Another Research Group, and in Europe of course

On March 19, 2006 by christy

Participation and Play in Converging Media is a research project based at the Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo and has been running since 2004! The English description on the website explains the projects thus:

The project investigates non-professional participation in the media, with an emphasis on how participation is facilitated and exploited by the media institutions that offer participation as part of its output. The project pays special attention to the ways that current technological developments facilitate extended audience participation and use through e-mails, mobile phones and other interactive features. Play and gaming is included as a particularly important mode of participation in the current media. A key observation for the project is that an increased importance of audiences and users is not so much a case of institutions losing power, more a case of institutions developing new ways to shape and direct interactive and user-centered output.

Empirically, the sub-projects span a wide range of digital media (Web applications, online games) and multi-platform formats combining broadcast and digital technologies (particularly digital and SMS-based TV). Collaborative projects include work on scenario building in media institutions and a representative survey of audience participation and media elitesÂ’ strategies/conception of participation.

I have conversed with Anders Fagerjord, who is part of the project, and he tells me they’re looking at “cross platform formats” — mainly TV and web properties like Big Brother and Idol. They have a few academic papers out and I’m sure more will be forthcoming. It is great to see so many researchers looking at this area. We now have, by my count, two funded research groups worldwide, with two student groups. I’m sure there are more, so if you’re out there let me know! In summary:

Participation and Play in Converging Media

MIT Convergence Culture Consortium

The Cross Media Group

HvA Cross-Media Students

And of course, the PaP group should now be added to my list of European researchers.