Daily Quest #8

In the Game Theories article, the author states “he (Castronova) is dismayed by how the real world has bled into the virtual one.”  Could this be arguing that the game has emphasized an affordance pointed out by Murray-spatial? Spatial is all about metaphors (like folders on Chrome) and collapsing distances. Could you argue that the game has a spatial affordance due to collapsing the virtual and real world in the economy sense?

Daily Quest #7

I’m slightly confused on the difference in the terms used in the The Open and The Closed: Games of Emergence and Games of Progression article. Progression and emergence are slightly confusing to me (it could be due to my lack of video game knowledge). In reference to soccer, is emergence the structure of rules like keep the ball in the lines and no offsides and only the keeper can use their hands and progression is the desire to reach the outcome of a win (so a ball in the back of the net)?

Text Response (week 8)

Affordances can be defined as “all actions that are physically possible” (Google). This term has become more prevalent in society due to the increasing role media plays in society. It’s prevalence is dependent upon its popularity. Although many might think that the increasing prevalence of media is due to what many people call ‘interactive’ media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, Manovich takes a different stance. There are many forms of media besides ‘modern’ media that are interactive; for example, a book, due to it being interactive when one is flipping through the pages. This form of mis-termed ‘interactive’ media has four affordances that are defined by Murray: participatory, procedural, spatial, and encyclopedic.  These affordances of media allow for many user-friendly accommodations that are slowly changing the human conscious to where it could be argued that media is almost too human.

Social media has many interactive and user friendly procedures.  With this idea in mind, this form of media has affordances that allow people to enjoy it. The first affordance, participatory, is termed the ‘platform’ of social media because without it this type of media would not exist. For example, if no one were to go on Facebook, then Facebook would not be a popular social site in this world. In fact, Smith states that approximately two-thirds of online adults (66%) use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or LinkedIn. These examples of participatory media have subunits: interacting, community and social connections. With a combination of these three subunits, media users will keep using social media because they feel as though they are having human to human interaction regardless of where they are located from who they are ‘connecting’ to. In fact, Smith states that people use these sites to stay in touch with current friends and family members along with old friends they’ve lost touch with as well as connecting around a shared hobby or interest, making new friends, and reading comments by public figures and finding potential romantic partners. With this in mind, this affordance argues the ideas of humanity and technology. If it allows human-to-human interaction through technology, is it really human-to-human interaction or is it human-to-technology interaction? 

Encyclopedic is an affordance that has a pull-factor to keep people on media. With the idea that media has a copious amount of information, it allows for users to have access to endless amounts of it. Therefore, it increases use of media all over the world. This affordance allows people to gain access to keep up with the world and what is going on in it. To allow humans to feel as though they are communicating with people through a site like Facebook when they read a long lost friend’s post of their newest life update or checking Twitter to see what Kim Kardashian is doing today. Both of which are not real human-to-human interactions, but rather, almost a euphoric sense of technological communication.

Procedural is another affordance necessary for modern media. Procedural is composed of rules that allow media users to do things with texts and images. For example, on Facebook one can express their emotions to the entire world by posting on their page and ‘liking’ or ‘loving’ and commenting on others’ posts and sharing other videos and pictures which would not be possible without the procedural affordance. This affordance allows people to feel as though they are having human-to-human interaction. The ability to ‘like’ or ‘love’ someone else’s post on a social media site makes one feel as though they are communicating their thoughts and emotions towards that person when in reality they are communicating with technology.

Spatial is composed of two subunits: metaphors and collapsing distance. Both of these subunits are vital for media interaction. Metaphors are how coding makes things on the screen look realistic like how the folders on google chrome are on-top of each other. Collapsing distance is what allows society to stay connected from other ends of the world. People can communicate and share things to each other regardless of how far away they are from one another. It allows the user to feel as though it is ‘interacting’ with the world from his or her laptop in bed. Hence, the common misconception of the term name. 

Jones talks about human-to-human interaction in her article and addresses an important follow up question: will face-to-face communication ultimately diminish because of these new social technologies? She argues that face-to-face interaction must continue to be our main source of communication because it has the ability to satisfy so many more of our inherent social needs due to only 7% of communication is based on the verbal word and that over 90% of communication is based on nonverbal cues such as body language, eye contact, and tone of voice. That means 90% of communication cannot be picked up through modern technological ways of communicating like texting and social media. So, why do we feel like texting and social media satisfies our need of human-to-human interaction? This is due to Murray’s affordances: participatory, procedural, spatial, and encyclopedic. These affordances allow humans to communicate to technology and make them feel as though they are communicating to other people. 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 social media is not a real human interaction, but rather, technology that simulates human characteristics to make us feel like it is human. This is because the human conscious changed to accommodate writing in everyday life just as the human conscious is changing to accept human-like characteristics of modern technological advancements. We, the human race, are slowly changing our conscious and are not seeing that technology is resembling us due to the familiarity of the characteristics. This is slowly becoming a ‘norm’ in society which makes one wonder what the future will be like.


Project Proposal

Juan and I will be doing a project together. Our project will be focusing on the ideas raised in Linda Holmes article “The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We’re All Going To Miss Almost Everything.” We will be surveying people with the question of “Are medias like netflix, hulu, and Facebook that are easy, accessible digital media responsible for shifting society to be far more interested in culling than in surrender?” What we hope to gain by completing the project is a better understanding of people’s decisions regarding culling and surrender focused on easy, accessible media. As well as educate other people in societies’ decisions of these two ideas addressed in Holmes’ article. This project could be useful to others who are interested in learning about new media because they could see the results and learn how such prevalent media affect society and influence future media. We will compose a survey on Surveymonkey to reach a broader range of people besides Austin College students.


Contract: Each member will be responsible for composing 50% of the survey questions as well as trying to broadcast the survey to as many people as they can to take it. The work to do the follow up on the survey will be evenly split by both partners. Failure to help participate in the project will at first be addressed one on one and if it happens again will be brought to professor’s attention for disciplinary actions.


Online Signatures:

Juan Ramirez

Grace Auth

Daily Quest #6

In article I LIKED EVERYTHING I SAW ON FACEBOOK FOR TWO DAYS. HERE’S WHAT IT DID TO ME the author states,”Facebook uses algorithms to decide what shows up in your feed” (Honan). This intrigued me because the same system that shows Facebook users their feed is also used for other media like Netflix, correct?

Daily Quest #5

In The Sad, Beautiful Fact That We’re All Going To Miss Almost Everything, the author says “culling is the choosing you do for yourself” and “surrender, on the other hand, is the realization that you do not have time for everything.” She argues that society is “far more interested in culling than in surrender.” Is this due to the shift of easy, assessable digital media? For example, the Netflix and Hulu and other medias like them?