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Collaborating with a 4-year Old

busy mockingbird


One day, while my daughter was happily distracted in her own marker drawings, I decided to risk pulling out a new sketchbook I had special ordered.  It had dark paper, and was perfect for adding highlights to.  I had only drawn a little in it, and was anxious to try it again, but knowing our daughter’s love of art supplies, it meant that if I wasn’t sly enough, I might have to share.  (Note:  I’m all about kid’s crafts, but when it comes to my own art projects, I don’t like to share.)  Since she was engrossed in her own project, I thought I might be able to pull it off.

Ahhh, I should’ve known better.  No longer had I drawn my first face (I love drawing from old black & white movie stills) had she swooped over to me with an intense look.  “OOOH!  Is that a NEW…

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Posted by on April 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Dark Side of the Virtual World

The internet has allowed the evolution of gaming to a degree where anyone and everyone can play. These games are called Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), the most popular game currently, being “World of Warcraft”. There are many good things about MMORPG, such as interaction with other players while questing, and creating a background story for your personalised character.  However many negative aspects associated with online gaming are being discovered. In an episode of “Good Game SP,” it was reported that a gamer had been charged with theft and ordered to perform community service for threatening a younger gamer in real life, both physically and verbally, in order to gain the younger gamer’s rare amulet and mask in a gaming situation (Good Game SP, 2012). This is an example of how seriously some gamers can become, to the extent that they almost believe the situations are real. 

In the reading “A Rape in Cyberspace” two virtual characters were sexually abused by a character called Mr Bungle. In reality, no physical interaction occurred, however there were emotional repercussions experienced by the creators of the characters involved. Cybersex in gaming, is becoming a growing concern, especially with the age of gamers becoming younger and often more emotionally immature (Dibbell, 1998).  Unfortunately any regulation on the internet is almost impossible.

Dibbell, J. 1998. “A Rape in Cyberspace or Tiny Society and How to make one.” Posted December 1998. Accessed June 1 2012.

Good Game SP. 2012. “Good Game Gamer News.” Posted 18 February 2012. Viewed 3 May 2012.


Posted by on May 6, 2012 in Uncategorized


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New Media Transgressions: Could robots become an integral part of our everyday lives?

In this week’s readings, Cynthia Breazeal discusses her thoughts on how robots could impact our lives in the future. She believes robots could play an important part  in areas such as media, health and social interactions. For example, in a health trial, robots were programmed to interact with the participants, giving the same advice as available on a laptop used by the control  group. The participants using the robots had better results, thought to be due to the bond developed between the participant and the robot. Some participants even began to demonstrate anthropomorphic behaviour. (Breazeal, 2011).

Science fiction films and books, have given people in today’s society different expectations of robots. In both the anime and movie of “Ghost in the Shell”, humans are replacing body parts with robotic components, to enable them to to live longer, look younger and have superhuman abilities. In the episode, “Captivated”, an eighty year old female transfers her mind to a robotic body, with the appearance of a twenty year old woman (Kamiyama, 1995).  The opposite occurs in the film, “Blade Runner”, where robots are trying to become human and have human memories (Francher, Peoples, 1982). 

Companion robots, available in many forms, could have a future positive impact. However, still in the development stage, they will inevitably be too expensive for the average citizen.

Breazeal, C. 2011. The Rise of Social Robots. Posted February 2011. Accessed April 25th 2012.

Francher, H, Peoples, D. 1982. Blade Runner. Directed by Ridley Scott. Produced by Michael Deeley.  Neutral Bay, Warner Bros Pictures. DVD.

Kamiyama, K. 2002. Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. Captivated. Directed by Kenji Kamiyama. Produced by Production I.G. Australia, Madman Entertainment. DVD.


Posted by on April 29, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Hopping down the Cable Line

New Media has provided work opportunities for freelancers and professional companies. Although freelance workers only generally earn approximately $30,000 a year, and sometimes finding work can be hard, it is a good opportunity to learn as you go along, and to get your name out there (Gill, 2009). 

I was at Easterfest helping out with the technical side of filming, handling cameras and audio. It got me wondering where all the footage went during the performance. I followed the white rabbit down the cable line, and I found out that a number of live performances were put on the Easterfest website and Youtube.  The success of the Easterfest is due in part to the mass collaboration of all of the volunteers at Easterfest. Everyone from the camera people, to the organisers, help to make it happen (Zittrain, 2009). The way they get volunteers for Easterfest, is through informal communication via word of mouth and their website. The website acts as a way for volunteers to nominate for work opportunities in different areas. The work shifts are flexible and everyone has a chance to do something different (Gill, 2009). Along with presenting established artists, the Festival helps  to promote upcoming bands and Christian music. With the help of new media, outreach can encompass an even wider audience.

