BCM 215: Contextual Report

Index

  1. Project Iteration Cycle
  2. Concept
  3. Utility
  4. Methodology
  5. Research
  6. Response to Feedback
  7. Trajectory, Success and Limitations
  8. Final Thoughts
  9. Digital Artefact Playlist

“Paratext can be defined as the features that surround a text, yet are not recognised as part of it”- Daniel Dunne

Project Iteration Cycle

For the most part, my DA has remained the same except the first episode, it was brought to me that people might not know about the topics I was talking about in my videos and so I made my first episode into a tutorial regarding Pokémon topics.

There were minor changes that were made to the project that were brought upon by peer feedback, primarily from my project pitch, the other notable change that occurred was that I only made three episodes instead of four.

Concept

The idea is that by looking at a particular Pokémon within the lens of multiple different play styles, with two not being the conventional way to play, this will allow us to look at how good a Pokémon is as well as examine the paratext of the game modes compared to a conventional playthrough and of the Pokémon within these game modes and how these unconventional modes relate to the base game despite not being part of it.

Utility

I stumbled onto the utility of my DA during week 2 of session when I casually mentioned the idea and was told that it would work well. My DA looks at the paratext of a specific Pokémon as well as the different game modes that aren’t part of the traditional style of play and compare said Pokémon among these different categories. In each category I look at different aspects of the Pokémon and information revolving around it that is beneficial or detrimental to the type of play style, this has the end result of looking at the same Pokémon through three different contextual frames despite it being part of the same game. This leaves the viewers with a chance to look at paratext regarding the Pokémon and the game mode through a contextual analysis, as well as gain some knowledge on how good said Pokémon is.

Methodology

The way I was able to achieve this is through breaking each game mode, those being the playthrough, Nuzlocke and VGC and examining the Pokémon’s contextual strengths regarding each category. In each category, different stats and pieces of information were used to demonstrate that just because it is good or bad in one area doesn’t mean it’s the same in another. I would then give a rating for each category and then average the score at the end giving it a total out of ten.

Research

My background research was mostly focused on paratext, I have mentioned Daniel Dunne (if link is broken Source:Dunne, D., 2014. Paratext: A more interactive movement. Proceedings of DiGRA Australia, pp.18-20.) in multiple assessments this semester, but it was his article that nailed home what paratext was for me. He explains that videogame paratext is more complex than in literature, and this is due to its multimedia representation such as sound, in-game graphics and physical appearance. Other sources came from more mainstream media back this up, Steven Harvie wrote an article talking about paratext regarding loading screens and the main menus. I also found an article by Jan Svelch that spoke about how the term paratext is outdated and that it is harder to use the term regarding video games due to the boundaries between the texts being too fluid. Other types of research that I carried out regarding the creation of my DA came from sites such as Bulbapedia and Serebii as well as other websites like GamesRadar and Pokémon Database.

Response to Feedback

In regards to the feedback, I received from my project and beta pitch, the project pitch I received feedback which helped me incorporate other aspects into my DA, for example, a comment from Dechlan led me to develop my Nuzlocke category further, Mitchell’s comment got me to thinking about if I would incorporate the DLC into the series, which I decided against and Jacky got me to think about the formatting of my video.

Unfortunately, I didn’t receive a lot of feedback from the beta pitch, so I couldn’t adapt further.  

Trajectory, Success and Limitations

I was able to create three videos including the introduction episode, originally I was planning on making four episodes but instead I made the videos longer and more in depth which took longer to make so I decided instead of rushing a fourth one I would make three quality episodes. Overall, I would say the DA was successful in achieving its goal. The limitations are that unless you have some knowledge regarding Pokémon it will be harder for an audience member to be able to understand the paratext and the goal of examining it within the lens of Pokémon as well as create a contextual analysis of the game and the Pokémon. Due to word limitations, the utility aspect of my project is placed within the DA video at the start.

Final Thoughts

BCM 215 was one of the best experiences I have had in my university life, I have learnt quite a lot and expanded on things I already knew about. I had a blast making my DA and believe that I was able to create something that represented the information we were being taught while making content on something that I greatly enjoy! Big thanks to Richard and Chris for this semester and good luck to my peers!

Digital Artefact Playlist

If you would like to watch the full series find the playlist here

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