Wikipedia: Oum’s RWBY

The recent production of the latest American-animated web-series RWBY (pronounced “Ruby”), had become one of the more popular online franchises among many viewers today. The series took it’s jump-start in 2013 by director, animator, and producer, Monty Oum, who created the anime-like show within the Roosterteeth studio in correspondence to their other well-acclaimed Halo spin-off web-series, Red vs. Blue. With the show hitting over a million views on Youtube, the early promotion of the trailers and soundtrack leading to the first episode was widely accepted among audiences and had went viral shortly after the release of it’s second volume.

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Quick overview from Wikipedia regarding RWBY

The use of Wikipedia as an online encyclopedia to gather basic information regarding a subject has been a well-connected source in describing the general content of the production of the web series as well as an overall outline of the story so far. The page itself has been maintained in a fairly balanced way among a select group of users and continuously updated as episodes are released. Jenkin’s states in part one of his lecture, What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies, of the skills regarding the function of Wikipedia, “Collective Intelligence: the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal. Judgment: the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information source. Networking: the ability to search for, synthesize and disseminate information. Negotiation: the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative sets of norms” (Jenkins, Part One). Wikipedia in itself expresses these fundamental aspects in order to relay information in an accurate but non-bias way.

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Notification regarding the lack of information for the ‘Volume 2 Soundtrack’

Due to RWBY being an original series and not seeding off of a mother franchise like Red vs. Blue, information about it is constantly updated and left temporary as more episodes are released. An example of this is the soundtrack to volume 2 being unavailable for sale throughout the season in which caused part of the page to be left blank due to the lack of factual evidence from an item where it’s availability was yet to be announced.

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Revision history of page

Since the series is still in it’s early stages of growth in terms of being a fleshed out franchise, fans are the main support in making it recognized throughout the web. In terms of popularity, all types of people are able to edit the page in regards to providing information that may contribute to bettering the knowledge of the subject. Just as Jenkins states, “Wikipedia invites youth to imagine what it might mean to consider themselves as experts on some small corner of the universe. As they collect and communicate what they know, they are forced to think of themselves writing to a public. This is no longer about finding the right answer to get a grade on an assignment but producing credible information that others can count upon when they deploy it in some other real world context,” (Jenkins, Part Two). However, open-editing also gives access to those that may not know or care about the series who could possibly provide false information. Such as the example above in terms of vandalizing the page out of personal opinion, not fact.

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Statistics of page visits in the last 90 days

In relation to RWBY, the recent death of creator Monty Oum, had left many people, both aware and unaware, of his works checking the page in concern of news regarding the continuation of the series as well as of his death in February of this year in which the page had reached it’s peak. Since the web-series had only gone through the production of it’s second season, viewers were questioning the studio as to what would become of the unfinished work Oum had proudly started.

Citations:

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part One).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p.,  (2007, June 26). Web. March 8, 2015.

Jenkins, Henry. “What Wikipedia Can Teach Us About the New Media Literacies (Part Two).” Confessions of an AcaFan. N.p., (2007, June 27). Web. March 8, 2015.

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By jac473

The Lion King: Transmedia

Disney’s classic animated film The Lion King, produced in 1994, left one of the biggest impressions among the animation industry as well as audiences all over the world with it’s memorable characters, “Hamlet-like” story, and catchy soundtrack to last for quite some time. The film itself has been a source of inspiration and influence among other forms of media such as websites, fan videos, and games. The attention that was obtained from the film led to the motivation of the studio to further appeal to their audience. Multiple websites have been made to produce bonus features that support the film as well as provide a more interactive experience for the audience that the film may not have thoroughly addressed; such as detailed descriptions of characters, additional information about the story, and mini-games for those that are interested in going “beyond” the movie for more enjoyment.

Lion King Website

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The Lion King Official Website for the UK

Due to the widespread success of the film and the Disney studio as a whole; added collaborations with other well-known companies such as Square Enix, Playstation and Nintendo, have greatly supported them in their production of their works as additional business partners/sellers. These companies have worked together to create games that have been well-received as a service towards fans and as a benefit for marketing purposes. An example of this is the Kingdom Hearts series in which the use of most Disney films were crossed-over to a rpg for all ages by the Japanese game production company.

