Children in the virtual worlds – David Gauntlette

“Evaluate the democratic values of ‘We Media’ in relation to the past.”

The term ‘We Media’ refers to a contemporary interactive technology platform, which gives users the ability to generate and produce content that has the capability of  being accessible and linked to every other person in the world who has a connection to the same platform. Evidently, this means that all aspects of social, political and cultural contents can be explored in numerous ways that are provided, with no limitations. ‘We-Media’, i.e the ‘interactive web’ evolves around the internet and advances on the public instead of mass media institutions, this is alleviated with the adequate attainable technical devices such as mobile phones and iPads.

The initial breakthrough of ‘We Media’ was with the commencement of the internet and emergence of broadband which refers to a telecommunications signal of greater bandwidth, resulting in increased communication speed, allowing the features of Web ‘2.0’ to evolve and the sharing of information became simplified for society. ‘Web-2.0’’s most significant feature is that it allows users to interact and collaborate with each other in a social media dialogue as creators of user-generated content in a virtual community, in contrast to websites where users (consumer) are limited to the passive viewing of content that was created for them. There are many beneficial factors of having freedom of speech and ideologies within a space that is visible to the whole world, for example the role of the internet within the rigged presidential elections in Iran was prominent. To spread and promote the corruptness of the government the social network site ‘Twitter’ was most used as a tool of democracy, Twitter hashtags used most frequently in tweets about the protest included #Iran, #iranelection. Due to strict foreign media censorship by the Iranian government, social networking sites became the primary source of information, videos, and testimonials of the protests. Major news outlets, such as CNN and BBC News, gained much of their information from using and sorting through tweets by Twitter users and videos uploaded to YouTube. Without the existence of ‘we-media’ platform and the internet broadband connection, these historical revolutionary riots would have been manipulated into a mere ‘conspiracy theory’ and ‘rumour’ which would have quickly been swept under the rug. And the Iranian government would have used propaganda and the hypodermic needle would have worked as people would have no other alternative. This supports the idea of an increased rate of democracy accompanying ‘Web 2.0’ as people no longer are forced to absorb the information they are given by news and media corporations. The primary goal of the news is to sell their story thus the viewer is running the risk of being a victim of moral panic due to mass media amplifications. Thus ‘We-Media’ allows society to conduct their own research and gain a better perspective of reality rather than the filtered truth.

Alternatively, it can be argued that ‘We-Media’ has some negative democratic values, because despite its advantages, there are many countries in the world that don’t have access to the internet, being satellite based, there are hardly any countries that ‘cant’ have the internet, however governments have the power to eliminate it within their country. The idea of internet censorship which can be defined as suppression of accessing certain information on the internet. Again a good example of this was the Iranian government stopping internet access, On 13 June as the election results were being announced, Iran shut down all Internet access for about 45 minutes, then restarted it with lower bandwidth; this may have been in order to set up filters to block sites like Facebook and YouTube that could be used for political purposes. However, there are certain countries that have a permanent ban on the internet, such as China and North korea ( who are coincidently communist countries), where only certain pieces of information can be accessed and ‘We Media’ doesn’t exist, in order to follow the countries ‘no democracy’ legislations.

The graph above shows that the highest usage of the internet is from North America with 77.4%, the lowest being Africa with 10.9%  that’s nearly 80% difference between the two countries, widening the spectrum and highlighting the lack and deprivation of the internet in underdeveloped countries. The world average of access to the internet is a shocking 28.7% which is only around  1,966,514,816 internet users round the world. Compared to the world population of f 6,845,609,960 this is fairly low. Herbert Schiller argues that perhaps this is for the best “the communication revolution will merely reinforce existing inequalities in a world which is becoming perilously more divided”, Perhaps if the freedom of speech was exposed to those who aren’t accustomed to it, it may cause problems, as a world of possibilities will be available to them, and perhaps mass marketing would provoke negative actions in order to attain products which are being promoted. However this also means, that there holes within the idea of ‘We-Media’ now as the statistics above show that the majority of the world (71.3%)  don’t have access to the internet. Thus the consumers/producers who do use broadband are unable to take full advantage because a large chunk of the world isn’t online.

