While Bogost’s reading was quite dense, I think I kind of understand it after a couple read-throughs. There’s always been a sort of division in gaming, between abstract and strategic type games such as Civilization, and the character and story-driven games such as Grand Theft Auto. Bogost argues that perhaps video games shouldn’t include characters one can identify with, and instead be more abstract and focus on broad systems. He goes on to talk about how games have become ways for people to express their self identities, and perhaps this is why male gamers so often exclude females from their mix.
I think that Bogost’s argument makes a lot of sense, but I don’t see video games changing any time soon. While perhaps in a perfect world, video games should be above personal identification, and allow one to leave the self behind. For some, however, this mode of gaming just isn’t entertaining. Personally, I enjoy embodying a character within a video game; video games are a release from reality. If I want to be a sword-swinging elf, then why can’t I be?
In addition, I think that the issues with exclusion in video games result more from society, and less from the games themselves. As society evolves, hopefully this will no longer be the case. Maybe I entirely misunderstood the Bogost reading, but this is what I got from it.