My Favourite Game Related Study Playlist’s

Hey, hey! 

For today I shall be sharing some of my favourite study/relax playlists related to games 🙂 I am partly doing this because I want to and partly to prove a point that game scores hold impact even outside of their media. I don’t just use these for study or anything, that’s more of a buzzword. I have background noise for most activities, and yeah a lot of the time I might listen to Spotify, but there are a large number of moments where I chose a “autumn village – fall nintendo music” ambiance for the vibe. 

For example, as an avid reader I will play something in the background like this. It’s relaxing and calming – depending on what you chose to listen to. I adore the Animal Crossing one’s, especially as someone who grew up playing that game. 

Another time is when I’m creating art, especially if it’s a fantasy type of piece. Just as I listen to a music artist if I’m drawing a portrait of them, listening to Zelda scores while I envision a fantastical image aids in the whole process. 

But now, onto the list!

a quite moment – zelda ost + thunderstorm ambience:

This right here is awfully comforting to me. There just is something about Zelda that is comforting to me. I found while listening to this that I often get a lot of creative process out, like I am so enchanted to keep creating. That ability is very powerful for me, as someone who gets so burnt out when it comes to my creative process.

rainbow cloud – nintendo ost + thunderstorm ambience:

One of the things that you’ll catch onto here is the way I love thunderstorm or rain ambience. It creates the perfect environment, like it sets this idea in my head that its my own time right now please breathe. This example here I listen to a lot, like all the time. I’ll get my coffee, a cookie and a book and get to work devouring the pages. I think that game ambience sounds really immersive for games, to draw you into the world, and it has that ability when losing myself in books too. 

drifting away – kirby ost + thunderstorm ambience:

Oh, I love Kirby by the way! I don’t trust you if you don’t. I know I mentioned that “study” was a buzzword, which yeah it is, however I do still use these to study. I’ve found that a lot of these game ambience videos are that they go for longer than an hour, and when you’re studying this is so useful to have your background sound timed. It’s so easy to glance up and see if it’s been five minutes or thirty. It’s a useful aid in keeping a time schedule without being overly stressed

a storm of songs – zelda ost + thunderstorm ambience:

Yes, more thunderstorms, I’m not sorry about it. I have just as much of an attachment to thunderstorms as I do Zelda. I know I’ve mentioned a lot of ways I listen to these for practical use but I must point out that no, that’s not everything. I hate quiet unless I’m trying to sleep, or I’m over stimulated but more often than not I find that I am under stimulated. These help put my brain into use when I need it to be when I am simply existing.

Some Game Soundtrack History For Your Afternoon

Hey, hey! 

For a Digital Artefact this semester I’m researching the importance, the effect, nostalgia and really anything I find myself going down a rabbit hole about in relation to Game Media – specifically Game Scores/Soundtracks. 

“I will be writing about and analysing popular soundtracks, scores and sounds from video games to uncover the reasoning for this. I will be conducting textual analysis of games, exploring the love and hype around their musical attributes, and questioning why that is. For example, what makes this soundtrack stand out? How does it make you feel? I will be using this blog to publish posts doing as such, along with my content based Instagram, Simply Taylorlani, where I will be sharing more casual content about game music.” 

Video Game Music Pitch

TODAY – SOME HISTORY 

Video Game Music can be traced back to around as early as 1951. However, according to what I’ve found, the earliest video games were produced without sound, and in 1972 Pong was released, which is the first game with sound effects. Pong 1972 is a table tennis arcade style video game of simplistic style. 

John Wall, award-winning and BAFTA nominated composer known for the scores of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, III, & IV, Mass Effect I & II, the Myst series, Jade Empire and several other franchises – “Playing all those arcade games, I never even paid attention to the music, It just sounded like sounds to me. However, you know all the tunes. It’s so funny. The bleeps and bloops, they kind of invade your brain.” 

Video Game Music wasn’t originally created for intense feeling purposes, however later developed to retain that importance. An example of this is the Russian folk song used in the game Tetris. However, while this started to gain value, video games had limiting hardware. 

“Concert halls around the country took note, and in 2005, Wall and Tallarico launched Video Games Live. The event features some of the world’s finest orchestras performing some of the world’s most popular video game music. For the first time in years, professional musicians are receiving the kind of audience energy they’ve craved.”

HISTORY OF NINTENDO SOUNDTRACKS – 

One of the most impactful soundtracks of my childhood and even adulthood has been Nintendo. I really grew up with it, and it was pretty much everywhere. If I’m being honest having an elder brother, with a ten year age gap, probably aided in this too. I have used Nintendo as my primary example throughout this DA simply because it is what I love when it comes to scores I listen to outside of the game. 

Koji Kondo, who wrote tracks for Super Mario Bros. in the 1990s, which was still a time where music was considerably an afterthought. “Kondo, however, felt differently: ‘I wanted to create something that had never been heard before, where you’d think, “this isn’t like game music at all…”’, he said in a 2007 interview with Wired.” Kondoreally wanted you to feel through the music, a ripe example of this being the score used when swimming in order to achieve “dancing through water”. 

Game Soundtracks have very much developed pretty far these days, in fact it is a pretty integral part of the whole game production process. It is used to invoke emotions, to hide clues and advance game play just as a basic line of point compared to when it was first introduced. I have no doubt that this upward slope in development will continue in the future. 

