I enjoyed the process of creating this podcast, The Sims 4, with Kiara. We shared the same ideas and we did really good job in integrating our thoughts and fitting it into our podcast. Furthermore, since we chose the game for the podcast rather than being assigned a certain game, we could design the podcast according to our interests, which was flexible and did not constrain our thoughts. At the same time of playing and podcasting the game, we dig deeply into our game and discover that it had both pros and cons.
Inspired by the different video games earlier this semester, I also wanted to do a Podcast focusing on role-playing game in which players can really escape from busy life, release their burdens, and take all control of their lives. Rather than composing of complicated plots and mysterious settings like the Stanley or Gone Home, my dream game is easy to play, close to real world, and meaningful to the players. Thus, I started to search online which game is most similar to my ideal game. Browsing the websites, I was attracted by pet raising games as well as life simulation game: The Sims 4. Fortunately, my partner Kiara also had that idea and we played the games together. However, we still were not able to decide which one was better and how to talk about a game through Podcast. Thus, we discussed with Professor Morgen about our thoughts and brainstormed the pros and cons of the games. In the end, we decided on doing the Podcast of The Sims 4, a life simulation game which provides the players with life experiences like ever before and like never before.
For Kiara and I, we first planned out the structure of our Podcast, intro and reflection of the process of playing, and wrote the scripts for them. However, we found it was difficult to talk about a game without any thesis and deep meaning behind it. Therefore,Instead of doing the Podcast according to the structure we had before, we discussed the pros and cons of The Sims by referring to some topics in How To Do Things With Video Games, which is written by Ian Bogost. “Empathy”, a topic in this book, best reflects the deep meaning behind the game. When we were playing this game and enjoyed the happiness of living another life, we put ourselves in the characters’ shoes and have the empathy of them. For example, my character Wendy broke up with her boyfriend because her busy life of being a tech-industry woman. I felt blue during those days and tried to come up with some ideas to fix their relationship while still keep her interests in industry engineering. The process of playing the game influences my life. Also, this game also reminded Kiara of some experiences during freshman year. Our own experiences in this game and vivid description of the characters would give the audience a more straightforward sense of it. In addition, the pros and cons of this game enable the audience to get rid of it negative effects and misleading part.
After figuring out all the things we need to include in our podcast, we started our recording part. The easy part was that we could read record according to our scripts; while we needed to find background musics, combine all the sound track into one, and make sure our voices are loud and clear. The Podcast took our hours to finished, however, we expressed our own ideas to the audience and encouraged them play in a more vivid way through voice rather than plain words. The this project requires our collaboration and teamwork, which includes encouragement and understanding.
We did all the things together happily and were both very excited to see our collaboration outcome on podcast website of this class.
Bogost, Ian. “Empathy.” How to Do Things with Videogames. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota, 2011. 18-23. Print.