Monthly Archives: August 2013

Analyzing two games – with our own video responses!

In this post we will discuss the use of audio and visual content and how we perceive it, involving reactions to events that occur and how the games generate emotion within us.

Firstly, we have Terraria.

Terraria is an Action/RPG indie game, and was released in 2011 by independent game studio Re-logic. Via a large digital distribution platform called Steam, players embark on an extremely stylized adventure. The game allows for single player or multiplayer, giving people the choice as if to let their friends join in or not – and the servers work independently from characters, meaning if you need a certain bit of a help, a friend can hop in with his character from a different game session and give you whatever you need.

Okay, down to the nitty gritty.

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How media producers create products for specific users + The Last of Us review

So, we’ve looked at how media audiences respond to media products, and also how a media producer defines the audience that they want to produce for,but just How can they produce for an audience? What things are taken into consideration?

 

Firstly – content.

 

 

Content overall is the integrity of the product itself, and is what the user has payed their money for or gone out of their way to consume if the example is a film, so lets use Hell boy as a first example. Hell boy is a 2004 American supernatural superhero film, based on a dark horse comic.Hellboy poster.jpg

 

Hell boy’s theme is dark and of an odd and almost alien upbringing, with the main character being introduced as a small and dependent child, it is quickly changed into something more of a brute whom is fighting large alien like creatures. From a reviewers point of view, the film is something of a piece of nostalgia for those who had read the comic book. The tone used within the entire production is of a very bleak and dark tone, making the use of many grey and blacks to try and capture a world of underground activity and bleakness, with the only colour exceptions being of the aliens and their unnatural pigments of skin, Hell boy appearing a devilish red and his amphibious accomplice, appearing blue – easy to identify from a distance, and all the more emphasis on having to hide themselves when in the real world. Rain and night are excessively used within the film, further emphasizing that the world is. Vampires and other horrific creatures lurk in the depths of darkness that fill the world, and some major reviewers feel that the age rating of a 12 was a little too lenient, as it may give the illusion that this is a very family friendly superhero movie, when in reality has a considerable amount of swearing, action, and horror elements to it. Many main reviewers think that it should be a 15 – but is this intentional? Were the producers attempting to widen the public view on superhero’s by allowing a darker element to enter the minds of a younger generation? Or was it a decision that wasn’t backed up by much prior research on the age limit and what they might feel safe and comfortable viewing?

 

So – Lets look into colour within content. When producing for a film, colour correcting is to be expected; yet films will more often than not choose to uphold a specific colour margin or theme in order to depict a certain mood or atmosphere for the audience to feel via a passive consumption, we don’t take note of the colour, yet it holds an incredible passive impact as to how we feel about a certain situation or scene. Another example apart from hell-boy could be batman, where the cool and metallic city of Gotham can be best represented by the colour blue, allowing for the cool impact of steel and darkness to create a better atmosphere within The Dark Knight Rises.

A good example of how colour is used in other scenario’s would be jaws and the colour yellow. Repeatedly through the film the colour yellow is used, from the buoy that is dragged from the boat to the jacket of the fisherman, it is constantly used because yellow is the only colour that sharks are believed to be able to see – Spielberg put this colour all over the film simply because he’d thought it would create a link between the colour yellow and the shark’s attacks, and because they hardly see the shark itself during the film, that this might create even more tension, allowing the illusion of substance to be created for the audience from the lack of shark visuals.

Colours will carry emotions with them, and people will subconsciously link said colours to a wide variety of emotions, scenario’s or products within the real world. A good website to refer to this theory is ( http://www.webpagefx.com/blog/web-design/psychology-of-color-infographic/ ), a website which shows visual representations as to how we psychologically perceive colour, and includes surveys!It is quite obvious that colour makes an incredible impact when it comes to product marketing and how people perceive shops, ads and a variety of other things – let this only be more evidence to back up the use of colour within films!

