Introducing… Crossing the Communities- Part 1

For my Autoethnography, I was originally going to focus on a podcast called Bobo and Flex. Unfortunately, I could no longer base my DA around the podcast as they had paused the production of the weekly episodes. I then decided to change the focus of my Digital Artefact to the Nintendo Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

In Animal crossing New Horizons, the player assumes the role of a customizable character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a package from Tom Nook. Taking place in real-time, the player can explore the island in a nonlinear fashion, it is a cheerful simulation of carefree, independent island life, where you chop wood, pick fruit, fish, and study the flora and fauna as you grow and nurture your community. The game introduces a crafting system that allows the player to convert materials into tools and furniture, which can be used to decorate the game’s interior and exterior spaces. Animal Crossing: New Horizons supports both local and online co-op gameplay, with up to four players locally and eight players online are able to occupy an island at any given time.

Source: Nintendo

The reason I chose Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was due to the fact that it’s one of my favourite games to play and I have been a fan since the game came out on the Nintendo DS. I was particularly interested in the online community as it really grew after the release of New Horizons. As people began to play the game, many individuals were sharing their journey of establishing their new island to social media platforms. In an article by Bullard (2020) he states how online communities “serve as a form of communication among people with similar interests.” On many of these social media platforms, accounts dedicated to Animal Crossing began to flourish as the game became more popular and more people got involved. 

This leads me into my new Digital Artefact called ‘Crossing the Communities.’ I will be observing the online Animal Crossing community on various platforms such as Instagram, Reddit and Twitter. I want to display throughout my DA, how players of the community create content based on their experiences and journey throughout the game that is then shared among the communities on social media platforms. I then want to observe how other individuals interact with these post and what kind of content from the game interest individuals most within the community, including myself and the kind of content or post that interest me. I plan to write 3 other blog posts that will be focusing on specific platforms. It is important to note that throughout my observations, I remain ethical in how I use content or post from other individuals.

References

Bullard, E. (2020) ‘Virtual community’, Salem Press Encyclopedia. Available at: https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.uow.edu.au/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=87323100

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