DIGC302

Competitive Overwatch

Jayden’s initial idea for a digital artefact started out as being short videos, that was approachable eSports content for an audience not entirely engaged with eSports as a whole. Through iteration he went through a few other ideas and he ended up with a change in his focus from a general look on eSports to competitive Overwatch in eSports.

I think Jayden switching his final artefact to having a more focused narrative on competitive Overwatch is a great idea for many reasons. Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first person shooter that has only been around for five months, released in May 2016, so it is still new and can be seen as something different. The developers, Blizzard, are always adding new things to keep people invested in the game which separates itself from all the other first person shooters out there. On top of every one of their characters and maps being completely unique, they add seasonal skins and different game modes, Lucioball (Summer Olympics) and Junkenstein’s Revenge (Halloween) being two examples of seasonal game modes to get people to play their game. For Jayden, as well, I know that he is very invested in Overwatch so I think this would enable him to produce the best kind of content possible for his digital artefact.

The video Jayden showed during his beta presentation, Overwatch: The Best Heroes to Learn for Competitive Play, was a perfect introduction for people who are just getting into Overwatch. While the video was more directed for competitive play and eSports it can still be used by casual players who are just looking for the best heroes to play depending on their gameplay style. So, for me, it is clear that he has tried to hit a wide audience even though Overwatch and eSports itself is quite a niche market although it is growing over time.

overwatch-4k-0

The way he produced the video, overall was very good. I think using YouTube as a medium was a great choice because it clearly displays what he is trying to get across to his audience. The clips he used and how he pieced each together was very good. Showing each character, initially, in their highlight intro immediately grabs the viewer and tells them what, at least a part, of that character is about; Zarya flexing, Zenyatta jumping and spinning getting ready to fire his orbs, or Reinhardt charging at the screen. He was very clear in his pros and cons for each character and why you should learn to play them. I would like to know if it was completely scripted, off the top of his head, or read from dot points. It would also be interesting to track this over the course of his videos. If he didn’t start from improvising in his first video, to see if he eventually got to that point by video four, or five, maybe even earlier would inform me that he has successfully progressed in his video making process. Of course, being the first video it isn’t going to be perfect. There are some lines of dialogue that could be tightened up which can easily be fixed through editing but other than that I was very impressed.

During the beta presentation it was clearly outlined why he had chosen his topic and while, yes, he may have lost half the room just because they may not be interested in his specific focus area it was still very engaging.

overwatch-halloween

The other video that Jayden has uploaded is of him doing an unboxing of 11 loot boxes and his quest to get as many Halloween skins as possible. It was a shorter video than his previous one and was still entertaining to watch as he was let down by some of the loot boxes leading up to the end.

I’ve spoken to Jayden about a couple of the videos he will be doing to make up his digital artefact. One of them will be reviewing the competitive mode in Overwatch; going through the different skill levels and stats that are used to create a well balanced competitive mode. He could possibly even talk about Season Two that is already underway and the changes that were made to improve the game mode.

Another one of his videos that he will be doing is one surrounding top eSports teams. He knows that because eSports isn’t as big as it should be, that many people have no idea what is about. It is because of this that Jayden would like to bring to light what is going on in the industry and if you are interested then these would be the teams you should be looking out for.

All in all, Jayden has clearly shown his concepts and methodologies that is going to lead him to his final digital artefact.

BCM310

Poverty Porn

Video Link
Magic With The Homeless – Video Link

Recently, there has become a trend of people posting videos on YouTube about them helping homeless people by giving them money, food, or any type of donation. These videos usually have a backing track with some kind of inspirational music that is meant to make us feel sad and happy for the homeless person as well as feeling happy for the person giving them these donations.

YouTuber “Daniel Fernandez” has made a series of videos where he performs acts of good deeds through magic and mostly interacting with homeless people. He gives money to them and even “put money on car windshields disguised as parking tickets”. He also goes up to “randoms” on the street and gives flowers to women (I doubt they’re actually strangers but you never know) and also performing his magic tricks. It really begs the question that if it isn’t to promote his own self image and get more subscribers, likes, and views, why film it?

This trend of “social experiments” have been done to death and they distort people’s perceptions of real social issues that actually occur outside of everyone’s computer screen. YouTuber “MoeAndEt” made a video in October 2014 where they went out and asked people on the street for food and when they were told no they gave a pizza to a homeless man and came back a few minutes later asking for a slice of pizza which the homeless man gave.

