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Where to Next? Freelancing and Digital Artefacts.

Hopefully nearing the end of my bachelor’s degree in Communications and Media, I have spent some time trying to prepare for the big world outside of my 4 walls called “education”. Having gone from high school straight into university meant that I didn’t have all the life experience nor the idea of how I wanted things to go in the long run. Throughout the past four years, I have settled and decided upon the digital media industry to settle myself in – for now.

As I have shared in previous blog posts and impressed upon whatever readers I have had, I have created a few digital artefacts in my time at university, many of which have been attempts to create a career or job for myself through my digital artefacts. The main one was the creation of my art store on Etsy, which then lead to the creation of my actual freelance digital media business – something which I focused on this semester for BCM302, Advanced Digital Artefact.

As stated in my initial project pitch, for BCM302, my digital artefact aimed to provide digital media creation services as a member of the Creative Services Team (now known as the Digital Memo) – essentially, a creative studio with multiple BCM students participating, providing different and free creative services for others. My participation in the Digital Memo was laid with the intention of further developing my professional portfolio of work to advertise my ability for future employers.

Over time, my digital artefact developed and changed – as most things do – more than initially planned, but that was okay because I felt that whilst it was not as a significant result as my other digital artefacts, I believe it has left me in a suitable position post-university.

Whilst initially planning to be a part of the Creative Services, I found that due to the ‘new’-ness of the group and my limited socialisation with my fellow BCM peers, I was not requested by anyone to work with them in media creation as some of the other team members were. I, however, was active during the formation, below is a screenshot from me helping to rebrand the first known as “The Creative Services Team” by suggesting some logos I had created, these designs did not make it to the final result, but they were considered when the team members voted!

Whilst finding myself with no ‘clients’ seeking my work, I found that I really had to promote myself a little more online, the individuals who ran the Digital Memo social media also assisted me by retweeting my post that promoted the work that I do.

Still, coming to a later point in the semester, I still had not had anyone reach out to me, obviously leaving me a little let down because the Digital Memo is a great opportunity and experience for any BCM student to try to – and whilst saying this post the first semester of it running, I truly hope it continues further for other students as it can be a great chance. I found that with the semester progressing steadily on, I should probably reconfigure my digital artefact so that I would have some progress and work to show for BCM302.

Alongside my university work in the past, I have done some occasional freelance digital media creation. I figured this would present me with opportunities to expand my digital portfolio – as per one of my initial aims for my DA. I began to advertise myself online with my inner circle, connections and previous clients. I found that a few previous employers actually passed forward my details to their friends and colleagues and I have since been in contact with a few people, setting up meetings and beginning to work with some. Below are a few images of these posts and communication – one having details blurred out as per their request for privacy.

One person that I began working will is a friend of mine who attends another university. She was in need of some support with her own blog and setting up her personal branding. So I came up with some logo trials and began sending them to her. Amy’s favourite was number 5, with number 6 as a shorter logo option when required.

As well as Amy, I worked with Miranda. Miranda owns her own business and for her privacy, I have not shared her business name as requested, but in summary, I attended an hour meeting with Miranda to discuss her business goals and what she would require from me in terms of digital media. I am at the current point of arranging another meeting with her to discuss social media plans and discussions.

Opening up some connections to actual work has been a great opportunity because it has helped me build on my digital portfolio. But I had one problem at that stage. I didn’t have anywhere to actually present said portfolio. So I stepped into a new field and began designing my website to advertise my work. The link to my newly created website is – take a peak below at some screencaps.

It was certainly a learning process as I wanted to step away from WordPress for my professional portfolio, and was then required to learn a whole new platform and its little quirks. On top of this, Squarespace is used just as much as WordPress in today’s digital world, so I was certain I wanted to experience both platforms in order to cater to a wider and more potential audience. This was a pretty tasking process to learn it on a level that I could create my own portfolio and look professional, but overall I believe I am pretty happy with it turned out. Since its creation, I have begun sharing it with individuals that have messaged to work with me so that they can see my works. I plan to add more designs to it shortly, as well as some tips and tricks for social media, and break down some of my services.

One thing that helped me during the journey of my digital artefact, was the process of design thinking. One of the first individuals who referred to the idea of design thinking was John E. Arnold, a professor of mechanical engineering. In 1959, he wrote “Creative Engineering”, a text which established four areas of design thinking – from there it only developed and became popular in all kinds of fields such as science and creative arts. Design thinking is seen to be a non-linear, iterative process that individuals can use to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems and create innovative solutions to prototype and test.

I definitely throughout the semester found myself referring to the design thinking process. Not only when my first initial step with the Digital Memo team did not quite go as planned, but also when moving to work on a more professional level of freelancing. My whole process of work has found itself to be quite literally the design process because I have been required to create different work for different individuals, through the first two steps of empathise and define. From there are the literal steps of ideation and prototyping my work. Creating content for different individuals is not the easiest work because you are catering for different needs and wants.

Upon reflection, whilst I also followed the process of reframing my digital artefact when I was not initially successful as I had hoped, I wish I had interacted a little more with my peers and those working in the Digital Memo. I did find myself comparing my own work with that of my peers as I saw them posting a lot online about their successes – naturally, that was a little upsetting as I was putting in hard work with interacting online, commenting on others’ progress, sharing my own work online and other things, yet I was not receiving nearly the same interactions from an audience.

Something I always found nice and handy with our digital artefacts was the process of the peer reviews. Whilst still here, the process had been revised over the last semester, resulting in a peer review where we pick our own individuals to follow, whereas, in the past time, we have been assigned. I did not receive any peer review on my digital artefact or check in on my progress, which was also a little pushback because I am someone who values advice and feedback so that I can receive an outsider’s perspective and then build on their feedback to improve. I think if I had realised how important that was to me, I think I would have specifically put a post out and asked for some advice on how to work on my digital artefact.

I also believe that there was also a slight issue with the Digital Memo, which we had only established this semester. Because of this early establishment, I believe that not as many students were willing to engage with a group of students that were only in the process of setting up this group. Perhaps if we had worked on it all together a little earlier we might have been established earlier enough to hit the correct audience of students that were looking for that support and services when creating their digital artefacts.