 

 

Next up is typography, or “text”. Believe it or not, but text and the way it is written is considered very important for any advertising media product with a name or brand that attempting to make its ways into peoples lives, whether it be the bold and extreme text of movie titles, or the more delicate swirls of medieval handwriting to further enforce the timeline of the production; text and general typography is an integral part to any successful media product. ~Most films that are being watched online or via their trailers for a first impression will more often than not lose their viewers within the first 15 seconds if they are not interested, so making the first impression is vital for sustaining an audience.  This is incredibly important for short films, who’s accessibility to an audience may be limited because of their inability to fund a large advertisement screen.

 

A good way to capture your audience into the film is the typography, as an attractive font can make or break a film, bringing it from an amateur level to a professional look. There are many mistakes that people make however, as many fonts are deemed excessive and over the top – only to be ridiculed by its viewers. A good set of typography within a trailer of the films opening gives not only a professional look, but the credibility that effort has been put into the production as a hole, as the title sequence more often than not is used as a grounds to set the tone for the entirety of the film.

Simplicity is an aspect that is often overlooked in the film industry, yet has been proved time and time again by large production companies that it more often than not works better something full on, and this applies especially to title sequences and general typography – at the right speeds and the right transitions, even a fade animation for a title can be enthralling given the right situation and atmosphere within that first 15 seconds of film, after all – Typography is considered graphic design, or art – and you wouldn’t go about slapping paint on a canvas randomly would you? (Unless your one of those artists..) Essentially, when including any typography within the film, you are generally branding the film to follow a specific style. Referring back to the colour scheme and how you would use colour to bend the atmosphere and emotion to your will, by keeping the typography to a certain theme depending on the situation, you can create an effect which keeps to the films own “Canon”, allowing for a fuller immersion and experience.

 

Onto another large topic, and that’s narrative and layout; including the codes and conventions of a production that allows it to rise or fall within the production foundry. In this section, we are going to use a game called “The Last of Us”, an (in my opinion) incredible title that has stunned the world with its incredible story telling, aesthetics and structure, and whilst the story itself is not completely original, the world is so uniquely pieced together that it certainly allows it to stand out from the rest.

 

 

The story is set in a world no different from our own from both an era standpoint and a technological standpoint, however the world takes a turn for the worst after a fungal virus called the Cordyceps (Which is REAL by the way.) has made its way into the human system and effectively mutated them into creatures of no control, losing their natural ability to comprehend or communicate, as well as becoming extremely animalistic in nature. The game immediately introduces you to two characters, Joel and Sarah.

 

The Last of Us Joel Wallpaper 1080p WallpaperJoel is a rugged looking individual with a soft voice and mature outlook, he is first introduced into the game as an individual who seems to be hardworking, but also at a slight impede in his career – as made evident by a phone call stating that he might be losing a job, something which a single parent (No mention of the mother throughout) would suffer highly from. He wears a dark green thick shirt and shows signs of aging, particularly within his beard there are noticeable grey hairs. Immediate from the get go, Joel is considered a father figure to Sarah, and a particularly good one as well. Consideration for her well  being is a top priority, and it is certainly something that we as human beings in real life can relate to, and even call “Cute.” All of this is completely thrown out of the window as the game progresses 20 years into the future after a rather upsetting prologue, and whilst the prologue is most certainly an emotional roller coaster that was executed extremely well (Credit to Naughty Dog!), it certainly did its job of setting the scene and creating an extreme contrast from the prior and current Joel. After the prologue, Joel is a ruthless and brutal individual who uses any means necessary to proceed in the one thing that all of humanity is trying to do – Survive. Through the use of brute force with weapons that rarely exceed a baseball bat or objects found around the world, he never ceases to impress the audience, or make them squint from the brutality that is most often generalized or emphasized within action movies. This game is designed to be as realisticly simulated as possible when taken into consideration as to what we as a society are capable of doing if all hell was to break loose.Ellie is the second main character of the game, and is almost the direct opposite of Joel from the get-go. (Spoiler alert) She is a girl that was born into the new society (or lack of), and has seen nothing but the world of terror and the fungal infested individuals that roam the streets. However, even though she was born into a world full of pain and suffering throughout its entirety, she is also the games way of expressing hope. Quickly, she becomes the star of the game as she often asks about the world and what it used to be like, even asking about how people would go about their everyday life. For her, even a job is completely out of the picture as she fails to understand how life involved people waking up in an environment which was of extreme tranquility in comparison to the world they lived in today, where one simple mistake could cost them everything. She is also hope in another way, alongside the quirky personality. The fungal infection within the world is spread by breathing in certain spores, typically found in hotzones of the infected, or by being bit by one. Ellie, was one of those people; having been bitten by an infected, she had some how grown immune to the fungus and its growth, effectively storing a cure within her well being, and the goal of the story is for Joel to safely escort her to a science lab across the county in hopes of finding a cure.

