Where is Digital Humanities going from here…
Digital Humanities as it stands is in a pretty interesting stage. A Lot of the topics covered by digital humanities have been around for quite some time but only recently has it been distinguished as its own discipline. The ever evolving ways of digitizing media sources will without a doubt continue and likely will lead to the growth of digital humanities as an area of study. As time progresses and the use of social and digital media become even more popular, more areas of study would likely follow. I suspect as time goes on the general population will be more supportive of digital humanities, especially learning about them in the classroom. Currently, I think it seems that the study of digital humanities may tend to fall as a sub-category under other various larger categories. Today the degree of the implementation of digital media into our lives is contributing to the rapid growth of digital humanities. I feel that this is just the beginning and the future looks bright for digital humanities.
Reflections on Group Presentations
The project presented in class did a good job of portraying present day digital humanities. The common theme was utilizing different social media sites and creating a false community/person(s) and gaining followers. Story lines were created to simulate something very believable and likely to occur in real life. It was very interesting to see how easy it is to create fictional personae and gain followers that have no idea if your character even exists. In my opinion that is quite disturbing, especially when it comes to Facebook. Twitter does not revolve around posting as much personal detail and is a little more secure. As for Facebook, friending a complete stranger is severely underestimated. You have no idea who has access to all of the details you have posted, even long before becoming friends. Three groups utilized Facebook with an objective similar to the above. All succeeded in acquiring friends that knew nothing about their character.
I plan on putting together my own version of a digital object. It will consist of textual, visual and sound components. For the visual component I will have photos and videos strung together in a slide show. The textual component will consist of captions and descriptions where necessary. Lastly, the sound component will be taken care of by creating a soundtrack to go along with the slide show. The plan is to choose songs that go with the visual and help to better set the tone.
The digital object I am making will consist of pictures and videos that represent the lifestyle I typically live out. The have been taken over the course of a few weeks and will accurately portray what I tend to do week to week. This includes work, school, interests and fun. Some of the picture and video taking has been a lot of fun and even helps me reflect on my own lifestyle.
SecondLife is an online virtual world designed to simulate real life. Participants design their own character to travel through the “game” with. Many locations are somewhat replicas of places that actually do exist; others seem to be completely made up but still similar to real life settings. Characters interact with others and carry out their respective lifestyles virtually. That is pretty much the extent of it. There are no clear objectives or storylines to follow. Characters just wander around and participate in real life activities.
I personally did not care for SecondLife. I did not like that fact that there was no storyline or objective to the game other than to just kill time. In my opinion it was not very user friendly either. The controls were not very responsive and it was difficult to figure out the details. It appears like me that it is primarily used for the purpose of meeting other people virtually. Talking and interacting with strangers is the only thing semi-cool about the game. It does seem weird though. You essentially message and chat people the same way you would on Facebook but with a cartoon character designed to your specifications. Personally I would rather be able to have a better idea about who I am talking to by seeing a profile picture of some sort. I can’t seem to get myself excited to chat or flirt with a cartoon character and that seems to be all SecondLife is about.
Social Media Too??
In my opinion, social media is one of the best examples of what digital humanities really are. One reason for this is that nearly every one can relate to social media. This makes it easier for people to be able to directly relate to digital humanities and have a much deeper understanding. In general digital humanities deal with the modernizing and adapting of old school humanities. This is due to the constantly evolving technology that is available to us. As new and emerging technologies become available, more and more ways are provided for humanities to grow and change in the digital world.
The emergence of social media over the last decade, the last few years specifically, has completely changed the common form of face to face communication. People now rely on technology and the internet to communicate as the main way to communicate with each other. It has more than surpassed that alone these days. Social media is everything. It has become one of the single most sources of news. Newspapers, news stations, magazines etc. are all spread through social media. It provides people the opportunity to have access to any and all types of news one could possibly want. When an event happens, it is plastered all over social media. It allows businesses and attractions to generate a following and post information about their establishment. Anymore it is an extremely successful form of advertising because it gives them the capability to post to a degree of significant detail in the form of events, pictures and reviews. It gives people the ability to follow and track their favorite athletes and celebrities. Social media gives ordinary people access to the rest of the world, near and far.
eXistenZ is a movie that directly ties into many topics discussed in the digital humanities. The topics of ARGs, video games, and virtuality all come to mind. The movie itself is about an interactive game truly unlike any other. The game is one that is unique to every individual player and plays out according to your own personality. The game device is called a pod that resembles a human organ. Pods are powered by the players spinal cord via a direct connection called a bio port. A bio port is basically shot into the players back and taps into the spinal cord. The pod then plugs into the port and powered by your spinal cords’ charges.
The movie begins with a gathering of gaming enthusiasts all out to be the first people to play Allegra Geller’s newest game. As soon as they get underway, an assassination attempt of Allegra causes a pandemonium outbreak and she ends up running off with an acting security guard named Ted Pikul. Allegra is wounded but nothing life threatening. It becomes clear to both of them that they are in danger of being hunted by those who oppose Allegra’s games. There is a $5 million bounty on Allegra by those against her.
Allegra’s new game is in danger of being tempered with and the only way to find out is if she plays it with someone “friendly”, and coaxes Ted to get a game port installed and to play. The two set out to play the game and from there on the story line bounces between real-life and the game world. It gets to the point that Allegra and Ted cannot tell real life apart from the game. While this is going on, their enemies slowly close in on the both of them. Throughout the confusion the two of them adore, it turns out that Ted is actually her assassin. This is yet another twist of the plot that is often times difficult to follow.
The film is very interesting to say the least and the possibility of games one way or another eventually turning into this in the future cannot be ruled out. It may not be exactly like eXistenZ, but several parallels may exist down the road. I’m not so sure about the idea of plugging a game into yourself but I think the chance of a game taking you to a completely different world, although far-fetched, could possibly become reality someday.