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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/

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BCM215

Beta Contextual Comments

  1. https://toriswagyblogs.wordpress.com/2020/10/15/project-beta-3/comment-page-1/?unapproved=248&moderation-hash=b0980ae53ba162977901ffbd469aaf4e#comment-248

Hi lovely! To start off, I just wanted to say that I really liked how refreshing it was to see the layout of your video. The transitions were really nice, you were on camera and very well-spoken so I think that really assisted in the flow of what you were saying and it helped with my concentration on the video itself. Moving on from that initial point, I like how you have shown a clear update from your pitch to your beta. I think it’s very easy to do a pitch and then forget about it until your DA is due but you’ve really shown your audience how you’ve progressed with your research and you’ve also added further points amongst it which you want to investigate further which is really cool. The one thing I would say is that I’d love to see more of your research and what academic articles have to say about it compared to your opinion. I did find this one that I thought would be cool to check out and even slyly asking your friends about it during a stream could be a good observational method for your study? https://myslu.stlawu.edu/~clee/docs/lol.champion.usage.fdg.2015.pdf
This article keeps its tone casual so it’s super easy to read but super informative at the same time! Hope it helps you xx

Comment:

Tori’s Beta video and post first struck me to be very easy to read and understand. I really liked the way she approached the video (sitting at the camera and having a casual chat) as it made what she was saying easier to relate to. At times the focus was a bit lost along the way but for the most part, the tone of the video was good. Tori aims to discuss League of Legends and the ‘skins’ that one can acquire through the game and why these are so popular. I tried to be as helpful and focused on the research aspect of things as possible as I know this is a major focus of the beta process. I suggested that Tori has a couple of academic sources under her belt and even suggested one myself that I thought was interesting after I read it. I suggested that she use the live streams she is doing to get her friends opinions as this is a great observational tool. I believe my comment was helpful in the sense that I provided, good actionable, simple solutions to heighten her experience with creating her beta. Her research made me look up ‘League of Legends’ and made me interested in playing it. I learnt something new about the online gaming community and was drawn in by her fun, casual tone. I think I improved within my comments as I was more specific and felt more educated on providing feedback.

2. https://floramaryliu.wordpress.com/project-beta/

Hi lovely! Firstly I would just like to say that I really love the name of your DA. It’s really catchy and it instantly caught my eye. It really suits what you are trying to do so well and I think that it’s such a great starting point. Just in terms of your Digital Artefact, I would have loved to see a project recap plan just so I knew what you were trying to achieve before coming into it blind but as I read through I got the jist of things as you spoke about your first Mario Kart blog. I think the first comment I would like to make regarding your project would be to not only use your peer comments but start commenting on reddit forums as this topic is one that would be extremely popular amongst gaming fandoms and internet fans alike. I think that you would find that there is much discussion surrounding the comparison of new and old technology especially in the gaming realm. I think you will find that it’s really valuable to search other platforms as I know how hard it can be to gain traction when we start from scratch on these things. To help you out, I did a bit of background research and while I’m sure you’ve had a look at these sources, I thought this one was particularly useful after having a read through it. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1354856507081955. It’s really jammed packed with info but once you break it down, it has some good info on the camparison of gaming media from old to new and the affect this has on society. Good luck with everything! 

Comment:

Flora’s blog post was initially quite bare. I couldn’t find a space to leave a comment on her blog and her video wasn’t initially up, however, the information she had provided in the contextual piece provided me with enough information to add some suggestions and feedback throughout. Flora’s visual and formal features of her DA such s the colours and name of the blog really stood out to me. They were very well-thought out and drew me in to research more. I tried to focus on the further research that could be undertaken with this project. I provided an online journal that could be helpful in terms of what she was trying to achieve with comparing old and new technologies of games. I also suggested that in terms of social research, she may use reddit to gain further research online regarding fanbases of older technology. I thought this may add tot he nostalgic vibe that she was going for in her DA. Flora’s DA was one that interested me as it made me think about the projects in a new way. It was a fresh take on media paratexts and the way audiences react to them so I think that she has so much potential with her project.