This video has since been debunked as fake, scripted, and just used as a money grab to get more notoriety on YouTube and other social media sites (hmm, you don’t say).

We have also seen this type of exploiting on television. “Struggle Street” which was a series made up of three 50 minute episodes that aired on SBS in early 2015 about poverty in a low socio-economic resident in a housing commissioned area of Mount Druitt. An article in The Guardian, written by Gay Alcorn, 2015, she describes how they stereotyped the Mount Druitt community and how the show “wasn’t really about the western Sydney suburb… it was about entrenched poverty, generational disadvantage and the desperate fringe”.

When looking at the series the question comes of, “where should the line be drawn from being realistic to just being used for TV ratings?” Senior Lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Steven Threadgold asks this very question in an article on The Conversation. Looking into the production side of things, it was learnt that the people they were filming were not taken advantage of even if the end product may be looked upon as “denigrating the ‘undeserving poor’, scapegoating and even pathologising them as figures of loathing, while completely ignoring the harsh structural economic realities that create such poverty in the first place” (Threadgold 2015). One stereotype that is shown throughout the episodes is that of the ‘bogan’. They are not shown to be respectable characters, especially, the son, Corey, with a serious drug addiction and can be looked at as the villain.

There are many shots that make us feel for the people on screen and how they’ve been dealt with a pretty terrible hand at life. Whether they were born into that situation or not. I think, it also depends on the viewers own situation in life and if they could even relate to these characters or if they feel offended by how these are portrayed and thrown in our faces to, in the end, create a television show.

References:

Alcorn, G 2015, ‘Struggle Street is only poverty porn if we enjoy watching, then turn away’, The Guardian, 15 May, viewed 26 March,

Threadgold, S 2015, ‘Struggle Street is poverty porn with an extra dose of class racism’, The Conversation, 6 May, viewed 26 March,

BCM310

Quantified Self

FitBit
FitBit

In this day and age of social media, where face to face communication no longer takes up the majority of our day, most of us have an obsession or a kind of fantasy with growing or maintaining a high status. This would involve posting photos, updating your profile picture every five minutes, sharing articles on Facebook/Twitter, getting as many likes and followers as possible, so on and so forth. I am on the opposite side of this where my Facebook profile is pretty much barren of posts from myself as well as my Instagram and every other social media site I am on. A reason for this is that I don’t have much of interest to say and I doubt anyone really cares about the stereotypical post of what I am currently feeling.

I would say I am probably in the minority on this in that many people want to build up their social media following as much as they can. It is all about how much recognition and visibility that you can get and the higher they are the more influential you could be perceived to be.

The Quantified Self is a movement that “aims to measure all aspects of our daily lives with the help of technology.” Wearable devices such that track your sleep cycles, exercise, and heart rate that can connect to apps that let the wearer log their every step, meal and sleeping period allow us to have a better understanding of ourselves and how we may even benefit our health.

A big positive to tracking your every movement is that, especially through the FitBit, you can use the information given to lead a healthier life. Your calories and glucose measurements are logged so for diabetics this can help immensely.

This could lead to problems down the line depending on how ‘addicted’ we become to these devices, where we take everything we do and put it down to a number.

Another problem with using these devices is that there is a potential risk to the data being stored. Katina Michael argues in her video, Big Data and the Dangers of Over-Quantifying Oneself, that keeping a huge amount of information logged can harm you later on in life if it would come in between you and being able to get health or life insurance (2013). I think we should always have this in the back of our minds because these days the more convenient something is, especially regarding online, we are more liable to risks involving our own privacy.

All in all, there are definitely positives with using quantifiable data when it comes to health related reasons, such as diabetes and negatives, worrying so much about likes and followers on social media. If we are able to use these devices to better ourselves than the more the better.

References:

ieeeComputerSociety 2013, Big Data and the Dangers of Over-Quantifying Oneself, online video, 31 May, YouTube, viewed 17 March 2016

BCM240

Staying Connected

In this day and age it is commonly known that, generally, whenever people are travelling somewhere or in a state of relaxation people are on their phones checking their Facebook news feed, Twitter, Instagram, Text messages, Tinder matches, and all those fun digitally interactive experiences that society has a kind of “muscle memory” that we have trained ourselves to do today.

