Practicum: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 UPDATE – Post-discussion post

I hope my presentation was interesting for everyone; I really enjoyed doing my research and analyzing it for the class.  Looking over our discussion questions, I felt I should elaborate on one of the topics.

– Does the online aspect of the game make it more violent?  Would you let your kids play Call of Duty?

The class was somewhat mixed about this question, and there are a few different ideas at work here.  First, the human element that online gaming provides.  Because a player “kills” another player, the violence seems to be realer than most video games, but this quality is very subjective.  Second, the idea of the techno panic.  I had overlooked this argument, and its certainly worth noting.  Often times, gaming is demonized by the media (like the story I brought up in class), and not given a fair turn.  Is that happening here?  Is Call of Duty training snipers or simply improving our dexterity? I’m leaning towards the latter, but the class should continue the discussion.


Practicum: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 UPDATE – Discussion Questions

I’m presenting tomorrow, and to start a discussion I wanted to pose a few questions:

— Are online games a legitimate form of social interaction?

— Does the online aspect of the game make it more violent (you’re killing a real person’s avatar)?  Would you let your kids play Call of Duty?

— What’s the future of online gaming?

Practicum: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 UPDATE

Since winter has come along, it has been easy to log hours playing Call of Duty.  The online gameplay is great.  I’ve gotten much better at the game, and two or three times I’ve placed in the top three.  So many of the players are different ages and from different countries, it is very interesting.  I am now a level 25, and I have unlocked a good percentage of the unlockable items.  I find that my favorite online game mode is free-for-fall, the non-cooperative gameplay, it is much faster paced.  The team death match mode requires a lot of patience, and players often hide and shoot with sniper rifles.  I much prefer an assault rifle or sub-machine gun.  My roommate also plays on the PlayStation Network, and we have been able to play in games together.  While we could work together, we end up just trying to kill each other.  Many hours in, I’m still not bored with the gameplay, its all online so it is always different and new.

Remix Production 5

I think that one important thing to point out about remixes is that they come in many forms. I was considering the “everything is a remix” idea and I think that it is true to a large extent. Youtube and Vimeo are full of thousands of remixes, whether they be photos someone posted with their favorite songs, DJ remixes, fan art, or mashups. Watching the Daily Show and Colbert Report, you can see how often photoshopped pictures of cultural icons are used to accompany the punchlines. I think this speaks to the fact that remixes are made for many different reasons.

The Constitution originally called for copyrights to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. It offered a 14 year period of copyright and an optional renewal. Todays copyright laws are a term of death + 50 years for natural authors. I think that this is hardly conducive to promoting progress with these kind of term extensions. The rise of digital technology and the ability to share media so easily has undermined the effort of strict copyright laws and has demonstrated that there are significant upsides to the free-flow of ideas and free expression. However, there is a balance that must be achieved between allowing free expression and outright piracy. Current laws treat users the same and do not do a good enough job to distinguish between the two.


Practicum 6

So tomorrow’s the big day. Everything seems to be coming together and upon further reading I and research I’ve come to see WoW in a new light. A lot of things I was unsure about I looked up and even happened to stumbled across other things relating to the game that weren’t even on my radar. My presentation is quite simple really – it starts with a description of MMORPGs, followed by a description of my specific MMORPG(WoW), and then delves into my own personal experience with the game. 

The question(s) I have for you guys is as follows: What sets a MMORPG apart from a regular video game? From an online virtual reality such as Second Life? What is the appeal to its players? 

Hulu and Youtube



The biggest difference between Hulu and Youtube is the content. The look and feel of both sites say a lot about what kind of content they put forward. Hulu has a much more corporate look with a lot of popular TV shows being advertised on the front page. The search bar automatically reveals the shows that Hulu has as you type in a search and the Hulu website basically guides you to where you need to be. Youtube on the other hand is much more user-controlled and less hierarchical. Because there are so many videos of random things on Youtube, it is easy to get lost. Youtube has done a good job linking similar videos together with its playlist feature. Hulu has a more professional layout (the site is actually very similar to HBO’s) because of the professionally produced content that it offers. Youtube is more of a place for amateurs to share videos although it is becoming increasingly filled with commercial advertisements. I think these two approaches to essentially the same service shows how content drives design.

