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BCM214

BCM214 DA

When designing this Digital Artefact it was vital to consider the critical reflection elements within the research process. For Travel Vault and the personal Digital Artefact that accompanied our design, this was clear. 

The aim of this digital artefact is to promote Australian local travel through the use of a media PSA. This PSA’s aim was to show the beautiful landscapes of our local backyard whilst tying this into our groups project, TravelVault. Throughout this research process, we as TravelVault have made it clear how the use of our app is extremely beneficial to the Australian travel in a pandemic. It highlights the best areas to visit, hidden gems and the best insta-worthy photo opportunities whilst also tying this into how we can stay safe while holidaying in a pandemic. This goal remained true within my PSA. I have attempted to clearly define why we must travel within Australia, focusing on these core values of TravelVault. I have linked to the clear theme of landscape and sightseeing as this was heavily focused on throughout our research process. 

Within this PSA, I have juxtaposed a range and variety of images and landscapes. This was to ensure that the message that I was attempting to get across was received. This message was regarding how Australian travel can be diverse and does not have to be defined in one way. I believe this was expressly shown within the array of images used. For example, I have utilised video footage of Australian beaches, outback and city to show that no matter what personality an individual is, they may experience the wonderful travel options that Australia has to offer.is ties in directly with Travel Vault’s main message that you don’t have to go far to find what you’re looking for. Whilst landscape imagery was key in the construction of this project, COVID safety also remained a priority.

Within our group work creating TravelVault, COVID safety was the timely and relevant issue that we had in the forefront of our minds throughout. This concept was carried throughout the DA process, with references to staying safe camouflaged in why we should be travelling Australia. For example, whilst showing the beautiful scenery to draw responders in, the voiceover of the PSA states that we are in a time where safety is paramount and the main reason travellers should be considering Australia as their number one travel option Is in order to keep their community safe. 

The choice to use the media platform of a PSA video was one that I believe tied my project together. The main purpose of a PSA is to draw someone’s attention to a cause or relevant issue. This was extremely useful as COVID-19 is something that must be discussed and considered when planning holidays and travel. Within this personal DA,, there was a clear aim to draw. The Australian traveller to their own backyard, with their personal and community safety at the forefront of their mind. I believe this was successful in the creation of my 60 second PSA as the viewer can understand why we must travel within our own means and how we can do this in a safe manner. This is what Travel Vault is all about. 

Bibliography

Calderwood, L.U. and Soshkin, M., 2019. The travel and tourism competitiveness report 2019. World Economic Forum, viewed 20th March 2021, <http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_TTCR_2019.pdf

Magano, J. & Zulmira Nascimento Cunha, M. 2019, ‘Mobile Apps and Travel Apps on the tourism journey’, African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure, vol. 8, no. 5, viewed 19th March 2021, <https://www.ajhtl.com/uploads/7/1/6/3/7163688/article_60_vol_8_5__2019_portugal.pdf>

Ramos-Soler, I., Martínez-Sala, A. & Campillo-Alhama, C. 2019, “ICT and the Sustainability of World Heritage Sites. Analysis of Senior Citizens’ Use of Tourism Apps”, Sustainability, vol. 11, no. 11, viewed 20th March 2021, <https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/docview/2322182072?accountid=15112&pq-origsite=primo>

Tra.gov.au. 2021. Australian tourism investment and COVID-19 impacts | Tourism Research Australia. [online] Available at: <https://www.tra.gov.au/data-and-research/reports/tourism-investment-monitor-2019-20/australian-tourism-investment-and-covid-19-impacts&gt; [Accessed 20th March 2021].

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BCM222

BCM222 Visual Pitch

References for Images

Greenbank, E., 2021. Refugees in the media: Villains and victims – Language on the Move. [online] Language on the Move. Available at: <https://www.languageonthemove.com/refugees-in-the-media-villains-and-victims/&gt; [Accessed 10 May 2021].

