final post

In my final new media blog posting I will be discussing the boundaries and idea of work versus play.  Does things we do that originally start out as play, and it turns into a paying job still be thought of as play?  In psychology theres a term that describes the idea that when you are rewarded with something like money for something you like to do it becomes less of an interest to you and it turns more into a job then play.  Because of this idea many offices and corporations try and include the "play" factor into their work areas in order to keep their employees in a good mood.  For example what we saw of the google offices in class.  They looked like little playgrounds for each member. We discussed the reason to be because of the such long hours that are asked of the employees such an interesting design of an office keeps the employees from getting too bored at their job.  But does that mean they are actually having a fun time working?  This brings up the idea of chinese gold farmers in world of warcraft. People that are paid to play the game of world of warcraft in order to gain money and then sell it to other players who dont necessarily want to spend the time doing.  You would think playing the game all day everyday would make the gold farmers lose their original interest in the game but a lot of them actually once they get off the clock keep playing.  The idea being there is so much to do in the game that they are then allowed to do whatever they want and are still intrinsically motivated to play. 

In my experiences with video games, I will usually get bored or just had enough of a video game that I have already "beat" .  In games where they have a set story line once beaten its hard to keep doing the same things.  Thats why a game such as world of warcraft has been so popular for so long because your free to do whatever you want with an endless amount of missions.  If you look at pro athletes there doing something they have loved to do there whole lives and now they get paid to do it.  Theres a good amount of players that lose their interest in winning and their team and start focusing on the money.  Thats where we see players holding out before the season.  Which is there attempt to get more money so there willing to sit out until that happens.  There willing to sacrafice playing and helping the team for money.



more videogames

In the first article "the labor of fun" by nick yee I found it very interesting that there are games where people can make profits off of them.  I was surprised by this because I have never been really exposed to that sort of gaming.  It describes in the article the (MMORPGs) which is a type of game that i havent heard of before where it sounds more like a virual chat room than an actual video game.  He goes into all the details of buying and selling credits almost like a video game stock market world.  But I was wondering if people actually as their career would be able to do this and make enough income to support themselves or even a family?  In the second article by julian dibbell "the life of the chinese gold farmer"  the game world of warcraft is looked at and described through this chinese mans experiences.  I dont see how someone could spend all day playing video games throughout the entire week as a form of gaining income.  I was somewhat confused with the actual process of the buying and selling credits because I am not someone who knows a lot about world of warcraft, so an explanation of how the game works would be helpful.  But i thought it was a very interesting, eye openeing article to the capabilities of some games.


games games games

We examined many games this thursday in class each game bringing something different to the table. In Need for speed hot pursuit 2 published in 2002 by electronic arts was a sports racing arcade style game.  Electronic arts games tend to have great graphics and simulation games.  The diegesis in the game is split up by the actual racing in the game with the player controlling the acceleration, brakes and steering and the nondiegetic being the menu options.  The choosing of your car the color, and course selection are all part of the diegesis in the gameplay.  The games are also split up into operator and machine acts.  The operator in need for speed controls mostly everything during the race except that of the other cars being raced which are the machine acts.  In our next game FIFA 10 released in 2009 by EA sports and is a sports simulation game type.  Compared to need for speed fifa has a lot more machine acts because there are 10 other players besides the one you are controlling that are moving around.  The camera view is there to make it look like a real broadcast game compared to the less realistic racing game where you get into unrealistic crashes and somehow the car is still ok.  But those are two different styles of games.  The diegetic actions in the game are the dribbling of the soccer ball, the passing, and shooting of the controlled player.  The nondiegetic actions are similar to need for speed with the choosing of your team, jersey color, and stadium. 

Then we have the game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas which is on a different level compared to the other two.  It was released in 2004 by Rockstar games and is a third person action game.  It combines many different genres into one game. There is the driving of cars, shooting things, and the possibility of completing missions in the realistic southern california ghetto.  The operator doesnt need to be controlled for the environment around the character to interact on its own.  The machine acts is basically the entire environment around the operators character. 


