Week 2

The Art of Autoethnography: Part I

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Part I- Autoethnography

A form of self-reflection and writing that explores the researcher’s personal experiences and connects this autobiographical story to a wider cultural-political-and social meanings and understandings’ (Collins Dictionary, 2013)

Autoethnography is a new and foreign concept to me, one that seems simple at first glance yet has hidden complexities and requires a greater deal of insight to result in purposeful authenticity.

This week’s reading Autoethnography: An Overview (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011) details that autoethnography is to analyse experience through methodological tools, literature research and use personal experience to illustrate facets of cultural experience. Therefore it is under this guise that I shall share my process of autoethnography regarding the 1954 Japanese film Godzilla/Gojira.

 

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Observation and simply absorbing the text in all its glory, taking note of my observations were the only methodological tools used. A basic approach, but as this is my first attempt at autoethnographic research, basic is the best way to start.

Here are my observations, a summary of the running commentary of my thoughts during the entire film:

  • Constant shadows make it hard to see the emotions displayed of the characters faces.
  • I wonder what the subtitles meant by ‘firefighters’, I’m guessing firefighters given the context.
  • There is a lot of jumping from one scene to the other.
  • Little emotion is shown by the characters when announcing the deaths of the soldiers. They are stone cold statues.
  • There is this annoying bell sound throughout many of the scenes and it is starting to annoy me.
  • This storyline is getting hard to follow, there are many different characters being introduced and the scene jumping around.
  • The constant jumping around between scenes is leading me to disconnect from the text, and a computer screen in front of me provides an abundance of distractions from writing emails to scrolling the Facebook newsfeed.
  • It is so silent given the large amount of people in the scene, there is very little background noise. I am definitely not used to a movie score of this nature.
  • Now I’m thinking about food while watching a man handle a dead fish. I don’t think I am really invested in the film.
  • The scary noise they are running away from isn’t even that loud, their screams cover it.
  • Finally Godzilla/Gojira makes an appearance.
  • That appearance only lasted a second. That was hardly worth all the build up in that scene.
  • There is no visable destination that they are running towards. Then they just stop before the scene changes.
  • The picture of Godzilla/Gojira  is on the screen longer then he actually was.
  • They never actually seem that scared of it. Maybe thats just a cultural difference regarding the displaying of emotions.
  • How did they get the sand from Godzilla/Gojira’s body?
  • I got distracted again by emails. It’s not my fault they just pop up on my screen.
  • Why is the guy in the eye patch so serious?
  • I think that girl has the hots for the guy with the eye patch.
  • I didn’t pay enough attention to know any of the characters names.
  • New method found to slightly understand what’s going on. Watching the #DIGC330 twitter feed.

 

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The literature research conducted on the topic of autoethnography. Autoethnography: An Overview (Ellis, Adams & Bochner, 2011) did two things for my understanding of autoethnography. Firstly it enlightened me as to what the process of autoethnography entails and what it produces; ‘aesthetic and evocative thick descriptions of personal and interpersonal experience’.

Secondly, what my first attempt at autoethnograhic research was not. Ellis et. el. (2011) stated that autoethnography was developed in ‘an attempt to concentrate on ways of producing meaningful, accessible and evocative research grounded in personal experience’. If I were to use this as a checklist, I could say that my work was very much grounded in personal experience as there was no other other facets to it and that by posting it in this digital format it is also accessible, but meaningful or evocative I am struggling to see that part coming to fruition.

 

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My personal experience with this film is that I couldn’t get fully immersed in the storyline. What is evident from my notes is that as the film progressed I became less content with watching and making observations. I found myself looking for distractions and had difficulty remaining focused.

Though in all honesty I have never;

a. Been  drawn to Asian cinema unless it was of a Bollywood persuasion

AND

b. Been able to become totally engrossed in a film in an educational context, it just seems unnatural.

For someone else, or if I had first encountered this film in a different context, the outcome might have been different, though this simply wasn’t the case and I am afraid that this will cloud my view of the film forever in my mind.

