The word genre has derived from the French term meaning “kind” or “sort” (Brook, 2015). Genres where originally used as a classification system for ancient Greek literature (Brook, 2015). Genres are currently used to classify print, film, art and music (Brook, 2015). Video game genres have developed naturally and there is currently no formal classification (Brook, 2015).
1) Do you think we need a standardised genre format for video games? Why?
I think the gaming community should allow academics to classify games into meaningful categories, as it will make games more accessible to the general public.
2) Do you think there are benefits to working within a genre when developing a game? Why?
Benefits of establishing a game genre include, but are not limited to game developers better knowing there audience, the developer will know what their audience expects of them, provides boundary to work creativity in, provides a template and forms a dialogue with their audience.
3) Pick a literary/film genre and, noting relevant books/films, identify their conventions of:
a) Stories, situations and themes
c) Character types
d) Iconography / cinematography
Horror is a film genre, which use audience’s primal fears in order to cause a negative emotional reaction (filmsite.org, n.d.). The macabre and supernatural are frequent themes, and may overlap with fantasy, supernatural fiction and thriller genres (filmsite.org, n.d.). Plots within the horror genre usually involve an evil force, event, or personage, commonly of supernatural origin, disturbing everyday life and the main characters having to free themselves of it (findmeanauthor.com, n.d.). Prevalent elements include ghosts, extra-terrestrials, vampires, werewolves, demons, gore, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, monsters, zombies, cannibals, and serial killers (findmeanauthor.com, n.d.). Horror films use a documentary style of cinematography and uses angles that will make viewers jump out of their seats.
Figure 1: The Purge: Anarchy (Source: imdb.com, 2014).
The Purge: Anarchy by James DeMonaco is classified as a Action, Horror and Science fiction film (imdb.com, 2014). It is set in America where the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period where all criminal activity is legal, in order to lower crime and unemployment. The movie follows three groups of people who are trying to survive the purge night, but find themselves stranded and vulnerable (imdb.com, 2014).
Figure 2: The Walking Dead (Source: amc.com, 2015).
Another film series that fits into the horror genre that I have been watching recently is Fear of the walking dead. It follows a family who is trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.
4) In regards to character types, is there a recurring stereotype in the genre? If so, what ‘type’ is it (refer to week 5)?
Stereotypical character types in horror movies include:
- African American male: He is usually muscular and possesses leadership qualities as he is always the first one to go through the door (Colebank, 2011). He usually lasts for 15 minutes within the film and has a quick death (Colebank, 2011). The purpose of the African American male is to ready audiences for the killing spree which is going to occur (Colebank, 2011).
- Non-believer: Can be either female or male and says things such as “There are no such things as demons”, “No one in their right mind would come out here” or “I’ll prove to you that nothing will happen if I read from this book” (Colebank, 2011). The non-believer will be the first one to die, if there is no African American male (Colebank, 2011).
- Sexually active couple: The characters are usually all over each other until there death, which usually occurs during sex (Colebank, 2011).
- Blonde female: She is loud, annoying and dumb, audiences end up enjoying her death more than they should, although she somehow escapes her death on several occasions (Colebank, 2011).
- The Jock: Muscular white male who is in love with the blonde and after her death decides to face the murderer, but never returns (Colebank, 2011). Both the blonde and the joke can be the sexually active couple (Colebank, 2011).
- The wise male: He is usually older than the other characters and is the person they come to advice for (Colebank, 2011).
- Hysterical female: The girl that doesn’t want to leave the house is always hysterically, usually because she saw her best friend die in front of her or she was kidnapped and escaped (Colebank, 2011).
- Eye-candy: She sticks around throughout the entire film and her purpose is to take off her clothes and look good. She is very ‘gifted’ and sometimes dumb (Colebank, 2011).
- The red neck: Muscular male, which has a thick southern accent and has a lot of guns (Colebank, 2011).
- The loner: Average looking male or female, they may or may not survive the movie (Colebank, 2011). Typically cynical and is always sneaking around (Colebank, 2011).
After writing this I realized I don’t particularly like ‘typical’ horror movies that follow the format described above, but I still enjoy the genre.
5) Think of a game that fits the same genre
a) Does the game genre work within the filmic genre (does the game ‘type’ suit the filmic genre)?
b) Does the setting reflect the filmic genre?
c) Are the character types similar to those in the filmic genre? If so, what are they?
d) Are similar techniques used (iconography, cinematography) in the game as the filmic genre?
Figure 3: Cover for Windows version of Left 4 (Source: DeadJasonS2101, 2010).
Left 4 Dead 2 is a co-op action horror game where up to four players will need to survive zombie hordes and mutant monsters (steampowered.com, 2015). Overall I think Left 4 Dead 2 fits the horror genre, as it creates a similar atmosphere and experience. The setting of Left 4 Dead 2 reflects the horror genre as it has dark scary atmosphere, which aims to keep audience on the edge of their seat preparing themselves for the next scare.
Figure 4: Left 4 Dead 2 Characters Bio (Source: left4dead2.net, n.d.).
The characters for Left 4 Dead 2 are similar to the stereotypical characters we see in horror movies, but with a twist. The coach is the African American male, but instead of being overly muscly, he is overweight (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Rochelle is the eye-candy, but her purpose is not to look good and take her clothes off, as she is dressed modesty and is not objectified as she is a valued member of the team (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Nick is the loner as he has a cynical outlook on life and has a shifty past (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Unlike horror movies audiences tend to like the loner, although in Left 4 Dead 2 it easy to dislike him (left4dead2.net, n.d.). Ellis is the red neck as he is a young country guy, unlike typical horror movies Ellis is portrayed as having a naive and foolish way of viewing the infected (left4dead2.net, n.d.).
amc.com, (2015). The Walking Dead [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead
Brook, L. (2015). Week 6 Lecture Slides- Genres [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from Edith Cowan University, Faculty of Creative Industries, Blackboard Website: https://blackboard.ecu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_617928_1&content_id=_3843055_1
findmeanauthor.com (n.d.). Horror Fiction Genre. Retrieved from http://www.findmeanauthor.com/definition_horror_fiction_genre.htm
filmsite.org, (n.d.). Horror Films. Retrieved from http://www.filmsite.org/horrorfilms.html
imdb.com, (2014). The Purge: Anarchy. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2975578/
left4dead2.net, (n.d.). Left 4 Dead 2 Characters Bio. Retrieved from http://left4dead2.net/left-4-dead-2-characters/
steampowered.com, (2015). Left 4 Dead. Retrieved from http://store.steampowered.com/app/500/
JasonS2101, (2010). Cover for Windows version of Left 4 Dead [Image]. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_4_Dead#/media/File:Left4Dead_Windows_cover.jpg
Colebank, J. (2011). Top 10 Most Stereotyped Characters in Horror Films. Retrieved from http://horrornews.net/41413/top-10-most-stereotyped-characters-in-horror-films/