Hide yo kids, Hide yo wives, and Hide yo husbands, cuz they stalking errybody out here

Someone or something is always watching you, the question is do you care? In reality, you may be able to track people who are stalking you by observation and get help from the police. However online, this area becomes murky and people or corporations may or may not know if they are being watched. As Andrejevic states, “These various enclosures facilitate vastly different types of information gathering and transmission…Google may be able to track movements to a much higher degree of resolution and to correlate these with the content of search engine requests and e-mail correspondence.” (Andrejevic 300)

Our main argument is that people don’t exactly know what is happening with the information they allow corporations to take from them. Large companies like Facebook and Google have privacy policies that are all encompassing and most people don’t know what it is they are taking. In reality we are more cognizant of the information we give to people and feel that the information we give, even the most basic information we give online, is something we should not give out in person and yet still do it anyway. This video attempts to shed light on that irony by comparing how we interact in person with people who try to get too close to us without our permission, and how we interact with large corporations online that want to take our information.

We will structure this argument by telling the story of the movie Stalker (2014), and injecting clips of people using large corporate web based media sources. This will create strong imagery and a parallel to the theft of information and privacy in the real world, and how it is taken from us online. By injecting clips from Google and Facebook advertisements and commercials, that portray people as ever so happy using their programs, and using a horror film about stalking, it will create a strong juxtaposition in our remix video that will back up our argument substantially.

We hope that by comparing these two different cases of privacy invasion, this will open the eyes of the viewing audience to the dangers of putting too much information online freely.

Wikipedia: Here Comes the Squirtle Squad!

It’s everyone’s favorite Pokémon, and one of my personal favorites, Squirtle. He’s a water type Pokémon, and boy is he ever so cool! Pokémon, for those that don’t know, is a game and animated series where there are extraordinary creatures which are trained by Pokémon trainers to battle (and don’t worry they never die, they just faint). In order to be the best in this world, like no one ever was, to train them must be your cause. Sadly, this world is pure fantasy and is unreachable. However, it does have a Wikipedia page for this special creature, and that is what really matters. On this page, Squirtle is detailed in depth and his origins and appearances in the games and shows is discussed at some length. This article shows many people’s opinion on Squirtle on Wikipedia, and is a perfect example of what Jenkins calls ‘collective intelligence’ – basically people sharing “knowledge and [comparing] notes with others towards a common goal” (Jenkins). Many things can be discussed about this article, its editors and contributors and how often they edit, proving the beneficial side to ‘collective intelligence’, while ‘systemic bias’ shows the limitations of ‘collective intelligence’.

Squirtle   Wikipedia  the free encyclopedia

This article was created in 2003, as documented by the Wikipedia page, and it has undergone the most intense editing in 2006 and 2007. After these years, the editing went down substantially and was nearly non-existent for two years, and then held a mild resurgence of edits in the past recent years.

The majority of edits were made in 2006-2007.

The majority of edits were made in 2006-2007.

Since this is a pop culture item on Wikipedia, most people who edit this page are unlikely to have serious credentials to back up their statements. Rather as Jenkins states, “What holds a knowledge community together is not the possession of knowledge — which can be relatively static — but the social process of acquiring knowledge — which is dynamic and participatory, continually testing and reaffirming the group’s social ties.” (Jenkins) In the Pokémon community, and in this particular case those who know Squirtle, all the knowledge comes from playing the games and watching the television show. The knowledge of Squirtle then, can be easily fact checked and contributed by other audience members who have seen Squirtle in the video games and television shows. This way, the many people who have been exposed to Pokémon media have a near equal knowledge base of information to equally contribute to the Squirtle Wikipedia page.

