Subjects -> JOURNALISM AND PUBLICATION (Total: 219 journals)
    - JOURNALISM (31 journals)
    - JOURNALISM AND PUBLICATION (148 journals)
    - NEW AGE PUBLICATIONS (8 journals)
    - PUBLISHING AND BOOK TRADE (32 journals)

JOURNALISM (31 journals)

Showing 1 - 27 of 27 Journals sorted by number of followers
Convergence The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 49)
Financial Times     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 38)
Critical Studies in Media Communication     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 29)
Journalism Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Journalism     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 26)
Journal of International and Intercultural Communication     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 19)
Media, War & Conflict     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
Journalism Practice     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 17)
British Journalism Review     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 13)
IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
International Journal of Press/Politics     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 12)
New Writing The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 9)
Australian Journalism Review     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 9)
Asian Journal of Information Management     Open Access   (Followers: 9)
Bronte Studies     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 8)
Publizistik     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Media Practice and Education     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 7)
Technical Communication     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 7)
Women's Writing     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 5)
Journal of Sports Media     Full-text available via subscription   (Followers: 4)
African Journalism Studies     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 4)
MATRIZes : Revista do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Comunicação da Universidade de São Paulo     Open Access   (Followers: 2)
Electronic News     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 2)
Asia Pacific Media Educator     Hybrid Journal   (Followers: 1)
Ambitos     Open Access   (Followers: 1)
Journal of Modern Periodical Studies     Full-text available via subscription  
Similar Journals
Journal Cover
Convergence The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.521
Citation Impact (citeScore): 1
Number of Followers: 49  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 1354-8565 - ISSN (Online) 1748-7382
Published by Sage Publications Homepage  [1176 journals]
  • Deep Nostalgia: Remediated memory, algorithmic nostalgia and technological
           ambivalence

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      Authors: Jenny Kidd, Eva Nieto McAvoy
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Digital recreations of the past, and of the deceased, are part of the Internet’s present. They circulate within social networks where logics of connection and connectivity underpin increasingly performative memory work. In this article we explore these developments through a case study of the MyHeritage deep learning feature, Deep Nostalgia. Our analysis is informed by a close critical study of Deep Nostalgia creations, and discourses circulating around them, shared on Twitter during the two-week period following its launch, February 2021 (n.6935). We examine how memory is evoked, framed, re-worked and distorted through algorithmic processes, and within social networks in particular, and explore what this tells us about peoples' need to connect with their pasts. First, we analyse how the shift from photo to video ‘revives’ the dead via a process that we have termed ‘remediated memory’. Second, we explore the affective dimensions and resonances of Deep Nostalgia creations. In doing so, we introduce the concept of ‘algorithmic nostalgia’ to describe the ways nostalgia is generated, organised and exploited through Deep Nostalgia’s automated and recursive algorithmic mechanisms. Third, we interrogate the ways social media logics shape the use and influence of these outputs. Our study’s scholarly contribution is at the intersection of memory, automation, and algorithms. We highlight the importance of studying the ambivalence of emerging media at their nexus with memory studies and, critically, of attending to the ways corporate interests increasingly shape – and assimilate – these activities.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-02-02T11:19:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221149839
       
  • From Bitcoin to Farm Bank: An idiotic inquiry into blockchain speculation

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      Authors: Rolien Hoyng
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Bitcoin’s uptake in Turkey has ranked among the highest in the world. Meanwhile, moral judgment about cryptocurrency has remained unsure about its comparison to other types of investment: what is a scam and what is a legitimate investment' Who is ‘daringly visionary’ and who is merely ‘gullible’ or ‘blinded’ by illusory promise' Displacing decidedly North American stories of Bitcoin’s origins and ‘Web3’ futures, this article considers the local appeal and sociotechnical potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-centric innovation. I analyze the open-endedness of such potential as well as its foreclosures. The case of Turkey shows that speculation regarding cryptocurrency not only implies wagering on price developments, but it also entails speculating about the possible, plausible or expectable futures of technological innovation. Blockchain-based innovation has elicited myths of the technological sublime and utopian sentiment, as it promises to usher in disruptive futures hardly imaginable from the vantage point of the present. Referencing Simondon’s philosophy of technology, my main question is: how do speculative technologies and discourses shape the present, along with the futures that emerge from it' Drawing on interviews with speculators in combination with a digital methods analysis of Turkish ‘crypto Twitter’, my answer highlights the asymmetries and inequalities of media ecologies as well as discursive contestations over the boundaries between the possible/impossible, realism/utopianism and common sense/idiocy. Moreover, engaging theories of utopia by Srnicek and Williams, Stengers, and Jameson, I ponder, what would a speculative engagement with seemingly ‘implausible’ or ‘impossible’ futures comprise that deserves not to be dismissed as simply gullible or as blinded by the technological sublime'
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-02-01T10:52:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565231154104
       
  • Digital pedagogies post-COVID-19: The future of teaching with/in new
           technologies

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      Authors: Jernej Markelj, Scott Sundvall
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.

