CATS Log Book Post 7/8

ththOur 7 and 8 CAT session were based
on the introduction to critical perspectives. In order to gain a critical
perspective, we must first apply it to the subject matter which was technology.
We asked ourselves a range of questions such as how exactly do we use technology?
How do we interact with it? Physically? Mentally? And how does it affect us as
a subject?

 

 

Well, we use technology in numerous ways such as through
ecommerce in order to shop online, and through using the internet which is
actually just a library of information just waiting to be explored. This is
something we do on a daily basis, and have grown a comfort to due to the ease
and simplicity of it all. We are able to interact with technology through
numerous ways such as 3D shopping and recommendations which allow us to become
immersed in our shopping experiences. Websites such as Matalan allow us to
digitally try on outfits on a model to see the outfit all together in a 3d
perspective before buying the product. This means that we no longer have to
leave the house to try on an outfit before we buy it, as it is becoming more
popular to now do this over the internet. Recommendations allow us to shop with
ease over the internet for things that have been chosen for us through related
searches or previous purchases to find things we may like. This is a comfort as
it saves wasted hours trying to find that pair of shoes you like in a shop,
only to discover to your dismay that they have sold out. We are physically able
to browse items using our mouse to plunge ourselves within the experience but
also mentally we are able to grow involved as we are set out searching for a
particular product. In the TED talk by Sherry Turkle, we learn that she feels
as if we are too reliant on technology and that it is redefining the human
connection. She is offering a critical perspective on her view of social media
and technology.

 

 

Critical perspectives allow us to look back at history and
allow us to have a critical view on it which we can use theory to gain an
understanding and to think critically about cultural production and what it
contains and its meaning. By learning to use critical perspectives effectively
will allow us to gain a better understanding of a wider range of things. Two
key areas in critical theory are psychoanalysis and feminism and during the
lesson we worked in groups to think of ideas linked to the image we were given.
My group was given Lara croft in which we discussed feminism and how she had
been displayed over the years within the industry, we considered the view point
that she had been made a sex symbol but also the point that she was a strong
beautiful iconic figure.

 

 

Using critical perspectives will help us in the analysis of
most cultural artefacts such as the two video games that had been discussed
within the lesson.  This a range of
things we should consider when being critical of an artefact:

 

 

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<!–[endif]–>Genre and stylisation

 

 

After this, we were introduced to a key figure named Sigmund Freud who was an Austrian
psychiatrist who created the idea of psychoanalysis until he was forced to flee
his homeland and moved to London in 1938 due to the Nazis. Psychoanalysis is
explained as the idea that we have been programmed to be something else then
what we actually are due to discipline such as the rules of society. This is
drilled so far in that we can never truly know who we really are as we are
subconsciously restricted. Psychoanalysis is defined as;

 

 

‘Psychoanalysis is a
theory of the human mind, a therapy for mental distress, an instrument of
research and a profession. A complex intellectual, medical and sociological
phenomenon’

 

 

Ivan Ward and Oscar Zarate, Introducing Psychoanalysis, 2000

 

 

After this, we discussed feminism.
Feminism is seen as the woman’s fight for equality in order to create an
equilibrium between both sexes. Feminist argue that we as a gender have been
written out of cultural history and that this needs to be altered for the
better. This can be done for example by highlighting key female artist who may
have once been ignored in history. There has been several waves of feminism,
the first occurring in the 19
th and 20th century, the
second appearing in the late 20
th century and the third wave
appearing from the 80s onwards. Feminist are constantly trying to create their
place in many sectors including the game industry and slowly the percentage of
woman in the games industry is increasing.

 

 

Feminist theory allows us to look
at stereotypes closely, which has drawn our attention to how we really
represent gender in many different things such as packaging or character
design. For example we have always stereotyped that the female character must
be pink shade in order for the character to be a true representation of a
female. Female character design has also been effected by stereotype, if you
look at most female characters they typically have jewellery or a large bow to
indicate that they are female. One of the main quotes I really liked from the
presentation was;

 

 

Casell and Jenkins (1998)
/ Kafai et al (2008):

 

 

‘Despite the increase
of female players and women entering the industry, the stereotypes and the
industry itself still need major renovations.’

 

 

I decided to look into feminist within the Game industry and discovered Anita
Sarkeesian who is the creator for feminist frequency, and after watching a few
of her videos it showed me the way females are still stereotyped within the
game industry. Due to me being
a female myself, I couldn’t agree with this quote more as game characters are still
being designed in a stereotyped way although this is slowly changing within the
industry.

 

 

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