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COMM103: Introduction to Mass Media

Unit 10: Electronic Games and Entertainment   The author of this course’s textbook makes an interesting point about electronic games, which you should appreciate as you work through this unit.  The textbook notes how such games received a lot of criticism for how they encouraged more sedentary entertainment habits, but they now “have circled back to their simpler origins and, in doing so, have made players more active.”  From Pong to Wii Fit, electronic games present a breathtaking acceleration of technology and cultural influence that may be unique among the mass media industries.  They also represent another accumulation of features from other media, similar to television’s development.  However, while many see television as having reached a plateau in development and influence, gaming continues to reach into more and more parts of life, well beyond mere entertainment.  You may find the last section of this unit particularly intriguing as the focus turns to what the future holds for gaming by emphasizing its potential to merge with other communication and media formats to impact everything from health to education to science and even manufacturing.

Unit 10 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 6.25 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 10.1: 3 hours

☐    Subunit 10.2: 0.75 hours

☐    Subunit 10.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 10.4: 0.5 hours

☐    Subunit 10.5: 1 hour

Unit10 Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this unit, the student will be able to: - Define, break into categories (when possible), and provide examples of the following with respect to electronic entertainment: games, gaming, consoles, and MMORPG. - Identify significant social, political, economic, and technological milestones in the history of electronic games and describe their impact on the industry. - Describe cultural traits that influenced the development of electronic games and also when, why, and how they played a role in cultural developments. - Identify the major companies involved in video game production and the most influential games that have been released. - Show how gaming and the gaming culture influence the mass media, other media formats, mainstream culture, and education. - Provide examples of some of the controversial issues and other significant problems associated with electronic entertainment. - Defend the capacity of gaming to benefit society.

10.1 The Evolution of Electronic Games   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 10, Section 1: The Evolution of Electronic Games” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 10, Section 1: The Evolution of Electronic Games” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
10.1.1–10.1.5.  

 Reading these sections should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.
  • Lecture: YouTube: The New Age Nostalgic Gamer’s “The History of Video Games” Link: YouTube: The New Age Nostalgic Gamer’s “The History of Video Games” (YouTube)

    Instructions: Please watch all five videos in this playlist by clicking on the “Play All” button at the top of the webpage.  Pay particular attention to how new technology and competition among companies drove the industry forward and how consumer demand motivated developers to experiment and innovate.
     
    Watching these videos should take approximately 2 hours.
     
    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

10.1.1 The 1970s: The Rise of the Video Game   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.1.1–10.1.1.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

10.1.1.1 Arcade Games   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.1.2 Video Game Consoles   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.1.3 Home Computers   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.2 The 1980s: The Crash   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.2.1–10.1.2.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

10.1.2.1 The Rise of Nintendo   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.2.2 Other Home Console Systems   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.2.3 Computer Games Flourish and Innovate   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.3 The 1990s: The Rapid Evolution of Video Games   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.3.1–10.1.3.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

10.1.3.1 Console Wars   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.3.2 Computer Games Gain Mainstream Acceptance   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.3.3 Online Gaming Gains Popularity   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.3.4 Portable Game Systems   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.4 The Early 2000s: Twenty-First-Century Games   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.1.4.1–10.1.4.3) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.1 of the textbook.  Please focus on using this material to develop a timeline of important developments so that in the future you will have an efficient way to study how this industry evolved.

10.1.4.1 The Console Wars Continue   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.4.2 Computer Gaming Becomes a Niche Market   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.4.3 The Evolution of Portable Gaming   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.1.

10.1.5 Video Games Today: Home Consoles   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.1.  Use the readings introduced by this subheading (10.1.5) in the textbook to reflect on the future of the video games industry.  Is there still room for growth and innovation, or has a plateau been reached that may only be supplanted by new technology or new applications?

10.2 Influential Contemporary Games   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 10, Section 2: Influential Contemporary Games” Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 10, Section 2: Influential Contemporary Games” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
10.2.1–10.2.5.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 30 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

10.2.1 “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band”   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.  It is introduced by a major or minor subheading in section 10.2 of the textbook.  Because video games represent a relatively new medium, you may have very little experience with them and as a result, you may find it difficult to understand the importance of some of the contents of this subunit.  If that is the case, consider going online to read the reviews these games have received from experts and consumers, or use Wikipedia for more information about them.

