Category Archives: Internet Studies
Day 3: Monday, June 23rd
The reason I came to Collegium is for a specific purpose, one that could potentially help my university. So it is interesting that what I have gotten out of it so far has been more relevant to a research project that has been in the back of my mind for years.
At my university, I have been helping to develop a sense of how to approach online and blended learning for our students, as well as to help faculty develop their online and blended courses. One of the issues that we have discussed in this process has been the extent to which we are able to translate the research-centered teaching we have been honing on campus from the face-to-face learning environment to the online environment. Part of this is to be able to maintain a quality of our institution’s educational experience that makes us distinct in the area. Another part of this is to be able to maintain a commitment to a Dominican and Catholic approach to higher education. As part of this process, I was awarded a fellowship to further investigate how to translate the Catholic ethos of higher education to an online learning community.
The blending of the physical and the virtual is increasing due to mobile computing technologies. Is our cybernetic future at hand?
Christopher Olson uses digital tattoos to discuss the blending of realities, and the construction of reality in his latest article: Mobile Media Technologies at the Intersection of the Virtual and the Real.
So here we have another wonderful breakdown of a breakdown in the progress of bringing women across gendered lines. This summer — and maybe even this year thus far — has been one in which we really start to address the realities of what has been happening when women cross those gendered lines into areas traditionally dominated by men — in areas that perhaps our society or culture do not take seriously, but are very serious to those of us whose lives revolve around and depend upon them.
Areas like fandom, video games, the tech biz, comic books — over and over again have we heard stories, had discussions, had counter-discussions, about fake geek girls, gender swapping, women as gamers, women as designers, women as objects, misogyny, intolerance, death threats. All instances of men reacting to women being in a space deemed “theirs”, and all because women were complaining about how men were representing and treating women in a space they deemed “theirs”.
There should be no space that is wholly masculine, just as there should be no space that wholly feminine. We should all share these spaces when they are spaces built upon and focusing on what we love to think, feel and do in our lives. These are all human spaces — wonderfully constructed through human endeavors to make our lives better. There should be no “man caves”, no “woman caves” — just caves that we can share to play games, build technology, tell stories, live our lives.
I wrote this week’s Dr. Geek piece for Clearance Bin Review on the recent implementation by the big five ISPs in the United States — AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Cablevision and Time Warner — of a new “educational program” designed as a warning and punishment system to stop people from engaging in peer-to-peer filesharing of copyrighted material.
Since the media conglomerates have not been able to get the government to create laws that more stridently seek to stop and punish online piracy and copyright infringement, these corporations and professional organizations, under the nomenclature of the Center for Copyright Information, have created the Copyright Alert System to, as they put it, educate the populace about what they are not supposed to be doing. You can read all about it in this week’s Dr. Geek.
As I’ve discussed elsewhere on this blog (such as here and here), I’ve undertaken a new project with producer Pooky Amsterdam to look into the phenomenon of virtual world television. As part of this study, I’ve interviewed over two dozen producers from the virtual world Second Life. Pooky and I have been gathering information about their productions, and the interviews are currently being transcribed.
As part of the research communication for this study, along with standard academic papers and a potentially multimedia book, we will be telling their stories
of being producers on a devoted blog, called simply Virtual World Television. Once the transcriptions are ready, the blog will contain posts to relay each producer’s experience, from his/her perspective, and with links to his/her work. We wanted to have a forum that was not purely academic but would allow for people to fully experience what the producers have done and why. For the producers’ stories to be told, without a layer of academic interpretation.
Stay tuned to the blog Virtual World Television for these stories and more.