For our money based fandom assignment Kar and I decided to hold a penny raffle of a licensed fan object. The goal was to advertise primarily by social media but also put some flyers on the ITP floor for good measure. We equated one penny to one ticket entry. This lowered the level of commitment required to participate while potentially allowing a greater number of fans to participate. Kar was the subject matter expert for social media so she managed that through her exiting accounts.
Honestly the contest structure was mostly decided before we even knew what the fandom itself was. I was interested in hunting for a valued fan object(s) so I went out to do some field work. I went to Forbidden Planet first, hoping to find a hidden gem. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of good prizes in the $20 under range. I wanted to bring back something that was immediately worth the price in my eyes.
It’s funny to think of it this way, but Barnes and Noble is such a fandom hub in my opinion. I’m not sure if this their business strategy to stay viable as a brick and mortar store but here they are. I again ran into a lot of pricey cool fan objects like figures and accessories, but then I found Mega Man and Zero.
They were $10/each. They didn’t seem to be too common as I’ve never heard of the manufacture either. So we found the fan objects and started the raffle. Kar distributed the contest flyer through the web. Neither of us are Megaman fans, so there was a challenge of reaching interested people.
We were assigned a science fiction novel to read for our Expanded Cinema class. The book appears unassuming and the title is a bit cheesy. However after a rough first few chapters I started to become more engaging.
The story revolves around a kid in a dystopian world where resources and wealth is scarce, but one technology prevails as a sort of free “drug”. This drug is a Virtual Reality console connected to a online world with millions of other people.
The through back references to the 1980’s are far and plentiful. I feel bad for people who didn’t grow up in the 80’s in general, but even more so for people who have to read this book. I got most of the references, but they can get tiring or boring for younger people. It was a nice twist to have a reason for 80’s pop culture be so widespread in the book’s world if only just to drop a dozen one liners in a page.
That being said, I am found the protagonist to be more likable, and once the book actually turned him into a worthy protagonist I started to relate to what he was experiencing. Cline’s take on VR is interesting but not an original idea on it’s own. There is an anime called Sword Art Online which has a similar concept. You also see random references in pop culture that kind of allude to this escape from reality like Hackers, Star Trek and the Matrix.
This is probably one of the first times since I was a teen that I read a book before it appeared in the movies. I also feel that if and when VR irons out its quirks, its addiction would probably be as bad as described in the book.
My final project proposal is derived off of my previous work. Continuing with the theme of modifying user submitted images, I decided to do an experiment with generating ID cards.
A user would enter in relevant information like name and year, then choose a school’s ID format. Lastly they would upload a picture to use for the ID and they would receive back a generated image similar to the ID they would have as a student of that school.
This is for intellectual purposes only. I feel depending on Visual ID checks is a big vulnerability for any institution.
Talk assignment: Connected, but alone? – Sherry Turkle
Sherry gave a TED talk about a topic that many can relate to. That is the use of technology to communicate. But it’s more specifically using technology to replace traditional methods of connecting like talking or being physically present. She raises the concern about how our society is depending more on digital communication at the cost of us not being able to really have relationships with other people. Relationships have certainly changed over the last twenty something years. I think how and when digital communication is used determines if it’s impact is positive or negative.
Network Neutrality, Broadband Discrimination – Tim Wu
This article laid the groundwork for what would be a hot button issue over the next decade that followed.
Different parties have their own interests in mind when they argue for or against net neutrality. Even when groups agree for or against it, there are numerous ways in which each goal can be achieved. I feel the net should be fair and promote innovation as much as possible.
However there needs to be a guiding hand to some extent. This is to ensure that the smallest of entities have some sort of representation when decisions are being made. Also it would be easier to stop an ISP from getting out of control before it happens.