Critical Self Reflection of Comments

By browsing through the plethora of new and exciting digital artefact pitches it is interesting to see and reflect on their ideas and their relation to game media.

The first pitch that I commented on was Jessie’s Blog with the DA idea surrounding the historical context of a video game Detention. This was my first time ever hearing of this game but from watching her video and reading through her blog I was able to get a good understanding of what she wanted to do. Her aim is to showcase and investigate the historical context of the game and especially why it is significant to Western audiences. Her digital artefact is very well researched and specific, however as a part of my recommendation, I offered a journal article to broaden the artefact as it seemed to be for a very specific audience. The article showcases the potential of historical context in games and why they elevate the game and educate the audiences. The DA is highly academic based which means it is grounded within a lot of research. My comment aimed to help her in possibly breaking her ideas down further to give her target audience a more basic overview before getting into the important details of the game. 

https://jessieyc.wordpress.com/2020/09/04/bcm215-da-pitch/#more-1300

The second pitch that I commented on was Jacky’s that is a joint digital artefact around the game Fall Guys. The basic idea is to create content around an experienced gamer vs a non experienced gamer to see their trials and tribulations while playing the game. I have seen quite a lot of hype around the game recently on Youtube, TikTok and Twitch from a wide variety of gamers. I offered a few gaming channels that have recently been producing a lot of content on Fall Guys where they frequently play with others, like is suggested for this DA. As it will be a frequent series, I suggested a news article about the rise in watching online gamers in their play throughs. I figured this would just give some basic insight into why this form of content is quite popular these days. Lastly I recommended an article that described the importance of aesthetics in modern games, which Jacky mentioned would be a part of the content series they were producing. Overall I think I offered up some decent material that can be utilised in their DA and pushes them to look at outside research rather that just online streamers.

https://gamecultures.blog/2020/08/31/fall-guys-digital-artifact/comment-page-1/?unapproved=1622&moderation-hash=e3dbfccc5768068abc08d4830f39fc0b#comment-1622

Lastly I commented on Tobias’ blog The Lime and Dry. This digital artefact will be a blog comparing games and their sequels with honest reviews and overall ratings of games he plays. During the comment, I gave him a gaming Blog that had similar content I believed that Tobias was getting ready to make. I figured this would be insightful as it could help him with how to effectively structure the blog to make it easier for audiences to engage with the content. I then also offered a different blog piece that ranked the Assassins Creed series of games and offered that this kind of content would also really work for the blog if he so chose. As there isn’t any particular game that he will be focusing on, I tried to give him options for content creation and other sources he could use to compare his unique writing styles to those blogs that have significant traffic. 

https://thelimeanddry.home.blog/2020/09/07/bcm-215-pitch/comment-page-1/#comment-139

I think overall the comment I left on the blogs offered actionable suggestions and sources that each student could use if they wanted to go in that direction. By giving an alternate perspective, I hopefully have given them an angle that they may not have considered for their own DA. 

I’m the Boss Now – Cuphead DA Pitch

The Idea

Context

Cuphead is not only a game that can be played through the gaming platform Steam, but also in the past year made its way to PS4 and Nintendo Switch. There are multiple paratexts that are connected to the 1930’s inspired game including the up and coming Netflix show to be released sometime next year. Due to the current buzz around the game again is a large part as too why I have chosen Cuphead as the main game media to focus on.

Unity has created an entire case study on the game, including the meticulous process of unnamedall the game design elements. There are multiple scholarly articles surrounding the unique style 1930’s animation style that the game is so heavily influenced by which will work in conjunction with analysing the game design. Cuphead to this day is still one of the most popular indie games because of its unique playstyle, score and design. Erhett (2019) specifically looks at how the game design, its 1930’s esque cartoon animation, and the overall narrative to make a unique and modern game with little to no political agenda. 

Personally, I haven’t yet played the game but have watched multiple different playthroughs on Youtube so I have a good idea about the characters and how they interact with each other during the game.  Altogether there are 19 different bosses that are uniquely designed and have different abilities. These will be the main focus of the makeup looks by recreating some of their unique design elements through eyeshadow and branching into facepaint.

