BCM241 Assignment 2

For my second BCM241 assignment I will be doing a youtube video series on the video game overwatch. I will be focusing mostly on how it is for a support main in lower to mid ranks of competitive Overwatch and whether I find any tips/tricks for how to climb ladder or just enjoy the game more as a support player. The Overwatch community (like the majority of video game communities) can be pretty toxic. This just comes from the competitive nature of video games. I would love to be able to shine a light on these cases and find any strategies when this occurs and see if it’s possible to climb higher as a support main compared to playing other heroes.

Overwatch is a team-based, first-person shooter that is most popular on PC but is also available on Xbox and PlayStation. There are currently 28 heroes available to play in overwatch and these 28 heroes are lumped into three categories: Tank, Damage, and Support. Objectively, the Damage heroes are more fun the play, with tanks following up and then support. Overwatch released in May of 2016 and has been growing into one of the biggest video games of the past decade. With events such as the Overwatch World Cup and the first ever week by week esports competition in the Overwatch League and Overwatch Contenders, the game has been revolutionary for the esports genre. Since it’s release, we have seen the addition of 7 heroes, 14 maps, 6 recurring seasonal events, and countless aesthetic items such as hero skins, sprays, voice lines, emotes, victory poses, and highlight intros. According to DBLTap.com, Overwatch was ranked as No.2 in the world when it comes to revenue produced by Pay-To-Play PC games in 2017 at $382 Million. There is no doubt in my mind that, in 2018, this number has risen significantly. So now we know that the game is highly successful and isn’t going anywhere, let’s delve into the problems with it.

Like most other highly competitive games that came before overwatch (e.g. League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Starcraft 2), the community surrounding the game is very polarising. You can mostly split the community into 3 sub-groups. Those who play competitive, those who play casually, and those who just watch. Let’s focus on the 2 groups that actually play the game. The competitive and non-competitive players. There is a certain stigma that surrounds those who are mainly non-competitive players (let’s call them Quick-Play players or QPP). This stigma is mainly that “If you are a QPP then you are a bad player.” This mostly stems from people being turned off from competitive as they are usually forced into hero roles they are unfamiliar with or just don’t want to play. However, this is the nature of the game. As someone who often just plays competitive to get their placements out of the way and plays a couple games at most, I can see both ends of this argument. On one side, there are players who want others to play the game as the game intended itself to be played (this entails swapping to needed heroes, countering the other team, communicating with your team, etc.) and on the other, players just want to play the game they want to play it. Now, are both these sides justified? Of course. Who are you to tell someone how to play a game that they bought with their money, and then who are you to consciously make it difficult for others to play the game by not playing it “properly”.

I have decided to play the game as it is intended to be played. This entails, swapping to a needed hero, being supportive of my team, and communicating with them. I have chosen the support category to mainly play as this is the role that is most needed in the majority of games. Play 10p games around 2400sr and I promise you that at least 60% of the time, someone will have to play support when they don’t want to or you just won’t have a support hero on your team. The difference between having 0,1 and 2 healers on your team is absolutely incredible. At the very least you need 1 healer but if your opponent has 2, then you need to. However, if by some miracle I already have 2 support mains on my team, then I will play whatever hero is needed on my team. This is known as a ‘flex’ player.
Communication, like in life, is a very important part of Overwatch. This way you are able to time pushes call strategies, and tell your teammates crucial information. If you were to do the same experiment as you did when counting the support heroes, I promise you that there would be only around 5% of games where every single person in voice comms actively participating in the communication.
Considering all these problems, Overwatch has been known for its toxicity in competitive and even quick play matches. This is usually derived from the problems above as they usually make the team start to lose, and then when people start to lose, they often like to blame others for their own failures.

I really feel like this project will be a good thing for the community as there are a lot of people who just don’t know how to communicate their problems with the rest of the community. I hope this series of videos will allow people to have civil discussions on what needs to be done in the overwatch community or game to better the experience of both types of player.

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Cinema Spaces

Earlier this year I would often go to the cinema (or Moving Pictures as my Nan would call it, due to the absolutely amazing Student Mondays at the Wollongong cinema. 9 bucks for students and every 5th movie free. I lapped this up. Plus in conjunction with some pretty decent movies I had a great time. I would often go on the Monday at a later time such as 9/9:30pm and would definitely make a night of it. Would head to Chefs Choice in Wollongong for dinner to grab some Salt and Pepper Calamari (#1) and a Seafood Laksa (#36) then after i had finished this delicious meal, would go to the cinema and sit down to watch my movie. Absolutely awesome time each week. And depending on how good the movie was, I either had a great movie going experience or had an awesome sleep. One of my cinema experiences that sticks out to me the most is when I went and saw Atomic Blonde late last year. I did the exact same thing that I would usually did, but that wasn’t the part that stuck out to me the most. The thing that stuck out to me was what happened during the movie. The movie itself wasn’t all that special. But there were some really fun bits. One of the craziest thing was that I was literally the only person in the cinema for the whole movie. So during the boring bits I just sat there watching YouTube on my phone. It was great. Whenever I am bored I watch YouTube so it worked out perfectly. I also snuck a lot of food in as it was cold outside so I could jut hide it in my jacket (but shhhh don’t tell the cinema). I often also love going to the Imax theatre as that experience is quite like non other.

