Introduction –

Hi there my name is Maddie, I’m studying Arts/ Media and Communications, I love the colour red and I have a “mild” addiction to fake tan … Welcome to my blog!

Born in Sydney, New South Wales in 1999, I grew up spending most of my time eating junk food, playing outside, learning how to spell and drawing the sun in the corner of the page. Flash forward 18 years and not a whole lot has changed, well hopefully the quality of my art pieces. I’ve recently graduated high school, in Mittagong and have moved in at the University of Wollongong to study a Bachelor of Arts/ Bachelor of Media and Communications which is both exciting and daunting.

Aside from a strong love for bad puns and fake tan, I have many other passions, playing guitar, snow skiing, wide-leg pants and a rather strange obsession for 70s Rock and Roll in particular Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page (many of my friends find this rather strange). Aside from Led Zeppelin, The Who, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, Crosby Nash and Stills, The Grateful Dead and Van Morrison, just to name a few, also heavily inspire me daily. I know this obsession is a bit strange but,

“Today’s music ain’t got the same soul
I like that old time rock ‘n’ roll” – Bob Seger

I hope you enjoy what my blog has to offer (don’t worry, a wider range of topics will be covered than just music), I’ll try my best to keep things interesting, exciting and aesthetic. I will post up to 3 times a week, just know if you haven’t heard from me in a while – I’m probably still editing a post (I’m a boarder lining perfectionist)

Thank you! – Maddie x

 

 

 

BCM313: Reflection

Scared Dog GIF by MOODMAN
Unknown Author, Giphy

BCM313 provided me with a new found idea of storytelling, initially I believed storytelling was through traditional means such as  children’s books or narratives. However, following partaking in this subject I now understand the effects that storytelling can have on my understanding and knowledge on the world and society in which we live. Storytelling provides us with the ability to develop our respect and appreciation for other cultures while also enabling us to sympathise with particular elements in which it may be challenging to confront. From the initial tutorials I was able to participate in, prior to returning to full-time work, I found that the teachers were extremely passionate, diligent and driven to provide us with the necessary support during the stressful period of COVID.  

I do believe as I was unable to attend majority of tutorials, that I did not have as much of a meaningful experience as I would have liked to with this subject, and do believe that if COVID magically disappeared and we could attend face-to-face classes that I would have found a lot of meaning in the materials we discussed. Learning about storytelling and the future of work over a screen does not have the same appeal. I found discussions to be particularly helpful in this subject, especially when we were prompted by questions as it helped me clarify any questions I did have. 

Overall, I am very satisfied with choosing this subject, and wish I could have attended more tutorials to gain a better insight into the messages discussed. I am especially thankful for the teaching staff, who greatly helped me during this time – from this subject I now have a narrative CV (that I am looking forward to using one day), new connections for potential internships (through the Narrative Interview Assignment)  and new found respect for narrative/ storytelling. 

No Problem Thumbs Up GIF

BCM215: Conceptual Report

The Concept

When starting this subject,  I was worried my lack of gaming knowledge would cast me astray and evidently believed I would have no ability to create an engaging Digital Artefact for the semester. With my only recent knowledge of gaming streaming from countless Philosophy essays in Semester 1, outlining the negative implications of violent games on adolescents, I was completely lost for an idea.  Looking for guidance, I began searching for all my beloved childhood games and consoles, finding my Nintendo DS I knew exactly what to do. 

The heavily discussed debate that ‘video games encourage violence’ is prevalent almostly every time a new ‘violent’ game is released. However, if we choose to acknowledge the potential negative psychological effects on game players, we must question whether particular video games can promote positive psychological effects on players. That is why I decided to base my Digital Artefact on the beneficial impacts of video gaming on children and adolescence through critically analysing one of my favorite games as a child, ‘Nintendogs’ (2005).

Ideating Process

  • Establish a platform where I can share my experiences from researching both my own primary sources (through online questionnaires/Instagram stories) and secondary sources outlining the beneficial impacts of gaming on children and adolescent’s cognitive ability.
  • Highlight the beneficial learning impacts of gaming for children through the exploration of Nintendogs (2005) to help parents, gamers and anyone who is particularly interested in gaming and the psychological effects that video games can have on players. 

I would complete these objectives by regularly updating a very a e s t h e t i c Instagram account and by writing weekly blog posts. 