 

The game proceeds over a year and the personalities of the two begin to mold and be reflected by one another. Throughout the beginning of the game, Naughty Dog goes through the explicit task of setting them at either end of the stick, allowing their differences to become apparent as Ellie would try and spark up curious conversation, only to be let down by an oppressive and ruthless Joel, who didn’t exactly like the escort idea in the first place. Immediately we are given two characters with wildly different opinions on how they would proceed with certain scenario’s; and not only is this a good narrative technique in itself, but it also allows the play to take sides, something which is almost prohibited with many games or films. Usually, the main character is the one who makes the decisions and you are forced to play along, but because of the story and its extremely dynamic world, these two opinions Matter, and it is with this technique that people can take sides for the character and how to perceive the story. One person may feel morally obliged to be on Ellie’s side, trying to fight for the well-being of Joel coming back to a some what more humane state, but others may be rooting for Joel; his brutal instincts are what has kept him alive for 20 years in a world which kills hundreds every day.

 

However, the infected are only half of the issue. The world has become home to some of the most ruthless banditry and lone wolf survival that story telling has seen. Assault, traps and torture are all methods used by the cannibalistic bandit group we see throughout the story, yet are these methods wrong in the world they live in? Naughty dog has done an exceptional job of allowing the viewer to be fully immersed in a story that has survival at its brink, the bandits within this group aren’t cannibal because they want to, they are cannibal because they HAVE to to survive. It effectively is tipping moral implications on its head, and this is something that Naughty dog does explicitly well throughout the entirety of the story.

 

The aesthetics of the story are simple, a bleak desolate world that hides the shadow of its peaceful past, Cities have been overrun with the rusted wrecks of burned out vehicles, whilst the streets and buildings are in the process of being reclaimed by nature itself. Outside the cities is a different story, nature continues to flourish and animals are making a comeback in their heightened numbers due to the mass hunting of livestock being something of a past time for the previous world.

The colours used are dark and cruel, going from darker greens of nature that flourishes through the cracks of the road, to the black abyss of underground sewers and tunnels that need be carefully traversed to preserve their own life. The story follows through the year, allowing the colours and saturation to change depending on both the weather and the season. The hot summer humidity under a large blanket cloud of rain will grey out the world as the characters are pelted with water, yet the snow and cold brings in a misty atmosphere of blue and white, where even the flames of a raided cafe’ appear cool in the thick mist.

In comparison to many other video games of the action adventure genre, none to date hit the margin of story telling that The Last of Us does, with the reasonable contender being Uncharted (Also developed by Naughty Dog, go figure). The game-play is as solid as it is brutal, with the use of melee weapons excelling over guns and their exceedingly limited munitions, something which many survival games attempt but rarely succeed in doing, and whilst the game is one of the most gorgeous and technologically advanced in this generation, with a clean use of Anti-aliasing and SMAA HDR to create realistic refraction, it is without a doubt that Naughty dogs final Ps3 specific release certainly had the effort put into it, and the game has received praise above any other in its generation, with many reviewers scoring 10/10 when they had only done so once or twice before in the hundreds of game reviews to date.

 

The product itself was marketed in a number of successful ways, might i add. Naughty dog does an exceptional job of teasing the public to things that they don’t expect, and the initial uproar of people excited over the game was created when the main character was highly vulnerable in actual game-play  and Ellie took initiative to throw a brick at the man who threatened him. To see a character that proceeds through the game that isn’t a “Tour guide” or a general nuisance is something that is loved, but when that character is executed in an exceptional manner, it brings a lot of opportunities and development to the table.