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BCM212

BCM212 Research Proposal

Welcome to my BCM212 research proposal pitch! The topic I will be researching throughout this time will be in direct correlation to whether there has been an increase in the use of streaming platforms due the pandemic. These platforms may include the likes of Netflix, YouTube, TikTok or Instagram reels. I will be aiming my research directly at the BCM212 cohort and hope to find a clear reason for the increase of these platforms due to the individuals increased activity online.  

This topic is timely, relevant and achievable die to the following factors. Throughout the last year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a global issue that does not discriminate against who it affects. This means that as individuals, we are all affected in some kind of way, whether it be monetary, our careers, our family lives or our use of technology as a means of connecting in isolation periods. Due to this timely and relevant factor of the pandemic, it is interesting as a researcher to delve into the inevitable increased use of technology such as phones and hand-held devices as a means for not only communication, but entertainment as well. This research is extremely achievable as I will be using the likes of surveys, questionnaires and interviews to formulate a hypothesis and informed conclusion based on the research I will find. There has also been great interest shown in the topic, with over 10 votes given on the twitter poll within the first hour of it being posted. I truly do believe that due to the pandemic, individuals aged 18-27 studying BCM212 would have increased their streaming services for the main reasons revolving around entertainment and the increased accessibility and broadened variety of the services.

 

This topic has already been tackled by numerous other sources, proving that it is a timely and relevant subject, worth delving further into. In the below display of these sources that have been primarily researched, it was vital to display a range of results to ensure that results shown are widespread, unbiased and also display a good range of evidence types. 

Literature Review

Tagrid Lemenager’s Journal article ‘COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions and Online Media Consumption in Germany’ (2020)  displays a brief description of the virus outbreak but swiftly draws attention to media consumption and its increase globally. The acute focus on Germany as a nation shows relevance not only to this research, but gives evidence that this topic is widely researched globally and its relevant in a widespread nature. Reasons for the increase of streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix and TikTok were found through surveys “including 20 questions asking participants about their online media consumption (i.e., gaming, pornography, social media, information research, and streaming” (Lemenager, 2020). Lemenager’s research therefore allows a deep enough insight into the streaming world through the eyes of a pandemic-affected world. 

Furthermore, Laura Aymerich-Franch’s research article ‘COVID-19 lockdown: impact on psychological well-being and relationship to habit and routine modification’ (2020) correlates Lemenagers findings in the sense that they have displayed a direct link between the COVID-19 lockdown and its impact to everyday routine and habits, including that of streaming service viewing behaviour. Aymerich-Franch’s findings show consistency in research results in support of the increase of streaming servcies. Research states that a large increase in streaming TV and social media consumption was identified. The increase could be “potentially attributed to the needs for overcoming isolation, finding alternative ways of being connected with friends and relatives, and also to the fact of having less ongoing social activities” (Aymerich-Franch, 2020). This research therefore allows us to find correlations between findings and also increases relevance to continue to the topic at hand. 

Whilst academic sources are vital to encourage sound, unbiased research, The BBC’s article ‘TV watching and online streaming surge during lockdown’ (2020) written by Amor Rajan, gives specific and relevant reasons for this increase in streaming services. Whilst much of this research correlates with previous authors findings, it is vital to show a range of results, Rajan providing readers with just this. Whilst we see an obvious increase in these viewing habits, Rajan puts to the news platform’s audience that these services existed before lockdown and whilst there was a “28 million audience viewership surge” (Rajan,2020)  in 2020, the panic of lockdown quickly subsided to get back to a “new normal”(Rajan, 2020). This therefore provides a new finding that the increase of streaming services during COVID-19 was purely due to a “panic-watching frenzy” rather than any other psychological behaviour change as previous authors have suggested. 

