As I’ve been following Mia Zamora’s class, it’s now my turn to do take over the class for parts of tomorrow and present my thesis.
My thesis will focus on Participatory culture within game developement and gaming communities. I will present my practical projec,t the Twine game I’ve been blogging about, my positive and negative experiences about it and how I connect it to participatory culture. I will also talk about what my plans is for the rest of my master program, what I plan to do and how to go about it.
I hope to get a fruitful discussion going in class about participatory culture, the reading I assigned for them (chapte 5 of Participatory culture in a networked ers and a video with Henry Jenkins), and any input they might have on the topic.
My thoughts on chapter 4 of Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito & Danah Boyd’s Participatory Culture in a Networked Era.
After reading chapter 4 of this book, I ended up writing quite a few pages of notes and thoughts on this chapter. The book tries to critically examine “participatory culture” and how our thinking around this concept has changed over the last 20 years since Henry Jenkins first coined the term.
Chapter 4 focuses on media literacy as well as learning in a community such as in a participatory culture.
One thing I kept wondering about was why they kept going back to Youth. They spoke of youth as if the rest of the population didn’t contribute to participatory cultures in the same way. Youth was also vaugely defined, and I wondered more than once what age range they were thinking and how old the oldest “youth” were in their talk.
The text was quite easy to read as it was written in a very oral style of an interview.
A discussion they had was about learning and producing as a community. Wikipedia came up several times; Jenkins calling it possibly the greatest example of a good participatory community. At the very least it is one of, if not the most well known example. I agree that Wikipedia is far more cedible than many High schools and universities gives it credit for. Even if you don’t want students to cite just wikipedia, it is a great starting point when researching a topic.
Another concern that was brought up was the possibility of “information overload”. This is due to the overwhelming information that can be found on the web and that we now have access to. With it comes questions of Quality of information and if we should vet the information or expect people to develop any kind of sensibilities when navigating through seas of information. I agree with their assessment of the need to adapt to the amount of information rather than try to go back to a world were we would be “go back to a diet of starvation in terms of communication and information.”(p. 100)
This chapter pointed me towards Jenkins’s White Paper which I will check out as well as other authors that might be useful in my own research. I hope to make a post on chapter 5 of this book as well later on.
Howard Rheingold’s Netsmart (2012) focuses on how to traverse the internet and our age of social media more conciously. One of his main points of interest is how he as a professor made notice of student’s havbt of checking their phones and laptops during his lechtures and how we divide our attention on the internet.
One of the first things he suggests when talking about this, is that we need to be more consious about our attention; we have to pay attention to our attention. I know if I let my mind wanders I can go between my tabs unconsiously and visit several sites without really doing much on either in a short amount of time. I end up feeling restless on the internet. If I keep myself aware of where my attention wanders however, it doesn’t happen as much.
When we do focus our attention, you might also experience selective inatention. this is to say, you filter out certsain “distractions” when you focus on a goal that might be important for other tasks or in general, but not immediatly reltated to your current focus point. An example he refers to is Daniel Simons’s “awareness test” video. If you do know know of it, I suggest looking at it.
I think one of Rheingold’s biggest messages on attention and technology in general is to be mindful of it. He talks substantially about how parents neglect to pay attention to their children in favor of being on their Blackberries (this book is from 2012 after all). And this can be also said for their use of smartphones and social media in general. You should be mindful on when you use the technology and when you shouldn’t as well as be aware of how you use your attention when you are online and how your media practices affect you.
As a book it was easy to follow and I would reccomend a read even if you’re not in academia or a student. The book talks about more than just attention, such as the “crap detector” and online collaberation.
Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, Howard Rheingold (2014)