User:Bridgette96/NMAC 4460 Journal

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August 14, 2019: New Media

New media are the different technologies that we rely on to communicate. It is digital and can reach a vast amount of people in a short time. For instance, our computers are especially important to type our essays, get assignments, and also edit for class. So, instead of writing the essays by hand or going to class for the assignments, new forms of media helps us to get information quicker and is convenient for those who cannot physically be there. It is an easier way to send and receive information. From one technology to the next, new media gives us the opportunity to communicate from where ever we are. It promotes creativity with its features by giving its users many options to form new ideas and bring them to life. It is easy to access as well

Defining New Media

In the article New Media, the contrast between new media and old media caught my attention the most. It discusses its impact on the media industries and their differences. I have never thought about how controlled the old forms of media were. Producers had a lot of power over consumers because the media content that they were producing could not be changed or copied as mentioned in the article. There were not many options for consumers because there is usually just one form of that product. With new media, it is possible to see different versions of an original product. It includes the ideas and the creativity of the consumers. [1]

The major part of the conversation on the introduction of new media into our society tends to focus a lot on the digital aspect and its convenience. New Media from Borges to HTML discusses the historical aspect of its transition into everyday life. I have learned about how European countries were skeptical about bringing new technologies into their countries. [2] In contrast, the United States found it easier to try new technologies and incorporate them into its society without hesitation. In doing so, new forms of media, such as the internet was common to Americans. [2]Another interesting aspect that I have learned is how the art world in the United States was not supportive of new media art, such as festivals and installations as it was the opposite of the new media society. Since most European countries have had major success in new media art, the United States has started to pay more attention to its benefits by incorporating it into schools and offering programs for new media career pathways. [2] As a new media and communication major, it was interesting to read about the history of new media and how it became a part of our world.

@Bridgette96: I also never thought about how controlled the old forms of media were in the past compared to today. Now, people make their own content on platforms such as YouTube. People can make their own versions of content because of the evolution of New Media and our accessibility to these devices through which people make their content. People are not only consumers. Nowadays, people have become producers as well. MGray1196 (talk) 00:14, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

Our version of Galileo

As the end of World War II approached, Vannevar Bush was encouraging other engineers to apply the technologies that were being used in the war to new ideas to how we access information. In the article "As We May Think" Vannevar Bush imagined a system called the Memex to store information that could be easily accessed.[3]The memex reminds me of Galileo. It has a lot of articles, books, and videos that relate to a certain topic. Students don’t necessarily have to go to the library because we can access a wide range of scholarly information on Galileo. Also, everything can be searched for in just one search box. It can be easily accessed by all students by just clicking links to get the information. Bush’s vision of how we can process and access information has a huge influence on how with think about information today. His influence contributes to the many search engines we have today. Engines such as asking Google or Siri are right at our fingertips. These systems give us a wide range of information very easily and quickly.

J.C.R. Licklider was a psychologist and computer scientist. He was one of the leading figures in the history of the computer. He wrote the paper, "Man-Computer Symbiosis" on the cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers.[4] Symbiosis refers to the interactions between two organisms, which in this case, it is men and computers. Licklider's recognized that computers could be used in a way to become more useful and beneficial to us. In the article, he stated that "in the anticipated symbiotic partnership, men will set the goals, formulate the hypotheses, determine the criteria, and perform the evaluations. Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking."[4]The ways in which Licklider's idea influence our cooperative interaction includes devices in our vehicles that help us navigate our way around the world. For instance, telling the GPS where you want to go and it finds the fastest route for you to reach your destination.

@Bridgette96: Please do not try to make your fonts larger. This is unnecessary. Make sure your citations are complete; i.e., use all the information you have when citing. —Grlucas (talk) 12:41, 9 September 2019 (EDT)

Marshall McLuhan

My understanding of Marshall McLuhan's idea of understanding media is that it is not the message itself but the technology in which the message is being sent. McLuhan's idea relates to our digital lives by the way how we use our smartphones today. We have often heard about how this generation cannot do without their smartphones. The impact is not the social media platforms that we use, but rather owning a smartphone. Having a device that is capable of giving you as much information as possible at any time that you wish or connecting you to people around the world easily gives us a different experience than writing and mailing letters. In the article, "The Medium is the Message", McLuhan stated "whether the light is being used for brain surgery or night baseball is a matter of indifference. It could be argued that these activities are in some way the “content” of the electric light since they could not exist without the electric light. This fact merely underlines the point that “the medium is the message” because it is the medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action." [5] So, it is not the content that have big effect on our lives, but rather the device itself that changes the way how we view communication and the world.

