Transmedia Narratives & Franchise

In terms of the definition of transmedia narratives, Jenkins’ weblog posts (2007, 2011) defined this as the content which flows across channels, and its stories are not tied to the channels delivering them to audiences. Moreover, this can maximise company’s profits by expanding its platform coverage.

Metro 2033 the sci-fi novel
Metro 2033 the sci-fi novel

Today, I am going to introduce one of my favourite media content. Metro 2033 and Metro 2034 is a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel written by Russian author Dmitry Glukhovsky. The novel is set in the Moscow metro, Russia where survivors were forced to hide after the global nuclear holocaust.

Moreover, the novel-based video games Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light, which were developed by 4A Games the Ukrainian video game company (http://www.4a-games.com/metro-2033.html), were also released shortly after gaining in the popularity of the sci-fi novels.

Metro 2033 the video game
Metro 2033 the video game

Beyond the video games, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) acquired the screen rights to Metro franchise. (Kit, 2012) And, Mark Johnson, the American film producer and also known as the producer of The Chronicles of Narnia movies and Galaxy Quest, is going to produce the franchise sci-fi film. (Kit, 2012)

As what I wrote in this essay, I hereby argue that numerous media companies are constantly trying to find ways to maximise profits by expanding media platform coverages. And, this platform transformation excites fans as well as having a different experience in unexperienced platforms.

I (as a fan) also am excited about that news, and I believe that this will revive a whole media industry by earning extra profits such as a franchise fee. Anyway, audiences will be able to experience newly a numerous number of media contents in unexperienced platforms.

I hereby attach the opening trailer of Metro: Last Light the video game [Metro: Last Light – Enter the Metro – Live Action Short Film (Official U.S. Version)].

References

Jenkins, H 2007, Transmedia Storytelling 101, Confessions of an Aca-Fan, weblog post, 22 March, viewed 25 April 2015, <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>.

Jenkins, H 2011, Transmedia 202: Further Reflections, Confessions of an Aca-Fan, weblog post, 1 August, viewed 25 April 2015, <http://henryjenkins.org/2011/08/defining_transmedia_further_re.html>.

Kit, B., 2012. MGM, ‘Narnia’ Producer Pick Up Rights to Russian Sci-Fi Novel ‘Metro 2033’ (Exclusive). [Online] Available at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/mgm-metro-2033-movie-370317 [Accessed 23 April 2015].

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Media & Paedophilia

As all of us know, Paedophilia is one of the lowest of human depravity. Moreover, I hereby argue that media love toward children, and the media induce children whom the media affect by sensational graphic contents toward children.

According to a study done by Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, the University of Southern California (2011), the study indicates that Hollywood obsessed by sexualizing women and teenage girls as well.

A cut-scene from Juno (Don’t forget using either a condom or a contraceptive!)
A cut-scene from Juno

Juno, the film taken in 2007, is the comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman, written by Diablo Cody and acted by Ellen Page. The controversy is that this movie romanticizes having sex in teenage. What I would like to talk about is that teenage pregnancy is a serious matter, however this romance movie does not seem to think seriously. Moreover, it is not realistic at all, and it would seem that teenagers could get the wrong impression on teen sex and pregnancy.

Not only this, some of the movies directed the sex lives of kids: It Felt Like Love, S#x Acts, Fat Girl, Havoc, and Kids. (See more: http://www.hollywood.com/movies/most-powerful-movies-about-kids-having-sex-60227249)

Furthermore, I found the interesting article that represents about the sexual behaviour what teens learn from media.

This indicates several interesting facts: (Common Sense Media, n.d.)

  • “72% of teens think watching TV with a lot of sexual content influences their peers’ behaviour somewhat or a lot.”
  • “Programs with sexual content average 4.4 scenes per hour.”
  • “On average, music videos contain 93 sexual situations per hour, including 11 hard-core scenes depicting behaviour like intercourse and oral sex.”
  • “Between 1998 and 2005, the number of sexual scenes on TV nearly doubled.”
  • “1 in 5 children will be approached by a sexual predator online.”
  • “15-to 24-year-olds account for nearly half of all STD diagnoses each year.”
  • “Watching a lot of sexual content on TV and listening to sexually explicit music lyrics increase the chances that a teen will have sex at an earlier age.”
  • “60% of female video game characters are presented in a sexualized fashion.”
  • “The biggest users of online pornography are 12-to 17-year-old boys.”

