By Delson Cox
Working on this project has been a highlight of my time at Western Kentucky University. The hours I spent hunched over my desk coding this website, and editing my writing have given me a much better understanding of not only the publishing process, but also how to effectively utilize technology to communicate. Dr. Liddle’s guidance along with my own drive to see video games taken seriously in academia helped push me into developing one of my favorite projects I have ever completed.
The goal of this project was to inform the class of how communication technology has evolved over time by researching and developing a web text based off a dead or dying form of communication technology. This assignment could not have come at a better time for me. I had just started a web development course as an elective and a big news in the gaming community was the closing down of Nintendo’s Miiverse. I thought “What luck! I can focus on something topical and get some practice with my coding all at the same time.” While the original assignment was to use a tool such as Adobe Spark or Adavist, I instead opted to try my hand at coding my own website. This ended up being a lot more work for me in the long run since I had to teach myself a few coding tricks to get a design I was happy with on top of the research and writing already associated with the assignment, but I feel that this extra effort resulted in a much more interesting project overall.
My main focus of the project was to analyze the impact that the Miiverse’s closing had on the communities that utilized the platform. It was like watching a tribe of nomads begin to pick up camp and move on to new ground. Quite sad in retrospect. However, over the course of my research I found several groups who were trying to keep the Miiverse alive in one way or another. One group I found had made an archive of every post on the Miiverse by the time of its closure. Another group had made a close approximation of the Miiverse as web-based forum, having the same communities as the original plus the possibility for new communities in the future. This effort to keep the community alive despite its inevitable death was inspiring to me and helped to keep me motivated while finishing this project. I wanted to write something that I felt would highlight just how important the Miiverse was to those who used it, while pointing out areas the platform could have improved so that future platforms can learn
from the mistakes of the past.