      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-02-01T03:33:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565231155077
       
  • Theming electracy: An interview with Gregory L. Ulmer

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      Authors: Jernej Markelj, Scott Sundvall
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This interview seeks to provide a thorough and discerning overview of the various theories, concepts and issues guiding the work of Gregory L. Ulmer. The central aim of Ulmer’s multifaceted project, which he terms electracy, is to theorize a skill-set intended to operate with networked technologies, in the same manner as literacy is an ability related to alphabetic writing. In Ulmer’s words, electracy ‘is to digital media what literacy is to print’. While literacy enables the mind to develop complex lines of reasoning, he suggests that electracy augments it by seeking to enhance the affective capacity of the body. In a more general sense, Ulmer conceptualizes electracy as the era, or, as he also puts it, an apparatus, dominated by digital technologies. To theorize various aspects of this apparatus, Ulmer compares and contrasts it with the other apparatuses (that of literacy and orality). The interview also situates Ulmer’s insights within our current cultural context of a post-COVID world and examines the various social implications such insights entail. Moving from Greek antiquity, through Kafka and even Mickey Mouse, Ulmer provides an unnerving and motivating method for better understanding and interrogating the problems that we all face, particularly with regard to education. He also sheds light on other contemporary issues such as digital misinformation and the waning trust in traditional institutions. In addition to offering a ‘crash course’ on Ulmerian theory, the interview interrogates the ways in which electracy can help us develop new angles for digital pedagogy, but also for living and being, after the COVID-19 pandemic.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-30T03:36:33Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565231155078
       
  • Reading literature in/against the digital age: Shallow assumptions, deep
           problems, expectant pedagogies

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      Authors: Colette Gordon
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Following the popular theme of Nicholas Carr’s The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010), various commentators observe the erosion of what used to be called ‘reading’, but is now increasingly referred to as ‘deep’ reading. University English departments offer ‘close reading’ of literary texts as a corrective to the digital shallows, while worrying about a general decline in reading, and reading ‘for pleasure’, attributed to the digital. However this decline is created equally by the procedures of the discipline, including its core practice of ‘close reading’ which emerged similarly from entangled anxieties about technology, mass media and low/high culture. It makes sense that literary reading would be eroded in educational contexts (which overdetermine reading), and not just because of the erosion of deep reading and ‘deep attention’. Training in literature may lead, ironically, to a loss in the ability to read and understand literary texts and to draw on multimodal narrative literacies. This paper proposes a practice of expectant reading that, supported by social annotation, can re-centre reading and restore narrative and frameworks of expectation constitutive of literary meaning, while embodying the contract between reader(s) and text, and facilitate socially distributed reading.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-30T03:22:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148105
       
  • Cooperative affordances: How instant messaging apps afford learning,
           resistance and solidarity among food delivery workers

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      Authors: Tiziano Bonini, Emiliano Treré, Zizheng Yu, Swati Singh, Daniele Cargnelutti, Francisco Javier López-Ferrández
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper aims to understand the practices and meanings associated with the creation and use of private chat groups on instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Messenger and WeChat that are accessible only to platform workers of online food delivery services. We draw on participant observation in five countries (Italy, Spain, Mexico, China, and India), in-depth interviews with 68 food delivery couriers and digital ethnography (Pink et al., 2015) within dozens of online private chat groups of food delivery workers. Our fieldwork shows that private chat groups are extremely relevant in the daily work of delivery workers and are appropriated to restore forms of mutualism not afforded by the food delivery apps. Following Costa (2018) and her concept of affordances-in-practice, we describe how the practice of online private chat groups created by platform workers affords: (1) the emergence of communities of practice; (2) resistance and contempt; (3) mutualism and solidarity. We argue that these workers ‘enact’ the affordances of instant messaging apps, to supplement – from below – the affordances of food delivery apps that were denied or ignored by food delivery companies. We argue that these affordances constitute cooperative affordances. This concept captures the cooperative nature of peer-to-peer communication that occurs within the informal online chat groups created by the workers themselves. Finally, this article contributes to affordance theory by highlighting how affordances are not immanent properties of artifacts, or ‘invariants’, as argued by Gibson (1979), but can be ‘enacted’ by specific users, like food delivery workers, within specific social and cultural contexts.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-25T12:00:10Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565231153505
       
