Tuesday, 24 January 2012

MAC281 Cyberculture 2012 - module taster

I've been putting together the module guide for this semester's module guide for MAC281 - Cybercultures. I'm currently tweaking the document and finalising a special guest for Week 6 but this is how it's looking at the moment: 

Week 1: Introduction to the module & a short history of Cyberculture – An overview of the module content and assessment

Week 2: Copyright in the Digital Age – This session will establish some of the major arguments that inform the current copyright climate in the UK, and the West more generally.  In particular it will look at the ways in which recent legislative changes have developed to ‘support’ content creators in the face of filesharing by exploring the Digital Economy Act and its impacts. (Rob Jewitt)

Week 3: The Music Industry and the Net Part 1: Producers, Profits, Pirates & Peers - This session will consider the crisis facing the music industry posed by recent changes in the organisation and distribution of music in the age of the Internet.  The primary focus will be on the industry.  It will consider claims made by the industry about sales and will consider business models for the music industry. (Rob Jewitt)

Week 4: The Music Industry and the Net Part 2: The Suits vs The Scene – This session will consider the opportunities presented to music consumers provided by the Internet.  It will reassess some of the claims made by the music industry in context of actual audience members and analyse some of the reasons "pirates" give regarding “sharing” music via the Internet. (Rob Jewitt)

Week 5: Openness, Crowdsourcing & Participatory Culture
The knowledge and resources of millions of people can now be harnessed through self-organising groups via blogs, wikis, chat rooms, forums, peer-to-peer networks, and personal broadcasting platforms, etc.  This session will consider the impact of low-cost online collaborative production tools and the importance of open data and free culture to the participatory nature on the Web.  (Rob Jewitt)

Week 6: Weblogs and the Rise of Citizen Journalism - Today, thanks to weblogs and mobile phones that can send photographs, anyone can be a journalist. New media evangelists claim traditional structures are crumbling as digital technology breaks down barriers and heralds a new age of transparency and participatory democracy. Will citizen journalists change our view of the world? I'm expecting to have a guest speaker here to cover all things journalism and data. Will reprot back tomorrow

Week 7: Video Games, Narrative and ‘Play’ – The history of digital games stretches back over the best part of half a century yet academia has been slow to engage with this interactive form beyond offering moral objections. This session will consider the ways game scholars have attempted to situate and explain this ‘new’ medium by discussing narrative design and “play” mechanics. (Rob Jewitt)

Week 8: Game Music, Design and User Experience – This session will build upon contemporary discussion of game design and user experience by focussing on the frequently overlooked aural experience. It will consider the various ways in which music features within gaming experiences by touching upon the licencing of game soundtracks, incidental music through to a consideration of rhythm-based gaming experiences. (Rob Jewitt)

Week 9: The 'Actualities' of Virtual Realities - An exploration into the history, application and cultural and social impact and implications of virtual reality. The lecture will draw on key examples of VR from popular culture and industry as well as its use as an actual technology. (John-Paul Green)

Week 10: ‘Getting around’ in online environments - How do we come to know and explore our way around online places? This session will seek to define and explore more deeply our relationship with different online places and sites and ask how we come to habitually know and navigate around them. It will examine a variety of different places including virtual and gaming worlds as well as social networks, thinking about the ways that we know and interact with these different but very familiar environments.  Using the work of Ingold and Shinkle, the session will also look to uncover the different roles of the body and sensoriality when we browse around, interact with and inhabit various online places. (Eve Forrest)

Week 11: Digital Photographic Cultures Online – Are we all photographers now? With photographic technology becoming cheaper and more accessible we can capture, store, print, upload and distribute our images like never before. This session will examine the explosion of amateur photography, looking at the different impacts and varying aesthetics of the photograph online. (Eve Forrest)

Week 12:  ‘Net Neutrality’ and the Future of the Internet -
Network neutrality is a complex issue that has generated intense levels of political discussion in the United States in recent years, and attention has turned to regulation in the UK. This session will consider the whether network operators should be prevented from blocking or prioritising certain network traffic or traffic from particular sources – effectively creating a two-tiered Internet – and who stands to gain from this (Rob Jewitt)


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