It is because of this rise of technology that people are able to do this. Long gone are the days where people would be on a train reading a book or the newspaper, or even talking to friends they have made the trip with. Funnily enough you do not even need the physical copy of a book any more to read it and, instead, can download a digital version and read it, digitally. Maybe this can all be related to newer generations becoming less and less socially intelligent because there is less need for face to face communication.

This also brings in another idea that is the basis for this post which is the idea of always wanting to stay connected. Those with an iPhone know that the battery life on those is very fragile and can sometimes do a big jump from forty percent battery life remaining to thirty percent in a matter of seconds. I know that this is definitely a problem because no one wants to be stuck in a place where the only thing to do is look out the window and look at the beautiful Australian scenery. People want to be able to have something to do with their thumbs, simply, as a way to pass the time quicker and having their phone is the easiest way to get around this.

Even being at work while I am on my lunch break this is a problem because sitting in the lunch room and even in just thirty minutes where I can, theoretically, do anything once I am finished eating and I decide to make sure to go through every social media app I have to make sure I am all updated on what is happening in the digital world. Obviously, I wanted to get other people’s opinion on this topic so while I was at work I asked a few of my co-workers if they had this “problem” as well. There were a lot of interesting responses, especially from Adam Moser, who said, “I spend around ten hours in one day, on a weekend standing up, serving customers, and I feel like I have earned the liberty to go on my phone and just zone out for 10… 15 minutes to talk to people through my phone”. I also asked him if there was any concern over having his phone on all day and constantly checking it during the long shifts out of the fear that it may lose its battery, especially, after the lunch break after it has been in constant use for almost thirty minutes. Moser said, “leaving my phone by the computer I just want to have it there because you never know if something important is going to happen that requires my attention. Even though this has never happened so far there is always the question of ‘what if?’ and if I do need to use my phone then I definitely don’t want to miss out on it. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about the battery life during the work day, it just seems to be something that I’m not always conscience of but it always annoys me at the end of the day when I get home and I see that it is in a desperate need of charge”.

Something that I found to be quite an interesting statement that Adam made was that battery life was an afterthought for him. This could definitely be the thought process, or lack thereof, that people go through where they are so much in the moment that they don’t even take into account that they are in the middle of a train trip from Wollongong to Central and the battery life is not going to last as there is no charger in sight.

Another co-worker, Nick Jago, gave me a different perspective where he said that he, “doesn’t need to worry about battery life in public spaces because my phone cover actually charges my phone so whenever I am in doubt that I might need to save battery I can just flick a switch and be safe for a while”. I found this to be very interesting that some people can use a device that needs to be charged to charge a device.

The idea of charging your phone in a public space is also something that has been implemented through the use of charging stations and interestingly enough there is one located as soon as you enter the ground floor in the UOW Library. Very rarely have I seen this charging station empty as I have been in the library a plethora of times. I think the fact that it is located in the immediate entrance to the library puts this in the forefront of people’s minds that they can go and use the charging station straight away instead of having other priorities in mind, for example, studying, completing assignments, and anything university related. While, of course, you can leave your phone alone while you go off to do whatever it is that needs to be done, realistically, what will always be on your mind is how many notifications have popped up since you last left it. I have also seen these charging stations all over shopping centres. This also reinforces the need to always be charged and stay connected in the public space. It could also be said that because of these charging stations people will be more willing to go out and do their shopping instead of shopping online, at home, which can sometimes be more convenient. So, there is a reason for shopping centres to implement these more and more as well as the use of a lounge space where people can sit comfortably and relax. This would also be a space where advertisers would put as much advertising as they could because they know that people will be there and if they can get eyes on their product and sell more they would have succeeded. There is a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario that happens here where both the consumer and the producer are getting what they want.

Clearly, the rise of technology has created a society where we are always wanting to stay connected to our digital selves and we have been inundated with ways to do this with devices such as charging stations, chargeable phone covers. This has created this ‘digital world’ where we are no longer on public transport reading a book, talking to people but instead living in this world where we do not have the need for face to face communication.

BCM240

public spaces

Taking photos or videos in public spaces is always something that can be awkward to do depending on the context. For example, being a tourist and taking a photo of the Statue of Liberty is socially accepted and people usually aim to get out of the persons shot or they just walk on through not really worrying if they appear in the photo. Generally, people feel the need to want to document what they see in new places, sometimes never to see with their own eyes again.