Reference List

Collinsdictionary.com. (2016). Definition of Autoethnography | New Word Suggestion | Collins Dictionary. [online] Available at: http://www.collinsdictionary.com/submission/10957/Autoethnography [Accessed 25 Aug. 2016].

Ellis, C., Adams, T. and Bochner, A. (2011). Autoethnography: An Overview. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, [online] 12(1). Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3095 [Accessed 30 Jul. 2016].

IMDb. (2016). Godzilla (1954). [online] Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047034/ [Accessed 20 Aug. 2016].

An Experience Without Enlightenment

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Image by flamoking1, While I wouldn’t watch gore anyway, this anime is the reason I don’t watch graphically violent or gory anime under any circumstance.

Within the subject Digital Asia, autoethnography – a type of research method – underpins the majority of our study. But what is autoethnography? According to Ellis et al, autoethnography is a synthesis of autobiographic and ethnographic techniques that allow a researcher to write about epiphanies which stem from experiences with and being within culture. These cultural engagements can be experienced within a culture itself, i.e. a researcher participates in cultures previously unexperienced, or through material cultural products, e.g. the analysis of clothing, architecture, texts such as books, movies and photos.

Ellis et al say that autoethnographers take their experiences and detail them in length as a kind of personal story that shows how something in that culture changed them or their idea of that culture. As part of this process, autoethnographers’ go further and analyse their experience with theoretical tools, methodological tools, and research literature. Without applying this academic edge to their experience, their story could be just like any other, when they are really trying to use their experience to illustrate the characteristics of a culture and make it familiar for those on the outside and for existing members of that culture.

As part of an exercise, we were asked to examine a digital text and to detail our experience with it from an autoethnographic standpoint. The text that I examined was the 1988 Japanese anime film Akira, directed by Katsuhiro Otomo who is also the author of its original incarnation as a manga.

I’m sure there is more that could be said of this movie, but I will not be mentioning much more here. My reasoning? Because I am terrified of the internet and what it will show me regarding this movie. I have watched a lot of anime, I could probably give you a list of 80 or more anime’s that I have seen, I love anime. But I absolutely refuse to watch Akira and any kind of content like it because I cannot handle the strong, graphic, and bloody violence its R rating tells me it has.

My experience of this film began with excitement when I heard we would be watching an anime film, then when I heard it contained scenes of graphic violence that could be distressing for some viewers, my excitement evaporated and my heart rate skyrocketed out of anxiety. I opened Google Chrome and went to IMDb’s information page regarding Akira, I scrolled down to their message boards and opened one which was literally titled, “How gory is this?” and proceeded to read on in horror. Suffice to say, I didn’t watch a single frame of the movie, and instead, listened to the evocatively throbbing soundtrack and violence while imaging scenes of hyper-real violence and hyper-real representations of gore. My time was much better spent googling wallpaper images of Orange and Anthem of the Heart.

I guess you could say my experience of Akira was an experience without enlightenment. I have no idea how I am going to analyse this. If anyone has any thoughts please share them, I am honestly stumped.

‘We don’t play games for fun, we mostly play for work’

Starting DIGC330, I didn’t know what to expect, but the first few weeks of it have definitely met and well exceeded my expectations. Our topic, autoethnography was something unfamiliar and unheard of but after looking into it, it helps put a name to the method that allows us to understand cultural experiences. According to Ellis, it is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyse personal experience in order to understand cultural experience. (Ellis, 2004; Holman Jones, 2005).

From this reading, I understand that it is qualitative research in which one gathers through personal experiences from being a part of a particular culture then assessing it and allowing further cultural and social meaning and understanding.

This week’s text, ‘State of Play (2013)’ was a particular interest due to my own in depth knowledge about South Korea and it’s culture (and because I just came back from a holiday in Seoul). While watching this documentary, I managed to connect what I knew about the culture to what was being demonstrated. Thus, some things that came as a culture shock to others; was something I had expected and already understood about the principles of Korean life. However, the idea of e-sports and its popularity was still a new concept.

