Guild Wars 2 – Affinity Space Presentation

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Here is a look at my time with the Guild Wars 2 subreddit. It’s been a long journey with a great community. This affinity space is the perfect compliment to my play in Guild Wars 2 and I will continue to check in. There were so many different types of interactions and content I tried to cover. The presentation is divided into three main segments:

  • Observations
  • Participation
  • Reflection

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29 thoughts on “Guild Wars 2 – Affinity Space Presentation

  1. Great presentation! Very smooth and seem less! The group that u joined seemed great. I was impressed with the overall professional atmosphere within the affinity space. I also enjoyed that there was a section for art within the game!

    1. Thanks, the art created in this community really is my favorite part. It’s amazing that there are so many talented creators playing this game.

  2. Hi Robert- Enjoyed your affinity space presentation. It’s been fun seeing how everyone’s approach to the assignment varies and, how Reddit supports such a wide variety of topics! Thanks for giving a brief overview of the game and explanation for what you were hoping to uncover through this exercise: that affinity spaces take players beyond the game.

    Based on your screencast, Guild of Wars Reddit sub group seems simple to join and once you set up an account, you’re “in.” I especially like how involved the developers are –but, not too involved. As you put it, they let the community discover updates on their own.

    I’m starting to see a trend here with participation among our classmates. We all sort of lurked at the beginning, observing the culture and norms and then responded to someone’s discussion before taking the plunge and starting our own conversation. I imagine this is a common behavior among people when initially joining affinity spaces. Thanks for pointing out that not everyone agreed with your posts but you rarely saw sour comments. It’s nice that the space doesn’t tolerate hateful comments or game exploits!

    I agree with your thinking behind the voting system in Reddit to be a limitation to the site. It can be discouraging for participants who either a) click on a highly voted discussion and find it irrelevant or b) get little to no engagements. As you put it, participation (on both ends) allows for people to feel connected to the community.

    I agree with your connections to Gee and Hayes and especially liked your demonstration on how participants have many different forms and routes to participate. For me, when I hear Reddit, I just think text. Appreciate the overview of all the different mediums and mashups people are using to expand creativity and knowledge sharing like the wallpaper, character art, and YouTube mashups.

    Great work! Good luck to you as you continue to play and participate in the Guild Wars 2 affinity space!

    1. Thanks! I’ll be honest, even most of my interactions have been with the popular posts since they’re the easiest to see. I need to work on spending more time looking at new posts. I might be able to share some of my knowledge with new players.

  3. I liked your intro with the story like music, it really fit the gaming vibe. Also, the Reddit explanation was helpful as it broke down the actual screen and how to participate. This is something I read about in our assigned articles, but I had never actually participated in. How long did it take you to feel like an insider? For me personally, the better I was at Minecraft, the quicker I felt I was able to communicate with the Minecraft Educators. I think my confidence in the game was directly related to my increase in interactions with the Minecraft community.

    Do you know how much power the moderator have? You mentioned that they can permanently remove people. I was wondering what that process would even look like. Can’t you just create a new account?
    How often were there updates to the games? I think this would be a great way to interact with the community he frequently plays this game. When you say they were developers, did they work directly with the video game company or are they more the experts (maybe both?). What is API?

    It’s good to hear you didn’t get too discouraged from not receiving much feedback in Reddit. It is frustrating when you are trying to break thru into becoming an insider. I struggled with learning acronyms and unfamiliar terminology when I would speak to the experts. When you shared that picture from 2012-2017, I am not sure what I am looking it. Is there updates to the same game that changes the way it looks now? Sorry I am sort of confused. Is that something that frequently happens? Is this the “same” game over the course of that many years?
    Do you think there are many limitations to this game? I know you mentioned that Reddit had some down falls that seemed like the typical open forum problems. From your description, it does feel like it is a “living game.”

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Great questions. I think it was probably easier for me to feel like an insider than new players because I already had a knowledge of the game and terminology that would be use. I think it would take newer players longer. Moderators have the power to delete posts and ban users; unfortunately as with many affinity spaces, a new account can always be created. Game updates are usually every three months and definitely a great way to get players to interact and speculate with each other on the future of the game. API is basically a developer protocol that allows players to create applications that work in conjunction with the game. Every time an update comes out it has the potential to change the in-game world so the same game has changed dramatically over the years.