To sum up findings in a succinct but effective way, Ashish Goel’s online article ‘Social Media in the Times of COVID-19’ (2020) information regarding how the global lockdown and the curtailment of physical contact has allowed home-bound individuals to connect and gain more entertainment through the use of media. However, Goel does not shy away from researching the adverse effects of the increase of streaming platforms over the world, also communicating how naive audiences may be prone to biased information, lack of exercise due to online streaming and cyberbullying. Goel’s article provides a unique look into the obvious reasons for streaming but pushes necessary boundaries in their research when it comes to looking at the adverse facts, which helps to keep research unbiased and consistent. 

Reviewing these sources has been incredibly interesting and valuable to the research process as it has allowed perspective from many different sources and has created intrigue for the researcher to increase on these findings and relate them directly to the BCM212 cohort to bring forward their own reasons for their inevitable increase of streaming viewership in the COVID19 pandemic. 

Bibliography

Aymerich-France, L., 2020. COVID-19 lockdown: impact on psychological well-being and relationship to habit and routine modifications. pp.1-10.

Goel, A. and Gupta, L., 2020. Social Media in the Times of COVID-19. JCR: Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, 26(6), pp.220-223.

Lemenager, T., Neissner, M., Koopmann, A., Reinhard, I., Georgiadou, E., Müller, A., Kiefer, F. and Hillemacher, T., 2020. COVID-19 Lockdown Restrictions and Online Media Consumption in Germany. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(1), p.14.

Rajan, A., 2020. TV watching and online streaming surge during lockdown. [online] BBC News. Available at: <https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-53637305&gt; [Accessed 19 March 2021].

Categories
BCM 114

BCM212 Introduction

Hello all! It really doesn’t feel like i’m heading into my final semster of my second year at UOW! Once again, my name is Tegan Sereno, I am a 22 year old Communications and Media student who has a passion for travel, books and Japanese food.

When I reflect about my time at uni, it also comes hand-in-hand with thinking about who I was before i started my studying journey. I thought uni would be a scary place that would transform my life into a continuous study session. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Uni has proven to be a place that has enlightened me on so many aspects of life. Socially and educationally. I feel like I have broadened my research and communication skills while maintaining my personal life at the same time.

After reflecting on what I thought university would be like and what it turned out to be like for me in the end, I thought it would be interesting to ask a family member who has not studied what their thoughts are on the uni experience. My mum is a person who hasn’t been to university but has found their passions through a career in travel, her being a flight attendant for QANTAS. When i asked her what her thoughts are on unversity as a construct, she stated that although it’s extremely helpful and useful in life, she doesn’t beleive it is a one-way ticket to success. I definitely agree and i’m so lucky that it turns out university was the right path for me!

Categories
BCM241

Netflix and the True Crime obsession

There’s something immensely intriguing about true crime stories. What really happened to JonBenét Ramsay? Where is Madeline McCann? And what was that obsession with binge-listening to murder podcasts at your desk in late 2014? (And always, if you’ve moved beyond Serial.)

But why are we so interested in the tragedies of others? Why do we hypothesise and create all these theories? Are we actually just bat shit crazy/morbid AF? We asked psychologist Meredith Fuller because at this stage we’re questioning our sanity, too.

Part of the reason that texts – books, television, film, art – please us is that they appeal to our universal sense of human nature. We can explore other parts of our personality that we might not openly embrace but can acknowledge are there.

Fuller explains that if all we ever consume in a textual form is true crime and we won’t watch anything else, then it can skew our moral sense.

“It upsets the balance of giving you an insight into evil. It’s like that argument that it’s not good for young people to watch a lot of violence because it can encourage an inner violence within them.” (2020)

But, let’s be honest. Even if you do think you’re going OTT, you’re probably not going to stop the Netflix auto-roll on Making a Murderer anytime soon. But it’s always good to break things up with a Friends re-run now and again… or, you know, a book.