Whilst I did not follow my initial idea or plan for my digital artefact, I do believe I achieved one of my goals – which was to build upon and expand my professional portfolio for post-university employment opportunities. The Digital Memo, as I mentioned earlier, may have not been a success for me, but that does not mean by any chance that it will not be suitable for another. I believe that hands-on experience is a great chance for future students to keep pursuing it. Allowing us to experience that raw feeling of working for a client and creating something that they need is a crucial step to the industries related to the BCM degree. I am obviously planning to continue my own professional development and portfolio creation. I think I will begin to build an online presence through a social media account like Instagram, which will allow me to attract a wider audience and engage with others in an easier way.

Over the last four years, I have created many digital artefacts and I know that I have learnt a lot from my work. Pending results, this should hopefully be the last subject required to finish my Bachelor of Communications and Media Degree, and I can only reflect with a fondness for the BCM community, peers, tutors and teachers together. I have been able to build a passion for all things digital media, and have been able to begin establishing myself in the industry. Digital Artefacts whilst scoffed upon by many students, have been an assignment task that I will value the most leaving university as it has taught me the most about the real world and helped me gain the most experience that anything else could have done. I know that I will take every lesson I have learnt and take them with me as I continue in my journey.

Whilst results are pending and I am hopeful that this is my last subject before completing my degree. I can only say a preliminary thankyou to all the dedicated tutors that have guided me through the last four years. Educators are often overlooked these days, and I cannot be any more grateful for the role you have all provided for me during this time of discovery.

Till next time.



A closer peer on my peers!

After my initial peer review blog post, we are coming back to check in on my peers and see how they are progressing through the semester with their digital artefacts. Checking back in with Maddy and Bonnie – who were both working with the Creative Services Team (Now the Digital Memo). Bonnie was also aiming to develop her portfolio of works, and Maddy was also working on her social presence online with Socially Maddy – her social media and management business.

Let’s check out how they are going –

Bonnie Stonestreet – The Digital Memo

Over the last few weeks, Bonnie has certainly been productive with her digital artefact. Bonnie frequently updates the BCM Twitter community on her progress with clients and her own personal progress. Bonnie has shared her collaborations with not only BCM students but also other UOW organisations. Bonnie has continued her original plan to provide graphic design services for the digital memo team as well as develop her own digital portfolio.

Bonnie has had a large success with her participation in the Digital Memo, helping multiple students (or clients) to achieve their digital media needs, sharing her progress and some insights into her work with the use of weekly TikTok’s. In one particular video she shared some of the work she had been doing for the UOW Café Amigos group, and also some Instagram posts for another student’s digital artefact through her work with the Digital Memo.

I believe that sharing her updates through TikTok is a great choice, not only is it allowing her access through another platform, but it also allows her to expand the ground on which she can essentially advertise her work to potential clients. Creating videos through TikTok provides an engaging side of media creation and something that is a little different than a standard image post or text online.

As per a previous discussion and recommendation, I can see Bonnie has mentioned online that she is planning to create a website to be a host for her professional portfolio. I do think this is wise as this will allow Bonnie to separate the two sides of her digital artefact. Creating a website allows a place where Bonnie can share her content and work online, but having that separate location for advertising her services / a business Instagram – can allow Bonnie to strictly have an account to advertise and create content with the pure intention of attracting and engaging with an audience.

Overall I believe that Bonnie is making positive progress with her digital artefact, and I am excited to see how it continues over the last few weeks of the semester – as well as potentially outside of the university semester.

Maddy Hawkins – The Digital Memo

Much like Bonnie, I believe that Maddy has made outstanding progress on her digital artefact. Maddy has taken a great deal of time and effort to gather her feedback and post our first feedback blogs. Continuing on the route of her own digital artefact of “Socially Maddy”, and the Digital Memo, I would say that Maddy has made significant progress. One example of this is her latest suggestion to sell social media templates and kits on platforms such as Etsy.

I think that this would be a great opportunity and market for a social media manager as well as a creator. We live in a world full of many individuals, and many people doing the same job, but there is a particular demand for social media managers when it comes to ease of access etc. Many people can make a pretty post, but not quite so many can fit to a brand’s ideal goals into their products. This is where Maddy’s idea comes to fruition of selling digital social media documents/templates, where individuals can purchase these products and continue to create their own content guided by a social media expert! Not only has this option allowed Maddy to find herself in a particular niche, but also allows Maddy to monetise her work, which is essential to begin her career in any industry.

Something that I also really liked was how Maddy was using her platform of Instagram to share some tips and tricks. Her latest post is a summary post, sharing updates to a well-known editing website named Canva. They had announced some pretty big changes to their platform, by offering more services. Maddy then got on Instagram and shared a little advice and a summary post. I believe that this is a good thing to do as it can allow clients to receive some advice without ‘paying’ for it, and also gives them the opportunity to explore the validity of her advice.

Having no particular point of change or note for Maddy, I can only encourage her to keep up the continuity online with posts. I believe that a regular posting schedule can assist in coming up with some posts in a bulk manner and then scheduling them to post at a later date. Keeping that active work up on her Instagram account allows an audience to know what to expect and even potentially what can allow them to continue to look back for any updates on the accounts.

Overall, I believe both Maddy and Bonnie are succeeding in the development of their digital artefact. The main goal of each is to develop their professional skills for times outside of the university. I look forward to seeing where both their digital artefacts end up over the next few weeks.

Until then.


Peer Projects and Feedback – BCM302

Over the course of the last four years, I have been completing my Bachelor of Communication and Media. In these four years, I have begun and witnessed a fair number of digital artefacts. Students pursuing their creative talents and translating them into their university work is one of my favourite things to see during the semester.

A regular activity required alongside these digital artefacts if you haven’t seen them before is the peer reviews and blogs. This is a crucial step for individuals in their digital artefact journey as it helps provide advice and constructive criticism on their progress and work. Treating our work as we are in the ‘real world’ is crucial in my own opinion, to assist us in gaining a true experience of our field.

