Sunday, September 30, 2007

life as a women part 1

This was my first adventure in second life as a girl. I actually was chaning genders the same time Perry was and some how we ending up choosing the same outfit. I had mine first he is just a copy cat. The first place i went as my new self was back to the burning man island because when i was logging on, a message came up saying that the burning man fesitivals were gonig on, however when i got back to the island, there it was deserted. I was dissapointed because I would have liked to have seen some people enjoing such a neat looking island. From the burining man island i found a really neat island called Billabong Bar, it was an Austrailian island which was very large. I found a really neat looking metallic horse that was gigantic. Billabong island was also really interesting because there were actually quite a bit of people around. My favorite part was actually my first real long encounter with someone else outside the ithaca class. I met this girl who was really done up in a sci fi outfit down by a beach and she was actually testing some light sabre software that she had been working on. She was actually really friendly and said that she normally doesnt dress like a trekkie, but the outfit helped show of the demonstration. She then gave me a demonstration with the lightsabre and i must say i was very impressed. the movement and soundeffects where top notch for a program that tends to lag alot on my computer. It was nice to actually break the "long conversation" barrier in Second life because most people i have met are not very talkative, and this person was very friendly and we talked for about 10 minutes. This gender chaning aspect actually helps the process of meeting new people, because more people are inclined to talk to a good looking avatar women than a creppy looking avatar male personality. We will see what happens in the coming days.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Computer Mediated Communication

Computer Mediated Communication is anyform of conversation that occurs over the computer medium. In Scott Cambell's article, he discusses different studies on computer mediated communication. Cambell divides computer communication into the "talking voice" and the "writing voice". Talking voice messages tended to be interactive, include personal information, and cite sources informally when referring to literature. Messages posted in the writing voice were less interactive, provided more background information, and cited sources formally. Characterization of the two styles as talking and writing is supported by research on the differences between
orality and literacy.In Soukoup's article he discusses computer mediated communication as the term ‘third place’ is referenced
in discussions of the merits of CMC, but in these discussions rarely do
authors critically evaluate the appropriateness of this term in these unique
communication environments.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

More Library Observations

I went back to the library today, and actually sat in one place this time. As for different observations pretty much was the same as far as big obervations. The same girls were still at the computer stations not really working on the computers. They had a bunch of windows open, but mostly it was facebook. Any of the guys on the computers had fantasy football pages up instead of work. There were alot of people today looking for computers which made me laugh because I would watch people walk around the library looking for computers and would stand and watch people on facebook and fantasyfootball, and then walk away in disgust. Alot of people were spread out all over tables again with all the possessions that they own. I think people get the mindset when they go to the library that they can get alot of work done, which is usually the case but what ends up happening is you bring all this stuff with you and get distracted, and most of the time procrastinate. I find I do more work in my room than when i go to the library, because i get so easily destracted by my phone, and am always wanting to check things online. I can do all these things and be distracted from the comfort of my room. People just approach the library with the mindset that if you enter the library you are automatically going to do more work than if you stayed in the room. I find both places to be destracting in their own rights, and doing work is something you must focus on no matter where you are which is usually really hard for people to do.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Second Life Part Two

For the better part of my second trip back into second life, I spent trying to edit my appearance to look more like my self to get a head start on the fashion show assignment. I still cannot get the hair of my avatar to remotley look anything about myself. Its really frustraiting, so im thinking of just shaving my head in real life so I can at least look more like my avatar than I do now. After editing my appearance, I visited more corporate websites, most specifically a couple of Islands run by Nissan, and an Island run by BMW. The nissan islands were not very crowded, but had some neat things to look at including a vending machine of cars. I had read about this island in one of the introduction assignments to second life, so I thought it would be an interesting place to visit for myself. The other island I spent time at was an lsland owened by BMW. I was the only one on the island at the time of my visit, and it was lagging alot, however there was some neat information on the island about some of BMW's new clean energy plans. I also saw picture of their hydrogen powered super car which I have read about in magazines, it was a really neat place to visit. And finally, before I was said and done, I went back to Ben and jerry's island because I had so much fun before, and actually read all the notes on the tour of the building, learning how they made their ice cream. The island by far i think has been the most creative as far as colors and really interesting to look at, and I wish more corporate sites would comeone to second life, and if there are, I wish their islands where easier to visit.

