Knowing Me, Knowing You: A Critical Self-Reflection

Image: © Abba Knowing me, Knowing you MV

We often compare ourselves to others – I’m sure you’ve scrolled through Instagram and thought: “Why can’t I make my … look like hers?” or “Why don’t I have a six pack like him?” These are the shallow, passing reflections we have when comparing ourselves as we are to what we want to be. But what about comparing yourself to others who aim to do something similar to you? And how may you reflect on your own process through an understanding of how another person has decided to attack such similar subject matter?

That’s exactly what I’ve attempted to do by commenting on three Digital Artefacts that I was interested in – in an effort to understand my own on a deeper level.

Launch of ‘Leah Games’:

Leah’s Digital Artefact involves creating a ‘Let’s Play’ channel, revisiting games she played in her childhood. Her DA combines her autoethnographic experience with media archaeology to give an informative take on the games she plays with her own distinctive touch.

One thing that was particularly interesting to me was Leah’s decision to make her content’s target audience be females (or those who identify as female) in her age range. On a surface level, this seems understandable, we commonly find that gender groups have shared common interests in their childhoods, and this creates an unspoken bond between them. I decided to offer a few bits of advice to Leah, that is, structuring a coherent autoethnographic analysis of her experience when revisiting these games using a lecture by Christopher Moore and a way of exploring what I felt may have been a slightly underdeveloped aspect of her analytical framework: examining these Genres through a psychoanalytical lens. My advice was to use her autoethnographic account of these games and combine it with psychoanalytical analysis in order to see why these games appealed to her and her target audience in particular.

Kate’s Marketing Guide:

Kate’s Digital artefact was appealing to me as it explored something vital to any media industry: marketing. Her explanation takes the form of a series of video essays analysing campaigns from major video game companies. Marketing is a field I rarely consider, and I like to think that my feelings towards new games or consoles aren’t so easily swayed by marketing campaigns (perhaps Kate’s Digital Artefact will prove me wrong). As far as advice goes, I offered a variety of links that would specifically target the structuralist lens she was using. I did this by providing links to articles about competing console companies in a given context, giving her a foundation on which she could analyse two companies’ approaches to selling a console. Another thing I enjoyed about Kate’s pitch was her mentioning of the video’s utility. She has a sharp vision of how her analysis of video game marketing would benefit viewers and allow them to make informed judgments about what they are buying and what marketing techniques are used to appeal to them.

Digital Artefact – Old Games

Anthony’s digital artefact was surprisingly similar in theory to mine: examining old games and their resurgence in modern gaming culture. As well as video essays, his DA would also take the form of walkthroughs and tutorials for newcomers who may just be getting into these (sometimes hard to get the hang of) old games. One thing that’s especially interesting about his project is his consideration of a feedback loop and how he will use viewer engagement to adjust his approach to content. One of my suggestions for Anthony was to use a structuralist lens when looking at these old games, identifying what makes them similar and so beloved by fans. Anthony also made it clear that he would engage with these old games’ communities and get involved with their modding scenes. I suggested He check out a bunch of subreddits that deal with modding these old games and developing games using old technology. I also gave him the link to an in-depth book on the subject. I felt doing this would broaden his understanding of how these old games were made and allow him to make thoughtful videos analysing the game’s context.

Be sure to check out the video above for a more in-depth view of how these projects have helped develop my own digital artefact: Style is Substance.

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