Click, Click, Boom!

Type. Click. Click. Boom, you’ve arrived. So you’re perusing your computer monitor at breaking speeds; taking in a multitude of information in a place where gathering and organizing patterns has never been so easy – a true example of instantaneity at our fingertips. What are we capable of with just the click of a button? Uploading and downloading media – music, movies, textual data (strings of information); creating 3-D digital design solutions, integrating CGI into movies, editing of all kinds; even ordering food, drinks and other consumer products…the list can go on and on. How vast the possibilities are with something as simple as a click – what Anna Everett might call ‘click fetish’ (p.36, Cybercultures Anthology). She continues to say that ‘there must be some pleasure to be had – otherwise, why buy? Why buy the rhetoric of plenitude or the expensive machines and services of click culture?’ (p.36) I suppose the point of all of this is to ask ourselves, in terms of remediation and click theory:

Is something (not necessarily tangible) gained by partaking in ‘click culture’?

What happens if we choose to refute the digital world?

Is this a remediation of basic and complex decision making?

Choose a question, what are your thoughts?

Wanna do some clicking? Check out (if you haven’t already) “OMGUW” – but please don’t blame me if you don’t get your homework done because of it… :p

Link to OMGUW: <http://www.omguw.com/&gt;

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Zoo Tycoon as a Database

When I was a kid, my absolute favourite computer game was Zoo Tycoon. I loved trying to make a successful business, keeping guests entertained, making animals’ exhibits suitable and achieving awards for it. Recently, I introduced the game to my younger cousins, and then decided to create a zoo for myself again. Within a couple hours, I had developed an award winning zoo, whereas before it would take me a week to do the same. I finally understood how systematically the game ran. The game was based on requirements, and if those requirements were fulfilled, there were positive resulting actions. Cage a guest with a lion and block the exit, and the guest will invariably get attacked. Achieve a 95% happiness rating for the panda bears and they will reproduce. The game is not a narrative, as I had believed it to be as a child. It is a database of processes: of action and reaction. There is very little chance involved. The illusion of narrative was in the ‘god-like’ power of the user, and the choices that the user makes as they create their zoo. But for every choice, and in any order the choices are made, there are corresponding reactions that apply to that particular choice. This is the database structure that allows many games to function, seemingly in a progressive narrative, but a narrative that is solely relevant to the choices of the user. Understanding that allowed me to play the game on the hard level and still make a very successful business in very little time. And to be honest, it also made the game a lot less satisfying.

Remakes in Film – The Spoof

In class, Mr. Hancock mentioned the idea of the game Myst, originally released in 1993, remediating itself through various remakes. Remakes are commonly done through film— particularly, in the spoof or parody film. This type of movie puts a satirical spin on one or more preceding movies.

The success of the spoof draws from the immediacy of the film experience. It provides a different sensory experience from written parodies. Additionally, hypermediacy is prevalent in the spoof because, largely, it is a group of separated scenes, each drawing from a different film, all placed into one movie. The viewer is dissociated from the movie because they are required participate by understanding what the movie is drawing upon. From this, one can also draw the conclusion that the spoof is a database due to the fact it takes bits and pieces of implied, subjective information rather than something causal and/or sequential. What this means is that each person has a different viewing experience based on their knowledge of movies in the past.

Attached, you will find a scene from the spoof film Disaster Movie. This will give you an idea of how a spoof works. I did find the clean version, but please note that some concepts may be inappropriate.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tomkFBIn9AE

The music CD as a database.

I feel as though a perfect example of the “database” form of media would be the music CD. At it’s most basic form, it’s a collection of separate songs which are each their own piece of media. You can individually select the song, put them on a random order “shuffle” playlist, or even extract them onto your computer and delete or edit any of them. While it is true that all the songs are separate, many Cds attempt to tell stories with their songs, having the lyrics all relating to a main topic. This sort of story telling is entirely up to the listener to interpret though, and many users will just listen to the songs on the CD individually. Another way they can tell a story, which is also up to the interpretation of the listener is through the use of a “mixtape”. Anyone can take selections of songs from various different locations and put them into a single location, in a specific order, which can have specific meaning and tell a certain story to the person who created the mixtape. In this way, Cds are a perfect example of the database, as the listener gives them the story through interpretation.

Can immediacy and hypermediacy ever be separate?

We discussed in class that many forms of new digital media can be argued as both immediate and hypermediate. However Bolton and Grusin’s explanation of both these concepts, as introduced in their writing of “The Double Logic of Remediation,” includes that the sense of immediacy that we demand today also demands that it be invisible. As in, the medium through which we are connected to the subject needs to seem as though it is not there, referring to examples of video streaming. In class we suggested that Skype (http://www.skype.com/intl/en-us/get-skype/) is immediate because it allows for automatic face-to-face video chat that remediates other online connecting venues such as MSN. However it’s also hypermediate because Skype reminds us of our friends’ birthdays, shows us photos of our contacts, allows us to mute conversations, chat by typing, and share our screens. All of these extra elements defer from the medium seeming invisible because they act as distractions, or rather interactive options. The immediate wants an interface that the users do not notice, but the hypermediate wants attention. So perhaps the new argument should be whether or not any medium can claim to be solely immediate or hypermediate. Would not all media potentially fall under both categories?

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