3rd set of questions

2

 

Over the next 2 weeks we want you start by thinking about how L. A Noire represents gender. Does the game represent men and women in stereotypical ways? What about other categories – age and ethnicity for example? Time period? Setting?

After you’ve answered that question, can you also describe HOW a game represents groups of people and places / situations, compared to a novel or a film? Is it the same, or does the fact that you play the game, in character, make any difference – how does it compare to reading a character or narrator’s point of view or watching a film?

Finally, what can you say about narration in L.A Noire – is there any, and if so, how does it work? What kind of narration is this?

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Comments

  1. i7931482 / Apr 10th, 2012 21:17 Quote

    In L.A. Noire, from the very beginning, white men are seen in positions of power while women and people of other ethnicities are typically seen either as victims, in subservient roles (for example shop assistants) or placing too much value on material possessions and performing criminal acts through that. These are stereotypical views of gender and ethnicity but suitable for the time period and its setting so it would not be appropriate to negatively judge the game for this.

    A game is a far more interactive experience than a novel and film and so I feel like I am actually experiencing the environment the game has to offer. However, a novel allows more freedom of imagination as you can visualise the events of either in your head how you want them you want them to be. Even film allows you to imagine what a character is thinking. As you are the character in L.A. Noire what you think is what the character is thinking when you’re playing so you are given some freedom there. While you are given a ready-made environment to explore in L.A. Noire it can feel stifling at times, as can any game as there isn’t as much freedom provided as, in particular, a novel where you can create a world and people in your mind through the words on the page.

    L.A. Noire is different from most games I’ve played in the sense that it blends many styles of narrative technique. The narration is told through a variety of methods, not simply voiceover and the speech of characters, but through sound effects and camera angles as well. There is also a blend of first and third perspective narration. However, having played the Final Fantasy games which in my experience primarily use third person narrative and sound effects to convey narration, I don’t believe that such an extensive variety is always necessary to provide a deep and detailed experience. It does work for L.A. Noire though and suits the mood of the game, conveying the situations of the game well.

  2. AndrewKingsley / Apr 11th, 2012 10:23 Quote

    LA Noire is a male dominated game, we only see the women through the male characters eyes, and most of them talk about using and abusing women, the Black Dahlia, only killed women and not men, and most of the husbands in the game are very controlling. Women are seen as stupid and described as broads and dames, which are quite derogatory names, the men are seen beating the women but at the same time, the male characters do say that they couldn’t live without them, and Cole is very protective of his Wife and Children. In regards to age and ethnicity, there is a lot of racial hate towards Jewish people in the earlier levels of the game, which ending up in murder, and the children in the game are seen as innocent which is stereotypical view, one black character also said that because he was black Cole probably suspected him of stealing money from a wallet.

    I think La Noire is quite similar to a novel in that we sometimes only get one character’s view on a situation, we see everything mostly through Cole’s eyes and we only get a representation of groups he interacts with, I like the fact in that everyones game ends up different depending on what they do and where they go first, but it still ends up quite linear, as there are some things we ‘must’ interact with, however everyone in LA Noire has a concrete story and background unlike a novel we can’t imagine anything ourselves.

    In all honesty I’ve forgotten about the narration, it almost seems silent, at the start of each case I feel like we have lost alot of information as time has obviously skipped and we aren’t able to recover it, the only things the silent narrator informs us of is how the victim of each case dies, as we get to see that as an outside witness looking in .

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