Lessons Learned

 

    • How well did the project allow you to practice the theories of new media we discussed this semester? What does a project like this offer that is beneficial to a student of new media? In what ways is a project like this limiting for a student of new media?
      • My project allotted various ways to practice theories of new media discussed this semester. In Intro to Media Studies, many aspects of media were studied over the entire course. In the end when final projects started to arrive, the variety allowed for me to pick an aspect of the class I enjoyed learning about and wanted to further study. I, personally, liked ideas talked about in Holmes and Murray’s articles and I based my project over them. So, the variety of topics and authors talked about in class was beneficial in order to pick certain ideas that were enjoyable to further study. Additionally, the ideas discussed not only had great variety but one could use them just for the basis of their project and apply their own ideas to further develop it. However, there was a limiting aspect in this project. Having a limited background in media studies, it was hard to pick an idea on how to present my project. Many other peers used videos and online tools to create games and present their project where as I did not know how to use those tools so I used something I was already familiar with: Prezi.

 

    • How has your experience of researching and implementing your project (regarding design, implementation, participant behavior if applicable, group dynamics, etc.) helped you to understand how new media influence our daily lives?
      • The basis of my project was to see how applications like Netflix have shifted our society to be more interested in culling than surrender (two terms defined by Holmes). The initial idea and design were just to survey people to see if this is true; however, it turned out to be more prevalent than I imagined. Doing the research for this project opened my eyes to how common it is for society to use easy applications like Netflix. The idea that a click of a button and one can watch their favorite tv shows and movies is ingrained in majority of modern society. It just baffles me to think of how the idea is no longer a thought process but rather just habit. Just like Ong argued that we find it difficult to consider writing to be a technology as we commonly assume printing and the computer to be; we find it hard to believe that applications are slowly shifting our conscious too. The human conscious changed to accommodate writing in everyday life just as the human conscious is changing to accept easy, accessible media like applications of modern technological advancements. Humans see and take notice of what they like, spending thought in it, and what you like as a human you in turn replicate. Humans enjoy the easy and accessible characteristics of the way new media is becoming and there is no cease in this new fascination. This project made me truly realize that as new media changes, so does society.

 

    • How have the course readings illuminated, clarified, or complicated your understanding of that experience? Which authors’ work do you find most relevant to your project? (Be sure to address (and cite) at least two course authors, though they need not be any of the course authors your group used in constructing your project itself.)
      • My central argument was that applications (apps) have made easy, accessible media like Netflix popular in society due to their affordances: participatory, procedural, spatial, and encyclopedic. Due to their popularity, they have shifted society to be far more interested in culling than surrender. The basis of this argument was off of two articles we read in class. Murray wrote an article about affordances of media and Holmes wrote about the idea of culling and surrender. Although these two authors were the basis of my project, I found that Gleick  and Ong were other authors that clarified it as well. Specifically, I only originally assumed that new media and it’s affordances has an influence on the shifting of culling and surrender in society. However, after completing my survey I realized how there is so much more influencing this shift. The ideas Ong and Gleick talked about further improved my studying on this subject. Ong refers to the human concious and how it shifted to not even consider writing as a technology due to it being so ingrained in the human mind. This sparked ideas in my head as to how this idea relates to applications like Netflix and that is where Gleick comes in. Humans are constantly in thought. Therefore thought, just like any other part of the human gene system, evolves, adapts and moves in new directions over time. Humans see and take notice of what they like, spending thought in it, and what you like as a human you in turn replicate. In this case, humans are replicating easy and accessible media due to being fascinated over it’s affordances. This, in turn, goes back to build on Ong’s idea of the human conscious. Humans have shifted to be more interested in culling than surrender due to taking interest in easy, accessible things and therefore are trying to replicate them with new media. Therefore, new media’s affordances appeal to the masses and no longer seem that abstract over time because the human race is slowly changing it’s conscious to adapt. Applications like Netflix are just the ‘norm’ for society.
    • What does your personal experience with this project suggest for the future of new media? That is, given what you have learned during this project (and the entire class, if you find it relevant), how will society change in the coming years? How will it stay the same?
      • After studying applications, there was a trend I noticed that society is trying to make everything easier and more accessible. With ‘apps’ everything about their fundamental structure is easy and accessible. However, applications have not been around for a long time but they are not the first thing to be invented to be easier and more accessible. Society, has a trend for making the next media easier. From hands to voice to pen and paper to mass printing to telephone to telegraph to radio to ethernet to wifi to cellular, society keeps inventing to make things easier and more accessible. So after studying an application like Netflix and seeing an abundant amount of interest in it, I believe that society will only grow to invent more easy and accessible things like it. I mean applications are everywhere, on phones, computers, and even televisions now. I believe society will change to grow more dependent on technology due to inventing easier and more accessible things. However, it is in human genes to do this so is it really a change?
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Applied Media Analysis #2