While my idea sounds alright, I did encounter a rather rocky start at first, but that’s the #FEFO (Fail, Early, Fail, Often) philosophy right?  

Methodology

In terms of my methodology, I decided to change the length of my blog posts to be 2x 850 word reports outing my main findings.

Utility and Response to Feedback 

From completing the prototyping phase, I had one main objective, of which was to find an audience and spark engagement. It was imperative that my audience responded to my Instagram Polls and Questionnaire to aid my primary research, through this engagement I would also fulfill both my Primary Utility of providing information to better understand the beneficial effects of gaming on children, and my second utility of providing a e s t h e t i c entertainment. 

Source of Feedback: Lack of new followers, a plateau in likes. 

Response 1: I increased the number of hashtags used in each caption, and tagged related accounts (i.e. @Doglovers) on each post. I used words like #cute, #dog, #growth #nintendogs to draw out specific audiences.

Response 2: I decided the original aesthetic of bold colours was not sufficient in meeting my second utility, I took all original posts down and created a flow of dogs photos, quotes from story polls and direct quotes from my blog posts. 

Result: New followers and likes, increased interactions with my content. I received more engagement with the a e s t h e t i c of my blog and therefore gained more interest in my page. 

Project’s Success’ and Limitations 

I had limited success with this project, while I did receive an increase in followers on instagram, I found a significant portion of the following I had received were ‘spam’ accounts :’). Fortunately, I did have a few peers from the #BCM cohort participated in my online questionnaires, which allowed me to receive sufficient primary research. 

From ideating, prototyping and making my Digital Artefact I encountered a lot of limitations. Due to the nature of my subject matter, and the nature of Instagram I felt that finding a direct audience on this platform was quite difficult. I think if i were to do this artefact again, I would limit my engagement on Instagram – while it was somewhat successful, it definitely was a limitation.

FIST FRAMEWORK

Fast: I can manage my own time wisely while researching and writing, balancing between working and enjoying.Inexpensive:I will be using a free Instagram and my existing WordPress Blog.There is an abundance of Nintendogs in game photography available online. 
Simple & Tiny: I will not expand to other social media platforms beyond the scope of my ability to maintain consistency in posting, i.e. NO PINTEREST / YOUTUBE. I will not over complicate my blog posts, to ensure they are direct and to the point.

BCM215: Blog Post 2 – Benefits of Video Games, Primary and Secondary Data.

Hot Dog GIF by LooseKeys

‘Some people say video games rot your brain, but I think they work different muscles that maybe you don’t normally use’ – Ezra Koenig 

As discussed in my previous Blog post, video games have significant psychological benefits for children, specifically learning how to save/interact with money, patience, ambition and working to achieve goals, memory and particularly with virtual pet games, understand the responsibility of caring for an animal. Aside from critiquing the game on the basis of my own personal experiences, I created an online survey/ poll on instagram (if you follow @nintendogs_in_reality you might have participated) asking a series of questions to further my own primary research. 

When creating my survey I used Typeform, an online survey creator with an extensive range of colours and formats available, as I was driven to ensure the questionnaire would match the aesthetic of my Instagram and ultimately be engaging enough to generate engagement. Each week on instagram I asked my audiences various questions regarding their personal engagements with video games, in particularly Nintendogs. 

I asked open-ended narrative questions, to promote my audience to share their genuine thoughts with me regarding the questions I asked, I found great success through my questionnaire on Typeform. 

Segment: My Questionaire

When I asked my respondents if they felt that they started to care for animals more following engaging in virtual pet games, like Nintendogs’ I observed that 85% of the responses I received agreed with the statement. Similarly, when asked if they personally believe that video games ‘benefitted their personal growth, cognitive and emotional ability’ 74% agreed. One participant commented that memory is taught through playing video games, ‘I believe memory is enhanced through playing video games as players are required to remember specific routes, codes etc to help the further in the game.’

Memory is undoubtedly a skill learnt in video games, specifically throughout engagement with Nintendogs. Within the game, players are constantly engaging 

With players consistently engaging with Nintendogs, players are subsequently enabled to gain cognitive experience while subsequently learning new concepts, such as understanding how to adequately care for a pet and to save/ earn money. Nintendogs significantly influence players’ cognitive experiences through the reward system, such as receiving feedback, gifts and even money from completing events and tasks. If a player places first in an event, for example agility, they receive a larger reward – which provides incentive to concentrate and memorise jumps, tricks and tracks to achieve a larger reward. Through remembering specific obstacles, various vocal commands and specific locations to ender various competitions players have an increased chance of succeeding and achieving a sense of achievement. 