Second Life Part 1

I spent 20 minutes early this morning on the weather channel island. I decided to visit this island after Professor Gregson told us about it saying it was an inetresting place to visit. There were alot of people on the island when I arrived as i figured there was a lot to do on the island. The first thing I did was explore some of the media options in the main dome. There were alot of audio clips and videos that I could watch as the weather channel was promoting its different shows, most of them on extreme weather. After leaving the visitng area I traveled to the different parts of the island where I could take part in different activities. I went first to the surfing part of the island and attempted to surf using the free surfboard that the weather channel handed out, however I could not get this to work, so I just watched the other people in the isalnd surf on these giant waves that the island had generated. However alot of people just camped on the beach and were not really moving or talking, just sitting down. The other sections of the island were someone empty. The mountain biking warehouse was empty, but I was able to pick up a free shirt which was really cool. I tried to ride the freebie mountain bike around, got it to work for like 2 mintues, then it stoped working after that. It was dissapointing, because everyone else I saw got everything to work, and no one was responding to my questions of help. Most people on the island were speaking in some kind of code that I had no idea how to interperet, so I just explored the rest of the island including the ski lift area, and eventually went back down to the beach to watch more people surf.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Observation Part 2

Ithaca College Library Sunday Night 10:30-11:30

The library is a real interesting place to watch people. I my self have been in the library before this project, and have just sat and watched how the different people are going about their jobs. First and foremost, my favorite observation about the library is that at any time and point that people arrive to do work at the library, regardless of how long they plan on spending their, they bring enough stuff with them to last them the next ice age. People set up shop like they plan on spending days there. Food, coffee, clothes, ipods, computers, phones, slippers, notebooks galore. Single people take up tables that are ment for at least 5. I saw this in multiple instances tonight. There are always a shortage of tables in the library, because people take up whole tables and dont allow people to share their "private" space. People at the computer stations were busy at work. A couple of girls had huge stacks of books spread out over what little space they had working hard at essays. There were a few girls though procrastinating at the computers however. One girl had alot of work set around here, but was face deep in some facebooking. Another girl was on her phone texting for almost the entire duration i was at the library. People really do keep to themselves for the most part. The people at the computers are not communicating with each other at all, only to the people at the circulation desk to receive their print outs. The people working at the desks are funny to watch. Everytime someone walks near a table, the person at the table makes real awkward eye contact with that person. One girl hovered over her work everytime someone passed making it seem like she didnt want anyone to see what she was working on. One girl got up at least 3 times for 3 different cups of coffee, she will probally be up for at least 4 more hours. There was a small group of people working on a group project. They did not have much work around them, they were just discussing alot of things. One guy was reading a Rolling stone magazine on one of the couches. The people behind the circulation desk are about the same. Real quite, keeping to themselves. You are a totally different person when you enter the library. Everything because real secerative and quite. It is a real funny place to watch people interact (or lack there of) with each other.

Friday, September 14, 2007

First Day On Second Life

After this first full day on Second Life, I have seen three real different worlds. The Burning Man tribute world Burning Life was my favorite island, because it was so different looking. A lot of immaginiation went into that world. Ben and Jerrys' was a very colorful looking place, however not alot of things to do on the ben and jerry island. Roma was the most complex looking place with the most to explore plus some freebies. The most frustrating thing so far is maintaining an appearance for my avatar so he doesnt look like something out of a stephen king movie. His face is very creepy looking so i am going to try and do something about that later on. I also dont like the appearance interface as far as clothing. It makes changing your clothes difficult because if you have mulitple shirts on, you cant seem to select which one you want to take off. Ben and Jerry's island was all about the marketing with displays and information on the making of their icecream. The burning man island was out of someones dream. It is so bizzare you really cant put it into words.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Research Steps 3

My favorite description of what I could see in Second life had to be the blurb about the Ben Fold Concert. "BEN FOLDS was shirtless and mumbling onstage, taking huge swigs from the can of Duff Beer he held in his right hand. Then he fell down drunk. Then he got up and shot laser beams from his eyes. Then things turned really nasty: Mr. Folds pulled out a light saber and attacked the audience. To avoid him, I levitated 20 feet, hoping he wouldn’t notice. It worked; I survived.
As concerts go, this was a fairly normal one at least in Second Life, the virtual-reality universe where I recently spent a weekend as a (virtual) tourist. From what I have read about in these magazine articles. Second life appears to be a professional version of the Sims, with less limitations and more imagination to what you can do and look like. From speaking in multiple languages. To dressing up as a human or "furry" the possiblilities seem endless in Second Life. The Wired Magazine put it best. Second Life has turned into a next generation marketing tool. It allows for different companies such as Yahoo, Coca Cola, Nissan etc. to buy land in this virtual world and promote their products to the "tourists" on these I think this gives our class a great opportunity to do research without really leaving the class room. We can watch and interview all sorts of people from all over the place. It is a great way to collect data and to see how people interact with each other in this virtual world.