Being Digital

In the book "Being Digital" by Nicholas Negroponte, the section that caught my attention the most is Bits and Atoms. It discusses the differences between Bits and Atoms and its impact in the future. Atoms are made up of tangible objects, such as newspapers, magazines, and books. As stated in the book, most information is given out in the form of atoms. Bits are the digital aspect of information and how it is given out. Negroponte’s notes that in the future, all information will be given out digitally or in the form in bits.[6] Now that we are living in a digital age, his thoughts and predictions actually came to fruition. Furthermore, a lot of people now prefer to access their magazines, books, and newspapers online. According to the New York Times, The New York Times Company generated more than $709 million in digital revenue in the year 2018. [7] Author Jaclyn Peiser stated that “more than 3.3 million people pay for the company digital products, including its news, crossword, and food apps, a 27 percent jump from 2017.” [7]

Being Digital: The Hacker

I have to admit that this is a new perspective for me, and I have never thought about hackers in a good way because of how they have been portrayed in the media. This entire lesson has taught me that hackers are innovators. They are people who see where they can help in making things simpler and manageable for everyone else. I have also learned about civic hackers which are people who seek to find solutions using technology to solve everyday issues. According to the article, The Civic Hackers Reshaping your Government author Chris Baraniuk described civic hackers as an “army of volunteer coders who are challenging preconceptions about hacking and changing the way your government operates.” [8] He went on to say that “in a time of plummeting budgets and efficiency drives, those in power have realized that they needn't always rely on slow-moving, expensive outsourcing and development to improve public services. Instead, they can consider running a hackathon, at which tech-savvy members of the public come together to create apps and other digital tools that promise to enhance the provision of healthcare, schools or policing.” [8] Hackers fit into my understanding of “Being Digital” because they are taking issues that are usually given out or used in the form of atoms and reissuing that information digitally to help solve problems. In the article, Civic Tech Strengthens Cities on National Day of Civic Hacking, contributor Davar Ardalan of the HuffPost noted that “across the nation, entrepreneurs, government employees, and innovators came together this past weekend to improve their communities by addressing local challenges such as hurricane relief and rat riddance through data and technology.” [9]Throughout the article, it highlights ways in which hackers are tackling key issues in their communities with technology. However, I don't think hackers could work without being digital because, without the continuous development of technology, hackers would not be able to effectively push their ideas digitally to solve the issues in their communities. They would still be working with books, newspapers, etc. rather than computers.

Free Software vs. Open Source Software

I have found an interest in the invention of the term Open Source. Specifically, the marketable decision to change the name from free software to Open Source Software. Before Eric Raymond, author of The Cathedral and The Bazaar touched out the issue of the protentional misconception of the concept, I was thinking maybe the quality would not be as good as proprietary software not only because of the difference in how they are developed but because it was being given out for “free”. We have all come to understand that the free version of anything has a catch to it. For instance, a free t-shirt that is being handed out at a school function only if you have taken part in a survey or attend an event. Or free as in it will only be for a matter of time, its features are limited, and the quality of work would not be as good as it would be if we had full access. Therefore, I can see why this would be a problem. Christine Peterson, who proposed the term Open Source stated that “It was a very deliberate effort at a name change. In late 1997 or very early 1998, a number of us felt the name "free software" was holding back the budding industry/movement. Newcomers always thought "free" meant free-as-in-beer, not free-as-in-speech.” [10]

Another aspect is the Free Software vs. Open Source movement. This movement is a bit tricky because the overall concept of the free/open software is the same, but just their understanding of how it should be perceived is different. However, I think the software can be both free and open. Richard Stallman noted in the Documentary that the “open source movement focuses on practical advantages that you can get by having a community of users who can cooperate on interchanging and improving the software.” While he agrees, he went on to say that he believes “there is something more important at stake: that freedom to cooperate with other people, freedom to have a community is important for our quality of life, it is important for having a good society that we can live in and that, in my view, is even more important than having powerful and reliable software.” [1]

