Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Sarah’s Questions from the ARG Readings:

  1. Authors of Storytelling in New Media: the Case of Alternate Reality Games state that “gamer self-reports reveal that they get more exercise” and “score more extroverted” on personality measures. What were the age groups that participated in the report? How were these studies conducted to minimize bias? While I do appreciate their effort in trying to dismantle stereotypes, this article would have gained more credibility had they further explained the findings. (Side note: Not all studies reflect this tendency, but one nationwide survey conducted in Norway saw a correlation between the use of video games and lower scores on life satisfaction.)
  2. Even though the authors argue that the goal of ARG’s “is not to create an alternate reality, but to create a storyline that infiltrates real life,” to me, it seem like a “real-life” version of Second Life, in which you build and invest in another fabricated world (The Jejune Institute makes an excellent case). Perhaps, ARG’s have more layered components of “an interactive drama” and are more goal-oriented, but aren’t they similiar in the nature of creating a world within a world? What are the benefits and problems that come with such ‘dualistic’ or ‘blurred’ meta or meta-meta realities? Is this “fourth place” necessary?
  3. ARG is defined in the article as a “participatory and interactive” mode of storytelling in which “players have a key role in creating the fiction.” I do agree with with this to a certain degree, but think that the authors should emphasize the collective nature of these games. While individual players have a role to play, it is the group, the players as a whole, that propel the story forward. With such an army-like mindset that guides the story, there is a lack of autonomy, but a heavy reliance on the identity of the group. Is there a way to diffuse more of each player’s individuality and “independent thought” into ARG’s or is this not really feasible?
  4. To quote Jeff Hull, creator of the Jejune Institute, “You can describe anything as a game…Life itself is a game.” With that in mind, if he thinks of the Jejune Institute as an “experience” (and not a game), then that means it’s a ‘game experience’? How does a game experience differ from other experiences in life which also happens to be part of a game?

Wed, November 21 2018 » Future Cinema