Henry Jenkins states “There isn’t someone out there — an editor or publisher — deciding how much space to grant a given topic, though the group may sometimes prune entries that they feel are over-inflated. Rather, someone who cares deeply about a subject takes the first crack towards writing an entry and others who share her interests may also contribute, thus often swelling its word count,” (Jenkins) which he later calls ‘systemic bias’. In this Wikipedia article about the Pokémon Squirtle, the discussion is very tame. This is likely due to the emergence of Bulbapedia in early 2005. Bulbapedia, although not a different ‘topic’ does take the attention away from the Squirtle Wikipedia page and turns it to the Bulbapedia Squirtle page, which contains a monumental amount of data regarding Squirtle. That in turn accounts for why the page is currently relatively inactive, thus doing the same thing which Jenkins describes as ‘systemic bias’.

This ‘collective intelligence’ which is displayed on Wikipedia may be viewed by some as not the best thing for society because it can lead to discrepancies such as ‘systemic bias’. However, it can also lead to a great sharing of knowledge which may not have been shared before. In the specific case of Squirtle, I have experienced this. For now I can look up certain things about it, such as when it will learn certain moves. Before Wikipedia or Bulbapedia though, I was lost to find my own way in the game, without the information widely accessible on the web. Wikipedia’s reign is not over yet, and it will be interesting to see how it will continue to influence our behaviors with media.


Sources

Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (PART ONE).” Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

Jenkins, Henry. “WHAT WIKIPEDIA CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE NEW MEDIA LITERACIES (PART TWO).” Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, n.d. Web. 07 Mar. 2015.

Halo: A Grand Universe

Halo: it’s one of the most recognizable game franchises next to Mario or Zelda. It is also home to a very extensive universe with a wealth of knowledge, including many books, web-series, and short videos. The games are the main source of the narrative and are what drive the series, unlike other franchises which have films as their main source, with video games as a transmedia source. Before the launch of Halo 4 in 2012, it was announced there would be a live action mini-series, named Forward Unto Dawn, to be shown online prior to the release of the game.

This mini online series was the first ever live action series done by the Halo franchise that succeeded in is production (see the failed/unfinished attempt here). In the text by Henry Jenkins, ‘world-building’ is referred to as “stories [that] are based not on individual characters or specific plots but rather complex fictional worlds which can sustain multiple interrelated characters and their stories” (Jenkins), and in Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, this is exactly what is done. This was in a sense a prequel to the video game Halo 4. It provided the background stories for one of the side, and albeit a little forced, characters. However, as a fan, it was still incredible to see although it added very little knowledge to the Halo universe. Nevertheless, it achieved just what it set out to do, satisfy the Halo audience with a little something extra, and ultimately boost sales. It was streamed on YouTube for free and on Halo’s Xbox app, Halo Waypoint (now the Halo Channel) several weeks before launch of the game with an episode being released each week. Where this narrative in the series ended, was then picked up right where the game began, creating a seamless transition for the players. This opened up a whole new side to the story of Halo 4 by creating a narrative for one of the side characters in the game, thus ‘world-building’.

Halo Waypoint, as afore mentioned, acts as a migratory cue to further ‘world-building’. Using Jenkins’s definition from transmedia, the media must “enable the production and circulation of knowledge within a networked society.” (Jenkins) When playing the game, it will prompt the player to leave the game and explore other media on Halo Waypoint, such as videos, community creations, and interactive player statistics. These migratory cues located in the game, further persuade the viewer to investigate the information embedded in the universe, and see what other players do with the tools inside the game. This leads to the idea expressed by Janet Murray as ‘hypertext’, where the viewer is constantly scrolling (in this case searching through the Xbox interface) through video, text, and other sources, which “may have no clear ending” (Murray 56). These interactive sets of data on Halo Waypoint serve to fill in areas of data some players may have missed or to simply enthrall current and knowledgeable players with it.

Halo is a bestselling game and it continues to update its interactive features, such as the reboot of Halo Waypoint to the now, Halo Channel. As long as they continue to make great games and tell great stories, they will keep their audience happy and in doing so, continue to produce transmedia sources for their audience.


Sources

Murray, Janet Horowitz. Hamlet on the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. New York: Free, 1997. Print.