Categories
BCM215

BCM215 Digital Artefact

Abstract

Within this contextual report and Digital Artefact process, it was the goal of the researcher to critically analyse a game media text, paratexts, platforms and practises. This research was undertaken through the methods of observational research and the analysis of social and academic sources online. This research of a game media texts specifically looked at the relevance of horror games within the game community and utilised the platform of Instagram to draw out why game users are so attracted to platforms that are designed to initiate fear and terror within. As previously stated, Instagram was the main platform for research and observation, with regular posts being used to draw out audience reactions and comments to add to the basis of the hypothesis and results of the research. 

Methodology

The methodology utilised to undertake this research was primarily observational through the use of Instagram posts and reddit to gage the reactions and movements of horror game users. This was done through the following of other horror gaming pages for inspiration and to increase the presence of @the.horrorfiles online. This allowed my research to gain followers and increased the chance of user interaction, therefore starting the iteration and feedback loop process. Although my Digital Artefact was focused around observational research through Instagram, research was also assisted by scholarly and academic sources in order to gain a more formalised view on the topic. A review of three academic sources was undertaken to gain a broader view of opinion across social and academic viewpoints and allowed the researcher to come to a non-biased, fulfilled result to the research question and research process. 

Results/ Discussion

Within the body of the research we have found that there are various reasons that game media users are attracted to horror games, mainly surrounding the feelings of controlled fear, the trending factor horror games in the media and the similarities between games and movies.

Through observation and academic research conducted, two major findings were uncovered. The first revolves around the ideology that game users love a sense of controlled fear in that they can feel all the feelings of danger without actually being unsafe. The second major finding was that game users interact with horror media due to its trending nature and popularity online creating an interest surrounding what is disturbing, a common phenomenon amongst what is commonly viewed as scary or gory. 

Firstly, the researcher analyses the observational features of research, primarily found within the DA’s Instagram page, reddit and user comments/ reactions. One of the main aspects of this digital research process was to utilise the audience in order to critically analyse why users play horror games. By asking questions of the Instagram horror community through ‘stories’ (Appendix) and regular Instagram posts. Answers were found regarding specific instances of why these game users play the games they do (Appendix). The most common answer that showed to be prevalent within the research conducted was the users interacted with horror games due to the aspect of adrenaline and fear from a safer vantage point. This ideology of “controlled fear” was also proven correct within the interview conducted with Jemma Harrison* (Appendix) within statements such as “I only play scary games to actually scare myself because I know I won’t get hurt” and “they are the closest thing to danger as you would want to get”.  

One of the main concepts that was researched throughout this Digital Artefact process was the social utility, feedback loop process and iteration stages of research. This can be shown in a dramatic way within the beta process below. The social utility of this research process was simply to investigate and provide gamers and non-gamers alike with an interesting insight into why horror games exist and what draws us to them. The aim was to provide an entertaining and sharp social platform that could be accessed by anyone and anywhere. Instagram was chosen due to it’s accessibility and ease in posting.

After conducting this primary research throughout the Digital Artefact process, the next necessary level to approach was the utilise scholarly and academic research to support the findings that were unravelled throughout the primary research process. Online article ‘Nothing to Fear? An Analysis of College Students’ Fear Experiences With Video Games’ was analysed in order to draw connections between horror game media and the users that interact with them.  Teresa Lynch and Nicole Martins of Indiana University looked at college students’ experiences with horror video games and found that about half of their sample (53 per cent) had tried playing such games and been frightened by them. They also found that: horror games produce these fright responses by targeting our evolved defence system (evolution has shaped us to be easily scared by the dangers that threatened our ancestors). Users being paratexts to the game and actually bringing the game to life is what makes games scary so investigating why we do this continually and on a somewhat addictive level will be incredibly beneficial. 