In this blog post, and throughout another later in the semester, I will be exploring and following the journey of Bonnie and Maddy, as well as providing some suggestions throughout the development of their Digital Artefacts.

Bonnie Stonestreet – Creative Services Team

Bonnie’s pitch for her digital artefact this semester is one that is clear, clean, and concise. Bonnie plans to develop and expand her graphic design portfolio on a professional level. Beginning with this in her pitch is something that stands out to me as a clear objective, and it is not something unattainable. Not to mention, I personally believe this is a wise step to make as this prepares you to have a portfolio available for potential future employment. Bonnie planned to develop her portfolio by working in the Creative Services Team – a team of students creating their own digital artefacts that allow students to seek their ‘services’ in a creative agency sort of manner. I believe that working in the Creative Services Team will allow Bonnie to further expand her digital portfolio in a professional manner, whilst also allowing fellow students to collaborate with her.

Bonnie explored a very important topic in her pitch and related blog post, the idea that there is no particular niche in freelance design. This is something that I personally had to learn throughout my own personal experience working as a freelance designer outside the university, but I have always had difficulty with. The fact that Bonnie was able to recognise this straight away as a key element is encouraging for her digital artefact as she is aware that not following a niche allows her to be adaptable and expand her portfolio in all ways.

Another topic Bonnie explores is the ability to explore the personas she will be working with. As mentioned above, her ability to not fit into a niche allows her to reach a broader clientele, but from here presents another problem of perhaps working with clients and projects she may have not done before. Bonnie presented a breakdown of one of her current collaborations with UOW’s Coffee Society and their audience persona, this is a great idea, and as Bonnie said, she looks to do this with all her clients that she will be working with.

It is hard to create recommendations or suggestions to someone who you believe is on a great track already – and progressing further than yourself, but if I had to say anything, I would be encouraging Bonnie to continue expanding her skills and keeping an eye on current trends in the graphic design field, perhaps through social media platforms, so that she is able to maintain an up to date and aware presence online – not saying that she is not doing this already, but continuing to do so allows her to adapt to clients and future work.

Maddy Hawkins – Socially Maddy

Maddy, alongside Bonnie, is an online presence I have seen a lot online, and I’ve been following Maddy’s journey for a while now. For Maddy’s digital artefact, she also will be collaborating with the Creative Services Team and providing social media management services – this is something that Maddy already does outside of the university, but this semester, she hopes to expand her portfolio of work – similar to Bonnie. Maddy has also planned that whilst providing her services, she will be sharing online social media tips to her own audience and exploring current trends which I believe is a great idea to have some engagement outside of working with the Creative Services Team.

Being in BCM302 means you are at the end of fairly close to finishing your course content for Communications and Media, and I think this is a time when we are all preparing ourselves for the workforce. I think that Maddy’s digital artefact allows her to really develop her portfolio of work for potential work in the future. Via the use of Instagram, Maddy is promoting her services, and Instagram is a great location to store a portfolio of past works and the kind of content that you can create. But Maddy has also mentioned she is going to be sharing tips and tricks as well, so my main point of suggestion would be, perhaps separate that business side of it and your portfolio – if that makes sense? Having one spot for your portfolio allows potential clients to see your range of work, and having that on an account where you (in a way) advertise your business, may blend in with tips/tricks etc.

Maddy also works on TikTok – which is also a positive for her Digital Artefact. TikTok is a platform that is constantly changing every day with different trends and creators. Having someone that looks at TikTok specifically allows clients to come to her for advice where others might not have it. Being such a prevalent platform in today’s generation, it is crucial to be up to date, particularly with the open market of TikTok and space to advertise through video content.

Overall, I think both Bonnie and Maddy are on a great track, and I am keen to see where their digital artefacts take them over the next few weeks!

Till next time!

Alex 😊

The Final Digital Artefact – BCM302

Whilst a little late to the digital artefact pitches, I am happy to share that for my Advanced Digital Artefact subject (BCM302) this semester, I will be participating in something a little different than what you might be used to seeing on my blog.

The Creative Services Team is a newly formed group of students throughout the BCM degree who completed some form of digital artefact. Here, we offer a service for other students with *almost* anything that we have skills with (relevant to the degree of course). For example, a member of the group might be really skilled at videography, so they might offer that service. Another student might have talents in the graphic design industry and social media area, so they may provide services relevant to that area.

This is done as an opportunity for team members to increase their skills, work with others and even have the chance to create content they may want to display on a professional level portfolio when looking for future work.

Personally, my broad range of skills has found me offering almost anything I can do, whether it be graphic design, content creation, social media work, visual media creation etc. Whilst I am hoping to increase work to display on my professional portfolio, it is also a chance for me to help other students. I personally found myself in my first year unsure of the first steps and wish there was someone to help guide me through the process of editing a WordPress website, or how to process a video on Adobe Premier Pro.

Students seeking these services will find it beneficial as they are interacting with students who are or have been in the same position as them before. It is creating a level of familiarity and comfort for other students to come to the team for assistance. Looking at a more legitimate way to refer to those seeking help would be quite like a client. Moving forward as this is a creator/client/freelance setting, I will refer to those seeking services, as a client.

While the team is still developing how to make a database to present our creator profiles, I hope to present my work on the social media profiles that I currently have. Mainly via Twitter because the majority of the BCM cohort is on Twitter. This is a platform that makes connecting with others quite simple.

Overall, I am keen to experience a new digital artefact. I have always steered quite close to my personal interests, but this is something that allows me to enhance my skills and abilities.

If you’re looking for some help with digital media creation of any kind, let me know!

Till next time,


AMC Game Types – Contextual Report BCM215

Welcome to the conclusion of my digital artefact for BCM215! I have attached my expanded and more technical explanation and analysis into my digital artefact. But below is my summarised experience with my digital artefact!

(Sound Cloud –

There are approximately 500 hours of videos uploaded onto YouTube every single minute. There is always someone in the world, actually, there is always a bunch of people watching YouTube at one point in time. YouTube allows viewers to watch many different kinds of videos, they might be beauty-related, they might be gossip related, they can even be videos with calming music for animals. But one area of YouTube I decided to focus on was the Let’s Play area of YouTube.