A few observations picked up throughout the documentary:

  • South Korea is considered the home to E-sports and is accepted and viewed like regular physical sporting events with a stadium, wide screen TVs and cheering audiences. From my knowledge, cable TV in Korea also has its own station dedicated to E-sports that has people playing games and tournaments 24/7.
  • Players, such as Lee Jae Dong are treated the same as celebrities and have a fan culture. The fans in Korea are known to be very dedicated and protective towards idols and actors. Thus, the screaming fan girls weren’t a particular shock, but the fact that pro gamers did have a broad fan audience was unheard of.
  • They have a team house in which pro gamers are scouted, leaving home at a young age and trained, living together in a dormitory. – I noticed this was very similar to the way Korean K-pop idols were scouted and trained for years by entertainment agencies until they debut. This way of constant, consistent training must be quite understanding in Korean culture and seen as highly beneficial.
  • There is no fear or taboo about kids playing games and wasting time compared to western culture; but seen as dedication and benefit- much like sporting events.
  • Teams are sponsored by huge companies in Korea such as SK Telecom and CJ E&M Company; large well known corporations.
  • Jae Dong has a ‘game face’ in which he hides his emotions- due to his beliefs growing up of how a man should act. The masculinity and gender through e-sports is also demonstrated due to the lack of female involvement. These expectations of a male can be somewhat related to western culture.

When Games Are No Longer Games

DIGC330, Digital Asia, where we will be conducting an autoethnographic investigation into the production and consumption of Asian digital media, communication technologies, as well as the industry and culture as a whole, from a local, national and personal perspective.

“Woah, what the heck does that even mean?”

To me, autoethnography is research based on the researchers personal observations of the ‘mundane’ within a culture, and then, an analytical narrative of these observations in the hope of understanding certain aspects of said culture. These observations should be “aesthetic and evocative”, utilising storytelling conventions in order to engage readers.

“Autoethnography is an approach to research and writing that seeks to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience.” – Carolyn Ellis, 2011.

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Ellis (2011), explains that “When researchers do autoethnography, they retrospectively and selectively write about epiphanies that stem from, or are made possible by, being part of a culture and/or by possessing a particular cultural identity.”

So, for this post I will be commencing an autoethnographic investigation of the ‘State of Play’ documentary. This will involve my personal observations of the documentary, as well as the way the Twitter-feed reacted, and why these observations are of importance to my research.

State of Play follows a champion pro-gamer, Lee Jae-dong, as he loses, triumphs and struggles through the world of South-Korean professional E-sports. In the true sense of autoethnographic research, below are my initial observations in experiencing the film.

Observations:

  • Gaming isn’t seen as play, it is seen as work.
  • It is a serious sport, (again, more than a ‘game’) with massive fan groups, intense training, huge stadiums and LOTS of money.
  • The players still have decisions to make: High school or Pro-gaming.
  • Extremely demanding career. 10 hours of training a day, away from friends and family, some choose to leave school.
  • To add on to the demands observation: He is constantly sleeping at school (know that feel bro).
  • The average pro-gamer retires at 24. This is incredibly early for someone to end a career. Is this due to slower reaction times as people get older, or is there an underlining concern of longevity for such a career.

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An interesting experience I had throughout the viewing of the documentary was watching the twitter feed react to certain things. Each user would come at an issue with their own perspectives coming into play. This demonstrated to me how Autoethnography works. For example, some people were interested in the technology used for the huge competitions shown in the documentary, others were concerned with the gender roles within the sport. Further subjects included: Clothing, training, and even food.

