rss_2.0Cultural Science Journal FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Cultural Science Journal Science Journal 's Cover from the History of Internet Studies<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A Keynote Presentation given at the Open Literacy Digital Games, Social Responsibility and Social Innovation Symposium in celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the founding of Internet Studies at Curtin University. Matthew is Australia’s first Professor of Internet Studies, having established the world-leading Internet Studies department at Curtin University where he worked from 1993 to 2012.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-01-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Mapping Internet Celebrity on TikTok: Exploring Attention Economies and Visibility Labours<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>With its rapid uptake among young people around the world, it is no surprise that TikTok is buzzing with cultures and practices of internet celebrity. Most notably, the platform is becoming more commercial and professionalized with the rise of TikTok Influencers, advertising networks, and agencies dedicated to monetizing content and embedding advertising on TikTok, and top TikTok Influencers raking in millions in income annually. However, little is known about the constitution of internet celebrity on TikTok yet, and existing models of internet celebrity on predecessor apps like Instagram and YouTube do not neatly apply to the distinctive terrain of TikTok. As such, this paper is an exploratory study into the makings of internet celebrity cultures on TikTok, focused on how attention economy and visibility labour practices have emerged as a result of the app’s features. With empirical data drawn from an extended period in-depth digital ethnography, and analyses and insights informed and supported by traditional anthropological participant observation and personal interviews with TikTok Influencers and agencies, this scoping paper offers a foundation for how celebrity, attention, and visibility are constituted across TikTok’s platform norms and features.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-01-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Joyful Encounters: Learning to Play Well with Machines<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Human interactions with machines, including computers, consoles, smart devices and robots, are becoming more and more a part of everyday life. However, human–machine relations are often regarded as problematic for people, their interpersonal communication and human society more broadly. This paper provides an analysis of the characteristics that constitute ‘play’ in relation to video games and interactions with robots, arguing it is possible to position time spent on play with machines as valuable in itself, without requiring the outcomes more traditionally regarded as productive. Much of what is valuable in play can be seen to develop from embodied processes of communication within which humans and machines encounter and respond to one other. These encounters are often shaped by stories about the capabilities of machines and humans, while the interactions themselves go on to provoke new narratives. Although human– machine interaction can be theorized as ‘cyborg’ or ‘hybrid’, this paper argues that adopting the idea of the ‘assemblage’ is a better way recognize the flexibility of bringing disparate humans and machines together, whether in relation to playing a game or playing music. In rethinking the value of play, this paper emphasizes how people’s time spent interacting, whether with video games or robots, provides opportunities for them to learn more about themselves and others.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-01-19T00:00:00.000+00:00The Older Gamer in Games Studies: Marginalised or Idealised?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study concerns older gamers, who are often neglected in the gaming world. After reviewing the literature about older gamers, we have found most studies focus on the therapeutic function of videogames for solving problems related to age. Using an intersectional vision of critical gerontology studies and critical disability studies, we find that implicit compulsory youthfulness and compulsory ablebodiedness or ablemindedness colours studies about both older gamers and disabled gamers. These compulsory systems not only put older gamers and disabled gamers into a passive treatment-receiving position but also exclude them from a non-utilitarian style of game playing. Moreover, we recognise there are images of so-called ideal game players in current studies about older gamers and disabled gamers. These images further marginalise older gamers and disabled gamers. It is suggested that scholars undertaking future studies avoid ageism and ableism when studying older gamers or disabled gamers. Instead, researchers need to explore the original motivation of ageing people or people with disability to play video games, the sociocultural environment in which they are exposed to games and the specific social conditions under which games affect them.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Who Puts the ‘Open’ in Open Knowledge?