sells. The market of RPGs is primarily concerned with capital, and one can argue that capitalism is not marked by ethnicity or gender. In other words, RPGs that borrow from both the American and Japanese models neutralise cultural and aesthetic differences, promoting, to some extent, the idea of  global RPGs??

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