  • Mediatisation, digital spaces and live performance: Understanding Indian
           stand-up comedy and evolving performance landscapes

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      Authors: Madhavi Shivaprasad
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper is a reflection on the points of convergence between live performance and the media within Indian stand-up comedy. Traditionally, live performance has been seen in opposition to the media. While the former is defined by spatial and temporal co-presence of the audience and spectators, the latter has neither (Auslander, 2012). While stand-up comedy is primarily live, digital and mass media are used extensively by comedians to build a professional reputation for themselves through their presence and participation on social media. However, after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of performance art – including stand-up comedy – has moved online. That is, comedians are experimenting with the online media: Zoom, Instagram Live, Facebook Live and so on, to put up live performances that would otherwise have been performed within a comedy club or café. This paper derives its theoretical basis from Philip Auslander’s postulation of liveness in a mediatised culture and digital liveness which ‘results from our conscious act of grasping virtual entities as live in response to the claims [technology makes] on us’ (2012: 13). The paper attempts a theoretical reflection on how to ‘read’ a stand-up comedy performance for pedagogical purposes in these different contexts as the idea of liveness, mediatisation and our experience of the live evolves with time and context.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-19T08:10:05Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148111
       
  • (De)constructing machines as critical technical practice

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      Authors: Winnie Soon, Pablo R Velasco
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper discusses the role of technology under the framework of Critical Technical Practice specifically in the form of constructing artefacts and deconstructing tools in order to produce what Philip Agre would describe as ‘reflexive work of critique’ (Agre, 1997:155). By presenting the activities and methods used in the teaching and shaping of undergraduate courses, this paper aims to show how technical objects, such as data, datasets, application programming interfaces and machine learning models, can be considered as discursive subjects, demonstrating pedagogical understanding across fields. The courses operate in the humanities tradition and take critical technical practice as a didactic approach, insofar as software and data are understood and manipulated on an instrumental level, while encouraging critical engagement and embodied reflection that bridge the technical and social/cultural domains. Within this pedagogical approach, critical is not only understood as a paradigm of rationality or quantitative, data-driven argumentation, but as adopting a critical position – that is, to research and reflect on the social structures and cultural phenomena entangled with digital objects, bodies, tools, methods and software production. By embracing work-in-progress and reflexive exploration, we aim to extend the notion of critical technical practice by unfolding how (de)constructing machines can be achieved beyond thinking of technology as neutral instrumentalisation. The challenge is how to find a balance, not only as researchers but as educators, unfolding aspects of both formality and functionality as well as questioning and understanding technology at a discursive and critical level. We argue that learning technical practice in an educational setting is not an end, but rather a means to question existing technological structures and create further changes in socio-technical systems.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-12T03:44:20Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148098
       
  • Spanish Twitch streamers: Personal influence in a broadcast model akin to
           television

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      Authors: José Sixto-García, Diego Losada-Fernández
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Following the migration of influencers from YouTube to Twitch and the boom in popularity experienced by the latter social network, this paper explores if brands are capitalizing on the influence capacity of streamers or if streamers might be getting money from their own content. In order to investigate this, it was necessary to perform a quantitative analysis on the publication schedules and broadcast formats used by streamers. This facilitated the simultaneous identification of another main finding: Spanish streamers are using a broadcast model on Twitch that resembles that of open linear television. Although they only broadcast content related to videogames, trends towards other types of audiovisual content have already been identified. Moreover, it has been found that influential streamers prioritize Twitch over other social networks even though feedback flows have been detected, especially from Twitch to other platforms. This work represents a contribution to knowledge in terms of understanding Twitch and understanding platforms and influencers. It is important to determine whether these new forms of broadcasting and interaction could be considered a hybrid model between linear television and social media streaming.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-07T03:13:54Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221149892
       