3. https://lydiamcgahey.wordpress.com/2020/10/15/beta-blog-2/

Hi lovely! I love this topic! It instantly made me feel so nostalgic and want to click back on my old sims game and play for 5 hours straight. My first point would be that I really love the way you have included points from the research you have found as it’s such a major part of the beta process. You have shared your information in a really succinct and clear way that communicates you know what you are talking about. I really like how you shown a positive feedback loop through the development of your pitch to beta also. I think you should consider using your audience in the sense that you could post on reddit and instagram to look for opinions as there are such wide fanbases for both of these online games. You would have so much information to delve through! I think another good source for you to use would be the Teens React to childhood games videos on Youtube. A really good social media source that keeps the information casual whilst giving you good first-hand observation of what actual people think about these games that you are studying! Good luck! 

Comment:

Lydia’s DA was one of my favourites to read due to the interesting topic, fun vibe and readability of the whole project. I think I improved the most within my personal feedback when attempting to discuss Lydia’s project. I found myself researching to help out of complete interest for what she was discussing and I think this also helped my research techniques for my own project. This is due to the researching of more social aspects of the media such as Youtube. I learnt that research doesn’t have to be academic in order to be helpful. We can find so many helpful, informative sites with a focus on observational research just as Lydia has shown. I think readers will be so interested in what Lydia’s DA produces due to the nostalgic factor of her writing and the personal notions that they may bring up, just as it did for me.

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BCM215

BCM215 Beta

When it came to designing a digital artefact that would relate to aspects of gaming practice, I struggled due to the fact that I, myself, am not a gamer. However, through the use of mind-mapping and research, I found myself within a particular niche that I enjoy whilst also finding a really interesting topic to investigate for myself. I will be delving into the question of why we, as game consumers, consume the disturbing nature of horror games marketed towards us. This will be taken a step further into discussing Aristotle’s query into the human psyche and why we are attracted to things that disturb us. I think that investigating this in term soft h gaming design world will be incredibly interesting as it provides the opportunity to compare to other forms of horror design whilst allowing myself as a non0gamer to investigate the gaming community at a new perspective. As the video game industry is outpacing the movie industry as time goes by, horror games such as Five Nights At Freddie’s trending on platforms such as TikTok, the psychology behind the media is incredibly interesting. While we have in the past investigated the possible violent effects of video games, I find it interesting to take this a step further and ask why we ingest this media in the first place if it is designed and marketed to be ‘scary’. Some background research that interested me and would be incredibly useful in my study was found on Digest (2020).  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. 

I focused on the iteration stage of this project and utilised the feedback that I had received to make the appropriate changes that would ultimately benefit the project. These changes are listed within my beta but have shown to be extremely helpful for myself and moving my project along its course.

Research

My academic and social research has been one of the most effective parts of my Digital Artefact so far. In terms of non-academic research, the observation of YouTube videos and social media such s Reddit and Instagram has been incredibly helpful in terms of finding out why people think the way they do about the gaming world. It has helped on a casual basis to find out why these individuals personally wish to play these games and why they continue to do so/ how they cope.

In terms of academic research, I have listed two sources below that I utilised as a starting point for my DA. These two scholarly sources were extremely helpful in terms of finding out the psychology behind what I am researching the professional opinions of those more suited to the topic. This allows me to base my own research off of this and come to a conclusive answer. The two sources I found most helpful were Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play by Bernard Perron and Gaming Horror’s Horror: Representation, Regulation, and Affect in Survival Horror Videogames by Tanya Krzywinska.

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BCM215

Critical Reflection of Comments

1. https://ethanspearsblogs.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/nba-2k21/

Comment:

Hey Ethan!

To start off, I really like the way you have introduced the game you are studying and provided a bit of background context for those who may not have a lot of background knowledge on the game. I did notice a couple of spelling and grammatical errors such as the sentence that read “to their style of game from game into real life as well as their ratings, I will look at how the game is as where they have excelled from my league, to career mode and my player, “. I did find this a tad hard to read but the information within was really great as it offered me some context into what we can expect from the pitch! Moving onto your video, I really liked the information you gave, especially when providing your own personal opinion. I like that you’ll be reviewing the game yourself. I’d love to hear a bit more about how you think your research will turn out. I’m super interested to find out whether 2k does have an impact on modern life and I like that you’ve provided a bit of background research into what Lebron James had to say about that too, it really gives your research more credibility at the starting point! I found this article that I thought would be really helpful for you. https://gamequitters.com/are-professional-athletes-addicted-to-video-games/. Check it out and I think you’ll find some good info on the perspective of an athlete plain these games. Could provide even more backing to your research! 

