First Person Podcast Episode 57 – The Progression of Video Game Narratives

FirstPersonPodcast · First Person Podcast Episode 57 – The Progression of Video Game Narratives Welcome to the 57th episode of the First Person Podcast. We are back with another academic semester and since we have been running with the theme… Continue Reading

First Person Podcast Episode 47

Queer Representation in Gaming

Welcome to the 47th episode of First-Person Podcast and Happy Pride Month everybody! This episode we are going to be looking at and talking about queer representation in gaming. Whether it be queer theming, queer performativity, or explicitly queer characters, we want to try and open up the conversation a bit more looking at the way gaming media frames queer values and narratives. Join us as we look into both mainstream and indie games and discuss our experience with them. Continue Reading

It’s Dangerous to Go Alone

Back in July betsy, Chris, and Rob said their farewells and hinted at some changes for the coming year. After some time at the character selection screen, Sabrina, Patrick, and Lia have been chosen to take up the mantle and continue the adventure that FPS started all those years ago. And what better way to start than with some introductions and an unveiling of those changes. Continue Reading

Quantified Soldiery

Halo 5: Guardians and Statistical Coaxing

Halo 5: Guardians (H5) is a first-person shooter in two parts: multiplayer combat and a series of story missions. In multiplayer, the player’s avatar is made distinct from other players’ with cosmetic modification (colour choices and armour options), giving them a range of options for self-expression that are unavailable in single player. Through this and other methods, Halo 5 affords certain possibilities for self-representation or expression, encourages a limited range of actions, and ignores other possibilities. Affordance, in this case, refers to everything that Halo 5 online multiplayer allows the player to do, what it encourages the player to do through its various systems (coaxed affordance), and what the player cannot do or is discouraged from doing by the platform or discursive environment (constraint). Continue Reading

The Other Difficulty Mode

What Halo Can Tell Us About Identity & Oppression

If being a “straight white male” is, as John Scalzi argues, like playing a game on the easiest difficulty, then those of us who are less privileged are playing on a harder difficulty. While I think that this metaphor is a sound tool for initial conversations about privilege, its underlying theory of power is too simplistic. This metaphor splits the world into straight white men and everyone else, leaving the reader with no way to account for the many different kinds of oppression that affect us (racism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, ableism, etc.) and the specific ways in which these oppressions interact. Difficulty settings in games also tend to be arranged on a bipolar line with predictable, quantifiable changes being made to the gameplay as the difficulty increases. Our social identities, by contrast, are multidimensional and we cannot simply arrange them on a line from “most oppressed” to “least oppressed.” Continue Reading