COMM370 Week 14 Responses

1 May

I remember the good ol’ MySpace days. And so does danah boyd. Of course, boyd’s whole point revolves around mostly MySpace and seems to be pre-Facebook. Nevertheless, I used to have that MySpace thing. I abandoned it for Facebook once getting into college, but I had it! My parents never really felt like they needed to stalk me on it or anything. Sure, there were occasional run-ins, but nothing major like what the article describes. They did not create accounts just to search for me. Plus, I’ve always been careful about the information I’ve shared (yes, I have had the occasional stalker), but it wasn’t too fend off my parents. Overall, I mostly just have to worry about trolls finding me or something.

Montgomery’s “Born to be Wired” perhaps is most interesting in she investigates in-game advertising. This sort of follows (or, at least, leads into) where the other videogame articles go. In-game advertising is interesting because I find that videogames allow you to escape the real world. Yet, once you escape, you are still bombarded with advertisements. Therefore, it’s not much of an escape at all in a consumerist point of view.

I am also one of those people that plays videogames fairly frequently. I suppose I recognize the (mis)representations of people within that virtual world. I agree that they support the white, male, heterosexual hegemony. Nevertheless, I buy into them as entertainment. I suppose that I try to make myself aware of those things as they come up, but I’m not constantly worrying about them. I believe when a game acknowledges that it’s so over-the-top then I can laugh with it, but it is when games subtly influence people that seems more disconcerting. Then again, those so over-the-top games do have their followers and they are probably not media literate to know what they’re experiencing. This isn’t necessarily their fault, they just have not been trained to take a critical eye to what they’re consuming. Then again, I think that everyone should be concerned when those killing hookers videos of GTA 4 pop up all over the web.

In terms of historical presentations, I suppose that all videogames have to create their own worlds. Some worlds are fictional while others are relatively factual. Replaying army conquests to desensitize future soldiers is rather scary, but it’s when those same games are out on the market that it becomes even more frightening. This history in war games (like WW2 conquests) is often geared towards the winners of the war and focuses in on subverting the player.

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