Games Design @ Hull School of Art and Design


C.A.T.S (Y2, S3)

Year 2 of my Games Design course, a module based on writing, research and study (C.A.T.S = Critical and Theoretical Studies). Year 2, Semester 3.

C.A.T.S – Notes, Ethics (19/09/16)

Semester 3

Ethics Essay = 30%

2 X Seminar Reports

Ethics within the gaming industry

Submit notes from class

Need to reference and have a bibliography


Words to think about

  • Good – Having the right or desired qualities.
  • Moral – Concerned with the goodness or badness of human characters or behavior.
  • Ethics – A set of moral principles.

Personal or Society?

Controlled by the church, the state, medical establishment, the law, philosophy, the individual.

C.A.T.S – Video Notes


Horizon Investigate the video game revolution, virtual worlds getting more realistic and games and their reputation.

  • Can video games increase aggression or addiction?
  • What effects does it have on our brains?
  • Drugs and smoking vs Video Games.


  •  Video game industry is large especially the UK.
  • More gamers are over 25.
  • So diverse, something for everyone.
  • Some people have different opinions. E.g. Carmageddon – Too Violent?
  • “At the end of the day it’s not real”.
  • Narrator asking too many bias questions – using subliminal – using the word violent too much.
  • Professor only looks towards bad emotions. (Craig Anderson).
  • Video Source: BOB TV.
  • Attention is captured unless game is paused.
  • Rewarded for violence?
  • Dr. Doug Gentile -“Ethically we know not to harm people”.
  • Experiment – One player plays a non-violent game and the other player plays a violent game, then they compete in game in which the winner gets to decide how bad the punishment is. This experiment has been done with electric shocks, loud noises, hot sauce and more.
  • 4%-9% increase of violence when playing video games.
  • Study – Students are split into groups of two. One group plays violent games and the other group plays non-violent games then they are showed actual violent scenes from real life. Students are monitored by skin conductors and heart rate (keeping an eye on stress levels). The violent game players stress level was lower than the players that played non-violent games.
  • Seem to think that people who play violent video games have more aggressive thoughts and solve things by being aggressive.
  • Is this all true? Children are not copying but do they still get more aggressive as they get older?
  • Chris Ferguson – Rise in violent crime? 2013 stats.
  • Not just games that increase violence. Books, films, family.
  • Routine Activity Theory – Occupying aggressive peoples times with video games.
  • If there was no games people would be on the streets causing trouble.
  • Again, not just video games. Bad backgrounds, bad upbringings, bad day, films, books, television etc.
  • Gamers Misunderstood?
  • Some people play games without realizing (iphone games, gamification).
  • Ian Livingston.
  • Tim Schafer.
  • Growing up with video games.
  • Anger and arguments are not cause just by gaming. Sporting events and politics as an example.
  • Not just violence to take into consideration – frustration, stress, worry, anxiety (flow theory).
  • Tetris game experiment. Tetris = good logical game. Bastet = Crafty version of tetris (gives you blocks you don’t need and blocks you need are hard to get).

Bad research is bias, good research is not recognized.

  •  Analyzing distinct pattern of play.
  • Attacking enemies or finding a way out.
  • Emotion part of brain was expected to trigger – Amygdala.
  • Regulating emotions in different situations.

Horizon Video Games – 95% of games = under 18 age rating. Games are made with so much effort it is an art form, a way of transporting to another world. 1.2 Billion people game.

Residential places set up for children because they are too addicted to gaming.

Does behavior depend on reward systems? Online gaming, is it teamwork or competitive?


Octalysis – TED Talks

Losing concept of time. How many hours does it take to be addicted?

Reward test – small reward instantly or large reward gradually. Addiction – Self Control – Impulse.

Compulsive Gamers jump the gun.

How much value? Reward or goal?

Gamers use the word addicted as an exaggeration and not scientific.

  • Games can be educational and helpful.
  • Using a game to teach people keyhole surgery. ‘Underground’ – game. (Simulator)
  • “Could playing video games actually be good for us?” – Narrator
  • How much visual information can a deaf person take in?
  • Yellow or Blue test – tracking colours – attention. Blue was easier to track, average was 4 for non-gamers, average was 6 for gamers.
  • Games require focus and accuracy. HUD Design, 1st person or 3rd person.

Brain Activity – Brain growth by playing video games – pre frontal vortex.

Super Mario 64 caused 3 areas of brain to grow and reorganize. Navigate using 2 perspectives. Video Games can improve cognitive abilities.

Older Players? New game Nuero Racer.

Multitasking and attention. Attention span and memory increased. Memory increased by 30% (Digital Medicine?).

C.A.T.S – Note Taking


Lesson 3 – C.A.T.S

  • Portfolio Assessment.
  • Take notes during documentary.