Monday, September 10, 2007

what is a game? who really knows

in an on going definition of a game that never seems to end...

a game must have

an over all goal, some purpose to the game
consequences, you must be motivated to do something in a game to avoid the consequences of inaction.
a start and finish of some kind
an opportunity to win something, the game, some goal etc
user stimulation

this could be the most vague definition to a subject that has an endless grey area

Sunday, September 9, 2007


After playing these five "games" for the research steps assignement, my idea of what a "game" is has changed. Out of the games listed in teh assignement, Collapse, The Goat in the Gray Fedora and Funkytruck 4wd fit my definition of what a game is. These games meet the requirements for what I believe a game is. They have a starting point and and ending point. The are interactive and require you to achieve some kind of goal. Samarost was the interesting "game." Samarost is a click and watch program that doesnt really require much user interaction as it really is more of a moving comic book. The same can almost be said about The Goat in the Gray Fedora but that requires more user interaction than does Samarost, which does not stimulate user interest, which is something a game is supposed to do. Mr. Picassohead is the one example out of this list that I would truley not call a video game. Mr. Picassohead is more of a program, because there is not start or finish to this program. It is more related to microsoft paint than it is to any other game. A video game is any interactive software that allows a user to interact with what ever the purpose of the software is. From something as basic as online checkers to state of the art playstation 3 video games, anything that allows a user to interact with the software to complete what ever the software wants the user to do. Video games can be complex or very simple but the basic idea is shared with all video games. Usually video games are created to stimulate the user to complete a goal or mission or level. That is the most important part in my opinion of what a video game is. And after looking at these different examples my definition of what a game is really hasent changed other than knowing that the most important part of the definition is that a video game must be something that stimulates the users interest and also must have some goal or purpose to it something Mr. Picassohead and Samarost lack.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Qual Notes 9/7

Key Aspects of Academic Journal Article

Longish 20-25 pages
Written formally
Few Pictures
Project Description, data, conclusions

Litureature Review
often includes ends with research questions and hypotheses
what we know already on the topic
definitions used by others that you're going to use or refute
methods used by others and why they're good or bad for your project

why they did what they did
how they did it
where they did it
known researcher bias or involvement

the story what you found out
lots of qutoes from the participants
should make sense when other people read it not seem fantastical or illogical
ground the story in your data thats the important stuff

might be part of findings/results
big picture summary of what it all means
readdresses the research question and helps to put it into some bigger context
describes what could be done to make project better
describes what could be studied next

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Finding Academic Articles Homework

When searching for fulltext academic journal articles on video games on the Communication and Mass Media Complete Database, I came up with five results. The article by Ian Bogost is called Videogames and Ideological Frames and is found in a 2006 publication of Popular Communication. When seraching for articles on Qualitative Reserach, I found over 142 articles containing information on qualitative research in fulltext academic articles.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Class Notes 9/ 5

Quantitative Research is mainly concerned with the degree in which phenomena possess certain properties states and characters and the similarities differences and causal relations that exist within and between these.

Qualitative Reseach is mainlyi concerned with the properties, the state and the character

Wikipedia says simply put it investigates the why and how of decision making as compared to what where and when of quantitiative research

Key Bits
Nature of the phenomenon, behavior
small number of cases alot of detail
careful descriptions of the thing in natural settings
want to understand what meaning other people make of the phnomenon
patterns, differences, things that stand out
good for why questions
rich description

The definition of a game can incorporate all 6 of these words. A game is usually a puzzle of some kind. Because the basic definition is to complete the task at hand and that can be on any kind of level. Puzzles can be found in books, and that where most puzzles got their start in newspapers/books. People play games and do puzzles for enjoyment hense the fun aspect of video games. If people did not recieve satisfatction from playing games than no one would be playing video game today. In order to finish the game you must work to complete the goals of the game.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Qual Research Discussion Topics for 9/5 Class

quantitative research is mainly concerned with the degree in which phenomena possess certain properties, states and characters, and the similarities, differences and causal relations that exist within and between these. It is usually based on theoretical or empirical considerations and quantifying phenomena. Qualitative research is concerned with the properties, the state and the character. The word qualitative implies an emphasis on processes and meanings that are rigorously examined, but not measured in terms of quantity, amount or frequency. Qualitative methods produce a wealth of detailed data about a much smaller number of people and cases. Qualitative data provide depth and detail through direct quotation and careful description of situations, events, interactions and observed behaviours. Qualitative methods consist of three kinds of data collection: In-dept, open-ended interviews;Direct observation; and Written documents, including such sources as open-ended written items on questionnaires and personal diaries a. their speaking or writing, b. their other behaviors, c. their other products -- technology, artwork, footprints, etc. hile reducing everything to numbers may be justified in the physical sciences, doing the same to human experience seems to dismiss the other, non-quantitative dimensions of that experience. How do you quantify meaning, for example, or love, or anger, or confusion? You can describe the Grand Canyon using only numbers.

After reading these two articles i would have to say that in my own best words the definition of qualitative research is the research beyond the numbers. What makes people act the way they do. What do people think when they are making certian actions and how do they respond to certian situations. Anything that numbers and statisitcs cannot prove qualifies as basic qualitative research but beyond that it can fall in many different catagories.