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.
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’.
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.
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/