User:Sthompson/NMAC 4460 Journal

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September 14, 2019: New Media

From my understanding, New Media is a broad term used to encompass the various forms of technology used for digital types of communication within our society. When I hear the term, I immediately think of smart phones and computers. These devices are what connect many of us together through the internet and social media. Applications like Instagram and Facebook are widely popular and can be great examples of New Media. This is because of their roles in aiding communication between individuals and groups of people no matter their physical location or differences in language and culture.

September 16, 2019: Researching New Media

After research, I can see how my thoughts about New Media can be expressed more clearly and in depth than in my previous post. In my first journal post, I wrote about the importance and implications of technology and how it has provided a new form of communication for us.

The essay written by Janet H. Murray briefly explains how the rapid innovations and technological advances have allowed people to become smarter through collaboration and organization of knowledge[1]. This is a more detailed and organized thought similar to the simplified version that I had briefly touched on in my journal post. My point about technology advancing and changing the way in which we communicate with other people so rapidly can be matched with her statement.

I also learned through Murray's essay about how our use of technology has disrupted our consciousness. By that statement, she is referring to the noticeable changes in the way that we process our thoughts. She states that these processes have shifted drastically and have been re-developed after centuries of exposure to only print media.

Reading about the definition of New Media from Dr. Lucas' input, I can agree and understand his point on how this new media has really given us a true democracy in many different aspects. He states that it has given the people a "collective voice" [2] that we had not had in previous times. Although in recent years we tend to think of the negative sides of the internet and social media (i.e. cyberbullying or "cancel culture"), it has still given us all the ability to choose whether we join factions with like minds or speak up independently.

September 18, 2019: Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage was an influential figure during the nineteenth century as he was a leader in the realm of mathematics and technology in Europe. Many refer to him as the "Father of the Computer" [3] because he was the first person to create a prototype of what has now become known as the computer.
His invention later led to the designs of more advanced and complicated computers. Many of the technological advancements could be traced back to his creation of his analytical engine [4]. Babbage is arguably the most influential thinker in the world of New Media. This is because his ideas led to furthering the development of the computers and machines to the point they have reached in today's society. New Media may not have existed at all without his contribution and world changing invention.

September 19, 2019: McLuhan

Marshall McLuhan makes many interesting points and observations regarding culture and its implications in today's society. I found it particularly interesting while reading The Medium is the Message that he used light as an example to describe how a medium can also hold a deeper meaning. I feel that his reference to light allowed me to better understand what he writes about in his essay. The electric light can mean anything with lack of context but it is responsible for controlling what we see; Therefore, the medium holds the meaning or the message of what we are able to perceive in the first place [5].

September 19, 2019: Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte's essay covers a wide range of topics that relate to having knowledge of the digital universe. He focuses on the need to learn about machines and devices, while also emphasizing the importance of shared digital spaces.

He defines "being digital" as the ability to adapt to the changes in technology and stay digitally literate. It is imperative that we become aware of spaces like the internet in order to stay in the know with the modern world.

Negroponte also touches on his experience incorporating technology like computers into the education system. He claims that when bringing Apple computers to a school in Senegal, the children learned to use them quickly and showed no difference in ability to the suburban students in America [6].

The essay is fairly interesting to me because it shows that anyone can "be digital" and have technological literacy if they are open and willing to learn.

September 20, 2019: The Hacker

I believe that hackers are the ultimate example of someone who is "being digital". This is because they are so knowledgeable about computers that they are able to bypass passwords and blocked websites to get whatever information or location that they need. These people have an amazing ability that allows them to push the limits of what is possible through technology.
Although it seems intense, it does not mean that all hackers are necessarily bad.There are White Hat hackers who work in the best interest of people and corporations to keep information safe from threats. While it is best to have White Hats to protect businesses and the general public, it is also good to have curious (and devious) hackers who show us what they are able to do in order to better protect our information [7].

September 22, 2019: Revolution OS

The "Revolution OS" documentary was very interesting and insightful into the world of PC and software development. I learned a good deal of information about the world of computers that I had not been aware of before my exposure to the documentary.
The film explains in great detail the history of open source software with a focus on GNU and Linux [8]. Knowledge about open source has allowed me to better understand its importance when relating it with what I have learned about new media.

Open source software can be defined as a computer software owned by a copyright holder who allows for changes and distributions made by the public [9]. This is very useful, and is a great tool for educational purposes and collaborative projects. It also allows the creation of better products through suggesting improvements and changes in the open source software.