Jenkins, Henry. “Transmedia Storytelling 101.” Confessions of an AcaFan. Henry Jenkins, n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

Nigel Thornberry: A Smashingly Good Time

"Smashing" Nigel GIF from Lilo and Stitch. Posted by Daily-Nigelthornberry

“Smashing” Nigel GIF from Lilo and Stitch. Posted by Daily-Nigelthornberry.

“Smashing!” Welcome to the world of Nigel Thornberry, where a splash of his face here and there goes a long way. As seen in the many GIF examples given, Nigel’s face is very entertainingly pasted on top of another character’s face. Nigel Thornberry originates from a Nickelodeon children’s show which aired from 1998 to 2004, titled The Wild Thornberrys. In the plethora of gifs seen on the web, his well-known catch phrases are “Smashing!” and “BLALALARGHARGHRAH”, creating a memorable experience out of familiarity for the reader. Following this pattern created by the previous gifs, the new gif made in this category was created with a scene from WALL-E, where once a closer cut is made, Nigel Thornberry’s face is then pasted on top of EVE’s face.

New original GIF from WALL - E.

New original GIF from WALL – E.

The Nigel Thornberry GIF’s are generally made with GIF’s from late 1990s and early 2000s ‘classic’ Disney movies, but can be made with any subject matter and still belong to the same genre. In fact, they could come straight from The Wild Thornberry’s itself, but as long as the GIF has Nigel’s face in it, it belongs to the genre. This remix of ‘classic’ Disney movies with Nigel’s face is precisely what Limor Shifman means to address in When Memes Go Digital. Shifman describes the choice between mimicry, simply reproducing the subject with new people or in other ways, and remixing, which transforms the media using technology such as Photoshop (Shifman 22). By applying this remix to ‘classic’ Disney films using Nigel’s face, they can be linked to a nostalgic factor which lies in all of the GIF’s in this genre.

In the article, Why We Love Animated GIFs, author Leigh Alexander discusses the nostalgic factor certain GIFs bring – what Nancy Bayme calls a ‘social cue’ in Personal Connections in the Digital Age (Bayme 53). Alexander states most GIFs are made with material from the 1980s and 1990s and it is a “nostalgia for the simpler childhood of the demographic most likely to be making GIFs”. This article was written in 2011, and it still rings true with some slight adjustments. Now, it has been shifted to the late 1990s and early 2000s where the demographic of people likely to be making GIFs lies. This has led to the culmination of the Nigel Thornberry GIF’s. This social cue of nostalgia, is the primary element in the Nigel Thornberry GIF. Since there is a pattern of the GIF’s to include clips from Disney movies, such as Hercules, Mulan and countless others, it is

tumblr_nij83iDO1k1rm7d3so1_500

Mulan Nigel GIF – Posted by Daily-Nigelthornberry.

Sleeping Beauty Nigel GIF.

Sleeping Beauty Nigel GIF – Posted by smashingthornberrygifs.

easy to assume this. It is not quite clear what other social cues this GIF may portray. In one example shown, it shows the text from the movie which the clip derives from, but this example is an outlier and there are no other prominent number of GIF’s in

Hercules Nigel GIF with caption from the film - Posted by

Hercules Nigel GIF with caption from the film – Posted by Daily-Nigelthornberry.

this genre which follow that pattern. The only text likely to be shown are Nigel’s catchphrases, and these could be interpreted to fit into any conversation. Due to the obnoxious nature of Nigel himself, these GIF’s may best fit into the category of tools for internet trolls to use, but the primary use of this GIF appears to be to invoke nostalgia in the viewers.

GIF’s after all, are made by many different people and can be made and used for many different reasons, and even through our best attempts to describe them in one genre, they may appear to others to belong some where completely different.


Resources

Alexander, Leigh. “Why We Love Animated GIFs.” Thought Catalog. N.p., 24 May 2011. Web. 05 Feb. 2015.

Shifman, Limor. “When Memes Go Digital.” Memes in Digital Culture. Cambridge: MIT, 1974. N. pag. Print.

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