BCM 215 Comment Reflections – Kurt Dixon

As part of my contribution to my peers, I commented on the pitch blogs of Leo Twemlow, Hussein Hijazi and Charlea Schembri.

Comment #1: The Emergence of Microtransactions by Leo Twemlow

Leo’s pitch (https://leotwemlow.wordpress.com/2020/09/09/bcm215-contextual-blog/) involved researching and discussing the emergence of microtransactions within video games. As I noted, not only is the issue of microtransactions a super relevant topic at this present time (i.e. recent laws and lawsuits), but it is also an extremely broad gaming trend which has penetrated multiple platforms and types of games (i.e. microtransactions in mobile games vs in console / PC games). As such, there is a plethora of resources out there, as well as many different angles he can take with this DA.

Leo’s pitch looks to address the recent emergence of microtransactions in video games

I suggested differentiating between the types of microtransactions in each weekly blog post as a possible strategy to take forward, or he could choose to narrow in specifically on one form and produce a comprehensive DA on, for example, microtransactions that provide cosmetic differences to the player over the 5 or so blogs he produces. In addition to this suggestion, I also provided links to news articles covering the recent laws and lawsuits ((https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/ea-faces-a-class-action-lawsuit-over-ultimate-team-loot-boxes/ and https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43906306) so that he can have more evidence to argue why his DA is extremely relevant and why it has social utility.

Comment #2: BCM215 DA Pitch by Hussein Hijazi

Hussein’s DA (https://husseinsblog104202218.wordpress.com/2020/09/08/bcm215-da-pitch/) will involve critiquing games on the mobile App store and providing reviews of them utilising a strict formula of games journalism and games criticism. This involves a discussion of what he liked and disliked about certain aspects of the game, and then considering the game developer’s intentions and motivations for making the game. He then intends to secure feedback from others to find out which game he ought to review in his next weekly blog, an aspect I feel contributes nicely to the social utility component of the DA.

Hussein intends to critique video games utilising a games journalism and games criticism approach

I contributed to his pitch blog by directing him towards the Week 2 readings and lecture concerning how meaning is extrapolated from texts. Specifically, I suggested he could use a postmodernist ‘Death of the Author’ perspective to analyse these games – though the developer wanted to produce a specific meaning for their game, it isn’t necessarily the meaning which a player like Hussein will extrapolate after playing it. I believe that by taking this into account, he will nail the theoretical component of the DA.

Comment #3: The New Kid on the Consol by Charlea Schembri

Finally, Charlea’s pitch (https://justcharlea.wordpress.com/2020/09/07/the-new-kid-on-the-consol/) offers an intriguing insight into how new players interact with games. Charlea intends to play the tutorials of games recommended to her by her partner and analyse the psychological impacts these game tutorials have on her as a complete beginner to gaming; whether they are intuitive, helpful, frustrating etc. I look forward to her weekly blog post looking at the success (or failure) of these games’ level design.

Charlea’s pitch will assess the effectiveness of tutorials for absolute beginners to video games

To help with the analytical framework side of the DA, I suggested for her partner to indicate why he chose these games for her to play – was there an expectation or assumption that some of these games would be easier for a beginner player? I also included a link to a successful Youtube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax7f3JZJHSw&ab_channel=Razbuten) of a similar project whereby a guy analysed what he learnt about game design by watching his wife play games for the first time. I believe that her project has immense social utility because, as evidenced by the popular video I linked, those who play regularly are fascinated by how absolute beginners interact with games, thus her DA has the potential to very popular and informative.

I look forward to the progress each of these three DAs undertake over the coming weeks and how they will fit within the assessment requirements.

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