In the first article by janet murray "from game story to cyberdrama" the idea of computer games and different genres being seen as new mediums.  I agree with murray that the best games combine all types of genres and form the story around that.  Although it does bring up the question whether the game is made first by the story of the game itself.  Games nowadays seem like your watching a movie in the clips that are shown.  People seem to get more into games that have a better storyline and plot.  Although in sports games and some shooters come without a great story and therefore must rely on the gameplay itself to attract buyers.  I have never heard of most of the games mentioned in the article so I wasnt real sure what they were about.  In the second article by Galloway " Gaming Action, Four moments"  goes into a more technical view of games defining them within the operator and the machine. I was confused about the different quadrants that were explained and the algorithms show just how complicated the making of a game is.




Facebook has revolutionized the way most people now look at the internet.  Teens and adults of today with facebook accounts treat it as their second life.  This seperate identity from themsleves allows people to continually socialize all day everyday if one wants to. It used to be that when kids came home from school their social lives ended and they were to be with the family for the night.  But nowadays kids get home from school and get on facebook to see new notifications or comments on pictures from last weeks party.  Although facebook is a fun and new way to socialize it also can cause problems.  There have been cases where a student has pictures of themsleves on facebook doing illegal things in which they were fired or overlooked if applying for a job because of what they had on their facebook.  People need to realize that this information is available to everyone and everything that goes on facebook will always be there even if you may think you deleted it.  Facebook can also cause a lot of jealousy and fights among people because people think they can do or say whatever they please.  In my experiences on facebook I have seen a lot of friendships and relationships end because of either a picture is taken out of context or an argument begins off some friends wall post.  Whether it is just the maturity of the people that now have facebook or facebook itself that is the problem I do not know.

On a positive note facebook is one of the fastest growing social networking sites in the world from what I know.  When comparing to to other social networking sites such as myspace or as old as xanga facebook seems to have won the public over.  Although myspace is still one of the most popular sites the demographic of which it is directed towards is a lot different then that of facebook. Facebook is more focused on the middle upper class teens to college students, only of late have people out of these age groups been allowed to have facebook.  Myspace on the other hand has allowed anyone and everyone to join with less security options. 


social networking sites

In Clive Thompsons article "Brave New world of digital intimacy" he elaborates on how facebook is on its way to be the big brother of the internet.  I have a facebook myself and it was interesting reading about issues on facebook that I have seen change myself.  I would like to hear more about how Zuckerberg first formed the now booming social site of facebook and what first motivated him to do so.  There is a lot of controversy and drama that comes along with facebook that people complain about, whether or not zuckerberg is working on different privacy options or what not is stillin question.  In the two social networking site articles one for teens the other about adults I had a few questions about the validity of the statistics because some of the sample sizes seemed small so i didnt know if the results found could be considered significant.  It would have been interesting to see what the results would have been if the same questions were asked of both to see the difference. In the final artilce by Benkler "peer production and sharing" I was surprised by the background info about sites like google and amazon.  Some of the lingo went over my head just because i dont know too much about the internet business.


racism and stereotypes in videogames

Many people like to argue that prejudice and racism is displayed in video games dealing with stereotypes among different races.  I'd like to expand on what we talked about in class about the games nba or nfl street.  People argue that playing games like these as a caucasion assumes were playing it because we want to experience being "black".  Relating it to "blackface entertainment" which is what people used to do in theatre instead of using a black actor they would paint there own face black.  I agree this sort of thing now a days is wrong but comparing it to video games I believe is not on the same level at all.  People play nfl or nba street because it something different than the usual madden or nba game where you still play with real nba players but the moves are just unrealistic.  I see how there are certain stereotypes associated with the games like body shape and muscle size but if you look at pro athletes in real life their muscles are just as large and defined.  I have never met a serious game player that says they like playing these sports games because they get to be a black person.  The NBA and NFL are predominantly black in the first place.  So fans who want to play the game are playing because they want to play with their favorite player in an unusual location and to pull off sweet moves.  Its usually the actual game that people pay most attention to and not the color of the persons skin. 