REFERENCES 

Fritsch, M. (2013). History of video game music. In Music and Game (pp. 11–40). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.

How Nintendo changed the course of music history. (n.d.). Frieze.Com. Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://www.frieze.com/article/nintendo-music-super-mario-bros-metroid-game-soundtrack

Jack Wall – IMDb. (n.d.). Imdb.Com. Retrieved October 5, 2021, from https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0908410/

NPR. (2008, April 13). The evolution of video game music. NPR. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89565567

I’ve Been Much Better But At Least I’m Healing – Song’s To Listen To When Alone At Night

One of my favourite things about Pop Punk is the way it made me feel, especially when I was younger and would spend hours on Tumblr. It is simply one of my favourite genres to listen to when I’m sad alone at night. And I have been doing so for years at this point which is why I think I’m ready to share a collection of songs that are perfect for those moments. Not everything here is Pop Punk to be fair, but a fair amount is, not that you need to apply genre’s to everything. I’ve said it before but never box yourself in with that.

This isn’t a complete list or anything, there are tons of songs, of albums, of playlists that could be here. But for now here’s 12.

How To Never Stop Being Sad – Dandelion Hands

Would you call this Pop Punk? Some say yes, some say no, some would probably suggest it being more Midwest, either way I’m 100% including it. The thing about Dandelion Hands is that their music is the opposite of a hug, if that makes sense. It tends to leave me senseless in a way that I can’t stop staring at the ceiling and playing over my own mundane actions of life. It’s not comforting, but you don’t want it to be, not really. It’s a moment of “oh”. It is simply something you need to experience at least once. 

The Night I Drove Alone – Citizen

This right here is a classic Sad Boi anthem and if you’re into this style of music it is probably no surprise that it is here. Have I sobbed to Citizen multiple times? Absolutely. Is it usually at night in some of my darkest moments? Correct, yeah. Do I think you should give it a listen in those times for you? Yes, yes I do. Citizen nail this thing about gripping vocals that make me feel as if I’m screaming from the heart.

High Definition – Waterparks

This might be my favourite song on this list, mostly because it is one of my favourite songs of all time. I will take no slander for it at all. I don’t think I can even describe what it is about this song. All I know is I relate to it too much sometimes, and perhaps you will too. Especially if you struggle with ideas of love. Awsten sometimes says this is the best song he’s ever written and I hope you take a moment to listen to it.

Bummer Summer – Charmer

Oh, I cannot even translate how dearly I love this classic midwest-y tune. It is just something you need to experience. It, like most of this style of music, reminds me so much of fall and broken promises. It leaves me feeling a little less empty, but a little more sighing in sadness.

July (Part One) – Hotel Books

Only listen to Hotel Books if you really want to be broken. Or, maybe, you already are broken and just need reminding of it. If you need something to scream about, something to violently sob for a second if you really relate to the context of this. I’m sorry if you do, but please take this as my offering to you.

Whole – Basement

Just – just listen to it. In fact just listen to Basement. I’m losing my words here.

Losing Days – Hot Mulligan

Hot Mulligan is one of those bands that I listen to when I’m sad, happy or ready to think about my existence. I really thank them for that ability, and the fact that their Twitter really radiates some kind of energy that makes their music more enjoyable than it already is. Losing Days is only one of many songs I recommend listening to late at night in your room.

I Usually Call This One “Dying” – Gloom

Ah this, this doesn’t necessarily sound sad, not really. But it’s a nice breather between the others I have mentioned. I don’t really know a lot of people who listen to Gloom, but I will suggest it. This is a song that’s a vibe, reminds me of when my fairy lights flicker as I cry a little.

It’s Too Much – Moose Blood

Okay, I know people either love or hate Moose Blood and this genre has a ton of issues from bands. But this song, hell any of their songs? So good and I hate it. Moose Blood had music I loved early on in my exploration of Pop Punk and I cry often to them. It is just, I really can’t explain it, so beautifully sad. 

Sixteen – Real Friends

Oh, Oh Real Friends. I treasure them with my entire heart. They are the perfect sad band for me. I love everything they’ve done, even if it leaves me upset clinging to a pillow remembering my pain that never really leaves. This song is one that if you take anything away from this post at all, is that you should listen to it.

The Grey – Movements

Like Real Friends, Movements is that band that can fill a song with a broken heart, trauma and loneliness in a way I am obsessed with. Their Feel Something album is quite loved for this reason, and yes this song comes from there. Movements are like a blanket to me, they weigh me down but comfort me at once. I love them so much.

Well Adjusted – Summer Wars

There’s something about being an anxious person to the core and cold, rainy weather that Well Adjusted pulls out of me. I don’t just listen to this at night, but it hurts me a little more when it is. I am not well adjusted, I like to think I will be one day, and everyday I get up and attempt to be so. However, in those times where I am down so many levels this song is like taking a hammer to me feelings.

I recommend listening to these tunes. Really, each song here makes me feel things when it’s 3am, I’m staring at the ceiling, and I have a Uni class in a few hours. I cry to music a lot, and sometimes it makes no sense when I do. Like why do I cry to Future? That – that one makes no goddamn sense at all. However, these song’s right here are perfectly crafted for these moments of loneliness.

You can find each of the song’s mentioned here in this playlist of mine that includes the artists and music I talk about for University.

