The digital artefact I have been working on and creating is a visual podcast, undertaking research, critical thinking and development to create this media project. The visual podcast discussed fitness stereotypes, negative connotations in relation to life simulation games, and lifestyle. I have created this project alongside a classmate, in which we worked collaboratively. The project aimed to be able to give relevant information in discussing life issues, as well as health and wellbeing. We used this topic in relation to ‘The Sims 4’ which is a life simulation game. The process of the digital artefact was broken into stages. The first stage was for myself and Casie to nominate our project direction, this, therefore, created the ideation process. We looked into what type of media outlet we wanted to utilise, what content we wanted to create and what was the issue we wanted to discuss. In the pitch, we discussed a project schedule, unfortunately, we encountered a range of technical and other issues, due to lockdown that prevented us from being able to follow this. Where and when we could we recorded our episodes via zoom, screen recording our sims gameplay and separately recording our voices. I touched on the issues we faced and our goals leading into the end of the semester in the beta. Based on the research I conducted on my chosen niche and analytical framework, I was able to establish who my audience to my podcast is.
Since my pitch and beta, the development of our audience allowed me to be able to direct my project to the correct people. My audience can be recognised as a life simulation game player, that is a part of the health and fitness community. The audience development was done throughout the project process and wasn’t fully understood until we started creating the content. The project was developed to be able to help our audience view some of the issues that follow with these life simulation games, the main aim was to determine if these games gave negative connotation into the health and fitness world, looking into body image to its users. Based on my knowledge in health and fitness, as it is something that relates to my everyday life, as well as my advanced knowledge into The Sims 4 game, as I have been playing the game since I was a pre-teen. In the process of creating and developing my digital artefact, we started with the content planning. Utilising Tiktok and Twitter, we expanded our content available to our users. We tested content after our first entail podcast post to see how our audience reacted to our ideas and discussion.
First testing introduction videos and background information about ourselves and the purpose of the issue we wanted to explore. We took feedback, not from words, but reflections of views and likes off each platform. On my personal Twitter, I posted a teaser of the aim of our project and we had a positive response. From here I looked into a content plan into what our next couple of videos aims would be. On Twitter, we took to memes and updates about posting to be able to reach followers, as well as sharing when episodes are posted etc. the responses we received were quite helpful and a great insight into the type of content our audience wanted to see. Although we weren’t receiving much public feedback, real-life and private messaging was a really good way to have discussions with our viewers. Although our subscriber and follower accounts didn’t reach that high, we were really happy with the number of views was receiving on tiktok. These views reached the hundreds before even posting our first video. When looking into the analytics from youtube we can see the click-throughs we received and where they came from which helped us understand the main sources of our audience were from. I think we could have maybe utilised an app like Instagram or even used TikTok primarily to be able to get more content out into the public space and be able to reach our intended audience. Youtube was a much harder platform to connect to users and be able to establish how to reach an intended audience.
Technical issues were a big part of our podcast throughout the duration of the project. In the first week, we had issues with being able to record both voices at once while being in different locations. The next issue we faced was to do with being able to record voices, stream the sims gameplay to each other, and record the process also. I think a lockdown podcast was our hardest option and made it really challenging to be able to really make the best project it could have been. This also restricted the amount of recording we could do as editing became a bit of an issue to be able to line up video to sound and so on. Casie and I had never had any real creating a podcast experience, including editing, recording etc.
Overall, I feel as though the concept and issue we wanted to determine through our visual podcast was achieved but before we had a real understanding of the direction we wanted to take we were running out of time. If we could adjust the way we went about things or restart the project we would look into different ways to present the project, as well as look into more of how to create a podcast (visual podcast) rather than just learning as we go. This made it more time consuming and took away from content creation and growing our audience.