Memes have become a part of everyday life through the use of cell phones and tablets that have the ability to transfer means of media and communication at faster rates than ever seen before. Because of the iphone, memes are ever more present at the disposal of the human population by the touch of a finger. The latest iphone updates have more and more memes available to the user, along with emoji’s and other things of that sort that allow people to connect to one another using ways other than simple words. Further, without the widespread and instant popularity of the iphone, memes and emojis would probably not be as prevelant as they are today. Memes are the first sort of technological way of expressing raw human emotion through expressions that are “relatable” to the audience. They depict a certain conclusion, emotional experience, or just daily task that are common and well known to mass amounts of people and give humans the ability to communicate these things without being right next to each other. Further, we are begininng to see for the first time the connection between technology and the human conscious in expressing emotion and sentiment.

Dawkins claims, in the article I will reference in the remainder of this analysis, ideas are the roots of memes and ultimately determine their success or failure. Humans are constantly in thought. Therefore thought, just like any other part of the human gene system, evolves, adapts and moves in new directions over time. Thousands of years ago our ancestors replicated and portrayed ideas through cave drawings which slowly evolved into spoken language and so on. Memes are a form todays replicators, transferring and transforming ideas quicker and faster to any human with technology than ever before. Humans see and take notice of what they like, spending thought in it, and what you like as a human you in turn replicate. However, each replication has their own identity. Dennett believes although multiple memes can serve as representation for the same idea or concept they are attempting to portray, each is still distinct in their own way. Further, each human is distinct in their perception and interpretation of memes. One human might find a certain meme to represent something slightly different than the next. Dennett also notes that distinction is the very justification for the power of memes. Just as in any area of life, there are beneficial factors that carry the human race forward in a positive manner, and there are also the detrimental factors that hold back the human race from evolving. Dretske, a notable philosopher, claimed just a few decades ago that when earth was created, information already existed and that once organisms evolved enough they were able to begin to manipulate and transform this information into their own ideas and concepts, making it their own. Lastly the biosphere, and infosphere are both opening up more and more to the human gene pool, creating an extrasensory perception or sixth sense, if you will, that is ever more present.

Daily Quest #11

In Ferrera’s article he states, “we found that most human users can’t tell whether a tweet is posted by another real user or by a bot.”  Could you argue that these ‘bots’ spatially collapse the distance between humans’ and technology due to these ‘bots’ having human characteristics?

Daily Quest #10

When Carmody states, “rather than watching an agile mind at work, one attached to a living, breathing person, and feeling like you were tapped into a discussion that was bringing together the most vital parts of the web” is this him arguing for this specific blog’s affordances? Specifically, Murray’s idea of ‘spatial’ where it collapses distance between the bloggers?

Design Document

The central idea of this argument is that easy, accessible media like Netflix is on the rise in popularity in society due to their affordances: participatory, procedural, spatial, and encyclopedic. Due to their popularity, they have shifted society to be far more interested in culling than surrender. This project serves as a statement about an aspect of new media and cultural change by studying if the way society is shifting media to be more easy, and accessible to allow people to become more selfish. Society is growing towards having so many options fallen in their lap that they are forgetting about all of the other stuff their missing due to their tunnel vision. I’m using Holmes and Murray’s ideas as the bases of my project in order to receive data on this subject and analyze it. I will be using a survey to get data on this subject. I will compose a series of questions on survey-monkey and broadcast the link to as many people as I can. Specifically, I will send the link to many people here at Austin College such as sports teams and people in my classes and professors. I also will try and broadcast it to coaches and other people I know from home as well as people I work with here at Austin College and in Fort Worth. I will then analyze the data and make charts based off of the data to help my audience visualize my data. I will try and find videos and articles to help support my data as well. Below are the questions in my survey:

  • How old are you?
    • I am asking this to see if age has a factor for Netflix use
  • Are you male or female?
    • I am asking this to see if gender has an affect on Netflix use and if gender plays a role into what Netflix suggests to viewers
  • Do you use Netflix?
    • I am asking this to see if my subjects even apply to my theory
  • How many days of the week do you watch Netflix on average?
    • I am asking this to to see how much time people use Netflix on average
  • What mobile device do you watch Netflix on?
    • I am asking this to see which form of technology Netflix is streamed off to compare to Murray’s ideas
  • What features does Netflix have that causes you to use it?
    • I am asking this to see if Netflix has any other pull-factors other than easy and accessible
  • Do you use Netflix for an economic reason or a personal reason?
    • to see if people watch this instead of going out because in the long run it is cheaper or if it is because they prefer this over doing other things
  • What is your favorite thing to watch on Netflix?
    • I am asking this to see if people watch it for fun or education and to see how it applies to Holmes’ ideas
  • Do you watch TV shows, Movies, Documentaries, or a mixture?
    • to see what type of things they watch on Netflix
  • What types of genres does Netflix suggest to you?
    • to see how Netflix suggests to viewers based on what they watch
  • Would you be interested in a follow-up interview?
    • So I can see what suggestions Netflix gives them
  • If you chose yes, what is the best number and email I could use to contact you?
    • So I can reach them due to this being anonymous

Text Response {week 9}

Game is defined as “a form of play or sport, especially a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck” (Google). However, there are many that alter this definition to describe such a broad topic. For example, Juul is one that talks in depth about games and their definitions. Juul defines games in two categories: emergence and progression. Emergence is a number of simple rules combining to form interesting variation and progression is separate challenges presented serially (Juul). If one were to classify all games in these two categories, emergent games would be more abundant due to them being more interesting.

Progression is defined as “the rules limit the player in such a way that actions must be performed in some kind of present order” (class notes). Therefore, progression games are not programmed to where the game can have variation the designer did not account for. Progression games have a list of ‘rules’ where the player completes them to progress and proceed to complete the game. For example, Mario Cart is a progression game. This game has no variance and therefore no different outcome.

Emergence is defined as “some small set of rules define play but within those rules the player is free to create tactics and strategies” (class notes). These subunits create the variety in an emergent game. For example, Sims is an emergent game. This is due to the fact that in Sims the exact same game can not be done twice. A player is allowed to roam within the game the designer made; however, the player can create his or her own tactics or strategies to play the game. There is no end goal like there is in a progression game. There is no point ‘a’ to point ‘b’. Rather, it is what the player creates it to be. In the case of emergent games, there are meta-rules so the rules can be changed.

Emergent games are more interesting and abundant in this world because a player can not get the exact game twice. With the variance, a player will not get bored as easily with the game. As Bycer states in his article,”the game must be open enough to have a variety of solutions and the tools must allow for interconnection and adaptability” (Josh Bycer). This is the idea game designers wrap their thoughts around. For example, games like Minecraft and World of Warcraft are very popular in modern society. Personally, every guy friend I know that enjoys video games has at least one of these games. The reason games like these are popular and more abundant are due to the fact that they are emergent and create variety each and every time the player picks up the remote.

This argues the question of: since emergent games are deemed ‘more fun’ by people like Juul and arguably many others, is this causing game designers to put as much variance in games as possible so everyone will buy their game? And another thought: if that question is true or sheds light on a possibility of truth, can one argue that there is almost too many special features in modern games? For example Mike Scout talks in his article about game designing mechanics and briefly talks about these ideas. He talks about how there are specific buzzwords designers look for in players to see what players do or do not like. For example, “repetitive” is a no no in the designer world. This goes off of the idea we talked about in class where each time a ‘new’ player is playing a game and gets something for the first time like a coin the game gives a lot of positive feedback so the player keeps playing. It causes me to think of the possibility of where and how far game designers will go in order to achieve the most ‘popular’ game in society.