The Active Audience – Indiviual Task

I haven chosen video games from my cabinet because I feel that this theory can be best appiled to this media object in particular. Games are designed to take the player to a whole “new world” and to almost make them forget. It creates a whole other world where you can loose yourself and by becoming the “character” you are being somebody else then who you are.

Using the Uses and Gratifications theory (Blumler and Katz 1974) suggesting that the media users have more of an active role in choosing what media they consume and the effect it has on them as audience members.

Later on around 1974 – Blumer and Katz expanded their theory and based it around how indiviuals might choose to use a text based on the following *uses and gratifications*

  • Diversion – escape from everyday problems and routine.
  • Personal Relationships – using the media for emotional and other interaction, eg) substituting soap operas for family life
  • Personal Identity – finding yourself reflected in texts, learning behaviour and values from texts
  • Surveillance – Information which could be useful for living eg) weather reports, financial news, holiday bargains

An user of video games could use them for diversion – in a way of escaping the real world. They could possibly use personal relationships if you looked at games such as Sims which allows the users to create your own family and friends, that way you could “create” a brand new exist of your life – being able to control everything they do.

Q1. Video games can influence the minds of a vunerable audience because you can feel as thought you can do anything. For example take The Sims game, It makes life look very easy and simple, However by portraying life as easy to an child or young person can influence the mind that how it is portay in The Sims is how life is really like.

When you play the game through the eyes of the character, you feel invisible and as if you can do anything e.g use weapons to kill your enemies which is very unrealistic, outside the game world rules and laws are in place to protect us.

2. Video games can have a negative and postive effect on the audience and the society. One case that always sticks in my mind when I think of the negative effect that video games have on the audience is what happend to Jamie Bulger. – This case was so disturbing and gripped the public. The killers John Venables, Robert Thompson were influenced by a video game.

Another case in america – On the April the 20th 1999, two teenage boys, Eric Harris and Dylan Kleboid were involved in an assalt on Columbine High School in Littleton,Colorado in which they murdered 13 studets and wounded another 23 students before killing themselves. There was nothing certain to why they did it however it is known that the two boys were regular players of violent video games and often played a shoot em up game called DOOM.

Researching into the effect of video games on the audience, I found a website that had produced an article that discusses the cause of violence and aggression found in video games.

Video games have been a cause for concern in our society regarding issues such as addiction, depression, aggression relating to video games. A recent study has uncovered that nearly a third of  children in there early teens play video games daily and 7% play for atleast 30 hours a week. With more children and young teenagers playing video games and the increasing violence in them games, is having an negative effect as the games are becoming alot more interactive in slaughtering the opponent which in the long run will have a negative violent infuence into their lives. The portrayl of video games does not have a good effect on the society as the audience will begin to feel that video games are a bad influence when however it is abit of both and that Video games should not be stereotyped as a bad influence based on indiviual gaming experiences.

The reality is that video games are no longer an entertainment genre for overweight geeks in suspenders and thick glasses. They’re mainstream now and have been for at least two generations. Last week Halo 3 broke the world record for the most revenue earned in a single day by any form of entertainment: $170 million in 24 hours! World of Warcraft has over 9 million players and experts say that up to 40% of them are clinically addicted.  – Taken from a student blog –

However Video games having a postive effect is active games such as Wii fit. This game is designed to help people to keep an active lifestyle in the comfort of there own living room.

By introducing video games such as the wii fit and wii sports resort, It helps people to have fun and lower stress levels by playing the fun games. The effect of games such as Just Dance (Right) and Guitar Hero )Left) can have a postive effect on the society because it is introducing the audience into more of an active game play, with the introduction of a sensor bar which connects the remote to the sensor and records your movements.


About allyprentice2810

I am a young media proffesional, experimenting with different mediums of media to find my niche. Studying Media Production at Coventry University.
This entry was posted in 105mc - Key Concepts, Key Concepts. Bookmark the permalink.

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