The Kingdom Hearts series have widely adapted to the concept of “world building” as explained by Jenkins, ”…the idea of transmedia storytelling is generally defined today as storytelling across multiple platforms. With multiple platforms to tell a story, creators are able to a rich and detailed world through a process called “worldbuilding.” (Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling 101,”) As the player takes part in the role of a character within the world presented originally in The Lion King (known as the “Pride Land”), it allows the player to become more immersed to take part in the story as well as interact with the characters and setting from the film.

                                                     

The Lion King Game for Super Nintendo                         Simba and Sora from Kingdom Hearts II

 Kingdom Hearts II from Square Enix

The film’s success also lead to the production of two additional films, The Lion King 1/2 and The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride, in which would continue or add to the original story as a sequel of sorts. The Lion King 1/2 is a good example of the multiform stories presented by Murray in her book in which she defines it as the “reflections of different points of view of the same event.” (Murray, pg. 36, 37) The Lion King 1/2 provided that very aspect in which it was a recollection of the events that took place in the first film in the varying perspectives of the supporting characters; Timon and Pumba. “Multiform narrative attempts to give a simultaneous form to these possibilities, to allow us to hold in our minds at the same time multiple contradictory alternatives.” (Murray, pg. 37, 38)

To each of these types of media, the value of the movie continues to make impressions to audiences of different generations today.

 

Works Cited:

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Web log post. Confessions of an Aca-Fan. N.p., 22 Mar. 2007. Web.

Murray, Janet Horowitz. “Harbingers of the Holodeck.” Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: The Free Press, A Division of Simon and Schuster Inc. 1997. Print.

By jac473

The Power of GIFs

In today’s media, GIFs have become the more common form of expression in social sites such as Tumblr and Twitter. But what makes GIFs such a popular form of communication? In earlier cases, GIFs (Graphic Interchange Format) were used to replay specific scenes from movies, shows, or games for the sake of enjoyment. However, they have now been used in ways to convey personal emotion through the web.

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“I’ll show him. I’m gonna finish him like a cheesecake.”

The GIF of Fat Amy’s response from the movie Pitch Perfect is a good example of this. The small relaying clip shows her frustration and anger to fight back. This works in many ways for people who have seen the movie or haven’t. It’s a widespread feeling in which any group of people can relate to.

As Baym states, “Our expressions of emotions and immediacy show others that we are real, available, and that we like them, as does their willingness to entertain them. Our playful conventions and in-jokes may create insider symbols that help groups to cohere. These phenomena are only enhanced by the additional cues found in shared video, photography, sound and other multimedia means of online interaction that have developed over time.” (Baym, pg. 62) GIFs provide that short, simple expression without the abundance of words. They’re visually stimulating and get the point across of what the person may be feeling in which may relate to the key audience, in other words, they become a form of “digital cues” in representation of a person’s way of thinking.

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“Aca-scuse me?”

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“Aca-believe it!”

The Pitch Perfect movie, produced in 2012, had instantly become “internet famous” as the next classic film since Mean Girls shortly after it’s release.The overall success of the movie has since then caused mass amounts of several gifs and memes to spread regarding the classic quotes shared within the film itself (most of which came from the witty improvisations of actress Rebel Wilson). Dawkins’s analysis of The Selfish Gene explain that memes comprise of three key elements; “…copy fidelity (accuracy), fecundity (the number of copies made in a time unit), and longevity (the time-span).” (Shifman, pg.17) Pitch Perfect’s depictions of the characters within the film and it’s widespread popularity highlighted each of the key aspects to be addressed as a meme.

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“Whew, I could be the ham in that man-sandwich.”

Original GIF of Pitch Perfect 2’s “Fat Amy”

CItations:

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

Shifman, Limor. “When Memes Go Digital.” Memes in Digital Culture. Cambridge: MIT, 2014. 17-35. Print.

https://www.tumblr.com/search/pitch+perfect+gifs

By jac473