New Media

To explore the depths!

Week 6: Promotion of mediocrity?

A click is all one needs to publish something unto the internet. Clay Shirky describes this process in Publish Then Filter (See here). One can define user-generated content as the ways users create and share media with each other with no professional skills involved. User-generated content is everywhere, in fact, I’m doing it right now. I am not a professional, and neither are a majority of bloggers. Like Shirky says, most user-generated content is geared at a small audience, so we might not find the content of the blog appealing (Shirky 84). To be famous, Shirky says that one must have an audience in thousands or more and unable to reciprocate all the attention given to them. The definition fits most of the general populace who can sometimes be defined as ‘internet-famous’. However, this new fame status given to the general citizen promotes mediocrity.

Shirky states that we have generally relied on publishers to determine the standards of quality (Shirky 97). However, the internet and the digital age has changed that. No longer does one need a publisher’s approval to publish anything. Professionals who were once prided on their skills are now on the same level as a simple teenage blogger. The internet essentially has got rid of the qualifications to become famous or a ‘professional’. Before the internet, you had to cultivate your skills, and work your way up in an industry. Now you can publish anything online, or create things that were specialized. Because of that, being famous has lost its meaning. Anyone can have a thousand followers these days, and be unable to interact with their fans. Like Shirky says, mass amateurization of publishing makes makes mass amateurization of filtering a forced move (Shirky 98). Traditional media had limits to make filtering relatively easy (Shirky 97). Now we must filter the professional from the novice, and with so much content on the web, it is a hard job. Without publishers or the equivalent, the general person must decide on the quality of something. The general person would not know criteria a publisher would know. So their judgement would be impaired compared to a publisher. This is how the internet promotes mediocrity. One can simply pretend to know how to do something, or do sub-par work, and as long as you impress people, you are famous. Take for example, the Kardashians who many consider to be models of this (Source). If you do not know who the Kardashians are, click here. The internet has transformed society to a point where our standards of quality and sense of what famous is has changed. Before, nobody would consider Youtubers celebrities (See here). But because of the internet, that’s a different story. Youtubers are now becoming more influential than Hollywood celebrities (Source). Have we really considered how the internet has managed to bring about a different type of celebrity? I think not. The internet has now brought  new qualifications to be famous to be a celebrity. The restrictions of the old media have been lifted, and anything is fair game. Nobody has to have qualifications anymore to do a majority of jobs or to be considered famous. Now the internet has lowered the bar, and brought society to the height of mediocrity.


PoNM: Numerical Representation and Modularity”

Modularity is where a media  is made up of small structures that have their own separate identity, that come together to make one bigger structure overall.

Examples of this are:

  1. IPhone 6


The IPhone has many features that can stand on their own but make the iPhone. Some features for example are:

  • Web Browser
  • Camera
  • My Music
  • Notes


2. Apple Watch


  • Walkie Talkie
  • Measures Heart rate
  • Counts your steps
  • iTunes and TV access
  • Maps

Numerical representation is when a media is described by numbers.

Example of this are,

1.ISBN are used to represent books in the form of numbers. You can search up books with their ISBN numbers.

2. Another example is your cell phone number, which usually goes hand in hand with your cellphone.




Week 5: A new species?


In Lev Manovich’s New Media: A User’s Guide, he describes the differences between the new and old media, and puts them in a list that are the principles of new media. One of the principles Manovich talks about is automation, where the computer can create a media object from scratch or simple algorithms. Many of these actions range from image editing, 3-D graphics, word processing, to graphic layout (Manovich 8). There are also programs which are able to generate crowds of people, ant colonies, and flocks of birds (Manovich 9). Then Manovich discusses AI. Artificial Intelligence can be defined as computers that work and react like human beings (Source). What is to say that AI will not become a new species?

