After reading and presenting on Convergence Culture, I got to thinking about the future of the gaming industry. Jenkins stresses that world creation is the new important step in creating a movie/game/etc. but he also points out that the big companies and artistic rights owners have drawn in the reigns to keep their intellectual property closer at hand. Most of the time this has to do with profit-- companies/creators don't want other people to profit from their ideas. The obvious example of this is the demise of the Harry Potter Encyclopedia.
Just a little something I found... combining two worlds to come up with... well... something rather nerdy:
I would argue that the story elements from games and other forms of media, such as books, film and plays, actually do share certain story telling traits, but only at the broadest level of story telling. Cyberdrama, as Janet Murray calls it, is "a collaborative improvisation, partly generated by the author's coding and partly triggered by the actions the interactor takes within the mechanical world." (Murray 5) That is, part of the cyberdrama is created by the creaters of the game itself.
The most interesting concept from this week for me came from Howard Rheingold's "The Virtual Community", because it looks at the earlier stages of the internet and how it has evolved, or in some aspects, devolved. Rheingold talks about the virtual communities that are formed on the internet, how technologies like IRC, BBS and others started forming and connecting people. Rheingold describes the idea of cyberspace as, "a social Petri dish, the Net as the agar medium and the virtual communities-- as colonies of microorganisms that grow in petri dishes.
I think that the identity issue that is prevalent in the online social communities today, especially the trend of "identity tourism" described by Lisa Nakamura, is both progressive and damaging to the search for defining online identity within the community as a whole. The first and most obvious issue to deal with is the issue of gender. In programs like LambdaMOO, gender if finite and is not an optional choice is making an online identity.
In doing my research, it has been really interesting in remembering how things have changed on the social networking site habbo. If I remember correctly, at the beginning of the process of making a habbo, you were required to choose a name and a sex. After choosing, sex could not be changed. Race was variable using different color selections, avoiding specified race designations. One key feature that has since been added is the randomize button for appearances. This randomization includes randomizing race AND sex.
I am very interested with the concept of the online self from monday's readings. In order to further dive into the subject, I propose a critical study using one of the currently more popular chat room websites as a case study. This website, called Habbo, launched in 2000 and has recieved numerous awards in several different countries. As a possible focus, I will look into legal cases that Habbo has been involved in regarding the virtual space and how the Habbo organization deals with hackers, theft, etc.
Stone's powerful article on the out of body effects of cyberspace seemed to attack one of the extremes of cyberspace while ignoring a far more interesting human characteristic that can simply be attributed to being human. Stone argues that people are envious of cyberspace and the unlimited creativity it involves.