The history of open source is relevant to the modern day because its development has led to the ways in which we use some forms of new media. By this, I am referring to the use of the creative commons onto online applications and social media pages. Many people use a variety of apps and websites as their own platforms to access free of charge, allowing them to make edits or changes of music, artwork, and other projects legally [10]. This belief of "sharing is caring" that the creative commons upholds reminds me of the purpose of open source software.

@Sthompson: I removed your <br> tags and replaced the with line breaks; this is how you should paragraph. You need much more development here. Your first two paragraphs don't really say anything at all. You are still linking to external sites in your post (which you should not), and you're not linking to Wikipedia articles correctly. Please see my feedback that I will be updating through the day on 9/24/19. —Grlucas (talk) 06:39, 26 September 2019 (EDT)

September 22, 2019: New Media & Software

In my previous journal post, I wrote about my main takeaways after learning how open source software and free software relate to new media. Through research I have gained a better understanding of software. I recognize that its affordability and ease of access allows for more creative and educational potential.

Aside from points made in my last journal entry, I also benefited from learning about the purpose and motivation behind Copyleft [11]. Copyleft can be defined as a utilization of the copyright law to allow and encourage modifications and improvements of creative work. It can be a choice made by copyrighted content owners to let others build upon their works or collaborate. When I read about copyleft, I immediately thought of sites like Instagram, DevianArt, and Tumblr. Sites like these encourage creativity in multiple art forms to be shared and recreated by numerous people- relating Copyleft and open software to New Media.

September 29, 2019: Torrents and the Internet

Torrents are meant for people to share and download data files through the internet. In particular, BitTorrent is a well-known software that allows its users to transfer videos, images, and other data easily with others. This protocol is popular due to its accessibility and simplicity as a free program.

The most common torrent on the internet is The Pirate Bay. This program has been running for years and is considered a classic torrent site. The Pirate Bay is also one of the most trusted websites because of its seniority above other torrents.

September 29, 2019: Participatory/Remix Culture

Remix culture is very interesting to me because it one of the few examples in our community in which consumers are also creators of content at the same time. Learning about how people can take part in a Remix or Participatory culture immediately brings my attention to the YouTube community.

YouTube was originally created to show art, projects, and educational topics to a large audience. At one point, many of its regular content creators were known for their song covers and music remixes. This subsection of YouTubers are a part of the Remix culture because they took art and music of the Pop industry and generated more content using that.

Participatory culture is an important part of my understanding of New Media because of the prevalence that the culture has both in reality and on the internet. Remixing is now the new normal for many people who are involved with new medias.

October 6, 2019: Being Digital

Through the Computer Lib/Dream Machines[12] excerpt, I learned Ted Nelson's view on the roles of technology in our lives. He focuses on the amazing creation that is the computer and how its existence has created a new reality and way of learning. In this reality, we are in the age of the internet and our ability to access information is unlimited. Nelson's primary focus is the way in which technology fits into the human experience. He expresses his concerns about the education system and how the use of Computer Assisted Instruction is able to change the ways in which we learn in school settings.

Nelson's viewpoints on the school systems use of computers relates to my own education experiences over the last few years. I can relate to what he writes about in which the new ways we receive our education differs from the traditional classroom setting. This is because in my Junior year of high school, we implemented BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) days where students would do classwork and modules through tablets and computers instead of getting standard lectures. I witnessed first hand the difference between a typical public school education method and the CAI method.

@Sthompson: Your titles are still incorrect. Please review: “Writing in the Liberal Arts” again. You mnust use secondary sources in your journal posts. Please make a point of signing up for a face-to-face session. I'm requiring this for you. —Grlucas (talk) 07:00, 8 October 2019 (EDT)

October 6, 2019: Education & New Media

By exploring the topic of new media further through suggested readings, I have deepened my understanding of how new media has impacted education.

An example of the changes in the typical teaching approach can be seen in the Chinese AI Educational Experiment[13] article. This article focuses on the individualized attention that students receive through an AI tutor. One theory about teachers allowing computers to help with repetitive and rote tasks is that students would have more one-on-one time with their teachers. This would really help each child adapt to new learning materials with their individual comprehension styles.

October 12, 2019: Cyberspace

"A Rape in Cyberspace" is a very interesting written piece, different than the others I have read throughout this course. It is intense all around- as to be expected by its bold choice of title. From this, I learned about the realm of cyberspace and how its existence can have dark implications on the reality of its users.

