Tuesday, 7 December 2010

MMOG

MMOG is a genre of game in which numerous participants interact in a virtual environment over the Internet. Some MMOGs, like World of Warcraft and Guild War are the vital examples with millions of players. Massively Multiplayer online games (MMOGs) are computer and Internet based and formed with the combination or integration of different medium such as graphics, texts, videos and images.
Tudor (2007) has quoted the Bob Rehak words as he made some compelling points in his argument for a psychoanalytic view of the MMOG user. He draws on the Lacanian notion of an “ego formed through identification with a representation of itself that is forever split, rendered incomplete by the very distinction that enables recognition.”

MMOG development is one of the fastest growing areas in the game market. Different genres of these involve the ‘Action & adventure’, ‘shooting’, ‘Casino’, ‘Board & Sports’ games etc. Knowledge, skills, keenness and patience for long hours of gaming are basic characteristics to reenact for games.
MMOGs considered one of the highest growth opportunities for the commercial future of games dealing with money matters as based on registrations and persuasive appeals of prizes and rewards. The players are spending real money for survival, entertainment and power-show in a “Virtual World” for their AVATARs and existence in Second Life. 

References:
--Tudor, D. (2007) My Avatar, Myself: Remixed Identity in an Entrepreneurial Altworld. Conference Papers- National Communication Association [Online]. Available fromuniversity online library access:
http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=9&hid=112&sid=f690e475-867c-43fe-9db5-0228346f8ebe%40sessionmgr104 [Accessed on: 07-12-2010]

Images:

1. Guild War
http://www.vivagoal.com/images/wallpapers/guild-wars-1.jpg [Accessed on: 07-12-2010]
2.WOW
http://wallpapers.designdistributor.com/wallpaper/wow_trading_card_dark_portal-1280x.jpg [Accessed on: 07-12-2010]

3. MMOG Chart
http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html [Accessed on: 07-12-2010]

Saturday, 4 December 2010

The Video Game Industry

The Greek Poet, Palladas, flourished in 4th century that “life is but a game”, he could hardly imagined, how pervasive games would become in every aspect of modern lives as a social phenomena for massive players across the gender, culture and age.
A.S. Douglas’s OXO/ Noughts and Crosses (Tic-Tac-Toe) invented in 1952 as the first Video game in the industry. After 6 years in 1958, William Higinbotham created an interactive video game known as ‘Tennis for Two' which has changed the status of video game.

Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney introduced the ‘computer space’ in 1971 which was the world’s first mass-produced computer game. In 1972, Ralph Baer introduced the ‘Magnavox Odyssey’, the first ever video game console operated with battery power.
First gaming console of ‘Pong’ introduced by Atari in 1972. It was the first arcade video game with a widespread success. Year 1978, considered as the ‘Golden Age’ as ‘Midway’ released the ‘Taito’ developed game 'Space Invaders' in America with an enormous success and still in minds due to shortage of 100 Yen coins in Japan. In 1978, Magnavox released the Odyssey2.

Atari (the pioneer of the Video game industry) with the worth of 2 billion dollars in 1982 holds 80% of the market at that time with games like ‘Pacman’ originally, ‘PUCMAN’ and space invader. Then in 1981donkey Kong created with a character named ‘Mario’. Later in the year 1985, another hit for Nintendo ‘Tetris’ ruled the market especially for its portable system.
With the arrival of Sony in the industry during the late 80s, the industry saw a fierce rivalry and competition and resultantly deemed a significant advancement with the arrival of 3D graphics networked multiplayer gaming ‘Doom’. From mid 90s to early 00s there was a battle between the likes of Sega, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo with Sony becoming the sole winner with the help of extremely hyped Play station.

Now, companies like, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony introducing the modern consoles of ‘Wii’, ‘Xbox360’ & ‘Play Station 3’ and earning billions of dollars. In the year 2008 there was an approximate 11.7 billion dollars of business in the video game industry. Today the industry is expanding day-by- day as the technological advancement further extends its reaches and it’s not just a ‘game’ but a huge commercially globalised industry with a long remarkable history.