I asked responders, if they believed that virtual pet games encouraged children to be respectful of others, responsable, organised and treat others how they wish to be treated. One response that stood out to me was this, ‘ I felt an immense sense of responsibility when playing nintendogs, as the game require players to take care and prohibits cruelty and unacceptable behaviour to your pet. Therefore encourages you to treat your dog with respect.’ 

From the primary data I collected, the notion that video games have beneficial impacts on children and adolecense is prevalent as many of my responders spoke fondly about their appreciation of the game and how it influenced their behaviours towards others, animals and with monetary possessions. 

Dog Betteragency GIF by Kochstrasse™

‘There are plenty of skills i’ve learnt from playing video games. It’s more interactive than watching TV, because there are problems to solve as you’re using your brain’ – Shaun White 

VIdeo gaming, while it is perceived to have negative influences over children and adolescents, has quite a significant positive influence over children especially in terms of children’s development. However, the belief that video games can encourage violence is not unjust, as the nature of influence a a vide game can potentially have is subsequent to the game’s primary motive and intent. For example, Nintendogs’ intended use is to encourage children and adolescents to raise, care for and teach a virtual pet. A game with this nurturing intention, would promote positive change in children’s cognitive ability and empathetic understanding. However, a game where the objective is to steal, inflict harm or kill in game character then there may be a negative impact. However, while games with ‘violent’ and harmful intent may not psychologically benefit children, the game will still develop fine motor stills and ability. 

With this in mind, what should we do? 

Well, we need to understand that technology is heavily apart of our lives, and that there are recommendations (the M, MA+15 rating scheme) that we should use as a guide to ensure our children, friends and ourselves don’t engage with content that we are not ‘ready’ to understand. 

 Technology is developing rapidly and is becoming increasingly more available in the home, and within the society it is important to know the benefits of specific games on child development. It is perceived that engaging in video games can benefit the following:

  1. Problem solving abilities
  2. Enhancing Creativity (Especially through ‘building’ games, like Viva Pinata)
  3. Teaches Kids about various aspects of society, our culture and our world. 
  4. Participation with video gaming promotes healthy competition between peers. 
  5. Improves children’s memory and fine motor skills. 

Video games are wonderful in creating fond childhood memories, whether its the first time you complete a game or if its fighting with a sibling for ‘whose turn it is’. I have such a fond place in my heart for games like Viva Pinata, Nintendogs, Pokemon, Guitar Hero and even more graphic games like Call Of Duty (Especially the Zombie Mode), and certainly believe from primary and secondary data, plus my own experience, that they have the potential to positively impact our lives! 

I hope you enjoyed reading my Digital artefact, as much as I enjoyed creating it. 

BCM215: Blog Post 1 – Benefits of Video Games, My Own Experience.

If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” – Marcus Bridgestocke

chomping pac man GIF
Unknown, Giphy

With more than two billion users worldwide (J.Heiden, B.Braun, K.Muller & B.Egloff 2019), Video gaming has become the dominant leisure-time activity for young adults. Due to the substantial amount of active video game consumers, many conversations have sparked throughout mainstream media regarding the potential effects that specific video games can have on a player’s brains, mind and attitudes.  I remember when I was younger, my parents would constantly warn me about the threats of sitting too close to the TV, ‘One day, you’re going to wake up with square eyes!’ While fortunately, sitting too close to the TV does not make your eyes turn to cubes, as I grew up there were many more debates that circulated engaging with video games, most notable being that ‘video games cause violence’. 

However, if we choose to acknowledge the potential negative psychological effects on game players, we must question whether particular video games can promote positive psychological effects on players. I believe that video games can encourage positive psychological effects on players.

‘Reality is broken. Game designers can fix it.” – Jane McGonigal 

It is no secret that children caring for a real pet have immense positive benefits on the brains, minds and attitudes of children. Caring for pets has been shown to be associated with higher levels of empathy and positive attitudes towards the humane treatment of animals (Tsai, 1997). However, do the positive benefits on children’s minds from caring for pets extend to simulated virtual pet animals? To address this, I will be focusing on popular games, Nintendogs.

