Spring 2009 Editor’s Note

In this issue of gnovis, the emphasis is on the social.

All five of our authors grappled with issues surrounding the social construction of technology. Their works investigate how the oft complex relationships between individuals and organizations can transform a technology and present unintended applications: whether with video games, wikipedia, or the economy.

We can also think of our success this year within gnovis as a result of the people involved. After two semesters with a new media staff, we saw the blog mature into a space where consistent content proffered novel questions about communication, culture, and technology. Perhaps a result of this new found audience on the blog, we received more journal submissions than ever before from scholars at universities around the country (and the world), a thrill to all the gnovis staff who have invested great efforts to make the journal what it is today.

So without further adieu, let me introduce the authors of the Spring 2009 edition of gnovis:

In our first article, Hacking Nostalgia: Super Mario Clouds, Molly Shea examines digital artist Cory Arcangel’s reconfiguration of classic video games into video art. With an attention toward the emerging theme of nostalgia in gaming culture, Shea artfully posits that a new framework is required to conceive of digital cultural memory in a way that allows for user participation.

In an impressively timely paper titled, A Shift Realized: The Banking Crisis as the First Postmodern Event, Andrew Hare proposes a view of the current financial crisis as the first postmodern event experienced on a global scale. Examining the cultural rhetoric behind neoclassical economics, Hare argues that the financial collapse and subsequent bailout of the banking and credit systems represents the most fundamental aspects of postmodernism revealing itself in material reality.

Jeff Borenstein shows us how cell phone technologies are empowering citizen journalists. In his article, Camera Phone Images: How The London Bombings in 2005 Shaped the Form of News, Borenstein proposes that online networks, changing social norms, and ubiquitous mobile devices are upending traditional news- gathering techniques and setting new requirements for journalists to stay nimble with their reporting.

In her paper, It Came From the East: Japanese Horror in the Age of Globalization, Pennylane Shen examines the effects of globalization on the Japanese horror film industry. Using Hideo Nakata’s Ringu (1998) and Gore Verbinski’s The Ring (2002) as case studies, she suggests that the culture of “J-horror” has been heavily influenced by an asymmetrical relationship between Japan and America that began during the postwar occupation.

Firat Soylu discusses the effect of Web 2.0 technologies on knowledge production in his paper, Academics Views On and Uses of Wikipedia. Using data collected from semi-structured interviews of graduate students and university faculty, Soylu argues that wikipedia poses challenges for academics who advocate for centralized authority to ensure that knowledge production is valid and reliable.

Many thanks to our published authors, our volunteer peer-reviewers, and our dedicated staff — many of whom are graduating this spring. With my first year as Managing Editor drawing to a close, I have the great pleasure of seeing how each individual contribution helped to constitute this excellent body of academic work.

Happy reading,
Lauren Alfrey

Lauren Alfrey

Lauren worked as the Managing Editor of gnovis in 2009 and graduated with an MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University in 2010. Lauren is currently a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lauren joined gnovis and CCT after working for three years as an online fundraising and advocacy consultant for progressive nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to her professional work, Lauren graduated with honors from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she majored in Communication and minored in Art History with a focus on women's representation in print advertising and high art.