The following is a self-reflection of feedback that I provided to several of my BCM 215 peers in response to their Digital Artefact Beta Pitches.
Steph Jory – ‘Power in Video Games’
Steph’s Digital Artefact is a series of blog posts exploring the concept and representation of power through the utilisation of Fortnite as a case study.
Since Steph already had a well-developed analytical framework and content creation process that she was utilising as a part of her Digital Artefact, I felt that my feedback would be more useful if it was focussed on the more public and ‘forward-facing’ elements of her DA. As such, I suggested that she should ensure that she provides link(s) to her DA in her pitches (as a good rule of thumb to assist her viewers in finding it) and I encouraged Steph to consider using a third-party scheduling application to assist in the posting and subsequent advertising process. This advice aimed at increasing the efficiency of Steph’s publishing process and would ideally mean that she would be able to create more effective audience funnels to direct traffic towards her Digital Artefact.
In addition to providing Steph with some constructive suggestions for improvement, I also offered her with some supplementary academic research sources which I felt may enhance her analysis of the topic; a book exploring various representations of power in popular media, movies and video games as well as a site delving into the emotional psychology of video games.
You can view the feedback I provided to Steph here.
In responding to Steph’s Beta Pitch, I was reminded of the importance of considering audience accessibility and how they will come across content. As the audience is ultimately the source of feedback, getting your content seen is a critical part of the feedback loop. After reflecting upon this, I aim to ensure that I am keeping the accessibility of my audience in mind for my own personal DA.
Nick Childs – ‘Loot Box Controversy’
Nick’s Digital Artefact is a number of questions posted to Reddit regarding the nature and application of ‘loot crates’ and how the randomised in-game purchasable content is similar to real-life gambling.
My feedback for Nick centred on encouraging him to ensure that the (new) direction he was taking his DA satisfied the Digital Artefact requirements as indicated in the Subject outline. Instead of simply posting questions on Reddit as a DA, I urged Nick to consider engaging further with the content by creating some sort of final capstone project in the form of a Video Essay or a blog post aggregating the content and responses gained on Reddit through some sort of analytical framework. By highlighting an area that may require extra attention and suggesting alternative solutions, I feel that my feedback was not only insightful but also actionable.
As well as giving Nick with some feedback regarding his DA, I also provided him with some additional academic research sources which I felt may have assisted him in his analysis; a peer-reviewed journal directly comparing gambling and ‘loot boxes’ in games and an article assessing the psychological effects of opening ‘loot boxes’ with randomised drops in video games.
You can view the feedback I provided to Nick here.
Jack Riddoutt – ‘Microtransactions in Sports Video Games’
Jack’s Digital Artefact is several questions posted to Reddit relating to microtransactions in sports video games.
Jack’s Digital Artefact is very similar to that of Nick’s as each of their respective DAs are some questions posted to Reddit. As such, in my mind, Jack’s DA was at risk of not fulfilling the key assessment requirements of the Digital Artefact just as Nick’s was (in my opinion) as they each were perhaps not engaging deeply enough with the content and lacking analysis in their approach. For this reason, I provided very similar feedback to Jack as I had to Nick as I felt it was the most important component of his DA that needed to be considered further.
I also provided Jack with some additional resources that could potentially bolster his DA’s analytical approach; a website detailing the history and projected future of microtransactions in video games and a journal article exploring collective social responsibility concerning the monetisation of certain elements in video games.
You can view the feedback I provided to Jack here.
By providing Nick and Jack feedback, I learned the importance of keeping the project’s key parameters in mind when developing and implementing iterations. This is not to say that you cannot deviate and that you must strictly adhere to every prescribed rule you may encounter when closing feedback loops, rather, that it pays to keep in mind some of the governing and over-arching guidelines that dictate the nature of operations or activity that is permissible. Going forward, I aim to carefully consider how each new development I make in my Digital Artefact effects my overall adherence to the original task requirements.
By responding to my peers and subsequently reflecting upon the feedback I provided to them in turn, not only have I have been reminded of the power of constructive feedback that is delivered in a respectful, polite and considerate fashion, but I have also been able to reexamine my own DA Beta Pitch with a new and more open outlook. Although the process of reflection can be uncomfortable and reveal some of our biggest points of weakness, I think that the act of reflecting is a valuable tool in our arsenal as researchers and certainly a way in which we can improve ourselves and assist others to do the same.