Nintendogs Ad: 2005

Nintendogs is a real-time pet simulation video game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo DS. Originally three versions were introduced, Dachshund & Friends, Lab & Friends and Chihuahua & Friends. The adorable game makes raising  your pooch hugely satisfying and rewarding, especially through the offering of feedback. Players spend their time grooming their pets, feeding them, walking them, teaching them tricks, purchase various accessories (such as balls, toys and coloured collars) and even enter tournaments (i.e. Obedience, agility and a frisbee catching challenge). The game is incredibly realistic as players are able to interact with their virtual pets through touch or voice commands, and even connect (through the Nintendo Ds’ Wifi feature) to their friends’ dogs and allow their puppies to play together. 

Premium Dog Food
Nintendog with 3D Glasses Accessory

Players are required to complete all of the objectives and make in game decisions , such as which food should I purchase for my pet? (Wet Food, Dry Food, Diet Food, Premium Canned Food, Natural Dog Food and a variety of healthy/unhealthy dog treats) What shampoo should I use? (Long Hair Shampoo, Short Hair Shampoo, Premium Shine Shampoo)  And how long should I walk my dog to ensure it does not get too tired? Through these various decisions, players are unknowingly developing their own real-life skills, such as patience, ambition to work towards specific goals, earning and saving money and memory skills. 

Within Nintendogs, patience and the ambition to work towards specific goals are learnt through a variety of tasks, such as teaching puppies tricks/skills, waiting for your dog to rest (approx. 1 hour) before walking again or waiting for your dog to mature and walk longer distances. During the time, players make the decision to pat, play, groom, feed and provide water for their pooch to ensure they are well rewarded and in optimal health after a walk/competition. When players complete a task, they are rewarded through bright yellow stars, trainer points, gifts, positive feedback, a happy puppy and a real life sense of achievement.  While the reward system used in Nintendogs has been utilized in a variety of other games, such as Pokemon, Guitar Hero and SIMS, they provide a significant point of learning for children and adolescence. 

“Learning patience can be a difficult experience, but once conquered, you will find life is easier.” – Catherine Pulsifer

With reference to the quote above, learning patience can be a difficult experience, however with the use of video games like Nintendogs, the process of learning is substantially easier. 

While earning money does not necessarily equate to ‘a life well lived’, it is certainly an aspect that can help achieve specific goals, such as attaining knowledge or in relation to Nintendogs, purchasing premium products / houses for you and your virtual puppy.  Virtual money can be earned within the game through two ways, firstly though winning various contents and secondly by selling items. While playing NIntendogs, I personally learnt the importance of saving money through my desire to purchase various good for my puppy and to have enough money to enter competitions. When you had funding, the game was (in my experience) more rewarding to play as you are able to do ‘what you want all of the time’, however, with little money I had to carefully choose which activities / products to buy. As a result, playing Nintendogs has taught me to be cautious about unnecessary spendings, and focus on purchasing goods/ services that I need more than I want. 

Sure, my dog might look healthy and happy if it is wearing a $50 collar, but if it’s eating lower quality dog food it may not feel the same. 

Technology has enabled us to do wonderful things, from medical advancements to new educational tools. As a society, we understand the negative impacts a video game can potentially have over users, however we need to educate ourselves and understand the positive impacts that can be learnt through video games. Nintendogs not only allows kids to experience life skills, as discussed before, but it encourages positive behaviours when caring for ones self, others and pets.

Thank U GIF

If you would like to further your knowledge please check out the link below ! The article provides an interesting insight into how Nintendogs can teach children about the responsibility of caring for a pet through a cute and engaging way.

https://www.wired.com/2007/05/pc-game-helps-t/

Don’t forget to check out @nintendogs_in_reality on Instagram for polls, questionnaires and some awesome photos of our favourite Nintendogs puppies! 

https://www.instagram.com/nintendogs_in_reality/

If you would like to participate in my online questionnaire, please follow the link below:

BCM215: Blog Post 1

“If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.” – Marcus Bridgestocke

chomping pac man GIF
Unknown, Giphy

With more than two billion users worldwide (J.Heiden, B.Braun, K.Muller & B.Egloff 2019), Video gaming has become the dominant leisure-time activity for young adults. Due to the substantial amount of active video game consumers, many conversations have sparked throughout mainstream media regarding the potential effects that specific video games can have on a player’s brains, mind and attitudes.  I remember when I was younger, my parents would constantly warn me about the threats of sitting too close to the TV, ‘One day, you’re going to wake up with square eyes!’ While fortunately, sitting too close to the TV does not make your eyes turn to cubes, as I grew up there were many more debates that circulated engaging with video games, most notable being that ‘video games cause violence’. 

