Bioshock Essay Example
Bioshock Essay Example ENG 113
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This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Rachel L on Tuesday September 20, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ENG 113 at University of Illinois at Springfield taught by Dr. Tena Helton in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Video Games & Gaming in ENGLISH (ENG) at University of Illinois at Springfield.
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Date Created: 09/20/16
Rachel Lewis September 20, 2016 Dr. Tena Helton Video Games & Gaming Bioshock Essay The Tantalizing Darkness With every videogame which has ever come out, whether it be amongst the most popular and most played games in the world or be a complete flop, all of these games have one common factor in the game sales industry…Advertising. Advertising which may or may not promise the aspect of adventure or action. For example, on the front cover of the videogame Bioshock Infinite, the lead character, Booker Dewitt is pictured along with a girl named Elizabeth. In the background of the front cover, there is a torn flag on what appears to be a corroded bronze sign of the game which perhaps foreshadows something “corroded” or “torn” in the actual gameplay. Then there are the different amounts of lighting and shading on the cover which gives emphasis and rhythm to the overall picture as a whole. All things combined, the front cover of the videogame, Bioshock Infinite, markets to a wide age group of males, aged 15 to 35. Reasoning behind the all-inclusive target market of males, aged 15 to 35 comes from the ever so present Booker Dewitt sporting a shotgun with a determined gaze and rugged clothing. Every male sometime in his life wants to be or become the rugged determined hero of some damsel in distress. This inviting image is fed to this age group by the handfuls since they were a preteen, whether it be in television, movies, or other types of media. To complete this rugged hero type, the visual artists behind the editing and making of the cover photo added Elizabeth, “the damsel in distress” or female companion, possibly as an extra bonus of playing the game. For example, if Elizabeth wasn’t in the photo, the picture would not convey all of the necessary feelings which are needed for the target audience. All that is seen or possibly felt in this edited photo is Booker holding a shotgun for some unknown reason unbeknownst to the male consumer. While this may be adequate for some male consumers, the product might not have sold as well as when it first did with Elizabeth on the front cover, because no feelings of being a hero or savoir in the eyes of a women are felt in this image. The visual artists then (turning up the heat) gave Elizabeth a unique look to her angelic, innocent face mixed with a look of fear and urgency. Her head is then strategically placed looking over her shoulder back at an identified object which is not clearly identified on the cover. This urgent look foreshadows a possible “boss” or “greater evil” which leads the heroic Booker, and the proverbial male player, to believe that they must defeat it in order to save Elizabeth. In addition to Elizabeth’s face, Bookers gaze looks up in the same direction, but with a steely gaze of determination letting the male consumer know that he will not let it harm her. After analyzing the characters, why they are there and their expressions, it is time to move on and analyze the context in which the characters are placed. For example, the air balloon in the background along with the main characters clothing and weapons achieves the feeling of an old “gilded age” setting back to when it was the early 1900’s. This was when America was fighting for more land against the natives and invading immigrants. So not only does the game promise male heroism in the eyes of a female character, but it now promises violence which most males ages 15 to 35 wouldn’t necessarily want to pass up. The promise of physical violence is even greater given the wrapped wound on Bookers’ right arm. Although not directly visible to the male consumer, the wrapped arm gives off the “vibe” of physical violence. In addition to Bookers’ bandaged arm, and antique weapon, the lighting and coloring of the cover photo also goes along with this “vibe” as a means of foreshadowing the possible events of gameplay. For instance, the corrosion and ripped banner framing the title of the game gives the consumer an idea that there is something wrong or corrupt within the gameplay,(whether it be a person(s) or a higher power) leading the player to believe that a revolution might occur. This idea linked with the idea of physical violence is also supported by the sparks flying across Bookers front, thus giving more reason for the average male between the ages of 15 and 35 to become interested and buy the game. One more use of light and contrast throughout the picture is when the characters themselves are emphasized. For example, the games’ cover photo is mostly dark and gloomy except for the one direct light source barely able to be seen through the clouds and Bookers head. The light source puts the characters in a sort of heroic light-scape, as a means of being the only possible hope to a problem thus giving the average male the even more prominent feeling of heroism from the games cover photo. Even the dark shading at the top of the picture gives the average male a foreshadowing feeling of darkness and adventure which needs to be explored and defeated. In conclusion, the analysis regarding the cover of Bioshock Infinite clearly aims to target the average male, aged 15 to 35. This was proven by the multiple elements and design principles such as lighting, context, shading, facial expressions, and colors strategically placed throughout the games’ cover photo. Not only were the design elements and principles helpful, they were carefully guided by the well-crafted iconic images of the torn flag, older shotgun, weathered clothing and the unique foreshadowing faces of Booker and Elizabeth. All of the pieces from the games cover photo come together in equilibrium in order to market to a vast audience of males aged 15 to 35. Works Cited IG.Ken. "A Message from Ken Levine." Irrational Games. N.p., 12 Dec. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2016. <http://irrationalgames.com/insider/poll/>
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