2 of my papers (which are 2 years old) are now public!

Ah, the publishing cycle. Two papers that I wrote 2 years ago are now available freely online. Times have changed since then (this is the problem with researching current rather than past phenomena), and I wouldn’t describe things in the same way, but there is still lots of value there.

Dena, C. (2008) ‘Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games’, Henry Jenkins and Mark Deuze (Eds) special issue on ‘Convergence Culture’ in Convergence Journal: International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, Vol 14, No 1, pp: 41-57.

This article introduces an emerging form of participatory culture, one that is not a modification or elaboration of a primary producer’s content. Instead, this article details how the artifacts created to ‘play’ a primary producer’s content have become the primary work for massive global audiences. This phenomenon is observed in the genre of alternate reality games (ARGs) and is illustrated through a theory of ‘tiering’. Tiers provide separate content to different audiences. ARG designers tier their projects, targeting different players with different content. ARG  player production then creates another tier for non-playing audiences. To explicate this point, the features that provoke player-production – producer-tiering, ARG aesthetics and transmedia fragmentation – are interrogated, alongside the character of the subsequent player-production. Finally, I explore the aspects of the player-created tiers that attract massive audiences, and then posit what these observations may indicate about contemporary art forms and society in general.

Since this paper was restricted by copyright for a year (which provoked a controversy), I created a website to augment the paper. Many people thought the website provided all the content that was in the essay, but that is not the case. The website provided another point of entry for those who couldn’t access the essay, and provided more depth for those that could. Now this can be made clear because the paper is out of copyright. Yay!

Dena, C. (2007) ‘The Future of Digital Media Culture is All in Your Head: An Argument for the Age of Integrating Media’, Proceedings of perthDAC 2007: the 7th Digital Arts and Culture Conference, Perth, Curtin University of Technology, 116-125.

Although research into digital media culture assists greatly in understanding new technologies, its influences and affects, to continue to do so in isolation of other media shows little regard for the reality of its role and use. ‘Old’ or ‘traditional’ media such as dusty books and smudged newspapers, consensus television, linear films and radio are also part of the daily medial diet of humans. Indeed, this paper argues that an emerging cultural approach is the integration of all media and that this will continue in the near- to long-term future. We are no longer in a Digital Age, we are instead in an Age of Integration. This argument is explored through providing examples of extant integration practices and outlining economic and cognitive influences. Finally, these influences and existing practices are utilized as insights into potential future cultural practices.

This paper has now been published in a special issue of Leonardo/ISAST: ‘Social Media: Narrative and Literacy in Digital Culture’.

The citation for this issue is: Dena, C. (2009) ‘The Future of Digital Media Culture is All in Your Head: An Argument for the Age of Integrating Media’, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, Leonardo On-Line (LEA Special Issue from perthDAC: Social Media: Narrative and Literacy in Digital Culture) [Online] Available at: http://www.leonardo.info/LEA/PerthDAC/PerthDAC.html

I hope you find these papers interesting! Indeed, check out the other great papers in the LEA issue. As always, please feel free to send me your thoughts via comments or email.

One Reply

  • Christy,
    I just finished enjoying “Emerging Participatory Culture Practices”. Great insight into how different types of players engage in the narrative of an ARG. It made me rethink the different strategies I’m employing for the game I’m creating now. It also provided an “ah ha!” moment in my game planning which will greatly enhance the ability of my game to reach different audiences. Thanks for making these articles available!

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