However, if we choose to acknowledge the potential negative psychological effects on game players, we must question whether particular video games can promote positive psychological effects on players. I believe that video games can encourage positive psychological effects on players.

Happy I Like It GIF by swerk
Unknown, Giphy

Throughout my blog mini series, I will be analysing famous video games through my own independent research and the evaluation of secondary sources, to ultimately showcase the positive effects of video games on developing problem-solving abilities, coordination, multitasking abilities, enhancing memory and cognitive socialisation.  

Thank you for reading my first blog post, don’t forget to check out @nintendogs_in_reality on Instagram for polls, questionnaires and some awesome photos of our favourite Nintendogs puppies! 

https://www.instagram.com/nintendogs_in_reality/

If you would like to participate in my online questionnaire, please follow the link below:

BCM 313: Interview Reflection

Throughout ‘BCM313 Future of Work’, we have been exploring the future ways of working that will shape our own future experiences, for example economic, technological and social changes that will reshape how sustainably we work. Particularly, we have focused immensely on the use of reflective narrative practice in ethical self development, to put our understandings in action. We were lucky enough to partake in an interview-based project in collaboration with a working professional of our own choosing! I found the process of deciding who I’d like to interview very exciting as I was able to choose someone that had a profession in my own desired future. The purpose of this narrative interview was to discuss their personal values, how they managed change within the workplace and what they expect from the future of work relevant to their respected industry.

radio GIF
Unknown Author, Giphy

Throughout high school, I have always been interested in pursuing a career in entertainment (specifically radio) and was fortunate enough to have been selected for year 10 work experience at Southern Cross Austereo in 2014, more famously regarded for their radio stations 2DayFM, Hit 106.5 and Triple M. While on work experience, I made many connections that I still keep in touch with today, however the most prominent connection I made was with Glen Styles. When I met Glen, I was blown away by his positive attitude, determination and the joy he had for his job. From my initial interpretation of the corporate work space I did not imagine people to have this profound respect and pride for the work they do. This connection with Glen significantly impacted my career aspirations and became one of the main contributing factors as to why I selected a degree in Arts/ Media and Communications. Glen is the Commercial Production Manager at 2DayFm and TripleM for SCA, despite an incredibly busy schedule, Glen generously agreed to answering a few questions of mine via email and allowed me to reflect on him as a person and understand his personal narrative. While I would have been able to better reflect on Glen’s narrative through an interview, my ability to reflect was limited due to the constraints of and nature of email. 

Knowing I would have to conduct my narrative interview over email, I strived to ask beneficial questions that would allow me to father data on Glen’s experiences in his career through asking questions that promote a narrative response. Typically there are three phases to a typical narrative interview: 

  1. Narrative Phase: A single, carefully constructed narrative question.
  2. Narrative Follow-Up: Where additional questions are asked to gather more information
  3. Optional Second Interview: A series of new questions are asked to reveal specific data, these questions are usually more structured and target specific responses. 

However, due to my interview being conducted over email I did not have the option to complete phases 2 and 3. While it would have been beneficial to do so, with my interviewee already participating a lot (with his busy schedule) I had to make do. Fortunately, Glen’s responses had significant detail into how he interprets his own experiences and allowed me to adequately reflect on Glen’s narrative. Throughout this experience, I was able to understand the limitations of narrative interviewing. Including the excessive time required to consume and collect large amounts of data from narrative interviews, the amount and quality of data is dependent on the verbal qualities of the participant and finally, if patrons are uncomfortable or unwilling to answer questions there can be limited data obtained. 

Professional values are our goals and beliefs that help us establish a behaviour and provide a basis for decision making, of which have significant influence in our work behaviours. Glen stated, ‘The guiding principle I always follow is being passionate about the work and all other sorts of projects that are put in front of me’ (Glen Styles, 2020). He continues by asserting that being motivated to grow in your role is imperative, ‘Growing in the role is constant, it’s an ever growing beast which, to be honest, is one of the best parts of it! It’s insanely motivating’ (Glen Styles, 2020). He emphasises that when interviewing potential employees, he looks for these two values, but most importantly he looks for employee motivation, ‘motivation is the total front runner when it comes to what gives an employee the edge’ (Glen Styles, 2020). 

