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.

Check into class… into class!

So a lot has happened in the world since my last blog post– Kim  Kardashian is getting divorced, Captain America came out on DVD, Uncharted 3 was released for the PS3, there is a “Siri”-like app for android available now called Iris (Siri spelled backwards–which is awesome by the way. Iris and I have become good friends) and a new episode of Glee airs tonght!! Oh, and I have been working on my project. I start singing “Check into class… into class!” everytime I check into Grainger or Vilas or Humanities. It’s a catchy tune. I also decided to take a look at other locative services such as SCVNGR and Gowalla, and Yelp. I am still focusing mainly on foursquare but I wanted to see what these services had to offer.

I am in love with SCVNGR in that I have gained free wings from Buffalo Wild Wings (my favorite wing place!) just by completing fun challenges. This virtual space does effect my reality because I interact with people around me through the application. You can do a “social check-in” where you bump phones with friends who have the app and you earn points. There are also challenges you complete like taking a picture of a certain item or answering a question. Then you use your points to get a free coke, free wings, $5 off your bill, etc! I think it is awesome that just interacting with a place through an app can help save you money. It is also fun and passes the time while you wait for your food.

Gowalla is pretty cool in that it tells shows a google map of where each place is incase you are just looking for a cool new spot. Sometimes is also has an interesting little blurp about the place. I haven’t really used it that much. I did say “I’m here” which is what you do on Gowalla rather than checking in at a few places but there aren’t really reviews or ways to warn points.

Yelp is pretty fun. I didn’t realize there were so many good check-in deals. At Barriques Market you can get 50% off a coffee for checking in. I have just started using this app but I might use it for for all the sweet offers it has. It is also pretty useful for the reviews it has. If you are looking for a restaurant close to you it will pull them up and you can find out if they do take-out, reservations, if it is good for kids, etc. You can also become “The Duke” for checking into places.

As far as foursquare goes, I like the competitivness of it and how intense some people get in their mayorships. I am no longer the mayor of Denny’s and I was really mad when I found out. Especially since I begged my boyfriend to go to Denny’s last night but he wanted to go to Perkin’s instead. I lied to my aunt and said somebody stole her mayorship of the Dutch Mills Sports club when she was out of the state and she was so upset. I think it is funny how seriously some people take their mayorships. My aunt always brags about all the places she is mayor of. My boyfriend has also decided that foursquare is a competition between us and he tries to check-in everywhere to beat me in points. I forgot to check-in to Perkin’s last night and he didn’t remind me because he is trying to beat me.

I have also enjoyed sharing tips with other users and I created a few places that didn’t exist in the foursquare world. I added the church my friend just got married in so I would check in in her wedding day. I left a tip about a really friendly bar tender at Dutch Mills Sports club every wednesday night and also about the great service I recieved at Jiffy Lube. I think that applications like these make reality more fun and it makes us feel more connected to the virtual world as well as the real world.