Let’s Play is a type of video where creators of “Let’s Players” will sit down in front of their camera (or no camera) and they will record themselves playing through videogames. This came across as a strange sensation when it rose to popularity at around 2012, but sitting here in 2021, to most individuals, this is something that is normal, and Let’s Players have been able to make it their whole career.

When in BCM215 this semester, we were asked to base our digital artefact around game’s and their paratext, and I found this sensation of the Let’s Play video quite interesting, but I wanted to look a little deeper into the Let’s Play videos with their large popularity – this then leading me initially to actually looking at live streamers on platforms such as Twitch and their interaction with the characters in the games they play, and if this is different based on their gender.

So, starting from this point of live streamers and their interactions with characters from the perspective of gender, I set about making my own Twitch account, streaming myself and creating a self-analysis, but also examining other streamers and how they interact also. If you have read my Beta blog post for this, you would have learnt a few things…

I did indeed stream on my Twitch channel, but it was nothing noteworthy as I came across some issues whilst I was going. I had to teach myself how to use OBS Stream Labs Studio, funnily enough – my laptop blue screened twice! And then because my entire family at the time were working/learning from home – you would understand the Wi-Fi was absolutely dreadful, this then resulted in being forced to stream when the Wi-Fi was running well, which happened to be around 1am. In the long run, this wasn’t very productive.

With the good ol’ FEFO skills that have been instilled in me since I started at UOW three years ago, I was sure my digital artefact had to take a different direction. Here comes the creation of AMC Game Types, an Instagram account that explores the interaction between Let’s Player’s and specific characters in games – with the perspective of gender in mind and the stereotypes that have been placed upon them.

Since then, I have found multiple times where Let’s Players may interact with these characters in ways that fit into the stereotypes placed upon their genders. An example may be, Let’s Player Ashbfc who has 15.6k subscribers, played through the 1996 version of the Tomb Raider game. Here at multiple times in the video, a joke or not refers to the main female character Lara Croft at different points in a sexualised nature, here are some of the quotes below…

Looking sexy as ever, and those mind-blowing 90’s 3D graphics, man what are those triangles coming out of her chest area” (4min 58sec – 5min 15sec)

Look at Lara’s little shorts, come on we all had a crush on her in those tiny little shorts” (5min 35 sec – 5min 47sec)

“So we got a good shot of Lara’s pointy tits right there, she’s also got a square ass as well.” (7min 42sec – 7min 54 sec)

Tomb Raider] The evolution of Lara Croft [x-post from /r/gaming]:  GameEvolution

Now, these are just a few of the quotes made by Let’s Players in regard to just one of the characters that I decided to look on. Of course, I feel like it is obvious, but I do need to state this point, not ALL Let’s Players are like this, and as we progress as a society, we see these stereotyped characters and the interaction between Let’s Players, gradually decrease. But unfortunately, as much as I don’t want to say it, it is still occurring, a little more often than you may want to think.

Many videos can find that with female characters, Let’s Players are more likely to make comments that may refer to their physical appearance, or their emotional reactions, perhaps the character makes a wrong move, or perhaps they don’t agree with another character. For younger female characters eg. Ellie from The Last of Us, Let’s Players are more likely to adopt a ‘mentor’ attitude with Ellie’s character but are still surprised when Ellie may react in ways that aren’t expected of a ‘little girl’ eg. swearing, violent nature, and they can even find it amusing and cute.

But I look also at how male characters are treated by Let’s Players. Most do not see issues with the representation of male characters in video games, and most support the characters in the games. But men are just as stereotyped in games, the level of hypermasculinity completely overrules any kind of personality of the character, and instead leaves a violent, muscular, emotionless man. Let’s Player’s are more likely, from my own research, to encourage the male characters to pursue violent options, they berate male characters who may seem to be ‘weak’ and can even call names.

So, when little Joe who watches his favourite Let’s Player encourage Nathan Drake (Uncharted) to be reckless, sarcastic, and dangerous, do we believe there may be an influence on him? Will little Joe go out and try being just like Nathan Drake? Or how about Susan who may be watching a Let’s Player shame her favourite character Chloe (Life is Strange) because she might be a little different or ‘annoying’ – will Susan then feel like she can’t act in a way she wants to because she thinks others might find it annoying?  

 I was unable to find much evidence on this research from this perspective but Texas Creative’s article “The Power of YouTube Influencers” believes that for the number of time audiences engage with creators there is no doubt that there is some form of influence on the mind, perhaps you may like something that the creator likes, or some part of their own personality might even resonate with you.

Looking overall, I believe that my DA has been successful in the terms of researching what I was looking at, but in terms of audience interaction, perhaps not as successful. There was limited growth in my followers during my time on Instagram – only earning about 7 follows, but when reposting stories and interacting with other accounts I had a fair amount of traction there.

I had one day reposted some videogame screen clips and received a strange amount of over 100 views! This was really strange but also not so strange because I had been interacting with a lot of pages that day and commenting on fellow videogame Instagram accounts, so that really showed to me with a little activity, it can really boost your account view rates.

All in all, I believe I can continue the AMC Game Types account as it is a topic I am highly passionate about being a woman in the 21st century that does enjoy regularly playing video games and watching Let’s Play videos of those games. As mentioned earlier, I go into the technical side a little more in my video, but for now, that’s all folks!

BCM215, you have been good fun and an enjoyable subject for the tough semester it has been. A large thanks to Chris, Richard and especially my tutor Pete for supporting us all in this time!

Till next time,


References –

Miller, M.K., Summers, A. Gender Differences in Video Game Characters’ Roles, Appearances, and Attire as Portrayed in Video Game Magazines. Sex Roles 57, 733–742 (2007).