  4. Great idea to frame this around Gee and Hayes from the beginning.

    It seems like beginning in an affinity space by simply observing how it operates is a popular means of approaching this task, and your approach mirrored that general trend. You mentioned that the norms included a request for a certain degree of civility, and it seems that even more importantly this was actually, truly required.

    You pointed out that you predominantly interacted with posts that required less game knowledge and were more open to everyone in the community. From there, it looks like you were able to get better acquainted with the space by posting your own content and start generating some great discussion about elements of the game like comparing game maps from different eras.

    One of the clear strengths of this affinity space is that the game’s actual developers participate in the space. This really reflects the first element of an affinity space that you pointed out, and it clearly allows people in the affinity space to have an actual impact on the development of the game itself. That’s amazing!

    The affinity space clearly reflects the elements of an affinity space that you pointed out here, that people of all skill levels share the same space, that everyone has the opportunity to produce content, and that specialized knowledge was pooled. The last point was particularly interesting as you noted how people had pooled information such as timing of certain elements in the game, as well as people working together and discovering things like special achievements. Those two elements really seemed to clearly embody that feature of affinity spaces from Gee and Hayes.

    Awesome work!

    1. Thanks! I think being able to interact with the game developers in the same way as the rest of the members really does give the feeling of closeness in the community. I would also have never heard about the hidden achievements if I have not joined this space. They were also pretty fun to unlock and some where challenging.

  5. Hi Robert,
    I really enjoyed your video. The space you joined seems like it’s a pretty open and friendly space. When you mentioned the Fluff and Art thread categories it made me realize how different the spaces that we joined this semester are in focus. The AS space I joined is also on reddit, but it’s completely devoted to mechanics. The space you joined seems like it would be more inclusive due to the wider variety of welcome content.
    I liked that you mentioned the contributions by members, outside of media, in creating tools like the event timer to assist players with aspects of their gaming. Are these tools usually highlighted by the mods if they’re built well and are useful?
    If you were pretty new to the game, how long do you think it would have taken you to feel comfortable posting in your space? It took me forever. Gaming is not my forte. Just understanding the language of a game can take time and makes a huge difference in how useful the space can be and how comfortable a user is posting.
    Do you think that the flair you choose effects how people view you to an extent? The only available flair on the space I joined is related to ranking within the game, so you have an idea right away how skillful someone is when they post. It adds an interesting component and creates a hierarchy. By avoiding rank-related flair, it seems like it would further the inclusivity of the space.
    Thank you again for telling me about the Windows 10 game capture tool in one of our earlier annotation spaces! It came in handy several times during this project. If you ever get into StarCraft II, my handle is HughMatt.

    1. Thanks Paul! The mods usually don’t highlight posts, they leave it to the community to vote on what makes it to the top. I did see many new player questions and it’s easy enough to avoid advanced topics. I agree with you on the rank-related flair, I’m glad this affinity space avoids rank…it helps make everyone feel equal. Also, glad the Windows 10 tool helped, I’ve never tried StarCraft II, but I’ve heared a lot about it.

  6. Great job Robert!! I agree with Logan in that I thought it was a very good idea for you to start off your presentation by framing it around Gee and Hayes at the start. It is very common for one to start in an affinity space by just observing to begin to understand what takes place. You noted that a certain degree of civility was a request, yet made it seem like it was more or less required.
    I thought it was very interesting how you focused your interaction on posts that did not require much game knowledge and were open to pretty much the entire community. Do you feel as though this was beneficial or would you have liked to interact on posts that had more gaming knowledge? After some time, you began to post some of your own posts and once comments starting to come in, you were able to have some great discussions about games.
    It was very clear that one of the strengths of the affinity space is that the game’s actual developers participate in the space themselves. This really allows for the affinity space to have an impact on the participants. It is also really cool that the game developers are there in the first place.
    Your connection to Gee and Hayes was strong. You mentioned that this was a good affinity space as people of all skill levels share the same space, everyone has the opportunity to produce content, and specialized knowledge was pooled. You made note that people had pooled information together in the game and that people working together discovered special achievement.

