I’m working on an idea for a research project. I haven’t a firm grasp on what it will be yet, only that I’d like it to involve elements of games as a medium capable of expressing a political ideology. Coming from an art background it would probably be sensible to have it be a study of the aesthetic qualities of games rather than something too programming or design based. The issue I have now is how to tie these things together.
It seems a logical approach would be to study how techniques used in more studied art forms use visual methods to express a political view, such as in political cartooons, caricatures or otherwise stylised representations of the people and places involved in the issues being satirised. How can these techniques be applied to computer games? Are there games that already use these techniques? What type of game best suit this kind of satirical approach to visual design? What games already adopt a satirical visual style? Do these techniques have any other applications outside satire, such as in narrative or character design?
Trying to settle on one thing, I think I’d go with something like “can computer game aesthetic/character design imply a satirical/policalmeaning?” I want to stay away from environment design, focusing more on political cartoons and other non-realistic means of character representation and the techniques used to satirise political characters and whether these techniques can be applied to computer game characters (2D or 3D, as there’s examples of both in traditional media,) for satirical effect.
I’m not certain how I’d research this. I’ve a feeling it’ll be heavily leaning on quallitative research methods but since I’m not very experienced in research and haven’t done any in a good few years I may be wrong. Semiotics will no doubt play a big part though I’ll likely discuss with Gregor what approaches I could take and decide from there.
As I mentioned I’ve hit Google Scholar hard for articles to start from. I haven’t seen much on the use of satirical cartoon/caricature styled aesthetics in games so there may be room for something fresh and interesting here. I’ve listed all the links I’ve used below.
- Newsgames: Procedural Rhetoric meets Political Cartoons – http://www.wingchunsantacruz.com/gamesandart/research/newsgames-DiGRA2009.pdf
- “I Hope You Never See Another Day Like This”: Pedagogy & Allegory in “Post 9/11” Video Games – http://gamestudies.org/0801/articles/ouellette_m
- Newsgames: Journalism at Play – http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=5-LIvgZcG-gC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=KHkTaGMRLn&sig=nhiG-geL8XW4GUaH-fTKi8GqDzw#v=onepage&q&f=false
- BOOK REVIEW: NEWSGAMES: JOURNALISM AT PLAY (IAN BOGOST, SIMON FERRARI AND BOBBYSCHWEIZER, 2010)
- The Rhetoric of Video Games – http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/dmal.9780262693646.117
- The meaning of video games: gaming and textual studies By Steven Edward Jones – http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=N7ACHel_UxcC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=satirical+caricature+%22video+games%22&ots=lSwfP_Qguq&sig=ZNqUQD-KE5ywegQCb41zI_Vk-6Y#v=onepage&q&f=false
- Stylistic Versus Photorealistic Aesthetics In Computer Games – Jenny Anne Peers – http://www.missjengame.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/Stylistic-Versus-Photorealistic-Aesthetics-In-Computer-Games.pdf
- Richard Nixon as Pinocchio, Richard II, and Santa Claus: The Use of Allusion in Political Satire – http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=6266364
- Superportraits: caricatures and recognition By Gillian Rhodes – http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=VGwH8CcyZXMC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=GP8upOaKtJ&sig=s6IG42cldxqtPMr-oOIoUXbpfbw#v=onepage&q&f=false
SATIRE AS CRITICAL PEDAGOGY, Paul Armstrong, University of Leeds. United Kingdom – http://education.leeds.ac.uk/research/uploads/37.pdf
Cartoons and Political Cynicism – http://arpa.econ.usyd.edu.au/journal/v2/n1/hogan.pdf
In Defence of the Political Caroonists’ Licence to Mock – http://arpa.econ.usyd.edu.au/journal/v5/n1/manning.pdf
Researching the visual: images, objects, contexts and interactions in social … By Michael Emmison, Philip Smith – http://books.google.co.uk/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xy3yKI55QWoC&oi=fnd&pg=PR8&ots=be7KE_Ea3B&sig=mQq5Hew2_5ikmPKv281iHGf2H14#v=onepage&q&f=falseI
I haven’t read past the first few pages of most of these, just skimming the abstract and getting a general sense of what the papaer is about.