These facts point to how the media affect the sexuality of teenagers. In conclusion, the way the media portray children is no different from Paedophilia. To contradict those facts, I would like to argue that teenagers are neither naïve nor inadequate.

References

Common Sense Media, n.d. Sexual behavior: what teens learn from media. [Online] Available at: http://www.greatschools.org/students/media-kids/510-sexual-behavior-teens-learn-from-media.gs [Accessed 22 April 2015].

USC Annenberg study, 2011. USC Annenberg News. [Online] Available at: http://annenberg.usc.edu/News%20and%20Events/News/111121SmithGender.aspx [Accessed 22 April 2015].

Remix = Subculture

There is no doubt that technological advances have contributed us to produce and re-produce a large number of media contents, and to be creative at producing the media contents.

In order to argue my opinion in this essay, I use the 3 elements which are related to what a non-profit organization devotes itself to: Creative Commons, SoundCloud and ccMixter.

A subculture
A subculture

Subculture

In the field of sociology (cultural and media studies), the definition of a subculture is a group of people within a culture that differentiates itself from the larger culture. So, a remix culture can be defined as a part of a subculture: the remix culture differentiates itself from an over-culture. To prove this, I argue that there are some similarities between the remix culture and the underground music culture.

Prosumer + Ripping

As I mentioned about the definition of the word ‘prosumer’ in the week 5 essay, a consumer can become a producer with electric technology. Moreover, a prosumer plays an important role in terms of the growth of a remix culture.

Creative Commons Empowers Us

Creative Commons empowers us, so we contribute artistically to a media environment by producing, mixing and sharing numerous media contents.

Typically, SoundCloud (http://www.soundcloud.com) enables users recording, uploading and sharing their audio contents. Also, all this contents are under Creative Commons copyright protection. (SoundCloud, 2015)

In addition, ccMixter (motto: “music connects us”, http://www.ccMixter.org) is a project as a part of Creative Commons, and also is a music community which is established for the activation of the remix culture including sampling, remix and so on.

Conclusion

To be honest, the theme used to this essay is a work of the greatest difficulty among the given themes. However, the good news is that I successfully (it seems so!) figured out how the remix culture was originated from the subculture, and how Creative Commons contributed to the growth of the remix culture, and so on.

References

SoundCloud, 2015. What is Creative Commons?. [Online] Available at: http://help.soundcloud.com/customer/portal/articles/243852-what-is-creative-commons [Accessed 14 April 2015].

Download, Remix & Upload for Everyone

Henry Jenkins defined convergence as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences”. (Jenkins, 2006)

“This Is For Everyone” 2012 Summer Olympics, London
“This Is For Everyone” 2012 Summer Olympics, London

Convergence has resulted in making everyone to be a participator in a media platform. Everyone choose media platforms where to contribute, and is able to upload, download and freely remix any media contents.

Everyone can become an intellectual at Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org). Every article in Wikipedia can be created and modified by every Wikipedia users. Moreover, everyone can become an artist or an illustrator at DeviantArt (http://www.deviantart.com). Therefore, the distinction between a profession and an amateur cannot be drawn anymore.

Then can it be called as either ‘producer’ or ‘consumer’? Well, I think ‘prosumer’ is fit to use a suitable figure of speech. The clear definition of ‘prosumer’ is referred and defined by Marshall McLuhan and Barrington Nevitt in their 1972 book that “…with electric technology, the consumer would become a producer”. (McLuhan, 1972)

Media technology is not meant for either specialists or IT geeks anymore. Because of convergence, the technology treats all of us equally. Everyone becomes closer with the technology, and can be a creative prosumer who have a good command of media technology.

References

Jenkins, H., 2006. Welcome to Convergence Culture. [Online] Available at: http://henryjenkins.org/2006/06/welcome_to_convergence_culture.html [Accessed 13 April 2014].