Having experienced competitive online games for a lot of my youth, many of these being popular within Asia, (League of Legends, DOTA) the notion of E-sports was not entirely new or strange to me. I knew about the professionalism of the industry. The money, the stadiums, the massive fan bases and even the team houses are common place within E-sports and I had come across these circumstances through the games I had casually followed.
What interested me within State of Play was the family aspect shown through the documentary. This brought with it a historical and spiritual culture which I had not being involved with before. These notions created an authentic, traditionally Asian ‘feel’ to the film. For me, this added a new and intriguing experience to E-sports, one which previously I had not experienced or even considered.

State of Play- an autoethnographical response

Initially I found the concept of autoethnography incredibly confusing. I’ve now come to understand that autoethnography is a way of writing about another culture from the perspective of your own, whilst acknowledging the personal biases that inevitably come from this.

In writing an autoethnographical account we’re required to recognise “patterns” of cultural experience and describe these patterns. In writing autoethnography we need to write about our own personal experience with another culture, and use this in order to “understand our own cultural experience”(Ellis, Adams & Bochner).

My own consumption of Asian media has been very minimal. I do have quite a few Asian friends, but that’s where my exposure to Asian culture really begins and ends. Coming from zero gaming experience/interest I was skeptical of the film ‘State of Play’ from the outset. To be frank, I wasn’t very interested in watching a Korean film about gaming ~ But I was interested in noting which parts were unfamiliar or strange to me, and determining how this highlights my own cultural (in)experience. Before even beginning to watch the film I knew that I wouldn’t appreciate it, based on my own interests and cultural identity, and I wanted to see how this influences my response to Korean culture. Below are my observations of the film:

  • Competing in eSports is immediately framed as an elite, daring profession. The men are shown getting massages and having their hair professionally styled before matches. They have cheering crowds of fans.
    • Was I naive in thinking that being a gamer wasn’t a real profession? I had no idea that they could actually make real money or have a career playing video games.
  • I definitely feel that within Korea gamers are much more respected than within ‘Western’ culture. I just cannot see gamers being celebrated and idolized within my own communities. I’m pretty amazed that people actually sit cheering in a room whilst they compete in video games in real time.
  • Not only is being a gamer a career, but there is an entire industry built around them? I’m now beginning to draw comparisons between eSports and the world of football. These kids start young, practicing 10-12 hours a day to get drafted into teams.
  • I’m noticing a divide between spiritual, traditional Korea and the fast-paced technologically advanced Korea. It seems that the kids have to make a choice; pursue their education or compete in eSports. I feel like their parents values and ‘traditionalism’ has an effect on their decision.
  • Traditional gender roles seem to be reinforced by the film. The starting quotation “[man] is only completely a man when he plays” shows that the man needs to prove his worth by working hard. This is once again reinforced when Lee Jae Dong later says that he no longer has passion for playing and that “mostly just plays for work”
  • Near the end of the film Lee Jae Dong and the audience were both crying and soft instrumental music played in the background- however I still feel emotionally disconnected to the story. This is probably because this world is so far from my own, and still seems to unreal to me.

Having zero knowledge of the profession, watching this film definitely shone light on a whole aspect of Korean gaming culture. As a female Australian I feel like the entire concept of this industry is so different from anything I’ve ever experienced, and thus find it difficult to empathise or relate to the struggles of the individuals depicted in the film. Whilst watching the film I was able to draw comparisons between Korean eSports and Western football teams by the way in which the players were commoditized, and idolized within the community.

 

References:

Screenshots from the film; State of Play, 2013.

http://www.hercampus.com/sites/default/files/styles/full_width_embed/public/2015/04/20/g_1.png?itok=hEO5L1gx

Understanding the Craft

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This is what ‘StarCraft’ means to me. (source)

I’m no gamer. I didn’t think I’d be able to connect with a story about eSports athletes. I didn’t even know eSports athleticism was a thing.

State of Play is a film about a South Korean gaming subculture. Watching it was an ethnographic experience. It was ethnographic in that I was observing and noting the practices and experiences of the gamers. My analyses of these observations using selective personal retrospect is autoethnographyEllis describes the method as an acceptance of the researcher’s subjectivity in which personal experience is used as a means of understanding another culture.

