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A selection was made of 11 contemporary, mature-rated games, and a scheme for analysis was constructed, addressing the different shapes violent activity takes within these games. Counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem a step by step overview of the phases in which the analysis was carried out, the article describes counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem procedures that were used while constructing a scheme for analysis, while selecting a number of game titles and while training the coders.
In the end a brief overview is given of the main results. As such the article provide a blueprint, mapping the difficulties and challenges one encounters while performing a qualitative video game analysis. In recent years a lot of debate has been held on the formal characteristics that mark out the boundaries of video games as a distinct medium, and on the terminology that is the most appropriate for analyzing video games as cybertexts e. Aarseth,as rule-based systems e. Juul,as simulations e.
Frasca, or as second-order cybernetic systems e. Nevertheless, very few attempts have been made to operationalize the principles introduced by ludology in a framework suitable for practical, counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem analysis.
In this paper such an attempt is counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem. More specific, an exploration is made of the complexities one encounters when studying the content of a selection of mature-rated video games from a counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem sociology perspective.
Media effect theory is one of the disciplines where the insights provided by ludology have thus far not been able to conquer solid grounds. It is remarkable, on the other hand, that when the effects of playing games on aggression in daily life are debated, aspects such as graphical explicitness, interactivity or realism of the game world all elements of game content are to a large degree found responsible for the negative impact video games are assumed to have.
Nevertheless, no instruments have yet been developed that allow to investigate or define these constructs in the context of media effect research. A selection was made of 11 mature-rated games, and a scheme for analysis was developed, inspired by the structural analyses performed by Juul and Aarseth However, due to the limited amount of methodological literature available on this type of analysis, a number of methodological difficulties were encountered that had not been accounted for on beforehand.
Rather than to provide a comprehensive description of the main results, within this paper it was preferred to adopt a methodological angle. A step by step overview will be given of the different phases in which the investigation was carried out, and of the methodological challenges that were met counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem each phase. As such it is our goal, not only to make a contribution to the debate on the effects of video game play, but especially, to provide a blueprint for scholars who are interested in performing a systematic video game content analysis.
The paper will be structured in 4 parts. First, a summary will be given of the different perspectives that exist regarding the analysis of video game content, including the point of view defended by ludology, as opposed to the point of view that is preferred within video game effect research.
Second, an introduction will be given of the method of qualitative content analysis and of its applicability to the domain of video game studies. Third, the methods that have been used within this study counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem be described, including the procedures for constructing an analysis scheme, for selecting a number of game titles and for coder training.
Finally a brief summary will be given of the main results. In most theories on the psychological or social effects of video games, only minimal attention is paid to the role of video game content as a moderating variable. When the content of games is studied in an experimental or survey framework, most often this does not go further than to make a basic counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem between violent and nonviolent games e.
Different researchers apply different criterions in order to label a game as violent or realistic, and use different games as representatives of the violent or nonviolent category. As was argued by Sherry this makes it very hard to compare the results of these studies to one another. In only a few published studies a systematic analysis has been performed of the content in a selection of popular video games.
Dietz investigated 33 Nintendo and Sega games, with a focus on counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem as a predominant narrative, and on the portrayal of female characters. Following Frascait can be argued that these studies have investigated elements of representation rather than elements of simulation, and consequently, that a number of characteristics that are essential to the game play experience have been overlooked.
Juul does not include in his definition the characteristic that video games make use of specific audiovisual codes or narrative techniques. Instead he refers to aspects that are not directly observable in the audiovisual output generated by the game program. Juul acknowledges that there exist lots of games that thrive on graphical detail and on narration, but he adds to this that the use of graphical and narrative codes is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for an entertainment product to be referred to as a video game.
Studying games, according to Juul, implies interacting with the game rules and exploring the possibilities created by these rules, in addition to studying the graphical codes or the narration that unfolds. A game has to be played in order to be understood, and playing a game implies making active choices another player or researcher would not necessarily make.
As a consequence it is not possible to grasp the meaning that is formulated in a game, without taking into account specific details of the player context. Aarseth makes a similar remark but prefers a more practical solution. He refers to the analysis of Bartlewho identifies four basic types of game players: Aarseth argues that, ideally, a researcher should play a game several times, each time taking another of these roles, and study what happens in the game as a function of the role that is chosen.
Due to time or budget limitations it may not always be possible counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem play a game for several times. In such cases it will be very important that the researcher develops an awareness of alternative play strategies that could have been chosen by other researchers or players.
Aarseth makes a plea for complementing the analysis of a video game with the analysis of secondary resources, such as press reviews or player accounts, as a means to diminish the interpretational bias that is caused by the personal preferences and motivations a researcher necessarily brings along into a game.
In addition to this, Aarseth points out that different players, and consequently, different researchers can become involved in a game at different levels of expertise. He distinguishes four strata of engagement: Dependent on the specific needs of analysis, each type of engagement can prove useful. Whereas it may be sufficient to play a game superficially when one attempts to make a quick classification of a wide range of games, repeated play or expert play will be needed when one attempts to make a structural analysis of the processes of meaning creation in a specific game or genre.
For more than 50 years already, counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem technique of qualitative content analysis has counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem considered a valuable alternative for, or addition to the positivist method of quantitative content analysis. Kracauer argued that, in order to understand the meaning of a media message in its full depth and richness, it is not sufficient to study the manifest content that is communicated.