 

There is also a deep meaning behind the two characters and the world they live in. After months of traveling and living in each others company, they move towards the center of the stick that they are two separate ends of. Ellie becomes more familiar with weaponry and is generally a little more unforgiving in her ways with other people, often reacting with issues of trust or a fail safe plan, whilst Joel seems to be moving to a stage where he is regaining part of his sanity that makes him human, often showing serious concern or affection for Ellie, as a replacement for the daughter who passed from the initial outbreak 20 years prior. It is with these connections that bring about not only more love for the audience toward the character, but also more and more controversy as to if they like these changes. The audience response to the product was incredible, as stated before. Meta critic was completely full of reviews that hit between the 95 and 100/ 100 mark, and public reviews were surprisingly around that as well. Overall, the game was received exceptionally well, and it is definitely one of the things which will stick within our current generation of story telling for an exceedingly long time.

 

Next post will be two reviews explicitly focused on the game play aspect and the game itself, as “the last of us” is more a “cinematic experience.”


How audiences respond to media

Understanding how media audiences respond to media products.

Firstly, lets work our way into understanding a few theories as to how an audience might respond to a media product.

The hypodermic needle model is a theory of communications, that suggests that a message that is displayed or extruded via a media product is directly accepted into the minds of receivers, regardless of consent or resistance. The theory is also known as the “Magic Bullet” theory, and suggests that any media’s message is a bullet that is fired from the “Media gun” into the viewers head, and that the public cannot escape from the media’s influence. Overall, this method usually only works on mediums where the recipient has no prior experience.

A direct example can be of the 1938 broadcast of “The War of the Worlds” which spread panic across the American mass audience due to its unsettling and new nature. However, much controversy still remains around this, as the audience still had a diverse and widespread view on the film, even if the reactions were noticeable. The theory is therefore just a theory, and has many factors that can prove or disprove such an allegation.

However, on the flip side is the Uses and gratifications theory, an approach as to how and why media audiences will consistently seek out specific media to satisfy specific needs. The driving slogan for the theory is “Why do people use the media and what do they use them for?”, and it discusses as to how the users choose media to satisfy specific needs on a social basis, relaxation basis, or even a basis to escape from reality itself. The con to this theory though is that it only takes into consideration the audiences that actively seek out media, and does not apply to passive interpreters. People whom follow trends simply because its a trend, are considered passive, as an example.

The audience Reception theory is a way of characterizing “waves” of audience research, typically within the 1980’s and 90’s.

The premises of this theory are that the media has an agenda based premises that can be divided into 3.

  1. That the same event can be encoded, or displayed in more than one way;
  2. The message contains more than one possibly way to perceived or read
  3. Understanding the message can be problematic, regardless of how natural it may seem.

It talks about media in a sense that is often open to perception or the way it may be interpreted, as some media products are unspecific about any goals. A good example of this might be Video installations, as many installations are deemed artistic in that they do not resemble anything specific, but then tell a story that is open for questioning and has no 100% sure-fire answer, allowing for users or audiences to interpret meanings for themselves. The theory also states that this isn’t necessarily a good thing, however – as quoted by the word “Problematic”.

This then brings us onto the wider spectrum of audience perception, and speaks about the wider picture. Passive and Active consumption of media within audiences.

We, as an audience no matter the time or place are constantly receiving passive and active consumption of media throughout our day to day lives, from the branding on the computer screen you may be working off of in the office as a passive consumption, to the active consumption of seeking out specific music and playing it for your own enjoyment. All of this is media consumption, regardless of the way that it is perceived or the way that it is advertised and executed.

Passive consumption of media specifically talks about the way we as individuals are influenced by things around us on a day to day basis without consent or consideration. This affects the person on psychological scale but doesn’t always manifest itself into view or consideration, meaning that we can passively recognize things but not necessarily remember where from.

Active consumption is the direct opposite of passive consumption, as a person would generally go out of their way to consume specific media produce in order to satisfy a personal need (Going back to the aforementioned uses and gratifications theory), often allowing the audience to directly know what they are recognizing and engaging activities within.