What I Have Learned from Lesson 8

The differences between open-source software and proprietary software stood out because it gave us an insight into new media and parts of its history. Open-source software reminds me of new media, while proprietary software reminds me of old media. Open-source software is community base. Just like new media, it gives coders the opportunity to develop their version. In the article New Media, it notes that “new media decentralize media control and production. They promote an amateur culture of remix that shares the power of production with the consumer.” [1] Also, I have learned about movements, such as the free software movement and the open-source movement that were going on during that time and the different points on how they are supposed to be understood. From my understanding, free software referred to the social aspect of the software, the aspect that seems more personal and meaningful to our everyday lives. Most people usually have a reason for why they love their jobs and dedicate themselves to it. In my opinion, the beliefs behind free software seem to be that important reason and open software seems to be the actual job itself.

@Bridgette96: Please see my feedback that I will be updating through the day on 9/24/19. —Grlucas (talk) 06:28, 26 September 2019 (EDT)

Participatory Culture Defined

As I read through this lesson, I have learned a lot about the culture that I am in and its impact on not only me but the culture around me.

In my view, participatory culture is defined by the general public’s participation in the culture. With many digital tools that are easily accessible, it is easy for a normal person to create content for the wider public. In this generation, participatory culture can be seen all around us. Many of us, sometimes unintentionally, take part in it. There is so much content on social media that goes viral, creates a trend, and has a huge impact on how we view the world. Instead of waiting for the professionals to create the content that we see and enjoy; participatory culture gives the ordinary person the opportunity to create and participate in it.

In the article “Henry Jenkins: Participatory Culture, Politics, and Learning”, Schock wrote about Jenkin’s discussion on participatory culture and politics. In the article, it pointed out an important aspect of participatory culture, which is about people who do not have accessed to participate in the culture.

We often think that because our culture is so digitalized, most people have access to technology. As stated in the article, “Jenkins thinks that it’s also important to focus on technology access and a participation gap that extends across experiences, knowledge, skills, and mentorship. All of these are structured by inequality, and all are determinative of who gets to participate. In other words, underlying the discussion of participatory politics are struggles over democracy and inequality.” [11]

I think this is very important because there are many people with creative minds, people who can create content, but because of access to technology, they are not able to do so.

The Issue of Copyright

In the lesson, I have also learned more about the copyright issue in remix culture and the challenges members of the public may face when participating in remix culture.

It can be very confusing as there are many questions on whether remixes are violating Copywrite or not. Whenever I watch YouTube videos, the creator of the video usually gives credit to the original author of a song or a picture or anything that is shown in the video that is not there's. This happens because of the rules that YouTube has set for users who are not using original content.

In the article “Remix Culture and Amateur Creativity: A Copyright Dilemma”, Guilda Rostama looked at the issue of copyright from the original author and the remixer’s point of view. The section of the Copyright Treaty that I think could possibly help the case of remixing original work is in Article 10 where it discusses quotations protection.[12]

In my study of participatory culture, I have learned more about the people who are participating. How believing and being confident in the contribution to culture is important. Jenkins noted that “a participatory culture is a culture with relatively low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement, strong support for creating and sharing one’s creations, and some type of informal mentorship whereby what is known by the most experienced is passed along to novices. A participatory culture is also one in which members believe their contributions matter and feel some degree of social connection with one another (at the least they care what other people think about what they have created)."[13]

Epitome of Being Digital

This week’s lesson is a great example of the digital age that we are living in. After watching Sugata Mitra’s TED Talk "Build a School in the Cloud", the phrase “being digital” is even clearer. The children figuring out their way around the computers came so naturally.

Going by how I have seen the older generation operate their technological devices, a lot seem to find computers intimidating. Even before trying to figure out their devices, they often time shut down and give up. My parents, for instance, usually just hand over their phones to me when they are having a problem. Not because they think I have experience with that particular device and know how to fix it, but just like the children in Mitra’s TED talk, it comes naturally for me to play around with their phones and other devices until the issue is solved. Most of the time, I have absolutely no idea which button they pressed to select or deselect a setting to cause the issue, but that natural willingness to understand the technology is key in the digital age.

