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Voyant Assignment

Posted by Tristen Goodwin on

Hey everyone,

So my data set to test out Voyant was 215 instruction booklets from a collection of Nintendo 64 games, I thought it would be a fun and interesting exploration to see what would be of importance. I didn’t know what to expect when trying this, but after seeing the results, I gained an understanding that theses instruction booklets held two different “narratives”.

The thought process I had that sparked this idea, was how would video games reflect our society in very practical ways? I looked at instruction booklets as they can be seen as the bridge that connects the player to the game itself(if they decide to read the booklet first, of course). So the words that are frequent within these text all correspond to usage of a controller, which I was prepared for so I wanted to look deeper at words that aren’t as frequent but have some importance. In the visualization above, the words that are closer to the center, are words that matter to the actual game, but as you look farther away, the words that appear are more of  a legalized form of writing. For example, the word player/s and consumer are both showing up the corpus which  would determine the same entity. But player/s are more frequently used than consumers, and this can lead to the question: why?  The usage of language is important in all texts, and voyant gives us the clear understanding that the text surrounding the the center  holds just as much importance as the words in the center. There’s a narrative for the players on how to play a game, but there is also a narrative for the company to handle all legality in dealing with their property(the games themselves).

If I were to proceed with this experiment, I would perhaps take a corpus of instruction booklets from other companies and compare and even expand my view towards the modern day. While this was a simple observation, it does open new discoveries on how text is formed and what that can mean to the readers in question.

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