In conclusion, it can be argued that ‘We Media’ is extremely useful, culturally, socially and in particular politically as it has provided connections to assist in revolutions happening all over the world not only Iran but also the Egyptian Riots of 2011 and the Rwanda Genocide as well as the 9/11 terrorist attacks which were filmed by the public with their mobile phones (convergence) and sold to news companies. However due to its lack of accessibility in deprived, poorer, underdeveloped countries it hasn’t been able to provide the consumer/creator with its full impact. This also means that the underdeveloped countries run the risk of staying underdeveloped and poor, whilst the other countries continue to develop and move forward in all ways possible. Perhaps then the focus of rich nations should be to try and assist those countries, as the continuously widening gap, may cause imminent problems.

Research Task 7th May 2010 – Music.

  • What are the examples of media products within the video gaming industry?

I am focusing on Grand theft Auto and NBA 2k10.  2K10

NBA 2K10 is a basketball video game based on the National Basketball Association developed by Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports, However Grand theft auto is The gameplay consists of a mixture of action, adventure, driving, and occasional role-playing, stealth and racing elements and has gained controversy for its adult nature and violent themes.

  • find out about the development of game consoles. How has technology changed over the last 20 years has this had an effect on the games produced or an audience being targeted?

Over the years video games have expanded to include almost every type of skill that one might see prevalent in the creation of any movie or television program, including sound designers, musicians, and other technicians; as well as skills that are specific to video games, such as the game designer. All of these are managed by producers. In the early days of the industry, it was more common for a single person to manage all of the roles needed to create a video game. As platforms have become more complex and powerful in the type of material they can present, larger teams have been needed to generate all of the art, programming, cinematography, and more. This is not to say that the age of the “one-man shop” is gone, as this is still sometimes found in the casual gaming and handheld markets, where smaller games are prevalent due to technical limitations such as limited RAM or lack of dedicated 3D graphics rendering capabilities on the target platform (e.g., some cellphones and PDAs).With the growth of the size of development teams in the industry, the problem of cost has increased. Development studios need to be able to pay their staff a competitive wage in order to attract and retain the best talent, while publishers are constantly looking to keep costs down in order to maintain profitability on their investment. Typically, a video game console development team can range in sizes of anywhere from 5 to 50 people, with some teams exceeding 100. In May 2009, one game project was reported to have a development staff of 450 . today the target audience has been branched out and specific games just for girls has made its way up into the industry sauch as SIMS and Animal safari. However the primary audience remains to be boys

  • what techniques are used to target specific audiences at the launch of a big game title ?

Advertising in the cinema before a violent action film, to be sure the majority of audience is male. Also in video stores, on the internet, posters and man channels such as Bravo, playboy tv and men and motors  and dave.

  • are these successful/unsuccessful ?

they are very successful as they have sequels and have a large fan basis. and are owned by the biggest companies such as EAgames and Rockstar.

  • Does the interent have any impact on the video games industry? how? is this seen as positive or negative ?

Yes, as Video games are advertised on the internet and time spend on the internet has increased over the last 20 years, meaning more people are covered for target audience. This is seen as a positive as because its widening its target audience, both gender and age wise as alot of people surf the net on a more regular basis in the contemporary industry.


  • Create case Study .

NBA: 2K10

Developer(s) Visual Concepts
Publisher(s) 2K Sports
Series NBA 2K

 was released on October 6, 2009 on Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PSP and on October 12, 2009 on PC. It was released on Wii on November 9, 2009 in North America. It was released in Europe on November 27

Developer : visual Concepts.

Grand Theft Auto

Genre(s) Action and sandbox
Developer(s) Rockstar Games
Rockstar North (formerly DMA Design)
Rockstar Leeds
Rockstar Toronto
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Creator(s) David Jones
Dan Houser
Sam Houser


Reception : Ever since 2001, the Grand Theft Auto series has been a success, both critically and financially. It has generated perfect or near perfect reviews and scores on almost all of the games, and has sold over 70 million copies worldwide, as of March 2008. The Times Online reported that Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest console instalment, recorded 609,000 copies in first-day sales, in the UK] In its first week, Grand Theft Auto IV sold approximately 6 million copies worldwide and grossed over $500 million.

