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.

Where is the Media

We live…

The world we live in is not fair and cannot be treated as so. We live in a world that glorifies celebrities, creating them into idols and gods for the Western World. We live in a world where mass genocide in countries in the third world goes unnoticed. We live in a world that justifies white supremacy with world leaders holding the culprit’s hands. We live in an unfair and unjust world.

Heartbreak

In light of recent events, it is impossible to ignore the ever-present problems in our society. By reading the first few sentences of this piece you may have had your mind immediately drift to the Christchurch Mosque shootings. This is utterly heartbreaking news for New Zealand, Australia and countries all over the world, but this is only just breaking the surface in the tragedies the world is facing.

Are you Shocked? 

As the news broke on the Christchurch mosque massacre, the world fell silent and watched as the events and details emerged from the media. Many found the news shocking, and for many, it was not. Since before we can remember, people have suffered and been victimised; turning it in a normalised part of life for us all. People are constantly scared for their lives because they are different or have different opinions. I’m talking about Muslims, the LGBTQI+ community, women, men, children, everyone has their fears because everyone feels as though there is a part of them that won’t be accepted by the societies we live in. Australian co-host of the Project, Waleed Aly, comments on this exact notion. We are scared, but no longer shocked, and nothing is being done to satiate our fears.

What we don’t see

As many tragedies the media covers, just like the Christchurch massacre or the bombing in Manchester in 2017, there are many all over the world that go unnoticed. For instance, were you aware of the 6,000 Nigerian Christians that have been murdered in mass genocides from the 1st of January 2018 to July 2018? Many wouldn’t have a single clue, and this is because of the lack of representation for the third world in media. The killings don’t stop there, they have continued from the Fulani militants and since February this year, approximately 120 have been killed. This is just one of the many genocides, murders, bombings and attacks around the world that aren’t being covered by Western media.

The Problem

The first world is so consumed with social media and generally, care more about updates in celebrity lives than the troubles of countries not connected to them. Many developing nations are going through struggles we cannot understand. We cannot understand their problems mainly because they aren’t explained and aren’t showcases in our media. Terrorist attacks are far more present in the world than our leaders and media would like us to know and it’s time we start taking action. The next time you see a celebrity scandal, take a moment to think about what else is going on in the world that we don’t get the opportunity to see, the news that the paparazzi don’t care about. Do your own research because there are reports, they just aren’t popping up in your Facebook notifications or breaking news headlines.

The Solution

As a community, we can make changes as long as we have enough passion and will to make them. So as you are sitting there in front of your phone, laptop, tablet or any smart device, I implore you, take the initiative to stand alongside the people that need it most. Be the voice they cannot be. All it takes is for a few more people to start noticing and sharing the news that isn’t considered ‘newsworthy’ to create a chain reaction. Don’t let them sit in fear, sit in silence.

stronger toegther

The Journey Begins

Hey! My name is Taylah Ide-Miller and I am a student at the University of Wollongong, studying a Bachelor of Communications and Media majoring in Digital and Social Media.

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

I am born and bred in the North West of Sydney but am in all technical aspects of life a country girl. In saying that, this means that, yes, I indeed have a Cow (her name is Matilda) and also a Goat (her name is Heidi. Matilda and Heidi are best friends). From moving to a little rural area to a beachside city was such a massive change of pace but I couldn’t imagine where I would be if I wasn’t here.

BLUE

From the design of my blog so far, you may come to think that my favourite colour may be blue. You would definitely be right. Previously this blog was themed in everything and anything yellow, however, I wanted to make this blog more me and more professional looking. After all, I can use this as a portfolio of my work for many years to come.

CREATIVITY IS KEY

I’m here because I belong to all and anything creative. Creativity is the key to having the world around us constantly flowing with a supply of entertainment and wonder and art. My life (so far at least) has revolved around the wonderful works of Drama, Music, Art and Creative Writing. I’ve done every and all musicals my school produced, performed in assembly every week and most importantly (definitely not), was voted “Drama Queen 2017” on our school Scavenger Hunt night.

PURSUING POSITIVITY

I want this blog to pursue positivity and acceptance of everyone’s opinions, where in this world we often come across the opposite. Whatever happens this semester, this year and for the next couple years, they are going to be a journey. We will explore what it is like be living away from home, having to cook a decent meal every night and the meaning of independence. The next couple weeks are going to be a bit of a bumpy start and things will be messy. It is inevitable. None of us knows how this will all turn out but it WILL be exciting and an experience that no one should miss out on.

Feel free to follow me on twitter for some great memes and all the happiness you can find x @_taylahjane_

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step – Lao Tzu