Craft, Digital-Making and Gender Connotations

Go and search on Google the words ‘craft’ and ‘making.

If you don’t possess the weird and sporadic search results where Google suggests that you’re a divorced, middle-aged, suburban mother, you’ll probably notice a marked difference between the two definitions.

‘Making’ yields the stereotypically gruff and manly images of individuals creating various bits of furniture and vehicles and such. With maybe two out of the first set of images showing anything but individuals engaged in metalwork or woodwork, it’s pretty obvious that the role of ‘making’ is something that is typically mature-aged and male-centric.

making - Google Search

And in contrast, ‘crafting’.

craft - Google Search

The bright pastel colours and the utility of the objects is pretty distinguishing.

And although the latter may come off as juvenile and dainty in some way, there is opportunity for a line to be blurred with the introduction of 3D-printing.

Would 3D-printing be classified as craft? Initially, yes. Simply assumed to fill a niche market in society, the technology to 3D-print objects of growing utility (such as generated Minecraft worlds, to entire engines) has massively blurred the definition and gender connotations to both terms.

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[MEME-ish]Transmedia, Scrapping Star Wars EU, and does it matter?

Transmedia storytelling – a concept sported by Henry Jenkins, is the act of telling numerous stories over numerous platforms, to form a cohesive point. Of course, I’ll try not to bother those who’ve already binged the lecture, but there are several points and a very obvious example which illustrates the issues that can surround it.

Literally LucasFilms, on their decision to scrap the entirety of the Star Wars Extended Universe. Source: Here-ish

Literally LucasFilms, on their decision to scrap the entirety of the Star Wars Extended Universe. Source: Here-ish

A separate entity from multimedia, transmedia text is fictional universe built as an encompassing umbrella. And anyone can theoretically contribute their stories and characters under this umbrella with little inconvenience.

But when the IP rights holder of Star Wars, Lucasfilm Ltd, decided to ultimately scrap the entirety of the brand’s extended universe, there was obviously backlash. A decision that was considered “wiping the slate clean”, many fans were outraged at the fact that the contributions of thousands had just been wiped away prior to the release of the new film.

So these contributions, utilizing many forms of media, whether it’s graphic novels, video-games, comics, or books, have been marked as a resource by the company, but do they have the right to do this?
Obviously they do, because they sort of own the brand. But this leads to the subsequent question of whether or not it matters to fans.

While many fans and authors might be distraught, their ability to add content under the umbrella of the brand is still entirely available, it just isn’t guaranteed to be ‘officially’ canon in the Star Wars EU.

So yay or nay to this decision? Do they have a right to just brandish the works of thousands of people as “unofficial”, or does it even matter?

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[SOUNDCLOUD]Remix, Cultures, and Criticisms

This is probably what I should of made a couple of weeks ago, but effort or something.

This podcast explains the criticisms and censorship surrounding the usage of sampling and remix on the social media platform of YouTube.

References:

[1] “This Video Is No Longer Available, The ‘Day One: Garry’s Incident’ Incident”, John Bain, 2013 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfgoDDh4kE0)

[2] “Nintendo Cracks Down on Fan-made Videos”, Kris Ligman, 2013 Gamasutra.com (http://gamasutra.com/view/news/192279/Nintendo_cracks_down_on_fanmade_videos.php)

Empowerment, Participation, and its Consequences

With the convergence of media and technologies, the ability for individuals to contribute and upload news and events to content aggregation sites or social networks has never been more convenient. The most notable examples of this is proven throughout the substantial footage of conflicts across Ukraine and also Syria. The ability for people to upload and distribute uncensored and unadulterated footage grows pivotal and more widespread as events rage on.

Liveleak - A commonly uncensored website which hosts a variety of disturbing and brutal media

Liveleak – A commonly uncensored website which hosts a variety of disturbing and brutal media

But then we move onto the developments surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013, and there is scrutiny surrounding how content is manipulated across social media. Subsequent to the bombing, the content aggregation site of Reddit collectively decided to give the FBI a supposedly much-needed hand in identifying the culprits. This led to the wrongful identification of Sunil Tripathi, after both Reddit and 4chan aggregated a whole bunch of info across a google document. Although they weren’t the only ones guilty of spreading misinformation, such as the New York Post identifying a suspect and plastering his face across their papers and website.

New_York_Post_logo

It was only when the FBI made the decision to release the names and pictures of the two culprits did both witch-hunts subside. So this begs the question on whether empowering social media with credibility, in times of crisis, is actually a good thing.

 

Copyright, Content, and their Creators

Attached to the bottom of this post is a Prezi presentation thingy which focuses on the issues and possible solutions behind the problems surrounding copyright in industry media.

My opinion on the matter boils down to ensuring that content creators are both properly protected in the creation of their work, which permits adequate compensation and such if need be, but also allows some transparency and freedom of usage with content.
Regarding conglomerates specifically, the exposure that they can provide content creators is invaluable, and without it, work can be worthless. However, they’re not the same as individuals and shouldn’t be afforded the same protections as such.

Although I have no conceivable solution that can help, this is just my general reflection on the matter.

http://prezi.com/9ldoddzlsfn_/