With a passion for makeup and my love for the animation style of this game, I feel as though I will be able to create a digital artefact that is not only informative about game media but also entertaining for multiple audiences and myself.

Ehrett, J 2019, ‘All Bets Are Off: The Subversive Line-Blurring Of Cuphead’, GNOVIS, weblog post, 29 May, viewed 4 September 2020, <http://www.gnovisjournal.org/2019/05/29/all-bets-are-off-the-subversive-line-blurring-of-cuphead/&gt;.

Unity n.d, Unity, Cuphead by StudioMDHR, viewed 4 September 2020, <https://unity.com/madewith/cuphead&gt;.

A Story of Meaning in the Seemingly Meaningless

The Meaningless

At one point in your life, something unexpected and sudden will push you to a course of action that you may or may not have been prepared for. Whether it be to do with school, home-life, social life or work; we all manage disruption and change. In the workplace especially, we dedicate a monumental amount of time and resources into ensuring our security. Whether we realise it or not many of us take on extra hours, emotional labour and even push ourselves in other ways to be the best employees that we can.

My story starts off with this notion in mind. Towards the end of my 1st year of university, I finally obtained a job working at a hotel as a food and beverage attendant. The job scene is extremely competitive for casual work as someone that is trying to also complete their degrees. As many students can sympathise, casual work is also usually all we can afford in terms of the resource of time. Once starting at the job, I did everything I could and strived to be the best employee possible as I understood that my position was extremely expendable. Not only this but furthermore, I figured if I played my cards right there could be opportunities to excel further in the company.

After almost a year working at the hotel, I had been trained in multiple positions, moving throughout the hotel. I asked frequently if there were more skills to learn and whether there was more responsibility to take on. My major disruption started then. At first, our General Hotel Manager resigned, a week later so did my Restaurant Manager and Head Chef, and one more week onwards so did my supervisor. Now I was prepared for the General Manager to leave, all employees were warned about all the changes that would start to happen. However, the other three were sudden and I was quickly thrown into roles I was not comfortable with and had little to no training in. I emotionally and physically exhausted myself trying my best to ensure I was on top of work, university, my social life and family obligations.

I never fully took the time to evaluate why I pushed myself so hard in this situation. By losing my work colleagues and constantly feeling as though I wasn’t achieving enough for the company; it began to have a major impact on my mental and physical health.

The Meaning

Through discovering Australian social worker, Michael White, I decided to dig deeper into my story. Michael White is best known for his practice of Narrative Therapy. His technique used storytelling to assist those of all ages to work through their childhood trauma. In his book Maps of Narrative Practice, he states “Although life is rich in lived experience, we give meaning to very little of this experience.” When I first heard this quote I couldn’t help but backtrack through many of my own stories and times where I never reflected as to why I did things certain ways.

Carr (2000) in his journal article breaks down Whites methodology in re-authoring your narrative. There are multiple steps in achieving this to find the root of your values and behaviours when reflecting on unexpected and challenging situations. Though there are several stages to the therapy practice, it can be broken down into simple steps for self-reflection. By externalising yourself the situation, you are able to view yourself separate from the story. Once you have disconnected yourself, White explains to look for the unique outcomes, a term coined by Goffman. This means finding the small details that stand out and became a small success.

For my story, I was able to pinpoint small successes such as moments of putting my foot down or explicitly explaining to the people around me that I wanted to step up and help, but required support in doing so. From this stage, you can start to thicken the narrative and look at your self motivations, values and intentions during the time of the story.

I was motivated by:

a) being terrified of saying no, in the small chance work would let me go

b) being a bit of a perfectionist and

c) wanting to still learn everything I could for my future

This gave a new outlook on not only the story I have just told you, but being able to attribute these motivations and values to other stories of my life. White explains this stage as Linking the Story to Past and Extending it to the Future. Take being at university for one, it is a large part of wanting to learn all I can for my future. Otherwise, why go to university in the first place?

