2012 haben wir Local Beatz in der Freizeitstätte KistE durchgeführt. Die Jungs und Mädels der KistE haben Töne aufgenommen, diese zu einem Beat verarbeitet, dazu zum Thema „Hasenbergl“ (dem Stadtviertel) getextet und gerapped. Das Projekt lief insgesamt sehr positiv aber wir hatten beim ersten Durchlauf drei Probleme identifiziert:
Das Beschneiden der aufgenommenen Töne ist relativ nervig und langwierig, weswegen wir als Pädagogen es übernommen haben.
Es konnte an vielen Stellen im Haus getextet werden, es konnten aber immer nur wenige im Studio am Beat arbeiten oder aufnehmen.
Zwar hatten ein paar Mädels getextet aber keines wollte rappen. Insgesamt war es schwierig Mädchen zur Mitarbeit zu motivieren.
Das Thema Gender und Games hat mich während meinem Soziologie Studium viel beschäftigt und einem Essay und diversen Blog Artikeln geführt.
Meine Diplomarbeit ging unter Anderem ebenfalls über das Thema. Insbesondere um das unterschiedliche Selbstbild von Vielspielern und inwieweit sie sich dann als Gamer bezeichnen oder nicht und ob sich das auf die Spiele auswirkt, die sie spielen wollen. Viele weibliche Computerspielerinnen haben ein Problem sich als Gamer zu bezeichnen oder Computerspielen als Hobby zu sehen, unter Anderem aufgrund der männlichen Konnotation des Begriffs. Dabei gibt es schon seit zehn Jahren einen ganzen Industriezweig der sich primär auf weibliche Spielerinnen, insbesondere ab 40 konzentriert.
Bei Interesse kann die Diplomarbeit bei mir angefordert werden.
Gemeinsam mit meiner Creative-Gaming-Kollegin Jana Dugnus habe ich im Sommer 2011 Machinima Workshops in München durchgeführt, bei denen zum ersten mal Bildmaterial aus der Realität in Bildschirme innerhalb Sims 2 übernommen wurden.
Hier die online verfügbaren Filme aus den Workshops:
D2Zoing war eines der ersten deutschen Massively Multiplayer Online Games und mein erstes Spiel. Es erfreute sich 2000-2002 recht großer Beliebtheit, wurde aber im Zuge des DotCom Crashes eingestellt. Es konnte mobil (SMS) und am PC (Flash-Multiplayer-Adventure) gespielt werden.
Ich habe eine Seite eingerichtet, auf der nach und nach noch erhaltene Zeugnisse von Zoing gesammelt werden sollen:
I completedmydiplomathesisandarewaitingformyresult. Rightnow I am preparingformy final exams. I will havecompletedmystudies in March 2009. I will prepare a summary of my findings then.
In short: There were huge differences in demography and play style between the Hardcore Game Player and Casual Game Player audiences. There is not just ONE computer games culture. Gamers associate different functions and meanings with gaming. Generally restrictions (like income, time, experience with input devices and games) are less relevant when choosing which games to play than preferences (like attitude towards violence in games).
Edit: I was awarded the mark „very good“ on the thesis.
When I was in Tampere this spring Frans Mäyrä presented a first glimpse of a massive quantitative study about gaming habits in Finland. The really great thing about their study is that it covers a pretty representative share of the Finnisch population and asks them about media usage and gaming habits. Therefore we don’t just have answers from gamers but also from non gamers. The final report was published now and I find it really interesting.
During the last month 66 % of the respondents reported playing traditional games, 59 % money games, 31 % digital games and 4 % engrossment games (LARP).
This means that when we want to study games, we should not only focus on computer games as these are not the dominant gaming form. Traditional games and money games are much more common. This fact is especially important for casual (computer) game studies as much more potential or actual casual gamers have experience with traditional or money games than with hardcore (computer) games. This can also partly explain why Solitaire is the most popular digital game (the other reason is the availability of this game on any Windows PC).
