Monday, 27 February 2012

Notes from Joystick Nation: How videogames ate our quarters, won our hearts and rewired our minds by J.C.Herz

Herz J.C, (1995), Joystick Nation: How Video games ate our quarters won our hearts and rewired our minds First Edition, Canada, Little Brown and company limited

2. A Natural History of Video games

  • 1966 - first experimental tv, computer interface sends two blips skidding across a screen
  • 1967 - original main frame maze game
  • 1977 - Space Invaders, original slide - and - shoot title and first video game to make it big in the U.S
  • 1986 - Gauntlet - the first arcade role - playing game
  • 1989 - Tetris
  • 1990 - Street Fighter 2 - first mega hit fighting game
  • 1992 - Sega
  • 1996 - Nintendo 64, Sony Playstation

  • The timeline above shows brief advancement over forty years and evolvement

3. The Madonna, Whore Complex of Consumer Electronics

  • 1966 Ralph Baer worked on computer systems for the military and hooked a tv set to a computer to build a symbol generator to get two dots chasinbg each other
  • he assigned two engineers and after a year it became shaped into video badminton
  • began as variants of same game played on different grids
  • 1980's  and 90's - revolution of handhelds bright colours and ran on batteries

8. Ditties of the Apocalypse

  • in the mid 80's - it became decided that games needed a musical score
  • back then video game music was purely a matter of computer programming
  • small amount of memory, in which to create a remembrable tune

10. Videogame Porn

  • "But unlike Windows 95 owners, kids have to attain a certain level of proficiency with Donkey Kong Country 2 before they can brag to their friends." (Herz, 1995: 123) - behavioural of competition playing to male gender
  • price of video game periodicals/ magazines corresponds to the shrink wrap magazines on the other stand
  • pictures inspired 'techno porn' where children spend hours imagining the fascinating places they might visit in a new game
  • Nintendo Power Head quarters bring out games that have no violent fantasies or juvenile jokes to make it appeal to young target audience

11. Mario u ber alles

  • Pac-man gave games a personality
  • the female audience was attracted to this game type because of the cute style of image it adopted
  • "Bascially kids will consume Nintendo characters in any wearable, playable or ediable form. With that in mind, Kahn views everything that kids wear, or eat as potiential Nintendo licensed product." (Herz , 1995: 136)
  • Obession - brain washed into world to love graphic world created for them
13. Super Hero Sushi

  • video games are a perfect metaphor of a hybrid of mixed Asian and American heritage
  • characters are bicontinental cross breed of Japanese comic and animation as well as western comic and sci-fi
  • companies began with baby-like qualities because this translated easier as they had fewer pixels
  • also it is more more abstract and cartoony so that our expressions could be poured into them
14. Boys vs Girls

  • more male driven
  • "The problem is video game designers, being mostly male, can't seem to figure out what girls want in a video game." (Herz, 1995: 174)
  • video games that draw from Japanese cartoons make women characters more proportionate and less threatening - a wide eyed cuteness that makes them more approachable
  • games are mostly developed for male targets as they can be attracted to all sorts of characters and plot lines and are designed with this in mind

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