  • Returning to critical pedagogy in a world of datafication

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      Authors: Riccardo Pronzato, Annette N Markham
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a further extension of the sociotechnical logics of digital platforms to every realm of social life. Given the colonialist, oppressive and exploitative dynamics through which digital platforms work, several scholars supported the need to embrace an openly activist role to help individuals contrast the ways in which they are trapped in loops of dependency and trajectorism. Drawing on the results of 40 auto-ethnographic diaries, this paper showcases the usefulness of critical pedagogical techniques in enhancing critical awareness regarding hegemonic datafication structures, while also arguing that despite a good level of consciousness raising, it remains difficult for people to go beyond subalternity and make more concrete changes in personal and collective behaviors. We contend that to break persistent feelings of dependency, it is necessary to go further with a two-step process combining autoethnographic tools, aimed at increasing critical algorithmic awareness, with the development of data science skills that can help individuals acquiring more precise knowledge schemes and scaling down the power of giant corporations, thereby building individual and collective capacities to use data for developing counter-narratives about possible futures.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-03T05:35:11Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148108
       
  • Digital resource abundance: How social media shapes success and failure of
           online mobilisation

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      Authors: Håkan Johansson, Gabriella Scaramuzzino
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article explores how and why some online protests manage to gain digital resource abundance, that is, mobilising large numbers of people and attracting wide interest and support in a short space of time. The study focuses on the case of the Swedish Petrol Uprising 2.0 which after a few months managed to mobilise 630,000 members on Facebook. The article expands established theories on online mobilisation by stressing the structural elements of social media platforms and the shaping of online mobilisations through three types of factors: resources, discourses and social positions. By combining contemporary social media research with classic stage theory, we discern the significance of each factor in the three-stage mobilisation process, leading towards digital resource abundance. The article shows that digital resource abundance serves both as a blessing and a burden for online organisers. Paradoxically, social media platforms serve as a fertile ground for bringing ‘the many’ together yet also force successful groups to stay in a stage of constant mobilising.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2023-01-03T04:07:31Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221149853
       
  • A note from the editors

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      Authors: Sarah Atkinson, Helen W Kennedy
      Pages: 1513 - 1514
      Abstract: Convergence, Volume 28, Issue 6, Page 1513-1514, December 2022.

      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-03T03:45:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221136977
      Issue No: Vol. 28, No. 6 (2022)
       
  • How to play in slow time: Embodying creativity literacies in digital
           learning environments

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      Authors: Bryoni Trezise, Alexandra Tálamo, Maria White
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article considers how the emergent digital pedagogies used in a new creativity course run at the Univeristy of New South Wales contribute to the building of sensed, intuitive and embodied creativity literacies. In doing so, it addresses questions around the function of tertiary education within an accelerated, digitised and COVID-19-saturated globe. For while creativity is being touted as what every student needs – and what every employer wants – there is little understanding of how this most mystifying of skills can be taught to students in broad disciplines. There is even less understanding of how full-bodied modalities of creative cognition can be leveraged as moments of deep insight in the socially distanced realm of the digital. Drawing on hands-on methods from ground-breaking musicians, performers, dancers and writers, this article shows how the neuroscience and psychology of taking ‘beautiful risks’, committing to uncertainty and paying attention can be harnessed in digital learning. These dynamic digital pedagogies are principled in embodied liveness, playful interactivity and generative curiosity. They support students with practical strategies to take risks with imagination, discover through collaboration and work responsively in relation to diverse situations.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-27T09:59:44Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148106
       
  • Gazing or glancing' Mapping student engagement when film studies moves
           online

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      Authors: Alexia Kannas, James Douglas, James Thompson
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article presents the findings of a study undertaken by a team of three film studies teacher-researchers working with undergraduate students in a course titled ‘Histories of Film Theory’. In the context of the transition from face-to-face to remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors observed that students’ approaches to understanding relevant film theories became increasingly inflected by their experiences of contrasting methods of course delivery, such as that between the cinema theatre or home viewing environment. To investigate this effect, the authors conducted a study of student experience across the 2020 and 2021 cohorts; the purpose was to understand how the shift to online learning shaped students’ engagement with set film texts, by analysing the behaviour exhibited when accessing film texts remotely. The study is grounded in the observation that there is an existing body of film theory on screen spectatorship that has potential significance to a scholarly understanding of the pedagogical complexity of online learning and multimodal literacies. This scholarship ranges from analyses of ‘traditional’ reception environments (Baudry 1974), to accounts of the differentiation in modes of attention introduced by new media (Ellis 1992, Cavell 1982), to analyses of the multiplying second screen practices of the digital era (Casetti 2011). A governing distinction highlighted in the results is between ‘gazing’, the mode of spectatorship associated with the traditional cinema experience, and ‘glancing’, the mode associated with home viewing and second screen use. Were the students in the course gazing or glancing, and how did this affect their encounters with films and characterize their remote learning experience more broadly' In asking these questions, the article demonstrates how the intellectual resources of film studies might be applied to contemporary digital pedagogy scholarship to reveal a complex scenario in which remote learning practices both hinder and enhance learning experiences, sometimes simultaneously.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-27T02:29:48Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148102
       
