The Narrative, New Media, and Gaming course has taught me a great deal in terms of the complexity of telling stories in the digital age. The advent of social media and technologies that make people highly connected such as the high speed internet, mobile phones and tablets has changed the way people interact and especially how they listen to stories. Stories are no longer accessed through traditional sources and at specific times, now through instant global access to information people here stories through for example online streaming, podcasts, and video games. These changes have also bled through to requiring different strategies for marketing stories. The awareness of these changes came to light through this course and provided both important learnings about story telling of today that will also can be incorporated into my resume. Even more interesting was how the course structure expanded upon my past learning style.
The two most significant things that I learned in this course was how to market stories today and how to analyze content differently. Regarding marketing, while thinking through the marketing strategy for the video game as part of the Video Game and Transmedia Website project, there was the realization that to drive customer recognition and ultimately purchase the product requires approaches well outside of my traditional thinking. I learned that a marketing strategy requires leveraging social media and transmedia elements. The traditional underlying components of the marketing strategy are similar, for example having a tag line, summary of the story, a trailer and a website. What was different was that these needed to be delivered to the target audience leveraging a viral campaign that utilized a multi communication approach. The approach needed to use todays forms of communication and interaction between people, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube promotion to get people excited although leveraging the traditional elements. These platforms would provide quick global visibility and ultimately if successful, drive people to the website to download the title.
Regarding analyzing content, especially when analyzing a video game, there is more to it than I thought. I never looked at video games in terms of something other than a simple form of pleasure. Through the game review blog post that I did for The Walking Dead video games, it became apparent that games are much more complex and there is a significant investment in design. Video games include story arc with character development, graphics to create a realistic environment, and interactions with the gamer to engage them in the game. Ultimately these and other aspects of games drive people to want to play the game and ultimately realize the pleasure. Both of these learning put an entire new perspective on how stories are told and the complexity of doing so, especially in the digital age.
Stepping back and looking at the Narrative, New Media, and Gaming course, there are skills and knowledge that I will be able to leverage going forward. First are communication skills, which from what I understand is probably the most important skill in the pursuit of one’s career. This course has helped me improve my written skills through the block posts to clearly communicate a message while hopefully keeping the interest of the reader. Secondly, multitasking and managing priorities. This course was intensive relative to managing all the deliverables in parallel with other course demands. In addition, by only having one class per week, it was important to manage my time effectively by using the time slot of the 2nd day (Thursday) that was allocated toward the course in combination with other times to make sure not to fall behind. This was especially true when managing project 3, the website, as it was for me a monumental task. This created self discipline to manage my time while also priorities with other courses. These things combined won’t necessarily be called out in my resume, but will add significant value during interviews. In speaking with my career counselor a couple of weeks ago about preparing for interviews, the one area that was emphasized that I need to be prepared for, is the behavioral interview aspect. Meaning, that during an interview they will ask questions to understand my past behavior in order to determine if I am a good fit for the position. For example a question may be; Tell me about a time when you had too many things to do and you were required to prioritize your tasks? Also, given my career path in media, they possibly could ask how would I market a product in today’s world? Narrative, New Media, and Gaming course has provided experience that I can leverage to answer these questions. This course will provide experiences that will allow me to respond to these questions, such they are not textbook answers, but based on real life examples.
I truly enjoyed the The Narrative, New Media, and Gaming course, but frankly was initially terrified by its hybrid nature. In the past, I have only been exposed to courses that were purely face-to-face, thus was concerned that this would not mesh with my learning style. Specifically, I have not been exposed to self-learning. I remember prior to starting the semester reading the syllabus and it stated: (1) “Myth: Hybrid classes are easier than traditional classes — False” and (2) “Myth: Hybrid classes take less time than traditional classes – False”. This did not give me much comfort. With that said, I got comfortable with the hybrid approach and believe it expanded my learning style such that in the future I will take other courses that leverage this approach. Also, believe that this will be important even beyond college, that in the work world, self-learning will be essential.