Motto: “It is quite hard to write about anything listening to Once In a Lifetime from Talking Heads.”
Rheingold pointed out to the works of Ito, I tried scan her most interesting papers, although I had to realize that I became quite allergic to definitely academic texts. Killing the context of stories and facts for the sake of quantitative generation of words makes me angry somehow. I realized that I tend to extract only the examples of these works.
Networked Public Culture (co-authored): personal culture (“home movies, snapshots, diaries and scrapbooks”) entered “public”, mediatized culture. The mediated memory of a personal, inmediate experience became interesting, at least as much as mediated, constructed, only seemingly real, but technically non-real experience. “… amateur cultural production was ghettoized – home cooking, piano recitals, personal correspondence and everyday talk… amateur and remixed music, …, fans producing derivative works of fiction and art, … bloggers jawing about the latest news…” Worth noting that derivative works dominate this landscape, original works are rare, because they need more resource (time, skill, talent) that is generally rewarded by the yet operating traditional media – consider The New Yorker articles. I wonder how the mentioned Seti@Home project can be considered grassroots, at least it should be noted that in Seti@Home there is not much involvement in direct production. “Amateur subtitling groups…” (a short hypothesis on current subtitling communities in a following post) Anderson’s long tail happen within ideal economic circumstances, a Hungarian microcomputer from the Eighties cannot trade so well because lack of skill (English language spoken, giving an international market), lack of circumstances (inability to receive micropayment, unreliability and cost of postal system).
Instead of using “post-pomo” I’d like to promote the reappropriation of an old terminology, digital folk art. “… traditional sources of authority for culture and knowledge.” I wonder we should consider subjective spheres (culture) and objective spheres (knowledge). I’m almost convinced that subjective is the one and only, not wanting to call in metaphysics to judge the existence of the objective one. For the worries of the media companies first I presume that anything that can be reproduced again while the original remains intact – this process takes place digitally, these days – is worthless, is a simulacrum. “If you repeat it, you own it.” Only really existing things and non-mediated experience that is unique in its existence worth anything. Or at least hopefully that’s where we are headed, hopefully. Okay, I’m an actionist. Back to the media business: still, you don’t cheat someone if you love her. What’s going on right now is a reappropriation of overinflated hopes of real bond between the consumer and the producer.
Talking of “amateur music” the writer should note the case of the Myspace star band, Hawthorne Heights. Again, back to business, their consumers loved them, and they toured the hell out to gain public co-experiences with their consumers. Jewel cases don’t help necessarily. Why are all aging rock stars touring and reissuing their back catalogue? Queue up for the last cash cow, the last train of your ex-teen fans is just arriving after the usual 20 years wait, but will there be any more train? Small case: Get Your Bootleg Own, a some-thousand-strong online bootleg sharing community definitely started out of the UK, then expanded mostly to Europe, grew some minor star producers for the music industry, and the US took over for now.
Fansubbing started around 1990, while the almost exclusively boy-focused demoscene subculture that produced mostly original multimedia artworks was already active in 1985.
Original amateur videos however influenced by the mainstream media consumed by their creators center around mostly girls, boobs, fart jokes and gloating, an inclusive, let-loose version of Americas Best Home Videos.
The paper contains factual mistakes on ARGs. ARGs gained a lot with the possibilty of constructing virtual worlds on the web, but their main attribute is that they are seem to be real, they invade your daily, physical life. Consider media archetype, The Game from 1997 – for other antecedents see Infocult. TINAG, “This Is Not A Game” is tired, and got tired quite soon. ARG IS a game, but a good one, a not-so-much mediated one. “Everything delicate & beautiful, from Surrealism to Breakdancing, ends up as fodder for McDeath’s ads; 15 minutes later, all the magic has been sucked out, & the art itself dead as a dried locust. The media-wizards, who are nothing if not postmodernists, have even begun to feed on the vitality of “Trash,” like vultures regurgitating & reconsuming the same carrion, in an obscene ecstasy of self-referentiality. Which way to the Egress?” (Hakim Bey: Immediatism)
Online grassroots news are short on resources, they are mostly reappropriations based on personal opinion/experience. Skills on short: mastery of storytelling, mastery of visual communication, still mastery of text is in the best shape of the mentioned ones.
Engineering Play: Children’s software and the cultural politics of edutainment (pdf)
Before reading this one I was prejudiced that not much new could be told about edutainment than the following:
1. edutainment is bought by parents,
2. children always thought and will be thinking it sucks.
“successful (edutainment game)”: parents think that they are good parents if they buy these games, although their children never use them. It’s just like the encyclopedia business, a kind of hipocrisy, buy it, then let it covered by dust. Is there any wikipedia of games that has sense? This is my own personal effort, not much. Paper mentions general game market of the EA types, does not deal with the independents. A story is included that shows how children find the optimal path with the minimal resource to solve a problem. Getting a diploma or a degree is a similar problem. You get a diploma if you have all the exams. To take an exam, you have to have a cheat sheet, so you get a cheat sheet. You cannot blame the kids, you have to blame ‘education’ – plus the role models who they can watch every day, yes, leading businessmen and politicians also. Education wants to educate, children want a diploma. What is the relation of the measured capability to the actual one when in SAT you have to check checkboxes? Regarding the notes on the purpose of winning, it is likely that winning does not matter that much to non-US children, can it be a cultural thing? Paper quotes Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development, but there is no real interaction between the expert and the novice. Children perform just-in-time-‘learning’ well, they give away their knowledge for free to others, if there’s no apparent negative feedback because of the sharing. In reality everybody behaves like kids, they skip the instructions, and immediately get to the problem, then check all hints, and in the end perhaps they go back to instructions. Cases in paper don’t seem to record any kind of flow experience or immersion during process, no wonder there’s no learning.
Essential reading is Paul Tough: What It Takes to Make a Student in NYTimes (via Half an hour).
Everyday Contexts of Camera Phone Use (pdf): academical warning, qualitative research, though still small sample, nothing special. People use their phone for their subjective reasons: personal archiving, visual note taking, intimate visual co-presence (showing personal photos IRL), peer-to-peer news.
Neopoints and Neo Economics (pdf): lovely case, a good point on a world simulation that trains the kids to capitalist values.
The Social Uses of Purikura (pdf): lovely case, photo booth give a physical space, that is extremely important, because of its accessability and intimacy for co-creation. Worth mentioning photoshop tennis.
Technologies of the Childhood Imagination (pdf): Honestly, I’ve tried to understand the default ruleset of Pokemon, but failed doing so. Somehow I believe that kids play their own version of Pokemon games and narratives. Yugioh was aimed at boys, stylistically closer to medieval and occult fantasies, with often grotesque and scary monsters. Worth noting that currently there is no Lego games set in space, all current Lego worlds are fantasy lands. Cynical idea of making a child play/cartoon of Peter Lamborn Wilson’s ‘Pirate Utopias’. Pokemon is more mixed gender, “cute”. “… trading cards, game boys, character merchandise “pocket fantasies”, “digitized icons” that children carry with them whereever they go”. In 2000 a survey of 300 children from Kyoto shows that 100% of the 9 year old kids had some Yugioh cards. The only possible aim of an educator is to construct environments where learning can happen.
Mobilizing the Imagination in Everyday Play (pdf): academical warming, the puffed up version of the previous one. She seems to be pro-action learning, but subtle in tone, emphasizing her “hypersocial” term. Reflecting on mentioning Gary Cross, perhaps space world was also a fantasy one, okay, it was on one hand, on the other hand, there are astronauts for sure, while much less knights and pirates are running around in the neighborhood. collective imaginative apparatus Collective is important in this, I presume.