Week 3

0

I think that men and women are presented in stereotypical ways in L.A Noire in a number of ways. It appears that the time that the game is set within is reflected in the attitudes and beliefs towards the male-dominated society. Women seem to be viewed by many characters as socially inferior to men, however Phelps arguably treats women far better than the other members of the LAPD. This would appear to represent the values of a modern society (the 21st century) as opposed to the late 20th century, creating a sense that Phelps’ attitudes are slightly out of time. Female characters seem to be represented in a stereotypical fashion, where they appear rather ‘fragile’ and inferior to men, especially with regards to the interrogation scenes. Their roles often consist of being ‘stepping stones’ to clues, rather than actual suspects, perhaps reflecting the time and society. Other stereotypes and double standards appear to occur throughout the game, especially with regards to the Germans and Japanese present in Phelps’ flashbacks of the war. Other ethnic groups are presented rather stereotypically as well, for example- the black race appear more so from a labour-intensive background. This is not, however, a bad thing as the game designers have obviously attempted to remain as authentic as possible to social stereotypes and beliefs of the the social context.

 

I think that there is a difference between how a novel and how L.A Noire represents groups of people, places and situations. There is, arguably, much more common between a game and a film. A game relies on visual effects to tell the story of the characters, place and situation. The context of the narrative and the narrative itself is told by progression of the characters, which is predetermined and the player, to an extent, is trapped within Rockstar’s boundaries. The character is involved within a narrative, which the player must play through and act, to an extent, as if they are the character. The player is unable to imagine any further than the narrative itself (apart from future events, perhaps), which is similar to a film. A book, on the other hand, describes events, situations and characters but this is typically through the vocabulary used. The lack of visual effects for a book makes it easier for the reader to drift into an imaginary world which is far different to that of the original authors, possibly creating a new interpretation.

 

The narration used in L.A Noire is one which is typical to many games. There is no ‘voice-over’, however other characters almost ‘guide’ the player through the narrative with speech and actions, creating the sense of third person narration. However, as the player you are seeing the world and story from Phelps’ perspective but the you are not the omniscient narrator, which I think determines the narration being third person and not first person.

 

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