Work and our working environments are constantly changing, becoming more efficient, sustainable and growing in size. It is important that we as employees are able to adapt to these changes. Glen describes his experience with change during the COVID pandemic, he asserts the importance of having an adequate home studio and finding a balance between real work/ life. As work is constantly changing, it is interesting to understand employees’ expectations from the future of work reluctant to their respected industries. Glen asserted that for the future of work he expects a significant shift to social media, through embracing digital radio and podcasting. He writes, ‘ The biggest game changer though, hands down, has been podcasting. When all revenue was falling in our industry, podcasting actually grew in profitability. We’ve invested huge amounts in this platform as it truly is becoming the next big thing.

From my interview with Glen Styles, I have been able to further understand the journey one can make through various career opportunities, I’ve learnt that knowing your personal values and understanding the values expected off you from your employer is crucial in ensuring that a) you are in the right position for your interests, skill set and motivation and b) you are able to work efficiently and succeed in your desired industry.

mike tyson smile GIF
Mike Tyson, Giphy

Thank you for reading my reflection!

BCM215 – Comment Review!

Asher

Asher’s Digital Artefact explores the concept of photography modes in video games, with a specific focus on photo modes in Steep and Skate 3. Asher’s is utalising his personal background in skating, snowboarding and photography to create a Digital Artefact that is an engaging experiment between photo modes in video games and his own impressive real life photographs. His prototype content has had great success, generating over 70 comments on his Reddit Thread in R/Steep.

With his final presentation taking the form of a video essay, I provided Asher with a link to an article written by Cindy Poremba, of which outlines how video game photo mode features have in a sense redefined the conventions of photography and even the conventions surrounding the camera itself. I provided him with this link, as I believe it may assist Asher in reaching conclusions between the influence of photo modes in video games and photography in real life.

Overall, Asher has utilised his own personal experiences to create an engaging Digital Artefact.

Aliah

Aliah’s Digital Artefact is a playful comparison showcasing the level of skill, engagement, participation and overall experiance of playing popular video games from the perspective of a) an experienced gamer (Jacky) and b) an inexperienced player (Aliah). Following receiving feedback, they have decided to change their original idea of creating 3x 20 minute videos (YouTube) to a series of blog posts where they will highlight their overall opinions regarding each experiance with the game and provide a rating out of 10.

I really like the progress of Aliah’s DA, not only has she made significant use of the feedback she has been provided with, for example creating blog posts instead of a YouTube series, but she has also responded to changes in her audience’s preference, i.e. the shift in popularity between Fall Guys to Among Us (which I believe was a great idea for her!).

I think it is important for Aliah and Jacky to focus their attention to gaining audience attention, to assist in this area I provided a link outlining how to best use media platforms, specifically Reddit, to gain responses from audiences. In this link, it outlines how to choose specific threads to gain the best traction (for her project I would recomend r/AmongUs).

Overall, Aliah has created a highly engaging and meaningful Digital Artefact, and I am excited to see the end result!

BCM215 – Beta Pitch

Welcome to my BCM215 Beta Presentation, I have created a video outlining the progress of my Digital Artefact, @Nintendogs_in_reality (on Instagram) and my 1st Blog Post.

How did you draw on subject materials including lectures and reading?

Through out my research I aim to express the notion of play is active, productive and above all beneficial for players.  I drew on materials from Week 8, of which examines Joost Raessen’s analysis of computer games – in particularly their participatory media cultures. A participatory culture, to my understanding, is concept where individuals (the public) do not act solely as consumers, but as creators/producers.  From this week’s focus on participatory cultures, I was able to reinforce my own belief that gaming is an interactive process of which have significant positive psychological influences on players. In relation to Nintendogs, my main area of concern, the games design is created in a way that players can actively engage with a virtual pet and learn the responsibilities of caring for something/someone, such as feeding, grooming and playing with the pet.