References:
-- Steven Conway (2010). The History of Video Games. Lecture's Slides.
--Vorderer, P. & Bryant, J. (eds.) (2006). Playing Video Games:Motives,Responses and Consequences. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Images:

Sunday, 28 November 2010

ART and the COMPUTER: (Technolgy vs Culture)

In the contemporary world modern gadgets have the ability to re-shape the society. McLuhan explained that cultural change occurs because different qualities exist between communication technologies and he predicted that next communication medium have the ability to change human experience, he stated, “Inventions in technology invariably cause cultural change.” Foss (2006) quoted the McLuhan words as, “family life, the workplace, schools, health care, friendship, religious worship, recreation, politics – nothing remains untouched by communication technology.”
Frequent users of modern technologies are dealing with more than a device which owned the ability to control their consciousness, behavior and perception in a particular cultural setup as technologies are not "just tools” but react as “evocative objects”.
As a consequence of the power of technology, humans have become demeaned and feeble like second-class citizens in their own societies which paved the way towards the technological resistance.

Cultural critic Allan Bloom believes that these people have reduced “centuries of Western cultural progress into "a nonstop...masturbational fantasy”, celebrating libertinism”. Andrew Trusty summarized in his article “Technology vs Culture” that Postman believes about the unforeseen consequences of technology and he quoted the Postman’s answer about technological effect on culture.

“.. every technology has a philosophy which is given expression in how the technology makes people use their minds, in what it makes us do with our bodies, in how it codifies the world, in which of our senses it amplifies, in which of our emotional and intellectual tendencies it disregards. This idea is the sum and substance of what Marshall McLuhan meant when he coined the famous sentence, "The medium is the message."
 
Apart from the cultural exchange and remediation in life style we are experiencing a parallel “World” with the idea of artificial life (AL) and artificial intelligence (AI). The sequence is still in gradual transformation towards an unseen and un-imagery planet.

References:

--Foss, K (2006). Technological change and Cultural Transformation. [Online]. Available from: http://www.scribd.com/doc/905257/Technological-Change-Cultural-Transformation [Accessed on: 27-11-2010]
--Trusty, A. Technology vs Culture. [Online]. Available from:
http://andrewtrusty.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/technology-vs-culture-andrew-trusty.pdf [Accessed on: 27-11-2010]
Images:
1. Man vs Computer
http://nononsense.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/beecee_computer.jpg [Accessed on: 27-11-2010]
2. Shouting on Computer

http://www.trans-that.com/_/rsrc/1272873562878/Articles/Human-translation-services-Vs-Machine-translation-services-new/man%20vs%20computer.jpg [Accessed on: 27-11-2010]

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

The Commercialisation of the Network

Before 1995, Internet was like a backbone for government agencies like ARPA & NSF (National Science Foundation) without commercial traffic and business activity. The initial access was granted to colleges, universities, or other non-profit institutions according to NSF’s criteria. Networks like, CompuServe and AOL were existed, but not connected to Internet. After mid 90s; technological inceptions, globalization of networks and common cultural bonding between the users produced the concept of commerce and business in networking sector.

Castells (2000a; 2000b) noted about the network societies and claimed that we are passing into industrial & information age. This historical change is brought due to advent of new information technologies. The information is the central importance in determining economic productivity. Considering the networks importance he narrates ‘networks also exist within and between businesses’ and he notes the Weber’s (2002) words “the logic of the network is more powerful than the powers of the network.


“As digital technology made possible the production of exact copies of text, images, audio, video and other information materials over unlimited generations, the information economy grew rapidly.” With the emergence of the Internet and later the World Wide Web, the information economy gradually matured into the full-blown economy that it is today.
Networks like Amazon, eBay, Google and YouTube used a market driven and client focused approach and developed a highly networked and collaborative community of commercialization. Merchandize relationships between the big networks change the market landscape and other than military, educational and social use of networks currently, it seems an economic bazaar with the major focus on commerce and capital interests rather than the consciousness and welfare of users.

References:
--Steven Conway, lecture's Slides.

Images:

1. Money Online
 http://www.escapefromamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/make_money_online.jpg [Accessed on: 21-11-2010]
2. Make Money Online

 http://www.makemoneyonline.us.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/ways-techniques-making-money-online.jpg [Accessed on: 21-11-2010]
3. GooTube

http://www.konsumerizem.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/google_youtube.jpg [Accessed on: 21-11-2010]

Monday, 15 November 2010

WEB 2.0

“The World Wide Web is a series of documents stored in different computers all over the Internet. Documents contain information stored in a variety of formats, including text, still images, sounds, and video.” (Berners-Lee, 1996)

Web 2.0 embraces a variety of different meanings that include UGC, content sharing and collaborative effort, with the use of several kinds of social networks, wikis and blogs such as YouTube, FaceBook, Digg, MySpace, Wikipedia, blogger etc, and the use of web as a platform for generating and consuming content. Social networks can serve two-fold as a rich source of new information and as a filter to identify the information most relevant to our specific needs.

