BCM215 DA Beta

Just a quick review, I’ve chosen to focus my BCM215 Digital Artefact on the role female characters play in the long-running gameplay series, Grand Theft Auto. I’ve been focusing on the structural textual analysis of the game (character aesthetics, game design) and the post-structural analysis (meaning-making, representations).

Throughout this project, my process has changed where I decided on writing blog posts and create a short YouTube video.

I’ve engaged in great interaction with both current and former GTA players through a short Google form, YouTube comments, and Reddit forums. I found Reddit forums to be the most successful as the gaming communities are massive which led to extremely quick responses.

Results

So far, I found that GTA players have pretty much noticed and accepted the fact that the game is extremely masculine in many ways. Users have noticed that developers are incorporating more female protagonists in the latest version, however there is still a ways’ to go. As well, I found that many gamers, male and female alike, have been unaware of the rise of female gamers. This common misconception may ultimately affect the way in which games themselves are designed.

“The concept of being masculine was so key to this story”

Dan Houser, Rockstar Games co-founder

Unfortunately, acquiring accurate GTA player demographics has been difficult to find, but there are sources that give a rough image.

With each and every GTA release, more of the focus tends to be on the improved graphics, sounds, etc., rather than the ongoing violent focus in the game…

“The launch of Grand Theft Auto 5 in September 2013, for instance, was met with general praise for its technical and narrative qualities rather than revulsion at its violence as such”

(Karlsen 2014, p.8)

From here, I will continue working on my second blog post, add to my first blog post, and finish up my YouTube video…Stay tuned!

14 thoughts on “BCM215 DA Beta

  1. Blog post-

    I like your focus on GTA as I believe that game would be undeniably the worst when it comes to female representation. I was able to get a clear meaning of what you DA is going to focus on, the blog was short but clear. It’s good you’ve been able to engage between Reddit forums as well as Google and Youtube, this will definitely help aid your DA.

    And as much as you say it’s been hard to find any focus on GTA player demographics, maybe you can focus on other games similar to GTA as well. Your blog posts so far look great as a prototype and it’s good to separate them into the two structural analysis’s.

    Beta Video-

    The video described your project very clearly and what you plan on creating through your blog posts, and it’s great to see the progress you have made. I think it might be of interest to you to check this article out as it may fuel some ideas for you!

    https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2013-09-10-rockstars-houser-explains-lack-of-female-protagonist-in-gta-v

    It’s also written by a male and that can be an interesting aspect since GTA is all about masculinity.

    As well as focusing on this reading, I think it can also help you find some more inspiration and ideas for your topic, as GTA can be quite specific in terms of genre, and affect.

    https://moodle.uowplatform.edu.au/mod/url/view.php?id=1206291

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The role of females in Grand theft Auto is an interesting topic and definitely a topic I will enjoy engaging with.
    I have also opted to create blog posts along with video essays. I think it is important that you post on both platforms so you can see which platform works best in translating your information for your audience.

    Here is an interesting article on the Telegraph I found that discusses how GTA V is deliberately designed to degrade women. It is a great article of a males experience with the game and how missions are created in downgrading women and if you do not do so you are unable to progress in the game. Also discussed is how all the women featured in the GTA game series are either strippers that you throw money at or prostitutes to pick up. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10355275/Grand-Theft-Auto-V-is-designed-deliberately-to-degrade-women.html

    I would also encourage you to check out the hashtag ‘onereasonwhy’ on Twitter that details the struggles of women being mistreated in the video game industry.https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2012/nov/28/games-industry-sexism-on-twitter

    Another great article is from the Game Industry Biz which details an explanation from the vice president ‘Houser’ of Rockstar games explaining the lack of female protagonists. Houser states that being masculine is key to the storyline which many people question can a female not be masculine?

    I look forward to seeing your final project!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a young boy I loved playing within the realm of the GTA universe, as I’ve grown I have realised how childish and in ways completely demeaning of not just genders but races as well.
    Your beta video is short, but it clearly demonstrates the interactions you’ve gone through and the challenges that occurred and how you adapted the DA. I feel you could’ve added a snippet of video to not just fill in time but also add effect.
    the evidence of audience engagement through reddit and the google form are great even though you didn’t get what you waned with the form.
    To add to your evidence pile maybe look at news articles from when the games have been released.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10355275/Grand-Theft-Auto-V-is-designed-deliberately-to-degrade-women.html
    &
    https://overland.org.au/2015/07/grand-theft-auto-vs-grand-gender-problem/

    And perhaps not just in GTA but an overview of female representation within video games could be useful in support of your argument.
    https://www.headstuff.org/topical/female-representation-in-video-games-history/

    Your blog post like the video was short but displayed relevant information that wasn’t within your video and I think the two together work well and I’m keen to see the end result!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Steff,
    Firstly the cover image you have used is excellent, that drew my interest straight away even as someone who isn’t a gamer. Your blog is also very easy to navigate and read through, you made your intentions for the future of the project clear as well as showing some interaction with potential audiences, but I’d love to see more of this interaction! More screenshots etc, At the end of the day your producing this content to share information and critical thinking to people that you can catch the interest of, so the more interaction you get the better, even if your getting no interaction it’s good to see that as well. Than potentially try and change something to get the input of those people. Reddit is a great place, throughout the rest of your project if your trying to get response, I suggest you try to find related subreddits not only for GTA but also for female representation groups and game development groups, even if it’s for other games, it might be able to back up any of your claims.
    You mentioned that you were struggling to find the demographic of GTA players, I’ve had a look around to see if I can help you out, I did find this, it’s not so much on female vs male, but it was interesting https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2451785/Grand-Theft-Auto-Middle-class-middle-aged-parents-likely-play-game.html
    However, I did find this that’s more related to male Vs female player ratio, and yes its wikipedia, however if you have a look through wiki does link a lot more ‘legitimate’ sources that might be useful, I looked though and found a few in the hyperlinks, so I thought I would send you through the whole wiki page.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_and_video_games

    Overall the DA is looking good, you’ve demonstrated the operational prototype, however it would have been great to see the comments that were made on the pitch of your project and see your response to that feedback. In the future it might be effective to show the full process of iterations of your project so far in a timeline, that makes the reaction and effect process clear to your audience.

    But overall I’m excited to read about what you find with such a fascinating topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right, but with the rise of female gamers, wouldn’t it be interesting to see women play a greater role in the game?

      Like

      1. just think there are no female gangsters or mobsters in real life. this is not really a fantasy game like a RPG its supposed to be a somewhat realistic representation of being a gangster or mobster. women dont need to be in every conceivable role, in every video game.

        Like

  5. not really i prefer realistic gta. gta is making most of its money from males. women being mobsters is not realistic sounds like woke garbage. sounds like something Disney would do.

    Like

    1. There definitely are female “gangsters” in real life but the media portrays the lifestyle in movies, music, games, etc. as masculine and 100% male-dominated for sure. That’s not to say it’s a spot-on representation though. Of course, there are more males than females in this specific “underground” lifestyle, but women still play a part in other ways.

      What I’m getting at is there are other ways to portray women in GTA, not just placing them into a purely sexualised role.

      Like

      1. I think there are subtle ways to include women in these games, especially with each release, without coming off as politically correct try-hards like Disney.

        Like

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