There is another theory that is the direct opposite of the hypodermic needle theory, and that is the Culmination theory. The theory generically states that over time we will feel a need to give into a certain media product in order to quell a specific need. A good example of a product line that follows this theory religiously is the Coke-cola advertisements. The coke cola company is one of the largest and richest companies to date, yet advertisements are few and far between when it comes to public commercials. When advertisements do play however, they are at large public events that are often broadcast nationally, or during holiday seasons. By doing this over decades of time, they have gradually seeded themselves into the culture and economy as a large asset, allowing the culmination theory to take great effect. We see the Coke-cola adverts and crave them, applying to the hypodermic needle model, but when we see them a few years later, will we be buying them for the same reason? No – we’ll be buying them because we know we like it!

Finally, a theory to talk about is the desensitisation theory, and should definitely be taken into account for any production company with the intention on researching target audiences or generalizations for their audiences. The desensitisation theory suggests that depending on what we watch and when we watch it in comparison with other media products of that genre from a different era, that we will react differently. Old western films in their day were intense, because not only were they new- but they held many new and unique aspects of film making, an example being shoot-outs that involve little music and a lot of silent tension between two people. However, after this technique within this genre of media became more and more widespread, people began to expand to much more “fuller” action scenes, often including more people, guns, and eventually music, simply because the effect that the genre used to have is causing less of an effect on the audience.

This can also be perceived in an alternative way – by taking someone who is used to our genre of shooters when it comes to games and films, and allow them to play or view a media product that holds the older “wild west” feel with that older tension, but because we are so used to the fuller aspect of tension, some people will be desensitized and not feel the same tension than those who lived in the era of that products release.


Example of survey with Qual and Quant examples.

In this post, i’m going to share a survey i put out on Various gaming forums and i will explain the results as we go along. Firstly, be aware that this survey was a quick one. The gamers that look at forums get surveys like this all the time, and have a habit of trolling the long ones or just leaving them. Keeping it short and sweet helped itself, as people feel more inclined to do something kill a short amount of time.

So without further ado – the Results!

Firstly, the survey asks the Sex of the participant. This immediately splits the results down the middle, and we can see the majority of which gender plays the most games.

As you can see, the results came out at a good 2/3rds male 1/3 female. Unfortunately, one person answered the “Prefer not to say.” We can assume that this person is either an internet ‘troll’ or is simply uncomfortable with revealing the information

Image

The next question asked was where they lived, and while the country itself was a requirement for the survey, participants had free choice in if they wanted to add more data and specifics to their answer.

Geographic    Because this was the first variable question ( Where participants wrote and didn’t select from a checklist ) the answers vary. As we go through the survey itself, this will be a repetitive pattern and we can utilise this to our advantage. Survey monkey gives the capability of being able to see an individuals answers. So we can specifically see what this persons opinion are and if they are reflected in their age, sex, or style of writing. This is a good form of Qualitive information, while if we just go for statistics, its Quantative.

As you can see, the responses varied in terms of both writing, grammar and detail. The answers vary from a good amount of detail whilst others write minimalistic answers that may not be entirely serious.

Either way, we can use this.

Next was asking about the Age gaps. Typically most people go for intervals of 10, however i prefer to do it in intervals of 5. Its personal in this case really, however there actual reasons to go with certain intervals over others, i just so happened to use this one.

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 14.45.22The information shows the the minimum of people that have responded are of the age of 16. This means we can all safely assume that everyone that took this survey has left school and has either gone and done more education or has gone into immediate working.  Its interesting to see that the majority of players are of the 16-20 year old , while the next in line is of the 26-30.  This could indicate that during the 21-25 mark, people are looking for jobs or are generally busier, and when they have settled down between 26 and 30, they have slightly more time. This is theoretical and obviously cannot be guaranteed, but when doing audience research we are making stereotypes, and typically that is the order of how things go.

The other age categories saw very little activity, this could indicate families or just n interest in playing it, however the 46-50 skyrocketed above the 21-25 age range. Maybe this indicates people of that age really enjoy spending time on games?

Similar to the age range, we now compare the age range and see if our data and theories where correct.

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 15.14.06

As you can see, either people spend very little time on it during the week, or they spend quite a lot of their time on games.

