World Star Scopophilia Supercut Extravaganza! Group A6

We as a group will be creating a mashup supercut hybrid between amateur videos of fist fights and the feature length film Gamer to explore the effect scopophilia and a viewer society has on violence. As David Lyon explains, within a viewer society “as much attention should be paid to viewing as being viewed.” Lyon expands on the value of being watched by referring to Lacanian psychoanalysis where he draws the explanation “to see ourselves as others is key to identity formation.” With this in mind, our project will raise the question of how someone’s perception of him or herself shift when they are being praised for attacking someone else.
There is a quantitative way to measure how much public support or, at least, reception a recording of a fight gets on a site like Youtube or World Star Hip Hop, through the number of likes and views the video receives. Some of the 30 second to two minute videos that we want to include excerpts from in our remix have garnered upwards of a million views implying that these fights- even for the viewers who don’t know either of the people in the video personally- provide viewers with a pleasurable experience. Apart from how these videos of violent skirmishes are received on the internet, my group wants to consider another dimension of how the subjects’ behave when they’re conscious of the attention that bystanders are paying to them. Much like someone viewing a video of themselves inflicting pain on someone else causes a subject to reflect on who they are, could the awareness of a third party watching cause an ordinarily heated argument to come to blows?
What my group intends to argue is that a viewer society can project malice on those being viewed and propagate it to the wider society. Where the synopticon is defined as the many watching the few to encourage self control and good behavior viewer society and, more particularly, the perverse love of viewing can lead those subject to the view of the many to act indecently.

This video demonstrates the aesthetic qualities of a supercut video that we wish to make, however we are aiming to make a supercut/mashup hybrid by including clips from the film Gamer and any other example that helps our argument. The argument that we are trying to make along with the footage we plan to work with, the form of a supercut remix works the best due to its ability to repeat a common action almost to the point of redundancy, providing plenty of proof for the argument.


The Walking Webisodes


The Walking Dead is undoubtedly one of the most popular shows on television right now, currently half way through season five and scheduled for two more seasons after that. The shows writer, Robert Kirkman, who is also the writer of the famous comic series that the show is based off of, has been going at it since 2010, mixing and twisting the story around to create a unique set of events somewhat different from the comics. He is however, unable to provide all the details that a viewer might want in each hour long episode aired every week. Certain backstories are sadly left out due to run time or their separation from the main story line. This is where AMC decided to introduce The Walking Dead webisodes. The webisodes branch off of the main line and dig deeper into certain stories otherwise not touched upon in the show. This form of transmedia storytelling allows viewers to obtain a deeper involvement with the show’s world and the characters who inhabit it.


Hannah’s webisode arch

The use of webisodes also allows for a much larger process of world-building for the show. World-building is the process of constructing an imaginary world for a work of fiction to take place in. As Henry Jenkins states in Transmedia Storytelling 101, “Most often, transmedia stories are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories.” With each added webisode, The Walking Dead world expands as viewers are introduced to new places and the unique characters that come with them. The first webisode arch, released back in 2011, tells the story of Hannah after she awakens from a car wreck in her neighborhood. As many soon come to realize, Hannah is the first zombie or “walker” Rick encounters in the main show.


Hannah from webisode 5 – Step Mother


Bicycle walker from The Walking Dead – Days Gone Bye

Both the show and the webisode hint towards each other in the form of two long uncut shots. In the main show, the camera cuts to the bicycle zombie or “Hannah” and stays on her for quite some time. In the webisode, as Hannah is running down the street, she passes a bike. The camera stops and hovers over the bike for about the same amount of time. These are both what are known as migratory cues. Migratory cues are signals that prompt us towards another form of medium. When we see the long close up of the bicycle zombie, we get this feeling that something isn’t being said, so when the webisodes were announced, viewers began to watch and learn what happened to the woman. In the first webisode, the long shot of the bike draws us back to the first episode of the main series, completing the connection and hinting towards the pending outcome.


Shot of bicycle walker in The Walking Dead


Shot of bicycle from the first webisode

The first few webisodes take place from the start of the outbreak up until the point that Rick finds Hannah, filling in, at least from her point of view, the months Rick was in a coma. After Rick finally gathers his senses and plans to leave, he comes back to Hannah and kills her in an act of sympathy, effectively ending hers, and the webisodes arch of the story. Other webisode arches appear throughout the shows timeline, all with their own unique setting and story.

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an Aca-Fan. Henry Jenkins, 22 Mar. 2007. Web. 21 Feb. 2015. < >.

Murray, Janet H. Hamlet on the Holodeck. New York City: The Free Press, A Division of Simon and Schuster Inc., 1997. PDF.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Gif/The Desolation of Gifs/The battle of the Five Gifs


“Brother!” “# BUT MY COOKIES” Posted by Tumblr user: i-just-rode-up-on-a-unicorn-and

Conversations across the internet are becoming more and more common as technology advances and digital social communities grow beyond what anyone could ever have imagined. With these major leaps and growths, we begin to encounter a problem with how we communicate. The more we interact through the internet, the less intimate our conversations become.  In Personal Connections in the Digital Age, Nancy Baym talks about a study she performed asking people to “share general thoughts about communicating face to face, on the telephone, and on the internet,” (Baym, 2010). Many people responded saying that face to face took the lead because of the ability to observe facial expressions, over the phone took second because of the chance of conveying your feelings with your voice, and the internet took last being considered far too impersonal to communicate feelings what so ever.