Pie Graph showing a display of game media users and their attraction to horror games

 ‘Gaming Horror’s horror: Representation, Regulation and Affect in Survival Horror Videogames’ by Tanya Krzywinska also proved to be incredibly useful in the search for answers regarding the psychology behind media paratexts and gameplay. As Krzywinska states “Conceptions of affect provide an important dimension to our understanding of how Horror has formed around certain enticements, patterns and sensations: this more-than-meat or -machine, sensing and definitional corporeality is fundamental to consciousness, experience, creativity and agency”. Achieving an in-depth review in to the gaming user’s mind, the online article helps in uncovering the psychological factors leading up to game play and the reasons behind why these games are created. The quote “Horror art generally seeks to disguise the representational frame that helps to mark it out as fiction as a powerful means to intensify its affective effect, a trick that requires novel textual deftness to mislead hermeneutic expectations; games follow this suit” allows us to view game media as not only a text but as an artform that has it’s own specificites, tastes, paratexts and fandoms. Why these fandoms partake within the genre is as found. Videogames are systems built around a set of outcomes and arrays of feedback events that are contingent on a player’s momentary responses and (ideally well-timed and precise) actions. Feedback might be procedural yet it is also representational, symbolic and sensory. It provides negative and positive reinforcement which works invisibly on affect’s subtle body (odd then that game culture has been characterized, cued by William Gibson, as driven by a desire to be rid of the body).  A leading pleasure of games is that they provide an ordered, predictable system which afford players a multi-sensory, clearly demarcated affirmation of their skill, competency and autonomy, thereby providing a counterweight to an arbitrary, unpredictable and anxiety-inducing real world. 

 

Just one of the many sources utilised to come to the conclusions displayed within the results section of the digital artefact

In conclusion, my analytical framework of investigation, research and iteration cycles throughout my whole digital artefact process has, in the end, highlighted direct answers on what the research intended on finding out. It was found that game media users were attracted to horror media due to the ideologies of controlled fear and interest in the unknown or dangerous.

This blog post contains the main body of text for research purposes, however, a cover page, index and bibliography is included in the official submissions.

Categories
BCM215

My BCM215 DA

Hi Everyone! Here is my BCM215 DA link! Exciting stuff!

https://www.instagram.com/the.horrorfiles/

Categories
BCM241

Why True Crime Podcasts Are So Effective

True crime is a popular genre of podcasts, but why? Does everyone just love murder and serial killers (don’t answer that)? We dive into the science and drivers propelling the popularity of true crime as a category.

According to Scott Bonn, professor of criminology at Drew University and author of the book, Why We Love Serial Killers, true crime “triggers the most basic and powerful emotion in all of us—fear.” This is the primary driver of the popularity of true crime novels, television shows, and podcasts. People look at true crime as a way to face their fears without actually experiencing the danger or trauma associated with them. This controlled exposure to fear is a way to face the possibility of crime and subconsciously develop strategies and coping mechanisms to handle it in the event a similar situation comes to pass.

In a study conducted by social psychologist Amanda Vicary, it was found that women tend to prefer true crime topics more than men. As an example, the Wine and Crime podcast, which gets 500,000 downloads per month, has an audience of 85% women. What Vicary discovered in her research of a variety of true crime books, podcasts, and television shows is that women tend to be drawn to the psychological content of true crime stories. They are interested in understanding why such a crime would be committed. In addition, Vicary found that women seem to “like reading about survival, whether it was preventing or surviving a crime.” Her hypothesis is that because women are more likely to be a victim of crime than men, they are interested in using true crime stories to learn how to prevent it.

Dr. Mayer further explained this phenomenon as he connected watching true crime as an extension of people’s inability to look away from a disaster or tragedy. His research indicates that when people become aware of a violent situation or disaster, it “stimulates the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for emotions, survival tactics and memory). The amygdala then sends signals to the regions of the frontal cortex that are involved in analyzing and interpreting data. Next, the brain evaluates whether this data (awareness of the disaster) is a threat…, thus judgment gets involved. As a result, the ‘fight or flight’ response is evoked.” Mayer states that the need to prevent harm from a disaster or tragedy is also behind people’s need to “Google what happened” after hearing about or seeing an accident on the highway. He said, “This acts as a preventive mechanism to give us information on the dangers to avoid and to flee from.”

