A new kind of conversation about games in culture
After time, however, an experienced bard will know how to sing in meter, just like an experienced player will understand the logic in game mechanics. They will also develop certain formula-like knowledge, like "m" calling up the map, or efficient spell rotations. Once mastered, this knowledge can be applied to other games, just like other songs. This of course means my boyfriend, whom I have enlisted as a case subject for this class for his epic skillz, jumps right into Runescape while I am still trying figure out fishing for crawfish. Andrea,
I know the boyfriend department. When we got PS2, he put GTA in and with in no time he mastered it. He can put in any game and use previous skills and go through the new games. It drives me crazy. He is currently enjoying my torment with Runescape as I have died somehting like 12 times.
I have to say I agree with Karen and Erika in feeling a bit overwhelmed so far! Not being an experienced gamer, I feel very aimless in wandering around the worlds of Runescape and Club Penguin. I'm sure, as you've all been saying, once you really understand the "formulas" of these games, you can see that the smaller mini-games, or quests, are there as a way to build your character and kleos. I'll have to try thinking of them in terms of this build-up, rather than as unrelated, individual cycles within themselves. Although, that is also the way I have always thought of Odysseus' story of his adventures. His adventures build his kleos, and explain his past, but have always seemed very episodic to me, as if they could be put in any particular order and do not really lead one into another. So, I guess I feel a bit like a young bard in the first phase of his learning, thrust forward and forced to play before an audience! So I hope you'll bear with me.
Having played through a bit of Runescape, I realize more and more just how alien an MMORPG is to me, compared to my other gaming experiences. Were I an ancient bard attempting to tell my character's story, well, I'd be a a rather newb-ish one. Fumbling about with the controls (which I judged as rather clunky) in opposition to my eternal love of Knights of the Old Republic, and the way that game let's you interact with the world, and being shocked to learn that there's more than just fighting when it comes to earning kleos. I'd suppose an analogue to this feature (being good at something, be it fighting, cooking, fishing, what have you) would be how Penelope is said to earn kleos for her goodness rather than her nonexistent feats on the battlefield.
It makes me wonder, is the game the bard, or are we bards in playing it? Surely there is a distinction between genres in just which role you play. What say you?
(all that said, Charon does not approve of my Fallout 3 shenanigans and wants me to play more Runescape... http://img172.imageshack.us/img172/6659/screenshot0dq2.png )
Hey guys! Hope my first post here is alright. I decided to being exploring the factor of improvisation in the telling of epics.
The ancient bards that sung the tales of Homer were performers of an art not seen in recent history. Their method of storytelling is different than future methods because there is no standard form. These bards had to improvise with each telling of the story. Unlike conventional methods, such as books, movies, or television, the story told by the bard was different every time. Each telling of the story would be personalized, and each audience would get a unique experience. If the bard were aware of that enough, he could personalize the epic for his audience, creating something that would be more enjoyable than a basic retelling of the same epic. The whole experience of a tale such as the Odyssey or the Illiad would be enriched.
While this method of storytelling does make for a more intense individual experience, the range of discussion about these epics becomes limited. While today, two people who have never met and live on opposite sides of a country can comb through a movie, scene by scene to expound on the technique or skill of the director. Two telling of a story in the bardic occasion cannot be related so easily. They can only be compared as far as the main points of the story can be. I believe that this is a problem that has social implications. Stories that are diffused through a country may not act as common enough ground for people to discuss. By improvising and personalizing an epic, you make it a more exclusive experience.