My cultural identity has shaped how I’ve interpreted this film – autoethnography says it’s totally valid.

Ethnography – observations of the film I considered worth noting:

  • A narrating voice tells us that most people follow the paths given to them. I might be cringing a little because I don’t know if it’s meant to give the vibe of a Morgan Freeman-esque intro to a philosophical narrative. This is just not Morgan Freeman’s genre.
  • The professional gamer who earns a kick-ass load of money is asked when he’ll get a ‘real’ job. We all have that one relative, don’t we – that uncle who constantly throws shade at people’s (our) life choices.
  • This is hardcore gaming. It looks like an addiction.
  • It seems that these dudes (it’s all just dudes!) trap themselves into the gaming life in sacrifice of their education, family relationships and a social life outside this subculture.

Autoethnography – analyses of my observations using personal experience:

  • That initial cringe-worthy line felt like a more meaningful statement as I got to know some of the characters. We see the concern for gamers’ long-term wellbeing expressed by their families. Professional gaming is an unconventional career pursuit, even in mainstream Australian culture. I can empathise with these characters. I too have been challenged by the ‘paths’ paved by my parents’ ideas of tradition and my individual desires which contested them. It’s a conflict of cultural identity which leads to awkward but necessary conversation.
  • Perhaps the uncle didn’t mean to be condescending. I feel like that one uncle we share mightn’t understand the capacity with which digital culture can impact a person’s life. I may not be a gamer, but I am hugely reliant on digital media, and so it’s of great value to me. Older generations mightn’t share the same sentiment, perhaps because of their vastly different experiences with telecommunications throughout their lives.
  • ‘Addiction’ isn’t really the right word to associate with this gaming. It’s actually a thing that requires training and active competition. I thought of it as an unhealthy kind of leisurely ‘playing’, but no. It’s actually $eriou$ bu$ine$$.
  • I don’t know whether it’s right to feel both sympathetic and unsurprised when the professional gamer says he no longer plays for the fun of it, but essentially for the money. I understand it’s a way of providing for his family. But he seemed bored. And 12 hours of training is intense for those eyeballs, man! But he also expressed how fulfilled he felt when competing successfully, and the gratitude he had for his admirers. It’s not really something I could relate to, though.

My autoethnographic experience of this South Korean gaming culture wasn’t about the games they played. It was an insight into the perspectives of those who identified with the culture, and of others who couldn’t quite understand it.

I think this narrative could’ve very well been Morgan Freeman’s genre.

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“Your experiences are valid.” (source)

Game and Life

Autoethnography, for sure, a process and a product with the combination of autobiography and ethnography, it helps us to understand cultural experiences or cultures by analyzing their own experiences. Well, I was like “What is that?” at the beginning of the class. For me to understand this in an easier way, autoethnography is writing a “story” to tell other people what your own experience and connect it to different aspects, like social, cultural and political.

 

In Week 2, I was excited and amazed by the documentary “State of Play” (2013) by Steven Dhoedt. The title gave me a really big hint towards the documentary before I watched. It sounds like an achievement or honor. To be called “state of play” should be a really big gaming industrial country. I guessed it right which is Korea to have such honor to be called that. The documentary is not only about “Play”, but exploring the gaming career by looking at groups of youngsters who tried hard to become professional players and top players in a game called “StarCraft”. I felt normal towards the documentary and I did not surprise about the fact that they were trying hard to become a top player, but more of that, the importance or procedure to become a top player was harsh and dilemma. It was interesting to watch that I felt the same way when I was the same age as who they were. Here is something I noticed and reflected after I watched the documentary:

