Month: May 2014
The answer to both questions? I don’t know, but I wish it wasn’t that way.
Somewhere along the way, in the eyes of the mainstream, feminism became less about suffrage and equal rights, and more about crazed females trying to take over the world. I exaggerate in that second part, however make of this what you will…
I feel like this post (if anyone were to read it), could cause some anger directed my way, and I want to explicitly state this is not in any way a blanket statement towards all feminists, this is just my attitudes towards certain parts of “modern” feminism. For me, feminism has this “you’re with us or against us” attitude. It is this “how dare that man look at me like I’m a piece of meat, I’m just on my way to watch the new Ryan Gosling movie which is not overly sexualised at all” attitude.
Have I experienced sexism? Yes.
Do I feel affected every single day by sexism? No.
As someone who spends a good majority of my time online, have I experienced sexism? Definitely. The following is a (quite polite) reddit private message I received. For context, I post almost exclusively on /r/afl.
Lets be honest… thats a bit of a gross message to send to someone you don’t know. But to be honest? It made my day. It gave me something to laugh at for a very long time.
The internet has given people a new way to be absolute
cunts meanies to strangers.Unfortunately, having a vagina is one of the first “flaws” someone will pick on you for. The same way people automatically pick on gingers, overweight people, or people with mental illnesses. It comes down to one thing – give people a mask (the internet), and a lot of them will be dicks.
Now this may be influenced by my aforementioned “gripes” with feminism, but do I feel that internet sexism is a feminist issue? No. I believe its a “people on the internet should stop being dicks” issue. Try to ignore it, and try to find a laugh in it.
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The rise of social media has brought with it the rise of clicktivism, the act of saving the world, one Facebook like at a time. And it is absolutely impossible to keep my opinions on this subject concise. Clicktivism can be rage-inducing or awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, it is usually the former.
There are some people who will see a photo of a dying child, click like, add their “prayer”, and go on feeling like they’ve done a good deed for the day. But sometimes, like in the case of the Occupy movement and the more recent, March Australia, social media activism can bring people together in great ways.
One of the most recent social media campaigns that has gotten my goat, is “no make up selfies”. As someone who a/ wears no makeup, and has b/ lost a parent to cancer, taking a photo of yourself not wearing makeup will do literally nothing to stop people from dying. Cancer “awareness” should not be such a huge thing. Everyone is aware that cancer exists, I don’t think you could meet someone who does not know what cancer is.If you want to do something good, DONATE, don’t just take selfies!
It’s not all bad though, perhaps I am just getting grumpy in my old age. This year, March Australia organised March in March and March in May almost entirely through social networks. They managed to organise protest rallies against current government policies in almost every capital city in the country, with tens of thousands of people attending. I attended the Sydney March in May rally, one of the most positive and emotive things I have ever attended, thousands of strangers united in what almost felt like an enormous picnic.
Sometimes, the internet unites people in amazing ways, that doesn’t just have to do with porn or technicolour ponies.
Remix culture is not really a new thing in the media industry. It is very hard to come up with brand new, original ideas, so most “new” media is really just a spin off of old content. This is particularly prevalant with tv shows. The MTV show Daria, which ran for five seasons from 1997 and still holds up today as a fantastic show, is a spin off from another MTV series, Beavis and Butthead, where Daria was a recurring character. A great thing about remix culture in television shows is being able to watch a scene and say “I get that reference”. Especially when the reference is a giant Thanksgiving turkey Totoro.
However since the rise of the internet (which we all know, is just a trend) user remix culture (or produsage) has become much more prevalent. Produsage is a lovely buzz word to explain where the user is taking in content, but also remixing and producing new content. Producer + user = produser = produsage.
Is remix culture a good thing or a bad thing? The YouTube channel “Bad Lip Readings”, which takes pretty much anything, tv shows, songs, sports and does (like the name suggests) a bad lip reading of them, has over three million subscribers. Their most popular video, a bad lip reading of the NFL, has over 52 million views.
Now, some artists or organisations are completely against remix culture, someone else using their product to springboard themselves into fame. Especially when (as with the bad lip readings), its often in a mocking tone. But these “remixes” of sorts, could get people interested in an artist’s work, years after it has been released.
Does remix culture come down to “any publicity is good publicity” or is it hands off someone elses work?