The Words’ll Never Come Out Right – Pop Punk Artist’s You Should Be Paying Attention To

In recent time’s Pop Punk has come again into the light of mainstream attention as it did when bands like Yellowcard, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, and All American Rejects were played constantly on the radio or the soundtracks of movies. History repeats itself constantly, so really it should be no surprise that it has once again caught on – at least for the moment.

I have no issue with this. Like I said it’s not the first time and really it’s a way for kids to discover things. Not to mention some of what has arisen from the current spotlight has been pretty decent. That being said, the mainstream lane right now is not at all what is happening within the genre. The only way I can describe it is that no matter how many different eras/styles there are to choose from – neon, skate, sad boi, etc – they only ever go for the same thing. Nostalgia, let’s revise the sound of what mainstream Pop Punk used to be. It’s always the same thing with a new face and a hint of contemporary to make it “now”. And to be honest I get it. It’s smart, who doesn’t fall for nostalgia? But really that whole lane is completely separate to the current state of the genre. The way popular culture picks things up is not to be a part of what the current wave is doing, from what is actually happening.

For a while Pop Punk from the 2010’s hit a rut, even me who adores this genre won’t hesitate to say so. It becomes, like most genres do, over-saturated with copies and personations. So with that being said, nothing within the genre really was interesting for a while.

At least, I think so, until now.

The new wave that has been appearing for a moment has been encpatualising. It has not completely moved from the ‘Sad Boi’ tumblr style, but it is totally switched up. I think after that massive hit of Emo Rap we had, bands have started to adapt to this way of not sticking to one thing anymore. In my opinion it’s great, amazing even. Especially when everyone has different ways of incorporating multiple things. Not to mention the features! The 2010’s era was full of features from other artists, bands, from the genre and it was great for sure. But now? I don’t think I’ve encountered as many slight rap crossovers as this new wave has been bringing. And no, I’m not talking about MGk’s album, I mean the artists who are separate from the spotlight.

Part of the reason why I wanted to write this was to share some really great artists who are being overshadowed by mainstream popular culture though. Of course someone within that is going to be a more prominent result when searching new wave Pop Punk than a band with a single EP.

SO, THE ARTISTS?

If I’m being completely frank right now, this isn’t a long list. This is partly because I have hardly been engaging with the Pop Punk scene for a while, just glimpses here and there. Not because I don’t love it, not because I hate it, but simply because I enjoy so many different types of music that it just hasn’t been my main focus right now. That’s okay though, and it leaves room for me to make an updated list in the future, but for now here are a few artists you should be paying attention to.

Magnolia Park

I discovered Magnolia Park from tiktok of all places. I was just aimlessly scrolling, as we all don’t lie, when a snipped for one of their songs and the band came up. Paired with ‘can we be your new favourite Pop Punk band?” text I stopped to pay attention. It was great marketing, I’m not gonna lie. Hell, these kids didn’t even have a single EP when I found them, yet I was actually interested.

They sounded like a mix of classic upbeat Pop Punk with this newer level of production and mixing that would have been labeled as ‘fake auto-tune bullshit’ from those types of fans. To be honest, this whole new era probably is labeled just like that to them. 

I would also like to point out that Pop Punk for the longest time, and taking a look at the mainstream counterpart right now, is very white. Really, most of who you’ll encounter are just pretty white boy’s, and while that was kind of the ‘midwest, angry, white guy’ frontman was a thing for a while, it’s kind of fucked. Magnolia Park features more than one, and not ‘just thrown in there’, POC unlike most in the genre. Actually, it was part of the reason they caught my eye.

Magnolia Park is a five piece pop punk/alternative rock band from Orlando, Florida. The band blends elements of hip hop, pop punk and Emo rock to create a captivating sound and haunting aesthetic. Their music is produced by legendary alternative rock/pop punk producer Andrew Wade of The Audio Compound, who has worked with bands like A Day To Remember, Neck Deep, Wage War, Real Friends, and more.

Magnoliaparkband.com

As smaller artists they’ve done quite a bit of collabs and brought people to feature on tracks. This is a really smart thing. For example, ‘TDH2S’ from their ‘Dream Eater’ EP feature’s Oliver Baxxter, the vocalist for Broadside. While Broadside isn’t a name like The Story So Far or Neck Deep, their existing presence within Pop Punk is there. Along with that, ‘Back on My Bullshit’ which was a popular single before the release of the EP, features iamjakehill. Both of these and others, especially with the appearance of popular emo boy Kellin Quinn, have enabled the band to engage with multiple different audiences before even an album.

To me, Magnolia Park really encaptualates what modern Pop Punk is and needs to be. It’s so interesting and different from where we just were in the genre, and I honestly just adore them. I can’t recomend them enough.

Point North

I think Point North has been around for a little bit, and to be honest I still don’t really hear many talk about them. It could be due to the fact that they’ve always had this new wave style to some extent a part of their music, and like I said before, people don’t ‘like that’. I first heard Point North because of Spotify – thank you Spotify so much – all from their cover of Nothing, Nowhere’s ‘Hammer’. It’s nothing like the original, it’s fast and loud and high energy. Honestly, I would describe most of their music like that. I love Nothing, Nowhere but that cover tops the original by far.

