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Chapter 6-9

CCT109H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 6-9: Yochai Benkler, Bruno Latour, Participatory Media


Department
Communication, Culture and Technology
Course Code
CCT109H5
Professor
Paul Harrison
Chapter
6-9

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Chapter 6: Games (technology, industry, and culture)
SUMMARY
-Video games: arguably the first “new media”
Flew & Smith, p. 136: video games as “the ideal commodity”
Market convergences: Hardware and software developers converge for greater
advancements.
Global culture industries: Video games is a global industry of specialized labour and chains of
production and outsourcing.
“Gamification”: applying gaming principles onto other aspects of life through testing,
performance evaluation, and rewards (e.g. military training, education, etc…).
Mods
Modding: the modification of game content by online users.
Mods: power relationships between publishers and modders around freedom of modifying
content.
-audiences make content (user-generated content) EX: in games like world of Warcraft,
Farmville, Sims ect; Can extend the longevity of a game
Gaming as a culture: not simply isolated teenagers.) Games stimulate socialization and
belonging
stereotypes about video game effects: e.g. violence and youth. Gamers are “addicts” and
playing them “damages” their social integration
APM (Action per minute): -It is the average rate of how quick your fingers move.
- It should be over 200 and in the lower 300s.
Multiplayer Games: played on personal computers that have broadband connectivity and have
subscription.
Serious games: blend of a game technology and education, and training objectives.
Sega Games: more animation, sound effects, and faster. But it had risker content, marketed to
teenage boys and criticized for being violent. - criticized for causing violent behaviours (this is
often challenged. It is argued that games are just one part in the creation of meaning in a
culture, and also that it depends on how the player interprets what they see, and why they play.
Yyu7
Ever Quest: is an online role-playing game, where players take on avatars and do a range of
activities
Genre of video games: high adrenaline, social, strategy, and casual games.
Middleware:
-Reduces the time for programing for each game.
Crunch time: period before the launch of a game, when staff are expected to work extra of 80
hours per week, leading to sleep deprivation, lack of productivity, and higher levels of staff
turnover/ churn (how many quit their jobs)
Shrink-wrap based distribution: games are marketed and then sold as physical goods on
CD’S /DVD, to online distribution which makes upgrading easier.
Simulation releases of games: such as the music or movies of the game to get more market
share.
TWO DEVELOPMENTS IN THE GAMING FIELD:
1) THE GROWING POLITICAL ECONOMY OF GAMES
2) THE GROWH OF EMERGENT GAMES (Minecraft)
- an emergent game offers an environment non constrained rules, players don’t HAVE to do an
expected thing.
- Player’s make own decisions; there is “levelling up” which gives an incentive of progress to the
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players.
Chapter 5: Social Media; Social Networks and Participatory Culture
Networks
- Network Society: Capitalist competition based on access to information, and to human
networks
- Networked Individualism: Social bonds are formed through networked models rather than
beliefs of belonging to pre-existing groups
- Wealth of Networks: Today: information production can be non-hierarchical, and de-
centralized, (e.g. open source, creative labour)
Significance
-Access to information is arguably more important than ownership of capital
-does not stress concepts of class and status
networking for Fun and Profit:
-computers have reduced costs of sharing media So both professionals and non-professionals
do it. Also made it easier to study the social connections rooted in those networks.
First electronic network: telegraph & telephone
Anonymous: online hackers; a group known for defacing the government and corporate
websites, or catching pedophilia’s
The occupy Movement: a global campaign to protest inequality and injustice
The Tea Party: A US-based right-wing political group
Disadv of network campaigns:
- network strategies are also used by the terrorist groups
-They use them to communicate state their goals
Social Network Analysis: Is a methodology developed in the social and behaviour sciences to
map links personal links using statistical and graphical techniques.
Actor Network Theory: Pioneered by Bruno latour.
-not only places people in a network, but also things.
-both ideas and technologies can be seen as “actants”
-a social network analysis of something like Face book have to include not just users but also
the software that enables the network.
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