CATS Logbook – Session 2 – Analysis

Our second CATS session was about Analysis. The week previous, we were set a task to find an image pertaining to games design that was of interest to me. You can see my contribution to this by clicking here. We spent the first part of the session talking about our images.

After this, we started to talk about analysis more in depth. We were given an example of an analysis that involved the visual and narrative elements of Grand Theft Auto. You could use these along with the player’s experiences of the game to discuss and interpret ideas around violence in games. We then discussed what analysis could involve.

To be able to analyse a game, we must first understand the wider definition of a game. The rest of the session was focused upon the question “What is a game?”.

We were introduced to an author called Raph Koster who wrote the book “A Theory of Fun for Games Design” in 2005. In this book, Koster goes into detail about the definition of a game and offers six ideas that came about as a result of the research that he carried out into theory and practice.

After this, we all split up into groups and watched an extract from the 1968 film, “2001, A Space Odyssey” by Stanley Kubrick. The aim of this was to see how the process of analysing a film might help with an analysis of a game. The extract we watched was the deactivation of HAL 9000.

Finally, we discussed how to write up an analysis and was given a task to write up an analysis based on a game, website or cultural artifact. You can find mine by clicking here.

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