The significant element of Web 2.0 is the concept of social networks, community, and collaboration that enabled by wikis, blogs and discussion groups. Continuous interaction and discussion between users generates information and systems that develop and improve with the passage of its use and provides a sense of collective intelligence. It generates systems that have much more information and better content than any single person could create on their own.

The concept of "Web 2.0" began with a conference between O'Reilly and MediaLive International. Still an immense disagreement is about what Web 2.0 means, as some people criticize it as a meaningless marketing buzzword while, others as new conventional wisdom.

RSS is the most significant advance to make this as ‘LIVE WEB’, Dave Winer's "Really Simple Syndication" technology born in 1997 to push out for updates.
Some of the issues such as crowd sourcing, trust, privacy, prosumers, free labour etc, are tied with web2.0 but due to lots of perspectives and flexibilities it has a remarkable feedback and almost shuffling to next phase of its evolution 'web3.0'.
References:

--Berners-Lee, T. (1996). Declaration of WWW [Online]. Available from: http://www.w3.org/People/Berners-Lee/9602affi.html [Accessed on: 14-11-2010] 
Images:

1. Web 2.0 Landscape.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3112/2672743740_4ed9dd9c23_o.png [Accessed on: 13-11-2010]
2. Web1 vs Web2 vs Web3.

http://www.xavierdamman.be/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/web30.png [Accessed on: 13-11-2010]

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

News into Computer Age

News considered as universal human need and it has been around for thousands of years. Traditionally, we define “NEWS” as, a report of recent events or previously unknown information that is of broad interest to the intended audience. Different scholars unanimously approved the basic characteristics of news as timeliness, impact, proximity, controversy, prominence, currency and oddity with the promise of objectivity and fairness.

From oral patterns to printed culture journalism has a vital history with different mode of practices. Digital technologies (e.g. Computer, Web and Mobile) are changing how we consume the news as simply a text message and ‘tweet’ could be the future of news. Technological revolution guided the journalism in constant convergence as it refers to “some combination of technologies, products, staffs and geography among the previously distinct provinces of print, television and online media.” (Singer, 2004: 3)

Convergence is reshaping the landscape of journalism in a variety of ways, mainly in four perspectives: technological, management, communicative and professional, as Pavlik puts it, “newsroom structures, journalistic practices and news content are all evolving.” (2004: 28)


The demand of multi-professionalism has become a trap for journalists in current era as the practices of Churnalism, Mobile Journalism, Citizen Journalism and Network Journalism are some of the features of public participation. “As an explanation of why most news outlets reflect the worldview of the rich and powerful, fewer journalists producing more copy, plus more PRs offering more instant ‘stories‘, sounds banal. PR, far more than journalism, shapes the news agenda.” (Wilby, ‘Campbell's media critique is only half the story,’ The Guardian, February 4, 2008)
Another concept of Vortextuality as defined by Prof. Whannel (2010) has been created around us because of the globalization of the media that creates a ‘vortex’ effect where a single title is centralized and numbers of media institutions just revolve around making the same story. The Iraq war, sudden death of Michael Jackson, 9/11 and World Cup Football are significant examples of Vortextuality.
Computer advancement has built a realm of 24/7 hasty news with the danger of misleading impressions. While, apart from the spinning games, ethics are bound with a simple word of ‘truth’.

References:

--Pavlik, J. V. (2004) “A Sea-Change in Journalism: Convergence, Journalists, their Audiences and Sources”. Convergence. 10 (4). p. 21-29. [online]. Available from: http://con.sagepub.com/content/10/4/21.full.pdf+html [Accessed on:08-11-2010]
--Singer, J. B. (2004). "Strange Bedfellows? The Diffusion of Convergence in Four News Organizations". Journalism Studies. 5 (1).p. 3-18.