While AI follow algorithms, that does not make it any less human, or a being. Humans follow algorithms although they are not numbers and letters. Humans have hormones, and our brain which act as our ‘algorithms’ for our actions. AI are simply the same and have various engines which use a, “…variety of approaches to simulate intelligence, from rule-based systems to neural networks (Manovich 10).” How is this new media any different from a human system? While an AI system is less sophisticated, one cannot deny that it is starting to resemble an intelligent being. Although like Manovich says, most characters or AI are not intelligent (Manovich 10).  However, it seems to be a matter of time before that is not an issue. Take for example Sony’s AI. The AI was able to make a song, although it did not make the lyrics (Source). AI are advancing faster and faster, what is to say they cannot be a new race? With human aid, AI will progress more and more. As the algorithms get more complex, AI will have no problem at one point and be able to have self-autonomy. For example, take the popular game Sims 3 (Source). One can create a sim, and 5 traits that will determine how your sim interacts with your world and others. Sometimes, your sims actions can be unpredictable. They could start a fight, or start an affair! I would argue that such new media that has the principle of automation is capable of being self aware, or close to it. Just because AI do not have a heart, or body does not make them any less real. Besides that, they function just like human beings and other organisms. They have urges and desires.

AI are more then just a new media at this point. They are advancing far more than people could of anticipated. AI are autonomous because of their improved algorithms and systems. It is hard to deny that AI will not proceed to advance in the future. Is new media advancing to a place that humans cannot follow? I think so. We have built machines we sooner or later cannot control anymore. New media is more powerful, and more advanced than old media. The future of an AI species is not far away.




Week 5: Daily Quest

“The Internet also crystallized the basic condition of the new information society:
over-abundance of information of all kind (Manovich 11).”
Since the internet has managed to harness the over-abundance of information into one pool, is it possible that internet has become the ultimate new medium in terms of being able to distribute information?  The internet can do almost everything that every other electronic medium can do. You can watch movies on the internet, you can send messages on the internet, you can call people with the internet, you can check the news, you shop for clothes, etc. Is there anything the internet cannot do at this point? The Internet’s connection allows it to send information back and forth in a flash without any trouble. The Internet is the ultimate medium in the sense it can almost do anything that any other medium can do. Is there anything even more efficient or fast as the internet when it comes to getting and distributing information?

Week 4: Daily Quest

“That the camera depicts but does not describe seems confirmed by a term often used by literary critics to characterize neutral, “non-narrated” Hemingwayesque fiction-the camera eye style. The implication of “camera eye” is that no one recounts the events of, for example, “The Killers”: they are just revealed,… (Seymour)”
Does this mean the camera eye style just reveals thing without explanation? So that means there is no build-up to the scene, so the scene just happens without context?

Week 4: Netflix, the new Cinema?


Netflix is a media streaming website which allows to watch movies or TV shows whenever you want, as long as you pay the monthly fee (See here). Netflix can be watched on your computer, mobile device, or smart TV. Accounts can usually be shared, allowing for friends and family to use the same account. People like to use Netflix because they allow for a certain privacy. Netflix has 50 million subscribers worldwide (See here). Netflix’s influence cannot be denied. Walter Murch says that, “…for I will venture that the true cinematic experience cannot be had in the home, no matter how technically advanced the equipment becomes (See here) .” However, I think that is wrong. Netflix is becoming it’s own cinema.

Electronic media has advanced enough to where most people have smart TVs, or smartphones. To add onto that, most TVs can show movies and TV shows in high quality definition. People can get the beauty of movies and TV shows. Netflix with this advancement in mind, makes things comfortable and for anyone who wishes to view anything. Murch says, ” The framework of home viewing is familiarity: what is right is what fits with the routine, and this implies a mind-set that sees only what it wants or is prepared to see. ” This is a false belief in context of Netflix. Netflix allows for people to view any movie they want. While one may hold a bias towards one movie or another, a person can choose to view any movie they wish. They would have nothing to lose. Netflix hosts different shows from a wide range of genres, allowing for people to get out of their comfort zone. Netflix allows for a true cinematic experience. Netflix is a media that has changed the way cinema is practiced. Murch says that “…The theatrical-cinematic experience is really born the moment someone says, “Let’s go out.” Netflix has made that concept obsolete with the new Chrome extension called Showgoers, which allows you to watch Netflix TV shows or movies as the same as your friend or family member (See here). No longer does one have to go with a friend or family to the movie theater to watch movies. We as a society can watch it from the comfort of our home. Netflix even releases their own original content in the forms of TV shows and movies (See here). Netflix competes with TV channels because of their original content, and has angered theater owners (See here). Netflix has made movie theaters, obsolete. Netflix does everything a movie theater can, but better. Netflix can give people their movies right away in the comfort of their homes, it’s cheaper than going to theater for each movie you want to see, and you can watch movies with friends. Netflix has already driven out Blockbuster which used to be wildly popular in the 90s out of business (See here). The movie theater is not adapting with the age of digital media. The movie theaters cannot simply compete with Netflix at this rate.