Though I now recognise I was used as a pawn for blame and desperation on the companies behalf, I can now look back on the story of work and realise why I let the situation carry on for so long. I am determined and want to learn everything I can. Though it was difficult at the time I understand how I can use these motivations in a positive way from now on.

Not only do these small steps have to be done in situations in the workplace, but this exercise can be used on a tiny scale. What was something that frustrated you sometime this week? What was happening around you when you became frustrated? Why did you react the way you did? Is there a value to be found in this? Is there now meaning in the seemingly meaningless?

Narrative, although many people, including myself, immediately think of a childhood writing ability, there is so much more that you can unlock within yourself when taking a new approach. We go through life, skimming the surface of who we are and what we want to be. Maybe narrative can be a step in finding out something new about yourself or even someone else.

The Online World of Tattoo’s

As I have mentioned in previous posts, social media plays a vital role in the fan tattoo process. Through further observation of online forums, various fan pages, and musicians/celebrity pages, it is indisputable to notice the demand and engagement for tattoo content.

Individuals in fandoms are intrinsically linked together through the bond of loving the same thing. Whether that be a show, movie series, books or bands/musicians. With celebrities being a significant influence on social media such as Twitter and Instagram, fans and fandoms flock to their pages and create their own, dedicated to their fandoms. My big question about fandom tattoos, why they are shared, created and ideated on online platforms has copious answers.

A notable factor, I hypothesised would be so fans would gain recognition from the person associated with the fandom. For example, I fan may post to their Instagram or Twitter, showcasing their tattoo in hopes it will get retweeted, liked or shared by the people/person the fandom is for. This seems to be the biggest reason why fans will post pictures and their tattoo designs to social media.

IMG_2351In two separate instances, as I was looking through my own social media pages, I happened upon this exact idea. One was on Instagram, a smaller band (not so globally known that is) reposted on their Instagram story the post of someone getting the frontmen tattooed on their shoulder. This is a practice they often do, and many other smaller artists do as well because their social media isn’t saturated with as many fans pining for attention or recognition.

The second situation occurred when scrolling through my home page on twitter (for which I follow a significant amount of celebrities relating to fandoms). I came across a tattoo thread for a duo Jack and Jack. A fan tweeted out a photo of her tattoo asking to see what other fans have gotten concerning the duo and tagging both of the artists and their official band pages. Many fans commented on the thread and were recognised by one part of the pair and were liked and retweeted. Musicians, in particular, are more known for engaging with tattoo content in their name.

The second reason I have come to believe fans share their fandom tattoos online is for other fans. Fandoms, especially online, become a safe space to interact with others with the same interests and similar. In some situations, fandoms can become a sort of family, and they share their ideas, OTP’s and even tattoos with each other. This can be so other fans can find ideas for their own tattoos or get a tattoo that fits more within the aesthetic of specific fandoms. Tumblr especially is a platform that uses threads and hashtags to share their fandom knowledge. Pages are dedicated to fan culture and fandom experiences, where tattoos, stories, drawings, and so much more are shared with one another (I would insert video clips of examples, however much of Tumblr is NSFW).

Then we have Pinterest. As I have mentioned before ‘Holy Grail’ of tattoo ideas and sharing. To not get lost in the tattoo of it all is virtually impossible because of the amount of content it has on the site. Though it isn’t specific pages or fans interacting with each other, there is more fandom tattoo content on here than anywhere else. The idea of sharing tattoos on here is again a part of fans sharing their tattoos with other fans for the purpose of connectivity. By sharing their tattoos with each other, there is a sense of togetherness and belonging. Screen Shot 2019-11-10 at 1.21.29 pm

From a participant, I interviewed about her own fan tattoo corroborated this idea. In a Twitter thread from many years ago, she shared her fan tattoo with other fans asking about which lyrics of Paramore songs they have tattooed. She shared her tattoo, not in hopes of getting recognised by an artist or celebrity but to interact with other fans that had the same interest in the band that she did. Lyrics are a prevalent type of fan tattoo and ones that are a deal more personal. Instead of a symbol of a band, the face of a celebrity, lyrics can showcase certain aspects of the individual’s life and love for band or artist. By sharing specific lyrics, it creates a much stronger bond within fandoms.

