Weekly Roundup: Blog Picks for October 3, 2008

This week’s blog heroes, consider virtual worlds

  • Morgan Ames, over at Accretions, shares her recent experience at Burning Man and considers the similarities to Second Life:

    "I was thinking about the interviews I did last spring on Second Life
    and on my research interests in the role of fantasy worlds in our lives
    more generally. Many at Burning Man, like in Second Life, seemed to like that there is
    some separation between that fantasy world and the ‘real’ world… [both] reflect a certain idealization, and distortion, of societal norms and ideals."

at gnovis, how should societies interact?

  • Brad Weikel, in his ongoing Thesis Blog series, begins to lay the framework for what he is calling "Open Culture". Has open source technology and the internet fundamentally undermined our relationship with capitalism? This one is definitely worth a read!
  • Gaurav Mishra, the Yahoo! Fellow in International Values, Communications, Technology, and Global Internet takes us back to the principles of micro-finance, cross-posting about international development.

    "…all the parts of the micro-finance development hourglass already exist, albeit in isolation. The next step is to put it all together into a technology enabled, connected micro-finance ecosystem."

  • Sarah Upton, in a provoking first post on gnovis (welcome!) considers the femicide on the U.S./Mexico border by examining a photograph of a local piece of art:

    "Though this
    piece contains enough emotion to represent the movement on its own, the
    photographer also includes two grieving women hanging the name of a
    slain woman on one of the nails, showing the impact this femicide is having on the border community."

around CCT, the games get serious

  • Last week we mentioned the Go Cross Campus game taking place in CCTP-505. Earlier this week The Hoya ran an article entitled "Students Plan District Takeover". This is a cooperative game, so alliances and betrayal are involved. You didn’t hear it from me (as I now post this on a blog), but I did overhear some mischievously happy members of the Yellow team in the CCT Lounge. The game continues for most of October, and everyone is still welcome to join!

    UPDATE:
    A podcast has just gone up with the CEO of Go Cross Campus — hear it from the source!

  • Students in both Linda Garcia and Garisson LeMasters’ courses are considering war games. Gina writes about the emotional connections we have with games:

    "It becomes integrated into really what you do every day… When you loseWeight Exercise in a game or experience a loss it is something that
    translates into a physical and emotional response as well. I like the
    idea of play but as very serious play."

    Mike Moore, on the otherhand turns to politics, using actor-network-theory and Huizinga’s agonistic form of play to bring some timely insight.

    "What strategies does [Callon and Latour] use to create Wall Street and Washington as actors in a network with the middle class?… the answer is rather violent: actor-network theory is war."

Something we should be reading? Let us know!

Jed Brubaker

Jed Brubaker's background involves professional and academic work in the social sciences, marketing, technology, and the arts. He received a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Utah, and is a former master's candidate in the interdisciplinary Communication, Culture and Technology (CCT) program at Georgetown University. His current research interests included digital identity and anonymity, Internet culture, and computer mediated communication. Read more on his blog at www.whatknows.com.