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Tag Archives: representation
Links of interest for September 12th 2008 through September 14th 2008:
- YouTube bans terrorism training videos [SMH] – “Terrorist training videos will be banned from appearing on YouTube, under revised new guidelines being implemented by the popular video-sharing site. The Google-owned portal will ban footage that advertises terrorism or extremist causes and supporters of the change hope it will blunt al-Qaeda’s strong media online campaign.” [Via] I wonder what definition of ‘terrorism’ YouTube and Google will be using to enforce this rule?!
- Video Game Snapshots [Gamasutra – Persuasive Games] – Ian Bogost review the emerging design-your-own-videogame tools and suggests they might best be considered tools for personal and social communication rather than meaningful game design platforms. This is not so much a criticism as a look at computer games through the eyes (and rhetoric) of Web 2.0: “There is simply no magic box we can put in front of the world which, when a button is pressed, turns what it sees into a video game. … There are lots of things one can do with web-based game making services. One of them is to try to create hit games that generate ad revenue and earn public renown. Another is to create art games meant to characterize the human condition,… But perhaps the most interesting uses of these tools are the informal ones that so closely resemble snapshots in spirit and function.”
- Photoshop for Democracy Revisited: The Sarah Palin File [Confessions of an Aca/Fan] – Henry Jenkins takes a closer look at the various photoshopped versions of Sarah Palin making their way into US political discourse in the lead-up to the election. Some are flattering, some satirical, but all are participatory!
- Large Hadron Rap [YouTube] – Kate McAlpine’s outstanding rap explaining what the hell CERN’s Large Hadron Collider is actually supposed to be doing! Lyrics and downloadable version here.
Links of interest for September 5th 2008 through September 8th 2008:
- BigPond backs down on Uluru adverts [The Age] – “Telstra BigPond has come under fire for placing advertising billboards on its Second Life island right in front of a virtual model of Uluru. The company has since removed the billboards, which contained BigPond logos, after online communities expert Laurel Papworth complained in a blog post titled “Bigpond brands uluru”. She claimed the telco was being insensitive to indigenous Australians.” (Seems like a pretty valid complaint to me!)
- Silence is Golden: Gay Olympic Champion Matthew Mitcham, Outside of Discourse by Alexander Cho [FLOW, 8.07. 2008] – A look at the media coverage – or, more importantly, lack of media coverage, especially in the US – of Australian Matthew Mitcham’s historic win (and highest scoring dive in Olympic history) at the diving in Beijing. Cho looks at the way the media avoided any shots of Mitcham celebrating with his mother and boyfriend or the award ceremony, arguing that Mitcham’s status as the only openly gay male Olympian worked against him in NBC’s eyes (and in other national media).
- Hey, hey, ho, ho – Video-game censorship has got to go Aaron Delwiche / Trinity University [FLOW, 8.07. 2008] – A fascinating article looking initially at the protests which occured after the recruitment game America’s Army was ported to a the XBOX360 and marketed to younger teenagers. The main argument: “Rather than sticking labels on games like America’s Army, we should be teaching students to think critically about the messages embedded in all video-games.”
Last year as part of Dove’s ‘Real Beauty’ campaign they produced the important and memorable Evolution video which graphically illustrated the many, many steps between a photograph being taken and the image based on that photograph ending up on a billboard or fashion magazine cover. This year Dove have, in my opinion, produced another fine clip which looks at the tirade of body images and messages young girls and women encounter through various media in their everyday life. It’s called Onslaught:
Incidentally, while I know these viral videos are something of a marketer’s dream, I don’t think that distracts from the message one little bit.
A few months ago I wrote about my disappointment with a statuette of Mary-Jane Watson from the Spider-Man comics which showed her basically washing Peter Parker’s Spider-Suit whilst standing in an overly provocative pose. There was substantial community dismay at this overtly objectifying piece (especially since MJ has, at times, been one of the stronger women in the Spider-Man franchise). It seems this dismay has had little sway, evinced by this new “limited-edition Witchblade Schoolgirl” piece hitting the shelves:
I could rant further, but I think this response over at Occasional Superheroine is probably the most apt one.
Of course, the comic book industry (or the associated model market) are far from alone in extremely problematic and sexist representations as this Boing Boing post on hyper-sexualized advertising reminds us.