Point North have two albums, ‘A Light in a Dark Place’ (2018), and ‘Brand New Vision’ (2020). Both of these, to me, really express the type of stylistic choice Pop Punk is having currently. Their 2021 singles, especially ‘Nice Now’, are bright, loud and evocative, something that has always stood out to me with them.

Though most of their stuff goes back to 2018, a moment when the 2010’s had kind of a stand still in defined sound, I think they’re gonna thrive with where this genre is headed. You can already feel it with the release of their second album mid 2020, and now with a new single every few months. They’re picking up this fire momentum, something I think will get them far. Like Magnolia Park, Point North has had a feature from the infamous Kellin Quinn, who from the looks of things really enjoys getting involved with smaller artists.

Meet Me @ The Altar

As I mentioned above, Pop Punk always had a white dominating scene, and along with that male. I know you’re probably sitting there like ‘but hey Paramore!’ and you’re right, sure. However, the amount of discourse over Paramore being simply just a Pop band was everywhere in the 2000’s and 2010’s. It really wasn’t about the music, it was just about the fact Hayley Williams is female. Not to mention, Tonight Alive and Against The Current are both female fronted bands that never got anything as much as others based simply on gender. There’s this stereotype of ‘Misogynistic Pop Punk’, lyrically and community wise, and for the longest time it completely was.

I say all this because one of the incredible driving factors of this new wave is the diversity in race and gender. And Meet Me @ The Altar is making impacts in changing how the scene has been for the better.

Once again I did find their music through TikTok, which is proving to be a solid platform for music artists. Honestly, I didn’t come across them themselves, I saw many different people talking about them instead. The thing with this genre is that it is incredibly closed off, or used to be, and so many fans still want that for it. Which is why when you hear a lot of people talking about the same artist, especially newer, they’re usually really good. And boy, are Meet Me @ The Altar is.

An exhilarating blast of sticky-sweet vocals, fluttery electric riffs, and a dangerously catchy chorus (“Your flowers will finally grow!”), it’s all but guaranteed to have you longing for the days of black eyeliner and studded belts.

rollingstone

Meet Me @ The Altar is really moving this genre forward at such a fast pace, and I do wholeheartedly put a lot of the new transitions that are happening to them. Their song ‘Hit Like A Girl’ is completely an anthem for me. It’s something I wish younger me could sing along to rather than ‘Do you look yourself, straight in the eyes and think about who you let between your thighs?’. It’s been time for change for a while, and it’s here finally. If you should pay attention to anyone on this list, if anyone I have mentioned is going to make massive headways, it is them and you should really, really check them out.

Honourable Mention – Lil Lotus

Okay, I know this might get me disliked by some people. Which is fine, I don’t really care if you’re gonna disagree about this.

I mentioned before how the Emo Rap movement that we had in the 2010’s really aided in some newer influence, to bring things together in production and out stepping genre boxes. However, that goes both ways. There are so many artists within that scene, or even those who’ve transitioned from musician to producer, who came from Pop Punk influence. You’ll be surprised with how many Sad Boi Pop Punk era songs have been sampled. Even Lil Peep songs, if you want me to go there.

The point? Influence isn’t a one way street, and while Lil Lotus is commonly more associated with emo rap, he isn’t remotely a simply artist like that. His latest album, ‘Errør Bøy’, is honestly more fitting with bands like Magnolia Park than rap – while still so distinctively being both. Actually, Lil Lotus is touring with Magnolia Park as an open for him, so there you go. That sounded aggressive, but I guess I’m tired of the genre box. ‘Romantic Disaster’ off the album actually features Chrissy Costanza, from Against The Current if you remember them from what I said before.

Change is on it’s way, it’s been meaning to happen, and I really think now is the time to stop thinking you can only listen to one thing to really be a fan. Lil Lotus isn’t just a Rap type artist, he isn’t so simply placed like that. I think if you’re really into keeping up with the way the scene is growing, you need to acknowledge that genres can influence each other. That artists are going to influence each other, and that’s a great thing, not something to hate on.

I Wanna Live Inside Your Mind Next To Your Favourite Songs – Ranking Waterpark’s Albums

I would like to say that I have a pretty open and vast music taste. For me it really is just about the music, or well, art anyway. I don’t like to sit there and critique something based on what someone else thinks is “real music”, especially when all they mean by that is organic sounds. It’s just a silly argument to me, as if sound and music isn’t just pretty little air waves that we all hear differently as living beings. Not to mention it’s just self expression, it’s just creation like everything else in the world is. I think you must live a pretty boring life to only be open to one thing – I could never imagine only watching trashy rom-coms just because something else is entirely different. That’s the point, right?

Now, I promise you this has a reason, I’m not just ranting.

Waterparks are a three piece band from Houston, Texas, and when they were younger very much so inspired by “pop punk” music. As most of us who found bands at a young age can be. When signed to their first label, the whole “pop punk” box was something Waterparks fell into because of this. The issue? They’re so much more than that.

As the years have progressed there has been plenty of talk from Awsten Knight – vocalist, intense creative mind – about the genre in correspondent to the band:

Q: “What do you take from pop punk music and work into your own art?”

A: “The thing is we have all the ingredients for a pop punk band, but it’s the last thing I want to be.”

Q: “Why?”