Murch is wrong when he said that theatrical cinemas will be with us 100 years from now. Netflix is dominating and taking over. The cinema can be thought of as a medium that has evolved, and theatrical cinema has now been rendered obsolete. Netflix and other services like it are going to dominate in this age of digital media. Netflix is the new cinema.


Media Analysis: Mystic Messenger


Otome games are visual dating games which are marketed to women and mostly made by women (See here). Otome gameplay differs from game to game. Some otome games may be  a simulation,  a visual novel, roleplay, choice-based, or focused on stat-building. Otome games originated in Japan, and has spread across the globe. Over the years, otome games have tried different gameplay to fit with the modern age. Mystic Messenger was made by the Korean company Cheritz. Mystic Messenger’s homepage can be found here. What makes Mystic Messenger unique is that it is a visual novel on the smartphone, and is specifically smartphone based. Most visual novel games were on computer, or for handheld systems such as the PS3. Mystic Messenger is one of the first otome games that incorporates texting and smartphones into a otome game. David Parry argues that most media is not new at all. He even uses the internet to support his point, “…And, even if one is talking about the internet as widely used and publicly available, the timeline is at least ten years.” However, I would argue that Mystic Messenger is a new medium, and is one of a kind.

Mystic Messenger plays out like a real life text conversation. The characters text back and forth until you can decide what to answer them with. The characters can decide to text you at certain times in the day, or call you. Text conversations unlock at different times of the day, even at 12:00 AM. When I was testing out the game, I forgot to play for a day and had 5 missed calls from multiple characters. This kind of gameplay is rather unheard of in any otome game. There has never been such a phone-based game before. There may have been elements of it, but never a full out smartphone based game. Based on Parry’s  definition, new suggests “…that what is happening, the profound shift from a social and cultural structure whose primary form of archivization is analog to one which is digitally networked has not already been significantly shaped by a past.” Parry says that new media is new when there is significant shift and radically different shift from the media before it (See here). Mystic Messenger does exactly that for otome games. Mystic Messenger gameplay is not simply choice based, but you can call your characters and text them. In context of Parry’s definition, Mystic Messenger is a new medium. I would say Parry’s statement that, “…These “new media” aren’t new,” is completely thoughtless in the context of mediums like Mystic Messenger. While there is some new media like this, not all media is. If we were to relent a little, Mystic Messenger has a somewhat similar timeline to the internet. Mystic Messenger still has some old otome game features. The multiple guys, and the two choices and the affection point system. Parry would probably argue since this analogous to the otome games before it in terms of some game features, it is not a ‘new’ medium. However, I think this view is short sighted. Even if a medium contains features of the old, does it mean it is not new?  Each medium has taken something from another medium down the line. Every medium is shaped by past media. With what Parry is arguing, no medium is ‘new’, and that is simply not true. Parry’s argument holds some truths, but his argument does not anticipate any media that might counter his argument. This causes Parry’s argument to fall flat against new mediums like Mystic Messenger.

Mystic Messenger while having features of old otome games, provides a significantly new and inventive change in otome games in general. Mystic Messenger is a new medium because of its inventive features, even though it still retains elements of old media. All media draw upon another media. Without that cause and effect chain, new media wouldn’t even exist.

Week 3: Daily Quest

“Technologies are artificial, but—paradox again—artificiality is natural to human beings.”