In relation to Hagerstrand’s three constraints:

  • Capability constraints: Due to being a young and strong Uni student, I didn’t really have many capability constraints. I never really needed much sleep and often had a lot of time in my hands or would make time for this weekly.
  • Coupling constraints: Just as I stated above, I had a lot of time on my hands.; and therefore was able to really work around whatever time that the cinema set me. When it comes to other people, I would mostly just go by myself. Means I could work out whatever time suits me and the majority of my good friends live substantial distances from Wollongong and there fore me.
  • Authority constraints: The biggest constraint here is definitely the last viewing time that Wollongong Cinema allows. Otherwise I have the money and the ability, and therefore the authority.

My trips to the cinema are currently very different to the typical cinema going experience when it comes to people of my generation. Usually people my age go out with a bunch of friends on the weekend to a big premier every couple of months. This contrasts greatly with how I usually consume movies both when I go to the cinema and when I watch them at home.

 

Image Credit:

https://au.askmen.com/news/sports/why-going-to-the-movies-by-yourself-is-a-good-thing.html

The Networked Home

This week we were asked to reflect on media use in our own homes. I currently use media very very heavily in my day to day life whether it be the many hours of gaming per day or the constant music and podcast that invades my ears for the majority of the day. There are very little times that I don’t have some form of media either being consumed through my eyes or through my ears. If i am not listening to my music/podcast, or watching YouTube/gaming then i’m either talking to someone, or sleeping. Now could this be hurtful to my well being and/or the people around me? Perhaps. I’m not completely unaware of this. And this is why I therefore am trying to make a conscious effort to read more and take more time away from media.

Now let’s think of a more literal networked home. I am very interested in arduinos and would love to scatter multiple arduinos around my home to “technify” my house. However, living in a share-house this might be difficult. But, I can upgrade my room and I am super keen to do this. I do plan of getting myself a Google home mini when I finally organize my room set up.

I absolutely love technology and I think with the more technology I can master then the more options I have for the future in both jobs and personal use. I am a massive enthusiast when it comes to tech, which is hard due to uni lmao.


After monitoring my media use whilst at home I noticed that, if i wasn’t on my PC, then I was on my phone. Due to having a pretty speedy PC I am able to run multiple demanding programs all at once. So whether i’m writing a blog post, playing many countless hours of Overwatch, or even just watching YouTube, I can pretty much do all of these things at once. Often I find myself being bored on my desktop PC and browsing Facebook or Reddit and then getting on my phone and doing the exact same thing that I was doing on my PC. I don’t know what this says about me, perhaps I should tell me psych…

Image Credits:

https://dissolve.com/video/Computer-Hacker-sitting-dark-room-front-screens-royalty-free-stock-video-footage/001-D1083-45-002

Intro to BCM241

This week we’ve been asked to tell a story on a specific media form in a specific space and the first thing that came to mind was probably one of the best nights of my life. Let me set the scene for you. Your an 18 years old first-year uni student after a long day of doing nothing and feeling sorry for yourself, you sit down for a mad game sesh after a pretty dope dinner. Whip out your gaming laptop and jump on your bed. all nice and comfy like.

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So this is me. I was super keen to start playing a game I had heard a lot about, Bioshock Infinite. This game got a 91% on PC Gamer, a 9.4/10 on IGN.com, and 9/10 on Gamespot so I knew that this game would be awesome. However, I didn’t realize just how awesome. I got a couple of hours into this bad boy and realized that I should probably go to sleep. I had my first day of Uni the next day and knew I needed all my strength to get through Uni. However, I decided to push through because I was so invested in the game and the story that It was telling. By the time I had finished the game it was closer to 6am than I would have liked, and yet I still couldn’t sleep. The game was so amazing and so gripping that, not only did I pull an all-nighter when I really shouldn’t have, I had struggles concentrating for the next couple of days because the game’s story and the questions it asked grabbed me so much and would just not let me go. It was like a shock to my system. This was the first game ever that had really had this effect on me and from that point on, I was in love.

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Gaming is definitely my favourite form of media. I believe that with new inventions like VR, the massive upgrades in graphics, and the more availabilities in games, video games will one day surpass the majority of popular media like television and movies. Video games are way more engrossing as the person playing the game is playing as the main character and therefore the story revolves around the decisions we you make whilst in control. In the 2013 article titles “Why Video Games Succeed Where The Movie And Music Industries Fail“, Anya Kamenetez goes over many points in reference to video game giant Grand Theft Auto V. Around this time, GTA V had just broken records by doing $800 Million in worldwide sales in the first 24 hours of sale and has now made over 6 billion dollars in revenue. Now lets compare that to the largest money making movie of all time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Opening day it did over $119 million and since then has grossed over 2 billion. From this we can see that video games have easily (well monetarily) has surpassed movies.

 

Image Credit:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/8870/BioShock_Infinite/

http://bioshock.wikia.com/wiki/Charge

 

Narratives: Television in the Home

In class today, we were challenged to reflect on how the TV worked in both our family home growing up and in our current life as uni students living in a post-on-demand environment. I grew up in a classic Australian nuclear family consisting of my Mum, Dad, Sister, and Myself. Like the majority of families in the 21st century, we had a couple tv’s in multiple rooms. However, I think our family was different as each degree of our family (Parents, my Sister, and Myself) had our “own” room with a TV in there. This meant that if we couldn’t agree on what to watch (which was often the case) then we could all just retreat to our own little corners of the house and be able to watch the program of our choice. This is quite the juxtaposition to how our family consumes media now. Due to living out of home, I don’t get to see my family as much as I used to when I lived at home (obviously) and therefore we use democracy to find something that we can all somewhat enjoy so we can just spend time hanging with each other.

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