IMG_2374

Fandoms are very special in the way they communicate with each other, create together and interact with their idols. Fandom tattoos in themselves are interesting as they showcase the absolute extreme nature of fans and fandoms. By sharing their extremes, they can get direct contact with celebrities and the individuals associated with their fandoms. Not only this it is undeniable to see that fans don’t just do this for the recognition but for communication with other supporters such as themselves.

 

The Inspiration

You never know how much something will affect your life until it does. It can be music, books, friends, family… but in my case, it was a TV show. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It wasn’t just a show to me but something that shaped me into the woman I am today. As the awkward teens on the screen grew up, I found myself growing up alongside them. It wasn’t just a show to me, it was something that taught me, a young woman, that being strong and powerful wasn’t something to be afraid of.

Walking down to the tattoo parlour, jitters wracking my body, tiny sweat beads gathering on my hands, I still had no idea what I was about to get permanently sketched into my body. It had to be something that at least meant something or reminded me of the current period of life I was in. Cycling through all the options, I stopped on an idea. Buffy.

I had no idea what I wanted from the show, though. Seven seasons condensed into one tattoo is hard to incorporate, so I took to Pinterest. Pinterest, a social media platform saturated with tattoos, especially ones for fandoms. I typed in Buffy tattoos, and I could scroll for hours looking at the plethora of ideas and tattoos other fans had already gotten.

An iconic character associated with Buffy popped onto my screen. Many will know just by the phrase Grrr… Ughh… I describe him as my little zombie dude. The next thing I know I’m in the shop, sending through my design, running down to the mall to grab the cash and going under the needle. Lying on my stomach, all I could hear was the hum of the needle getting closer and closer to my skin.

Many people think the tattoo is silly, they don’t understand the reference or the meaning, but I know what it means to me and it acts as an identifier to other Buffy fans. It’s a symbol that connects me to the Buffy fandom and now forever connects Buffy to me. It may just be a tattoo of a silly little zombie to some people, but to me, it means strength, love and power. That is what Buffy represents, and now what I represent.

Though I may have been caught up with the whole tattoo of it all, I look back on the experience and realise the importance Pinterest played in that very moment. Of course I am a fan of the show and know the ins and outs of every scene of every season, but the tattoo artist or I could have come up with our own idea on what I wanted because a) he didn’t know the show and b) I was far to nervous for my creative brain to function. This got me thinking, why were there so many uploads of Buffy tattoos on the site and do other people use social media in the same way as I did to find these fan tattoos.

Fan Tattoos, History v Pop Culture

From what some of you may have seen from my pitches about this research topic, fan tattoos is something that genuinely interests me. Tattoo culture in itself has gone through a significant shift in society. Throughout histories and cultures, tattoos have represented a point of significance within particular communities. Wallace (2013), in her book Drawing with Great Needles, describes that in Native American tribes, altering the natural body through body decoration (both body paint and tattoos) projected their social role to the outside world. This is the case for many culturally centred tribes and peoples. Tattoos could identify a warrior, healer or another form of vital status to make it easier to identify the individuals and their importance to the tribe. However, from this point in history, tattoos have gone through a life cycle effect.

From tattoos being a sign of importance and respect, changed over the years due to westernisation and colonisation, the ideas and significance behind them shifted. Tattoos became a symbol of deviance and criminalisation. Australian culture is uniquely situated in tattoo culture, as many of the convicts that were forced to migrate to Australia had tattoos. Sutton (2016) described “at least 37 per cent of males and 15 per cent of the women were tattooed when they arrived.”. Tattoo culture in the convict era translated to gang affiliation and prison tattoos. A considerable amount of stigma around tattoos evolved from the stereotypes that associated tattoos with some sort of criminal activity. For many years that stigma existed, and to this day still sticks; however, many more people in today’s generation accept tattoos as meaningful symbols and works of art.