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I feel “jealous” or upsetting about the top player Lee Jae Dong. He was a StarCraft player that made 135000 euros in 2007 and he started to play when he was 16. It gives me a sight that Korea gaming career can make a lot of money based on the players’ ranking or fame. The fans totally shocked me, which I thought there should be guys but instead all of his fans are girls. The gender is significant. Guys are playing the game to compete for the single seat into the famous team and become the representative to join the competition. I was so jealous about the facts he earned a lot of money by only playing StarCraft and had such a fan base. However, I feel upsetting about the fact that Lee did not enjoy playing the game at all during the time StarCraft was overwhelmed. He played for work and not for fun by the evidence that his face did not show any joyful or happiness. I feel like it shows a cultural statement about Korea gaming industry that players focus their practice and listen to their coach to play a strategic game. Comparing to Australia, the fame of being a gamer does not sound big or proud in Australia from what I know. Esport here in Australia does not sound as popular as Korea and it proves that its unique cultures of gaming.

 

The documentary also made me amused about the differences between a professional player and a student who wishes to become a professional player.

I saw how enthusiastic the “newbie” tried so hard to become a professional player that he attended over 7 times and all failed, but did not stop his dream to become true. Meanwhile, the professional player was having harsh time with loads of practice and lack of studying. I could not imagine how would he be if he joined the pro team.

Autoethnography and Gojira 1954

Autoethnography; At first it’s a difficult concept to approach. Having to all at once experience and take note of ourselves in a new culture while also examining how and why we react to it in the way we do sounds complex, but it often offers a new insight as an outsider viewing something new. Once you’ve got your head around the idea that “autoethnography is both process and product”, as described by Ellis et al., the value of this sort of study begins to shine through. Our personal experience narrating a culture offers both insight into ourselves and epiphanies on how we make sense of digital Asia.

Through that lens, I got to watch the 1954 Japanese film Gojira. While I’ve seen Godzilla in countless other pieces of media, from American re-imaginings to games and more recent Japanese films, I’d never sat down and enjoyed the original. While I found aspects of the style a little jarring and it wasn’t the most watchable movie I’d ever seen, I quite enjoyed my experience with the film. There was a lot in it you could easily trace through to modern Kaiju and action movie tropes and themes that extended well beyond the climate of Japan in the 1950’s.

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Here’s some of my observations from during the viewing:

  • Film spends a lot of time showing political procedures and everyday life
  • Regular contrast of tradition and technological advancements, especially early on (fishing village, traditional dances vs military warships)
  • Map placed sideways – discussion suggested this was to re-identify Japan after western mapping
  • Constant WW2/Nuclear weapon imagery and parallels
  • Unwavering attempts to kill Gojira even after realising conventional bullets don’t do much other than make him mad
  • Odd mix of music – very pro-navy/military sounding audio whenever forces deployed
  • Some overcomplex plot-points and random love triangle to add to this
  • Slow movie overall but the big moments were enough to keep me engaged

As far as Japanese movies go, I found Gojira to be quite approachable by the end, especially in comparison to other live action and anime films I’ve seen. Maybe it’s the fact we’ve been exposed to the Kaiju in quite an Americanised way, or even just because of how universal a lot of the themes of the movie have come to be in modern day cinema. Either way, there’s a lot to unpack from quite the quite entertaining, if not a tad strange, seminal Japanese Kaiju film.

270RPM doesn’t make the cut

“Autoethnography “-Understanding it as a research practise that focuses on self reflection, the way in which a researcher, through personal experiences, understands and makes meaning, this supports Ellis’s reading ‘to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience.’ Similar to Bronislaw Malinowski, his field journals ultimately experience and document the honesty in a public domain that others may otherwise not see. In DIGC330 week 2, I viewed a Documentary named State of Play’ set during the transition between Star Craft and Star Craft 2.

