All posts by mattkimchi

BLOG POST(Module 12): MATTHEW KIM, Diversification of Gaming Platforms

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The point made by Lindsey Ogle has been the goal in most video games that are popular on various gaming platforms. “Just because the difficulty setting is low, doesn’t mean I won’t personally advance further.” It is problematic because it is a language that is associated with expertise that reinforces masculine ideas: power and control.  I would like to address the “simulation games” category of Steam, a popular computer gaming hub where it is made easy to buy games and interact with Steams private economy. The point of the game is to go on dates with multiple dads and try to get the outcome that suits you. The video game community is in fact predominantly male, and I agree with Todd VanDerWerff’s statement that indie game developers and the online gaming press have gotten too cozy. In my opinion, this entails to the content of games that have been coming out over the past decade that includes predominantly masculine topics. “In his What Culture piece, Ephraim brings up the game Gone Home, about a young woman returning to her house after time away. It was roundly lauded in the gaming press, but Ephraim singles it out as something that was praised only because it engaged with LGBT issues (whereas most of the reviews actually suggest the game was appreciated because it did something very different from other games).” Breitbart, as we know, is notorious for its radical claims, and proceeded to rip apart the game. It was criticized for its SJW topics, even plausibly linked to the causes of real-life crime.

About this game:

“Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is a game where you play as a Dad and your goal is to meet and romance other hot Dads. You and your daughter have just moved into the sleepy seaside town of Maple Bay only to discover that everyone in your neighborhood is a single, dateable Dad! Will you go out with Teacher Dad? Goth Dad? Bad Dad? Or any of the other cool Dads in this game? With minigames, sidequests, and a variety of paths and endings, Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is this year’s most anticipated Dad-based game.”

This game was created by Vernon Shaw and Leighton Gray, a married white, homosexual couple. It seems to me that they can only be knowledgeable of relationships that they have experienced, which I believe that is why their indie game is able to receive a high volume of buys. Many other simulations like this game have been in the man’s perspective but this game is through the eyes of a woman. This I think is a change, but it also sets up opportunities of misunderstanding how real-life interaction works.

Because of its social relevance to current topics, this game may be interpreted as the user pleases, so as a straight man, would I learn about homosexuality through a game like this, or would I create a false interpretation?

Getting lost in this game can make you believe that to get someone you want, you have to say the right things. This simulation gives people more time to create the situation they want, solidifying their personality and decision-making process. This is a distinguishing trait for these simulation games.

The fact that this game was released five days ago concerns me. I don’t think I will ever play simulations like these because I don’t find the joy of faking a romance, or a reality in general.  But I do think that while gaming has taken a forward step in creating more diverse games in the community,  the outcome of any video game is created by you no matter how difficult or long that may take you, and you will be harassed at because of your skill level.

Discussion and Questions

Referring to “Trouble at the Koolaid Point”, do you think that games like this are progressive for the gaming community, knowing how toxic it is?

Just because Steam released this game, many of its players still buy fast-paced action games. Would a straight white male be able to talk about social issues in video games like these?

With trolls being present, how can you see a person taking advantage of this game? Do you think that the positive reviews would be overshadowed by them?

 

Blog Post(Module 10): MATTHEW KIM #PepsiSummer Pepsi’s New Cinnamon Pepsi Continues to Ignite Cultural Backlash

PepsiAd

Many people were upset at the ad that Pepsi put out depicting Kendall Jenner joining a riot and handing a police officer a Pepsi can to stop the protest. With an understanding of performance in a McLuhan fashion, we can understand that the ability to perform to a larger crowd has expanded with the increasing popularity of social media in the 2000’s. Advertisers must now take refine their marketing strategies to target populations that are technologically advanced. A main idea that comes stems from Pearson’s interpretation of Goffman’s reading is that “individuals construct their identities in reaction to their cohorts. To use the language of Web 2.0, individuals construct identities relative to their networks.”(Pearson 2008). This is important to understand why individuals use social media sites and what the large companies are targeting.

What I want to look into is Pepsi’s marketing plan for their beloved soda. We have seen numerous of Pepsi ads that all serve the same purpose, to make us want to drink an ice cold Pepsi. With the season being Summer, Pepsi has carefully laid out many pictures displaying the many different ways you can drink your Pepsi, that is when you buy it. An interesting remark from Markham’s essay is the interplay of self and other. “The Internet also shifts attention toward the way the enactment of self can be edited and altered; for many users, computer-mediated communication promotes a strong sense of control, or freedom to choose how to fill in missing information for others.”(Markham 2012) Referring to the twitter post made by Pepsi previously, we see a woman seen in previous ads sitting on a Penny Board in a skate park. I believe that Pepsi purposely chose a woman, and a Penny Board, instead of a man, and a skateboard, to be inclusive. As a skateboarder, I know that Penny Boards are not skate-able anywhere in the park, and I also know that women skateboarders are less common than male skateboarders. “Pepsi on board #PepsiSummer” can mean a lot of things to various people. What I see is Pepsi making an outreach to women who find themselves secluded from real skateboarders, because in my own experience I know that riding a Penny Board is objectively different, and more relaxed than riding a skateboard. I believe that Pepsi continues to include present topics that touch many different cultural bounds to act inclusively. Like many other skateboarders alike, I was unable to fathom why Pepsi put a person on a Penny Board, because you can’t skate anything on a Penny Board, all you do is ride.

Discussion and Questions

  1. What would you reply to Pepsi’s tweet, knowing that Pepsi is trying to reach out to a more diverse demographic?
  2. What parts of skateboarding culture that you have seen are portrayed in this photo?
  3. How does this ad reinforce a user’s image of themselves? Markham’s observation that “Presentation of self is a deliberate, technical achievement” means that anything we retweet or like can be seen as “writ[ing] ourselves into being”.