Techniques of Participation
Multimediality is the combination of different types of media, text, audio etc, that “share one common digital code,” (Raessens, 2005). In Rhythm Hive the notes and music sync up with matching graphics and displays, the player is given a score calculated on how well their playing matches up to the music.
Virtuality, to paraphrase Gushima & Nakajima (2017), it is when things that don’t physically exist make people believe in their existence through adding a temporal or special dimension to gameplay. Rhythm Hive has daily, weekly and seasonal challenges as well as birthday events and different pop-ups that last about a week. Getting new cards in the game is a very similar experience to pulling a photocard from an album and further grounds is in reality.
Interactivity contrasts against the idea of a ‘passive’ audience because it is based on the way the game interacts with the player and the player interacts with (and influences) the game. This is evident in Rhythm Hive as players can customise the difficulty of their gameplay, on the flip side of this in the mission stages the songs get increasingly harder with higher requirements.
Rhythm Hive allows for connection, giving “players the ability to exchange ideas… like updates and patches” (Raessens, 2005). While the online community for the game is pretty dead, during major updates (especially bugged ones) Twitter and Reddit are very active.
Types of Participation
In terms of interpretation, there are various ways of understanding and interacting with Rhythm Hive
- Dominant >> Playing daily, leveling up cards to complete sets, competitive game play, timed challenges and spending money on the game
- Negotiated >> Casual play, upgrading sets you want or ones that look nice, playing songs you like for enjoyment
- Oppositional >> Irregular play, not caring about scoring mechanics or cards
Reconfiguration is the exploration of the unknown. In Rhythm Hive it can be understood as the customisability of the game play, the fact that players can choose the difficulty level they want to engage with as well as how they want to play the game – through different modes of game play like Live Stage, Studio, Mix Challenges and Mission Stages.
Construction is when players can work to mod or patch the game themselves. However, with Rhythm Hive, modding is discouraged as players have little direct input into how the game is run and updated. There is a bit of player influence in terms of features added (like the very helpful ‘collect all’ button).
References Gushima, K & Nakajima, T 2017, A design space for virtuality-introduced internet of things, Future internet, vol. 9, no. 4. Raessens, J. (2005). Computer games as participatory media culture. In J. Raessens & J. Goldstein (Eds.), Handbook of computer game studies (pp. 373-388). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.