On the other hand I do see the other side to this argument in some other video games not dealing with sports.  Such as all grand theft auto games and the true crime series.  Both in which choose a stereotypical character based on where geographically the game is representing.  The past grand theft auto games have been from new york city where there is a white russian mob gangster and the one before that san andreas depicting a poor black man from the hoods of L.A. In these games I can see kids wanting to play these games in order to see what its like to be a black gangster of L.a and the same for new york.  The true crime series also features a black man which displays many different stereotypes and could be considered to incorporate racism.  Pairing the title true crime with a black man speaks for itself.


In the first article "A rape in cyberspace" by Julian Dibbell it opened my eyes to some of the horrible acts that are committed on internet social sites.  I am a firm believer of of being responsible for yourself and that you can avoid those situations but in this case it seems like the characters were hacked and forced to do things.  But at that point you think you would shut off your computer or something? Anyways it is scary to think that people can get inside the system and if they chose to control your every move. Also they mention MUD a lot and i was somewhat confused on what that exactly meant and also I would have liked to see an actualy description of the program that was being used. In your article "Bad techno Subjects: griefing is serious business" by of course Aubrey Anable the idea of Presidential campaigning in second life caught me by surprise because it seems like a good idea.  Although I do have some quesitons about the fox news video which makes second life seem like a horrible social site.  Does griefing occur that often on sites like these?  And in the 3rd article "Malwebolence" by Matt Schwartz where the issue of freedom of speech online comes into play. The examples of the and the epilepsy foundation should not be allowed.  Are there no restrictions on what people can do on certain sites? 


My experience with second life so far has been quite interesting. I was not expecting such a complex world let alone the depth at which it goes.  People all over the place seem to be into the second life concept. It really does give you a second life and we can see that in the stereotypes and options when designing your avatar.  To start off your second life account you must form an avatar.  Some people form avatars that may resemble themselves but is that really the point of second life.  On the other hand many people decide to form an avatar that expresses their inside desires and things that would be considered not acceptable in todays society.  First off though you must choose a basic avatar to begin in which you can customize later.  Theres only about 8 or so different choices so your automatically forced into a cybertype.  This sets a sterotype to basically race, gender and age forcing you to pick the one your most like.  I remember there only being one black avatar and so on.  The women avatars automatically started off with enlarged sexual features, and had the perfect shape which is not the case in real life, although you do have the ability to change all of that.  It coincides with societies view of what is attractive and "sexy".

When it was time for us to go out shopping for "skins"  I noticed all the popular stores for women were extremely sexualized in everysense.  There was nothing that a woman could wear out in public in todays society that I saw that would be acceptable except for behind closed doors.  Each outfit was also "hundreds of dollars"  making it comparable to today's shoppers spending outrageous amounts of money.  This forms the class discrimination in a way because they assume all characters have that kind of money.  The same goes for mens clothing which was totally outrageous.  Not as much sexual advertising and content was included in the males stores but none the less the stereotypes were still there. Such as the tough guy attitudes and chiseled bodies.  Overall though second life does a good job as seen through the amount of people that are involved with it.  It would be almost impossible to make a virtual world like this without the use of cybertyping.  As seen in my characters rediculous yellow jumpsuit.



race and gender

After reading the 3 articles I found them quite interesting and intriguing because I have never really thought of some video games in a sense of discrimination against race and gender.  In Helen Kennedy's "Lara Croft..." article I found it almost insane how much they have gone into depth with this idea that Lara is a cultural sex symbol.  I mean I never played the game but am not sure why there is so much conversation about this?  On the first page they wonder whether Lara is a good role model for girls.  The reality is probably not, but how many little girls are actually playing this game?  I think the reason why the gaming company made Laras features quite sexual is for marketing reasons toards men.  Otherwise I doubr many men would buy a game with a female character that isnt "sexy".  I also find it a little over the top to be arguing the sexual orientation of the character as well.  In Leonards "High Tech Blackface..." article I never thought of sports games in this way before.  I just had a few questions about whether this plays a large role in the conversation when creating this games? In the third article by Lisa Nakamura " Cybertyping and the work of race in the age of digital reproduction" it was a little harder to grasp all the concepts compared to the other two works.  I was not sure whether this was more of a persuasive or just informative article Nakamura put together.

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