Research Task – 7th of May 2010

  • What are examples of Media products within the film industry  ?

Bad Boys 2 or Fight Club . Film products differ, the two im examining have some similarities, like their target audience are men. Hoever they differ genre wise Bad Boys 2 is a an action film, whilst Fight club is a phsycholgical thriller.

  • Find out about the film producers. Which are the major studios film industries around the world? how do they differ from eachother?

  Bad Boys 2 was produced by  Jerry Bruckheimer and distributed by Columbian pictures, which is owned by sony pictures entertainment.  Fight Club was produced by Art Linson and distributed by 20th century fox which is owned by news corporation. ., is the world’s second-largest media congloromate (behind The Walt disney company)  as of 2008 and the world’s third largest in entertainment as of 2009. Whereas, Sony Corporation is the electronics business unit and the parent company of the Sony Group[, which is engaged in business through its five operating segments – electronics, games, entertainment (motion pictures and music), financial services and other

  • Who are the primary audiences for these industries ?

both target audience are mostly men. as they are about violence and cars and crime. being stereotypical of course.

  • What techniques are used to target specific films at audiences ?

During Trailers show explosions, women, drugs, racing cars, violence , fights. And advertise on certain channels such as Dave, Bravo, Playboy Tv and Men and Motors.

  • Are these successfull/ Unsuccessful ?

they are very successfull as Both films done realli well the gross revenue for bad boys 2 was $273,339,556 and Fight clubs gross revenue was $100,853,753.

  • Case study for Bad Boys 2 and Fight Club

Fight Club

CAST  : Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

Director: David Fincher
Produced by: Art Linson
Ross Grayson Bell
Cean Chaffin

                                                  Jim Uhlm

                                               Chuck Palahniuk

Budget :  63 million

Gross revenue : $100,853,753.

 Box Office : The studio held Fight Club‘s world premiere at the 56th Venice International Film Festival in September 1999.For the American theatrical release, the studio hired the National Research Group to test screen the film; the group predicted the film would gross between $13 million and $15 million in its opening weekend. Fight Club opened commercially in the United States and Canada on October 15, 1999 and earned $11,035,485 in 1,963 theaters over the opening weekend.

Reaction : When Fight Club premiered at the Venice International Film Festival, the film was debated fiercely by critics. A newspaper reported, “Many loved and hated it in equal measures.” Some critics expressed concern that the film would incite copycat behavior, such as that seen after A Clockwork Orange debuted in Britain nearly three decades previously. Upon the film’s theatrical release, The Times reported the reaction: “It touched a nerve in the male psyche that was debated in newspapers across the world.” Although the film’s makers called Fight Club “an accurate portrayal of men in the 1990s”, some critics called it “irresponsible and appalling”. Another newspaper charged, “Fight Club is shaping up to be the most contentious mainstream Hollywood meditation on violence since Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange.”

Bad Boys 2

CAST : Martin Lawrence , Will Smith, Jordi Mollà. Gabrielle Union, Peter Stormare, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano

producers : Jerry Bruckheimer

Written by : Screenplay:
Ron Shelton
Jerry Stahl
Marianne Wibberley
Cormac Wibberley
Ron Shelton

Budget $130,000,000
Gross revenue $273,339,556

 Critical reception

The film received mostly negative reviews. Based on 149 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 23% of critics gave Bad Boys II a positive review, with an average rating of 4.1/10.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film one out of a possible four stars, especially offended by one scene involving a teenage boy and the use of the word “nigger”, citing, “The needless cruelty of this scene took me out of the movie and into the minds of its makers. What were they thinking? Have they so lost touch with human nature that they think audiences will like this scene?”[2] On an episode of At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper, film critic Richar Roepernamed it 1st place on his list of the worst films of 2003, he placed notorious bomb Gigli at number 3.

Among the more positive reviews Seattle Post-Intelligencer critic Ellen A. Kim wrote that the film was “mindlessly fun… If you like this type of movie, that is.” The film was also praised by a few critics and viewers for its deftly handled action sequences and visual effects. Box office

The film was a financial success in the United States Box Office. It made $138 million domestically and $273 million worldwide, almost twice the gross of the original film.

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