Bruns, Axel (2010) Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage
Bad Lip Reading 2014, YouTube, viewed 29 May 2014, <
Transmedia storytelling is where different aspects of a story get told across multiple channels. Each channel tells their own smaller parts of a larger story. These different channels can be consumed separately and still be a standalone story, but when a user consumes all of them, they get a greater understanding of an entire story.
In relation to the Xbox One, the best transmedia project is Halo. Halo is a multi-billion dollar franchise, owned and controlled by Microsoft. Halo numbers nine games, including one that is exclusive to Microsoft’s Windows 8 phones, tablets and PCs. The first Halo game was released on the original Xbox in 2001 and since then has skyrocketed into one of the most popular game franchises in the world.
As well as the games, the Halo franchise boasts 12 soundtracks, 13 novels, and eight graphic novels. The release of the Xbox One has opened up new opportunities for transmedia narration, with Microsoft announcing “Xbox Originals”. Xbox Originals will be “premium dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, unscripted shows, and live events”. In regards to Halo, Microsoft Originals is developing a live-action Halo television series, directed by Steven Spielberg.
Consistent with Jenkins’ elements of transmedia, each of these “episodes” of Halo – games, novels, upcoming television show – are accessible and makes sense on its own. You do not need to view multiples of these in order to make sense of them, they are all standalone novels which contribute to a greater story.
The Xbox One has seamlessly integrated games, television and movies, and this opens up a new chance for Microsoft to deliver a unique transmedia experience to their users.
Jenkins, H. (2007) ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101’
Marine, J 2013, Will the Xbox One Open Up New Opportunities for Filmmakers or Simply Be Business as Usual?, No Film School, viewed 27 May 2014 <
2014, Xbox Originals: Coming Soon to a Screen Near You, Xbox Wire, viewed 27 May 2014, <
2014, List of Halo Media, Wikipedia, viewed 27 May 2014, <
Baptist World Aid Australia has produced a report which lists technology companies and looked at a number of important issues including wages, policies on forced labour, child labour and use of unpaid contractors. The company did this in an attempt to see which companies were living up to their responsibilities, and which are not. Nintendo scored a D in the index, while Sony scored a C, and Microsoft scored an impressive B. You can read the overall results below.
“Companies were graded on multiple different areas: their policies on working with companies that used child labour, how well they understood the supply chain they were involved with, the ability of the brand to monitor that chain and the degree to which the companies in question supported worker’s rights.”
“For Nintendo, the evidence is pretty damning. Whilst Sony and Microsoft had policies to help prevent exploitative practices, Nintendo had practically none. In…
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The Xbox One has (surprisingly, quite willingly on Microsoft’s part) opened up a new opportunity for produsage worldwide. Bruns (2007) describes four key characteristics that describe produsage. Microsoft does not 100% satisfy all of these characteristics but the general framework of the characteristics still apply to the Xbox One.
The Xbox One gives the consumer the ability to livestream the games they are playing using the streaming website Twitch. It also gives you (quite amazingly, in my opinion) the ability to retrospectively record the last 30 seconds of your gameplay, by using the vocal command “Xbox, record that”. That cool thing you just did that no one will ever believe that you did and you will never be able to replicate? Xbox, record that.
You can also record longer periods of gameplay, but only up to 5 minutes, so recording entire game walkthroughs are out of the question. However, with the clips you do record, you can upload to YouTube, straight from your console.
This ability to record and display gameplay almost instantly demonstrates the first two characteristics that Bruns’ describes for produsage. This is the shift from user to producer, where anyone in a worldwide community, from expert gamers to casual gamers can suddenly be “producing” video game videos.
Xbox One also satisfies Bruns’ third criteria of an always unfinished product, with its use of the Xbox Live system. Games are constantly being updated, new downloads available, for you to play continuously, online with your friends. The game does not end when you’ve finished the single player storyline.
The fourth criteria, enabling further content development, may be in store for the Xbox One’s future. There is an unfinished settings menu in every Xbox One called the “Developers Settings Menu”, and Microsoft has pledged that Xbox One’s will be development kits, where users can make their own games.
Wilson, A 2014, ’25 Xbox One tips and tricks for getting the most out of your console’ TechRadar, 21 May, viewed 26 May,
Bruns, Axel (2007) Produsage: Towards a Broader Framework for User-Led Content Creation. In Proceedings Creativity & Cognition 6, Washington, DC.