akoym17's blog

VIS 218 Process Journal Week 10

Virtual Gathering Review: The gathering I chose to attend was a Murder Mystery held by some of my friends.

Here are the quick logistics: The event was Saturday night, April 10, after dinner and lasted for about 2 hours. It was a private zoom call that was split into multiple breakout rooms. The audience was my eating club’s members who signed up. Overall, participants received a character and had two goals to fulfill in addition to finding the murderer.

Here is the longer story with my take on the event: The event was a slow start and still felt stilted throughout the night. I enjoyed conversing with people but the technology imposed limits on us that made it obvious how differently It was being ran compared to years past. There were a few benefits to the change, which I’ll get to, but overall just felt like it came up short. We got the Zoom link about an hour ahead of its start time, but when I arrived at 7pm on the dot to play, the hosts made us wait in a zoom waiting room for another ten minutes so they could continue setting up. The tone of the conversations changed throughout the night, starting awkward, edging into jolly once we had roles and started to figure out what we were doing, and back to awkward when we had to accuse.

I honestly am struggling to guess what its purpose was, which might be why the event struggled. It likely was created with a non reason listed by Priya as the basis, like bonding, which was not successful. What it did succeed in doing was having a clear itinerary and hierarchy of what was happening and who was hosting. Never did I find myself begging for this section of sleuthing to end so that we could end the event sooner. The pacing of the action was well-sustained and the host was a great mix of funny and forceful of rules.

When I host my own event, I want to keep in mind what I found lacking and plentiful from this murder mystery. Some technical aspects need to be tested ahead of time so that it can begin when I said it would, if my event ends up being online. As the host, I need to have a strong reason for gathering beyond vague excuses. I want my event to bond, but to do so by bringing to light and enforcing a common appreciation for Taylor Swift or afternoon walks or an edged brownie. When I set a time for my event, I need to do so after I have come up with a clear itinerary on what should happen and how long it should take. Lastly, I need to remember for my event that I am the host, and as such, need to act like it. No being “chill” or pretending like I did not think up a scenario if I did. I will be the kind but firm hand on my guests back as we progress.

Reading Responses: Laurel's lecture was interesting for me to watch after I wrote up my virtual gathering review. It had me elaborate on what I expected of an online gathering and how it could expanded or scaled back from the expected. One idea I really connected to from the video was to have the gathering be a specific webpage on my website. I'm unsure how I would structure that, considering my front page is an image map, but I would like to do this. Maybe I could add a small click link in the stacked pages that connects to a hidden page inviting people?

I enjoyed Mindy's article a lot. I liked how it reframed our view of gathering and how it connects back to like the first humans. When she shifted to discussing Zoom events at the end, I found myself curious as to how she saw them and how it compared to what I wanted from a Zoom event. As I go forward in planning my event, I want to plan the purpose around connecting on a baser level on something not universal but relatable to the participants.