Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Response to: "The New Cyber-City: The Interactive Game Industry in the New Millennium"

The article that I was assigned was called “The New Cyber City: The Interactive Game Industry in the New Millennium” published in 2003 by Stephen Kline. Kline is an expert in media analysis and his research about the game industry through this article exemplifies that he has a lot of knowledge in the field. He is a professor at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada where he teaches communications and is the leading figure in this department. Kline graduated from the London School of Economics and received his Ph.D. He also earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of Toronto. Kline has written numerous articles regarding social communication as well as the media. This goes to show that he does have a reputable reputation and is a master in his field.

In chapter eight of his article about the game industry, Kline constantly refers to the term post-fordism. This is a move toward specialized markets such as the ones discussed in this chapter regarding the game industry and a shift from jobs outside of the mass production of goods inside huge factories. The post-fordism era greatly emphasizes the impact of virtual entertainment through the game industry. This industry is one of the fastest growing industries today. It is even considered more powerful than the music industry. Kline delves into the competition amongst the major companies in the game industry such as Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Nintendo is targeted toward younger children; however, Sony and Microsoft’s main audience are teens and adults. Sony and Microsoft are both major platforms where they exhibit a desire for broadband connection which would drastically change the game industry and provide for a virtual community solely through gaming. Even though this article was written over a decade ago, these were some of the ideas that major industries were coming up with for the future. Because these companies hold so much power, many smaller companies were being bought up by larger organizations and were being absorbed into major companies. This means that in the future, only a couple of these huge companies could control as much as 85% of the game industry.

In addition, Kline discusses the ideas of war games for the military. The MIMENET refers to the idea that these games can be designed for warfare simulation and help people in the military gain further knowledge. Therefore, MAK Technologies came into existence and was designed by the military to help with warfare activities. The United States Department of Defense even helped with the funds and supported the idea. This goes to show that games are not just being used by ordinary people for fun, but also act as a tool for knowledge.`

In conclusion, the game industry is constantly changing with new advances in technologies and other tools for communication. Communities are being established through games and are connecting people; just like social networking websites such as Facebook. Online gaming has become popular throughout the world and has become a driving force in terms of connectivity. With the development of interactive play and other improvements in games, it will be interesting to see what games will be like in the near future.

Stephen Kline. (n.d.) LinkedIn [Profile page]. Retrieved November 11, 2014, from                                      

Stephen et al., “The new cyber-city: The interactive game industry in the new millennium,” Digital Play: The Interaction of Technology, Culture, and Marketing (2003).

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