Digital Project Proposal: A New Video Game Blog

For my digital project, I would like to do a video game blog. This video game blog would have a focus of games in the liberal arts, specifically in history and literature where I have the most experience. Each game is a product of the times, so I would like to analyze what part of the culture the game was created in response to and/or what are the literary aspects in the game, depending on the topic at hand, i.e. whether I’m looking at a game like Metal Gear Solid versus a game like Bioshock. While it is possible to cover both for certain games, each post would focus on one or the other to keep it concise.

My project would be aimed toward the young adult audience, 18-25, and at gamers. Gamers would get a better reading experience and a further understanding of how large a piece games are in our culture. They would understand the blog posts better as well. I am open to the idea that there would be older readers, but I do not believe younger readers would appreciate all that the blog posts have to offer, though I would not mind being proven wrong.

While there are many gaming blogs and sites on the internet, I had difficulty finding many that were like mine. Many of the popular gaming sites, like The Escapist Magazine and Kotaku, focus primarily on reviews, which I want to avoid. Play the Past does cover history, but it is mostly history within video games from what I saw. I also could not find many sites which analyze the literary mechanics in games, although the video series Extra Credits covers them occasionally, they approach it from a design standpoint and cannot afford to go into too much detail. My project is similar to the Game Overthinker, another video series, but mine would be much more focused, as the Game Overthinker uses whatever topic he desires and uses tangents.

For a work plan, I would start either the week of March 13 or March 20 and make weekly blog posts. I would post most likely on the weekend. I would prefer to use Blogger, as that is free, has a good aesthetic feel and range of themes, can link from other blogs on the site, and many of the blogs I read, including such as Atop the Fourth Wall (a known comic reviewing show) and Game Overthinker, are on Blogger therefore I am familiar with the layout. Blogger is also integrates well with other types of social media, which I would investigate further i.e. having a Twitter button, has openID commenting options, etc. I would focus on a different game/series of games each week, unless it is a large topic. I would not be opposed to going back and discussing games I’ve already covered at a later date and be open to suggestions from comments. I also plan on using my personal Twitter account to link to new blog posts, as many of my followers share my interest in video games.

Success would be an average of 5 comments per blog. I believe having that many comments would translate into at least twice as many hits per post. I plan on having 6-7 blog posts done by the end of the academic year. Personal success would also be avoiding a schedule slip.

2 Replies to “Digital Project Proposal: A New Video Game Blog”

  1. I should preface this by saying that I don't know much about video games. If it's not MarioKart, odds are that I haven't played it… But this sounds like a cool project. It might be interesting to analyse the game within its own particular moment in history as well. For example, how is Bioshock reflective of the year in which it was produced? Is the subject matter indicative of some larger trend or concern that ran through American culture at that time? Or, alternatively, is it atypical? A precursor of something to come or a curious artifact in its own day?

  2. Thrilled to see this idea taking shape. You've hit on everything on the list of things you want to have in a proposal, so kudos.

    As for specifics, focusing in on literary mechanics in games is a great idea. I look forward to hearing you go into some more detail about what exactly what you mean by this but I have no doubt it will be interesting.

    You are doing a good job at scoping this project. Weekly posts is a solid idea and it is nice to have this kind of calendar in mind to guide your work. Using blogger will let you focus on the content of your project instead of getting mired in technical issues. Have you thought at all about the style of your blog? Or about what kind of theme you would want to use?

    I am glad to see that you are thinking about some tangible ways to evaluate your project in terms of comments. You might also consider setting up feedburner to track the kinds of subscribers you are getting. (If you are unfamiliar feedburner is a tool that tracks who is subscribing to your blog's RSS feed.)

    Focusing in on young people as your audience sounds good to me. With that said, you are going to think a bit about how you are going to get people to pay attention. What kind of ways do you think you might promote the site? Now I am not talking about anything fancy, but you might think about looking into some of the American University student media, the student newspaper etc, and any of the university's social media people. There is a good chance they might put up something about the blog and link back to you. Beyond that, there is your own network of friends and such.

    Now, the most substantive piece of feedback I have is this. You identified an audience and you articulated what you intend to write about but it would be great if you could explicitly state the goal here. At this point I think it is a little bit implicit. Is your goal to get young people to think more deeply about games they are playing? Is it to introduce literary ideas through something they are frailer with? Is it to spark conversation about the games on a deeper level? I feel like you have all of the pieces in place, but I think if you can abstract a sort of general mission and objective it will help guide you as you work on the posts.

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