  • From school strikes to webinars: Mapping the forced digitalization of
           Fridays for Future’s activism during the COVID-19 pandemic

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      Authors: Giuliana Sorce, Delia Dumitrica
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper discusses the forced digitalization of activism brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic in the case of the transnational environmental youth movement Fridays for Future (FFF). Theoretically, we engage with social movement action repertoires to study the shifts in protest tactics associated with the social restrictions during the early stages of the pandemic. A qualitative content analysis of 781 posts across all 27 national FFF Facebook pages in the European Union reveals four clusters of digital action types: digital contentious actions; online information and education; digital community engagement and online partnership development. While digital media were part of FFF’s action repertoire in pre-pandemic times, our findings yield that the shift from the movement’s iconic street protests to exclusively digital tactics privileges community-building and education over contentious actions, potentially softening the political impact of the movement’s landmark ‘school strike’. Furthermore, although timely tactical flexibility kept the movement going during country lockdowns, the forced digitalization in the early stages of the pandemic primarily recombined existing action tactics rather than innovating them.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-24T12:43:58Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221148112
       
  • From tool to tool-making: Reflections on authorship in social media
           research software

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      Authors: Bernhard Rieder, Stijn Peeters, Erik Borra
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Social media research software has come to play increasingly important roles in processes of knowledge production. While epistemological, logistical, legal, and ethical concerns put the spotlight on the software tools researchers are relying on, little attention is paid to the role of the ‘toolmaker’ beyond a vague idea of the ‘power’ wielded by those who design, develop, and maintain these technical artifacts. This paper seeks to address this role, both conceptually and with attention to practical concerns, as a form of hybrid and relational authorship. We thereby shift the focus from tool to tool-making, from artifact to practice, in an attempt to produce a different kind of ‘unblackboxing’ of tools than the somewhat overused tropes of open source code or open data. Our contribution proceeds in three steps. We first address tools and tool-making from a theoretical perspective, suggesting that their epistemological orientation reaches more deeply into the networks of research practice than words like ‘bias’ admit and proposing to consider the specific kind of hybrid authorship that emerges in this context. Calling on our own experiences as toolmakers, we then reflect on a cluster of issues where this authorial function becomes particularly visible. Here, we examine how motivations and commitments orient what a piece of software does and how it does it and discuss tool-making from the perspectives of co-development, maintenance and care, and ethics by design. We conclude by arguing that the most pressing concerns for tool-making lie in institutional arrangements that are crucial for the life of research software.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-17T08:53:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221127094
       
  • reCAPTCHA challenges and the production of the ideal web user

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      Authors: Ben T. Pettis
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The CAPTCHA (Completely Automated Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) is found throughout many websites. By challenging users to read a line of scrambled letters, identify crosswalks in an image, or some complete another task that is difficult for a computer to do, but comparatively trivial for a human user, a CAPTCHA verifies that the user is an actual human, and not software meant to interact maliciously with the website. This mundane and easily overlooked interface element is an important site where corporate interests and priorities act upon the people who encounter it. CAPTCHAs operate under the assumptions that difference can be detected and that it should be enforced. Because not all humans are able to solve a CAPTCHA, the test additionally enforces a boundary between humans and users. In this article, I analyze the discourses of Google’s reCAPTCHA and argue that this common interface element is a multi-faceted site of production where user labor is extracted every time they solve a reCAPTCHA. The products of this labor are threefold: (1) spam reduction, (2) artificial intelligence and machine learning training data and (3) an ideal of a normative web user. This last product is often overlooked but has wide-reaching implications. Users who solve reCAPTCHAs are producers but simultaneously are produced as users by the reCAPTCHA. The only humans who qualify as ‘authentic’ users are those who can perform this productive labor. Because Google’s reCAPTCHA operates as a site of invisible digital labor, this article works toward making such labor more visible so that users can become more aware of the work they are being asked to perform, and to what ends.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-14T05:43:58Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221145449
       