A: “Because I just – I feel like pop punk hit where it was gonna hit…and at the same time it’s such a limiting genre because you can only do so many things with it. And that’s – that’s another reason I’m so into like -“

Q: “Genre belnding?”

A: “Yeah, and it’s like – and it’s no disrespect like I’m not just trying to shit on like pop punk stuff, but it’s like I just like so much more, you know what I mean? Like besides and also another thing that sucks is when you’re put in that category it’s so hard to get out of it. And when people see you as a “pop punk band” it’s just associated with like being a teenager at warped tour or whatever and it’s like that’s just not what I want.”

Awsten Knight, Zach Sang – The Zach Sang Show, 2019

I only bring this up because often the most negative criticism of Waterparks is the fact that they’re “not pop punk.” It’s not hard to find macho midwest dudes who dislike them just for not making pop punk music, all because the band themself would be around/tour with bands that were. Which I find hilarious.

“Fans of rock think there’s so much better than fans of other things because they’re like ‘oh but this is like meaningful’… most of the time it’s just like vague negative bull, like they’re not even saying anything it’s just like – just like vague struggle fluff for the sake of like being relatable…”

Awsten Knight, 2019

Again, I only bring this up because you can’t justify your opinion on something that they’re not and I think it’s incredibly important to only go into their music with this information. You can’t go into a Waterparks album expecting pop punk – in fact you can’t go into a Waterparks album expecting anything.

Waterparks have four albums – minus their Fandom: Live In The UK – three EPs and, depending on who you ask if they consider it, the “unreleased non-official G album” demos on soundcloud that Awsten had to release because of a tweet. For the purposes of this blog post I’ll just be focusing on albums, but who knows in the future I might follow up with my opinions on everything else.

Fourth Place – Entertaiment

I feel like I might get some hate for this one, which is fine but I have my reasons. I have been listening to Waterparks since the EP days and have watched them steadily grow since and with the release of Entertainment brought in a number of new fans. This isn’t bad, I think this was an era where things started to happen within fans and it was honestly a moment. That being said, this is my least favourite album out of anything they’ve produced. It just doesn’t feel right for me, not at all. That doesn’t mean I hate it, for I enjoy a lot of the songs from Entertainment. But I think that’s just the point, it feels like some songs, not an album, not a piece of art. Maybe there’s something missing for me, maybe I just never connected to it the way I did with every other album? It just feels adolescent to me as well, I don’t know how to explain it.

It’s not a bad album, not really. I know a lot of people who adore it, the vibes of it. That’s just not me though.

Third Place – Greatest Hit’s

Here is where things get difficult. I love – and by god I mean love – this album. Waterparks have some of my favourite artistry out there in the music game right now for me. The contextual elements. The max amount of detail – like how Track 1: Greatest Hits has audio from the streets when their Fandom album was on a billboard in times square. Insane, I love it so much. Greatest Hits is amazing, it’s a piece of art.That being said, as much as this gets played nearly daily for me, I adore the other two albums even more. I don’t even know how it’s possible, but I do.

Second Place – Double Dare

For the longest time Double Dare was my favourite album – one of my favourite’s of all time actually. And it still very much is, but I think most of my love for it comes from my emotional connection to it and what it ‘means’ to me rather than think it’s their best collective piece of music. Of course it keep’s second place though. This album came out exactly when I needed it in 2016, it brought so much joy into my life and it still does every time I listen to it. It’s nostalgic in the best way, while still completely holding up in being good music. Nothing enacts the same feeling as when I hear the opening to Track 8: Powerless.

First Place – Fandom

For a while I sat here not knowing if Fandom or Double Dare would get first place and it took me a long time to decide. If that doesn’t prove just how top notch both of them are then well, I don’t know I just felt like saying that. Fandom was always second to me, for so long, but after thinking it out I actually listen to Fandom more. It only came out in 2019, yet I still listen to it – the songs separately and as a whole – so often that there is always one song in my top tracks. Like Greatest Hits, Fandom has so much contextual depth and artistry. It was the first record away from their first label and you could notice the shift in how they produced their art. It was a moment of growth, change and it was so authentically themself. I love it, I’m attached to it, and I really recommend you listen to it at least once in your life. 

“I have a theory that we could do almost any – where we can do close to anything sonically, not anything but like most things genre wise and as long as what I’m saying is very authentic and very, very real and you can tell I feel like we’ll be aright cuz like Turbulent sounds nothing like any of the older stuff but it’s like what I wanted to make…I like dark music, I like pop music, I fast, I was like that’s all of those things…I just, I like so many things and I just think it’s stupid that – alright I think it’d be dumb to only show like one dimension of yourself especially like today…”

Awsten Knight, 2019

The Network Society Paradigm & Liquid Life

WHAT IS THE NETWORK SOCIETY PARADIGM?

Firstly, I would like to introduce this blog post by breaking down what this module was focusing on before diving deeper into its aspects and the main focal example I will be using: Liquid Life. 

The idea of the network society paradigm is simply – “a society whose social structure is made up of networks powered by micro-electronics-based information and communications technologies.” Theorist of the concept, Manuel Castells (2004 p. 3). 

Communication was never always as electronic based as it is today. In fact, it was always at a distance in and not at all ‘constant’ until the 19th Century. Around this time came the invention of the telegraph (1837), and from this moment communication became ever so changing. Now, this is where the idea of the network society comes into play. “…absolutely annihilating space and running in advance of time…a net-work of nerves of iron wire…” (The New York Tribune, 1845). 