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper explores the concept of ‘open’ knowledge – and the growing importance of digital literacies in supporting a transformation of universities into open knowledge institutions. In order to operate as successful open knowledge institutions, universities must do more than support the transmission of research outcomes from experts located within the university to external communities. They must engage in knowledge-making with communities. This involves questions of equity, diversity and inclusion – who gets to make knowledge; as well the role of productive interactions across boundaries (disciplines/university/wider community) in its growth and spread. There is a genuine desire among many universities, research funders, and researchers themselves, to address the challenges of diversity, equity and impact implicit in the open knowledge agenda. However, open knowledge aspirations are being stymied by comparative rankings that are built on data that excludes the work of entire disciplines, continents and languages; and are not capable of capturing important aspects of the value universities create. Many of the stakeholders using these rankings to inform decision-making are unaware of the prejudices and blind spots that current measurement tools create and perpetuate. They are also unaware that it is possible to interact critically with the tools used to measure and narrate performance; to demand that new questions are asked of the digital traces that universities and research communities create; and build better tools for understanding the role of universities in processes of knowledge-making and sharing. As this paper discusses, the Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative, a major research project funded by Curtin University, is a deliberate effort to support the new forms of digital literacy needed to enable this shift.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Teaching Open Literacies<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>University teaching, particularly teaching with and about digital technologies, can play a role in developing and expanding open literacies. At the same time, we face a range of challenges as teachers. The managerial focus on measuring and quantifying teaching and learning outcomes within academia often works against the evidence on pedagogical best practice. Despite claims made about ‘digital natives’, we find that students of all ages frequently have difficulty sorting through the mass of information available online. It is not enough, as teachers, to simply provide content to students, or even to ‘engage’ students through gamified learning and other digitally supported teaching methods. To effectively support open literacies within university education we need to question institutionalized practices, including commitment to discipline canon and to a depoliticized, depersonalized approach to teaching. In order to be effective, I argue that our pedagogies must be diverse, context-dependent, and reflexive.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-12-23T00:00:00.000+00:00Marvel, Star Wars and the Risk of Being a Hero: Social Responsibilities for Transmedia Storytellers in the Age of Collective Journey<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In 2018, James Gunn and Chuck Wendig both lost lucrative jobs as storytellers for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and Star Wars, respectively, as a result of their aggressively political social media communications. This paper argues that these events can be understood in part by Gunn and Wendig’s social media profiles being blurred with their role as custodians for their respective franchises, and their interactions being out of sync with the aspirational themes associated with the MCU and Star Wars storyworlds. Compounding this issue is the significant structural evolution that modern, popular and commercial stories are undergoing, towards a collective journey model. Collective journey stories are an evolved version of traditional hero’s journey tales, and showcase the importance of listening and negotiating to drive systemic, collective action. Such stories have increased capacity to improve the civic imagination and provide symbols that individuals can draw from to manifest meaningful change. The appearance of these stories in popular commercial entertainment is a reflection of our increasingly digital lives and heightened connectivity, as well as a by-product of our increasing tendency to transmedially tell stories. The professional troubles Gunn and Wendig encountered are a result of them contrasting this storytelling modality, and can be understood in the context of a semiotic cultural shift, as we collectively come to better understand the impact of the Internet and our participatory digital culture.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-01-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Romantic Remixers: Hidden Tropes of Romantic Authorship in Creators’ Attitudes about Reuse<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article draws from data generated in existing studies in Australia and the U.S. to examine how creators describe themselves and their creative acts when they are recombining or trying to combine copyrighted work with their own work. It finds a surprising congruence of self-perception across very different copyright regimes and creative practices. An undercurrent of Romantic notions about the originality of creative genius runs through even cutting-edge digital practices. This attitude then bolsters strategies used by large media interests to expand copyright monopoly rights and extend them internationally. Results have implications both for policy and advocacy, in particular, how creators respond to campaigns for expanded copyright exceptions, and a reluctance by even remix creators to challenge the legal structures that restrict their creative practice.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2020-02-13T00:00:00.000+00:00Digital Words of Wisdom?