What kind of game is this?
The Call of Duty franchise is published by Activision and developed by Infinity Ward. This is a first person shooter type game. The game is about an elite counter-terrorist unit that’s on a mission to stop a Russian ultra-nationalist. The unit travels through Afghanistan, Moscow and Washington D.C. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was probably my favorite game of all time because of the gaming dynamics such as perks, game objectives and the experience of feeling like you were there. The perks are 3 different skills added to your class that allow you to do things like reload faster or be undiscoverable from radar. While writing this I knew what GIF I wanted to use, the one that exaggerates the long range of the command pro perk. Which I feel is pretty damn accurate.
The game objectives are the different type games you can play online/ For example one objective is capture the flag and another is search and destroy. This objective is more skill based because you are on a small team that has to plant a bomb, but if you die you die for the whole round. The experience of the game is very realistic and detailed. My favorite experience of the game is being in control of the AC-130 which is a cargo plane fitted which different weapons. The HUD and tele metrics are very detailed when flying. Another thing I like about the experience is the option to bleed out. When you get shot you fall to the ground and have an opportunity to kill the person who tried to kill you. It is clear to see the Call of Duty is not in the grey zone and can definitely be defined as a game. That being defined as an activity that is a structured form of play. The online is my favorite part of the game because of how fun it can be to play with other people and feel extremely challenged. The designs of the maps are very well thought out as they have obstructions, sniping spots and hiding spots in all the right areas. Not only that but they brought the right schemas to online maps. What I mean by that is they took right parts of the game to make maps out of, like Terminal, Karachi and Favela. The guns in the game are all ones that you would be able to find in real life which makes the game a little more realistic, thus making way more fun and immersive. As we started to dive into Machinima I automatically connected it back to Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. That is because this is the game where I was first introduced into the whole machinima concept. With the help of YouTube machinima really exploded into a new form of art making within the gaming community. One of my favorite videos is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-My1FlTW9-Y and that is because it displays the actual meaning of machinima. That being defined as making films within a game or virtual environment which is then edited to display fluency. The authors create an edit where the player goes to plant an air strike but the classic “Rick Roll” video starts playing instead of the marker.
What kind of art is this?
Art is defined as a range of human activities that create visual or preforming arts that express the authors imaginative or technical skill. I love this definition because it classifies a broad amount of artworks that some may argue are not. In the article Understanding Machinima by Larrisa Hjorth, she states
“As a genre once evolving from gaming cultures, machine has grown to become its own “art-form”. Fusing art, cinema, new media, and games, machinimas genealogy echoes that of other misunderstood genres like net”
I feel that the art in this game can go hand in hand with the pro game definitions we have discussed in class. The perspective that Hjorth has agrees with progression of arts. As an art piece I believe Modern Warfare 2 does a great job of illustrating the authors imaginative and technical skill. The IW 4.0 engine does a great job of rendering images to make them look so realistic. Though it is the hands of the designers that we see the true forms of art, everything that is created within the game. The designs of the buildings in the map Favela closely resemble those of an actual Favela in Brazil. The rundown look of the buildings adds to the how closely they resemble the real thing. This all done with the imagination of the designers and author. This is how games are able to parallel definitions of art because art is defined as a human activity that uses the authors unique imaginative and technical skills to provide some visual stimulation. Then comes the concept of machinima that allows players to make their own movies within the game. Though one way I believe that games differ from art is that with games you can get creative and make something. With art it is more solid and hard to change. I believe if you have not played this game yet you should definitely do so and maybe vision the type of machinima you could create. If you do not have the resources to play the game then you can watch the gameplay of the full story and get an idea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0WFGMU4VDs.
Ng, Jenna, and Larrisa Hjorth. Understanding Machinima. New York: Bloomsburry, 2013. Print.