THE NETWORKS

Centralized – the idea of a centralized network is it being owned/run by one company/community. This allows for that one authority figure to gain control over content, servers, or source codes. This is the type of network which aligns with most contemporary applications around today. “Data resides on a centrally owned database controlled by a company.”

Decentralized – these types of networks are made up of more than one node unlike centralized networks. They are not run by authority, for each separate node acts as its own, however are all existing within the same space. 

Distributed –  these networks are the type. They are made up of multiple nodes like Decentralized, however what differs here is the way they interact. “Applications in which computation is distributed across components, communicate and coordinate their actions by passing messages. The components interact with each other in order to achieve a common goal.”

CYBERSPACE

Cyberspace is explained to be a graphic representation of data – a consensual hallucination. (William Gibson,1984). The idea of cyberspace is that it is the home of the mind, an existence within that of ourselves, but also an external factor. Think of this as the vast world of the internet and the way it exists within thought or, a hallucination if you will. “Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.” 

LIQUID LIFE?

Now that I have briefly discussed the idea of the network society paradigm, its networks and the identity of cyberspace in relation to the vast existence of the internet, I will be introducing Liquid Life. 

Going off how the telegraph changed communication, how the internet and mobile phones grew from the extensive technological advancements of time, it is only right to assume the way society as a whole changes. New ideas, new ways of communicating, creating and displaying yourself openly to the world through the web. 

I’m sure we can all think of plenty of changes to society based on these factors, however one that really stuck out to me is the ideas of Liquid Life, or Liquid Labour. Today, everyday life has become another way of working. Everything is about work, rather than about life-style. This has created the ideology of Liquid Life, which can also be referred to as Liquid Labour. 

This brings us to the New Capitalism. “The relationships of capital and labour, argues Manuel Castells, are increasingly individualized and organized around the network enterprise form of production, which integrates the work process globally through telecommunications, transportation and client-customer networks. Such worldwide integration introduces a fundamental aspect of unpredictability to the nature of work,” 

This is the age of working culture, of hustle culture, of being overworked and enjoying it. Or, rather, presenting yourself as if you enjoy it. “…Not only does never stop hustling – one never exists a kind of work rapture…In the new work culture, enduring or even merely liking one’s job is not enough. Workers should love what they do, and then promote that love on social media, thus fusing their identities to that of their employers.”

THE LOGIC OF FREE INFORMATION FLOWS DEMANDS LABOUR THAT IS UNRESTRAINED BY BOARDERS AND ALWAYS AVAILABLE FOR WORK.

All of this comes from, as explored through ‘Liquid Life, Convergence Culture, and Media work’, a lack of stability and security. We do not work for a career any more, not really, in contemporary times aligned with that of social media, and networking, we instead create for short term effects. What is going to get this result right now, for we do not know how long this opportunity will last. The new capitalism. This has become extremely prevalent in the way of working off social media platforms. Everything is based on current flows, trends and catching up. 

This idea of Liquid Life is not something majorly negative, though nor is it inherently positive. This type of ‘hustle culture’ has created mass amounts of opportunities for society. It’s this idea that “anyone can make it”, anyone can achieve big goals and aspirations. Especially from social media platforms like Instagram. Anyone can gain success, power and influence over networks. 

That being said, this type of work-style not life-style has enabled the lack of self-care. When everything becomes about work and not about life – about a healthy balance between the two – then you will often find yourself a victim of burn out, “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion…” This wave has moved forward the lack of care one has for themself, which is why the importance of self-care is so important within today’s society. For you will never be performing at your best when struggling in the overwhelming nature of hustle culture.

Liquid Life offers up both positives and negatives for the future in society, and like most things, it is incredibly important to structure a healthy balance between the two and to start living a style and work style. 

REFERENCES 

A declaration of the independence of Cyberspace (2016) Eff.org. Available at

A Global Nervous System [BCM206] (no date) Prezi.com. Available at

Ashby, J. (no date) 1.4 The network society, Soas.ac.uk. Available at

Centralized vs decentralized vs distributed (2019) Blockchainengineer.com. Available at

Civilization of the mind: understanding the network society paradigm (no date) Prezi.com. Available at

Griffith, E. (2019) “Why are young people pretending to love work?,” The New York times, 26 January. Available at

Mark Deuze (Indiana University) (2006) “Liquid Life, Convergence Culture, and Media Work.” Available at

Melinda (no date) “Burnout prevention and treatment – HelpGuide.Org.” Available at 

Hey, Hey Community Round Two – Peer Review

Last week I shared the pitch for my Digital Artifact, where I breakdown my intent and personal media niche for the semester. You can read the post here, but as a quick overview I plan to conduct research into the media niche of music – specifically around the pop punk, emo metal genres – by observing the communities and personas built around them online. Last week, it was not only me but my peers who shared these types of blog posts and I have had the privilege to engage and peer review some.

“The process provides a reviewer with the opportunity to reflect on someone else’s work and to provide thoughtful comment using his/her own knowledge and expertise of the subject.” Peer reviewing is an important aspect in not only gaining insight into your own abilities but it allows the chance to be interactive and supportive to others. I think this is a great aspect of the community we have. I believe that I was able to convey my feedback and critique well by engaging my personal understandings with each pitch and providing ideas the authors might not have thought of. It is important to me to not just focus on anything negative, and to be helpful in furthering each project as well as highlighting a job well done.

