Like many, I’ve grown up in the ‘digital era’. Although I believe I had the perfect balance of digital entertainment and ‘real play’ as I was growing up, many of my childhood memories surround digital devices. So, when thinking of digital ethnography and how I can use this to reflect on my personal experiences, there are several memories that come to mind.
For this blog post, we were asked to reflect on a relationship we’ve had with a technological form of media. Pokemon was brought up as an example that we can use, which would usually deter me from talking about this topic. However, Pokemon has been a part of my life since I was a little girl, so I feel that this topic is incredibly relevant in my interpretation of digital ethnography.
I was first introduced to the world of Pokemon through my older brother. Although he had the trading cards, I didn’t really understand those – nor would he ever let me touch them – so my first experience of actually playing the game was when my parents gave me permission to play Pokemon Red on his Gameboy Colour. After that, I was hooked.
A few years later, I was lucky enough to receive a Gameboy Advance for my birthday, along with my very own Pokemon Game that belonged solely to me. While I enjoyed the first game that I played, my love only grew when I started playing Pokemon Ruby. The improved graphics and vibrant colours brought the world more to life and only accelerated my love for the game. While I wasn’t as good as my brother, I still spent hours playing – getting excited every time I scored a new gym badge or my Pokemon evolved.
Eventually, I upgraded to a Nintendo DS, which brought along a whole new set of Pokemon game experiences. Fast forward to the present day, where I currently have a Nintendo 3DS, and 3 of the most recent Pokemon games. So, it’s clear this relationship is still going relatively strong, even though I haven’t played for over a year now. My love for the game has almost guaranteed that I will buy the newest instalment if/when it is released.
Not only has this game given me great memories and hours of entertainment, it also allowed me to bond with my brother. While I’m sure he didn’t appreciate me trying to copy everything he did when I was younger – as most annoying younger siblings do – this shared interest has carried into the present day and, as a result, it has positively impacted the dynamic of our relationship overall. However, all the time and money spent on these games is most definitely not ideal.
This digital relationship has certainly had a significant impact on my life and how I perceive my childhood memories. Seeing as this isn’t the only relationship I’ve had with a form of digital technology – much of my life has been saturated with digital devices – there are probably many other interpersonal relationships I’ve had that would have been impacted by a digital relationship. Which leaves me to wonder how different these relationships would be had there not been a digital variant.
Moore, C. & Vettoretto, R. (2018) ‘Digital Ethnography’ BCM241 Week 5 [Prezi] <https://prezi.com/vvg5merpskzh/digital-ethnography/>