Thursday, October 17, 2013

Data Analysis 2: Newbie Haven

For my second data analysis memo, I would like to present the forum called  Newbie Saikyo Dojo . Follow the link and you'll see a list of threads posted by players who are beginners to the community and to the fighting game genre in general.  Just by glancing at the thread titles alone you get a strong sense of new players appealing to experienced players for mentorship.  I think this is one of the few places on the website where a new player can get away with a certain amount of naivete.  Here new players can pose their callow inquiries without fear of (too much) harassment from the reactionary and elitist set of older players, all of whom have seen every conceivable permutation of each question type.  One interesting thing to notice is the title of the forum, Newbie Saikyo Dojo, which combines the slightly derogatory connotations of the word "newbie" with the structured apprenticeship in martial arts that is explicit in the phrase "Saikyo Dojo."      

Data Analysis 1: Rules, Rules, Rules

For my data analysis, I would like to present this bluntly titled thread: Rules of FGD (Fighting Game Discussion): Read Me First Or Be Banned IRL  This thread basically presents its own Ten Commandments for how one should regulate his or her activity within the forum.  You'll see the modal "should" appearing frequently in the moderator's posts, which of course reflects the normative purpose of such a thread.  One important thing to notice: this is a locked thread--which means no one in the community may contribute, except for those with the password authority to do so.  I feel that such a highly prescriptive, monological (single-voiced) thread represents anti-discussion; it establishes a system of rules, while negating the democratic function of group participation through the thread's lock function.  There is also a heavily penal dimension to the moderator's comments, what with all the punitive signifiers: the verbs "infracted" and "banned" being the most conspicuous.
Also, check out rule number 4.  I think such an obliging attitude toward machismo clearly indicates the gendered nature of this forum.

Here is the URL in case the link doesn't work:

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I think this blog project will give me a rare opportunity to analyze something video game related within an academic context.  I have been trying to decide whether to focus on a community site devoted to a single game or a site devoted to an entire genre.  In the end, I decided that a site devoted to an entire genre should give me greater variety, more content to analyze.  I have therefore chosen a website devoted to the fighting game genre:

As a genre, fighting games can trace their origins all the way back to the debut of Street Fighter in 1987.  Depending on whom you ask, however, the genre proper did not emerge until the release in 1991 of Street Fighter's sequel, the immensely popular and influential Street Fighter II.  This game established many of the conventions that continue to define the genre to this day.  Currently, the Street Fighter franchise is in its fourth iteration (though this is misleading because there are multiple versions of each sequel).

The community aspect of is most apparent in its forums section.  The site has many members and many discussion boards devoted to a wide variety of games other than Street Fighter. Because fighting games tend to have a strong tournament community, members constantly post tips and strategies related to specific characters in the game.  Fighting game sessions can get very competitive and players have much knowledge when it comes to increasing their probability of winning.  I would say this strategies-sharing component is the primary purpose of the forum.  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hi  =)

Will post bio soon (maybe even bio video)....