Remix Production 4

It has been a rough venture to try and mashup a video and set it to music. For the presentation I will have 2 video mashups. The first I detailed earlier and will be sampled from MarioKart 64 gameplay. For the second mashup I took a video of Fred Astaire tap dancing to “Puttin on the Ritz” and combined it with some music. This number was included in the 1946 movie “Blue Skies” which starred Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby and Joan Caulfield. I will have the links to the full videos on vimeo in my post before my presentation.

I am going to try and talk about sequencing the video and music in the program Ableton Live. First, I drag the video into a track in Ableton. The program automatically registers the BPM of the song based on the soundwaves that are dragged in. I add in a drum track to play along with the video and match up the rhythm of the drums to the rhythm of the dancing. Once everything was on beat, I tried out a bunch of different effects on different video loops. Organizing everything takes a good while and I included a picture of what everything looks like in the program. The video track is at the top and everything else underneath it is audio. There is also a video box that shows what is being played.

I included a mashed up picture and a .gif. I made the .gif using GIFQuickMaker (which is free in the app store if you have a Mac). It was actually pretty easy to make with GIFQuickMaker. You can drag and drop any photos you want. I screen captured the ones I wanted from Ableton and then dragged them in and clicked create.

I don’t think that I could or should really be able to sell things like these. That being said, I also don’t see the problem in being able to spread simple mashups like this for free or for educational purposes.

Don’t forget to “Check In” to Ashley and Annie’s presentation!

Hi class,

So I am super excited to tell you all about my fun foursquare adventure, and I know Annie has some awesome things to say about her social review site experiences! SO SHOW UP TO CLASS! Haha, just kidding I know none of you would duck out early for the holidays.

Anyway, I am still really happy that I was able to do this project. I would not have utilized foursquare the way that I have and I would not have looked at any of the other locative services either. I agree that this is a kind of collective intelligence that Levy was talking about as a service, and all of our projects are as a whole. Since I have heard the practicum presentations I have joined Twitter, an online support group, left secrets at Post Secret, and visited some chat rooms. I hope that I can share the benefits of foursquare with all of you and that some of you will utilize this service or other services like it.

Some questions I have:

Would you feel comfortable leaving tips and pictures for other random users to see?

How do you find out about new places to visit or eat?

What are the biggest benefits you see from using locative services?

Practicum: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 – UPDATE

My research has been slowed by issues with the PlayStation Network servers, but I have managed to get in a lot of online gameplay.  I am currently a level 16 player, my highest weapon level is 9 on the M16.  My skills have room for improvement, and I have yet to be invited to play with any co-ops or clans.  The game is a lot of fun, and I have played with players from all over the world.  The community is incredibly diverse; ranging from retired Marines to little kids – I’ve been beaten by both.  I’m working on perfecting my screen shots – soon I’ll be able to post my full scorecard.  Again, my ID is Purpdawg5000;  add me on PlayStation Network!

Remix Production 3

For this post I remixed a song that I posted on my Soundcloud. For the remix I used part of the Beatles song “Michelle” and the AZ song “Still Alive.” The sample from Michelle is about 25 seconds into the song when Paul sings “Sont des mots qui vont très bien ensemble” which means “these are words that go together well”.  AZ is a rapper from Brooklyn who first appeared on the Nas album “Illmatic”. The song “Still Alive” is from AZ’s 2005 album A.W.O.L but I only used 2 out of 3 verses from the song.

I mixed the song in Ableton Live 8, a digital audio workstation that allows you to manipulate audio and play digital instruments. I created the drums in Ableton using a drum rack and arranged them with the other samples. I slowed down the sample to 88BPM and had to mess around with the vocals of the AZ verse to get them on beat. I made an instrumental version that only has the “Michelle” sample and one that combines the instrumental with the vocals. Take a listen here: Still Alive (Remix)

I don’t think there is any problem in posting a remix of this song for free (not like my Soundcloud gets a ton of views). The rights to use Beatles songs are expensive to get so I obviously could not distribute this for money. Remixes being posted for free like this have become so prevalent with the rise of the internet and increasing availability of software and hardware to mix that and I don’t really see the threat that they pose to artists. The ability to make mixes like this has definitely been curtailed by copyright law and I think basically restricts a form of creative expression.