3 Key Methods of Note Taking

  1. Prose Notes
  2. Mind Map
  3. Keyword Notes

Prose Notes

  • Most detailed out of 3 methods.
  • Almost full sentences.
  • Headings or numbers.
  • Useful for detail.
  • Time consuming.
  • Not suitable for lectures due to pace.
  • Useful for taking notes whilst reading a text in your own time.

Keyword Notes

  • Bullet points (Brief)
  • Headings, sub-headings and numbers.
  • Useful as triggers.
  • Helpful for revision.
  • Can use in lectures.

Mind Map and Visual Doodling

  • Messy, crazy and hard to read.
  • Easy for some people.
  • Less professional.
  • Good to use for illustrations and planning, in my opinion not for note taking.

Notes Advice

  • No plagiarism, if taking text use quotations.
  • Don’t be too detailed but don’t be too brief. Have an equal balance.
  • Don’t miss any key points. Don’t pick up information that you don’t need.
  • Make sure your work isn’t cluttered.
  • Be neat and organized.
  • Use only one side of the paper so things are organized and it will make it easier for when you need your notes in the future.
  • Save space for extra information.
  • Have numbered pages and date your work.
  • Use Bullet Points.

C.A.T.S – Brief and Module Overview

Module Description

‘During the level 5 module students will engage with broader culture, specifically ethical and social issues. There will be an emphasis on exploring different positions and viewpoints through seminar discussion and by researching the opinions of theorists, critics and practitioners. These discourses can be related to creative practice and professional contexts in the other level 5 modules. Within this module students are provided with opportunities to develop their critical reading skills, which will prompt and stimulate further independent study‘ – New Media Site, C.A.T.S, Module Description.

The Text above is from the Hull New Media Site ( I have highlighted certain words that stand out to me so that I have a clear understanding of the module description. Below is each of the highlighted sections described so that I understand what I need to achieve.

  • ‘Engage with broader culture, specifically ethical and social issues.’ – To understand and learn about a variety of cultures, look into their religion, how they live around society, how they deal with social situations and their everyday life.
  • ‘Exploring’ ‘Viewpoints’ – Look at life from their point of view or perspective and don’t be bias, look at the good and the bad from both angles.
  • ‘Seminar Discussion’ – Group Discussions, work together to debate and discuss.
  • ‘Researching the opinions of theorists, critics and practitioners’ – Research other peoples opinions and beliefs. Look at general research online but also genuine opinions from theorists, critics and practitioners.
  • ‘Develop their critical reading skills’ – Thorough reading is involved, research from a variety of sources is needed (not just the internet, use the library, history  centre, museums etc.
  • ‘Independent Study’ – Study as a group but remember to be independent when it comes to your own essay and most of the research.


To enable students to explore a range of ethical, social and theoretical issues in relation to the production and consumption of cultural products.

To focus on a range of texts in order to encourage analytical, critical and reflective responses to sources.

To embed informed debate and critical analysis within essay writing and other agreed forms.

To prepare learners for the academic and theoretical demands of Level 6 study.

The Brief

Learning Outcome 1 – Critically analyse, evaluate and draw upon a range of texts to inform debate leading to the construction of a viable and coherent self -initiated programme of study (for Level 6)

Evidence 1 – Seminar Activity: To focus on the analysis, interpretation and critique of key texts. Study Skill Workshops: To examine the presentation and structuring of essays and other agreed forms through group activities. Individual Tutorials Lecture: To introduce the level 6 programme of work (including presentations/discussions with year 3 students). Individual Tutorials/small group activity: To support students through their choice of topic/question. Including summative feedback on level 6 statement of intent.
Learning Outcome 2 – Formulate and structure an argument. Draw on and synthesize a range of evidence and engage in critical debate in essay writing and other agreed forms.

Evidence 2 – Lectures and screenings: To introduce key concepts and theories, perspectives and processes. Peer learning: Group activities, discussion and feedback.

Learning Outcome 3  – Examine ethical, social and theoretical issues relating to the production and consumption of cultural products. Demonstrate the ability to address issues from different viewpoints.

Evidence 3 – Seminar activity: To discuss issues, explain and listen to viewpoints and engage in debate. To develop criticality in response to a range of texts.

Learning Outcome 4 – Independently locate and evaluate a range of research sources and use academic conventions regarding presentation, written expression and referencing.

Evidence 4 – Library sessions and study skill workshops: To examine the research, presentation and referencing of essays through group activity.

My Overview

Now that I have a clear understanding of the brief I know that as well as having group/class discussions that I need to also be independent with my learning. As well I just using my opinion I have to take into consideration what other people believe and also have an understanding of their culture. I must use many sources; not just the internet and google, go to the museums, visit the library, view archives etc.

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