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper introduces Milia (AppleTree), an open online platform for social interactive digital storytelling, which has been developed by the Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media, with the support of the University Research Institute of Applied Communication (URIAC) of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of the University of Athens. The Milia platform aims to support the representation, presentation and collaborative creation of any sort of stories in digital format. Applications of the platform can be found in storytelling per se, in education, in publishing and, more generally, in the creation and publication of collaborative digital works. The first part of the paper is focused on a state of the art review for digital storytelling platforms and discussion of some major challenges that these platforms are attempting to face. This review is followed by a second part, which discusses the technical features and functional capabilities of the Milia platform in detail, and a third part, which reports on applications of the platform that have already been realized and digital stories that are already available online. The paper is concluded with a discussion of limitations and directions of future work for the Milia platform.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Owning your emotions or sentimental navel-gazing:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Literature argues that for post-conflict pedagogies to facilitate student engagement across difference it requires emotional engagement with the subject. However, how to achieve such emotional engagement, without falling into the trap of sentimentality, is an area that is under-researched. This paper reflects on conversations with South African students in a final year pre-service teacher-training programme, who developed digital stories as a vehicle for student engagement across difference. Applying ‘critical emotional reflexivity’ (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_csci.80_ref_040">Zembylas 2011</xref>) as an analytical framework, we found that students described the digital storytelling process as opening up different ways of being with/for the ‘Other’ and allowing them to start questioning cherished beliefs and assumptions about the ‘Other’. However, they had difficulties in placing themselves in a bigger historical and sociocultural context. Furthermore, the specific set-up of the project made it difficult to track lasting social change within students, the fourth element of Zembylas’ theoretical framework. Findings also confirmed the potential of digital stories to lead to sentimentality and ‘passive empathy’ (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_csci.80_ref_004">Boler 1999</xref>), characterised by pity from the part of the privileged observer and resentment from the subjugated storyteller. We recommend adding a historical-political analysis of previous students’ stories to the digital storytelling process in order to help students deconstruct positions premised on the existence of clearly differentiated identities and to consciously create spaces where a reflection on the emotions students encountered while sharing and listening to their stories can be facilitated.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00The pot, the cup and the jar:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>What sort of story can you tell with just a pot, a cup, a coffee pot, a jar, a chopping board, an onion and a knife? Would the stories told among a group of seven PhD candidate women reveal the burden of writing a PhD dissertation relating the process to cooking? We, eight women, came together to run an event for the March 8<sup>th</sup>, International Women’s Day in 2014 and talked about what we had been experiencing during the period of writing master’s and PhD dissertations through the help of some ordinary life kitchen objects. We called this digital storytelling workshop, “I have food on the stove”, getting our inspiration from a very common phrase used by women during their everyday life conversations in Turkey. This workshop enabled me to think about what kind of roles both kitchen and objects have in our lives and how telling stories help women to deal with hard times.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00The Potential of Digital Storytelling as an Ethnographic Research Technique in Social Sciences<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>By using ethnographic research techniques, we can ask questions in order to understandsome issues in the social sciences such as experience, the unique, the ordinary, daily life, emotions etc. However, it is possible to query the proficiency of current ethnographic techniques to design dialogic research and to convey the experiences of the ‘subjects’ of the field research. Techniques such as in-depth interviews, informal interviews and even the focus group depend on the dichotomy of the researcher who asks questions and the subject who responds to them. However, designing dialogic field research requires refusing those dichotomies, which can be considered to be inherited from a positivist understanding of science. In this article I discuss the potential of any digital storytelling workshop as an ethnographic research technique, with regard to three issues that seem problematic in current ethnographic techniques: <italic>integrated research processes; power and hierarchy relationships;</italic> and <italic>conveying the voice of subjects</italic>. The discussion of this article results from two academic experiences: One of them