This assignment was unlike any other that I have done throughout my years at school. The best way for me to describe this podcast is an essay in the form of audio that was way more enjoyable to produce than writing an essay. Cibele is a game that neither me nor Laura had played before. I think most people plan to produce podcasts about games they know fairly well which makes our situation a little more unique. In Rohan and Zach’s podcast they didn’t really give much background on how GTA works because its such a well known game. Since our game was very obscure the first thing I made sure to do was write a brief synopsis to read at the start of the podcast to give our listeners a better understanding of our overall analysis. So obviously to start this process Laura and I had the play the game through completely. Based on our knowledge of Nina Freeman’s other game, Freshman Year, and our meeting with Professor Morgen prior to recording, we thought it would be interesting to examine the difference between male and female perspective of this game. We specifically wanted to examine the difference between which character male players felt empathetic towards in comparison to who female players felt empathetic towards.
After playing through the game ourselves, Laura and I felt bad for the main character Nina aka Cibele because she has her heart broken. In order to assess the male reaction, Laura enlisted her friend Willi to play the game and interviewed him during game play and asked him pre prepared questions afterward. These questions were aimed to help us get a sense of which character, Blake or Nina, he felt empathetic too while playing and why. One major decision we had to make was to determine which parts of the interview we wanted to use and which would be most beneficial to our argument. I think Willi’s interview was extremely important part of our podcast, it effectively displayed the difference in empathy between male and female players of Cibele. After Willi’s interview, Laura and I spoke about our opinions while playing to show the direct contrast between the views.
Making this podcast allowed me to be able to better understand video games as a piece of literature. In most freshmen english classes my friends are reading novels or excerpts and then writing a response about them. Our english class has a similar process to this but instead we are playing games instead of reading. In order to write valuable responses to these games I realized I needed to learn to think of them as pieces of literature rather than just a animation on a screen. Applying the concept of empathy from Bogost’s book encouraged me to see video games in a new way. I look forward to using this new mindset when writing reflections for games we play in the future of this class.