In regard to new media, from watching Mitra’s TED Talk to reading Ted Nelson’s Computer Lib/Dream Machine in which his dreams for computers being used by everyone came to fruition in today's digital age, [14] gave me the understanding that learning from computers aligns with the new way in which we communicate and interact using different digital technologies. Just like the hackers who use technology to find easier and cheaper solutions for the government and the communities around them, giving children the technological tool to understand, solve problems, and teach others how to do the same gives them the opportunity to improve their communities.

Education in the Digital Age

Even though we live in a digital age, the traditional way of learning and teaching is still in effect in most parts of the world. In my high school and many others around the United States, there were times when we had to do classwork on the computer, we were given tablets to use as part of our class lesson, and there were other ways in which new media was incorporated. The way in which countries, such as China is experimenting with new media within their school curriculum stood out to me. The company called Squirrel AL provides tutoring to students through an algorithm that curates their lessons. [15]So, instead of having a teacher in the classroom, the tutor would be on the computer. New media is using different forms of digital technologies to interact, so this experiment kind of gave me an insight into the future of education and ways in which it can be taught in the future with the rise of new technologies.

@Bridgette96: You must use secondary sources. Please make a point of signing up for a face-to-face session. I'm requiring this for you. —Grlucas (talk) 06:51, 8 October 2019 (EDT)

The Seriousness of "A Rape in Cyberspace"

This week’s assigned texts were very interesting. Julian Dibbell’s “A Rape in Cyberspace” speaks to the real-life issues in cyberspace. It was mentioned in the article how one can take this case seriously considering it is not real-life sexual assault. [16]

It might be hard to wrap your mind around, but I think if it wasn’t taken seriously it would’ve defeated an aspect of the concept of cyberspace. In the film “You Only Live Twice: Virtual Reality Meet Real World in Second Life”, the introduction to Second Life is basically creating another version of yourself, someone who you can relate to in one way or another, or someone you wish you could be. Users get to customize their characters with features such as hair color, eye shape, face shape, etc. By doing so, users are already emotionally attached to the characters they have created. After all, these users are real people. Even though it gives users the opportunity to create and enjoy their own world outside of the real world, there are human beings who are connected to the games and the characters. Therefore, the name callings and stares that Mr. Bungle received when he decided to teleport back into the room were understandable. The texts further showcase the digital era that we live in where human beings have the ability to be a part of communities created on computers, communicate with people from around the world, and even deal with issues, such as rape in cyberspace. These texts may employ the hacker spirit with their desire to use computers to communicate and resolve issues.

Being on social media regularly, the death and rebirth of Mr. Bungle sound quite familiar. Every social media platform has a policy guideline that every user has to abide by. These guidelines are put in place to create a respectful, positive, and engaging environment for its users. If their guidelines are violated, users may get their accounts suspended. From what I have seen, just like Mr. Bungle, most users usually make another account with a different user name and email address. According to the article "Using Classic Social Media Cases to Distill Ethical Guidelines for Digital", Shannon Bowen of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications stated that the utilitarian approaches are not helpful to guide digital communication. Instead, Bowen reviewed the framework of Kantian deontology or ethics based on rules, maxims, and principles. [17] Just like the social media guidelines, the new LandoMOO system that was created after the case can hold users accountable for any misconduct. Being that characters are controlled by human beings, I think it is important to have guidelines that users have to abide by. By the end of the reading, I was happy to know that not only has Mr. Bungle came back with a new attitude but also that there are rules and guidelines.

Game Culture

I was never a part of the game culture. Growing up, I have always watched my brothers and cousins play games while I sit and play with my dolls. On rare occasions, they would let me play the easiest challenge just to see if I was capable of doing it. I was excited to download Second Life to create my own avatar and experience what it is like to be in cyberspace. However, I only got to the login page because apparently the school apartment Wi-Fi isn’t strong enough to get me any further.

The most interesting part of the readings comes from Sherry Turkle's "Construction and Reconstructions of Self in Virtual reality: Playing in the MUDs". People who are not interested in games might not only think that it is useless, but also that it has no real-life correlation. It is unrealistic. However, when reading about role-playing games and the effect that it has on Julee, a 19-year-old drop out of Yale, it takes on a different meaning. [18]The ability to find the answers to real-life situations, create characters to play the role of the people in your life, all on a computer adds to my understanding of new media and the digital era.

