Video games aren’t just about what we play; they’re also about who we play. For American players, issues of race pervade video games in both obvious and subtle ways. While domestically produced series like Bioshock Infinite stir controversy with racial stereotyping of African-Americans, international games, popular in the U.S., raise questions about racism and nationality: consider Resident Evil 5, developed in Japan and set in Africa, where white heroes face hoards of zombies of color. Classic games and contemporary ones alike, such as Custer’s Revenge and Assassin’s Creed III, struggle with the image of the Native American. In fighters like Mortal Kombat and horror games like Fatal Frame, the female Asian-American body is used simultaneously to display sexualized power and feminine weakness. At the same time, games allow Americans to explicitly play at whiteness; Lollipop Chainsaw, for example, thrives on the parody of the white, blond, American cheerleader. Even fantasy role-playing game, like World of Warcraft, engage with racial expectations through the use of sci-fi races that attempt to move beyond real-life racial tensions. Fulfills the American Cultures requirement.
How can we understand the cinematic legacy of the “master of suspense”? Speaking at the end of “Disappearing Trick,” a 1958 episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Alfred Hitchcock takes a moment to address viewers of the show in the year 2000, noting the lasting quality of the film image. Hitchcock’s films and cinematic style are indisputably enduring cultural works, having now influenced myriad filmmakers and film theorists. His films are considered classics, and his life continues to hold great interest. Having successfully transitioned from silent film to sound, black and white to color, and film to television, Alfred Hitchcock’s corpus not only perseveres, but proves instructive in the study of film as art form. This course will consider the elements of Hitchcock’s creations that comprise the legendary director’s style, and trace their cultural reverberations, which extend to today. Using film analysis, a reconsideration of auteur theory, and biographical information about Hitchcock, students will reexamine Hitchcock’s films and films that pay homage to his work. Fulfills the Letters and Science Arts and Literature requirement.
© 2015 the Regents of the University of California | WordPress migration and adaptation by @Marijo Recalde