is my ethnographic field research experience for my doctoral dissertation; <fn id="j_csci.88_fn_001" symbol="1"><p>When I was writing my doctoral dissertation, entitled <italic>The Experience of Asylum Seeking in Turkey within the Context of Intercultural Communication</italic>, I conducted field research between 20 July and 20 December 2011, when I investigated how asylum-seeking in Turkey is experienced in daily life within the context of intercultural communication. In my field study, which lasted for five months in Gaziantep, one of the provinces that is located on the south-eastern part of Turkey, I adopted and put to use the participant observation, informal interview and in-depth interview techniques. I experienced a number of difficulties in conducting a field research with a sensitive (disadvantaged) group of people such as the asylum seekers.</p></fn> the other is the digital storytelling workshop entitled <italic>When I was in the field: Digital Stories from Young Academic Women</italic> . <fn id="j_csci.88_fn_002" symbol="2"><p>We conducted this workshop within the body of Hacettepe University, Faculty of Communication, between 25 March and 16 April 2013. I was one of the facilitators of the workshop. We had two purposes. The first was to share stories about our field research experiences as woman academicians. We wanted to understand if gender differentiates the field research experiences. The second was to use DST (digital storytelling) as an ethnographic research technique. We wanted to discuss the problems of ethnographic research techniques that we encounter in the field and see if DST has a potential that allows us to ask new questions.</p></fn> First, I discuss the weaknesses of current ethnographic research techniques and, second, I focus on how digital storytelling workshops can help to reduce these weaknesses. Finally, in conclusion, I touch on the discussions – carried out in the workshop mentioned above – regarding the opportunities and difficulties of using the digital stories and the workshop process as one of the ethnographic research techniques.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00 Digital storytelling and Co-creative Media: The role of community arts and media in propagating and coordinating population-wide creative practice and intergenerational communication through digital storytelling in the first grades of primary school:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The research reported in this paper examines how two different groups, primary schoolchildren and elderly people, could close the generation gap through a digital storytelling-based interaction framework that can result in learning for the younger and intergenerational communication. Yesteryear jobs have been chosen as the theme of this research, based on the premise that, as computers and automated systems increasingly take the jobs humans once held, entire professions become extinct, and some of these endangered professions, from a milkman to an iceman, could become better known to primary school children through storytelling from elderly people. In this respect, the research reported in this paper has combined digital storytelling with techniques as traditional as theatrical games, in order to create a blended framework for intergenerational interactions. The research project was realized in the 15th Primary School of Piraeus, in Athens, Greece during academic years 2011-12 and 2012-13. It has involved a 6-month empirical study and embraced skills such as literature reading, story and song listening, painting, creating digital stories as well as improvising through theatrical games. The evaluation tools for the outcomes of this project comprised a questionnaire, participant observation, informal interviews and a video rubric for evaluating the digital creations of schoolchildren.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Heart of the Story:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper is based upon a paper delivered at the ‘Create, Act, Change’: The 5th International Digital Storytelling Conference in May 2013, in Ankara, Turkey <fn id="j_csci.83_fn_002" symbol="2"><p><ext-link ext-link-type="uri" xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href=""></ext-link></p></fn>. It aims to put forward a connection between digital storytelling and the sociology of emotions. For this purpose, it briefly gives a picture of the field of sociology of emotions. The paper sets out to offer some self-reflection, because the aim of this piece is closely related to the academic interests of the writer. Following the path of self-reflection, it introduces common points between digital storytelling and the sociology of emotions.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Digital Storytelling:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper, I interrogate our understanding of social change in the telling of self-representational digital stories, stories that speak from the perspective of the storyteller and which centre on the “I”. There is a growing audible criticism of the value of these digital stories if distribution and outreach of such stories do not reach both wider and critical audiences. As a digital storytelling practitioner, I examine these criticisms and draw attention first to our understanding of storytelling, and second to our understanding of audiences within an ancient oral tradition of humankind. There is no doubt that the digital in digital storytelling allows for a global arena of possibilities. However, it is these very same global possibilities within the digital that have possibly forced a cursory value on storytelling by the most