I have never heard of the term MUD, so it was interesting to read about how it came to fruition and how it is used. In the article “A Mansion Filled With Hidden Worlds: When the Internet Was Young”, Claire L. Evans discussed the life of living through text.[19] From occasionally playing my brothers and cousins games when I was younger, I remember playing dress up games where I could change my character the way how I want to and speaking to other players in chatrooms. My understanding of MUD is an older version of the games that we have now where we don’t have to type what we want to do but click on option usually on the side of the screen to do what we want to do.

My Take on the Narratology vs. Ludology debate

The assigned texts this week brings forth further information on how different new media platforms are shaping the way how we interact and view the world.

After watching the videos and reading the texts for this lesson, I think I have to agree with the theory of narratology. As Henry Jenkins stated, the players already know the story, therefore there is no need to retell the story. Instead, choosing a specific aspect of the story can be more effective.[20]

I am not a gamer, but throughout the years, I have downloaded games on my phone for a day or a week before I get tired of it. What I have noticed is that I usually play games that have a narrative. I have played games that are based on a monarchy where I had to select what I wanted to communicate with other members of the royal family. This theory of game style probably interests me more because have some knowledge of some European Monarchies and even follow them on social media. Jenkins went on to further explain that “many games do have narrative aspirations. Minimally, they want to tap the emotional residue of previous narrative experiences. Often, they depend on our familiarity with the roles and goals of genre entertainment to orient us to the action, and in many cases, game designers want to create a series of narrative experiences for the player. Given those narrative aspirations, it seems reasonable to suggest that some understanding of how games relate to the narrative is necessary before we understand the aesthetics of game design or the nature of contemporary game culture.”[20]

However, I completely understand the point made in the ludology theory. Many people play games to take a break from reality. To explore and live in worlds that they have created. This mindset would be a contrast to the games that are built on telling a story, which can be stories that are based on real-world events. When speaking to my brother about this topic, games that are based on stories aren’t really important. My brother sees games as an escape from reality. Janet Murray, in the article “From Work to Play” by Stuart Moulthrop, argues that “the game’s main charm lies in protracted exploration rather than end-directed questing, a practice I call misadventure “Moulthrop 1999”.[21]

The Expected vs. The Unexpected in Narratology and Ludology

In this lesson, I have learned about the types of games that we play. The debate surrounding the theory of narratology and ludology was new to me. What I thought was interesting is the different thought process that is behind the different theories. How games are supposed to be understood seem to be the most important takeaway from the readings. From my understanding, on one side, it is supposed to be explorative and nothing should be laid out for the player. For instance, prior knowledge about the story in the game. Therefore, this allows gamers to learn and understand just by playing. On the other hand, the players should have knowledge about the story in the game. With this knowledge, the game is better understood.

In the article “Genre Trouble”, author Espen Aarseth covered both games and stories separately and their origins. I found it interesting how connected they both are to how we understand the world. Aarseth noted that “games are not new, but very old, probably older than stories. It could even be argued that games are older than human culture since even animals play games. You don't see cats or dogs tell each other stories, but they will play. And games are interspecies communication: you can't tell your dog a story, but the two of you can play together.” Further in the article, Aarseth stated that “narrative” ideology that is practiced by humanist, notes that everything is a story. “Story-telling is our primary, perhaps only, mode of understanding, our cognitive perspective on the world.” [22]

With this perspective, I understand the narratologist’s theory better because of its link to humans and the real world. Unlike the ludologist theory, the narratologist theory is expected, while the ludologist theory is unexpected.

Smartphones's Effect on Us (extra credit)

For this week’s lesson, the conversion of smartphones caught my attention. As a young adult, I have heard many times that my phone is bad for me and that it is damaging to my brain. This type of criticism usually comes middle-aged adults.