Critical reflection:

Ethan’s blog post for his pitch aims to analyse the 2k Basketball gaming franchise in a number of different pillars. Ethan aims to create a blog that will discuss the games features, styles and whether the game has any impact on real-life gameplay. 

I feel like the readability of Ethan’s blog was at first, quite hard to understand, being a few grammatical errors present. However, upon digging deeper and watching his pitch video, a lot of aspect were cleared up for me. I tried to be as in depth as I could with my comment so to summarise, I started by suggesting a brief tidy up of the post due to the aforementioned grammatical errors and continued into an overview of the video provided. I did a fair amount of background research to ensure I was providing Ethan with helpful and accurate information and you will be able to see a source that I carefully picked out based on what road Ethan was heading down with his research. I tried to include what the subject material was asking of us in terms of being specific and including targeted field sites. I based this mainly off of my tutorial attendance and research into what makes a good field site. I observed how research may come into play here and how researching scholarly articles and a range of these will help with research range and credibility. I started by researching within Google Scholar myself in order to provide Ethan with some great academic sources and the source that I found does this. I aimed to answer Ethan’s question of how athletes react to gaming and found this source 

https://gamequitters.com/are-professional-athletes-addicted-to-video-games/. This source provides a helpful outlook into why gamers may come addicted to gaming and how gaming impacts their life. While this may be an extreme take on what Ethan is looking for here, I believe it will be a helpful start in his research process. I suggested that Ethan provide a hypothesis at the start of his research as this will be extremely helpful with the creation of feedback loops and project progression. It will really highlight the contrast in his end result. I believe that my comment was highly engaging as I truly put the effort into immersing myself into his project and provided my personal opinion on how I would tackle his topic. I tried to be open and suggestive rather than strict and judgemental. However, I could definitely look a bit more into the background of the topic before diving in for round 2. I really enjoyed this experience and felt as though I was engaged with my classmates work and found myself excited to learn more. 

2. https://immerseintomedia.health.blog/2020/09/03/ruby-reviews-pitch/

Comment:

As a non-gamer I think you’ve pretty much hit the nail on head with your pitch. I can really relate to your perspective as a student with little experience in the gaming world so I think that makes it even more relatable to your audience. Your video is instantly really easy to watch and connect to and I found myself wanting to watch more to see where it was heading. I think the inclusion of you comparing information form different sources in order to form an opinion is incredibly useful especially as you may not have the most experience in this realm of research. I think it can only make your research more credible. I love that you’ve taken the perspective of game shows. I like that it doesn’t necessarily leave the gaming realm but it takes notions from it that I believe will only aid your project as more people will be able to relate to that. Who doesn’t watch millionaire hotseat at the end of the day??? I think the fact that you’ve got a good plan on where you’re heading will be great for your project as it will relieve the pressure of posting each week and the fact that you’ve kept your audience in mind when positing also shoes great understanding of your audience. What I would love to see out of this in the end is a conclusive statement on what you found out of your research. Will the game shows aid the lives of those participating? Does it reflect gaming world cultures? One source I found interesting when researching this that may or may not help out is : https://www.jstor.org/stable/2118342. I had some good information on the cultural impacts of game shows and this could be good in analysing game users behaviours when participating.

Enjoy the process!

Critical Reflection

Within her post, Ruby aims to delve into the world of game shows in the way of reviewing and analysing them for viewers who may be interested in watching them. She plans to do this through the media source of Twitter. 

