BCM215 Contextual Essay
Interesting Things: Women and Video Games
- The Digital Artefact Links
- Ideation, Concepts, and Response to Feedback
- Background Research
For the transcript for my BCM215 DA, click here.
Ideation, Concepts, and Response to Feedback
Initially, this DA started in the form of visual art posted on Instagram and shared across other social media platforms such as TikTok and Reddit. By making fan art, I was directly participating in the fandom, allowing me to better understand the appreciation behind certain games and understand why specific styles of art were popularised. However, when receiving feedback on my Beta, I came to realise that the initial idea didn’t have enough focus on critical analysis of game media texts or paratexts.
To develop this DA further and include more subject-relevant content, I decided to only include visual art based on video games created by or primarily focusing on women. Week four’s lecture had a strong focus on the history of game studies, with one of the assigned readings being Nooney’s ‘A Pedestal, A Table, A Love Letter: Archaeologies of Gender in Videogame History’. The ideas which this reading brought forth, specifically surrounding Roberta Williams, encouraged me to do further research into the role women have in the video game industry.
From there, the research I’d done had inspired me to focus my DA on the way women have impacted the history of video games and how they’re portrayed in video games as well as in the video game industry itself. Rather than creating individual pieces of art, I found it most effective and interesting to create a podcast collating all the ideas and concepts brought forward from the class readings and external research.
When creating the podcast, my process was the following:
- Do extensive background research and collate it all in a word document, including a list of references along the way.
- Structure the research in a way which logically and progressively makes sense.
- Undertake further background research to enhance or further inform arguments established earlier.
- Create a script which includes less formal and more approachable language.
- Record and edit the podcast and upload to YouTube.
The podcast is currently available online, though it hasn’t been widely spread online. Over the coming weeks, I plan on marketing the podcast further to gain more viewers. Aside from that, I feel that Interesting Things summarised and analysed the situation surrounding women and video games, giving my audience a better understanding of a concept which was brought up briefly in the subject.
The background research supporting the podcast included a variety of sources from both news and scholarly resources. By including a mix of both, I feel that the podcast was more well-informed, giving it a rounder view at the situation surrounding women and games.
One thing I failed to consider wa a concept which was bought up by Mooney: the importance of ‘shifting the relevant question from “Where are women in game history?” to “Why are they there in the way that they are?”’ While my background research focused on the representation of women in video games, further research addressing Mooney’s idea would’ve been of benefit to my DA.
By creating something which outlines the issues women are experiencing in the video game industry, I hope to inform my audience of the issues, which will hopefully one day help to make a change. It was important to me to participate in this directly, displaying the information in a clear, easy to understand way, that I’ll hopefully influence some change, or at the very least, create some important conversations. As Chris said in the Week Eight lecture, ‘audiences are active producers of meaning through processes of interpretation which differ depending on multiple contexts from age, gender, class, race, as well as unique community and individual experiences.’
Nooney, L 2013, “A Pedestal, a table, a love letter: archaeologies of gender in videogame history”, Game Studies <http://gamestudies.org/1302/articles/nooney>