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Here’s a documentation of my experience:

  • Set in South Korea- it opened with a camera pan of the city. All the way through this documentary the weather was grey and horrid. Not too much excitement happening weather wise for any of the contestants. Is this why they were so attached to playing StarCraft?
  • It was interesting to see that all the gamers were male. I hate to be one to talk about gender, but this documentary focused on portraying the gamers as very masculine figure within North Korean culture. The inclusion of fan girls added to this gender dynamic. (But really, why were they fan girling over esports? It just didn’t make sense)
  • A coherent universal story between parents and son in this documentary could be easily followed. The question of what are you doing with your life? Is this really what you want to be doing with your life? Were questions that are even asked in our families. It was nice to have a culture entirely different from our own, that somewhat became similar.
  • Nice to see what happens where a team isn’t always winning, the documentary became another thing entirely. Not just following the player’s success but also seeing them at their lowest when they weren’t winning, as well as letting people see the real him was a very important sense of victory. When the esports players compared this to football the concepts of winning, losing, rivalry and patience all became universally understood. Even though someone like me, who hasn’t seen or even heard of Esports, began to understand how important playing and training was for the StarCraft players. This made it a lot easier to follow.
  • Korean food was very apparent as well as portraying a strong sense of culture- which also made me extremely hungry.
  • As discussed in my live tweeting during watching the documentary. I noted that I was interested in the way gamers brains worked differently to ours, its like they use a completely different part of their brain. For instance, 270 RPM was slow in the competition!!! That’s physically impossible for me to even comprehend.
  • The way generations respond to technology based on their culture was also worth exploring more in-depth. A lot of the more traditional/reserved generations, believed gaming is a waste of time and just didn’t understand the significance in participating in Esports. Whereas for the gamers it was their life and their dream.

“We don’t really play for fun. Mostly, we play for work”.

The notion of the term Autoethnography relates to my personal interests in studying the differences or similarities within different cultures, particular in the film industry. It is clear a cultural bridge still needs to be formed between different nations and the research methods and processes involved in Autoethnography builds a perfect foundation to achieve this goal. It’s funny how upon searching the subjects second research movie ‘State of play’, the results return a thriller/drama from 2009 starring Russel Crowe. Although both texts have the same title, it isn’t until you write the words ‘Korean Movie’ afterwards will you find the correct film.  Ellis, et al. 2004 understands this method as the removal of one’s self form their comfort zones and analyzing the experiences within different cultures through your own traditional lenses and using this as a tool of research. This means that although a language barrier may exist, the experiences and accounts gained while being engaged and involved in diverse practices also become the end product. This relates to the analyzation of the 1954 classic film ‘Gojira’. The entire movie contained no English bar the subtitles, but when you engage yourself with foreign content, you broaden your horizons – opening up your mind into an entirely different world.

Whilst watching ‘Gojira’, it becomes very easy to draw dissimilarities when comparing the culture against the typical 50’s films enjoyed in the western hemisphere. The same can be said with the South Korean film ‘State of Play’ which follows the manic nature of computer gaming as a sport in a way that some western cultures might find taboo. But what was interesting in both movies were the differences in the traditionalism and social interests found within both Asian cultures, depending on the age group they belonged to. For example, the cultural similarities between the Japanese elders and their younger generation were somehow lost in a gap filled with altering perceptions and beliefs. This was evident in the different methods in how the traditional tribe’s people dealt with the large beast, as the younger generation had no interest in the almost comical practices of human sacrifices. It’s almost as if the film conveys the negative vicissitudes resulting from cultural change and their lasting impacts – just like how the movie in context can also be viewed as a possible warning to future generations about the dangers surrounding nuclear weapons.

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Fast forward 60 years later and the same cultural variances in different generations still exist in the 2013 Korean film  ‘State of Play’, as the young Korean gamers struggle to convince their elders about the legitimacy of professional gaming. Although eSports champion Park Yo Han earns a steady salary and appears comparably rich to his father and uncles, they fail to understand the culture of online gaming, and reject the notion that playing Warcraft is a job. This is particularly amplified when one of Yo Hans uncle satirically mentions he should retire at the age of 28.

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“We don’t really play for fun. Mostly, we play for work. It’s the same for other jobs where you have to survive in competition. This work just happens to be a game”. – Park Yo Han.