What we refer to as "Real Life" is simply the realm of our physical existence, different than the one we allow ourselves to access built from the code in a computer. Our five senses allow us to recognize that we are in our true reality.

The topic of cyber rape is seemingly odd at first because it is not a physical attack on a person's body, however, Dibbel clarifies his point by comparing the violation to a "woman...fondled by strangers while passed out drunk in the middle of a party" [14]. By this, he is saying that although the violation may not have been a physical attack it was not consented.

Through cyber rape and sexual harassment online like we see exemplified in Dibbel's essay, it becomes understandable how these instances can have negative effects that translate to the real world.

October 13, 2019: Second Life

Virtual Reality video games were a small part of my life for a few years as a preteen. My game of choice was IMVU, which is a lot like Second Life. Both share the same concept- they are a way to escape reality and be someone else for a while.

What I liked most about IMVU and Second Life was the ability to wear clothes, makeup, and hairstyles that I was never able to have in reality. I also used it as an opportunity to talk to other people due to my introverted nature.

Second Life is only one of many different MMO games that anyone with internet access can use. Seeing how virtual reality has evolved in the last decade from MMOs like Second Life, GAIA Online, Club Penguin, and IMVU into the newer games that require an Oculus Rift or other VR device is impressive. The way in which these forms of entertainment have become commonplace really shows the extents to which New Media has evolved through time.

@Sthompson: IMVU used to be my favorite virtual reality game back when i was younger! I spent hours communicating to these strangers across the world! Downloading Second life definitely gave me some nostalgia getting all dressed up and being friendly and outgoing knowing that in real life it would've been the complete opposite, im so glad you mentioned that! VincentH81 (talk) 22:46, 13 October 2019 (EDT)

October 20, 2019: Ludology

When I think of myself as someone who is "being digital", I tend to focus on my internet usage and forget about my association with offline video games. Gaming is a digital form of entertainment that I like to partake in from time to time to get my mind off of the harsh realities of the world. Looking more in depth at the subject by watching "Ludology: A Study of Video Games"[15], I can see how gaming has given me the ability to be more digitally literate.

Ludology is defined as the study of games and the actions and events that can partake during them. The video essay in reference touches on the wide variety of video games and their appeal to audiences. The statement about the lack of restrictions players have in the virtual world resonated with me because my favorite video games are open world- meaning I am able to explore throughout a map and do missions and quests at my own leisure.

I also found it interesting that the essay discusses the narratives that are built in games to prevent the failure of a quest or death of a character to complete the story line. This may also contribute to the appeal of games because there is no way to fail as long as the player continuously tries to overcome the obstacles in-game.

October 20, 2019: Narratology & Ludology

In reading "Game Design as Narrative Architecture"[16], I learned that the job of creating spaces and a universe for players is important for game design. Although I know through personal experience that a game without an immersive world is flat and unexciting, I see that the role of the character's world is crucial in motivating the player to explore and move through the story line.

More specifically, the text references to the popularity of the early Nintendo games. The games were simple in terms of their narrative but were deemed complex because of the graphics used to create a virtual world. Jenkins says that these games became a success because people knew that they "were so much more sophisticated than the simple grids that Pong or PacMan had".

Eventually,video games that evolved from the innovative style of Nintendo became more visually appealing and desirable to gamers.

October 4: "Game Design as Narrative Architecture" Final Assigment

Game Design As Narrative Architecture


  1. Murray, Janet H. "Inventing the Medium" pg.4-5
  2. Lucas, Gerald (2013). "New Media"
  3. WikiFandom Charles Babbage Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  4. Wikipedia Charles Babbage Retrieved 18 September 2019.
  5. McLuhan, Marshall (2003). "The Medium is the Message"
  6. Negroponte, Nicholas (1995). "Being Digital" (1st Vintage Books ed.)
  7. The Mentor "The Hacker's Manifesto". Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  8. "Revolution OS" Retrieved 22 September 2019
  9. Perens, Bruce "The Open Source Initiative". Open Source. Retrieved 22 September 2019
  10. Wikipedia Creative Commons Retrieved 22 September 2019
  11. Copyleft Retrieved 23 September 2019
  12. Nelson, Ted "Computer Lib/Dream Machine"
  13. Hao, Karen "China has started a grand experiment in AI education" Retrieved 6 October 2019
  14. Dibbel "A Rape In Cyberspace" pg.20, Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  15. "Ludology: A Study of Video Games" Retrieved 20 October 2019
  16. Jenkins, Henry (2012) "Game Design as Narrative Architecture" Retrieved 20 October, 2019