    1. Thanks Melanie. For me personally, I felt that I’ve played the game so much that I wanted something different than just more gaming knowledge. I really wanted to enjoy other aspects of what the community had to offer. I really do like taking screenshots from the game so I always find that type of interaction fun.

  7. Hey Robert!

    In regards to the strengths of this affinity space that you highlighted, I felt this was indeed one of the greatest aspects of Reddit as a community space. Being able to share feedback about the game itself as well as share art, discussion about lore and updates are key to making a community relevant and engaging for those that participate. I agree whole heartedly that these elements are crucial and important.

    I also feel the weaknesses that you pointed out about the Reddit community are incredibly valid as well. This is something Reddit is notorious for as a hub for communities. Thankfully it sounded like the moderators watched relatively well what was going on.

    Overall I enjoyed your presentation on Guild Wars 2 and the Reddit community for it, it was informative and enlightening to see how Reddit interacts as an affinity space.

    1. Hi Ben, thanks for the feedback. I think the moderators have done a good job in this space. There are also so many talented creators.

  8. Hi Robert,

    What a great intro sequence to your affinity space presentation! I was hooked right away with the visuals and music. Your visuals throughout the rest of the presentation were also valuable in enhancing your explanations of the space. Your interface was very clean and the flow of your presentation was logical and easy to follow.

    My second thoughts in watching your video were, “Yay! Another Reddit user!” I, too, chose to explore a subsection of Reddit to see what smaller communities looked like within that larger space. From your observations it seems pretty easy to obtain insider status in the community. Playing the game, joining the space, and knowing enough about the game to understand pertinent information on the site seems like the only requirements necessary to begin participating. The seems pretty straightforward with its rules on civility and no game exploits and the content that is typically posted. Your description of the content posted (questions, fluff, art, and requests) were self-explanatory and seemed like all types of posts were broad enough to be accessible to anyone willing to engage in the space. I enjoyed your commentary on you initially joining in on the fluff and art posts as they were easier to engage with at first with limited initial knowledge of the gameplay. It was neat to see your contributions change over time from casual lurker to active content poster. I’m glad that you weren’t discouraged by the initial unpopularity of your first post, but kept trying until something took hold.

    I understand your qualms with the upvote/downvote system. It is definitely one that I have debated about for a while on Reddit. I agree that it makes newer content much harder to access and at times can put a limitation on new user participation. In understanding this, were you more inclined to respond to posts that weren’t as popular or did you stick with what was presented on the front page? Though it wasn’t stated directly, the strengths of your space seem to be that it gives everyone a space to belong to and that it wasn’t a space restricted to what someone else wanted you to learn.

    The three Gee & Hayes traits that you selected linked to your space nicely. Newbies and masters inhabiting the same space sharing specialist and general knowledge can be seen throughout the sharing of game-specific content versus screenshots and fluff posts. Your own participation showcases that everyone can produce or consume as they wish as you started through consuming others posts and gradually worked to producing your own. Others were free to do the same in your space. I liked that you shared what new skills you acquired as a result of your time in the space (i.e. the built-in windows 10 game capture tool to capture gameplay). Overall, it seemed like a solid experience for you. What would you tell someone about getting started with a Reddit sub group that would be beneficial to their learning in the space?

    1. Great insights Stephanie, thank you! I honestly stuck with the front page stories for the most part because I felt they were more inclined to get continued activity. When I viewed the new/upcoming section I found it difficult to find topics i was interested in. I would tell any new person to just observe the space first, if you’re a new play I would point you to the getting started poste linked from the front page.

  9. Hi Robert,
    Thanks for sharing your presentation with us! The presentation was very smooth and the intro was beautiful.
    Upon watching your presentation, I see that your affinity space seems to want to protect their players, with a system for banning members who don’t follow the rules. This would certainly keep the space “safe” for new and older players who want to interact in the space for learning and developing, and not people who are striking out to be mean.
    The tagging system allows people to find topics relevant to them, and allow them to interact with the developers (in this case, the “leadership” of the space, a Gee and Hayes indicator) and I’m sure the fans of the game appreciate this interaction.
    The art in this space is beautiful! It goes to show how the design of this game is so integral to the experience. That people would develop their own media to reflect their enjoyment of the game proves their interest and potential for future learning.
    I’m glad you didn’t give up on interacting in this space…you went on to get a front page post! This is so impressive. Well done!. I’m glad you got to have a real, meaningful conversation with people on both sides of the issue, as I’m sure it was an excellent learning experience for you, and a great way to interact with others. Congrats!!

