Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Last Call

Well, folks, looks like we're at the end. I might keep this blog going after class ends, I might not. I will say that it's been fun, though. I've thoroughly enjoyed our in-class discussions, and reading some of the things other people have posted on. Let me leave you with some parting words - Google is watching.

Stay chill.


I have no words. I don't even know where to begin when it comes to this. Six months? For rape? Are you f#$%ing kidding me?

Who's to blame here? The judge? The boy's dad? The rapist himself? Or the current state of American society that allowed this to happen? Just thinking about it makes my blood boil. Moving overseas just gets more and more appealing.

Winter is Trumping

Here's a little gem I found on YouTube.

Somebody took a bunch of scenes from Game of Thrones and added Trump's voice and likeness to them. On a more serious note, anybody have a timeshare in the pacific they're willing to rent? The way things are headed, I'm thinking of getting out of here before winter comes for real...


Now, before any other gamers get mad at me, let me explain. First, I have not yet played Overwatch myself, so this isn't a critique.

Instead, I wanted to talk about the controversy surrounding one of the game's characters - Tracer. Blizzard was recently in the news (NSFW) in the worst way initially for removing her "over the shoulder" pose from the game. Critics (and there were plenty of them) decried the move as pathetic on Blizzard's part, much as Obama did when Sony pulled The Interview. This was because the move seemed to be a result of one person, whom many believe to have been a troll, complaining about said pose on a forum. The pitchforks were sharpened, and the torches lit.

But then, something hilarious happened. Instead of replacing the pose with something tamer, as many expected, Blizzard instead replaced it with an arguably more scandalous pose modeled after a pin-up poster. It was then revealed by the game's developers that the change was something they were considering anyway (the game was in beta at the time), and recent events helped them make the final decision. Well played, Blizzard.

Final Report posted

You can find the web version of my final report here. This time, I am talking about the Islamic State, and how they have used social media and the internet to spread their reach far beyond the physical boundaries they've occupied. I also discuss possible ways of countering the threat.

Online Ethnography posted

You can find the web version of my online ethnography report posted here. Titled "Down the Rabbit Hole," in it I explore a side of indie games that doesn't often receive mainstream coverage, if at all. Reader discretion is advised, as some of the links are NSFW.

Privacy Rights Online

We're wandering into slippery slope territory here. If, as Lori Andrews argues, schools and other institutions were prohibited from accessing social network pages, what would be some of the unintended consequences?

The first one that comes to mind is cyberbullying. We are already seeing school administration turning a blind eye (in some, not all, cases) to bullying that happens over social media. Do we really want to codify and legitimize such a stance? On the other hand, is it the school's responsibility to play Big Brother to its students?

I say yes, but no. Schools should not actively monitor every student's online activity - Google and other services do that enough already. However, they should be required to act if given probable cause. I know that is a wishy washy term, but what I mean is, if administration has a reason to believe that cyberbullying is occuring, they have a responsibility to treat such claims with all possible severity until the truth of the matter is resolved.

We seem to have a culture of silence in America that I neither understand nor endorse. Nobody wants to talk about what's done in the dark because of "reputation" or "political correctness." And this goes beyond cyberbullying, too. Just look at the recent case of the Stanford rapist to see what I'm talking about.