Apparently, the issue is that people who don’t know you and probably aren’t really even focusing on the fact that they may be in the photo so in turn, they can’t give consent. I feel like if this is taken at a location that is a hotspot for tourist it is almost an unwritten rule that photos will be taken and you may or may not be in these photos. As stated above people want to have a visual document of what they have experienced so they can look back to the “good ol’ days” in their later years and remember the, hopefully, great experiences in their life so unless someone that may appear in the photo is doing something that is inappropriate, why I have no idea, then in my personal opinion, you are at a tourist destination where photos will be taken and you may never see these said photos, who cares.

I think there may be different answers for different instances where these photos are taken. If I were to take a photo on a random street I think the only thing that would be expected it weird looks as to why I am taking a photo. Am I supposed to go to every person on a busy street and ask them permission to take a photo where they may or may not be identified, even though by the time I have set up my shot and take it they could be long gone and someone new has arrived.

If I did take a photo and some time later down the track someone in the background contacted me and asked for me to take it down then, of course, I would take it down just to avoid any confrontation.

BCM240

regulating audiences

In school there was always the rule that you were not allowed to be on your phone otherwise it would be confiscated for, quite possibly, the night. It was very refreshing once I came to university and there were no real strict rules on the use of mobile phones or really any pointless rules that school had held so valuable.

Interestingly enough, to me, was in my first marketing lecture the head lecturer went on a very long spiel about how we weren’t to use our phones or if we were on our computers we weren’t supposed to be on anything that wasn’t university related. I found this quite odd since my 7 other subjects that I had before this one didn’t have any rule close to this. This was definitely enforced as after this announcement it was then followed by another, presumably tutor, walking around the lecture hall during the session making sure that people weren’t doing anything “they weren’t supposed to”.

I found this rule to be more of a culture shock considering the more relaxed nature that I had become accustomed to over the first semester. However, something that is definitely improved from this is the lack of distractions and you will be able to concentrate more on the lecture without getting distracted by any social media. There is certainly a parallel from this to the whole concept of multitasking that I spoke about my previous blog post.

Even when I wasn’t told that they would like this rule to be followed I always try not to go on my phone, however, this usually fails and I resort to checking any messages repeatedly even when I know I don’t have any messages to read. This works the same way when I’m on my computer during lectures and tutorials and it’s difficult because I have it open trying to take down notes and whatnot and once again it leads back to getting sidetracked because of social media.

BCM240

attention – an emerging problem

Media multitasking is definitely an emerging problem and it is one that I can’t get my head around why I and my family members do it. Every time we sit down to watch something on TV my brother and mother will get on their phones within mere seconds of the show starting and start scrolling through Facebook or responding to messages. I find this quite fascinating but I am also at fault for doing this whenever I am watching something on my computer. Usually, during a movie/TV show I will have a random thought and for some reason have the need to go to the Google machine and search it up. Zheng Wang says media saturation and convergent technologies have made media multitasking increasingly prominent in recent years and there has been a dramatic increase in this, especially, among younger generations (2012).

It’s much easier to keep my attention when watching something on TV because I don’t have a connection to the internet right in front of me. Usually, watching a show on the TV, the problem for some might be the ad breaks but having Foxtel IQ I can easily get around that by recording the show and watching it later or waiting 10 minutes to start and then I don’t have to worry about having to stretch through the ads.

For the exercise this week I watched my brother watching TV and seeing how he acted. Even though there were no commercial breaks to be seen, because he could just skip through them, he still managed to find a way to be distracted in the 40 minutes that the actual show is on. Playing a random game on his phone for a few moments before switching his attention back to the show, asking dad a few questions about his EPL Fantasy Team and how many points he has, just among the few distractions. Interestingly enough, there can be a correlation to a study (Brasel & Gips, 2011) that was conducted with people watching television and using the computer at the same time. The study found that “people were switching between media at an extreme rate, averaging more than 4 switches per min and 120 switches over the 27.5-minute study exposure” (2011).

I had my brother do the same thing to me and probably because I was aware of why my brother was observing what I was doing but only once did I check my phone. I know that if I went unmonitored and was watching something on my computer then the actual amount of times I tried to look something up on my computer or quickly scroll through Facebook for some random reason would be much higher.

References:

Wang, Z & Tchernev M John 2012, ‘The ‘‘Myth’’ of Media Multitasking: Reciprocal Dynamics of Media Multitasking, Personal Needs, and Gratifications’ Journal of Communication vol 62 p. 493

Brasel S Adam & Gips J 2011, ‘Media Multitasking Behaviour: Concurrent Television and Computer Usage’ Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking vol 14