10.2.2 The “Grand Theft Auto” Series   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

10.2.3 “World of Warcraft”   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

10.2.4 “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare”   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

10.2.5 “Wii Sports” and “Wii Fit”   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.2.

10.3 The Impact of Video Games on Culture   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 10, Section 3: The Impact of Video Games on Culture” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 10, Section 3: The Impact of Video Games on Culture” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the
readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition,
keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are
not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and
theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter
in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will
also cover the material you need to know for subunits
10.3.1–10.3.4.  

 Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes. 
Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an
additional 45 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

10.3.1 Game Culture   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.3.  As with popular video games, you may find the concept of game culture to be very unfamiliar, especially if you are from a different culture or generation than ones for whom games and gaming seem ubiquitous.  Whether or not this is the case for you, it would be valuable for you to compare game culture with other types of activity-based cultures.  Can you think of any?  What about a tattoo culture or a motorcycle culture?  Use such a comparison to cement in your mind what is meant by “culture” in this context.

10.3.2 The Effects of Video Games on Other Types of Media   Note: This subunit and the subunits beneath (10.3.2.1–10.3.2.4) are covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.  They are introduced by major or minor subheadings in section 10.3 of the textbook.  Use the readings in this subsection to prompt you to consider the kind of research that would need to be pursued to confirm or denounce the assumptions, speculation, and theories about video games that are presented in the material.

10.3.2.1 Television   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

10.3.2.2 Film   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

10.3.2.3 Music   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

10.3.2.4 Machinima   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned for subunit 10.3.

10.3.3 Video Games and Education   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.3.  As you complete this reading assignment, focus on the potential of video games beyond entertainment.  How significant or insignificant is that potential, in your opinion?  What issues, other than those noted in the readings, do you think will help or hinder the use of video games in education?

10.3.4 Video Games as Art   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.3.  As you complete this reading assignment, focus on the potential of video games beyond entertainment.  How significant or insignificant is that potential, in your opinion?  What factors, other than those noted in the readings, will contribute to the acceptance of video games as art, and is this an important consideration?  Why or why not?

10.4 Controversial Issues   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 10, Section 4: Controversial Issues” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication“Chapter 10, Section 4: Controversial Issues” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 10.4.1–10.4.3.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises associated with this section may require an additional 15 minutes.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

10.4.1 Violence   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.4.  Pay particular attention in this reading to the examples that are provided.  Moreover, expand your appreciation for the issues discussed by also identifying additional examples from your own experiences or observations.

10.4.2 Video Game Addiction   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.4.

10.4.3 Sexism   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.4.

10.5 Blurring the Boundaries Between Video Games, Information, Entertainment, and Communication   - Reading: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 10, Section 5: Blurring the Boundaries Between Video Games, Information, Entertainment, and Communication” Link: Understanding Media and Culture: An Introduction to Mass Communication: “Chapter 10, Section 5: Blurring the Boundaries Between Video Games, Information, Entertainment, and Communication” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please focus on understanding the terms used in the readings and how they drive the review of this unit.  In addition, keep the outcomes listed above in mind as you read so that you are not only absorbing facts but also the examples, relationships, and theories that will enable you to use the information you encounter in the manner the outcomes describe.  Note that this reading will also cover the material you need to know for subunits 10.5.1–10.5.5.
 
Reading this section should take approximately 15 minutes.  Completing the exercises, end-of-chapter assessments, critical thinking questions, and career connection associated with these readings may require an additional 45 minutes to complete.
 
Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0 License without attribution as requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.

10.5.1 Video Games and the Social World of Sports   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.  Apply critical thinking skills to come up with a reasonable argument for or against the significance of video games in the realm discussed in this subunit.  Decide for yourself whether this subject would be worthy of scientific, legislative, or economic study and defend your decision with examples from the reading or your own observations.

10.5.2 Virtual Worlds and Societal Interaction   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

10.5.3 Social Media and Games   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

10.5.4 Mobile Phones and Gaming   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.

10.5.5 Video Games and Their Messages   Note: This subunit is covered by the reading assigned beneath subunit 10.5.