Thursday, April 8, 2010

Friday 11 am Session Post

In his essay, Soderman introduces Diner Dash’s character Flo --- “a woman who literally flees a stressful, ‘dreary’ office job (seemingly in the corporate financial sector) and stumbles upon the idea to open her own restaurant (figure 4, 5, 6).

The “disembodied hands that literally present her with tasks or orders” are replaced by unrecognized figures of customers that urge her to serve them. Soderman recognizes the symmetry between Flo’s old and new job, and notes that “yet, ‘taking orders’ and answering the frantic demands of multiple customers, also represented in the game by extended hands clalling the player’s attention, is precisely how Diner Dahs represents Flo’s newly chosen occupation.” He later reaches the conclusion that this symmetry suggests that Flo is able to manage her tasks in the restaurant because the environment is more feminized, home-like and warmer, surrounded by hearts and excluding extreme emotions. Yet, this doesn’t seem to make a substantial difference to the essence Flo’s working life. Her expression is still constantly dominated by boredom, fatigue an indifference, the same case with before. Even though at the beginning when she decides that she will change her career, she seems to be passionate about owning a restaurant, however her actually working there changes everything back to the status that she tries to escape from --- she is “escaping but never leaving.” The Marxist nature of human labor suggests that the form of repetitive work and the aim of pleasing customers determine her occupation’s nature as an industry. The technique of multitasking by “chaining” is analogous to the assembling line in a industry, with the same characteristic of repetition. Therefore we can argue that Diner Dash is the representation labor, and that Flo’s occupation of running the restaurant is parallel with and analogous to her tiring office work.

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