Archive for November, 2014

YouTube, Convergence and Remix * Post due by 8am on 11/20/14

Posted in Question with tags on November 18, 2014 by mlenos


I was talking to you all about how this is probably the part of the class that changes the most every time I teach it.  Back in the day, when I created this class, there were a few basic types of YouTube videos. They were:


Video Blogs (“vlogs”)



And new creative content… I showed a bit of Lonelygir15 but there are TONS of examples of this, including The Guild, which I showed last week when we were talking about gaming and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, which got Issa Rae hired to write a comedy for HBO

Anyway, in the years since I started teaching this class, there are SO MANY other kinds of YouTube videos, including two kinds that I absolutely DO NOT UNDERSTAND. They are

Haul Videos

And Unboxing Videos


What am I missing/forgetting?  Let’s try to think of genres of YouTube videos. What are some you can think of? What do they do? Who are they for?

I’m also thinking a lot about the idea of Remix Culture (which I think is best represented by artists like Girl Talk and “video essays” – particularly those of kogonada, who I love:

Let me know if you can think of other examples of “remix” as defined in the readings.


Gaming posts (PLURAL!) * due on 11/13/14

Posted in Question with tags on November 10, 2014 by mlenos

Remember – we won’t be meeting as a class this Thursday, 11/13 and because of this, you’ll be required to make multiple posts, including at least ONE during class time (between 1:10 and 2:25 pm).  I know the time stamp settings on WordPress are messed up – do not worry about that.  I receive post alerts that are stamped with the correct time. The post that you make during class time will count as your attendance for 11/13.

The goal here is a conversation – commenting on each other’s comments and having a substantive discussion about gaming.  Respond thoughtfully to each others’ posts – just as you would respond to each others’ comments in class.

We’ve been talking about games and “real life” – how gaming might impact our view of the world, our behavior, even (through avatars and agents) how we see ourselves.  We’ve discussed whether gaming is addictive and the possible pros and cons of gaming as a hobby.

We’ve also talked about gaming demographics (including the surprising statistic that the gender split is nearly 50/50) and the economic impact of video games – remember that it is now two and a half times the size of the Hollywood film industry: the games industry generated around $31 billion in 2011 (that was the last year I could get accurate, consistently cited numbers on).

The gaming industry trade conferences – which used to ONLY be attended by people who actually worked in the industry, now have outrageous attendance.  E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo, held yearly in Los Angeles) had nearly 49,000 attendees this year. PAX (The Penny Arcade Expo, created by the creators of the popular online comic strip) had over 70,000. gamescon in Germany had 335,000.

Since the Dawn of Games (we’ll mark that spot with 1972’s Pong, which was the first popular, widely played video game), we have an industry that’s exploded in popularity and impact, worldwide, eventually developing its own competitive sub-culture, esports. Where prize pools have exploded to over $10 million.

In your first comment, tell us which game you chose to play. Give us an estimate of how long you spent playing over the past two weeks.  Talk about whether your game of choice used an avatar (or an agent) and how you did or did not connect to it.  Talk about whether you game regularly, or this was an unusual experience for you.  What do you think of gaming as a culture?  Has this conversation changed your opinion?

Your follow-up posts should be comments on your classmates’ posts.  Have a conversation.  How many posts should you make in total?  I don’t know… how many posts does it take to have a good conversation?  That’s up to you all.

See you on November 18, when we’ll start talking about YouTube and Convergence Culture.

Advertising post * due by 8am on 11/6/14

Posted in Question with tags on November 4, 2014 by mlenos

Link to a commercial or ad that you love (OR HATE) and discuss what methods it’s using to appeal to the viewers.

If you don’t watch tv, use Ad Report Card or the Clio Awards to get ideas.

Here’s one I like from last year, and I love it most of all for its absolute absurdity.

I’m not likely to buy a big Volvo truck, but that is impressive precision steering. This one is using the feature we talked about early on today; connection to celebrity.  For people who love action movies, Jean-Claude Van Damme is instantly recognizable, and that makes the ad enjoyable.

Here’s one that I hate so much!  It makes me very angry:

It’s weird and nonsensical (why is his wife a puppet?); it’s weirdly outdated (who cares about marionettes in 2014?); it’s almost unbelievably sexist and just creepy. I am not the only person who feels this way (FYI that link contains profanity).