Perraudin (2018), investigated tattoos shifting from subculture to pop culture. From previously having tattoo parlours and shops being in hidden alleyways to tv shows dedicated to tattooing, it is hard to deny the significant shift. A part of this transformation comes the concept of fandom tattoos. Finding out where fandom tattoos all started, why they became so popular, the reasons why they are shared on social media platforms is extremely hard as there are no real accounts of how and why they emerged so quickly and became so popular on specific social media platforms.

tattooBy exploring multiple social media pages, sites and hashtags, it is undeniable to notice not only the unlimited content of tattoos but, especially those associated with fandoms. Pinterest is the biggest platform that I have found that produces all kinds of specific pages for fan tattoos. You can type any fandom in front of the word tattoo and a plethora of tattoo sketches and examples. Over on the side is just a few examples of doctor who tattoos that are found under the search “Doctor Who Tattoos”. You can get lost for hours in the enormous mass of tattoos that can found under this search alone.

Though Pinterest can be seen as the ‘Holy Grail’ of tattoo ideas. A quote I have heard many times, even from my own mouth, but equally Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter are brilliant platforms to source all your fan tattoo needs. It just about where to look.

Fandom Tattoo Pitch – Part 2

When conducting research projects, it is essential to think ethically and how your research could affect those you choose to include. Whether that be through interviews, surveys, photography or validity and reliability of research, there are standards that a researcher will have to adhere to. The MEAA Journalism Code of Ethics showcases various ways to remain ethical when publishing research and especially respecting those that choose to be an interviewee or involved in the research process.

Some codes that stand out for my project, in particular, are (MEAA, 2019):

  1. Report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness and disclosure of all essential facts. Do not suppress relevant available facts, or give distorting emphasis. Do your utmost to give a fair opportunity for reply
  2. Do not allow personal interest, or any belief, commitment, payment, gift or benefit, to undermine your accuracy, fairness or independence.
  3. Use fair, responsible and honest means to obtain material. Identify yourself and your employer before obtaining any interview for publication or broadcast. Never exploit a person’s vulnerability or ignorance of media practice
  4. Present pictures and sound which are true and accurate. Any manipulation likely to mislead should be disclosed.

tenor.gifAs I plan to include various photographs of fan tattoos and interview them on their purpose, where their ideas came from, and whether or not they shared their tattoo on social media. Potential interviewees may have some sensitive material on the background of their tattoo, which will need to be dealt with utmost care.

When I decided to get my tattoo that correlates with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was a spur of the moment; however, the show itself had a significant impact on my life as a teen that helped shape the woman I am today. This is the primary reason I decided on the tattoo that now resides on my left shoulder blade. Though I didn’t share my own tattoo online, it is how I came across the idea when I searched for ‘Buffy tattoos’ on Pinterest.

tattooThe fact that I have a deep personal connection to the tattoo, it’s meaning and my experience with interacting with other fans in the online platform, I am fascinated to see the process other fans go through when deciding to get a fan tattoo. Furthermore, this is why I will be using a mix of autoethnography and online observation and interviews to gauge the trends that seem to appear with fandom tattoos.

Coming across a blog by Susan Kresnicka (2016) really solidified the motivation behind this research project. The quote states “You don’t get that tattoo because you are a fan of something in the book, you get that tattoo because that book is a fan of something in you.” from a close friend of Kelly Sue DeConnick regarding the plethora of tattoos, related to her works, she was being emailed. Tattoos are memories, artwork, commemorations and full of meaning. By dedicating research into media fandoms and how they create and share accordingly online will allow the space to navigate its real implications.