    Thank you so much for sharing your affinity space! It’s apparent you learned something valuable in this space, and overall, you had a great learning experience. Your learning was self-directed and self-motivated, which you obviously appreciate. Well done!

    1. Thank you! A new update has just been released for the game today, so I’ve been keeping any eye on the space to see what players have to say about it. Even if I’m not commenting all the time, it’s a fun space to just browse.

  10. Robert,
    Nice presentation. I liked the way you framed the beginning and end of your presentation with game screen casts and incorporated the audio. It gave it a very complete feeling. Your experience with the community seemed to have some ups and downs between the lackluster responses to some posts, but very deep discussions about others, such as your example of how the map had changed over the years. Becoming a member seemed like a fairly straightforward process. What I found interesting was the involvement of the developers and the icons they had designating them as such. Having their involvement certainly adds an element of credibility to the AS.

    Your experience with participating in the site started off similar to a lot of others in terms of lurking to figure out some of the inner working of the community before diving in. Your observations dealt primarily within the fluff and art section which seemed to be somewhat reminiscent of some fan fiction forums on other sites. I’m glad that your had success with your post regarding the map. It’s funny how sometimes the posts we think are somewhat trivial end up generating the largest responses.

    Two limitations of the space included the reddit voting system in regards to only the most popular posts really gaining attention while many others fall by the wayside. Another criticism related back to the toxicity that many people relate back to reddit. Although it was not overly malicious in your example, it seems that some of that negativity may still be an underlying element of the platform.

    Included elements of Gee and Hayes were a shared common space, the emphasis on both consumption and production, and the variety in methods of participation. You do a great job breaking down these elements and illustrating their applications through your site.

    Nice job and thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for the comments Ben! The majority of my interactions have definitely been positive. It is interesting that a lot of us started out as observers to learn the norms of our spaces. I do think it is crucial to observe first, otherwise there’s always the opportunity for backlash or having a post deleted when the rules aren’t followed.

  11. Hello Robert.

    Nice work on a very professional looking and sounding presentation about the Guild Wars 2 Subreddit!

    Thought that your observations about the icons used with member’s usernames was very insightful. You stated that the ways to customize a user profile are limited to attaching icons or flare to the usernames. These icons have meaning however, and are a subtle clue for other viewers of the sight that the user is an insider and about the character that user like to use. I also thought that it is great how involve the developers are in this affinity space, holding AMA’s and letting users share opinions supports users developing a sense of ownership in the space.

    You contributions started out in the lurking mode – checking out the art and fluff posts from your peers. Next you moved to responding to the posts of others. Your previous contributions then inspired you to start collecting and sharing screen-grabs. And it was awesome that your side by side comparisons of end maps created quite the stir in the AS that had many posters sharing their opinions and was voted up to the front page, congratulations.

    You identified the strengths of this AS as a strong community that bring the physical world into the game world. With activities such as a virtual cancer march and grave markers for players who have passed on. One limitation you mentioned was the up voting system of the subreddit that left some posts languish with little attention.

    You made three strong connections between your AS and the Gee and Hayes reading:

    1. Newbies, master, and everyone else share a common space – anyone can read the content on the Guild Wars 2 Subreddit but need to sign up/in to contribute
    2. Everyone can, if they wish, produce and not just consume – this was highlighted by you observations of players creating their own creative works of art inspired by game play.
    3. The development of both specialist and broad, general knowledge are encouraged, and specialist knowledge is pooled – members share character builds and tools like the event timer to the lager knowledge pool to benefit the entire community.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Guild Wars 2 Subreddit.

