How the game appeals its target audience
Metal gear solid 3 (MGS3) is the 4th game released by Konami in the Metal Gear franchise; it is a third person action game that is set in during height of the cold war, at the time of its release MGS3 was a return to form for its franchise and sought to develop the main antagonist of the first two games Big Boss. MGS3s main primary target audience was the fans of the franchise as a way to apologise for Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of liberty as it was disliked by many fans because many fans hated the new main character Raiden and the heavy-handed handling of the game’s themes, this is evident by the multiple callbacks to previous games both as a nod to the previous games, take for example Major Raikov’s a side character who bares sticking resemblance to Raiden they even share the same Japanese voice actor. Much of his traits were created as a parody to Raiden, for example, it is implied that Major Raikov’s homosexual sexual this was a response to complaints from Western audiences regarding Raiden’s androgynous appearance.
“One of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty’s core messages was the idea of selecting what philosophy we pass on to the next generation, which can be read literally as a desire to pass on the torch. Kojima’s unease at creating Metal Gear Solid 2”- Euro Gamer
Metal gear also appeals to men of most ages due to its high level of violence and mature themes the use of realistic violence in video games has always attracted male gamers, the game is particularly aimed at 16 or older gamers. MGS: 3 is also heavily inspired by the James Bond Series which appeals to men who desire to be the hyper-masculine, chauvinistic and charismatic protagonist. MGS: 3s story and theme all pay homage to the James Bond of the 70s, the ideals of masculinity are further represented through both the gameplay and the characters within the story
Why a player would choose to play the game
I think that the main reason a player would choose to play is for its genre. Depending on players preferences they may be more inclined to pick up MGS: 3 as it an stealth, action game if players are interested in these genres then they might decide to pick up the game based on its mechanics and gameplay. On the other hand, a player may be interested in playing MGS: 3 due to its reception as it is widely considered to be the best Metal Gear game in the franchise, in addition to the fact that it is also the first game in the chronology, so new players may have an easier time getting into the series.
Furthermore, players may also play MGS: 3 for its highly praised 8-hour story mode, this is the only content within the game, however, the open level design of some locations and unique mechanics help to extend the lifespan of the game by encouraging unique strategies and play styles. Also MGS: 3 also has a ton of collectables for the player to find this further encourages exploration.
How the audience theory relates to the game.
Reception theory purposed by Stuart Hall he suggested that media is encoded by creators and decoded by the audience, the reason this theory is similar to the hypodermic needle theory however the audience plays an active role in consuming the message of the media rather than a passive role. There are three ways of dominant, negotiated and oppositional each of the categories is dependent on the audience’s reaction to the piece of media, they’re usually influenced by their cultural background. Here’s a table further explain each category:
This type of audience member will agree with the media’s intended message.
This type of audience member will debate the validity of the media’s intended message.
Lastly these types of audience member will completely disagree with the media’s intended message.
This theory relates to the MGS: 3 as the games main theme is Loyalty and what it means to be a patriot to a country, the game questions the extent in which someone can be loyal to a country whilst also maintaining their autonomy. The Reception theory looks at the ways in which audience members react to the message of a piece of media, this theory links to MGS: 3 as both the game and the theory target player reaction as a way to further create meaning. MGS: 3 encourages players to play an active role within the story of the game and to consider the perspective of others within the game, it shows the ways loyalty to a cause can affect people and how far they’re willing to betray that loyalty in order to protect what they love. These deep themes encourage the player to look within and question their loyalty; this active participation of the audience is a key part of the reaction theory.
“What about you, Jack? What’s it going to be? Loyalty to your country, or loyalty to me? Your country, or your old mentor? The mission, or your beliefs? Your duty to your unit, or your personal feelings? You don’t know the truth yet. But sooner or later you’ll have to choose.” – The Boss