Finder Love: Aki Hoshino (Capcom, 2006).
Finder Love: Aki Hoshino is a photography game in the Finder Love series, a PSP dating sim game. The game is yet another addition to simulation of photographic practices that objectify women and perpetuates the male gaze in computer games’ representation and mechanics (see the whole “paparazzi/model photo shooting/Japanese idol photography” theme of photography simulations). What is interesting however in terms of mechanics is the use of a “gamification of the decisive moment” that is reminiscent of music and rhythm games (e.g. Pop’n music, Guitar Hero…). There is also an aesthetic evaluation of the pictures taken and a “Tension” level. Finally it also to note that the game does not use CGI to create the subjects of the photo shoot, but recorded video footage – and snapping pictures is here made equal to capturing still frames from a moving image that can’t be stopped or rewinded.
Zoom: Paparazzi im Einsatz (Exozet Game, 2006)
In Zoom: Paparazzi im Einsatz the player takes the role of a paparazzi who photographs VIPs in embarrassing situations. The game is played like most other first person shooters but the only weapon is a camera. So the player walks through the 15 levels, e.g. a private club in Hollywood or a musical premiere on a yacht, and searches for something interesting to happen. To make it easier the important persons are marked with a green arrow just before the event. Then the player uses his camera and receives his money instantly.
The main problem is that paparazzi are unwanted on these parties. So if the player is near a bodyguard when taking a picture they start to hit him – if the player loses his life energy the mission is lost. His only option is to blind the bodyguard (or an angry VIP) by photographing him and to run away quickly. Other threats are other paparazzi which steal the most interesting scenes. In every mission the player has to earn a certain amount of money to pass it. Sometimes he also needs to take pictures of specific events. The missions are fully scripted (which means that the player can memorise the events), and offer optional humorous content, e.g. conversations to listen to.