WHO ARE YOU? Exploring Online Personas

Who am I? It’s the question we ask ourselves almost everyday. However, most of us fail to identify the differences between our real-life personas and our online personas. Our real-life personas tend to present ourselves as we truly are, whereas our online personas tend to be a more consciously fabricated version of ourselves, or more specifically, the person we want to be. However, another question that can be asked is whether our online personas can affect our real-life personas?

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As I write this post, almost everybody around me is either on their laptops, smart phones or tablets.  With this in mind, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to assume that about half of those people have a social media tab open, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram. This is the world we live in and as technology continues to develop, our online-personas slowly begin to cast a shadow on our real-personas. Frightening, isn’t it?

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This is Max, logging out.

Note: I would highly recommend watching the episode of Black Mirror titled ‘Nosedive’, which really examines this concept in depth.

Geoblocking

Amongst the many things that the internet has changed, the users’ increasing demand for more content, particularly with streaming services, is undoubtedly the biggest. As information is increasingly quicker to access, audiences therefore demand immediate access to more content. In the world of the internet, patience no longer exists.

Amongst the many things that the internet has changed, the users’ increasing demand for more content, particularly with streaming services, is undoubtedly the biggest. As information is increasingly quicker to access, audiences therefore demand immediate access to more content. In the world of the internet, patience no longer exists.

Geo-blocking, is a system which is implemented to restrict an individual’s access to content which is not available in their country. Streaming services, such as Netflix, are consistently fighting to restrict their users from accessing non-localised content. The problem with such as system is that it  is that it denies the public to the right of online liberty. It is a morally grey area, that is yet to be fully addressed and dealt with.g1494804874294051652.jpg

Geo-blocking, is a system which is implemented to restrict an individual’s access to content which is not available in their country. Streaming services, such as Netflix, are consistently fighting to restrict their users from accessing non-localised content. The problem with such as system is that it  is that it denies the public to the right of online liberty. It is a morally grey area, that is yet to be fully addressed and dealt with.

Archer and Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling is a very interesting tool that, if used correctly, allows the audience to further explore the content being consumed. In the case of the hilarious animated spy spoof “Archer”, which is currently in its eighth season, it’s use of transmedia storytelling is designed to allow the audience to directly interact with what’s happening in the episode.

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Although not available for us Aussies, the “Archer P.I.” augmented reality app, launched in anticipation of the latest season “Dreamland”, is described as a “multiplatform augmented reality app” which requires viewers to interact with what’s happening in the episode, as well as certain objects in the real world. The objective is that the audience is helping the show’s protagonist, the legendary Sterling Archer, to find clues and help solve cases. The app is essentially a way for the audience to engage with the world of the show, even after the episode is over. It’s a terrific use of transmedia storytellling that results in increased audience engagement. If only the app was available here though…

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BTW, if you don’t watch Archer, you’re missing out badly

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Australia vs. Piracy: What’s the point?

Remember that ad that you would see every time you watched a DVD?  With the quotes like “ You wouldn’t steal a car”  and “You wouldn’t steal a handbag”. You know the one right? That ad is more than 10 years old now. Crazy right! So what exactly has changed in Australia’s war against piracy since then? To be honest, not much has changed. Apart from the implementation of the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill in 2015 and the introduction of Netflix in March 2015, nothing has changed in regards to piracy and illegal streaming in Australia.

The war against piracy, is for me, one that the Australian government cannot win. The internet is so  vast and information is so easily obtainable that it makes it  almost impossible for piracy laws to be enforced. If one illegal streaming site gets shutdown, they’ll just be another one created. So, although they may restrict piracy and illegal streaming, Australia will never succeed in its battle against piracy. So the question is: What’s the point?

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The sinister side of memes

If we’ve learnt anything from the last 5 years or so, it’s that memes are here to stay. They have become intrinsic to our culture, the way we communicate and share information. Even the NSW police have recognised this, and increasingly reinforcing their messages through memes. People often forget, however, that memes can often have sinister connotations, especially when venturing into the 4chan area of the internet.

Take Pepe the Frog, for example. If you didn’t know about it’s recent controversy, you would just look at the meme as just a bit of harmless banter, or shitposting. However, if you know about its now controversial appropriation by some of the ‘alt-right’ community, you would immediately think of anything associated with the ‘alt-right’ (Donald Trump, White supremacists, etc.).

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Produsage in Video Games

“A significant paradigm shift is now underway”  (Axel Burns)

The change in the way content is created, particularly in video games, is simply remarkable. With the introduction of the internet, we are now able to share and gather information from anywhere in the world. For some, this would be considered dangerous, but for others, like me, this is very exciting. As a gamer, it is a very exciting time: games are no longer restricted to the boundaries set by game producers, as players are now able (in most video games) to customise their own characters and worlds & then share them online for others to use. Think of it like a player-created DLC (Downloadable Content). Take GTA V, for example. So much of the game’s appeal and popularity is no longer simply down to the ability to carry out all sorts of criminal acts or destroy everything. It is now heavily appealing to those who  simply enjoy creating races, characters and vehicles. Another example would be the incredibly popular Minecraft, in which its whole purpose, is to allow the user to create content (buildings, worlds etc.). It’s an exciting time, for video games, and I’m excited to see how much further video games will allow players to create and share content.

Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Medium is the Message: The Netflix case

It took me a while to fully grasp Marshall McLuhan’s concept that “The Medium is the Message”. However in light of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings’ recent comments regarding movie theatres’ lack of innovation, I realized that Netflix’s overwhelming success comes down to, not only the quality content, but to the nature of the medium itself and was therefore a perfect example of McLuhan’s concept.

In the case of Netflix, it’s main appeal for a majority of people is the ability to consume content pretty much anywhere. As good as the content is (and it is great!), the streaming aspect is what really entices people. Furthermore, if a medium is truly an extension of us, as McLuhan states, then Netflix too, is an augmentation of ourselves. Take the recommendations feature, for instance. After we consume a film or t.v. show, an algorithm suggests similar content for us to consume. This is all part of the appeal and the nature of the medium.

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So, if you, like I did, struggle with the concept of “The Medium is Message”, just consider Netflix’s success. Then, you will understand