In the article “Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can't you put it down?” author Eric Andrew-Gee discussed the dark side of smartphones. He stated that “they have impaired our ability to remember. They make it more difficult to daydream and think creatively. They make us more vulnerable to anxiety. They make parents ignore their children. And they are addictive, if not in the contested clinical sense then for all intents and purposes.” [23]He went on to say that “it's changing the way we do countless things, from taking photos to summoning taxis. But smartphones have also changed us – changed our natures in elemental ways, reshaping the way we think and interact.” [23]

Personally, I use my phone and social media applications a lot throughout the day, so I understand this point of view. It demands our attention most of the time. However, I don’t think the effects of smartphones are all bad. People aren’t continuing their use of smartphones, even after hearing this perspective many times to deliberately ignore their children, be anti-social, etc. People change with time. I think people are always appreciative of ways to make their lives easier or to speed up a process. So, if it is getting the news immediately after it breaks through an app or using google for easy access to information or scrolling through social media to see what the world is talking about, people will take full advantage of that. According to the article “Impact of Smartphone's on Society", Muhammad Sarwar and Tariq Rahim Soomro noted that “smartphone features like, text to speech, GPS and social Websites are some examples, which can help groups of people to easily remain integrated with society. Using these services and many more features, the target group of people can easily communicate their needs, seek assistance from others and remain connected to society [32]. Even in today ‘s busy world, Smartphone had also made possible for us to remain connected with our friends and family all the time.”[24]

So while we might get used to not having to think about a lot of things on our own because we can google immediately, I don’t think we are incapable of doing things on our own if we have to. The older generations didn’t have this choice, but we do.

Education and Technology (extra credit)

Going back to lesson six, we have discussed the impact that digital technologies have on education. In this discussion, I tend to stick with the traditional approach to education. However, digital technologies open up a new world of knowledge and a different way of accessing it, so even though I prefer the traditional approach, I still see the importance in have digital technologies in schools. Finding new ways to learn is always effective. In my previous post, I discussed smartphones and their impact on us. Even though smartphones can have a negative impact on students as well, for educational purposes, it has really changed how we connect in school, whether with teachers or with other students. Muhammad Sarwar and Tariq Rahim Soomro stated in their article “Impact of Smartphone’s on Society” that “the Smartphone with the capability of always connected makes it much easier for the students to avail this type of education facility and makes the Smartphone a perfect fit device for distance learning [18]. Smartphones within and without the classroom make it easier for students and teachers to collaborate.”[24]

This is a representation of the digital age that we live in. Our phones and computers can inform us about anything that is happening in our lives and around us. Exploring different technologies to learn and educate others is not taking anything away from the traditional way of learning. It only furthers student's knowledge, which is beneficial to the society that we live in.

Humans Merging with Technology

The topic of Cyborg and the evolution of machines is very interesting. It is a bit scary to think about machines taking over from humans and human intelligence won’t be needed anymore. When thinking about how far the internet has come, like in many cases, there were probably many people who doubt its success and impact in the future.

While reading the article “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us”, I try to have an open mind about the future and the many technological advances that we see, hear about on the news, and the studies about the impact these technologies will have on us in the future. Author Bill Joy stated “eventually a stage may be reached at which the decisions necessary to keep the system running will be so complex that human beings will be incapable of making them intelligently. At that stage, the machines will be ineffective control. People won't be able to just turn the machines off, because they will be so dependent on them that turning them off would amount to suicide.”[25]

However, humans change with time. Our mentality changes, what we can do changes, and our societies and cultures change as well. Of course, there will be an aspect of our changes that are not healthy for our society, such as the ones mentioned in my next journal entry, but there can also be a positive change. I would like to believe that as machines become smarter, so does human beings.

For example, now we have many different devices that even babies can use that I wasn’t intelligent enough to use when I was a baby. So, as technology advances, humans advance as well. The article “The Singularity and Human Destiny” by Patrick Tucker discusses “Singularity”, which is “a future period during which the pace of technological change will be so fast and far-reaching that human existence on this planet will be irreversibly altered.”[26]

So rather than machines evolving to the point where humans do not need anymore, I think rather humans and machines will probably become one and we'll rely on the machine just as much as the machine rely on us.

Is Google Making Us Stupid? (Extra Credit)

Throughout the semester, I have come across many articles discussing the use of technology and what it is doing to us as human beings. Even though I think some of it is exaggerated, I also find some of the articles to be very real and relate to my experiences as well.

