Monthly Archives: April 2013

Transmedia confusion with a lot of grey

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Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. – Henry Jenkins

This blog post has taken me a while to write because there was a lot of grey area with what I thought about the topic, so I had to try and find a good understanding of what is and what is not in the grey area. A main point in my confusion with what Transmedia storytelling is, is the intention of creating a multichannel production to begin with and if the production is an on-going series over multiple channels/platforms then can you count it as Transmedia?

My example is the Pokémon franchisePikachu-losing-weight. Since it was first created in 1996 in Japan, the intention of Pokémon became to create a television show to sell the games. While the intent of story is told mainly through the television show, there are individual aspects that are separated for each channel Pokémon has been established on.

The games give a unique perspective of what is around the towns that the anime brings up, also the hands-on involvement of being a Pokémon Trainer and setting out for your own quest. The manga involves stories that occur in the Pokémon World that do not act as one consecutive story – just small parts. The Pokémon Trading Card Game uses the intent of creating physical objects (cards) that were meant to be played along with the video game series. Over the past 15 years Pokémon has been transformed over multiple channels, games, T.V series, manga and movies – each being relevant to another.

Considering the 10 different points outlined by Henry Jenkins (hyperlink above) on what makes something Transmedia, I would guess it would seem that a production would need to tick a point explained. Pokémon being around for 15 years, having an impact on a majority of channels/mediums – so to target a majority of people, has successfully utilized the idea of transmedia production.

Transmedia projects have become an impressive and interesting way to utilize multiple markets and therefore a larger audience. The intent to carefully play a movie off a game, off a book, off cards, to create one main story has become a powerful tool reflecting on what technology has become, and also reflecting on the intent for a wider consumer range over multiple channels, cashing in on the different interests of people.

“Got any news for me, I’m running a little low?”

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What is a citizen journalist? Oxford Dictionary defines ‘citizen journalist’ as “a non-professional journalist, typically working outside traditional media channels”.

To deal with the mass change of technology that we have today and the consistent up-to-date 24/7 news stories that are being published there is an opening for anyone to report about news and be a citizen journalist.

To be a citizen journalist is to do nothing more than report by filming or making a comment on an event that is happening and post it to, usually a social networking site. There is always the clash that revolves around old media (corporate) vs. new media, explained (briefly) by the following video:

The end part of the above clip when both mediums say “Got any news for me, I’m running a little low?” highlights the difference in monologic and dialogic collective intelligence used to gather news and present it. The old style newspaper symbolises the structured, professional journalists and the young sounding laptop represents amateur, unprofessional, collective information from  “bloggers”.

The change from old to new has arrived and it is in the form of collective intelligence both intentionally such as the website Alltop which deals with an individual, collectively gathering information of their interests around the internet to then repost to a single spot or view popular links and be presented by a page which gathers information from citizen journalists and shows the recent information talked about. Then there is the unintentional act of citizen journalism which is the simple recording or messaging of an event that is happening and then placed on the internet and used to recollect the events of what happened and the experiences involved. Pretty much a step-by-step look at global issues that are not edited or modified – presented by the following clip:

There will always be a place for citizen journalism because there will always be events taking place that need to be reported on and first-hand experience needed. There are stories that need to be told, and be told without modification or change by corporate agenda.

Reflection #bcm110

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reflect_cartoon #bcm110

I have enjoyed everything that has been explained from the Lectures and discussed in the Tutorials, from talking about who controls the media to the mediated public sphere. I have been shown the biased and agendas that appear in our media in order to persuade an audience, to the male only coffee houses where discussion and concerns took place.

Through blogging on the weekly topics I realise that it helps with getting some practical use on what the topics are about and also my perceptions of what stands out to me about the concepts/topics being talked about. Such as the topic of Semiotics and Ideology where looking at images and ads are made for multiple purposes such as the denotation (what is the image) and connotation (what does it represent) of an image.

From reading other students blogs doing the same subject I have realised that everyone has takes a different aspect to the concepts and produces their blogs in their own way. It is also enjoyable to view the videos and links other students post that are something I have not seen in awhile or thought the way they did about it.

BCM110 Introduction to Communication and Media Studies is a great and interesting subject that has my interest and has pretty much set in what I want to do at University and is a stepping stone to what I want to do in future.

What am I this week Media?

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Celebrating a mate’s birthday at the local club – being the designated driver, I find myself watching my mates and their behaviour as they are constantly consuming alcohol. I am noticing the typical early signs of being intoxicated – odd movements, random bursts of laughter and obscure ideas, higher confidence, lower social awareness and the increase of volume and vulgar language when speaking to someone that is right next to them. I also noticed the increase of appearances from security guards and staff watching us, so… it wasn’t just me paying attention to my mates.

It isn’t odd that we were being watched, the establishment, the guards and staff do have to do their jobs. Watched from across the room or being watched from all of the cameras – that were obvious. It was more about being watched about the potential dangers that could happen, not the actual behaviour going on. Watching through the cameras I suspect there to be no audio just video, so It would be not until an action that could be seen as a potential escalation of something more dangerous that my mates and I would be able to stay.