Changes I made to my Project Utility:

Through out the processes of direct and indirect feedback, I decided that I needed to make adjustments to better reach my target audience. Firstly, I decided to significantly change my Instagram aesthetic. Initially, I used a lot of graphics from the Nintendogs game, for example screenshots of the dogs. I also posted large quotes, of which were excerpts from my first blog post. However, I decided that the bold, colourful aesthetic was not sufficient and changed it to posts of the dogs in real life then a second photo of the games animated version (tying in the theme of Nintendogs_In_Reality). I started to post questions in my Instagram Stories and had a moderate success, I received 3 responses from peers outlining their experiance with the game and then decided to post these responses as anonymous aesthetic images. Overall, I this change greatly benefitted my Instagram – as I have recieved a total of 23 Followers (from the previous 4) and an average of 9 likes per post. Subsequently after sharing my Questionnaire on Instagram, I have also had 2 responses.

Thank you for watching/reading and let me know if you have any feedback!

BCM215 -Feedback!

In BCM215 we have been focusing on the gaming industry, particularly creating digital artefacts (DA’s) to form judgements about various aspects within this industry, for example, I am focusing on the psychological effects of gaming on children (the classic, ‘video games cause violence’). As our digital artefacts are taking place online, we are able to receive feedback from a variety of sources, which can help us when we are lost for ideas of what to do next or even alert us to something that we might have missed/ should focus on. In this blog post, I will discuss the feedback I provided on Asher, Aliah and Emma’s projects.

Animated GIF
(Unknown, Simpsons Source : Giphy)

Asher’s Project – Photo Modes in Video Games

Asher’s digital artefact explores the nature of photo mode gameplay. In his project, he is focusing on popular skiing and snowboarding game Steep, Skate 3, FarCry 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2. His project focuses specifically on Photo Mode as a tool itself and its relevance with the game and community of which engage with photo mode content. 

As Asher is presenting his findings in a Video Essay, I provided Asher with a link to a YouTube video of which describes how to take the best photos when using photo mode. In the video, the author discusses what lighting effects, angles, positioning of character and what views to utilise to create the best photo mode images. 

Asher’s project has great potential and I am looking forwards to seeing what he creates! 

Aliah’s Project – Fall Guys 

Aliah’s collaborative project with her peer Jacky is a three-part video series showcasing the behaviours of experienced and inexperienced game players reacting to the multiplayer game, Fall Guys. She discusses the notion of ‘mimicry’, participation in spectating others to develop skills, and described how the inexperienced player will try to develop skills and become more advanced. 

As I am an inexperienced gamer myself, I am really excited to see Aliah’s project in action. When providing her with feedback, I encouraged her decision to follow a similar filming style to YouTuber PewDiePie. To help her achieve this, I sent her a YouTube link outlining the various creative techniques to best communicate to audiences, for example, what editing software to use, music choices and special effects. 

Looking forward to seeing how she and Jacky decided to display their project and to see the differences between players!

Emma’s Project – Looking at Different Gaming Channels and Games as a Non-Gamer

It is often hard for an individual who does not participate in gaming in understanding the appeal and fascination of participating and spectating gaming on YouTube. In Emma’s project, she will be discussing this appeal by researching various gaming YouTube channels and playing various games to provide insight into the motivations behind the gaming industry on YouTube. 

As her chosen format will consist of reviewing a YouTube channel/game each week, I suggested that she could review another YouTube player playing a game then subsequently play the same game herself to see if her opinions change regarding the YouTubers style of playing and the game itself. As it would be hard for her to get access to all of the games discussed, I provided her with a link to the famous YouTube gamer – PewDiePie’s 2015 ‘3 Free Games’ series. 

Overall, each digital artefact I reviewed has significant potential and I am looking forward to seeing the finished results! 

Appreciation Feedback GIF by Wintershall Dea
(Appreciation Feedback, Source : Giphy )

Self Reflection:

How did you draw on subject materials including lectures and reading? In my comments, I mentioned the importance of schedulling (Week 4 Content) to ensure an adequate feedback loop occurs. With a strong focus in all digital artefacts being placed on engaging with audiences, it is important to ensure there is time to make adjustments based on audience feedback.

What actionable suggestions did you make: With each comment I made, I tried to incorporate at least one actionable suggestion. For Asher’s I provided a YouTube video with examples of how to create beautiful Photo Mode photos. For Aliah’s, I provided a YouTube link of which provided examples and softwares to help her create engaging and well edited videos. Finally, for Emma, I provided her with a well known series on YouTube of free games that she can use in her digital artefact.

