The Arkon Agency

Digital Artefact and Blog Assessment Site

The Pythia Project: Micro-Trans humanism and Futurology/ Contextual Essay and DA Links

The Pythia Project Final Product

DA Playlist: Up to 4 hours of Content (Includes Pitch and Beta Use the arrows to skip between)

Contextual Essay:

My BCM 325 Digital Artefact is a series of videos complied within a YouTube Playlist, which are best described as Role Playing Game Development Assets. Their purpose is to assist new players and new game masters with their first experiences playing and running games like Dungeons and Dragons, Star-finder and Call of Cthulhu. They explore character development and creation as well as World Building exercising.

This DA was built off the work previously done on a DA entitled Weavers and Wyrms, which was of similar intent but was supposed to result in a game play video. After this fell apart last session, I discovered a small following on Twitch who wanted more of the Character Developing content. I decided this session I would continue this concept, unfortunately the following fell off (it was only 4-5 people) and as such after several barren stream the main ITERATION of this DA is the platform movement from Twitch to YouTube on the Arkon Agency page.

This project was developed with reference to two lecture introduced methodological justifications: Trans-humanism and futurology. Firstly I started with a statistic in mind, according to J. Bayer’s report in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry many Australians don’t seek mental health treatment due to a belief that said professionals cannot actual provide tangible measure to assist them. Then I came across A. Adams paper on Social Needs of Individuals and how RPG’s like Dungeons and Dragons were allowed for immersive and stabilizing factors on peoples lives.

So, I had information that stated people would seek profession held due to concerns about it working and another that said an activity done in groups fulfilled a portion of this need. the paper stated that Dnd groups enhance four key factors among themselves: Democratic ideologies, Friendship management, extraordinary experiences and analysis of dualism (the self analysis of good and evil).

These factors improved the lives of the papers subjects by improving communication with the Dungeon Master acting as a sort of political servant, serving out information to the players as requested, fulfilling social quotas by allowing ease of access to gathering (often in the form of weekly meetings), allowing for moments of excitement and danger (without physical risk) allowing for healthy dose of adrenaline and serotonin and finally informing the consciousness of the players through the exploration of morality within games.

With this in mind I decided that an online series, made specifically for the purpose of getting new players acquainted with RPG theory would improve lives over the Future Cultures timeline of 5,10,50 years through the combating of rising mental health levels. By analyzing information and events this wasn’t so far fetched as RPG’s are making a resurgence in popular culture as of recently, a key example is the Joseph Michael Manganiello, a famous actor who has appeared on movies like Spider man, who is also a well know avid Dnd player who is currently running a competition for charity to play Dnd with him in his world famous Home Game Den.

As per L. Kirmayer’s paper on Internet Cultures and Identity, Celebrity Influence often has a negative effect/ perception on mental health especially in teenagers and developing adults, so to reverse this effect and manipulate it into a positive seems like a prominent indicator of the benefits and popularity of RPG Mental Health Management.

As a quick note, this DA’s purpose is not in ANY way supposed to act a a substitute for real Medical Mental health, if you feel you should seek this help do so professional, this paper simple suggests that RPG may in fact reduce the curve as it were.

My future plans for this DA are actual much more extensive than most of my other BCM projects, I can visualize the utility and benefit of such a project, and enjoy creating the content. Additionally, I believe this may translate into me acquiring my own Dnd group, something I have sorely missed over the last couple months during quarantine. I wish to provide it a separate home than just the YouTube channel and this blog, thus I am having a separate professional website designed that I can ship this free product online, with the hopes of getting picked up by a larger RPG brand like Geek and Sundry or Critical Role.

Bibliography:

  • Handley, T.; Rich, J.; Davies, K.; Lewin, T.; Kelly, B. The Challenges of Predicting Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviours in a Sample of Rural Australians with Depression. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201815, 928.
  • Bayer, J. and Peay, M., 1997. Predicting Intentions to Seek Help from Professional Mental Health Services. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 31(4), pp.504-513.
  • Ben-Ezra, M., Lis, E., Błachnio, A., Ring, L., Lavenda, O. and Mahat-Shamir, M., 2017. Social Workers’ Perceptions of the Association Between Role Playing Games and Psychopathology. Psychiatric Quarterly, 89(1), pp.213-218.
  • Bowman, S., 2010. The Functions Of Role-Playing Games. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co.
  • Garcia, A., 2017. Privilege, Power, and Dungeons & Dragons: How Systems Shape Racial and Gender Identities in Tabletop Role-Playing Games. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 24(3), pp.232-246.
  • Girard, C., Ecalle, J. and Magnan, A., 2012. Serious games as new educational tools: how effective are they? A meta-analysis of recent studies. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(3), pp.207-219.
  • Hetrick, S., Parker, A., Robinson, J., Hall, N. and Vance, A., 2012. Predicting Suicidal Risk in a Cohort of Depressed Children and Adolescents. Crisis, 33(1), pp.13-20.
  • Kirmayer, L., Raikhel, E. and Rahimi, S., 2013. Cultures of the Internet: Identity, community and mental health. Transcultural Psychiatry, 50(2), pp.165-191.
  • Nerdist. 2020. Check Out Joe Manganiello’s Star-Studded D&D Campaign – Nerdist. [online] Available at: <https://nerdist.com/article/joe-manganiello-celebrity-dungeons-dragons-campaign/&gt; [Accessed 14 June 2020].
  • Omaze. 2020. Meet Joe Manganiello For A Game Of Dungeons & Dragons. [online] Available at: <https://www.omaze.com/products/dungeons-and-dragons-joe-manganiello&gt; [Accessed 14 June 2020].
  • Rosselet, J. and Stauffer, S., 2013. Using group role-playing games with gifted children and adolescents: A psychosocial intervention model. International Journal of Play Therapy, 22(4), pp.173-192.
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