Jeff has been reading the blog, and he loves what is happening because it helps him to know what we know as well as what we don’t know and it’s apparent that we know phenomenology but we “don’t know dick” about structuralism. He also noticed that we are mostly posting later in the week, he would like to see a more balanced usage of the blog if that’s possible.
Jeff will be giving his keynote from M3 “The Virtual” that he gave last week in Sweden, because he feels like it gives you a good knowledge of how to use structuralism in HCI without all the term memorization etc.
Massively Amateur Culture
Animutation, Machinima, and Virtual Fashion as HCI
Interaction design reflects culture
The designer is in culture, we are embedded in it.
Interaction design produces culture (facebook, youtube, SL)
These things are having a general societal impact
The design of software tools impacts the way and what we create, and that in turn impacts culture now.
Rigorous evidence-based interpretive analysis that explicated relationships among elements of an interface and the meanings, affects, moods, intuitions, and social inclinations they produce in the people that interact with them; the immediate goal of this analysis is the generation of innovative design insights.
There is a disconnect between those who do this and those who could use it (HCI practitioners
Quality of life
Understand how people appropriate technologies
Remain relevant in 3rd wave HCI
Interaction criticism in amateur multimedia
Tools share visual language
Over time languages evolve and share some qualities
AMM interacts with mainstream culture in interesting ways
The usable is the message
Not merely instrumental “tools” subject to human intention. The idea is prior to the tool, and some kinds of tools are better at doing different things.
More usable features become more used than others because of the amateur nature of it. E.g. the kids making this stuff don’t know Flash or other tools well, so they only use the top 5% easiest features in the tool.
The features that are used the most constitute visual language
How tools shape creativity
3 paradigms of art creation in multimedia tools
Where do the elements that you compose come from?
From primitives (e.g. shapes, circle, rectangle etc. they are easy, most used)
From components (e.g. web component in flash, hard dialog box to set up)
Again we can see that where southpark has became more mainstream, it’s all primitives
The practice of Creativity
The acquisition of primitives
From authoring software tools, importing bitmaps, sounds, video
They all have management tools which are all similar
They all have composition (design or real-time)
We can see this in the Flash genre “animutation”
Neil Ciccierega made this at age 14, and the kinds of things he used
Because we are using other people’s images when we make it, we by definition are importing all the baggage that comes with those images.
The “author” is put into the position where you can only comment on it, and that usually means parody.
It tends to be self-referential (i.e.
“also keep in mind that I can do relatively good animutation, it’s just that bad animation is better. Yah”–Niel C
Video by Keaton “Making an Internet Cartoon Tutorial” (albinoblacksheep)
Emergent Aesthetics: The parallel Histories of Machinima and Second Life Fashion
Video shot in video game environment
Started in 94 in Doom, and then in 96 in Quake
Was started as a way to boast, clan/guild identity and dialogue
Gameplay first, filmmaking and craft are secondary
Gameplay is sometimes, but not always present, but storytelling and filmmaking and production are all primary.
Shows WoW Funeral video
Shows guild identity identity, us vs. them, and is typically ludic
Shows Warthog Jump: a Halo physics Experiment
While this is still ludic, this video reapprorpriates gameplay in an unintended way. This shows an emergent quality and falls into a sports video like “great moments in basketball” etc.
This video spawned a whole genre of physics and an emergent visual language
We are making meaning out of exploiting these elements in a particular way, as well as juxtaposing frank Sinatra (and it’s own attendant ideas) with blowing people up.
So people will use music in surprising ways to coincide with what’s happening on screen
Skit: Shows Internet is for Porn (ave Q song) done in WoW
Uses built in gestures from wow are used to emulate singing, again showing how only easy things are used and that shapes culture
Sitcom: red vs. blue done in Halo
Uses the visual language of TV, using stationary cameras primarily, and
Music Video: Still seeing Breen done in Half Life
Very well done in the MTV visual style, quick cuts, showing someone lip syncing, then action that looks cool.
Notice that we have not even mentioned humans or lifeworld or anything, we are looking at “what is in there” and just the artifacts and what elements and structures they contain. We’re in structuralism here people!
Music Video 2 Big Blue Dress done in WoW
This video has a number of different qualities, but interestingly it has an original song, but it does show some ludic elements of damage dealing (this guy pwns), but then it cuts to signing/dancing elves for the chorus.
Transgressive Art (to Heaven made in Halo)
They are raging against the nature of the tool they are using (Halo shoot em up death w/out consequences) and the use of the soundtrack . This video shoots master chief from above making him look smaller. The twilight setting makes the colors mutes. It shows him being sad, and uses an extreme close-up which seems particularly daring in this context since he has no face. This is structuralism because it is borrowing from a visual language
Experimental Art: the 1K project
Shows all the cars doing through the same course. So while it evokes very natural patterns that are almost organic in appearance, this is all done in a game, and is ludic in nature and it’s freakin cars flying and crashing.
Two generative Strategies
Features Gameplay (most of them, but not all)
Shows off how good you are etc
Fuse gameplay and other cultural forms
Comments on both the game, but on mainstream culture as well
Modernism/Futurism because it uses new forms that shock the senses and enable new messages
Similarity in that it includes bricolage and pastiche
Demonstrate mastery (cred)
Gameplay extends beyond the game
SL is a user-created virtual world
People got really good at doing this and people naturally want to customize their avatars and stuff.
There are now fashion mags in SL (Second Style) and it uses the same visual language as vogue etc.
Avatar design is multimedia authoring
Libraries (inventory dystem)
Body as canvas etc
Creation of SL Fashion Items
Usability issues discourage creating from scratch
Usability problems, flexibility and cost discourage making things from components
Messages of SL Fashion
“outfits” (ready-made and sold collections of items) are the easiest way to do that because of management issues.
There is no functional purpose to clothes in SL, they don’t protect you etc
Stylization of the self which leads to:=
Fetish/subculture, punk, goth, S&M
IRL we need to have pants that match a bunch of stuff, but not so ISL
A Critical Language of SL Fashion
SL Fashion blogs on what makes good fashion, when you add all this stuff up it becomes a language of fashion in SL. This includes conversation on how designers have overcome technical difficulties.
Conveys the right symbolic lifestyle
“I can hardly do anything but admire the technical construction — the lace tops of the stockings with hardly any distortion, strswss wrinkles on the side panels — just fantastic” — Second Style Fasnista
This coat looks great and will be used when it gets cold. This is where phenomenology starts to come back in because now the weather is getting colder here IRL, but not ISL. We are bringing in our lifeworlds etc into a place where they are meaningless.
HyeWon’s question that we will, start with next time:
Amateur vs. professional: what happens now?