Month: May 2015

Independent. Or Studio. There is no both.

McCrea’s asserts that the Australian game industry has recently made bold new choices, fostering a union between studios like Melbourne based mobile game studio Firmint, and independents developers.  But apparently you can only be one, not both. I came across a different perspective from an ex-employee of Firemint, Logan Booker, in his article on Kotaku My First Week As An Indie Game Developer. Logan’s article documents the reasons why he left Firemint to develop his own game. The first reason was the limitation placed on him due to the contract stipulating that he can only work on games for that company. This restriction is a common clause found in most developers contracts. Not something I expected from Australia’s gaming industry supporting independent game developers. Maybe the game industry is still suffering from some of the issues which destroyed itself in the past, like bad work cultures. But in this case its pushing people to commit and risk their jobs to be an independent, and its working. After the article on Kotaku, Booker found a partner, created the studio Screwfly Studios and finished his game …

We need Doctor Big Data, stat!

Katina Michael, in a conversation with The Register (2015), asked “How long does it take until we’re constantly being monitored and tracked, and people are predicting our next action?” – the answer is now, Katina. In fact, the new email extension Crystal informs users on how to construct emails based on the intended recipient, by predicting the best characteristics the person would respond positively to. Crystal does this by analysing all the Big Data on the subject and producing a profile from an algorithm. But Crystal, albeit new, has its shortfalls. Lucy Kellaway, on her podcast Listen to Lucy (2015), demonstrated the tool and declared that while it described her perfectly, the suggestion to send emotions to her in an email was so far away from the truth, she believes Crystal could just be guessing. But it’s undeniable that powering Crystal is a very complicated algorithm that can find and predict a person’s preferences based on just public data. But beyond emails, having data about someone before an interaction can be very helpful to predict other outcomes – potentially life saving …

Schwartz’s Twitter Economy

I will be examining a case study that Kae McKenzie  brought up in her post ‘#IWISHMYTEACHERKNEW HOW MUCH THIS WOULD HAVE HELPED ME 8 YEARS AGO’, but from the perspective of constructing a social media persona and digital objects. Kyle Schwartz’s twitter profile @kylemschwartz  is made up of digital objects that people value and share. She’s created her own economy in the form of ‘confessions from her students’ that she’s acquired as a 3rd year teacher. It’s arguable that Schwarz’s serial release of these confessions as images plays into the notion of collecting objects, like a game. Joshua Gamson suggested that “celebrity is not a prestige system, or a postmodern hall of mirrors, but … a game” (Marwick & Boy 2011). The value in her tweets has made her a micro-celebrity which she generated from her own digital economy: images of underdeveloped handwriting. #iwishmyteacherknew I don't have a friend to play with me. Honest answers from kids #edchat — Kyle Schwartz (@kylemschwartz) April 6, 2015 The hashtag #iwishmyteacherknew and the accompanying images are digital objects reproduced …

Digital Light Transformations

Before I created my video, I watched a series of videos that used digital lights to transform performances, bodies, and spaces. I was fascinated with how digital light could alter our form, and it reminded me of Leslie’s description of technology storming the human body, “subjecting the human sensorium to a complex training, and provoking a ‘crisis in perception’” (1998). This ‘crisis in perception’ is caused by digital light altering a form and space, a digital transformation that also occurs when we watch videos on devices. So my final video is a choreographed performance that recreates the process of watching a video, including the devices constraints, the lights, its portability, and the play button. Clips used in the video: Amazing Tron Dance performed by Wrecking Orchestra Fighting Gravity Make An L.E.D Illusion Mirror! by Mist8k Music: ‘sugar plum dumpling’ by idaydream   Leslie, E 1998, ‘Walter Benjamin: Traces of Craft’, Journal of Design History, 11:1, p 5-13.

Second Screen Broadcasts Twitter is allegedly the “second screen” to events – a hub for citizens to form conversations and report on new information around a topic (Beck 2015).  Now Periscope, and previously released Meerkat, are second screens for citizens to engage and witness events as they happen. The apps allow for broadcasting live information unfiltered to a growing community. They are tools that can be empower the practice of citizen journalism broadcasts. In my Prezi, I account for some of the most notable broadcasts to date and raise the issues surrounding these broadcasts, like the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight controversy. Pop-up live broadcasts challenge the established practice of legacy broadcasters acquiring the exclusive rights to broadcast an event. If you can broadcast live tweets during an event, why can’t you periscope it?