My autoethnographic take on State of Play

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I am defiantly not a gamer, nor do I know very much about gaming so the documentary state of play showed an entirely new world to me. At first I thought here we go this is going to be real boring. However the film didn’t so much focus on the game but the emotions, relationships and different roles the culture of StarCraft impacted. Ellis describes autoethnography as analysing ones own personal experiences to understand cultural experiences, it “allows writers to make events engaging and emotionally rich.” this methodology embraces the fact that it is impossible to be completely subjective when writing about another’s culture. Which I think is a really interesting that the reader upfront is informed of the probable bias in the writing.

My lack of knowledge about the world of e-sports and StarCraft influenced the way I viewed the film. When looking at my personal experience of being a non-gamer its no surprise that that element of the documentary didn’t really resonate with me and I chose almost subconsciously to concentrate on the emotional and relationship elements.

There were two main elements to the film that really intrigued me. The sense of belonging and family bond between the players as a result of their love for the game and feeling the pressures of the gaming lifestyle. This theme Resonates no matter the culture as everyone wants this sense of belonging no matter the sport or lifestyle.

Another element that really fascinated me was the lack of female players and the role that the fan girls played. The way the fan girls behaved was something that was interesting I thought that they were all very polite for fan girls. When the game finished they all stood around waiting to give there gifts and either congratulate or console their crush. Comparing that to for example when Justin Bieber came to Australia, his fan girls went insane some even being sent to hospital for injuries sustained from being crushed in the mosh frantically trying to just touch the Biebs, there was no politely waiting in line.

Below are some dot points of my thoughts while watching the film.

  •  A game about confidence and bluff
  •  Everyone in the audience is so into it, just watching a video game- most people would rather play then watch?
  •  gaming pop stars
  •  Surrounded by girls, wanting autographs, getting gifts
  •  Looking at family life- “why do you open new bottles of water when the previous isn’t finished”- seeing similarities in family life
  •  Pro gamer left home at 16 to pursue gaming
  •  Players are brothers- family
  •  Rigid training schedule- they all look like zombies when they play
  •  Kids getting drafted from as young as 12
  •  These Kids all have gaming in common and become a family because of it- sense of belonging to gaming community
  •  Like an elite school they get drafted/chosen to join this new league some even dropping out of school for this lifestyle
  •  “doesn’t see sunlight and that’s why I have a crush on him”- they train hard- there hard work is valued and seen as attractive
  •  Family is a construct that is the same universally?
  •  school– he’s sleeping up the back of class- relatable
  •  The way they talk about girls- similarities
  •  Is there this same culture for other games?
  •  Why star craft?
  •  Movie is about gender, masculinity in Korea- no female players, female role is to watch and swoon
  •  Bond between players, and between family
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