Does this specific quote mean that human beings are artificial, or that humans create artificial things so much that artificiality has become natural to humans?

Week 3: The Resurgence of Literature?


Tim Carmody says both of the people  who say reading/writing are stronger than ever or weaker than ever are wrong (See here). He goes on further to say that reading and writing have not declined or risen, but has remained the same since the invention of electronic media. Carmody says that reading and writing has merely been transformed by electronic media. He argues that literacy has stayed unchanged, and essentially that electronic media has had no impact upon how literature is read in the current age. However, I think secondary literacy is going to lead a resurgence of literature.

“I have tried occasionally to introduce the term ‘secondary literacy.’ We are not considering here the production of sounded words on the computer, which of course are even more readily assimilated to ‘secondary orality’ (Carmody).” While Carmody does not give a formal definition, one can define secondary literacy from this quote as reading or writing which is produced or consumed through electronic media. Literature has not been on a decline, I would like to make that clear. However, literature has not exactly been popular lately. Rarely does one see someone with a book in hand instead of a smartphone. On the other hand, when you combine books and the electronic media, you can get a different situation. Let us take e-books for example. E-books do not have to be carried around like regular books, and do not take up space. With e-reading devices, one can usually adjust the font, size, contrast, and column width (Gahran). This makes e-reading convenient for anyone who would like to make any changes. A third of the people who even read e-books say they now spend more time reading than they did before they started reading e-books (Gahran). With the invention of technology, people are reading more. People who would have otherwise scoffed at a regular old paper book, are now leaning towards e-books. E-books have made things more convenient and easily accessible.  The audience that disliked print books now have an alternate option with e-books. An example of this is a research report done if e-books increase boy’s reading progress and make them more confident readers (See here). Boys who thought reading was cool was 49.2% to 64.2% after the experiment (National Literacy Trust). Reading e-books also went from 5.6% in 2010 to 15.3% in 2014, so e-book reading tripled (National Literacy Trust)! Secondary literacy is on the rise. With the current society which is deeply involved in electronics, it only makes sense that e-books would be so appealing.  Just like these young boys, many people will be swayed by e-books. Electronic technology is in vogue with society, and incorporating this medium with reading modernizes reading. Doing this allows for reading to evolve with society, and even increase reading. Providing alternate options to paper books which has dominated for centuries will allow other people to enjoy pieces of literature. Carmody argues that literacy has been, “…transformed by all the textual forms – mail, the newspaper, the book, the bulletin board, etc. It’s not purely one thing or another. “This is true. Electronic media has essentially taken these old forms of media and incorporated it into new media. Carmody even says,  that literacy is a form, “…in which the oldest form survives, and even survives endlessly, coexisting with the new form and even coming to terms with the new economy.”

Electronic media is like writing in the fact that, it has revolutionized the way people read and think about things. People no longer communicate in the same way since electronic media was created, just like when writing was created. This leads to another question, will electronic media continue to dominate so much that writing will phased out of human society? As shown previously, newer generations prefer electronic media more and more. While people still fight for writing and print, will it be able to stand the test of time? I don’t think so. Like Carmody said, electronic media has transformed all these old media. Electronic media has consumed society, and everything in its path. Every old media is now becoming a part of electronic media.  Electronic media is a game changer for a society. It has changed and shaped the way we communicate, learn, and educate. Writing and print simply do not have the diversity that electronic media has. In this day and age, writing and print are out of style, and possibly, out of business. I think that it is possible that electronic media will be the central media or media, which may wipe out other old forms of media.



Garhan, Amy. “E-books Spur Reading among Americans, Survey Shows.” CNN. CNN, 5 Apr. 2012. Web. 9 Sept. 2016. <;.

National Literacy Trust. “Our Research Shows Using Ebooks Increases Boys’ Reading Progress and Makes Them Keener, More Confident Readers.” National Literacy Trust. National Literacy Trust, 9 Dec. 2015. Web. 9 Sept. 2016. <;.

Carmody, Tim. “Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy.” Weblog post. SnarkMarket. 24 July 2009. Web. 9 Sept. 2016. <;.

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