--Whannel, G. (2010) ‘News, Celebrity and Vortextuality : A study of the media coverage of the Michael Jackson verdict’.Cultural Politics.6(1).p.65-84

Images:

2. Churnalism
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_f3lgBGJ8W3c/TAfy7A-DUbI/AAAAAAAAA7o/PWG_QwoK7LI/s1600/churnalism.jpg [Accessed on:09-11-2010]
3. We the Media

http://newmedia.andrewgruen.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/wemediacover.jpg [Accessed on:09-11-2010]

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Life and the Computer

Metaphysical and physical additions have made us the replica of cyborgs. The human fitted with heart pacemaker (the creation of AI, a sense of AL) considered as the ‘cyborg’ because of the interaction between human and machines. The concepts of AI & AL lead to ‘Cybernetics’ which, hold a mature historical background. Norbert Wiener (1894-1964) regarded as the originator of ‘cybernetics’ due to early descriptions in his book “Cybernetics: Or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine” published in 1948. Mark Kantrowitz (1994) noted a hierarchical timeline for AI (artificial intelligence).

Ben Myers (2009) noted the future of body modification explored with Kevin Warwick, Stelarc and Samppa Von Cyborg. He argued “body modification may be as old as known civilizations, but it remains an ever-evolving subculture. Robotic limbs, microchip implants and the harnessing of magnetic field frequencies via inserted magnets are only just the beginning.”

In an interview with Paolo Atzori and Kirk Woolford in 1995, Stelarc said, “new technologies tend to generate new perceptions and paradigms of the world, and in turn, allow us to take further steps. If we consider technologies as intermediaries to the world, then, of course, we never have direct experiences.” Interviewers noted that Steralc believed, “technology is what defines the meaning of being human, it's part of being human. Especially living in the information age, the body is biologically inadequate and for him, electronic space becomes a medium of action rather than information.”


Aaron Saenz (2010) defined the Kevin Warwick (a pioneer of cybernetic) as a prophet of man-machine future. Kevin used the electronic chip into the nervous system of his arm so that he could remotely control an artificial hand. In the future, he believes, we could all have enhanced senses, enhanced cognitive functions, and could communicate with each other directly brain to brain.

Dr Venter told about 'artificial life’ to BBC News as noted by Victoria Gill (2010), “we've now been able to take our synthetic chromosome and transplant it into a recipient cell - a different organism. As soon as this new software goes into the cell, the cell reads [it] and converts into the species specified in that genetic code.”

The human beings of real world have created the parallel species with the characteristic and deem of ‘real’, however, time will fix the destiny of such creations either as ‘bless’ or as ‘jinx’.

References:

--Atzori, P & Woolford, K. (1995). Extended-Body: Interview with Stelarc. [Online]. Available from: http://www.stanford.edu/dept/HPS/stelarc/a29-extended_body.html [Accessed on: 01-11-2010]
--Gill, V. (2010). Artificial life: breakthrough announced by scientists. [Online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10132762 [Accessed on: 02-11-2010]

--Kantrowitz, M. (1994). A Timeline of Artificial Intelligence. [Online]. Available from: http://biology.kenyon.edu/slonc/bio3/AI/TIMELINE/timeline.html [Accessed on: 02-11-2010]
--Myers, B. (2009). Future Mods: The future of body modification explored with Kevin Warwick, Stelarc and Samppa Von Cyborg. [Online]. Available from: http://www.bizarremag.com/weird-news/tattoos-body-art/7719/future_mods.html [Accessed on: 02-11-2010]
--Saenz, A. (2010). Kevin Warwick, Once a Cyborg, Now Prophet of the Man-Machine Future. [Online]. Available from: http://singularityhub.com/2010/03/09/kevin-warwick-once-a-cyborg-now-a-prophet-of-the-man-machine-future-video/ [Accessed on: 01-11-2010]
Images:
1.Artificial Intelligence. http://www.impawards.com/2001/ai_artificial_intelligence.html [Accessed on: 01-11-2010]

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Remediation: Thinking about Media Change

21st century geared-up the vital revolutions globally in science, health, education, and communications. Gradual development of modern tools shaped our lives on new itineraries. Remediation in communication process is neither a new phenomenon and nor a modern term to explore astonishingly as Marshal McLuhan quoted the concept of remediation in 1964 in his book “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”. However, technological inceptions and contemporary communication gadgets developed an incessant debate on remediation. Old (or passive) & New (or active), immediacy & Hypermeidacy are common themes for media scholars.

