Month: April 2015

Is Cloud Computing Green?

Cloud computing, sometimes boldly called “Green” Cloud computing, is utilising offsite computing power from large datacentres and servers to replace infrastructure servers in business. The issue is, we “all pay so little attention to the resources used by “the cloud” (Notley & Reading 2013). Cloud computing uses less power to the achieve the same results as regular servers. So much, that the “Smart 2020 report by the Climate Group estimates energy consumption of these and other cloud data centers to be 330 billion kilowatt hours per year” (Newton 2010). The green savings, is often attributed to the power savings the consumer will benefit from utilising cloud computing. But the power savings required to power the server is often invested back into more servers, as Samsung proudly remarks that replacing regular servers with thier Green DDR3 servers will reduce power consumption by 86% which can “add 55 more servers to your data center in just one year”.  Samsung’s “green” vision is undermined by statements like this and their reports never state how much CO2 emissions are reduced from …

The Walking Dead: Text Adventure

I created a tiny text based game about travelling as a zombie. This is my addition to the expanding transmedia catalogue of content within The Walking Dead universe. Play: The Walking Dead: Zombie Survival The difficult thing about creating this text adventure within The Walking Dead narrative was coding the game, and thinking retrospectively about how a player would interact with the game. Making a Text adventure requires you to stretch your imagination and craft multiple stories within a story universe, essentially the epitome of the transmedia form, but in one media format. Text based adventures, like Telltale‘s episodic games The Walking Dead Season 1 & 2,  create new interactive stories within the “complex fictional world” of The Walking Dead (Jenkins 2007). Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead series, has sustained his universe of interrelated characters across multiple stories, by utilising the multiple entries of transmedia storytelling. The Walking Dead’s comics, games and TV-show properties have worked so well because of Kirkman’s close relationship to their creation. As Jenkins (2007) put’s it, Transmedia storytelling “has so far worked best … …

Remixing Nintendo

The Lets Play video is a 20 minutes – 1 hour long video commentary on a game being played by the narrator. While still considered a legal grey area, Let’s Play videos are categorised as fair use as the creator is ‘remixing’ the game by sharing his experience with the content. However, that doesn’t prevent players from facing threats of legal action from Nintendo. Even if their videos provide free game promotion, “the gaming industry isn’t thrilled about Let’s Players siphoning ad dollars from its intellectual property.” (Zoia 2014)

I Only Upvote

Reddit is formed by the “people formerly known as the audience”, Jay Rosen (PressThink 2006). This remark by Rosen implies that Reddit’s gatekeepers are removed, and in its place are only ‘the people’. But the gatekeepers are still ‘the people’. Reddit suffers from a conflict “between the thoughtful and the jerks” (TEDGlobal 2005), an insight observed by Jimmy Wales on the moderation of his website Wikipedia. To tackle this conflict, Reddit’s community is empowered by democratic tools to either upvote or downvote content, giving users the power to moderate conversations on Subreddits (or groups). Under Clay Shirky’s idealised model of the Internet (TED@State 2009), Reddit may be a medium that “supports groups and conversations at the same time.” But Reddit does not support conversations, it controls conversations. The issue with Reddit is its eager ability to shut down conversations, for negative or positive reasons, by only a few downvotes. While voting helps to moderate the quality of conversations, ‘quality’ is loosely defined by the subreddit’s users. The decision to ‘upvote’ or ‘downvote’ a conversation is left up to ‘the people’. But who …

How To Broadcast Survival Pornography

Bear Grylls’s The Island, showed contestants hunting and killing animals for food – contextually, if you’re trapped on an island, it makes sense – but on TV, the presentation of this event is debated as pornography for viewer ratings. Survival pornography – the broadcast of suffering and tragedy as entertainment for the pleasure of viewers – in this case, contestants on the reality show The Island are forced to their “limits” to survive as if stranded on an island. But it’s known that the Channel 4 production, hosted by Bear Grylls, can easily intervene with the contestants “as we were reminded when [Grylls] shipped in emergency new equipment because the … gang couldn’t light a fire” (O’Sullivan 2015). DailyMail (Crone 2015) even suggests  that producers were releasing extra pigs, iguanas, and crocodiles for contestants to eat. In light, it’s easy to understand the outrage that viewers experienced after watching “innocent animals … being snuffed out in the heartless pursuit of decent viewing figures” (O’Sullivan 2015). After killing a crocodile, the team cheers, slaps hands together and swear with smiles – it’s unsettling to see how close the production team, and …