This seems to be how surveillance/CCTV/phone footage is being used by the media. To produce content for, yet against, the public by controlling the potential dangers society has to offer, until a danger occurs, then it is displayed in the media everywhere alerting the audiences to the troubles of people and countries.

For example with the current label of Australians being racist in the media shown by:

From 2 weeks ago – discussion on Sunrise

From 4 months ago

When I type “racist” then press space, I am greeted with “racist Australia” as the 4th most searched phrase in both Google and YouTube. If I type in “racist a” I get “racist Australia”, “racist Aussie jokes”, “racist Asian names” and “racist Australia jokes” rounding out the top 4 displayed on Google.

It is not just Google, YouTube and the news showing some simple clips that portray racial discrimination in Australia – sticking with the racism in Australia’s media, we are shown documents, research and interviews that both portray Australia as racist. Such as this ground breaking SBS report (published 23/2/11 – brought up each time racism enters Australian media) that says 1 in 10 Australians are racist, this story (published 5/4/13) of daily real life events from Waleed Aly (appears also on Tens The Project) who describes the passive, pervasive racism that has always been in Australia or the following video from website All Together Now

Our media has focused on a topic that creates discussion and concern to everyone. Looking at the videos above, comments made and looking at what is being searched on the net (globally), Australia is racist… until the next news story when fickle Australia becomes something else.

Sensitivity and Memes in the Public Sphere!

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Warning: May contain Offensive Material!

When there is a topic that needs to be talked about, where do you go? To the ‘Public Sphere’ – an area, such as a coffee house, for discussion about controversial issues, news or debates. The idea of a Public Sphere gives people the opportunity to converse in a social setting, face-to-face about topics discussed  in media, this has changed to due to the introduction of the internet.

The internet allows for anyone in the world to gather at specific websites such as Tumblr, Facebook and Reddit, to give an opinion on any information that they so choose. The Public Sphere has become a much less face-to-face interaction but a bigger, more social one, thus changing the need for mediation with-in the “Public Sphere”. The websites mentioned have all mediated themselves in some way, usually by having rules – restricting adult content to certain forums or not allowing any at all, placing certain content into categories and allowing certain people to post or the introduction of Moderators to patrol forums to enforce the rules. There are certain aspects of the internet that can’t be mediated as they are produced by users, yet no one can justify owning the content, I am talking about Memes – a short picture, phrase or a combination that spreads around the internet.

I love strawberries BCM110

The above picture, to me anyway, is nothing more than a turtle eating a strawberry with the written words “OH MY GOD, I LOVE STRAWBERRIES!!” as to represent the feelings of the turtle as to show both the cuteness of the turtle in something so absurd but also to express the similar feel that a human can. It is something anyone can relate to by enjoying/liking something very much.

In contrast to the comedic aspect of personifying a turtle’s affection eating a strawberry, there are other memes that bring controversy, such as:

controversy meme BCM110

The above meme, and many others, bring controversy to any place that it is posted. One can be disgusted by looking at a failing attempt at humour on the touchy subject of rape. To produce a picture like this, but to also include the line “It’s not rape. If she really didn’t want to, she’d have said something”, to express the idea if women can not voice her objection, then it is not rape.

When it comes to this meme it brings up the controversy and debate of rape and women oppression against the freedom of speech on the internet. What is considered humour? Can every area of the internet be mediated? Do controversial memes hurt anyone? Are memes used to point fun at sensitive issues or to bring them up and get people to talk?

When there is no claim to creation but a reason for the creation in the first place, it would be easier to just avoid what is portrayed but then conversation and understanding would not ever happen.

All you have to do is send a message?

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It starts with one person creating a message, this person sends the message and another person replies and forwards the message to other people, they then continue to spread the single message created. In no time at all, the message has reached a majority of people all over the world. This one simple message can create an infinite loop around the world back to the person that created it.

global network BCM112Welcome to a Participatory culture!

It use to be so easy to just watch television, or listen to the radio with no need for interaction. Oh how times have changed, with some simple clicks and pushes of buttons on a computer you have probably given information about yourself to a collection database. You have participated in sharing music and funny videos, collectively had an opinion on the current music scene or the latest celebrity scandal, or writing a blog for University to be seen as an outlet for understanding or the confusion of weekly topics.

This interaction has lead to the change of people from consumers to prosumers. This is evident all over the internet, this idea of collective creative and expression has been highlighted by specific website ideas such as YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. A main difference that has created these “prosumers” are the everyday activities that get oppressed by Government censorship such as those in China – when Twitter was able to let everyone know there was an earthquake; and, also with the Egypt evolution in 2011.

With the potential for social networks being used as a platform for the dissemination of issues, there will always be a chance for the mobilization of large groups supporting issues that are collectively disagreed on, this creates a level of involvement that both allows for co-ordination and a civic engagement of people to allow for a chance to be heard. This puts the pressure on government censorship and restrictions, it has yet been understood as to whether governments will continue to censor their people but with the internet and its freedom, are the restrictions going to be lifted or are more is a more harsh censorship going to be in-placed?

political correctness BCM112