This session at uni has been a strange one, mainly because I know it will be my last. In a way it’s ironic that Future Cultures has really made me consider where I am now and what I want to be doing with myself going forward. Originally I pitched a digital artefact where I would discuss the future direction of games and gaming, culminating in a video essay but that idea even bored me. After recieving very little critical feedback from my peers on pitch I was even less excited to pursue the concept. Instead, I began to think about what I actually wanted to do and decided to revive an old idea I had. Allow me to reintroduce According to Gamer Dad, my blog for all things gaming and hobbying.
Starting in late April, I have posted daily and currently have 27 articles available to browse. Rather than have you all search aimlessly I thought I would put together a list of highlights and discuss breifly their connection to Future Cultures in general
This post serves as a mission statement and a promise to myself. This is what I plan to do with my reading back on it and reflecting I did say that I would not be too concerned if I didn’t update to frequently and felt like I started setting the bar low for myself. Thankfully, I have a lot to say so content so far has not been an issue and consistantly putting out a post a day has not been too taxing. This schedule will likely slow down with time but at present my focus is generating a lot of content and then narrowing down what I produce to stuff that gets the highest engagement.
Projects: May 2022
On Blog Design
These two posts are where I begin to plan and forecast the outstanding projects I have in front of me and what direction I should take the blog. Things I had never considered with my university blog were questions like “How would a user find a specific article?” or “What would draw and audience in?”. I began to assemble the categories and pages I would need to create a flow through my blog that makes logical sense:
Has the Ship Sailed?
Euthia – From Riches to Rags
I have been quite active in the KickStarter community for a while and having been following along with changes in the tabletop gaming community in particular. KickStarter itsef has aknowledged Supply Chain Issues and this TIME article explains how the industry at large is being impacted. My above posts are where I discuss the things that I had originally planned to talk about in my DA. These posts imagine what the future for crowd funded board games could be given the current state of the world and predicted trends. I quite enjoyed writing these even though it paints a bleak future for diversity and creativity in the tabletop game space.
Thoughts after 20+ Blog Posts
This post in where I first reflect on the trajectory of my blog and what I think I should be doing to improve it and generate more engagement. Here is where I start experimenting with creating audio version of posts that are a bit longer. As always, a lack of space and time to record really impedes what I can do here but I used anchor.fm and was able to convert several posts into podcasts. My spotify playlist is here.
I also take this opportunity to reflect upon the blog’s direction and my views on success and failure when it comes to this creative pursuit.
Finally, my latest post where I manage to piece together some video content. I’m not entirely happy with it and wish I had more time to dedicate to it. Again the audio got me, doors slamming, teens fighting and loud music all got in the way of my script so I abandoned the audio entirely for some royalty free music. I have established a YouTube channel for future content and the video itself is below:
So that brings us to today. I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some analytics and discuss what that means for the future direction of the project:
As you can see here I have managed to get a constant stream of visitors to my blog, however I am finding that I am not getting a lot of people choosing to follow. Part of that might be because blogs aren’t as exciting to engage people with which is why I feel as though my future experiments with multimedia might help draw in a crowd.
My most popular post Learning to use a Lightbox was due to another member of the tabletop gaming community linking to the post. This exploded the number of views and visitors on a single day and I greatly appreciated the boost. My only issue is that the post is one of the weaker ones that I have produced and I feel as though it wasn’t the best to showcase what my blog is trying to do. Hopefully if I am linked to by another blogger in the future they choose to link to some of my more engaging painting content.
I also noticed early on that articles with images attract more immediate attention so I have begun to do this more. Also my work in progress images don’t seem to get as much attention as the completed projects that I am producing.
Most of my views come directly from the WordPress reader so I am planning on investigating what makes posts stand out there and how to grab the attention of people that might otherwise not be interested in a hobbying blog. I am also hoping that as I produce more multimedia content that everything more people will choose to check out the blog from other sources.
Going forward I am excited to see where this goes and how my ideas further evolve. Regardless of how well the blog functions as a digital artefact, I am proud of the effort I have put in and see it as something that I want to maintain beyond my university career.