Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vid Workspaces

Hey vid world, hope you've all been doing well. Pretty wrapped up in writing chapter 3 of my thesis at the moment, and I was wondering if anyone out there would care to send me a photo of their vidding workspace, maybe with a word or two about what kind of equipment you use.

Por ejemplo, here's mine...

This is my uni office, where I have a standard desktop PC I never use, but I hook my personal laptop up to the awesome widescreen monitor for spreadsheets, multiple Word documents, and most importantly, vid watching (pictured here: killabeez 's "Little Lion Man" for SPN). The unfinished LJ post I'm in the middle of writing, and pics of Australia I've taken are there, as well as some from VidUKon... and ten miles of tangled headphone/microphone cord. My laptop is a beautiful little HP Pavilion dv6 with an 18" monitor, 500GB memory, and 2GB RAM.

In any case...

If you wanted to email me a photo of your workspace, there is the possibility that I might include it in my dissertation, so be aware of that. I'm over at fanthropology@gmail.com. :-)

And I'm starting to feel a little guilty for constantly asking for stuff without giving anything back. But I can promise is 100,000 words on vidding sometime in the next 18 months! *sheepish*

Seriously, though, you guys rock. And now, in proper Aussie fashion, I'm off to a springtime BBQ.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Recommended Readings on Virtual Worlds & Second Life

Boellstorff, Tom. Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008.
  • A bit of a tough read, but well-worth the effort. Anthropologist Boellstorff applies traditional ethnographic research methods to Second Life.
Meadows, Mark Stephen. I, Avatar: The Culture and Consequences of Having a Second Life. Indianapolis: New Riders, 2008.
  • Unusual and fascinating look at some of the personal and subjective issues involved in having a virtual world representation of yourself.
Malaby, Thomas M. Making Virtual Worlds: Linden Labs and Second Life. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009.
  • Another anthropologist, but in this case examining the Linden Lab staff, and detailing how the libertarian ethos of the company affects the thousands of Residents of Second Life.
Castronova, Edward. Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
  • Analyzing the economic and business side of online games.
Au, Wagner James. The Making of Second Life: Notes from the New World. New York: Harper Collins, 2008.
  • Written by the founder of influential Second Life news service, New World Notes.
Dibbell, Julian. My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World. New York: Henry Holt, 1998.
  • A highly personal and engaging tale of life lived in the virtual world.
Dibbell, Julian. Play Money: Or, How I Quit My Day Job and Made Millions Trading Virtual Loot. New York: Basic Books, 2006.
  • Dibbell attempts to make a living for a year solely from virtual cash, and then claim it on his income tax.
Ludlow, Peter and Wallace, Mark. The Second Life Herald: The Virtual Tabloid that Witnessed the Dawn of the Metaverse. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007.
  • The rise and conflicts of the Second Life Herald. Deals a lot with The Sims Online as well. Documents the strange conflicts between the news service, the virtual world residents, and the companies that own the systems.
Taylor, T. L. Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2006.
  • An ethnographic study of popular MMO Everquest, looking at the role of gender and gaming.
Turkle, Sherry. Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.
  • A classic study of MUDs and their social lives. Heavily influenced by psychology, this book explores how and why different people use MUDs for different reasons.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Looking for sources

hey vid world, i'm looking for anyone who might happen to know who created these two LJ icons:

i'm hoping to include them in my dissertation, and I want to make sure I give credit where credit is due.

*fingers crossed*

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Writing continues, and how I use quotes

I may not be dead, but I have fallen into a pit of writing, conferences, and research work here at uni. Probably about time, though, lol.

For anyone who was curious, I've completed my second chapter (barring some minor edits). This chapter is about my methodologies - what types of data collection methods I've used and what - and a general introduction to the vidding community online - about how many people, some demographics, and that sort of thing. I also address issues like privacy, consent, confidentiality, and things like that.

I've now moved on to third chapter, which I've tentatively titled "The Practice of Vidding". It is sort of a background information chapter for my readers who may not be familiar with vidding, and covers the 30-odd year history from slides to digital, and then gives a summary of how current digital vids are made (as I've mentioned before, I am focusing on contemporary, digital vidding for my dissertation).

I already have, and probably will continue to, be sending out some emails in the near future to various vidders I've met or interviewed, and also some I haven't, asking for permission to quote sources outside the range of personal interviews or focus groups (which is covered by the consent form you would have signed). This may include things like individual's Livejournal posts, or comments in someone else's LJ. I will be quoting from general posts to communities without tacit permission, because a larger/more public audience is assumed for these. However, I will request permission to quote by email for any comments in any LJ, and personal LJs. And I will ask permission for each quote, and not just assume a blanket permission to take words wherever I please (unless the vidder indicates this is okay).

I am planning to include a DVD of several vids along with my dissertation for the examiners / my supervisors. I am going to be sending out consent forms which need to be signed by the vidder in order to include it here. You can check out the consent form here if you are curious: http://docs.google.com/View?id=dfn5rwh3_114cbkv3pfd. It usually comes with the participant information sheet, which looks like this:

Of course, if you receive a request to quote or for vid use, you can always refuse me with no hard feelings. I'm not here to expose anyone or disrupt anything.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to run a final focus group as I may have desired. I have some tight deadlines coming up and really need to get on those. My apologies to everyone who volunteered! However, if there is anyone out there who would like to read portions of my thesis as it is written, please let me know. I am looking for some vidder/vid-watcher feedback. :-)