Liveblogging and ‘Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep’.

This week I introduced myself to the PSP game ‘Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep‘, and live blogged my experience of starting the game. I’ll admit that due to a rather busy schedule I haven’t had as much time playing the game as I would like. However, this post isn’t just about my actual experience playing the game, it’s also about my experience live blogging.

But first a bit of background about the game. Developed and distributed in 2010 by the Japanese company, Square Enix, the game is the sixth instalment of the ‘Kingdom Hearts’ series. It is a prequel game (something I didn’t know until writing this post) and by the end of 2010 sold a total of 1.27 million copies around the world (Gantayat 2010). Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any statistics about the game’s sales in Australia.

Some questions (Sheridan) I am asking myself through my reflection this week include:

  • What was frustrating or boring about this to me?
  • What are my feelings toward the group, and what are the possible reasons for my reactions?
  • Are there unexplainable holes in my general understanding of the people or event?

So last Monday I set up in my room with my PSP and my laptop and got ready to live blog playing KH:BS for the first time. I was excited in the beginning, but this quickly turned to frustration as I had to update my PSP before it would open the game. This took a good half an hour as apparently it didn’t have enough battery.

Mine 5

My first few posts.

The relief I felt when it finally started was quashed by how irritated I was. I did know my irritation was directed at the PSP, not the game itself, but I think it rubbed off on the experience of playing. My patience was miniscule; not at all helped by the fact that there were so many mini movies, and that I often had no idea what was happening.

Although I did know about ‘Kingdom Hearts’ before I played, I didn’t know the story and so felt like I was missing something. I don’t think this had anything to do with the origin of the game, or the fact that some things may have got lost in translation. But at the same time, because I don’t have that knowledge of the previous games, I don’t really know if that’s true.

After trying live blogging I had a look around on the internet to see how other people have done the same thing. It was difficult finding examples, but there were a number on the Tumblr tag ‘Liveblogging video games’.

6 5 4

I am sure that there are plenty of other people out there who live blog their gaming experiences; it’s just a matter of finding them. The live blogging aspect of video game culture isn’t very big. I believe this is because a lot of people get so absorbed in the game they’re playing that they aren’t thinking about sharing what they’re doing. I know I had to consciously think about blogging, and had to write quick so I didn’t miss what was still happening in the game. Also from the examples I did find there were only a couple who were playing handheld consoles.

In the end I think that live blogging is a great way to express your thoughts on a game in the exact moment. It’s very honest and generally uncensored. You get people’s raw thoughts and emotions. And I think that’s something we rarely see.

– Gabi

References:

Gantayat, A 2010, “Square Enix’s Biggest Games Were Dragon Quest and Kane & Lynch”, IGN, website, viewed 17th Sept 2014, found: http://au.ign.com/articles/2010/11/04/square-enixs-biggest-games-were-dragon-quest-and-kane-lynch

Sheridan, R , “Autoethnography: Research as Participant”, viewed 17th Sept 2014, found: http://ricksheridan.netmar.com/auto/

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7 comments

  1. Hey Gabi, interesting post. It certainly seems like technology seemed to hamper your experience of playing the game which I think most people can relate to. This practice of live blogging while playing the game seems very intriguing and someone who can easily multitask would probably be good at it. I suspect though from your post that it is a niche market in its success because of the difficulty of concentrating on the game at hand and actually blogging about it in real time. When you say blogging is it like tweeting in the terms of length and depth? Sorry if this is a stupid question it is just that I am unfamiliar with it. This practice could be classed as auto-ethnographic in real time because we directly hear from people and their experiences of playing these games. It is definitely worth looking more into for your digital artefact.

    – Caitlin

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    1. Hey Caitlin, thanks for the comment 🙂
      Yes the posts are usually short and sweet, as evidenced in the first picture which is my first couple posts. Due to the medium they can be longer, but not usually as it sort of defeats the purpose of quickly expressing your feelings on what is happening.
      And I agree, I’ll be trying to look into it a bit more.
      – Gabi

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  2. You’ve provided some great initial thoughts on the liveblogging experience. Text based live blogging seems a bit perplexing to me, perhaps interfering with the game too much, depending on the game type I would imagine a constant stopping and starting would be too intrusive on the experience. Have you investigated other methods of live blogging, a popular one that I come across frequently on YouTube is that of live blogging via video, which seems to also provide a more instantaneous documenting of the experience. Perhaps you could use both? The text could provide a further summary and analysis of the video blogging.

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  3. I’ve really enjoyed this post, predominantly because of your use of the autoethnographic process in conveying your experience with both the content and the context (method) of your research. I would be interested to see you do a live blogging method comparison by possibly trying video blogging. It seems to me that live blogging via tweets is something usually reserved for consumption of ‘passive media’ e.g. television shows, films, YouTube videos, and it may merit some reflection on how the format you are using is impacting upon your interaction with and enjoyment of the media you are immersing yourself within. Additionally, your difficulties with the media format that you were using (PSP) demonstrates pretty perfectly the complexities of context within autethnography, showing that it is not just the experience that you derive from intentional experience of the subject which provides meaning, but also the innate challenges of one’s environmental context.

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  4. I’m going to be live tweeting me watching a movie, and I was wondering, what do you think about how this going to be shown to people? I mean screen shots of real time thoughts during an experience, is basically pretty ‘emotionally rich’ as Ellis, Adams & Bochner (2011) would put it. Do you have any thoughts about what ways this can covey the most ‘information needed to appreciate what is going on?’ Ellis, Adams & Bochner (2011)

    Reference
    Ellis, C., Adams, T.E., and Bochner, A.P. (2011) ‘Autoethnography: An Overview’, Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12:1.

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  5. I couldn’t imagine live blogging a video game. This seems like something I would get really into at the start and forget to do by the end. It would almost feel like live blogging a book for me. Actually, I may try this some time! I know how you feel with the frustration of updating a console, I own an XBox one and the amount of times I have to update is just ridiculous! I’ve had experience playing a Kingdom Hearts game before and although I have played the first one made on its original platform I also found that I was lost. I wonder if it is something lost within the translation of the games. Or perhaps we were both deterred by outside forces.

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  6. Great post Gabi. I have never even heard of live blogging a video game, it seems so odd to me as you would constantly be having to flick it off and on, and constantly be stopping and starting just to keep up with what was happening on the game but also what you were live blogging about!
    I think it is so great how you have really taken a lot of thought into your research and what the best ways there are to get the best results and experiences. This is such a unique and great idea!
    I also like Amy’s idea above about maybe try video blogging, I think this would work a lot better as you could just play the game while talking about it and won’t actually have to stop and start but really just focus on the game and what you are doing!
    Good work.

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