How useful was your suggestion and how might you be more engaging and providing better feedback in the second round of comments? In terms of my commenting this round, I think I provided a basic overview of how I thought their idea sounded, a reminder to ensure there is time for feedback loops to occur and provided an area of recommendation (i.e. providing the YouTube videos to assist in prototyping). In the future commenting, I will provide a more catered comment to each DA, opposed to my current treatment of “I really loved this” and didn’t provide any actual feedback/ advice.

What did you learn? I learnt that commenting and providing helpful, insightful and ‘good’ feedback is actually really hard. As I really liked all of the DA’s I provided feedback for, I found it hard to find anything wrong with their ideas, or in the same sense anything I could add that would help the creators of the DA’s.

What did you get out of the experience? From the experience of commenting I was able to understand the stresses of providing feedback for someone, while also being exposed to new areas for my own Digital Artefact research.

Psychological Effects of Gaming on Children (The Pitch)

With more than two billion users worldwide (J.Heiden, B.Braun, K.Muller & B.Egloff 2019), Video gaming has become the dominant leisure-time activity for young adults. Due to the substantial amount of active video game consumers, many conversations have sparked through out mainstream media regarding the potential effects that specific video games can have on player’s brains, mind and attitudes. Infamously, the most famous video game related debate circulates between graphic first-person shooter games and the believed encouragement or in a sense activism for real life violence and aggression (an example of the ‘Video games cause violence’ debate is evident in India’s proposition to ban violent games due to the potential social effects towards players).

(Unknown Creator Source: imgflip.com)

However, if we choose to acknowledge the potential negative psychological effects on game players, we must question whether particular video games can promote positive psychological effects on players. In my digital artifact I will propose an positive effect of video games on adolescence, I will do this by researching the increased levels of empathy in children following caring and participating in popular Nintendo DS game – Nintendogs.

video game dog GIF by emma baynes
( ‘Video Game Dog’ by Emma Baynes’ 2019 Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/greenbaynes-emma-baynes-nintendogs-X96gTYHWiTfs2wBs9V)

Through researching Nintendogs, a game that held a significant portion of my childhood hours, I will hold a greater advantage to achieve my aim. That being to understand the capabilities of computer-simulated virtual pet games on children’s empathetic understanding and attitudes.  In relation to the platform on which I will present my findings, I have decided to create a video essay and blog outlining the main claims in a selection of published articles and comments on existing information/journal extracts within gaming psychology. I will do this through Instagram, where I will engage with audiences and post snippets, quotes and highlights from my WordPress blogs and other research.

(Unknown Author Source: Google.com)

 Instagram will be beneficial to enable me to experiment with various post formats to engage with specific audiences, through the use of commenting and Hashtags. As Instagram has a large audience for Animal Lovers (with some specific pets gaining 8.9 million followers) of which I believe would be interested in my research, I could use the ‘#Animal’ and “#Animallover’ hashtag to generate traction to my own page. Subsequently due to the gaming focus of my research I will also be able to branch into audience members within this category through the hashtag ‘#gaming’ (of which has 44.3 million posts) and posting content relevant to this category (for example potential game play from Nintendogs).

‘Nintendogs’ is a widely successful video game concept, with over 23.96 million copies sold worldwide (as of March, 2015) finding information regarding the psychological influences of virtual pet games should not be difficult. I have found some potential academic sources that I plan to use in my research:

  1. ‘The Association Between Video Gaming and Psychological Functioning’ (J.Heiden, B.Braun, K.Muller & B.Egloff 2019)
  2. “Interacting with a Computer-Simulated Pet: Factors Influencing Children’s Humane Attitudes and Empathy” (L.Tsai, D.Kaufman 2014)
  3. “Our Children and Other Animals: The Cultural Construction of Human-Animal Relations in Childhood” (M. Cole, K. Stewart 2015)

Overall, through out this digital artefact I strive to address the positive psychological impacts (if any) of adolescence and children engaging with virtual pet games to promote empathy. I will showcase my findings in an engaging and insightful manner to create conversations with my audience regarding my aim and ultimately state that despite the negative connotations or taboo of certain gaming on adolescent minds, video gaming is highly beneficial to individuals and to increase individual learning.

Here is a video I created summarising my pitch!