Amanda Potts (2015) ‘LOVE YOU GUYS (NO HOMO)’, Critical Discourse Studies, 12:2, 163-186, DOI: 10.1080/17405904.2014.974635

Content Analysis of Gamer Image and Channel Popularity on YouTube: Negotiating Stereotype, Xuejing Yao, May 2017,

Burgess, M.C.R., Stermer, S.P. & Burgess, S.R. Sex, Lies, and Video Games: The Portrayal of Male and Female Characters on Video Game Covers. Sex Roles 57, 419–433 (2007).

The Power of YouTube Influencers, Author unknown, April 2019,

The Analytical Framework of AMC Game Types

Compared to a number of my peers in BCM215 doing our digital artefacts, I am not looking at one game in particular, which has shown to be a slight issue, but rather than looking at one game, I am looking at one experience. The experience of Let’s Players and their interaction with characters – and whether this is influenced by their gender. When considering the academic framework, I wanted this digital artefact to really express what I was passionate about and to share some key issues in our society today. As a young woman in this modern day, who is someone who plays videogames and does watch a lot of YouTube something that always sticks out to me is the influence that Lets Players can have.

So, this is where my first concept of my digital artefact came into play : The Let’s Player.

It’s not easy to credit the very first Let’s Play video, but they’ve exploded in popularity since roughly 2012. Big names like PewDiePie, Markiplier, and RoosterTeeth had enormous growth in their channels by playing games on their channels. By melding personality with gameplay, the Let’s Play community makes content that is both informative and entertaining. Watching others play video games gives you a sense of what a game is like without having to shell out the dollars for it yourself.

Coming from roughly 2012, audiences continue to follow these channels to this day – even if the channels aren’t always publishing Let’s Play videos. So, reflecting just under 10 years later, audiences have grown up and developed their personalities alongside these content creators. A paper written by Matisse Melendres expressed that, “Youtubers do not realize the amount of affect and influence their behaviour and actions reflect on teenagers”.

From this, leads into my next two focus points in my digital artefact, which really come hand in hand with one another, (and becomes slightly hard to separate) is the character, and the gender of the character.

Upon researching in Google ‘best videogame characters’, you are met with Game Designing’s article, “The 50 Most Influential Video Game Characters of All Time”, and as you scroll through this article and this list of videogame characters, you will find that out of 50 characters on the list, there is a total of 9 females on the list… compared to the total of 41 males on the list. Should I begin to even explain the lack of female representation in videogames? Over the last few years, we have seen some rapid improvement, there are still lengths to go to equalise the representation of females on our screen compared to males. When Let’s Players are interacting with these characters, they are trying to connect to the characters on a personal level, and in a sense, are getting to know them. But when an individual may have some perceived notions about a particular kind of person, they will often treat them in a particular way in regard to that eg. someone may see women as weak, and their natural instinct in games is to be protecting, or perhaps they may be rougher with a male character because males are just expected to be stronger.

When they may treat a character in particular because of their gender, do we then find that, because of their influence as an ‘internet figure’, they are subconsciously influencing their audience to react in a similar way? It is a heavily researched topic and is not one that I believe will die down any time soon, but for my digital artefact, I am keen to share my own findings with my own audience and let them decide.


Melendres, Matisse, “Youtubers Influence of Young People” (2019). Pop Culture Intersections. 42.

Tyler, Dustin, “The 50 Most Influential Videogame Characters of All Time”, date unknown.

Let’s Players, Characters, Gender and Participation in Videogames

The biggest part of my digital artefact is looking at how Let’s Player’s interact with videogame characters in the perspective of gender. So, it is difficult to look at my digital artefact with one game in mind, but one thing that remains the same is that they are played by Let’s Play YouTube channels, and this is considered to be my paratext in my analytical framework as I am looking into how individuals react with particular genders in videogames, and is this a programmed reaction from societies stereotypes? 

Joost Raessen’s “Computer Games as Participatory Media Culture” looks at videogame characteristics and analyses how players become participants. The way they participate come under two main frameworks being:

The types of participation.

  • Interpretation
  • Reconfiguration
  • Construction


The techniques of participation.

  • Multimediality
  • Virtuality
  • Interactivity and connectivity

Below, are some points how my digital artefact comes under these points of Raessen’s “Computer Games as Participatory Media Culture”.

Interpretation –

My digital artefact draws on how we interpret characters in videogames and how we interact with them, and are these interactions influenced by the gender of the character? Are we expected to be softer to female characters because as a society we are trained to expect females are weak? I from here, am looking at Let’s Players publicly expressing their interpretation of characters, and then interpreting myself how they are interacting with one another.

Reconfiguration –

Reconfiguration is part of the process that happens in the production stage. A representation of this stage is when I am documenting my research and experience in watching Let’s Player’s and their interaction between characters.

Construction –

In terms of Raessen’s work, he shares that construction is understood as the addition of new game elements or the modification of existing games. Whilst I am not particularly involved in this stage, it might be shown through the Let’s Play videos of the YouTubers or perhaps even through the posts of the characters I edit to make the pictures more ‘eye-catching’.

Multimediality –

Multimediality can be presented different forms of media which can be things such as text, audio, video, images etc. In relation to my own work, I am watching a lot of videos and reading a fair few articles to gather my research but am also creating my own Instagram posts with edited images of characters. The ability of using an Instagram profile, is one that allows my audience to participate in viewing with me.

Virtuality –

Virtuality as described by Raessen is “the possibility to stimulate virtual worlds a gamer can explore” (J.Raessen, 2005), the most obvious representation of this is the videogames themselves, but another really key point of this that relates is the use of YouTube for my research on existing Let’s Play content. You are involving yourself in this stimulated world and the use of YouTube lets you do what Raessen described which is, “…virtual worlds a gamer can explore”, you are following a gamer explore these universes and alongside them, you are experiencing what they might experience as if you were a part of that yourself.

Interactivity and Connectivity –

Interactivity and connectivity in my digital artefact is something that is quite important and plays a large role. Interactivity is the interaction between player and the game, and this is where Let’s Players are playing these games, and they are literally interacting with the characters in the games – which is the most crucial part of my study on their interaction between one another in perspective of gender. Connectivity is the next stage of my digital artefact, where players are connecting with other players or individuals to exchange game ideas, conversations etc. So at this stage I am examining from the interaction with characters, to the Let’s Players connecting with their audiences, myself included.

