Games are not games until they are played, this was a quote from this week’s lecture that really made me think. Games themselves are just vehicles for us to experience a world crafted by the creators. This freedom allows players to have a truly interactive experience unlike any they have had in any other medium.
Professor Joost Raessens put forward their analytical framework of how participation in video games occurs. Multimediality, virtuality, interactivity, and connectivity all create the experience we have whilst playing games.
When analysing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas through this analytical framework we can see how these different elements come together to create the game. GTA SA uses these elements to create the world the game exists in. The Grand Theft Auto series have always been praised for their impressive menu of licensed music and GTA SA is no exception. It’s a perfect use of Multimediality. It would feel like a less authentic universe if characters like CJ, Ryda, Sweet and Big Smoke were listening to some knock off stuff whilst driving in the car but hearing a 2pac song whilst driving in a fictional version of Los Angeles on your way to do a drive by, well it feels more authentic and real.
I would also like to highlight interactivity, to be more specific cultural interactivity. GTA SA was released in late 2004, due to its massive popularity it created its own culture of fans. During this time these fans began to make films out of the games engine, these are what are known as Machinima. This is in my opinion one of the best displays of participation, it shows how players can interact with the game and use it to create something completely separate.
BCM 215 Lecture Wk 7
Mediakix. 2021. What Is A Machinima Gaming Video? Definition & Examples. [online] Available at: <https://mediakix.com/blog/what-is-machinima-gaming-video-definition-examples/> [Accessed 13 October 2021].