The general idea behind these results is that as conversations become more separated and impersonal, we lose out on social cues that we otherwise would pick up on. Face to face provides visual cues, over the phone offers verbal cues but the internet is the worst because of the inability to either see or hear others. This is where memes, more specifically gifs, come into play. A gif (graphic interchange format) is a series of frames, like a video clip usually from a movie or TV show, which continuously loops over and over without needing to be loaded or started. Gifs can be used to express certain emotions over the internet otherwise unable to be represented in text. This allows people to replace the missing social cues with an image that represents their intentions and feelings. Below are two possible reaction gifs that could be sent in a conversation. The first one can be used to express genuine denial of something you’ve been told and action the person you are talking to that you are leaving. The second could be used as a response to someone telling you something that you don’t want to hear such as spoilers to your favorite show.


“No” Posted by Tumblr user: uuuhshinny


“I’m not listening” Posted by Tumblr user: deadpoetsmusings

Now while some gifs are vastly popular, there are thousands upon thousands of gifs that never reach the spotlight. As Richard Dawkins explains in The Selfish Gene, “memes that spread successfully incorporate three basic properties—longevity, fecundity, and copy fidelity,” (Shifman, 2014). The first one, longevity, refers to how long a meme, or gif in our case, can last by being stored and cataloged in countless archives. Next up is fecundity which refers to how many copies of the gif are made and distributed across different places. Lastly we have copy fidelity which refers to how easy it is to transfer the gif without losing information. Without these key properties, a gif would never reach internet popularity. The gif below has been blowing up on Tumblr since the release of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesIt can be found on countless user blogs in varying lengths and contexts.


“#THORIN #THOROUT” Posted by Tumblr user: ledamemangociana

The more popular a gif is, the more likely it is that someone will come along and either reenact it in their own way or change something about it to refresh and renew it. This is known as mimicry and remixing. Remixing is fairly new but is gaining mass popularity very quickly across the internet. As Limor Shifman states in his book MEMES IN DIGITAL CULTURE, “A plethora of user-friendly applications that enable people to download and re-edit content have turned remixing into an extremely popular practice,” (Shifman, 2014). Below are a few remixes of popular gifs from across the web including one from the gif above and one I created.




Posted by Tumblr user: sheturnonthebaby


“Come join us Gandalf!” “Did I leave the stove on?” My own Gif

The gif I made and all the ones from above were created with certain reasons in mind. When I watched The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey my second time, I came across the scene in Bilbo’s house where they were singing and looked at it a different way. I thought to myself “What is Gandalf thinking about?” So I hopped into Photoshop and made up a little gif of what I think he was pondering. As for the others, many people across the web notice similar scenes and apply completely different thought processes to them, thus creating what they perceive and distributing it to the internet.

Baym, Nancy K. “Communication in Digital Spaces.” Personal Connections in the Digital Age. Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2010. PDF.

Shifman, Limor. Memes In Digital Culture. Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014. PDF.

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Google Glass: The First Steps to an Augmented Reality

Google Glass Retro-style posterAs the progression of virtual reality continues to move ahead at a staggering rate such as Oculus Rift, one must begin to wonder, whatever happened to VR’s brother, augmented reality? If you have never heard of augmented reality, here is your chance to learn a little of what it is capable of and one of the leading projects in its push for consumer stardom.

Google, the massive company behind the vastly popular search engine, YouTube, the Android operating system and countless other products, made an announcement back in April of 2012 regarding their newest project, “Project Glass.” Project Glass, later officially changed to Google Glass, was one of the first major steps towards hands-free, augmented reality for everyday use with a mobile device. The purpose of Glass, as it soon became nicknamed, was to reconnect users with their surroundings. As mobile phones became more and more common for the average person to have, countless people began to pay more attention looking down at their phones than what was happening right in front of their eyes. Google set out to stop that by taking everything you do on a phone and putting it in front of your eye. Everything from text messages, and browsing the web to turn by turn directions to your favorite hangout spot, all conveniently placed in front of your right eye and easily accessed with nothing but your voice.

After many months of in house testing by employees, Google officially announces in February of 2013 that, along with the people who pre-ordered at the Google I/O Conference, anyone who wanted to try out Glass could get their chance by competing in the #ifihadglass contest. A few months later on April 16, the Explorer testing phase begins, allowing everyone who pre-ordered to start using Google Glass. This marks the start of a bumpy road full of software issues, broken units, and enacted laws that ban the use of Glass in certain situations.

When Google Glass was first announced, people were completely taken back. Everything Glass could do was possible on the phone but to most people the idea of completely hands-free, wearable technology was a figment of science fiction. The view of amazement and wonder was fueled by the uncanniness of Google Glass. As Tom Gunning states in his essay Re-Newing Old Technologies, “The specific effect of the uncanny comes from the flowering sense of unfamiliarity in the midst of the apparently familiar,” (Thorburn, 47) we can see that even though people understand what they can do with Glass, they are at the same time found in a weird place because they have never experienced something like augmented reality.

Another point that Gunning makes in his essay is that in our day in age, we assimilate new things so quickly that something can seem unfamiliar to us at one moment and then the next thing you know, it’s just another normal part of society. This slowly began happening to Google Glass starting at the beginning of 2014 and reaching its peak when multiple developers announced they were abandoning the Glass version of their apps. Twitter was the first to go while a total of nine out sixteen followed suit, claiming that they and many of the pre-release users have lost interest in the project. From then on Google Glass has slowly been going downhill reaching a point where rumors were popping up stating that Glass was going to be scraped when the Explorer phase was ended.

Thorburn, David. “Re-newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, Second Nature and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of-the-Century.”Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, 2003. 39-60. Print.

McGee, M. (Ed.). (n.d.). The History of Google Glass – Glass Almanac. Retrieved January 30, 2015, from