Author Archives: saltaire

Just in case

Project !

Final class response

Project 1: Basic Web Design

Despite having difficulty at first, I really enjoyed this project and I think knowing how to program html and css in the future will be really important.  I’m actually planning on designing a site for my sister and brother’s surf site this summer!

Project 2: Web Audio/Podcasting

I understood why we did this project and I can see how it could be a good form to comment on media, but I think the end product was definitely not worth the trouble.  I mean it was a good exercise and I really liked what last year’s class did with their commentary on mashups, but I think theirs was the only really successful project I viewed.

Project 3: Web Video

This was definitely a challenging project in terms of time commitment and coordinating with a partner. I really liked how everyone’s came out. And I feel like there was a lot of artistic wiggle room in this media form.

Project 4: Sophie

After the website, this was probably my favorite project. I am a visual person and like to write, so this medium for commentary worked really well.  Yes Sophie was slow and stubborn, but I was happy with how my project turned out.

Final Project

I used Sophie for my final project. I liked that we didn’t have to stick to the article text like we did in our previous project.  It felt more like a commentary.  Yes, it took longer to flesh out my ideas, but I feel more attached to this project because it is my voice.

In general, I think this was a great class.  The readings were for the most part very interesting and although the projects were challenging, I think I learned a lot.  I felt out of my element for most of the semester, most times not understanding the social references, but I really enjoyed the perspectives I was exposed to. Class discussions were definitely the most intriguing part of this course for me.  And I thought the supplementation of the google wave and class blog really furthered our dynamic.

Thanks for this semester professor !

Brigid's presentation

My take on Gamer Theory

Like Box

Umm who else got asked to be associated with the pages of their school, hometown, and other various interests? It’s more than just “liking” something on Facebook, its other websites too !

Welcome to Like Box!

A social plugin that enables Facebook Page owners to attract and gain Likes from their own website. The Like Box enables users to:

  • See how many users already like this page, and which of their friends like it too
  • Read recent posts from the page
  • Like the page with one click, without needing to visit the page

I mean this is just another way for Facebook to expand and stay “cutting edge” or whatever. I think the Like Box is a pretty good way of going about it. But I don’t know the implications of being associated with pages that aren’t a direct part of Facebook.

What do you think ?

Gamer Theory 2.0

I like the way Gamer Theory is set up– the post-it note layout is less intimidating and the narrative doesn’t make me feel like I’m doing a reading for homework.  I also like that there is a commenting element, so I can see how others feel about the piece.  The piece is action based as Galloway argued games are. Each chapter has a story as well as an embedded lesson. Going through the narratives I feel I got a general feeling of each message:

Agony on the Cave discusses how “the game has got you.” It explores how addictive gaming can be and how it effects a gamer’s perception of what is real.  Allegory on The Sims follows the routine life of Benjamin and questions whether this game could be “a parody of everyday life in ‘consumer society’.”  This chapter explores “the fragmenting of the fragmented” through a Sim and a gamer’s relation to the “algorithm. ” American on Civilization III  considers the concept of time, starting over, and the relationship between the topical and topographic.  “The storyline dwells between the autonomy of the topical and the authority of the topographical, always lagging behind.” Which helps the gamer discover the development of Telesthesia.  Analog on Katamari Damacy further explores the relationship between the topical and topographical and brings in the element of the difference between analog and digital.  All of space is determined by “law.” “This is analog — a relation of continuous variation. Only it isn’t really. It is a digital game. The game converts the continuous movement of your thumbs on the sticks into a digital code.”  Atopia on Vice City  gaming becomes all “inclusive” because “the very possibility of utopia is foreclosed.”  In Battle on Rez, “targeting turns time and space from a disconcerting experience of flux into conditions of self awareness, where the world exists so the gamer might come into being, against it. Once an event yields a target, it becomes something subject to control. The analog yields to the digital.”  Boredom on State of Emergency argues “boredom is the meter of history.”  Boredom is the reason for surplus and “arises out of the absence of necessity.”  Complex on Deus Ex plays with the idea of multiple endings, how the gamer is able to “tip this balance” and what this means to a gaming theorist.   Conclusion on SimEarth states that “An ‘unfit’ game like SimEarth fails not because it bumps up against the reality principle of bare life, but quite the reverse. It fails the fantasy principle.”  Arguing that “gamespace is an end in itself.” It is not “history.”  Games are our “contemporaries,” a place where the present can be “felt” and the past “rethought.” In a sense from “this vantage point, the whole of cultural history can be rethought.”

I think the points that were raised through Gamer Theory really made me rethink gaming. Yes, I saw some games as representations of the present, but for the most part as representations of fantasy.  Gaming is a huge part of our society and I should definitely give it more weight as a source of influence on us.  I agree that it is a place to “rethink” aspects of our past and future lives, it is not merely for fun, but I would argue that there are some games that it is pure entertainment (tetris?). Gaming as a medium is a place to explore and divulge questions and understanding.

"Gamic Action, Four Moments"

As a non-gamer, I found this article pretty interesting. I did not realize how many distinctions there were within the gaming world itself.

Galloway states games are “actions.”  “The work itself is a material action.”  Games are an entirely new media.  They are an “action based” medium, rather than an “interactive” medium.   There is a difference between machine acts and operator acts.  Yes, they are games, but more importantly they are “software systems.”  Actions occur in “diegetic” or “nondiegetic” space (world of narrative action and what is outside of that but not necessarily non gamic.)