Peer Progress Comments – BCM215 Beta

As the term moves forward to a close, we see more assignments wrapping up. One of those is all the digital artefacts, hitting the 3rd base on the UOW DA field. It’s Beta time and that also means it is time to conduct peer reviews. Earlier this semester you might have seen my post reviewing my peers BCM215 DA Pitch videos and now I am looking at the same individuals DA so far and checking up on how they are progressing as we are in the home run.

I gave some feedback on 3 of my peers work, and that was in relation to their Beta videos in relation to our feedback criteria. I always find this time really useful because it allows us as students to gather some different feedback from one another and helps you improve in ways you might not.

For myself, I always begin my comments by recognising what is going really well in their digital artefact so far, and even acknowledging their changes is important too because sometimes its nice to know you might have made a decision for the best, or even how you can make it even better! I always aim for positive comments and constructive criticism that I would hope to receive in return!

Beta #1 – Samantha Mae


Comment (awaiting moderation – see image)

“Hey Samantha!

It is great to see how your digital artefact has developed since your pitch video! Your DA certainly has changed direction slightly, but I do not think in a bad way at all.

The use of Pinterest to express your DA is really interesting. Pinterest is one of those platforms you may not always consider first when you think about social media, but it is really a great and fantastic platform to share images, and as someone expressing videogame aesthetics, its perfect!

It is great you have done some research into the possibility of increasing your audience! Sometimes an audience is critical in encouraging you to continue the work you have been doing. Doing some research into increasing your audience through Pinterest, I found this webpage and they come up with some really great ideas to increase that group. One suggestion is to cross platform your profile with another eg. Pinterest and Instagram and link them together – which might be really interesting to see how individuals interact with the profiles.

Your discussion about nostalgia is quite important also! I believe that to find the aesthetic of the videogame industry, you have to find the part that appeals to people, but from you have discussed, you have already found it. Players want to experience nostalgic feelings while playing these games, they want to feel like they are playing it for the first time, they want to feel comforted by a similar setting, and sometimes I believe that is a really crucial part of an aesthetic – something that can be related too.

Your timeline over the next few weeks is looking good! I worry that you might find 5 posts, 5 days a week a little much at the time – I am guilty of saying I can do something and it’s a different case when the time comes haha! But then again, it is a great goal! Overall I am looking forward to seeing your final presentation of your digital artefact and hope that you enjoy the rest of the journey!”

My comment to Samantha did not contain much in terms of critical comments as I felt she was fairly on track for her DA. Having changed the way she presents her DA, I believe that personally, she will be able to cope a lot easier and keep it to the idea of the videogame industry – just as presented in her pitch, she had slightly erred from the topic of videogames. I gave Samantha some advice and an article with some pointers on increasing your audience on Pinterest as I believe that can be a crucial side of encouragement for a DA. But also the interaction between audience and DA is quite important. Overall, her DA is coming along quite nicely, and I am excited to see her final work on her DA!

Beta #2 – Isabeau Rosa


Comment (awaiting moderation – see image)

“Hi Isabeau!

Your digital artefact seems to be coming along quite nicely overall! As a side note I am really sorry to hear about the issues that came along such as your mouth pain and the capture card breaking! How tragic it broke! I am glad to hear that you are getting back on track however!

As I mentioned in my comment on your Pitch video, you are looking at a really interesting topic and being a woman myself who plays videogames, its encouraging to have recognised there is still lengths to go in fair representation.

Your idea to use the Bechdel Test for your analytical framework is really fantastic, and even more is using Portal as an example! A source you may find really interesting while exploring the Bechdel Test is, here they have applied the Bechdel Test to some videogames and female representation already, and they provide some examples of games that you may want to look at even streaming yourself on your Twitch channel! An example that I wouldn’t have particularly thought about until I did my own research is Super Mario and the representation of Princess Peach AKA. The most kidnapped princess and damsel in distress.

Your timeline over the next 2/3 weeks is looking good! I am excited to see how your final digital artefact turns out and am keen to learn somethings that I didn’t know – particularly hearing about the results of the Bechdel Test in your research!”

Isabeau’s beta blog post was really interesting to hear how she is progressing so far. Whilst she has had some bumps, she is still going really well and seems to have been researching very thoroughly into her topic whilst streaming videogames. I was quite interested in Isabeau’s plan to use the Bechdel Test in relation to her research in to the female representation in videogames. This is allowing her to gather her own physical research rather than gathering already done research. With interest in this form of research, I had seen an article/post where another individual conducted the Bechdel Test in relation to females and videogames, and upon hearing mention of it again, I thought this might be useful for Isabeau to look at in terms of her own research and getting some ideas to look at some games in particular! Overall, I am keen to see the results of her DA in a few weeks time and even am planning to come watch a stream!

Beta #3 – Axel Friedrich


Comment (awaiting moderation – see image)

“Hi Axel!

I have been looking forward to your beta update since I commented on your pitch video! As a big fan of the Stardew/Harvest Moon games I was really keen to see how you were going to go! I am glad to see you have planned to make your videos shorter than 30mins, not only in terms of maintaining audience attention, for your own wellbeing of making and editing 30 mins + of videos would be quite timely! 

I know in your beta video you discussed looking into the legitimacy and accuracy of real life machinery in Farming Simulator, and this is actually quite important to think about as for audiences, the key part of a simulator, is simulating an actual possibility of a reality, and players want to feel invested and involved in the story and activities. An article written by the Guardian may be useful for you to make notes on as they look into real life farmers that actually play the Farming Simulator videogame and how they feel like about the game, the link is, .

Looking at your beta video, I would’ve loved to have seen some pictures or video of your progress so far just to give us that visual update as well! However, your entire digital artefact has been quite well planned out and your timeline is looking good in preparation for the final presentation of our digital artefact. Perhaps some reference to your academic articles / research / sources would’ve added abit more depth into your analytical framework.

