Proseminar – Jeffrey Bardzell

Jeffrey Bardzell

Love, loss and Leeeeeroy

Aesthetic interaction in World of Warcraft

In another traditional, long-format presentation, Jeffrey Bardzell of the IU School of Informatics discussed three research projects on intimacy, death, and creativity. Being part of the Cultural Research in Technology group (CRIT), Jeffrey studied the way people played, utilized, and made their own media using World or Warcraft. Each study was a massive endeavor funded by an NSF grant.

Overall, I found the study on death/raiding to be the most interesting. Jeffrey performed a 4 month study of two raiding clans looking at combat logs, chat logs, and interview data. He found raiding, in general, was a difficult practice, as big bosses often wipe players out. Despite this, raiding parties have a high tolerance for failure. In other words, players die repeatedly when trying to defeat a big boss but it doesn’t slow them down. Interestingly, although there are large clan differences in the way they approach raiding, the design of WoW induces a leveling of performance that forces successful battles to occur within a specific time frame and balances the rhythm of battle (5 minutes of fighting with 15 minutes of downtime).


Proseminar – Mark Bell & Asta Z.

Mark Bell

We Are All Kinda Here: Collaborating in Virtual and Analog Environments

Today, Mark from IU Telecom shared his work that looked at the relationship between behavioral and perceptual measures of collaborative virtual presence in collaborative virtual environments. Working closely with Anne Massey of the Kelley School of Business, Mark developed a 3D cube puzzle that required two or more people to solve collaboratively within Second Life. Using eye-tracking and physiological measures, they aimed to quantify presence and recognize when people become removed from this state.

Asta Zelenkauskaite

Reconceptualizing Gatekeeping in Multimodal Contexts: The Case of Ialian Radiovision RTL 102.5

Following Mark, IU Telecom‘s Asta Zelenkauskaite presented the data she collected abroad. The primary focus of her work centered on the impact modern-day gatekeeping on user-generated content (UGC). Looking at the independent Italian radio station RTL 102.5 as a case study, she examined what types of UGC the station’s employees selected to disseminate. Her results confirmed only a handful of her hypotheses, which were outlined in accord with traditional gatekeeping research. Because of this, she concluded that interactive environments may need redefined rules regarding gatekeeping.

Proseminar – Stephanie DeBoer & Dong Kyun Kwak

Stephanie DeBoer

Things to Do with Asain Co-productions

This Friday was all about film. The first presentation was by Stephanie DeBoer of IU’s Communication & Culture (CMCL) department. By investigating how China is used as a place for movie production, Stephanie found that Asian co-production essentially follows a model boasting immense scale and speed, impressive images, and intense drama. She provided the 2006 movie A Battle of Wits as an example that that China is used like a landscape or backdrop. Specifically, rather than presenting an accurate reflection of China’s past, the film centers on a peaceful Maoist and is aimed to critique the Iraq war.

Dong Kyun Kwak

The rise and fall of VI

in the U.S. Movie Industry

For T600’s second presentation, IU Telecom’s Dong Kyun Kwak shared his current dissertation research. His inquiry explored the vertical integration (VI) of film distributors and exhibitors. Overall, he tracked the historical path of VI in the film industry, searched for evidence of favoritism by VI affiliates, and tried to identify the rise and fall of VI in the US. His central finding was that movies distributed by Paramount, the only surviving VI distributor, had a higher-than-average survival, and this occured for both VI exhibitors and otherwise.

Proseminar – On Modern Social Movements

Dissent at a Distance

RTV 180 experienced a jam-packed T600 session today on social movements and the role technology plays in these movements. Rather than the standard two-person presentation, three individuals treated us with the fruits of the research labor. The first was Hans Ibold from IU Journalism. Using several events as examples, he identified key characteristics of recent social movements. Additionally, he indicated that these movements are capable of revealing transnational links between events and emotions.

The second speaker was IU Telecom‘s own Lindsay Ems. She approached her research by asking in what ways was technology being used in social movements. By investigating numerous recent social movements in a case study, she identified a striking example of hypocrisy. In short, the US urged Twitter to remain active during the Iranian election protests, but responded with extreme prejudice to protesters of the local G20 summit using twitter in a similar manner.

The final speaker, Joe DiGrazia of IU Sociology, provided a quick overview of his own research. He concluded that social media don’t change the way movement occur; rather, they provide a space for grievance—a place to form collective action where physical presence isn’t necessary.