Gill, R. (2007). “Informality is the New Black”. In Technobohemians or the new Cybertariat? New Media work in Amsterdam a decade after the web. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures. 

Zittrain, J. (2009). Minds for Sale. Youtube Video. Posted November 29 2009. Accessed April 15 2012.


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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Uncategorized


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The Internet Health Trend

The fact that the use of the Internet to investigate health related issues is on the rise, cannot be disputed. However, is this good or bad?

One concern is that seeing a health professional is becoming more expensive, so people are turning to the internet to diagnose their own medical condition. Unfortunately, while there are many sites that are provided by health professionals and give accurate information, there are just as many sites posted by lay people sharing their experiences, and commercial companies advertising their products. The concern here is that a person may misdiagnose their condition and therefore not receive the correct treatment (Lewis, 2006). 

On the other hand, once a condition has been diagnosed by a medical profession, the availability of information on the internet is allowing people to research their condition. This often gives an option for alternative treatments and helps an individual to more fully understand their condition.

The recognised Australian Obesity crisis is another area where the internet is becoming effective. Many dietitian approved weight loss programs are appearing that are free and easy to follow. Two of these are Channel Ten’s “1 Million Kilo Challenge” and “The Biggest Loser” (Network Ten, 2011). “Weight Watchers” online is another relatively cheap, but effective program (Weight Watchers, 2012).    

If used subjectively, the internet definitely has a place in health related issues.  

Lewis, T. (2006). “Seeking Health Information on the internet: Lifestyle choice or bad attack of cyberchondria?” Media, Culture and Society, 28 (4): 521-539.

Network Ten. “The Biggest Loser Australia.” Last Modified December 1st 2011.

Weight Watchers. “Weight Watchers Australia and New Zealand.” Last Modified March 23rd 2012.

1 Million Kilo Challenge. “1 Million Kilo Challenge.” Last Modified January 12th 2012.

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Posted by on March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Twitter Songs of Politicians

The use of Social Media is on the rise. Politicians can now connect to their constituents using social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The use of these technologies reaches out to a new generation of voters. But how can social media influence the voters?

Barack Obama used social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to earn the voters’ trust.  His website was easy to navigate to get information, was constantly updated, and contained links to videos and presentations from Obama. The Obama campaign used social media effectively to attract the youth vote.  Even typing his name into an online search program, brought Obama’s website to the top of the list.  (DWSmg, 2008).

The use of Facebook and Twitter is credited with the overthrow of the Egyptian Government in 2011. Protest organisers were using Social Media to rally their supporters. In an unsuccessful attempt to stop the uprising, the Egyptian government tried to disrupt Facebook, Twitter, and blackberry services (Aljazeera, 2011).  

Did social media assist in the Queensland 2012 State Election? It would appear not!  A social media  expert predicted that social media would be Anna Bligh’s secret weapon (Caldwell, 2012). The use of it may have saved her seat, but certainly not the Labor Party.  

Caldwell, Felicty. (2012). “Twitter End to Contest.” MX Newspaper, March 21.

Aljazeera. (2012). Timeline: Egypt’s Revolution, Accessed 23 March 2012,

DWSmg. (2008). Barack Obama’s Ultimate Guide to Marketing: How he Used Internet and Social Media to Become President-Elect. Accessed 23 March 2012,

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


The Gaming Evolution

Twelve years ago I was very excited to receive a Game Boy Colour with two games. These kept me entertained for hours at a time, and made the long flights to and from America whiz by. Who would have thought that gaming would progress to the stage that you can play online making connections with other people, using text chat and voice control. Nardi believes that human relationships can be formed and maintained through digital gaming and even develop an interest in previously unexplored topics such as the military and business (Nardi, 2010).

Phones , tablets and laptops are now considered everyday items and the excellent graphics and wide variety of games that can be easily downloaded onto these devices, means that games are being played on a increasing scale. Gone are the days when playing games was virtually restricted to using game consoles and television sets, with games purchased on cartridges.

The popularity of gaming has even resulted in a successful TV show dedicated to gaming news. Topics covered include discussions on new companies and consoles, reviews on new games prior to their launch, and interviews with game developers (Good Game, 2012) The major corporations, such as Playstation and Xbox are even allowing independent game developers to release games compatible with the consoles and then purchased by the consumer via the internet.


Nardi, B. (2010). “My Life as a Night Elf Priest: An Anthropological Account of World of Warcraft: Excerpts” First Monday. Volume 15, Number 7

ABC. “Good Game”. Last Modified January 20 2012. Date Accessed March 17 2012.


Posted by on March 18, 2012 in Uncategorized