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 15.20.42                                                                                                                                                                                                  So what can we do to prove our theory about the ages? We can look at the individual responses!

When looking at the individual response, we can easily see the specifics. Here is a female that is of an age between 26-30 and lived in Southern Norway untill she moved to California where she has been residing for the last three years. She plays between 16-20 hours of games a week, which is one of the higher numbers. She even met her husband on there? Surely violent video games cannot achieve this?

Apparently they can.

So the next question asks ‘What type of game do you play’, and left it to the participants discretion for details. The results were great, indicting that certain people had a wide variety of genres and play-styles. One respondent talks of Non consensual PVP and Griefing. This is basically being horrible to other players by the means of trying to make the game harder for them or fighting them without their consent, usually resulting in the victims demise. People get a buzz from this and it isn’t surprising, why do it in real life if you can be an ass over the internet? Some answers were very short or only included one game or genre, and we can associate these answers with the people who spend the least amount of time gaming.

Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 09.49.04Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 09.48.45

Next up: Screen shot 2013-05-21 at 10.16.33

Immediately we see responses that go for and against, only strengthening the fact that gaming and violence within gaming can really fluctuate opinions between people. In this post, respondents answered with a majority ‘Yes’, however the influence is spoken of being quite good. Factually, video games are proven to help with hand eye co-ordination among other things, but a respondent tells of increased awareness and patience from playing video games. However one also commented on the matter of the violence being bad, saying that it could inflict damage upon the person playing the games or people around them. This is not a fact, but a possibility that has been harshly concluded with little evidence.

For now, let me leave you with this interesting link.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/noah-crooks-boy-13-killed-1868899


Market Research

Market research is an organized effort to gather information about an audience, market, or consumer.  It is necessary for any business or producer to entail, and refers to specifically researching a target market in order to best sell a product. Typically, this is a little similar to audience profiling, but not entirely the same, as it refers to the way that the product can be displayed as a “Product” to the audience when it is either in production, and this is NOT the same as “Marketing”, which specifically refers to the methods of how the product is actually consumed or prepared for consuming.

 

Firstly, the product market is how the product itself will be marketed toward a target audience, if it is a film, the typical scheme would be to advertise on TVs, billboards, and movie trailers within the cinema. If the product is something referring to a movie, such as a McDonald’s toy, having posters or TV snippets of the film would be a way to catch the eye of this target audience.

When organizing market research, Competition will also have a large impact on the ability for the product to be consumed, and at which rate in comparison to the competition directly. Marvel and DC are prime examples, and they are constantly battling it out as to which comes out on top. For any new product attempting to reach the market, researching any media articles, video’s or podcast’s would be a good way to directly find out what other products may be competing for the same audience, and if they are similar to what you are trying to achieve. It is a key aspect within the business and media world, as you will be constantly trying to fill in the holes which other companies may have neglected to fill.

Competitor Analysis is the act of identifying a strategy of how to market your specific product, and will also include the performance and method of a competitors. This is the research that occurs after a competitor has been found, and would be the time to delve further into filling up those aforementioned “Holes”. Surveys and other viewing information that regards any of the audience profile information or any specific qualitative information is an excellent start for any media product, allowing the user to see which competitor has excelled within its produce and which has fell flat. Comparisons can then be made to either follow a trend or try to not make the mistakes of another production.

 

Advertising is then a key aspect to how your product is permitted into the outside world of business and media, if the previous research steps have been followed, the product should have a clear audience and you would then typically want to find ways as to how to place this product into the world. Focus groups are a good way of testing different ideas and reactions for different attempts at advertising, making full use of any trends or unique aspects that might make the products advertisement float above the rest. A few iconic advertisements are the “Dancing Robot Car”, which took the industry by storm as one of the most unique and entertaining car adverts there ever was, the response was enormous. Simply due to the fact that not only are car adverts generically bland, but they are also deemed to be ignored most of the time, because a majority of people are not looking to buy a car. However, sometimes advertisement is not done in an attempt to display a certain product, but sometimes to stick within the minds of someone as a genre or production company. The use of pictures, symbols and colours are also an integral part to effectively creating advertisement, and should always be further focused if perfection is desired.

