Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scribe-12/3-Jake Woolf

Here are the notes I took in class on our discussion...theyre choppy but effective.

Sherry Turkle-“Computer Holding Power”
MUD and MOO-text based online virtual reality
“The medium is the message”
Games convey an idea of rule based, constructed world
We feel out of control, thus we retreat to game world to feel in control
The difference between TV and Games-TV is more passive
Socialization to computers-learn their patterns of behavior
Pinball machine-learn properties of gravity?
Sense of “Close to the edge, but not threatening” makes games appealing
Women Players in videogames---
Gender roles through videogames
Idea of men finding strong females attractive rather than scary
½ of female players WoW are played by men
Lara Croft Game video
“I don’t know about being born, but I just happened”-from the film
Discussed the film…felt too much like looking at a game rather than watching a film
General consensus of confusion in the movie
The film portrayed her in a different way than the actual game does

Saturday, December 5, 2009


In my paper, I plan to discuss how remixing and sampling has affected the music industry today. In particular, I want to discuss how it impacts and basically shapes the hip-hop community in several ways. I will use quotes from the very insightful DJ Spooky about how the 20th century was such a defining time period in remixability and mash-ups, because of how media changed.
A large aspect to my paper will be based on how well I can highlight the contrast in how music absorption by the public changed from the 19th to 20th century. Such events as the invention of the radio and record player made music more readily available over a large area. For the first time in history, music didn’t just have to be heard live; Rather, it could be listened to multiple times, and more importantly, at the will of the listener. This change is so important today because the vast availability of different music is the fundam ental element that sparked the birth of remixing and sampling. By being able to hear music over and over, people began to have the idea of instead of starting from scratch (or simply creating music based on genres they heard in their town or village), they could take the completed work of another person and alter it in a way to make it unique and unique sounding to that individual. In a way, by remixing, it became possible to define one’s own music vicariously through the work of another.
Also I will have to talk about the negative backlash of remixing and sampling. So often today people consider those who sample the work of other artists to have a lack of creativity; that they are using the work of another person as a crutch. In my paper I will counter act this point by explaining the certain level of homage that is automatically delivered to the original piece by altering it. It is not an insult, rather, it is a compliment [to the original] that the artist was so inspired by the music that they thought they needed to make their own song using it; that they believed in the piece so much as to make it an integral part of their own original song. I will cite the work of such producers as Kanye West, who seem to constantly sample, and how a whole new meaning can be given to a song by utilizing the sample as a jumping off point for creativity, not a hindrance to it.
Also, a key point to this will be being able to define what exactly a sample is. In this day and age, when one has the ability to listen to thousands of songs by simply clicking a mouse, it is impossible to say that every artist in some way “samples” the work of another previous work, simply by being inspired by it. By listening to a song we enjoy we are given ideas about several things. For the musician, even subconsciously it is possible that they receive ideas about a song of their own because of something they heard. In this sense, it is fair to say all work today is a remix of several thousands of songs, because artists/musicians always affect other artists, which is reflected in their work.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Chad Cain-ABstract

Paper topic: The Cyborg

I thought for my paper I would explore the idea of the cyborg in American film. Because the scope of this topic is so large I will have to narrow my focus down to only a few movies. I find that particularly in American film, the cyborg is presented as being an unstoppable, destructive force, hell bent on eradicating humanity. I thought I could start by looking at the borg in Star Trek. Then move on to the unstoppable technological bionic android gone awry, like seen in the movie The Terminator. I will link Donna Harraway’s ideas in The Cyborg Manifesto to the human whose mind has been colonized by a simulated reality from which s/he cannot unplug, as in The Matrix. I think that will prove a good blend because it is a great example of the machine-human binary system. I’m also interested in computers with human-like minds, like HAL in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and link that to computer applications such as cleverbot. I can explore the idea further of machines being able to replace life, and quarrel with the concept of whether or not machines will ever be considered alive. Mostly I want to focus on what seems (at least through Hollywood cinema) to be an extreme paranoia of the human race concerning Cyborgs, and whether or not they will replace and control us. I think with all this, I will have enough for ten pages. I’ll probably wind up having too much. If that is the case I will narrow my focus down further and omit a few films from my analysis.

All You Need is To Have No Life

I disagree with the notion that games ought to only have static affordances, and no new skills or tools etc. From experience playing games like that, while there is a certain level of mundane repetition, it encourages the player not to try and breeze through the game as fast as possible, but to take their and time and look for every available means to improve themselves along the way. It teaches them to be thorough, which I feel encourages less laziness, not to mention a level of strategy when it comes to deciding on how one should spend a limited amount of money.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Learning From a Video Game

I disagree with the Norwegian author about how games with levels are promoting capitalistic competition. This is not what games are teaching. American market competition is healthy competition that keeps society at a balance or slight unbalance. Competing in a game is directly related to exterminating an opponent completely.

There is not much to learn from video games. They are simply forms of entertainment. They are very enthralling because they are an interactive way of experiencing something we wish we could in real life (without dying). The strategy argument was somewhat understandable, but usually these things are specified in a game in a way that it really does not relate to anything outside of gaming and even that category of game. Games are for fun. Learning is not fun. It is interesting at many times, but not as appealing to a bored human on a repetitive schedule as killing aliens is.

I will say that video games do help develop hand-eye coordination, but ONLY for those who have grown up on video games. It seems that adults of this time are helpless with game controls and buttons. They are not as quick because they are not as accustomed to what our generation of gamers considers gaming basics.
...and we learn the same way here in America as they do in Norway, it probably just costs more.

Abstract for term paper Danielle Reedy

With the new age of technology communicating is becoming easier every day. We have many social networking sites such as myspace, facebook and twitter. These sites make it possible for many people from very far away to converse almost instantly without using the phone. It is easy for us to keep up to date on our friends; we know where they are, what they are doing, even what they are having for dinner that night. These sites have made it possible to share almost every aspect of our lives on a day to day basis with friends and strangers.
Other then social networking sites there are many other ways to communicate using new technology. I am specifically interested in ways of communicating using media that is artistic. One way that is growing at a rapid pace is collaboration channels on youtube. Collaboration channels are youtube channels that involve two or more members that post videos almost every day in order to keep in touch.
Another artistic form of media communication is website like post secret and learning to love you more that consist of people who post things about themselves anonymously. Although these are not meant to be the kind of communication from one person to another they are meant to communicate a greater message to a larger group of people.


Violence & Video Games

It is hard to connect with what the author is stating in this article. Apparently, people see images from in-game play even when they are not playing the game. I am in no way a "gamer", but there have been occasions for me where several hours have been spent playing a video game - be it mario kart, halo, etc. In no way have these games had an influence on me, violent or not, after I finished playing them. This may be for the reason of my gameplay being based around a social gathering, and not being completely subdued into the game with concentration on nothing but. It is also debatable with the comment that the author made comparing violence in video games to violence in movies/on tv. I do not necessarily agree that violence is worse on film/tv. I think the control over the violent acts that a gamer has makes it much more influential to violent acts than being spoon fed similar content through a scripted source.