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AQA GCSE Media Studies

Unit 1 Investigating the Media Exam Topic: Promotion and Marketing of Video Games
Photocopiable/digital resources may only be copied by the purchasing institution on a single site and for their own use ZigZag Education, 2013 1

Starter
Word Bingo History of Console Games

http://youtu.be/02uLCLhleHY

History of Console Games


Were there any institutions you recognised? Were there any video games you recognised?

Who has played Mario Kart?


Who has played Sonic the Hedgehog? Has anyone every played Pong?

Diary of Gameplay

My Games Diary
3.5 T 3 i 2.5 m 2 e 1.5 1 s p 0.5 e 0 n t

Mobile Device Console Computer Roman Megapolis Call of Realms Duty Game played

Video-Game Genres

NICS
How to identify a film genre
Narrative the story being told Iconography props and identifiable objects Characters stereotypes Setting typical location

Video-Game Genres
Look in a shop (either bricks-and-mortar or online) and you will notice one key difference between films and games. Films are organised by type of genre: science fiction, romance, comedy, etc. These can be easily identified using NICS. However, video games are organised in a different way.

Video-Game Genres
You wont see a science fiction section featuring Halo 4 (for Xbox 360) and StarCraft (for PC), despite the similar settings and style of these games. Instead, you will find games categorised by platform (e.g. PlayStation, Xbox, PC) and gameplay (racing, first-person shooter, strategy). This can be seen clearly where there are games based on films: The Lord of the Rings is clearly a fantasy film series.

However, the numerous games based on it span different gameplay genres, from action-adventure Lego games to role-playing and strategy games.
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Video-Game Genres

FPS (First-Person Shooter) RPG (Role-Playing Game) Simulation Strategy Racing Puzzle Platform Sports Trivia Rhythm/Exercise Music Education

Name a game for each of the genres

Atari 2600 Games Console Emulator


Good old-fashioned 8-bit games for you to try. Listen to the teachers instructions on how to load up. Pair up and play some games!

Narrative Theories
Tsyvetan Todorov says that there are five stages to every narrative (story): Stage 1 The Equilibrium Life is just as usual Stage 2 The Disruption A problem happens Stage 3 The Recognition Think about how to resolve the problem Stage 4 The Repair Go ahead and resolve the problem Stage 5 The Restoration Life returns to normal

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Narrative Theories
Vladimir Propp says the same types of character appear in all stories:

The Hero This is the main character whom the audience will recognise
as the key person in the story. This character is usually good.

The Helper The main character usually has a companion who helps
the main character, gives advice and supports the main character in the story.

The Villain This character is the opposite to the Hero and is there to
create the disruption (Todorov) in the story. This character is usually bad.

The False Hero This character pretends to support the main

character in the story, and generally the audience will know this. However, the main character does not. Could also be the Villain.
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Narrative Theories
The Donor This character is similar to the role the Helper plays in a
story. The character will give the main character something which helps him repair (Todorov) the problem in the story.

The Dispatcher This character could be the Princess Father (setting


the Hero a task) or even a False Hero (sending the Hero on a wild goose chase) Princess Father) or the person whom the Hero and False Hero are in competition for.

The Princess This character can be the reward for the Hero (see

The Princess' Father This character could be a combination of

characters depending on the story being told. Generally this character will set a task for the Hero, with the reward being the Princess. But they could also be the Villain if they didnt want to give the reward.
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Narrative Theories
Levi Strauss (not the jeans!)
He believed that we understand some concepts purely by the fact that they have opposites. He referred to this as binary opposites. E.g. Hero and Villain it is necessary for a Hero to have someone in opposition (the Villain) to become a Hero! Here are other examples of binary oppositions:
Good and Evil Sane and Insane War and Peace Ugly and Beauty
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Pac-Man Narrative
Pac-Man is happily eating and the ghosts are in their cage. The ghosts

come out and start to chase Pac-Man round the maze. Pac-Man starts
needing to avoid the ghosts and get the food before the ghosts catch him. He avoids the ghosts and eats the special dots that make the ghosts vulnerable, putting them back in their cage. If they catch him, he dies; the narrative ends and equilibrium is not restored. If they dont, he gets to eat all the food and stay alive (till the next level!).

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Pac-Man and Todorovs Theory


Pac-Man is happily eating and the ghosts are in their cage. (1) The ghosts come out and start to chase Pac-Man round the maze. (2) Pac-Man starts needing to avoid the ghosts and get the food before the ghosts catch him. (3) He avoids the ghosts and eat the special dots that make the ghosts vulnerable, putting them back in their cage. (4)

If they catch him, he dies. The narrative ends and equilibrium is not restored. If they dont, he gets to eat all the food and stay alive (till the next level!). (5)

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Pac-Man and Propps Theory


Do any of the characters in the Pac-Man game match Propps theory?

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Pac-Man and Levi Strauss Theory

Can you identify any elements of binary opposition in the Pac-Man game?

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Plenary Identify the Video-Game Genre


Around the room you will find various images of video gameplay. In pairs, identify the genres.

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Homework Investigate the narrative structure of your favourite game does it follow any particular theory?

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