Field Notes for Catherine

For my class on understanding games and impact, we have to describe 60 minutes of gameplay. As I mentioned in my last post, I have chosen to analyze gameplay from Catherine, a game about a man who has a supernatural nightmare that mirrors his real-life dilemma of choosing between a life of marriage or a life of fun. I chose to record my playthrough from start to finish and have divided the video into digestible chunks. In this post I will be providing the video and then following each video will be a description of the mechanics described and used in the game, as well as how the game progresses through its narrative. A side note on the structure of Catherine, as I describe in a previous post, the game is divided into three parts. The first part is a climbing block puzzle, the second deals with narrative decisions that affect the resolution of the game, and the third is a section of narrative feedback, which describes the results of the player’s performance in the first two parts. Keep this in mind when viewing the videos.

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Caillois- Man, Play and Games

This semester, I have a book-a-week class on games in culture.  I’ve tentatively decided to try giving a go at posting a blog on each after both reading and discussing the book in class.  This is a bit ambitious, considering all I have to do, so I might get backlogged.  Please bear with me 🙂

The first book we read for class is Roger Caillois’s Man, Play and Games, a rather foundational book for games studies.  Caillois discusses the social nature of play and tries his best to categorize play into four distinct categories (with two distinct styles).  I, personally, latch on to theoretical frame works (and subvert them, usually), and this is mostly what I got out of the book.  To a sociologist, the chapters on sociocultural play practices might be infinitely more interesting than a theoretical framework.  Here is my take-away.

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