Gameplay Journal Entry #1
If I were to use Dovey and Kennedy’s definition of technicity, “Technicity thus enables us to look at social structures and cultural affinities in a new way — to identify the ways in which technology lies at the heart of these new connections.” ( Dovey and Kenney 17) I would be looking at a game from it’s social structures. In this case I would be looking at the cultural connection that players may have to this game. The game in question? Osu! Or to those within the “community” that circle clicking game.
Now there is a reason why I brought up the word community (and a reason for picking Osu! but we’ll get there). Osu! by itself is a simple game, you have a song and you match the rhythm. What it created though is a platform that allows people to comminute, compare, share, and enjoy pop culture. (More especially through a medium of music and animated videos.) The next couple of examples are going to be somewhat winded, but I believe that my finding still relate to the topic in the first paragraph. In all actuality, I specifically chose Osu! because after reading the definition of technicity I instantly made a connect between it and my own experiences with this game. As stated early Osu! is a rhythm game that is heavily centered around pop culture, in this case Japanese pop culture (and EDM culture). The type of music normally with these two cultures may seem very different but in fact are similar. Osu! trains players into realizing this as the tapping (or clicking) nature of the game reinforces a similarity that those outside of the game may never notice. This can actually be applied to any song found within Osu! but the example of a Japanese pop song being in the same game as Electronic dubstep is probably the best. The most interesting thing about this is that as a player, you don’t even stop to consider things like this. It simply happens naturally over a period of time.
A final, but another example of Technicity within Osu! is what I would define as the “intermediate’s wall”. Each song or “beatmap” has a star rating. As you get higher into the ratings the maps to harder. Players who are able to score very high on the harder maps are rewarded a global rank. This rank will then change in a leaderboard system. (#1 being the best in the world) The community has broken people into groups based on their global ranking. 7 digit, 6 digit, 5, 4, 3 , 2 etc. With this has come the influence of high ranking players such as 4 digits, (top 1000s) affecting those of a lower ranking. This has led to many people adapting the use of a drawing tablet. (i.e they completely change their controller to try and improve.) Players may also go out and by a separate keyboard, or a keypad with 2 keys specifically used to play Osu!. All of this is done in the name of improvement and trying to each the highest level of gameplay.
Reading about such examples in a textbook is one thing, but seeing those definitions comes to life in an environment which your familiar with is a fun experience. However with all that being said, here’s a let’s play of Osu! (by yours truly) so you can have a better understanding of what I’m referring to.
Dovey, Jon, and Helen W. Kennedy. Game Cultures: Computer Games as New Media. Open Univ. Press, 2011.