‘What is new about new media comes from the particular ways in which they refashion older media and the ways in which older media refashion themselves to answer the challenges of new media.’ (Bolter & Grusin, 199:15).


video

New media (as we called, Digital media, Multimedia, Networked and Mobile media) encompasses all kinds of digital, computerized or networked information and communication. Old media was operated in competitors’ threat free atmosphere without fear of cross dialogue in form of consumers’ commentary for correctiveness and transparency. Newspapers, Radio, TV and Telephone worked as independent media which, now turned on a single podium of internet (web).

 New media supports to micro which enables the macro media. Balance, credibility, research and decency of information with freedom of choice and instant availability are the basic characteristics of new media. Remediation brought a larger scale convergence at technical, institutional, professional and cultural levels with additional features of interactivity, participation and customization.

Bolter and Grusin described the phenomenon as, ‘both new and old media are invoking the twin logics of immediacy and hypermediacy in their efforts to remake themselves and each other.’ (199:5) The outcome of the process of remediation, in their account, is a dialectical conversion between ‘immediacy’ as “to erase all traces of mediation” and ‘hypermediacy’ is a “style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium.” (1999:272)

The simulation mechanism is spreading its wings. Apart from old and new media contention, we know the realities and practicing remediated media in contemporary world. This is McLuhan’s message. We shaped the tools first but are now being shaped.

Reference:
--Bolter, J. & Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Image:
1. Convergence
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRx1SJCgVeBSjN6kudLAN7dAxGyAGTOEXTKUOW91ohZMrZ5igymsA [ Accessed on: 25-10-2010]

Friday, 22 October 2010

CYBERSPACE

Cyberspace is a virtual digitized space created through advanced information technology in computer world as we enter into a different arena with the artifacts, practices and relationships spinning around the computing. It is a non-physical terrain created by the application of computer networks where, we tend to fall and create a ‘second world’ with familiar spatial images and encourages the sense of recognition and symmetry among individuals.
video

The word “cyberspace” first appeared in science fiction author and novelist William Gibson’s award-winning, Neuromancer (1984). According to Gibson, cyberspace is a ‘consensual hallucination’. It gives a sense of a different world through computers in the form of matrix with the bodiless consciousness living in it. ‘It can also explicate as conceptual space where, computer networking hardware, network software and users converge.’ (Gauntlett, 2004: 220)
Nicole Stenger (1991) described the concept of cyberspace as quoted by Featherstone & Burrows that ‘cyberspace is like Oz- it is, we get there, but it has no location’; it ‘opens up a space for collective restoration and for peace....our future can only take on a luminous dimension!’ Furthermore, they narrated the Sherman & Phil Judkins’s (1992) description about cyberspace that it as ‘truly the technology of miracles and dreams’ with the liberation ‘to play God’; through the creation and imbue of inanimate objects.’ (1995: 135)


‘Cyberspace is imaginary space, it has non-physicality, it is a spatial metaphor’ (Miller, 1999), and Michael Benedikt summarized the notion of cyberspace in his book Cyberspace: First Step (1991) as, “a new universe, a parallel universe created and sustained by the world’s computers and communication lines. A world in which the global traffic of knowledge, secrets, measurements, indicators, entertainment, and alter-human agency takes on form: sights, sounds, presence never seen on the surface of the earth blossoming in a vast electronic night.”

The mystification of parallel world comparative to real one, where, we physically exist seems as techno-jargon produced by and for our emerging digital culture. Advanced technological inceptions are strengthening the virtual world and sustaining the concept of second life in cyberspace. 

References:
--Featherstone, M. & Burrows, R. (eds.) (1995). Cyberspace/cyberbodies/cyberpunk. London: Sage.
--Gauntlett, D. and Horsley, R. (eds.) (2004). Web.Studies. 2nd Ed. London: Arnold.
--Miller, L. (1999). Architecture of Cyberspace. [Online]. Available from. http://www.usask.ca/art/digital_culture/miller/essay.html [accessed on: 17-10-2010]
Image:
1.The New Planet.
http://www.ronmartin.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/1-a-cyberspace-thenewplanet-ae12003_front.jpg [Accessed on: 17-10-2010]