Hannah’s Digital Artifact pitch goes into extreme depth about the ethnographic research about their chosen niche around the alarming forefronts of climate change. It is very well researched and clearly written which enables a multitude of audiences and understanding. Their post was detailed, structured and very professional when discussing this topic, as well as being incredibly informative. Because of this, when reviewing their post I included a secondary source – Bushfires in Australia: a serious health emergency under climate change – which explores their niche in relation to Australia specifically and could be useful in furthering their research and provides a geographical example of this crisis.

Hannah’s pitch was analytical and professional presenting, which is something I myself have taken away from this experience as something I need to improve. Their work was defined and developed to the point it felt personal and not a “University task” which I believe is something I can work on and develop in the future.

Lisa’s pitch was lovely and really taps into the whole concept of persona in relation to our lectures and class work. This, I believe, was expressed very much through her words as well as her audio visual elemented. It is clear to me that they have a tight understanding of who they present themself as in relation to Youtube, as well as their own media consumption. They were able to analyse the analytical concepts presented with clearity. Their pitch was broad and open, as one’s persona might be, and I provide a source in relation to mentioned ideas – cooking and healthy food – to perhaps aid in narrowing down some future points for their project.

Lisa’s work allowed me to see areas of persona, which is a very large aspect of my own Digital Artifact, that I myself am lacking in showcasing through my blog posts. For example, Lisa dives deep into the analytics of persona where I have just briefly touched on it to further my points not educate and engage. I believe this is something I can take away from by reviewing their pitch, along with making better and larger connections to frameworks and lectures as a whole.

Vincenzo does a great job at utilising both audio visual elements and blog post as a cohesive piece to be understood together, rather than simply having a blog post with a side of more information in a Youtube video. They are very interested in their chosen niche on a deep personal level that they have a personal connection. I think providing us with this information is great because it explores the relation between niche topic and creator – I would take the word or perspective from someone with pre-existing knowledge and persona before someone who is just touching the surface of a new niche. That being said, there was little explanation on why this is an interest, or why the photography element corresponds and going from that I provided a source which I hope aids in capturing how to express this in future.

Vincenzo’s Digital Artifact as mentioned before does this fantastic job at making both types of format cohesive, and I will be the first one to admit that this is something I struggle with in presenting. Engaging with their work has enabled me to witness examples and ideas on video creation which I can transcribe into my own work in the future. Their pitch was very helpful in this for me, and I appreciate the opportunity to review their work.

I think in the future I can improve the feedback I give by going further into the sources and even by providing more than one to enhance the take away for my peers. Overall though, I believe that by conducting peer reviews has not only given me insight into others but has allowed for me to grow in my own work and understanding. I will be taking everything I have learnt here and the critics given to me to grow with my DA.

“Help Me Find Something More” – So What’s My Niche

Recently, in some classes of mine at University, I have been directed to research and explore a media niche. Preferably something that we have an interested in as we’ll be continuously curating content within that realm for the semester. But how does one go about this?

FINDING THE NICHE

The best place to start with this, as someone who has done this type of thing in previous classes and years, is to take a look at yourself. No, really, I mean that. What are you interested in? How do you spend your free time? The better Digital Artifect’s come from something you find yourself creating anyway – it feels like less work if you actually enjoy it.

This led me to two things along with my pre-exisiting ideas. The first being books – I love to read and write all the time. The second was music – being what I like to refer to myself as a “retired scene kid”, music is a really fitting niche. I knew this semester I wanted to focus on my writing with this blog as I have been outside of University. I turned to my more content based Instagram and it’s exisiting audience to help with deciding which I should go with.

Ultimatly, music won by a long shot. I’m not mad at it at all.

SO MY NICHE

What’s great about this is how already engaged, even with previous Uni work, I am with my music taste and it’s subculutres. You might have heard the phrase that “punk isn’t just music it’s a life style”, which is true for most aspects of “alternative” (I hate that word, but don’t worry I’ll be explaining why with my later research) music culutre.

See I already create content around this niche, as well as enage with a lot of it. You should see my Tik Tok for you page, it’s truly the for YOU page. It really is a no-brainer to have music – specificly my own subculutre base taste – as my niche. I go into this aspect of my life a little bit in my “get to know me” blog post I posted recently. I even share good old 13 year old scene kid taylor photos.

MAPING

The way I wish to Network Map my niche can be broken down like this:

created on procreate by me

NICHE AND MY ONLINE PERSONA

Really anything you do online creates your public persona, think of the people you follow online and the way they present themself to you as a viewer. It really shows the way you engage with whatever your chosen niche is outside of the work you submit. Now, when your lucky like I am here, your niche will already exist within your persona.

I have here a few moments from my social media where I have shared content related to this niche. It really is something I’m constantly around and creating for. So much so that I’ve made friends in many different ways and areas of this niche. Really, I’m still always so shocked when music artists follow me back, or follow me first even.

To be honest, music has been apart of my persona online for as long as I’ve had social media, so again, it really is just a no-brainer. I love writing or talking about it. I listen to podcasts around the “alternative” scene in my free time too. This just makes me so much more excited to delve further into this niche and create more content around it. I’m really looking foward to this semester. 🙂

REFERENCES:

Title Lyric, “Help Me Find Something More” – artist -The Stroy So Far, song – Upside Down.