In many cases it may be equally important to investigate the latent meanings of a message: As the latent content of a counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem cannot be analyzed in terms of a strict, quantitative coding scheme, it should be discovered, and its meaning should be explained, described or made plausible, rather than quantified.
Within a first line of thought, the argument is made that the value of a qualitative study should be assessed by applying measures comparable to the notions of validity, reliability or generalizability that are used in quantitative research. Mayringfor example, emphasizes that qualitative content analysis essentially is and should be a systematic technique, and distinguishes a number of coding procedures that live up to this requirement.
More specific, he identifies three coding techniques that make it possible to systematically extract general tendencies from a text: Although these procedures serve different purposes and, accordingly, imply different types of analysis, each of these techniques suggests that the researcher begins with a fixed, predefined analysis scheme, and that this analysis scheme is strictly applied throughout the investigation. Within a second line of thought, it is also recognized that qualitative research requires quality notions that are similar to those of quantitative research, but an attempt is made to define these notions in a way that is closer to the praxis of doing field research.
The relationship of respect a researcher has with the text or respondents that are analyzed is considered an important criterion as well. The argument is made that, while reporting the results of a qualitative study, a researcher should be very open and transparent about the interpretive role that was taken.
A few authors have made the attempt to apply the principles of qualitative content analysis to the domain of video game studies. Combining a grounded theory approach with a user-centered approach that is rooted in usability research, a set of guidelines was elaborated for the development of games that have a high degree of playability. Within their scheme the content of an electronic game is split up in the following components: Konzack addresses the issue from a structural point of view and makes a distinction between 7 content categories: Although within this study a similar effort is made, nevertheless a different perspective was chosen -that of media effect theory- and different methodological choices were made.
The procedures that will be described in the remainder of this chapter should not be seen as counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem form of criticism, but rather, as a complement to the procedures used by the authors mentioned above. In the paragraphs that follow, the methods will be described that were used in 3 subsequent stages of the investigation: In the first stage of the investigation, an analysis scheme was constructed that takes into account representational as well as rule-based elements.
Whereas the representational component was modeled on the framework used in the studies by Brand et al. Juul identifies 3 constituents of the structure of a video game: Aarseth provides a more detailed elaboration of this general structure, in his model of the internal structure of a generalized, role playing cybertext.
Based on the authors mentioned above, a general scheme for analysis was developed, structured around 7 topics of interest: Each counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem is briefly discussed in table 1. The scheme for analysis and its topics of interest Elements of representation Audiovisual style Within this category, the audio-visual elements of the user interface are described.
With respect to violent activity, this study will focus on graphical explicitness and level of graphical detail, in addition to the filmic atmosphere that is created. Narration Within this category the narrative is studied. Counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem this study counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem is a focus on the moral justifications that are given to violent behaviour, on the importance of action scenes in the narration that unfolds, and on the demographics of the perpetrators and victims of violent behaviour.
Elements of simulation Complexity of controls Within counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem section the mental and physical efforts are analyzed that are required of a player in order to successfully and efficiently interact with the game program.
Included here are the commands a player disposes of, and the out-of-game information that is given about the goals and missions of the game.
Game goals Generally three main types of game play are identified: Within this study, the question will be posed of how much importance is given to a competitive, adrenaline-driven game play, and to what degree other modes of counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem are also included.
Character and object structure Within this section, there is a focus on the character and object systems that have been elaborated. More specific, the complexity of these systems is investigated, as well counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem the ideology that is hidden in the rewards a player is given.
Balance between user input and pre-programmed rules This section addresses the issue of how much freedom of action players are granted, or in other words, to what degree players are obliged to follow a pre-programmed sequence of events, and to counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem degree they have the liberty to exercise an influence on the action that takes place.
Spatial properties of the game world. Within this section, characteristics of the world map s are investigated. With respect to violent activity there is a focus on the fighting styles that are stimulated in the counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem of a game, and on the realism of the environments that constitute the game world. Whereas the methodological purpose of this study counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem reflected in the identification of a counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem of general content categories, the theoretical goal of this study was reflected in the specific points of attention that were chosen within these categories.
It might be interesting for other researchers to take into account the same or similar content categories as was done by a. On the other hand, within these general categories, other researchers might find it more interesting to emphasize other elements of game content, dependent on their specific research needs.
Scholars who are investigating the portrayal of gender roles, for example, might rather be interested in the different combat possibilities female and male characters have, or in the degree to which narrative play is included. Similarly, researchers who are interested in the depiction of World War II, might rather be interested in the accuracy with which the weaponry and fighting tactics of that period are simulated, than in the ideology of the reward system. After the development of the scheme for analysis was finished, a number of game titles was selected.
Two criterions were used in order to include a game in the selection: As for relevancegiven the focus of this study on violent activity, it was chosen to only include games that have been labeled as appropriate for a mature audience.
It was decided to select a number of games that were dominating the charts of that period e. On top of that, three online shooting games were selected: Since it was one of the main goals of this study to compare the different shapes of violent activity, another criterion for selecting game titles was diversity.
When making a selection of online shooting games, for example, it was decided to include a tactical game Urban Terroras well as an action-centered game Quake3: It was also attempted to have a representative of different genres. Not only different narrative themes such as the mafia, counter strike 16 advanced options tradesystem fiction, World War II and terrorism were included, but also different game play mechanisms such as first person shooting, third person shooting, fighting, car driving, narrative play and online competition.