Thankfully we haven’t quite reached Orwelian levels of data monitoring. Yet.
But we’re getting pretty close with all the demographic data that gets recorded these days by just about every major online nexus you visit. WordPress is watching right now… and this can be useful.
This lecture covered a lot of good points relating to just who is watching and what can be gleaned from it, and I got to thinking just how this applies directly to my field. The instance with House of Cards ep.1 as described in the lecture was a good outline for television, a major possible career path with animated programming, in the way viewer discretion data can be construed, and the situations in which it should be heeded.
So this is the method of approach I took from what was presented. If you know your demographic, you’re going to have an easier time selling something. So then my art could be better directed at a profitable market, which give me money, so I can make better stuff. Or my employer is thinking that way for me, either way it’s useful.
Let’s take our old friend Steam again as an example, they have a publicly accessible stats page available that outlines player number information and computer build related info. If you’re a games developer designing for a PC format this can be useful information, as you very easily get a sense for what’s lastingly popular and the hardware you have to work with.
Also described in the lecture was all the data which is accessible to users posting content to YouTube. For anyone working in film and games this can be a major tool for determining demographic targeting. News or trailers posted about a film or game on YouTube records viewer data for location, age, gender etc. with the ability to filter and determine geographically who is interested in your content.
There’s also focus group data available for games and film that highlight definite trends in the market. Here is a survey performed by The Entertainment Software Association pertaining to American games consumers. It contains a great deal of information on which games and genres are trending, as well as age and gender demographics that are interested in these products in a common family environment. This kind of information is publicly accessible, but there are also focus tests performed by game devs and film/television producers during the development of a product to monitor how well the content pans over with a crowd and how it could be improved to attract more attention.
So it all really comes down to how the artists and producers choose to handle this data. Which part they deem relevant and who to listen to can be as widely varied as the consumer audience who provide the information.
Looks like a good time to be working on Grand Theft Auto, though.
2014 Sales, Demographic and Usage Data : Essential Facts About the Computer Games Industry. (2015) (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.theesa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/ESA_EF_2014.pdf
Big Brother. (2015). Retrieved from http://img.publistagram.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/BigBrother.jpg
Dena, C. (2015). Week 5: Data, You, and Your Art. Retrieved from https://medium.com/self-directed-practitioners/week-5-data-you-and-your-art-f75add99c56b
Google Developers,. (2015). YouTube Analytics API. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from https://developers.google.com/youtube/analytics/
Store.steampowered.com,. (2015). Steam: Game and Player Statistics. Retrieved 20 March 2015, from http://store.steampowered.com/stats/