important audience among audiences—the marginalised "I" who struggles for political, social and economic attention. The existential self is severely talked down to for not going beyond that one digital story or those few friends and family members. In these instances, that potential to transform “power over” into “power with” and “power within” the storytellers quickly disintegrates. What happens instead is an expansion of the pool of judges of narratives, a predominant and more overt phenomenon in the field of human rights. What form the final narrative takes in any digital storytelling project is often shaped by the interests of these “mediators” who turn “judges of narratives” when they mould and package these stories to be more palatable to their specific audiences and consumption needs. The storyteller's sense of existential peril is in this way prolonged. These untoward developments beg us to ask the question, “what change then are self-representational digital stories meant to bring about?”</p> <p>Change is too often seen as synonymous to "cause and effect". Drawing from interviews conducted with those who organise and conduct digital storytelling workshops within a human rights framework around the world, as well as those who have strived for social change through storytelling in Malaysia, I contend that there is no such causality. The "change" is in fact dialogic and in constant flux—between self and other, self and non-self and in being for self and the other—in that storyteller's struggle of regaining control over situations and circumstances she or he had little or no control over. For what is implied in self-representational stories is that the intended audience of such a digital story inherently must include and bring meaning to the “I”, the storyteller.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Digital Words of Wisdom?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Digital Storytelling is over 20 years old, its roots in citizen activism, its techniques evolving from radical theatre and media arts and its primary driver an unwavering commitment to enabling people to find and share their stories, as well as to the valuing of each and every one of those stories. This paper builds upon a presentation given at “Digital Storytelling in a Time of Crisis”, an international Digital Storytelling conference that took place in Athens in May 2014. It sets out to map some of the territory around Digital Storytelling and older people – ageing and the old (specifically the <italic>costs</italic> associated with a growing older population) being the ‘crises’ in question. The paper discusses questions concerning the benefits of Digital Storytelling with older people – both active older people and those who have dependency needs associated with ageing, such as dementia. The questions focus on the measurement of value, both in terms of participation in Digital Storytelling as a process and in the stories themselves. The paper is also self-reflective, as the writer embarks upon the formal route of PhD research, questioning the assumed benefits of the practice that has dominated the last eight years of over thirty years as a teacher and avid promoter of participatory media as a means to effect positive change. The paper is in 6 parts: (1) The Ageing Agenda; (2) Why Am I Doing This?; (3) What are the Benefits of Digital Storytelling with Older People? (4) The Pros and Cons of Digital Storytelling Projects (5) Extending Creative Practice and Silver Stories – Two Transnational Projects Linking Digital Storytelling and Older people – a sustainable model? (6) Ever Decreasing (Story) Circles.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Life storytelling at the ABC:<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Life storytelling projects have become an important means through which public service media institutions such as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation are seeking to foster audience participation and involve particular cohorts in the creation and distribution of broadcast content. This paper contributes to the wider conversation on audience participation within public service media intuitions (PSMs), and focuses on the opportunities and challenges that arise within life storytelling projects that are facilitated by these institutions, and that aim to ‘give voice’ to members of ‘the audience’. In particular, it focuses on two of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s current life storytelling projects: ABC Open and Heywire.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-10-31T00:00:00.000+00:00Introduction: Identity Work as Project Development Among Co-Creative Communities<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Networked identity work is the conscious negotiation or co-creation of identity, enacted by speaking and listening across differences among multiple publics, including those real and imagined, familiar and unknown, on and offline, present and future. It is a concept I explore extensively in research with queer Digital Storytellers who share their personal stories in public places to catalyse social change (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_csci.57_ref_012">Vivienne 2013</xref>). In this article I consider distinctions between ‘story’ and ‘identity’; ‘networking’ and ‘networked identity work’ and argue that the two concepts may be usefully employed in development of co-creative community projects. Finally I consider how variable definitions of co-creativity influence project development.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2013-12-20T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1