Mark

Mark

Asst. Professor of Communication and Media Studies. Study video games & other types of popular media. Research focuses on gender issues and industry-level analysis.

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    Latest Topics

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    Evolution of Horror Films

    What I am interested in reading about is how horror films have evolved over the past century. The original horror films were primarily based on suspense. Later, the slasher films of the 70s and 80s reigned supreme, and more recently, torture films in line with the Saw series of films had their time. While it is easy to trace what types of horror films have come and gone over the years, what are the cultural backgrounds that tie to the rise of different sub-genres? Do these films comment on society or are they the product of society? Both?

    • I RECOMMEND DISCUSSING THE POPULARITY OF GHOSTS AND DEMONS IN RECENT YEARS VERSUS SLASHERS AND CREATURE FEATURES – Joseph Manduke IV 5 years ago
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    • I would suggest looking at the frequency with which horror movies have spawned sequels. They have become less concerned with making a social point and more concerned with making money. – Widdicombe 5 years ago
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    Latest Comments

    Mark

    I know this was not the focus of your article, but I wonder what the impact will be on future games of this type. It’s been about three years, and so far, I have not seen anything like it other than the normal dichotomy-style system one finds in the good/bad choice games. As opposed to what a few other comments have indicated, I am glad there wasn’t a “neutral” choice. Even if you choose to remain outside of a decision or to not participate, you have still made a choice not to be involved and that decision has consequences. I do not believe that there is any such thing as neutral in real life. All decisions have consequences whether or not you are aware of those consequences at the time. Integrating such a system into the game was the best choice in my opinion.

    The Role of Choice in the Mass Effect Universe
    Mark

    Jemarc-Well thought out and explained. I also think you balanced it well by trying to show the more positive characteristics associated with some of the female characters in the LoZ series.

    The Legend of Zelda: Female Representation
    Mark

    This is very true, but keep in mind that Japan is still a patriarchal society, and as such, I believe his analysis holds.

    The Legend of Zelda: Female Representation
    Mark

    First of all, I empathize with you in regard to the seeming inability of most commentators to process that you are not bashing video game violence. People, please thoroughly read what Ben has written. Ben, I do not think you need to change your article’s title. It is appropriate as your article deals with the dissonance created by the backstories of the characters in comparison to the actions that must be completed.

    Second, I recently finished Watch Dogs and felt the same way through much of the game. While you can simply “take out” a NPC without killing (and actually be rewarded for doing so), in later sequences of the game, you have no choice but to kill when faced by several heavily-armed and well-armored enemies. And all of this violence because a little girl was killed. I am not diminishing a (virtual) child’s death, but simply putting the amount of violent retaliation in perspective. The storyline reminds us through Aiden’s sister that violence isn’t the answer, and yet you are given little choice-thus the dissonance. I believe the story would have been much more interesting if Aiden could have used all of his electronic access to cut off bank accounts or find other nonviolent means to achieve the same ends.

    Where I lack knowledge is in regard to the actual code and coding process. How difficult is is it to add these types of choices? Does it add significant time to development? I also wonder if it changes the fundamental nature of a game. For instance, does it become more of an RPG than a shooter? Does that make a difference? This is an interesting and useful conversation to have.

    One side note, and meant with the purest intentions of being helpful, please proofread more carefully. You have incorrect spellings (effect-a noun-instead of affect-a verb) and incorrect word choices (psychically versus psychologically). Attention to these details will give your work more credibility.

    Video Game Violence and Narrative Dissonance