It also would have been really awesome to see if you have had any audience interaction so far, have you perhaps been interacting with farm-simulation game fans or even chatting to people on reddit boards. I understand you’ve taken a more in-depth analytical way of presenting your DA and that the videos haven’t been posted, but for your final presentation, perhaps think about posting some of your videos on social media, maybe interacting with other people and trying to increase your audience for your DA!

I’ve linked some of the reddit boards that you could maybe start some conversation on below!

But overall, you look like you are doing an amazing job and I am really looking forward to watching your videos over the next couple of weeks! Keep at it!”

Looking at my level of critical feedback, I believe I gave the most to Axel. His DA is going really well from the sounds of it, but that is it, the sounds of it. I had to say as one of my feedback points, it would’ve been good to receive some photos or videos of his progress so far, because there is actually no part of Axels digital artefact that is currently available to the public to see. Understandably, there is some obvious work being conducted by the way the Axel was able to share with us in his beta, but it should be noted that we aren’t able to see any audience interaction at this point. I gave Axel a few points of feedback and recommendation such as posting his videos publicly and promoting it on other platforms to have another way to increase his audience at the moment. I also made the recommendation to an article released by the Guardian that discusses one of his key games he is examining, and discusses the accuracy of the game with players – which is really when players begin to feel immersed in the game they are playing, a key point about simulators. I am actually really interested for Axel’s YouTube videos to come out and see his final DA released!

Overall, the digital artefacts beta videos that have been released and the handful that I have watched, they are looking really good! I am excited to see how we all go in a few weeks time when we present our final digital artefacts.

So until then,

See you then!

Alex 🙂

Digital Artefact Beta BCM215

My DA for BCM215 this semester has certainly gone through its trials and changes than when I first presented it in my pitch earlier this semester. I introduced my digital artefact as a twitch channel that streams games and discusses the interaction between live streamers and characters in games – from the specific perspective of gender.

lyraac Twitch Offline Screen

I had a few years ago set up my own Twitch channel to do some basic streaming from my PlayStation 4, however, 2 years later, I was aiming for bigger and better things… using live streaming programs, the main one being OBS Stream labs studio, so it was a slight process to teach myself how it all worked and how to stream the best way. I soon discovered it was a little rough to stream regularly as I had hoped due to some family circumstances, my laptop blue screening on my twice in the span of 2 hours, my overall slow laptop and the limited Wi-Fi because when 7 people are all on zoom and Netflix on the house Wi-Fi, it isn’t usually the best climate to be streaming, so I had resulted to streaming at around 1am in the morning sometimes, which just was not working.

Below is one of the analytics from my channel when I was able to get a good run-on streaming but had limited research done to present any of my data on researching the interaction between streamers and characters in games.

September 8th – October 2nd Twitch Analytics

The Complete Guide to Content Curation (Clarke, T 2018) really guided me on how to make my content more original and more unique so it is actually interesting for audiences to watch. A key point of content curation is also to grow your network and look to others for inspiration on their own works. For myself, this meant involving myself in twitch ‘culture’. I found myself over the last few weeks up until my 180-degree change, I am watching streamers and involving myself in their community, which is still a good thing as I’m aware of content curation and attempting to expand my audience through interaction.

I got to the point where I was concerned that my DA was not quite working so I decided to change the game up abit. I half abandoned my Twitch channel in the hopes that over the next few weeks I will come back and tend to that wilting garden. I then began my AMC Game Types Instagram page, an account where I make posts about specific characters in games and how they have been stereotyped in the game, but then how they are treated by Let’s Play YouTube Creators.

AMC Game Types Overview

Whilst relatively new, its had more traction that I feel my Twitch channel received, and being a graphic design minor, I have quite enjoyed making the images of the characters and exploring how they are interacted with by Let’s Players due to these limitations eg. Males may make more jokes about characters when they are sexualised. So far this has been fairly successful, I have had to remove my posts and repost them, as overall, Instagram is a very aesthetic platform and my cover photos were not working, so upon reposting them, I incorporated hashtags into my captions which saw a rise in activity on my account.

Looking critically, I need to refer to my academic research more in my posts, they are fairly surface level and there is not as much content in regard to BCM215, so in the time we have left, I will be improving on regular posting, incorporation of academic articles and just increasing activity with my audience.

I look forward to the next few weeks work and will see you at the end of the road!

Till next time,


References –

(In Video)

Sexy, Strong, and Secondary: A Content Analysis of Female Characters in Video Games across 31 Years Teresa Lynch, Jessica E. Tompkins, Irene I. van Driel, Niki Fritz

(In Blog)

Clarke, T (2018). The Complete Guide to Content Curation: Tools, Tips, Ideas, Hootsuite Blog

Where Are We At? Commenting on Peer’s Pitches #BCM215

Below are my 3 comments on my fellow BCM215’s pitch’s as well as some comments about the comments! Overall I really enjoyed watching these pitches and seeing how my classmates are going in their digital artefact journey!

Pitch #1

Samantha Mae

Comment (awaiting Moderation – see image)

“Hey Samantha! I really enjoyed watching your pitch and exploring your topic about aesthetics. I myself am a big person that finds the visual elements of games to be crucial to my interaction and immersion in games.

I believe that the use of Instagram is really smart too! The use of your profile with the 3 tile layers can be really handy in displaying your own particular aesthetics. Instagram is also really handy when you are using stories and reels as well! Maybe you can consider doing small aesthetic reel videos?

I do feel a little that you can relate your DA assignment to videogames a little more. Whilst I do understand that you are analysing the use of aesthetics in your Instagram, it has branched a little way from our class of game media. Perhaps you might be able to keep your plan of exploring aesthetics but you could possibly explore some in games, even looking at some games that might cater to the audience that you were originally intending. You could even look at exploring some games like this in Instagram reels.

There is a more casual article that you may find useful for your research. ( It explores why feminine design is the next step to more gender-inclusive video games, whilst it is not directly exploring the “aesthetic” it does explore visual design of these games and branding so it is very relevant to the aesthetic of games (with a more feminine audience in mind as you had for your DA’s pitch!)

