Thursday, September 25, 2008

Analysing "Canis Canem Edit" — Spel, spelande & spelkulturer

Spel, spelande & spelkulturer VI
Spel, spelande & spelkulturer VI,
originally uploaded by miabacke.
Björn Sjöblom has looked at Canis Canem Edit (called "Bully" in the US.) Developed by Rockstar, Vancouver, 2006. Similarities to GTA III. Controversy at release. Attempted banning in USA, banned in Brazil. Emulating children, children's play. Child/youthe perspective on life and schooling. Main character: Jimmy Hopkins, 15 yrs old. Setting: Bullworth Academy (boarding school), New England. Apparent community satire.

School simulation with various youth cultures. Quest-based progression game. Open-ended solutions to most quests. High degree of player freedom and player selected game goals - emergent narrative - Bartle's archetypes. Different frames for "free" and "quest" play. Cut-scene driven narrative. "Law" enforcement through prefects and police. Interaction with NPCs. Implemented bullying. Available weapons: slangbella, baseball/cricket bat, fireworks, spud-gun (gun that shoots potatoes) etc. Available transport: bikes, mopeds, go-cart etc.

The view of children and childhood in CCE? Satire and anarchy. Fighting and bullying other students. How the NPCs react depend on their age, gender or whether they are prefects or cops. Differences in how a "crime" is seen and how punishment is issued. Gametime: Real time and fictional time. Cut-scenes, set time for classes, Jimmy's bedtime and curffew, Seasons and chapters. Upgrades through minigames: English, gym, chemistry, art and shop, + streetfighting. Better apologies, fighting skills, weapon crafting, taking photographs for the yearbook and bikes. Powerups not just "available" or "unlockable" - progress through hard work.

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