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BCM241

Why Do We Love True Crime?

Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like there’s a new—and wildly successful—book, podcast, or show devoted to a crime.The genre is so huge that Netflix—whose offerings in this arena include The Keepers, Evil GeniusWild Wild CountryMaking a Murderer, and The Staircase—even created a parody true crime series (American Vandal). Which raises the question: Why are we so obsessed with true crime? Here are just a couple of reasons!

BECAUSE EVIL FASCINATES US.

The true crime genre gives people a glimpse into the minds of people who have committed what forensic psychologist Dr. Paul G. Mattiuzzi calls “a most fundamental taboo and also, perhaps, a most fundamental human impulse”—murder. “In every case,” he writes, “there is an assessment to be made about the enormity of evil involved.” This fascination with good versus evil, according to Mantell, has existed forever; Dr. Elizabeth Rutha, a licensed clinical psychologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, told AHC Health News that our fascination begins when we’re young. Even as kids, we’re drawn to the tension between good and evil, and true crime embodies our fascination with that dynamic.

BECAUSE WE CAN’T LOOK AWAY FROM A “TRAINWRECK.”

“Serial killers tantalize people much like traffic accidents, train wrecks, or natural disasters,” Scott Bonn, professor of criminology at Drew University and author of Why We Love Serial Killerswrote at TIME. “The public’s fascination with them can be seen as a specific manifestation of its more general fixation on violence and calamity. In other words, the actions of a serial killer may be horrible to behold but much of the public simply cannot look away due to the spectacle.”

WE’RE GLAD WE’RE NOT THE VICTIM …

Psychologists say one of the main reasons we’re obsessed with true crime is because it gives us an opportunity to feel relieved that we’re not the victim. Tamron Hall, host of ID’s Deadline: Crime, identified that sense of reprieve at ID’s IDCon last year. “I think all of you guys watch our shows and say, ‘But for the grace of God, this could happen to me’ … This could happen to anyone we know,” she said.

In a weird way, these true crime stories—as horrific as they are—end up being comforting. “While living in a world where there is rapid social, political, economic, and technological change,” Andrist said, “true crime comforts people by assuring them that their long-held ideas about how the world works are still useful.”

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BCM206

THE INTERNET OF THINGS: FROM NETWORKED OBJECTS TO ANTICIPATORY SPACES

“In simple terms, the IoT stands for the connection of usually trivial material objects to the internet – ranging from tooth brushes, to shoes or umbrellas” (Mitew, T. 2014).

We could describe the regular household as a representation of the impact of “The Internet of Things,” which is a term to describe the “ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction” (Wikipedia. 2019).

Companies are now single-handedly using the IoT as an advantage to connect households with multiple devices from the same brand.

Chet Pipkin, the CEO and founder of Belkin has a very positive outlook on the future of connecting technologies in the house, stating “The world is made up of trillions of things — cars, planes, jet engines, exercise equipment, the items on my desk. And then there’s the Internet. This category is about all of these things and the Internet, as we know it, coming together. Anything I can do over the Internet blended with my things” (Forbes, 2014).

As technology becomes more and more integrated into our networked home, we find that everything can be connected, making home-life just a little bit more easy to control. Is that such a bad thing?

Forbes. 2014. Everything Is Connected: What ‘The Internet Of Things’ Means Now. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorikozlowski/2014/04/23/everything-is-connected-what-the-internet-of-things-means-now/#372912f725a1. Accessed 1 November 2020]

Mitew, T. (2014) ‘Do Objects Dream of an Internet of Things?’, Fibreculture Journal, 2014 (23), 1-25.
http://twentythree.fibreculturejournal.org/fcj-168-do-objects-dream-of-an-internet-of-things/ Accessed 1 November 2020]

Wikipedia. 2020. Internet of Things. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things. [Accessed 1 November 2020].