Back then in Tampere I was discussing with Frans Mäyrä the usage of their data for my own thesis. But I finally decided that I wanted a specifically designed casual-hardcore-games survey. Probably I will present my findings there in 2008.
TheCasualGamesAssociationhasreleasedtheirCasualGamesMarket Report 2007 . Wouldbeinterestingtogetmyhandsonitas an articleonitsaysthatmen play casual games as often as women which is different to the common believe that most casual gamers are women. Seems the men don’t like to admit they play these „little“ games. I wonder how they got their data. Most classical casual games websites told me the huge majority of their visitors would be women. So where do the men sneak in? One possible solution could be that men are more likely to play on www.newgrounds.com etc.. Most Games there can also be called „casual“ if you mean easy to pick up. But on the other hand many of the games on newgrounds have some gore which is something which does not fit other definitions of casual games. For example you won’t find any gore on pogo.com etc. Could turn of the women…
This was the question the author Erica Naone asked me:
„Do you think casual gamers will respond to these efforts to encourage them to form casual gaming communities? Considering the suggestion that they may be attracted to casual games because of less familiarity with computers, do you think they are likely to respond to offers to participate by creating user-generated content?“
This was my answer:
Generally your question is a tricky one. Especially because the term casual is used in so many different ways. I will first focus on „casual gamers“ as .
It takes time and effort and some kind of skill with computers to take part in an online community or generate content. This speaks against „casual“ online communities if you use the term casual as „not very interested“ or „not very involved“ or mean users who are not experienced with computers.
For making it interesting to take part in a community the level of freedom what you can do and how you can participate is an important part. On the other hand one characteristic casual games normally feature is that they are non-offensive. The designers try not to turn someone off with violence or sexist protagonists… If you are pretty free what to generate in an community you can also generate offensive material. You can swear, or upload a picture which is explicit and so on. Therefore a community which would be targeted at older or more female audience would need tight controls to prevent the creation of unwanted material. These tight controls would on the one hand be hard to implement and on the other hand limit the freedom of the possible content generators. (There are some community games for very young players under 10) which only let you communicate with other players using predefined text modules. This is one way to prevent paedophiles to try to contact the minors. But I don’t think it is not much fun to use these text modules).
On the other hand to at least being theoretically able to create user content as well as „feeling“ to be part of a lively social community is a strong incentive for many users. Especially users who have a negative feeling towards computers or technical devices. One main goal of the casual game developers is to tell the non-typical potential computer players (especially women or seniors) that gaming is also something for them. That message is hard to spread if the women and Seniors who are already playing are mostly playing alone and at home. Community players are more visible. This makes a community especially interesting for casual game designers. As only few of the potential casual gamers are actually playing till now and therefore there is a huge untapped potential, I am sure many companies will try to create casual community games in the near future.
Then there is the different way to use the term „casual“ as meaning „simple game“. I think www.newgrounds.com is the biggest casual game community and features lots of user generated content. But www.newgrounds.com does not fit the to the pogo.com, zylom.com or bigfishgames.com audience at all. The games are simple and quick to play but many of them can be considered offensive. You can take part by uploading your own flash games or films or your music. Or you can comment on the stuff uploaded by others. While the flash games are pretty simple to make there is a great incentive for many non professional designers to create something and show it to the public. The community is very free and you are very power full as a creator as well as a user. Therefore newgrounds is one of the best places to find creative people playing around and from time to time having great and innovative ideas.
The community itself is associated with www.newgrounds.com and not with specific games. So it is not a casual game community but more a casual gameS community.
To sum it up:
Everything depends how you use the term casual.
A casual (as seniors and women) game community must be very simple to use and non offensive.
A casual (meaning simple game) game community can also work if it is much more open and therefore give the users a real chance to create interesting content for the other users.
Out of thousands of players of a particular casual game (also as seniors and women) you will always find some who will want to invest a lot and be able to do so in a pretty professional way (ask Ion Hardie from Reflexive for their response to Big Kahuna Reef).
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