 

 

 


Audience Profiling

Before we move onto media specific audiences and how they are originally defined, let talk about the generic stereotypes and generalizations of audiences and specific targets.

Audience profiling.

Audience profiling is a method of research which is used to determine the factors of a specific audience, usually used to allow production companies or producers of any product the ability to research what type of people are more likely to buy/use their product, and in essence allow themselves the means to better fit that product  to them. A quick example would be, “If we are researching as to who would like our horror film, we aren’t going to ask 14 year olds when the age limit is 18 and above are we?”

We’ll start with the small and easy, then move into the more refined.

Gender

Gender more often than not holds a large, and if not the biggest factor in a product. The world is made up of males and females by born gender, and while this doesn’t necessarily mean that the likes and dislikes are defined by gender, it certainly plays a huge part. “Barbie” is specifically designed for girls in mind, and “Action man” specifically for boys. While this doesn’t limit the other sex children from playing with the toys, the producers of such figures held gender specifically in mind when designing the products. Moving aside from a child perspective, TV Shows that hold to a certain genre will also hold in mind the majority gender that will watch their show. Many women are into romances or comedies, and such programs can hold this in mind and allow references that maybe women will understand more, and males stereo typically like action/adventure  TV shows. These are stereotypes, and aren’t necessarily gender bound.

Age

Age is the next big “Separation” That is usually one of the first questions asked by any survey, or one of the first things taken into consideration with general research. By splitting age into different sectors, we can immediately associate these age brackets with other possibilities within their life, allowing for more interpretation and planning. If we were to assume that the age range for people watching “Spongebob Squarepants” is age 5 to 15, we can also safely assume that the stereotypical child in this bracket would be attending school, and showing “SpongeBob” in the middle of the day would hold very few viewers. Specifically, this show would be displayed in the morning whilst the child is eating breakfast, and 4-7 as the child is returning from school or eating dinner. This also works vice versa, knowing that children are away in the middle of the day on a school day, allows further slots to be filled with programs which children might not understand, such as dramas or news coverage that would apply more to adults.

Sexual orientation and ethnicity.

This is a controversial topic, right here. The method into researching what someones regional identity or sexual orientation is something which can not only be abused, but can also spark offense in viewers or users of the product. Usually, this method of research is used in order to fuel shows which typically follow the life or feature someone who is of a specific ethnicity or sexuality. For particular shows which follow the life of someone whom is homosexual, they might spark up controversy for those who might be of a belief that thinks against such a sexuality – while this isn’t usually an issue, it is certainly a problem that must be thought out before the show is aired. However, when taken into consideration without including controversy, there are many shows which can be shown as having a substantially larger homosexual audience, such as Torchwood’s inclusion of Zachary Quinto.

Religion

Whilst this one is an odd one, its still worth mentioning. Because religion is specifically a belief (along  with the belief that you are born with it) it does not hold ethnicity, age, or gender as a proportional value, however ethnicity does play a stereotypical part with some religions that originate from specific countries or continents. If we have a look at this map, (http://www.worldreligions.psu.edu/images/artimages/maps/worldmap.jpg for the img link), we can see that the majority of  countries have a specific religion which makes up for the near entirety. There are some exceptions such as america and Russia, and this would play a trivial part to identifying an audience.

 

Niche.

Some productions are aimed toward a specific market from the beginning, meaning that all previous elements of research must be taken into serious consideration, and in doing so allows for a variety of references or features that only this specific niche will appreciate. A good example of this are all of the Pixar films. Whilst their movies are very broad and are designed for anyone and everyone, they put in little Easter eggs that refer to previous or upcoming movies – further allowing the niche that are big fans of Pixar films  to feel like they are being tended to a little more.

Mainstream.

When in a specific genre, product or era – there will be a specific trend that a majority of the public will follow, recently this theme has been very zombie themed when it comes to movie productions, AMC’s the walking dead being a prime example along with “The War Z” being another, yet this trend is slowly phasing out into what seems to be a very comic book hero style of production, specifically within superman and batman – Man of steel and the Dark Knight rises.

 

psycho graphics.

 

psycho graphics is the study of a personality, values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. Because this area of research is very opinionated and is deemed specific and unique to every individuals, it is very useful for further researching a group of people that have already been stereotyped under a specific label. For example, if we have a group of people who love dramas, we can use psycho graphic data and research to see how varied these people are. Do they like the same things generally? do any of them have anything that stands out? Psycho-graphics are to do with individuals, and are widely shaped by their surroundings and the age – however this is not to be mixed with demographics.

 

 


Primary, Secondary, Tertiary brackets.

When gathering information from any source via any method, it will always associate itself with one of the three information brackets.

Primary information is information gathered from the source, where you are the mediator. Seeing things for yourself is always going to be one of the best ways to source vast amounts of information, but even if primary information is considered “The purest”, it isn’t necessarily considered the most informative. If you see a bomb go off in the street, you are an eye witness account on the visuals of the bomb, and your own experiences of fear or desperation. This is not a reliable source of where the bomb originated, why it was planted or when it was planted. In a visual sense however, primary information will always be the best source of information regarding emotion or opinions – and even though asking someone for information is sometimes considered Secondary information, when they are telling you opinions on things or are showing you emotionally, this is also considered Primary because you are witnessing this outgoing information, but might have some unreliability (because it is someone else.)

Secondary information is the gathering of information that as been processed and delivered via the use of Magazines, Newspapers or journals. The reason we name this “Secondary” is because the method of development is that it’s scripted and written in a certain way. We have no way of knowing if they are withholding information or emphasizing a certain point, and therefore usually prioritize primary over secondary. However, because Secondary can also be the accumulation of information from other sources, a “Clearer” picture can be created. A good example of this is to reference to Titanic. Those who were involved in the unfortunate incident will always have a clear recollection of the visuals, sounds and general senses from the event. But a secondary source will have the ability to explain the event itself in more detail. Primary information is often very opinionated and emotional, because it is direct – but Secondary is very informative and broad, and doesn’t necessarily delve into the specifics of emotion. Mixing the two often makes for the best accounts of research and articles, because you have the ability to mix both Primary research of eye witness accounts, along with secondary research to back those eye witnesses with factual data on the situation.

Tertiary information isn’t really referred to, but is worth mentioning. Tertiary information’s best example would be Wikipedia. They are sources which compile or digest other sources, and Dictionaries and Encyclopedias can also be included within this bracket. Usually, these sources are not considered “Legitimate” because of the nature of the information and its “Open Source”.


Quantitative VS Qualitative. Which does what?

When researching any topic, there are two main methods of researching when it comes to generalization. These are Quantitative and Qualitative.

Quantitative is the method of making an underline generalization that can briefly describe something among (typically) many other things, it is typically used when researching large quantities of data.  Typically, when it comes to surveys and such – Quantitative data is usually made up with multiple answer questions, and are explained in Batch. For example, asking 100 people if they like Cheese or not will bring about a lot of “Yes or No” answers, and as such you can display them as a bar chart or pie chart, because the information is to segregate and emphasis. In essence, this method of research is to stereotype and categorize.

Qualitative research is done with the goal of gaining specific answers from a variety of people, albeit usually a very small group of people in comparison to a quantitative method. By using this method, you are effectively spending more time in research, but are gaining answers which can be exclusive to anyone you interview or research. This is used typically after quantitative research, because quantitative is for usually finding an audience or “Base” for the research, and then the qualitative is to research the people who matter for whatever topic you may be researching.

An example of both would be – “Are you afraid of dying?”  To which 40% of people could say yes, and 60% say no – Immediately through the use of Quantitative research, we have split our batch down the middle, and have identified who is afraid and who is not. We can use further quantitative methods to identify the possible traits of those who said yes, by asking for Gender or Age, very broad topics that can possibly refine this 40% down even more, gaining a smaller and more controllable number.

Furthermore, we can then use a Qualitative method of researching by asking specific questions related to our topic a little more. Questions such as “Why are you afraid?” Or “What about dying are you afraid of?”, have the intent on gaining specific and opinionated answers from these individuals.

This is the act of Research.