References:

Kresnicka, S 2016, ‘Why Understanding Fans is the New Superpower’, Variety, weblog post, 2 April, viewed 12 October 2019, <https://variety.com/2016/tv/columns/understanding-fans-superpower-troika-1201743513/&gt;

MEAA 2019, MEAA Journalist Code of Ethics. [online] Available at: https://www.meaa.org/meaa-media/code-of-ethics/ [Accessed 12 Oct. 2019].

 

Fandom Tattoo Pitch – Part 1

IMG_2229When thinking about a topic I wanted to conduct my Ethnographic research on, I automatically was drawn to the lecture on fandoms. I myself are a part of many and have become increasingly fascinated with the idea of fans and participatory culture. Studies of fans, their participatory culture, the way they behave online and various other notable areas have flooded the research forum and produced an influx of knowledge in that particular field. However, areas such as taking fandom culture to the absolute extreme are lacking. For example, fans exceedingly dedicated to their fandom, whether it be Harry Potter, Supernatural or a band/artist, some will opt to ink their bodies in commemoration or love for whichever fandom they choose. Examples of fan tattoos can be found all over social media networks, especially Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr. By exploring fan behaviours and thoughts in sharing their tattoos on online platforms, we may be able to gage why they engage in this form of participatory fan culture. 

Though there is little academic literature on fan tattoos and their motivations behind getting them, there are many media articles regarding the extremes fans go to participate in their fandoms. In an article from The Week, Kelli Marshall examines what tattoos can inform us about modern fandoms. Marshal articulates, “while fans apply tattoos for various reasons, the tattoos virtually always represent something significant in their lives.”(Marshall, 2014). In the article, a woman is interviewed about her Gene Kelley tattoo, and she furthers the notion that these tattoos represent not only something they love but something that has shaped them by saying, “tattoos are expressions of things you love and how you’d like others to see you.” (Marshall, 2014).  

One book in particular carefully studies the use of Pinterest as a platform of ideating, sharing and connecting fans with each other, especially tattoos. The book, Television, Social Media and fan culture looks at a case study from which Buzzfeed shares ’50 fantastic ‘Doctor Who’ Tattoos’ that are all found on Pinterest (eds Slade et al. 2015, p.309). A significant idea that Slade et al. (eds, 2015, p.309) mentioned was that sharing tattoos online had become a trend, so much so that there was enough evidence to compile a long list of fandom tattoo, in their case, Doctor Who. As a pattern has been identified, it would be interesting to research and understand why people, a) share their fan tattoos online and b) the determination behind getting a fan tattoo.

Die-cut vinyl sticker_ Mutant Works LogoFrom the End of Buffy the Vampire SlayerFrom my own personal experiences with obtaining a fan tattoo (a little character from the end credit scene of my favourite show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), I already have some insight on why someone may choose to showcase their fan tattoos online and to participate in that form of extreme fan culture. From what I have begun to read, there is some decent background information that I can use to start my focus on the online platforms fans use the most when sharing tattoo ideas and their own completed works.

Stay tuned for part two that goes into ethical considerations, methods and report format!

References:

Marshall, K 2014, What tattoos can teach us about modern fandom. [online] Theweek.com. Available at: https://theweek.com/articles/445000/what-tattoos-teach-about-modern-fandom [Accessed 7 Oct. 2019]. 

Slade, A, Narro, A, Givens-Carroll, D (eds) 2015, Television, Social Media and Fan Culture, Lexington Books, New York. 

 

The Digital World

Many would agree that most of our lives in the 21st century is online. If you disagree, then maybe you are still living in the 20th century. All around us, we are surrounded by digital devices and social media, projecting an image of what we want people to see. In Wilcox and Stephens journal article, it describes that people lean towards presenting a socially desirable, positive self-view to others when they are online or on social media such as Facebook and Instagram.” (2013). In my own experience, this is precisely true, and from unashamedly stalking others Facebook and Instagram pages, I cannot fault this idea.