McLuhan, M., 1972. Take Today. San Diego, California: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Public Sphere & Sensitive Issues

To promote the understanding of readers about the topic, I hereby write the definition of the concept of the public sphere which was defined by Habermas; he defined it as “society engaged in a critical public debate”. (Habermas, 1989)

Nowadays, a large number of media performs the function of the mediated public sphere. In order to argue my opinion in this essay, I choose 9GAG (http://www.9gag.com) among numerous media platforms. 9GAG is the media platform containing a number of contributed images and videos likely to user-contributed contents on YouTube.

'Top 10 9gagger countries!' sourced from 9gag.com/gag/ap0bn5b
‘Top 10 9gagger countries!’ sourced from 9gag.com/gag/ap0bn5b

9GAG, which was established in April 2008, is an image and video sharing online community. The community has grown in popularity: numerous users in 9GAG participate by uploading an image, a video, and generating a comment, and so on. Basically, there is the major reason why people contribute to the online community by sharing media contents and commenting on threads: generating a content enables a user to be responded by commenting from other users on an article likely to a debate.

9GAG is the community where numerous debates are performed the function of the mediated public sphere. As many users joined in 9GAG, a large number of issues have been discussed: for instances, a trivial issue such as ‘this is mine’ (a little cat moves a pancake: http://www.9gag.com/gag/aKPeg6Z), and a sensitive political issue such as ‘how do people see me when I say I am the German?’ (you can see Hakenkreuz the Nazi ensign on this page: http://www.9gag.com/gag/aMrz33M), and a racial issue such as ‘racist jokes’ (cut-scenes from Rush Hour the movie: http://www.9gag.com/gag/106874/racist-jokes) and so on.

As you see, those trivial and sensitive issues are able to be shared and discussed freely by generating contents and comments on numerous articles. How the political and racial issues can be discussed? As I know, mentioning about topics related to the topics is unwelcome in our society. In order to explain that, I would like to say that the environment of 9GAG performs the function of the mediated public sphere because the environment (as a communication channel) is mediated, and the users send the mediated messages through the mediated channel.

A coffeehouse discussion; copyright 1900 by B. L. Singley, USA copyright expired.
A coffeehouse discussion; copyright 1900 by B. L. Singley, USA copyright expired.

Once upon a time, the public sphere was confined itself to a coffeehouse. Nowadays, the concept of the sphere expands itself to an online network. Moreover, we can freely discuss the sensitive issues which can be argued through the mediated public sphere that works flawlessly with a mediated medium and its communication channel.

References

Habermas, J 1989, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, 2nd edn, Polity, Cambridge.

Open & Closed Platform

iOS and Android, sourced from inner-active.com
iOS and Android, sourced from inner-active.com

As of today, the mobile industry divided into two major platforms: Google Android and Apple iOS. This has created different mobile computing environments.

Firstly, let’s talk about an open platform. When we talk about an open platform, Google Android may come to our mind. Google Android, based on Linux architecture, is well known as an open platform to the public. From the aspect of the application ecology, Google has encouraged programmers to develop applications with less regulation in order to increase the number of applications on Android. Furthermore, Android can be modified according to a user’s taste. Typically, CyanogenMod, a customized Android OS developed by members in XDA, proves how open source platform is freely modifiable according to each user’s preference.

On the other hand, I am going to talk about a closed platform. When we talk about it, Apple iOS may come to our mind. Apple iOS, based on UNIX architecture, is well known as a closed platform. From the aspect of the application ecology, Apple App Store is quality oriented; Apple has regulated programmers within a particular quality rules regulated by Apple. And, an application, made by a programmer, must be censored by Apple prior to its release on the App Store. Whereas Google Android is freely modifiable, iOS cannot be modified. In other words, a user needs to be adapted to an operating system and its interface.

Even if you only prefer either Android or iOS, each operating system has its pros and cons, and each platform must be judged on its own advantages. If you like to tweak something, then you choose Android. On the contrary, if you prefer stability, then you choose iOS.

Bibliographies

Brack, M., 2015. XDA. [Online] Available at: http://www.xda-developers.com/just-where-is-cyanogen-taking-us/ [Accessed 2 April 2015].

Ranger, S., 2015. ZDNet. [Online] Available at: http://www.zdnet.com/article/ios-versus-android-apple-app-store-versus-google-play-here-comes-the-next-battle-in-the-app-wars/ [Accessed 1 April 2015].