Author: jadelaurenhall

18. English. Singer. Writer.

State of Play- The tool of tourism

As mentioned in week 2 of blogging, Autoethnography is a self reflective documentation of experiencing a culture (in this case) other than your own in order to understand that culture in your own individual way. This is done with an honest opinion while drawing on elements from the culture and narrating them. Some even describe it as analysing epiphanies or a ‘stream of consciousness.’

Analysing the documentary, state of play ,as discussed in blog post two, I will focus on three specific concepts that I experienced during my viewing of this South Korean documentary.

Korean food, was not in short supply during this documentary, with a lot of the central celebrations surrounded by food and family. This is interesting to view however after I read that during the beginning of 1995, there was a crisis in food shortages all around North Korea. This could describe the feeling of food worship, as well as the idea of using it as a celebration when the gamers came home. A blog post by Nick Rose who experienced the food in South Korea stated ‘I think they believe that people will spread the word that North Korea is a prosperous society, where people are happy.’ With this being said, small samples of food are often served, so people can enjoy an array of dishes. The portrayal of the food within this documentary, could be used as a marketing tool, to sell South Korea to the viewers.

The film was very confusing for me due to never even hearing of E-sports culture before, that’s why when characters started to compare the culture of E-sports with soccer, I understood the basic concepts such as, winning, losing, rivalry and patience. This created a universal understanding, reaching out to those in different cultures. There’s even a specific website that can help you compare sports you like, so you can pick an e-sport game that best reflects the sport you are familiar with. Here is an example of a Autoethnographic experience regarding Korean music through a American experience. The way E-sport was portrayed during the film felt as though South Korean culture as a whole was very welcoming, drawing on westernised elements, in order to make every culture feel welcomed and accepted even in a culture that is extremely traditional. Again could this be another tourism concept?

The coherent universal story of father and son relationships, as well as most relationships within the film, seemed to be constructed in a westernised way. It was very easy to follow along due to the multi-layered elements which were easily relatable. I mean, I think every teenager has been asked by their dad ‘what are you doing with your life?’, as well as preparing you for failure in the nicest way possible. I took to google to understand the Korean Family dynamics, and was quite surprised. I think what effected me the most was I thought parents were supposed to be clingy and want to know what you are up to, similar to the Korean dynamics, but I based this on my family interactions and the way I was brought up rather than a culture as a whole which may experience family differently.

270RPM doesn’t make the cut

“Autoethnography “-Understanding it as a research practise that focuses on self reflection, the way in which a researcher, through personal experiences, understands and makes meaning, this supports Ellis’s reading ‘to describe and systematically analyze (graphy) personal experience (auto) in order to understand cultural experience.’ Similar to Bronislaw Malinowski, his field journals ultimately experience and document the honesty in a public domain that others may otherwise not see. In DIGC330 week 2, I viewed a Documentary named State of Play’ set during the transition between Star Craft and Star Craft 2.

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Here’s a documentation of my experience:

  • Set in South Korea- it opened with a camera pan of the city. All the way through this documentary the weather was grey and horrid. Not too much excitement happening weather wise for any of the contestants. Is this why they were so attached to playing StarCraft?
  • It was interesting to see that all the gamers were male. I hate to be one to talk about gender, but this documentary focused on portraying the gamers as very masculine figure within North Korean culture. The inclusion of fan girls added to this gender dynamic. (But really, why were they fan girling over esports? It just didn’t make sense)
  • A coherent universal story between parents and son in this documentary could be easily followed. The question of what are you doing with your life? Is this really what you want to be doing with your life? Were questions that are even asked in our families. It was nice to have a culture entirely different from our own, that somewhat became similar.
  • Nice to see what happens where a team isn’t always winning, the documentary became another thing entirely. Not just following the player’s success but also seeing them at their lowest when they weren’t winning, as well as letting people see the real him was a very important sense of victory. When the esports players compared this to football the concepts of winning, losing, rivalry and patience all became universally understood. Even though someone like me, who hasn’t seen or even heard of Esports, began to understand how important playing and training was for the StarCraft players. This made it a lot easier to follow.
  • Korean food was very apparent as well as portraying a strong sense of culture- which also made me extremely hungry.
  • As discussed in my live tweeting during watching the documentary. I noted that I was interested in the way gamers brains worked differently to ours, its like they use a completely different part of their brain. For instance, 270 RPM was slow in the competition!!! That’s physically impossible for me to even comprehend.
  • The way generations respond to technology based on their culture was also worth exploring more in-depth. A lot of the more traditional/reserved generations, believed gaming is a waste of time and just didn’t understand the significance in participating in Esports. Whereas for the gamers it was their life and their dream.