Since I’ve spent some time discussing Assessment 3, I’d like to use this post to focus on Assessment 2. In Assessment 2 I’ll be investigating how roleplaying, ie. the act of using your imagination to expand the gaming experience, not only enriches the experience for the gamer, but also for the audience if said gamer is a Lets Player. Thus suitably, I will be presenting my findings in a short Let’s Play video of either Fallout 4, or Skyrim.
My idea for the topic arose while I was creating another new character in Skyrim. What intrigued me was pin pointing what it was that kept bringing me back to the game. I have now settled with the answer that perhaps, for me, it’s to do with the idea that you’re telling a new character’s story. Furthermore, another feature that brought me back was Steam’s mod support for Skyrim. The academic Postigo, musing on the modern gaming industry states that:
game companies that tap into the talent of fan-programmers may also tap into micromarkets in gaming, smaller pockets of consumers who are drawn to a game because a mod may add an element of specific interest to a subset of consumers.
Thus, thanks to both Bethesda and Valve’s support for the modding industry, I was able to download a mod titled ‘Random Alternate Start’ which spawns your newly created Skyrim character on to a random plot of land. Thus by customising my game with the mod, I was able to tell brand new stories. One story that I remember follows my Nord Barbarian who spawned near a pirate ship. I’d decided that he’d arrived there to collect the bounty on the bandit’s heads, and so thus was a bounty hunter.
This notion of telling stories brings me back to Marie Laure-Ryan, who I referred to in my last post, who spoke about the idea of “internal-ontological interactivity.” This is the idea that,
The interaction between the user and the fictional world produces a new life, and consequently a new life-story, with every run of the system.
This means that under the new system if you upload a Minecraft lets play every day and get only several thousand views per video, you get paid more than someone who uploads less frequently but gets a million or more views per video… It is literally impossible to outpace or even match the content production level of a letsplayer or vlogger if you’re an animator… Thus, the animation community on YouTube was beheaded.
“In my opinion the Lets Play community have a huge moral obligation to support the medium that supports them. By uploading these 30 part full-run spoiler videos with no links, and not even a single shred of subjective critique, they’re unintentionally causing damage to the industry.” – Goose
Ironically, these Lets Players then go on to make even more money as companies begin to sponsor them. In fact, Robbaz actually gave an insight into the process when he shared a screen-cap of a conversation he had with the Ambassador of Super Geek Box. His decline was brilliant.
However, before I continue to digress, I’d like to firmly establish that as you can plainly see, I have my work set out for me. There’s a wealth of content to explore, and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts with you all in Week 11.
Until then, take care.
Postigo, Hector (2007) “Of Mods and Modders: Chasing Down the Value of Fan-Based Digital Game Modification.” Games and Culture 2: 300-13.
Ryan, M.-L. (2001). Beyond myth and metaphor: The case of narrative in digital media. Game studies. The international Journal of Computer Game Research, 1,1. http://www.gamestudies.org/0101/ryan/