profile gifI myself only post the most glamorous moments of my life online to show the people I am ‘friends’ with how good my life is, or at least how good I want them to THINK it is. It’s not difficult to comprehend why we don’t showcase the bad stuff that goes on in our lives. The difficult things we individually go through aren’t things that we like to publicise to everyone we know, sometimes to even our closest friends. However, even with this in mind, Facebook profiles have been shown to reflect actual characteristics as opposed to idealised characteristics that do not represent one’s actual personality (Wilcox & Stephens, 2013)

Scrolling through Facebook, it is easy to dive down into a deep hole of profile clicking and content consumption. It might seem quite harmless, clicking onto a person’s profile, maybe its a friend, a friend of a friend, or someone you don’t even know, but in any case, you click on it and start a visual scan of their lives. Glancing at their profile picture, or the past five, seeing mutual friends, what they like, what they share, it all informs your idea of who they are.

Postill and Pink in an article about Social Media and the Digital Researcher describe that “the rapid growth of social media platforms, applications, practices and activity are threefold. They create new sites for ethnographic fieldwork, foster new types of ethnographic practice and invite critical perspectives on the theoretical frames that dominate internet studies…” (2012). Whether it is conscious or not, we are continually learning new things about people through their social media pages. If we take it one step further, we can evaluate the patterns of peoples lives regarding their culture, age bracket, and so on. 

On my own profile above, you can see just a few things about me, what I find important enough to share and a few posts that I have been tagged in. At first glance, this is all just pointless information that is processed and immediately forgotten. But looking at it, trying to decipher who I am, what can you learn? To give you a blatant detail that you can without a doubt see, I am a Parramatta Eels fan. What else can you find out?

 

Ritualistic Television

Throughout my almost 20 years of being alive on this earth, I can easily say my connection with television has changed over the years. I have some very prominent memories of watching TV as a child, and now, all significant parts of my daily ritual.

One of the first memories that come to mind is rushing home from school of an afternoon into my Nan’s house to switch on ABC kids to watch the afternoon away until Mum came back from work. There were many shows kids born in the late 90s – the early 2000s remember all too well. A few of the well-known favourites I remember quite clearly including Angelina Ballerina, Franny’s Feet, Postman Pat, Bottletop Bill and Round the Twist. These are a few of the most memorable of shows from my primary school days along with two, all be it very different, shows that still have me traumatised today.

Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids being one, already tells you from the name that it was terrifying for a little girl who much preferred shows about girls putting on a new pair of shoes and travelling the world (Franny’s Feet). Watching back on it now, it wasn’t half as bad as I had initially thought, but I can say it wasn’t a pleasant experience. However, there was one show in particular that I knew, as soon as it came on, the TV was off. It was the show Soupe Opera. It was weird in every way, and I can easily say that it is a show that didn’t especially make me like the idea of vegetables or fruits like I think it was supposed to. After first watching it, I thought never again, and that’s when I switched the TV off to try to do some homework. Emphasis on try.

In a Penn State Article by the Applied Social Psychology faculty, they detail that many childhood memories are closely related to watching Saturday Morning cartoons (2014). This is a memory I can closely relate to myself, watching them with my Dad every Saturday before getting on with the day, playing board games, or going to the park. They further suggest that there was a time slot for cartoons reserved for Saturday mornings that is now part of a daily routine (2014). My Saturday ritual vanished throughout the years as the cartoons became everyday viewing and those laughs on a Saturday not forgotten but appreciated. 

Nowadays, I find watching television more as comfort while I do other things such as cook, study or write a blog. Yes, I may have Netflix on in the background now as I write this. I find the TV is more or less, for me, used to fill the silence while I do other things in my busy life. Yet this is a new ritual I undertake as a part of my daily life.

Watching TV socially or as a solo experience, as Saxbe et al. establish in their article, that television is an essential part of a persons life whether it be with family, friends or by yourself (2011). Spending time with family while watching TV is the most common form of bonding and becomes a natural part of the lives of many. Ritualistic television watching is a significant component of the lives of many, with the many, not realising it is a ritual at all. With this in mind, do you have a ritualistic relationship with TV?