Another Transmedia Researcher

I attended an English Department Posgraduate Seminar last Friday to check out the work of Media and Communications Department PhD student Tom Apperley. His abstract had me intrigued:

In this brief paper I try and make sense of a cluster of research around the broad topic of X-box games. This paper reconciles two threads of research; one a textual analysis of gaming genres, and the other a broad search for a suitable research method. Working on both projects – more or less – simultaneously meant that there was inevitable convergence and cross fertilizations between the threads. Much of my initial work on gaming genres involved evaluating various justifications and denials of the unique status of gaming within the mediascape. From the research of gaming genres, I suggest that X-box games should be understood as virtual pedagogical ecologies that are differentiated by degrees and interplay of performance, transformation and contextualization. This demands that X-box games not only be understood as a unique media but as a unique site in a mediated network. This dual status is informed by, and reciprocally informs the methodology of the overall project. The project, tentatively titled, ‘Rethinking Computer Games as a Trans-national Practice’ utilizes media ethnography, discursive realism and multi-modality to enrich the analysis of X-box games as texts, technologies and practices. Together they enable the development of a research paradigm that conceives X-box games as the hybrid, ephemeral and complex media objects that the textual analysis demands.

I was interested, initially in how his methodology worked but to my delight discovered he is looking at transmedia storytelling, but from the game perspective.

I’m delighted to find another researcher in this area and will post further info once I’ve chatted with Tom further…

Extreme Email

We’ve seen Extreme Sports and even Extreme Ironing but now we have Extreme Email. Jonah Brucker-Cohen has come up with an idea to study how software, specifically email list software, affects human interaction.

BumpList only allows for a maximum amount of subscribers so that when a new person subscribes, the first person to subscribe is “bumped”, or unsubscribed from the list. Once subscribed, you can only be unsubscribed if someone else subscribes and “bumps” you off. BumpList actively encourages people to participate in the list process by requiring them to subscribe repeatedly if they are bumped off.

Subscribe and subscribe again or die!

Chatroom Conferences

On the subject of installation in the new media ecology (see Tate Gallery post) I found the FurtherField studio interesting. The FurtherField studio website describes itself as:

…an exploratory, year long project, set up to create online, real-time, net art residencies with three UK-based artists. Each residency lasts for 3 months, during which time the artists need not leave their studio or home environments, as the FurtherStudio web facility offers a public window on the artist’s PC desktop as they work.

What they also do is have ‘conferences’ online where panel discussions with the artists are held in a chatroom that visitors can watch/read and then they all move to another chatroom where all can participate. But as Charlotte Frost, a panel interviewer lamented over at

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