While the progress on my digital artefact has been slower than I anticipated, I am happy with the direction I am heading. It has been slow going with creating the content to post, both in terms of the research and content of the captions, and the photos themselves. I have been trying not to ‘force’ myself to produce photos, and because of that, a few hours of gameplay might only yield one or two – or even zero – usable photos. It is for this reason that I decided to break down the project from being from three different games to being from two games – dropping Assassin’s Creed and focusing solely on Horizon Zero Dawn and Spider-Man – the two with the better photo mode.
In terms of research, I have engaged with sources both academic and in the media. I’ve found the sources in the media to be more relevant and helpful for me, on account of the fact that academic research hasn’t really ‘caught up’ to virtual photography yet. The academic readings I have found most useful have been Cindy Poremba’s 2007 article “Point and Shoot: Remediating Photography in Game Space”, as well as an article written by Izabela Zhang exploring in-game photography. And in terms of popular news and media sources, there is just a wealth of articles, think pieces and small essays written on both gaming and photography websites that delve into virtual photography. For my next caption on participatory media culture, I will be engaging with both week six topics – Raessens’ 2005 article “Computer Games as Participatory Media Culture”, as well as diving more into the rise (and fall) of machinima. In terms of my analytical framework, I have four aspects; political economy, media archaeology, participatory media culture, and technical strata, and it is through these lenses that I will be examining virtual photography. I chose this analytical framework as it lends to my experience as a photographer – both in the real and virtual worlds, allowing me to expand on my prior knowledge, and grow my skill sets.
As stated in my video, the statistics on my first two posts have been promising. At the time of writing this I have had 146 views from 83 visitors, indicating the vast majority of viewers read both parts of the essay. Regarding the quality of feedback, it has been mostly positive, but not a lot of the feedback I have received has actually engaged with the content of the caption, and have mostly just been about the quality of the photos. With that in mind, I did receive a reddit message from someone completing their undergrad thesis on the analysis of art and video games. They gave me some interesting insights into where they would like to see from my next few posts, and asked to be updated on the project, and another subreddit pinned my post to the top of the sub for further visibility.
I have been posting and plugging my DA where possible, however I am worried about posting it to too many places when I only have half the project completed. It is hard enough to get an audience to engage with something once, let alone get them to engage with it four times, when each part gets released. It is easier to give an audience a completed piece, than to get them to keep coming back for more. It is for this reason I have stayed away from the larger subreddits like /r/gaming, but I am planning on posting to them once the project is completed. The timeline for the project is to have the final two captions completed in the next fortnight, ahead of PAX Australia, and the final DA submission ready by Week 13.