In the article “Is Google Making Us Stupid”, Nicholas Carr wrote about the effects of living in a digital world. For instance, not being able to concentrate, just skimming through articles, and even trouble reading. Carr stated “what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. My mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”[27]

In our day to day lives, we don’t really think about how the internet affects us. It is so useful to us that it is usually praised. I have written in previous journals about how convenient the internet is for us and its importance. However, while reading this article, I was able to relate a lot of it to my own hidden experiences. It feels like such a heavy burden to commit to reading a lengthy article when there is probably a summary somewhere else online.

Because of how fast everything is, how easy it is to get information, I completely agree that the internet is changing our minds to process information like how the internet distributes it. Even with a lot of time to dedicate to one assignment, I still think reading a long article is “a waste of my time.” I admit that this mentality and behavior are not healthy for our minds and we must be able to read and comprehend any piece of writing.

New Media Revisited (Extra Credit)

For this lesson, I want to go back to the beginning of the semester when we had to define new media. After going through all the lessons, it became ever clearer to me how big new media is and how many topics can be covered that fall under new media. At the beginning of the semester, I think my mind went straight to computers and all the other new technological devices that we use to communicate. Now, I can see new media in different ways. For instance, from a hacker’s perspective, remixing and the copyright issues that go along with it, how we participate in new media, from the gamer’s point of view, and even what to expect in the future with the thought of humans merging with machines.

New Media is not only the devices that we are using, but also the new topics that we now covering, our new experiences, and a new mindset that comes from living in a world with advanced technologies. Now, I go back to reading the article “New Media” with more perspective on its effect on us. The article notes that “part of the reality of new media is that it’s just that: new. Its power and implications often remain unclear to those of us who adopt them until they change us, for better or worse.”[1]

Reflective Essay

As we come to the end of the semester, I have learned a lot throughout the semester about Wikipedia, citing sources, and thinking critically about the articles that are assigned to us weekly.

For my article evaluation, I selected “Game Studies or Ludology.” During my evaluation, I have learned how to properly edit the article and how to strengthen different sections of an article to help build the entire article. When I chose this article, my approach to critiquing it was to look for sections that could be developed more. This may be through adding more references or adding more information to a section that needed more information. I decided what to add to the article by picking out the undeveloped sections and doing more research on the topic.

I started my evaluation in the “Games Culture” section. Just by reading what was there, I thought it needed more information on different events that were impacting the culture. The article already defined game culture, so I decided to add more information about eSports, which is becoming very popular and is significant to the gaming culture.

I have also added information on the topics that are usually covered when researching gaming culture and its impact on society. This includes video games in relation to thinking, learning, gender, children, and war.

In the “Ludology” vs. “Narratology” section, I have added to the debate surrounding narratology and ludology by adding an article by Michalis Kokonis and reference Gonzalo Fracas's article “Ludologists love stories too: notes from a debate that never took place.” In her article, she broke down the 2 sides of the debate and praised Frasca’s for moving past the debate and addressing the core problem. I included Janet Murray's belief that stories can be participatory. This furthers her point by linking narratives to the characteristic of video games.

I think my contributions are valuable to the article because they give further information on the sections that were already created to break down Games Studies and the different aspects that are important to understanding it. Even though I thought some sections needed improvements, most of the key issues that define the sections were already in the article, so my contributions after I saw the previous version just add to the different discussions surrounding Game Studies.

In my peer review of my peers' article, I gave suggestions on updating the articles' introductory paragraph as I thought it didn’t clearly describe the article’s topic. The article that I chose was “A Rape in Cyberspace”, so it was not bias or heavily leaning towards one point of view. Instead, it offered different opinions from different sides of the discussion. My peers thought my article needed to be tweaked and polished. They pointed out that some sections were too small and needed to be updated with more information.

I did not receive feedback from other Wikipedia editors, even though I think that would be cool. In the beginning, I found Wikipedia to be a bit difficult, but it became easier throughout the semester. I have gained further knowledge of how to format different sources. In the end, it just feels like working on a group project with people who you don’t know. Everyone contributing their own findings to the project. Compared to other assignments I have done in the past, using Wikipedia made it a bit harder because I had to learn how to use it in the correct way so that there are not errors whenever I publish my work. However, Wikipedia can be used to find many great sources. Usually, whenever we google topics, Wikipedia is one of the first websites to pop up to give an overview of a topic, so I think contributing to something like this is very cool.


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