    Great job,

    Darren

    1. Thanks Darren!There were definitely many features from Gee and Hayes present and I only focused most noticeable ones.

  12. I played GW2 for a bit after it released. Don’t remember why I stopped. The production of your presentation is slick—title graphics, sections screens and overlays—well done! It’s cool that the developers engage with the community on the subreddit. I think this can draw the player closer to the game and community. It looked like there was a lot of engagement with the discussion that arose from your map comparison pics. Made me think of how attached, or nostalgic players can get about a game. When the lands of Warcraft changed during the Cataclysm expansion there were significant changes made to many areas of the world. Once spire marked canyons were now flooded, one of the main capital cites was wrecked and its layout altered to reflect the rebuilding of damaged areas. I found myself feeling a bit nostalgic about how things used to be. Some of the changes I liked, but it does change a player’s perceptions of the environment. The in-game discussions about the changes were similar to your descriptions of the map thread interactions.

    You mentioned prosumers—I like that term. I have seen some great art coming from gaming communities. And the sheer volume of mods the community members create for various games is astounding. Coding isn’t easy and yet they gladly put the time and effort into creating useful enhancements for the game experience. As for negative comments, it is unfortunate, but they are bound to occur. Some people are just lame like that. I received a couple of snarky responses as well which I ignored. Not worth my time to care.
    Great work!

    1. Thanks Brian, one of my favorite aspects of MMO’s is being able to watch the world change in front of me. I also feel nostalgic, but I think it’s because I feel so invested in this world.

  13. Hi Robert,
    How long have you played GW2? It’s one of the games I played when it first came out for a bit but grew tired of the constant grind and the exhorbitant cost of black dye. I grew to dislike the economic portion of gameplay; I feel the same with Diablo III.

    The overall quality of the presentation is well done and very smooth. I like how you intersperse the ingame art with concept art. When I played GW, I, too, surfed the art sections of the AS. I got so much inspiration from the artists. You’ve made extensive and exploratory connections to Gee & Hayes and I like the reflective nature of your observations. I agree with your observations connecting G & H to the space, especially the knowledge pooling that goes on here.

    I did notice some sound difficulty in the reflection portion of the presentation.

    A great job!

    Kait

    1. Thanks Kait, my mic definitely started dying towards the end of the recording and caused some audio issues. I didn’t know you tried GW2, I ended up getting my black dye from a random enemy drop. I’ve played since launch (so 5 years?), and its changed a lot.

  14. Hi Robert,
    I thought your presentation was very professional looking. I loved the opening to it – it was quite dramatic and you picked excellent music in this portion of it. You also did a good job of organizing all of your data and presenting it in a nice manner.

    I have really enjoyed seeing the differences in subreddits among our classmates who used a subreddit for their affinity space project. All of them so far that I have viewed have quite a few similarities, but the one thing that stands out is that all seem to be pretty supportive and nurturing.

    I thought you did a great job of tying Gee and Hayes in with your presentation. I had never heard of Guild Wars 2 or played it, so this was a really interesting look into a game that I know nothing about.

    Well done!

    1. Thanks Shyna. I liked seeing how other subreddits compared as well. It was great to see all of the varieties of affinity spaces presented.

  15. Hey Robert,

    Thanks for sharing your video presentation for your chosen Affinity Space. I am not a big fan of reddit, mostly because of the design and limited ability to customize your profile as you mention in your presentation. I also don’t like the structure of the site or organization of threads. But I understand that there is a lot of pertinent information that is useful. Just feel it looks like a craigslist page for thread information. But I digress…

    I did think it was useful to explain the flair, and the use of the moderators flair. I think it is a good idea for ama to be held after gameplay. What a great synchronous approach to helping further game play. Your reasoning for your strategy of engagement in fluff and art threads resonated with me. When faced with a new space, I often try to find a portion where I feel the most at ease, so since you mentioned that you didn’t have much game experience you felt most at home since you were new.

    I like how you sectioned off AS attributes, that was really helpful to stay connected to your video and follow along. Your example of how you made a connection with an older map version the current version was a great demonstration of how you remained persistent after not receiving much of a response after your first attempt. And success…after your engagement throughout the semester you found the space to be nurturing, contrasting your initial belief that a reddit space wouldn’t provide that experience for you.

    Well-done Robert!

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