Games are the “expression of culture” although not directly.  Galloway argues “culture arises in and through play.”

Gamic action can be broken down into:

-“diegetic machine act”–ambience act–shape of process–informatic/atmospheric action

-“nondiegetic machine act”–act of configuration, setup act–algorithm act–stimularion material action

-diegetic operator act”–movement act, expressive act–play action–rule-based, singular action

-“nondiegetic machine act”–disabling act, enabling act, machinic embodiments–code action–swarms, patterning, relationality action

I don’t know if this is true, but I don’t think gamers necessarily analyze their actions in this way. I think its interesting that there can be these categories and there are differences. But I think these distinctions are meant merely for analysis.

Gmail now has drag and drop attachments …

Last Thursday, Google released some minor (but helpful) updates  for Gmail.

The drag-and-drop attachments feature allows you drag files from your desktop directly into your e-mail message for attachment.

In Gmail, users just drag any file from their hard drive (or from within an open application) into the new green box that shows up in your compose menu. It will then upload it in the background, allowing you to keep doing other things while the attachment loads.

The other new feature offered is a follow-up to the experimental rescheduling feauture that was introduced to the Gmail Calendar last month by adding an “insert invitation” link just below the subject line of outgoing e-mails. When clicked, it pops up with a Google Calendar invitation-maker that includes a visual of when there are open times to meet based on those people’s schedules. As soon as you send it, the event gets added to everyone’s calendars, provided they’re on Gmail.

Pretty handy !

Hello Sophie

She was pretty stubborn, but I think I finally got it !

So much work this week, just wanted to get her up on the blog before Friday… fingers crossed

Sophie Project (fixed !)

Jenkins response

“Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars?: Digital Cinema, Media Convergence, and Participatory Culture” reviews Star Wars spoofs and how fan film operates as a central function of popular culture.  Jenkins view media fans as “active participants within the current media revolution, seeing their cultural products as an important aspect of the digital cinema movement.”  They’re not losers as they have been commonly viewed, there is nothing wrong with them.  New media is in “transition.”  Consumption and new media forms are more accessible thanks to technological convergence.  “Star Wars is, in many ways, the prime example of media convergence at work.”  A new type of consumerism comes out of this fanfare.  Media convergence is the newest form of corporate strategy now that we are interacting with media content so differently than we have in the past.  “Fan fiction repairs some of the damage caused by the privatization of culture,” creating a broader dialogue between viewers and content. Fan fiction is able to increase interest by “pulling its content toward fantasies that are unlikely to gain widespread distribution, tailoring it to cultural niches under-represented within and under-served by the aired material.”  This nature of  publicity can be helpful to the medium.  Fans usually imitate what they admire, not what they want to bash.  This will be known as the birth of an  “elaborate feedback loop between the emerging “DIY” aesthetics of participatory culture and the mainstream industry.”   The work of these fans has been extremely influential for the  “emerging generation of amateur digital filmmakers”…  Jenkins argues that it is “almost as influential in fact as Star Wars itself.”  Jenkins wants to know what the future of digital cinema will be.  I feel like future cinema is never wholly new or innovative and we should promote fans to interact in this new form of cinematic dialogue and to continue this process and see how it develops.

In the second article, “Why Heather Can Write,” dealt with kids and how their dialogue with popular culture, outside the classroom. Here Jenkins, focuses on high school kids who are reading, writing, editing, and critiquing Harry Potter fan fiction online. Does this interaction with popular culture like similar interactions really compete with students academic “attention”? I think it can. But Jenkins argues that it  usually is beneficial for students and despite its success, he is unsure whether this “can be duplicated simply by incorporating similar activities into the classroom-though some teachers are using fan fiction exercises to motivate their students.”  Many of these kids want to have professions in writing and many end up pursuing this goal. “Fandom is providing a rich haven to support the development of bright young minds that might otherwise get chewed up by the system, and offering mentorship to help less gifted students to achieve their full expressive potential.”  These kids are finding  a new reason to go online, a new outlet, not provided in most schools.

Watch out kids

Seeing as this week we read about media literacy and the influence of the internet on education, I thought the following topic seemed fitting.

Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit, has developed a new curriculum, known as Digital Literacy and Citizenship Initiative, to educate youth about the internet.  C.S.M. is best known for giving reviews to help parents choose media appropriate for their kids, but they are now providing lesson plans to educate kids about their place online.  This new program is designed to aid middle school teachers, parents, and kids themselves “raise a generation of responsible, smart, and safe digital citizens.” It is a completely new approach to internet education — based on the knowledge of youth culture.  Definitely not lecture based, making kids active participants in their education.  It is based on the framework developed by the GoodPlay Project, youth are not “passive consumers” of new media but “actively contributing to and defining the new media landscape.” Kids still need adults to advise them in their online lives, but not define it.

The Initiative is defined by  the following 5 criteria:

  • Digital life: the necessity for responsible choices online
  • Privacy and digital footprints: managing online privacy
  • Connected culture: respectful online relationships
  • Self-expression and reputation: functioning in different online contexts and affect on reputation
  • Respecting creative work: online ownership

I think this is a really great program and should be widely implemented across schools !