My project for this subject has gone through many changes. Initially, the focus was going to be about nostalgic video games, and what made them so special. I would have inquired about if it was the memories that made them so special, or if it was the gameplay mechanics, such as the music, visuals, or gameplay loops that made them so beloved by people. The biggest concern with this method was how I would use autoethnography to record the data needed for the digital artifact and how the framework would look for it. There was an issue about what genre of games I would analyze as well, with some ideas include looking at Call of Duty games being analyzed over different consoles as well Fifa games too. Ultimately, I decided to nix that idea and instead start something new, as I felt that the confusion over which games to play and use as data for the autoethnography and knowledge of media niche.

When it came to deciding what new fandom or media niche to look into, I was focused on picking a media niche that would be of great interest to me, as well as something that has an audience involved with it. I kept my focus on the video game world, and after some consideration, chose the Dragon Age video game series. This series is a large passion of mine, as I have played all games on the major consoles, as well interested in the lore of the world. While I was happy to pick this topic, what was next on the list was to figure out how I would build expertise in the series. I decided to use the lens of choice in gameplay design, and how the series gives players the choice when it comes to major storyline decisions, as well as romantic options as well. There was also an inevstiagtion into the avatar the player chooses and the decisions each player makes about how they look and what type of person they aim to be in the game.

Looking at how other players interacted with the game and the chocies they made helped understand my own experience compared to other players in the smae world. Asking others about what decisions they made in the story or romantic options and most importantly, why they made those decision int eh first place. It was also a way to investigate players are homosexual, and ask them if they particpated in homosexual relationships that are an option in the series of video games.

When it came to source to use for backgroudn research, one such journal helped my understanding of the way the player interacts with role-playing games. The journal dicussed how gender, sexuality and romance are explored in role-playing games, with the exmaples of Fable 3, Dragon’s Dogma and Dragon Age: Inquisition. I used the Dragon Age example as a guide to the way that players choose their own experience and how the themes of gender, sexuality and romance is explore in the game. It helped me understand the importance that choosing how the avatar looks, as either a replication fo themselves, or viewing it as an opportunity to expirment by making themslevs taller or shorter or in anyway different from themsleves in the real world. The source also allowed for me to focus on how the avatar choices affected the romantic options the player can make in the game. It also correlates how action and choice influence the relationships made in the game, as certain dialogue choices are made for the player to take. It is not necesaary to the main story to partake in a romance, it is entirely on the player to insitgate the romance in the game.

Reddit was the platform I used to spread my information and create my public persona. There is a large Dragon Age community on that website, so it was natural that the platform would be of ideal use for garnering my audience to the my content. It was also a platform that allowed for me to interact with other users and fans of the game from the persepctive of a fan. While my main point was to create content that would be viewed by an audience, creating some presence of a fan of the series and also eager to respond and comment on people’s posts shows an interest to toehr about the game world. There were consideration for other platforms to be sued to share the content, but Reddit was the best option to use. I wanted to craft my persona with an emphasis on agency from the user. The idea was to create content and feedback that would encourage them to actively read the material and provide comments that provide comments to help improve the quality of the content.

I decided to use blog posts as the main form of content creation rather than other forms of media. Blog posts allowed for me to use many forms of media, written words, audio and visual content, as well video content too, to provide something different and enageg anybody who views the content. I am also confident about manufacturing content on the platform, whereas other platforms I am not comfortable with for a digital atrifact. Blog posts also allow for hyperlinks to be used, as it shows my background research into the topic and gives interested people the opportunity for further knowledge about the topic.

Digital Artifact Post: https://bens652658574.wordpress.com/2021/11/02/choices-choices-choices-in-dragon-age/

Digital Artifact Beta: https://bens652658574.wordpress.com/2021/10/14/choices-in-dragon-age-beta/

References: References: Navarro-Remesal, V 2018, ‘Gender, sex and romance in role-playing video games: Dragon’s Dogma, Fable III and Dragon Age: Inquisition’, Catalan journal of communication & cultural studies, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 177–191.