Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Media, Web Serials, and the Internet

Being that it's the beginning of the school year, almost every class has proposed the same question: What is x? How can we define x? Replace x with either hacking, game production, digital new media, or communication and you have all of the classes I'm currently taking at NYU.

For one class, Digital New Media, the reader proposes not one but, eight propositions as to how new media can be defined. One of them was "new media as the mix between existing cultural conventions and the conventions of software." It's a very convoluted definition but I guess it works, kind of. My immediate thought upon seeing this definition was that video games and computer games don't fall into this category. However, the reader covered his tracks on that one.

"Computer games are one of the few cultural forms "native" to computers; they began as singular computer programs (before turning into a complex multimedia producitons which they are today)--rather than being already established medium (such as cinema) which is now slowly undergoing computerization."

I'm still confused about this definition though. Does this mean that video games are a type of media? Sure headsets and online communities have created a method of communication for gamers but are old games like Spacewar a form of media? I always thought media involved some sort of communication sharing, which doesn't happen in video games unless you count the interaction with the software or the interaction between players. I think maybe the term "media" has been broadened a little too much. I like it though, gives me an excuse to talk about video games in class.

Not everything in Digital New Media can be related to games though. Which, I GUESS is ok. Another piece I had to read was on Web Serials. Web Serials are essentially online television shows that aren't restricted to the standards of television. The Guild, Ask a Ninja and Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog all count as Web Serials. I never find out about these things until months afterwards they were popular mostly because I don't care enough to be committed to them. I love the Indie nature of these shows but honestly, I'd much rather play video games or watch Sportscenter.

Their popularity online is uncanny though. An article I had to read for class kept mentioning a web serial called lonelygirl15, which was essentially a pretty girl with a webcam. Seriously, I don't understand how such boring things get to become so viral. Lonelygirl15 had a massively long life too, spanning episodes for over two years. I understand that the quick-hit nature is part of the draw but over 2,500,000 hits for a girl with a webcam? Come on. At least The Guild had good writing.

Speaking of Web Serials, there's a new one coming out via MTV called The Engine Room. Did you hear about it? Probably not since it's ANOTHER Reality TV show from MTV. I only heard of it because of my professor. This shows pits college students broken up into four teams to see who can produce the best digital art. It's an interesting concept but I have a sneaking suspecion that MTV will somehow ruin it, possibly by trying to turn it into another Real World.

Thankfully, the episodes will only be about five to seven minutes in length, meaning MTV won't have much time to get into the personalities of the students, which will hopefully cause them to focus on the digital work. The prize is pretty neat too. The winning team gets $400,000 and they get to control the big MTV screen in Times Square for one night. I can't think of a better way to show off your digital art talent. I don't plan on watching the show; I would like to see the final project and what they do at Times Square though.

Lastly, we watched a video in class that showed the history of the internet up to about 1999. I didn't retain a lot of the information but it was interesting to see how many people genuinely worked together just to make a fast-moving communication system.

What I found especially funny was that, for the most part, telephone companies didn't see the birth of computers and the internet as helpful or threatening. If I was a business owner and I heard someone is making a product that could potentially be faster and better than mine, I'd be pretty concerned, even if I didn't understand it. Anyone in the field of tehcnology has to both fear and embrace new technologies. Who knows what will be the next standard? Something will eventually eclipse the internet; we just need to keep our eyes open.


Anonymous said...

That definition is definitely weird; I'm not a fan.

I love Dr. Horrible. I've watched it the whole way through at least five times, and I often leave it playing in the background and listen.

The popularity of lonelygirl15 always baffled me; wtf people???

Anonymous said...

Very nice write-up. I certainly love this
site. Continue the good work!

Here iis my site; How Internet Marketing Caan Give Companies the Edge ()

oakleyses said...

burberry outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet, kate spade handbags, coach purses, louis vuitton, louboutin outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, air max, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, coach outlet store online, longchamp handbags, coach factory outlet, louboutin, coach outlet, longchamp handbags, nike shoes, prada handbags, oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses cheap, louboutin shoes, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, prada outlet, ray ban sunglasses, tiffany and co, air max, oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, jordan shoes, gucci outlet, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, louis vuitton outlet stores, longchamp outlet

oakleyses said...

air max, lululemon, michael kors pas cher, vans pas cher, vanessa bruno, louboutin, polo lacoste, ray ban pas cher, true religion outlet, sac louis vuitton, north face, louis vuitton uk, hollister, air max, nike blazer, north face, sac longchamp, nike free, sac guess, true religion jeans, hogan outlet, air max pas cher, timberland, nike roshe run, louis vuitton, hollister, michael kors, michael kors, air force, true religion jeans, ray ban sunglasses, nike air max, converse pas cher, new balance pas cher, sac burberry, nike free pas cher, air jordan, longchamp, sac louis vuitton, sac hermes, oakley pas cher, nike tn, ralph lauren, polo ralph lauren, mulberry

oakleyses said...

nike huarache, ugg, valentino shoes, insanity workout, mac cosmetics, asics running shoes, herve leger, babyliss pro, nike roshe run, uggs outlet, abercrombie and fitch, vans shoes, instyler, jimmy choo outlet, ferragamo shoes, ugg boots, wedding dresses, beats by dre, nfl jerseys, north face jackets, ugg pas cher, celine handbags, abercrombie and fitch, new balance shoes, soccer shoes, nike trainers, longchamp, chi flat iron, hollister, marc jacobs, north face outlet, reebok outlet, nike roshe, barbour, bottega veneta, p90x, giuseppe zanotti, lululemon outlet, birkin bag, mcm handbags, soccer jerseys, rolex watches, mont blanc, ugg australia, ghd

oakleyses said...

wedding dresses, moncler, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, oakley, canada goose jackets, canada goose uk, converse shoes, moncler outlet, ugg, lancel, air max, converse, moncler, hollister, timberland boots, ugg boots, montre homme, gucci, juicy couture outlet, moncler, air max, baseball bats, louboutin, coach outlet store online, parajumpers, canada goose, ralph lauren, vans, canada goose, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose, hollister, moncler, karen millen, canada goose, iphone 6 cases, supra shoes, moncler, ray ban, hollister clothing store, rolex watches, moncler, ugg, canada goose