The first thing that struck me regarding Ruby’s pitch was the fact that it looked at gaming from a different perspective. I like the fact that although this topic may be intimidating to non-gamers, ruby has complimented the topic whilst putting her own spin on it which was a massive bonus for me. I think this will increase the readability for the project for users and will open up accessibility for her online. This was a major point I made within my comment. For this reason, this blog post was one of the best for me to review. I tried to do a bit of background research through the perspective of a non-gamer and found that the source: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2118342. I found that this academic article had some great information that ruby could use in regard to her research on game shows. This particular article assessed the risk and effects that accompany gaming itself and may provide some great context and background information to be utilised in her findings. I suggested that she perhaps find a hypothesis or a statement that she hopes to evolve or uncover over time that she can use her research to find. This project was my personal favourite due to its relatability. It also taught me to think outside the box with my project in terms of ‘what gaming is’. 

3. https://brookemelyndabcm.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/bcm215-pitch-learning-about-games/

Comment:

Hey Brooke!

I think you’ve got a really great basis for a good DA here!. I think to start off, I would have loved to have seen a bit more specificity right off the mark about what your DA will be about and what you’re hoping to find as I was left a bit unclear about where it could be heading after reading the first paragraph. Saying that, I really liked the context you gave on the growing cultural significance of video games in the 21st century and how the world is shifting to view the importance of the games audiences are consuming. 

I think what would really give your project more bang for its buck would be to narrow this down straight off the mark. I really love that your going to your audience for suggestions on what to review and you seem to have a good idea of what you may be interested inn reviewing, I also like that you’re interspersing older and new games to assess their cultural impact over time. I think what will really make your posts stand out to all communities will be if you provide background to each game and give a basic overview of what one could expect out of it from a non-gamer perspective. 

I found this source for you to check out: https://open.lib.umn.edu/mediaandculture/chapter/10-4-the-impact-of-video-games-on-culture/. What I think you could do that this source does amazingly would be to narrow down examples of games and then use them to reflect on their cultural significance. The authors use Super Mario Brothers and Pac-Man as cultural shifts and it really helps to make their case!.

Critical Reflection:

Brooke’s pitch focuses on the cultural impacts of gaming within the 21st century. First off, I did find this pitch hard to read due to the unclear nature that is initially presented. The first point I made was that Brooke could have been a tad clearer and more concise within her first few sentences in order to let viewers know what her project will be about and what she hopes to gain from it. I liked that Brooke would be using her audience to assist her media output e.g. asking viewers for what they would like to see. She has a basic plan of what games she would like to review, and she has interspersed newer and older games which I think opens up credibility and accessibility for all audiences. I think that I gave some really useful suggestions in terms of conciseness and the pointedness of her topic. Brooke’s post was one that needs some more drawing out but has the potential to be a really great investigative report. I contributed an online academic source that I believed may help her in narrowing down what she could speak about. The source is provided gives really great examples of games throughout the last century and really digs deep into their cultural impact. I think Brooke could gain some inspiration from this and learn the techniques that these investigative authors have used to really make the most out of her research. I really liked investigating Brooke’s topic as it made me look at gaming in a fresh way that I don’t think I would have picked up on had I not signed up to comment on her pitch. Having to look into gaming cultures made me realise that there is so much more to gaming than. I first thought and I think Brooke’s viewers will realise the same once this pitch is narrowed down and progresses along the way.

Categories
BCM215

BCM215 Pitch!

When it came to designing a digital artefact that would relate to aspects of gaming practice, I struggled due to the fact that I, myself, am not a gamer. However, through the use of mind-mapping and research, I found myself within a particular niche that I enjoy whilst also finding a really interesting topic to investigate for myself. I will be delving into the question of why we, as game consumers, consume the disturbing nature of horror games marketed towards us. This will be taken a step further into discussing Aristotle’s query into the human psyche and why we are attracted to things that disturb us. I think that investigating this in term soft h gaming design world will be incredibly interesting as it provides the opportunity to compare to other forms of horror design whilst allowing myself as a non0gamer to investigate the gaming community at a new perspective. 

As the video game industry is outpacing the movie industry as time goes by, horror games such as Five Nights At Freddie’s trending on platforms such as TikTok, the psychology behind the media is incredibly interesting. While we have in the past investigated the possible violent effects of video games, I find it more interesting to take this a step further and ask why we ingest this media in the first place if it is designed and marketed to be ‘scary’. Some background research that interested me and would be incredibly useful in my study was found on Digest (2020).  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.