Pleasure, Spectacle and Reward in Capcom's Street Fighter Series
Manchester University Press
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In this essay, my thoughts are focused on fighting simulation videogames, hereafter referred to as the ‘beat-‘em-up’ genre. Importantly, I want to present an account of spectacle as an essential aspect of the player’s experience. Geoff King and Tanya Krzywinska have identified that ‘[s]pectacle is offered at the relative (in game terms) level of detail or consistency’ (King and Krzywinska, 2006, p. 153). Rather, relative in the differing spectacles within a single game, but also in the intertextuality of spectacle across a variety of titles. As such, in comparison to a reasonably unspectacular game like The Sims (EA, 2000), Street Fighter might seem to be largely comprised of inter-related spectacles and excesses, like Hollywood’s contemporary action blockbusters, Indian Bollywood cinema, and contemporary music video. However within the topsy-turvy logic of its gameworld, Street Fighter presents degrees of spectacular representation and play, which continually act as foil to one another, oscillating between a harmony and cacophony of spectacle. The larger anthology "Videogame, Player, Text" examines the playing and playful subject through a series of analytical essays focused on particular videogames and playing experiences. With essays from a range of internationally renowned game scholars, the major aim of this collection is to show how it is that videogames communicate their meanings and provide their pleasures. Each essay focuses on specific examples of gameplay dynamics to tease out the specificities of videogames as a new form of interaction between text and digital technology for the purposes of entertainment. That modes of engagement with the videogame text are many and varied, and construct the playing subject in different ways, provides the central theme of "Videogame, Player, Text".
Videogame, player, text, pp.204-221
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