But overall, your pitch was enjoyable to watch! I really think you can make something that really stands out that still relates to our course. I am keen to see where this may lead throughout the semester!”

My comment for Samantha was one that was slightly more critical compared to my other comments. I was a little worried as I felt that Samantha’s pitch showed her steering away from the connection of her DA and game media as she wanted to look at aesthetics (something very relevant to the gaming industry) but was looking more into the side of fashion and other context. So my comment was just more giving a few suggestions as to how Samantha may keep her original idea but also veer back to the course content of game media and aesthetics. I also suggested a more casual source that Samantha may find useful for the more feminine side of game design as she spoke about looking into aesthetics that relate to younger individuals and feminine aspects. Overall I really enjoyed her pitch and am keen to see how she might take it moving forward.

Pitch #2

Axel Friedrich

Comment (awaiting Moderation – see image)

“Hey Axel! Just want to start by saying your pitch for your DA sounds so interesting! I myself am a large fan of the Stardew Valley game but most of all am guilty of heavily enjoying farming-sims in general haha!

I think presenting your DA via YouTube is the best way to go in terms of exploring these roleplaying games. If you had the correct resources and time, you could even consider livestream yourself playing these games and considering your questions, your YouTube videos could be where you look at these games on a more academic scale. Obviously this is all just suggestions however.

You did mention that you were aiming for your YouTube videos to be around 30 minutes total, as a note from someone who has attempted this in a few DA’s before, this can be incredibly straining. You may want to look at reducing the length of these videos to maybe have your content more clearly expressed nor long (in today’s generation of short attention spans!) But alongside this, it may reduce the time you need to take to edit which may be handy.

I like the games you are planning to look at, and I definitely recommend you look at the Harvest Moon games (you can find online emulators, this website is my favourite, the link leads to the SNES version but you can play most versions – ) I think this important because there was obvious inspiration from Harvest Moon which leads to how important it is as the impact Stardew Valley has had. As another smaller recommendation that is more recent, you could even look at the latest Sims 4 Game expansion which is called Cottage Living. This expansion allows players to literally farm produce and animals, from here they can sell it in markets and cook with it – this might be interesting to look at to show how games more recently have updated to fit this new trend of farming simulators.

I think your Timeline is laid out great and allows you a good amount of time to feel organised in terms of your DA! Overall I really enjoyed watching your DA Pitch and am keen to see where you head with this!”

I found that I was really interested in Axel’s DA topic and relation to farming simulators influence in the gaming community. Overall, I didn’t have as critical suggestions for Axel’s pitch as I did for Samantha, but I did give some personal suggestions into possibly shortening the planned 30min YouTube videos, not just for the sake of keeping audience attention but also for his own wellbeing of editing 30mins of footage! I did reference that Axel might consider livestreaming his videogames to experience them, and using his YouTube videos to analyse the games on a more critical aspect. I did also recommend a source where Axel might be able to play Harvest Moon for free as he did discuss that if he had the financial means he would play it – I often myself cheekily would play Harvest Moon online seeking my nostalgic feeling of being a little girl playing it on the Super Nintendo 64! This might be useful for Axel to have the experience of playing because of the influence it did have in the creation of farming simulators in the video game industries.

Pitch #3

Isabeau Rosa

Comment (awaiting Moderation – see image)

“Hi Isabeau! Starting by saying I really like your DA topic. It was where my own original idea for my DA began! (But mostly due to the fact that I have researched it a fair amount before I decided to change it up).

The relation between females and videogames overall is a situation that has had a lot of work done on it, and has a long way to go as well. As you have explored by your obvious and extensive reference list, there is so much research out there and that is thoroughly concerning enough as it is. Being a female in the 21st century I am proud to see so many people looking to this issue, but as you said, the fact these issues still consist today and have not been fixed is worrying also.

The use of streaming via Twitch is the obvious and most suitable choice for you during this DA journey! I like that you have organised a regular streaming schedule as consistency and interaction is important for those wanting to use Twitch as their platform. I do however love the idea of conversing with your followers via Discord. It is something that wouldn’t have come to my mind even though I am in at least 5 twitch channel Discord servers! But the further level of communication via Discord creates a place where you can share your research as well!

It seems that you have plenty of sources to look at for your research but one source I found useful during my research is a YouTube Video exploring some tropes, this particular one being the Femme Fatale trope. ( It does reference in film, but can be easily related to videogames and their own representation of gender. Femme Fatale explores the whole trope of a woman being sexualised and used to be an object in media, a good example may be some of the female characters in the original Final Fantasy games, having a peak at how the characterisation has changed over time and if they are expressed to be stronger as the present day becomes closer.

Overall, I am really keen to see how you go streaming, if I have enough time between my own occasional stream and other work I will definitely be finding myself on your stream and watching! Can’t wait to see how you go and will be tuning in for your beta!”

Isabeau’s pitch was also thoroughly interesting! I myself have researched the same topic in a few previous DA’s and even wrote my HSC Society and Culture Pitch on gender stereotype and representation in RPG’s. As a woman in the 21st century and what I consider a gamer, I think it is very relevant to understand the community that we are in. As discussed in my comment, Isabeau had gathered quite a considerable reference list (I think it was about 20points long) with sources all related to female representation in videogames. Her use of Discord along side Twitch allows Isabeau’s to cater to a specific audience and share her information across a few platforms. As you can see, I did struggle to recommend sources due to her very intensive list but one thing that came out to me from when I did my own research was a YouTube series that explores female tropes in our modern day media, whilst looking at media as a whole, it can easily related to videogames, and the most important to myself is the Femme Fatale videos as it explores one of the most reoccurring stereotypes for women in videogames today (as long as they are not the typical weak, emotional girl). But I am overall excited to see how Isabeau goes with her regular streaming schedule and will hopefully find myself watching her streams and supporting her hard work!

Although I only commented on 3 pitches as we were required too, I found myself watching a few more of my peer’s pitches for their DA. Overall I really enjoyed seeing everyone’s topics and am excited to see how everyone goes before we all catch up with each other for the beta!

Till next time,

Alex 😀

Header Image Credit – Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash