Raessen, Participation & The Sims 4

Participation is the leading purpose of any video game. Indeed, the feature that differentiates a video game from most other forms of entertainment media is the user’s vast opportunity to interact with the game and exercise the control they are afforded to alter their experience of the media at hand. Although, the way in which players are able to participate and the possible results of participation vary depending on the game.

According to Joost Raessens’ works on what he calls ‘participatory media culture’, this participation can be analysed through a framework that considers the users’ possible techniques for participation, and types of participation that can take place. All video games involve a form of multimediality, connectivity, interactivity and virtuality, at some level.

For my Digital Artifact this semester, I’ve been building lookalike avatars of my peers using The Sims 4. The Sims 4 is one of the most popular and useable gaming platforms of the last decade due to its immense facilitation of user participation. By engaging in my DA and using The Sims 4 interface, I can dissect Raessen’s framework and assess how it relates to my own media participation. I have done this in the recording + slides attached below.