Pixel Chix The Fever Dream?

In September of 2005 a series of interactive toy’s begun under the name Pixel Chix. These games were interactive with an LCD screen and came in many forms over the years. Marketed towards young girls by introducing them to life through little pixel girl pals. Created by Mattel, these games were desgined for you to live within a house with your character. You were able to dress them up, feed them, have pets and put them to bed. Over time the toys begun to add more to how you could play with different generations.

When thinking back on these games, which ultimatly ended as physical devices in 2009, we are met with intense nostalgia – an analytical framework which these games can be viewed through. I wasn’t sure if Pixel Chix would be an incredibly niche “old” game, especially considering how little it is brought up in spaces when discussing childhood games. However, after looking through the responces of this tweet of mine I knew it wasn’t just me who felt that hard love for these games as kids.

Pixel Chix House created a loveable expierence in little kids. Not only were you able to dress up and play with your girl pal yourself, you were able to connect the houses together and vist each others homes anc charaters. This created a connect, in person expierence for kids in the 2000s to play together. There was orginally three styles, “Cottage”, “Loft”, and “Mansion.”

Over the years Mattel made many different generations of Pixel Chix.

Road Trippin Vehicle, 2005

2-Story House, 2006

Love 2 Shop Mall, 2006

Roomies, 2007

Babysitter, 2007

Unlockets Charm, 2007

Pixel Chix TV, 2008

Fab Life, 2008

Secret Life of Pets, 2007

McDonalds Happy Meal Toys, 2008

https://mattel.fandom.com/wiki/Pixel_Chix

Pixel Chix was also hosted as a game under “EverythingGirl.com” which lasted several years past the production of them in 2009, until the site closure in 2014. This makes me question the way I would analyse this game. As stated before, when talking about nostglic games Pixel Chix is non exisitant in many spaces as an option. Yet, when directly asked many of us as kids loved them so much. Until doing research I had no idea that the there even was a website game.

Unlike many different childhood games like “Temagotchi,” and “Cooking Mama”, Pixel Chix has not made any kind of new wave technoglical developments, there has been no new console game or phone app. It’s like it never really made that big of an impact, or if it did consdering they even had a McDonalds toy line, that it was not long lasting at all. Maybe this has to do with the games being developed by Mattel the toy line which is always mass prodcuing new content.

Pixel Chix might not be something that instantly comes to mind for anyone, yet it still has managed to fit in the gaps between the ones you do think of straight away. I think that has to say something, it’s not hated as i saw in the replies to my tweet, but its not remembered even though it was well liked. It’s a game that really sticks out as a fever dream to many people – which in a way is quite a unique type of nostaglia.

Hey, Hey Community – A Peer Review

Hey, hey!

Last week I shared a blog post dedicated to pitching my Digital Artifact idea for this semester at University and so did many of my peers. You can read it here, but as a quick reminder, I will be conducting investigative research into music and sounds of video games and analysing their importance along with their effects. After this though, I was given the opportunity to read and give feedback on fellow students’ pitches. I think it is such a rewarding thing to have a community to give and receive feedback from, and I took this process to really reflect on even my own critiques in order to advance forward with my work. I hope those who I had the honour of reviewing feel that from the feedback I shared.

Firstly I reviewed James Mckay’s pitch, and while this might be my longest comment I am so incredibly excited to see where James goes with their ideas. Their pitch presented the question of “Do Video Games Suck?”, and goes on to explore the relationship of different era games – the old vs. the new – to analyse the quality of them. They intend to do this by streaming on Twitch and having a rank type system of three similar styled games.

I love this idea, and I made sure to relay that in my feedback. I’m a very opinionated person and am attached to certain games based on my own experiences. This really stuck out to me because I really allowed myself to see how little my own pitch goes into when it comes to audiences or even the type I wish to attract. It is clear to me, based on the game like examples in my own pitch, I could have conducted more research into the who these target audiences are and why certain scores/soundtracks are presented to them.

I then moved onto reading and engaging with Jules’ pitch, which really struck me because of the similar concepts but different ideas involved. I love seeing how differently people can execute projects. Their DA dives into the concept of nostalgia and its correspondence in gaming. Not only that, but they included the science side of things, going deep into what they wished to achieve with this project.

I feel like I might be excited for everyone’s DA’s, and Jules’ pitch really cleared me up on how I should handle things in my own work. Her audio/visual was very clean and still simple and as someone who really kind of struggles with that it allowed me to see ways that I can improve.

Lastly, I took a look at Jacob’s pitch blog post, and it was instantly recognisable. Their project was detailed and very clear to read, explaining how they intend to utilise their youtube channel to make game commentary around FIFA and further explore and analyse it from there. I found that Jacob’s pitch was very researched and had clear drawbacks to class content and lectures.

I really liked this about their pitch, because it is very clear on my own that I need to improve my engagement with frameworks and lecture understandings. Which is something I know myself as well as feedback given to me over the course of peer reviewing.

Throughout this process I was able to gain insight and understanding of other people’s projects which enabled me to take a look back at my own, critique it and has given me the ability to better my personal Digital Artifact in the long run.