  • ‘People tell me quite intimate things’: The circulation of feelings
           and vague intimacy on politicised Instagram

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      Authors: Mari Lehto, Mona Mannevuo
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      In recent years, Instagram has become an increasingly politicised platform. Even those who have become popular for producing lifestyle content have begun to merge societal issues with personal and commercial posts. In this article, we explore how popular Finnish influencers experience the new expectations set for them and how they handle the mixture of intimate and algorithmic logics of Instagram. Our analysis draws from eight semi-structured, in-depth interviews with influencers and influencer agency representatives. Theoretically, we use the lexicon of cultural and media theory to examine Instagram as a platform for vague intimacy, where feelings and commercial exchange flourish and circulate in proximity to the political. The article revolves around three interconnected themes arising from the data: problems in producing political content for everyone, Instagram as a platform of likeness and the fear of an exploding inbox.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-06T12:37:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221144258
       
  • Faking it deeply and universally' Media forms and epistemologies of
           artificial faces and emotions in Japanese and Euro-American contexts

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      Authors: Thomas Christian Bächle
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Attempts to visually represent the human face in various media forms have a long history. Fairly recent examples can be found in techniques that are used in animated films and video games (performance capture) or in the controversial phenomenon of “deep fakes”. The article looks at the relationship between faces, the media forms that are used for their representation and simulation and the knowledge that is (re)produced about emotions and their communicative effects. It reveals a peculiar contradiction: the quest to create a synthetic digital face that would be universally recognisable in terms of emotional readability and response homogenises our understanding of emotion while disguising the challenging cultural barriers to this recognisability. The simulated face caters to a two-fold and hence paradoxical aesthetic aspiration that places it between uniqueness and universality.  By elaborating on the somatic, affective dimension of communication via faces, the article compares culturally specific modes of producing and reading emotions. A Euro-American tradition of thought regards them as artefacts, constructed as antagonists of rationality, that can be controlled and objectively modelled and measured. The idea of the face as the locus of emotions, which can be represented in distinct expressions, contrasts with more ambiguous and relational meanings in East Asian, particularly Japanese contexts. The epistemological genealogy of the facial display of emotions, however, does not conform to a clear West/East divide and is at the same time highly interwoven with specific media forms of their representation.  In order to deepen this dynamic understanding of artificial faces, the article looks at different examples of Japanese traditions and art forms. Examples such as portraiture and photography, the subtle illusions created in Nō theatre and the less subtle ones evoked by robotic faces shed a light on the complex meanings but also the affective reactions to artificial faces.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-12-01T02:34:11Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221122909
       
  • Interface critique at large

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      Authors: Michael Jason Dieter
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article considers how the pursuit of problematization advocated by Agre’s concept of critical technical practice has been articulated in relation to the increasing proliferation of interfaces across everyday life. While the ethos of Agre’s work to bridge the split identity of critique and craft can readily be found in reflexive design or software art, these cases are not always situated within broader ecologies of practice that also grapple with the asymmetries and exploitative aspects of interface design. Drawing from software studies and media theoretical accounts of the interface as a fluid milieu, I provide a navigational matrix to contextualize modes of interface critique at large, namely specifying traps and enclosures, surfacing asymmetries and augmenting alternatives. I argue, finally, that these modes provide an invitation to develop new metacritical theories and common capacities, particularly through the possibilities of grappling with systems of domination otherwise built to prefigure our experiences of them.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-30T06:51:07Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221135833
       
  • Reproduce and adapt: Homestuck in print and digital (Re)Incarnations

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      Authors: FS Nakhaie
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Homestuck is a hypermediated webcomic adventure that tells its story through music, animation, gameplay and even the structural features of its Web site interface. But it has also been 1) published in print as a book series and 2) ported to a new host to preserve content that used Flash Player, which is now obsolete. Both print publication and digital port simultaneously reproduce and recreate the first iteration of Homestuck – that is, they do and do not adapt it. This article uses adaptation theory to approach the under-researched question of the transition of a work from a digital format to print and porting. It identifies key sites of adaptation in what might otherwise be called versions and discusses the consequences of changes in medium/mode. The article highlights areas where the interactive mode must be adapted to showing or telling and explores how new interactive modes can emerge from a codex. It argues that Homestuck’s metafictional narratives in particular must be adapted in these new versions because they arise from an interactive relationship with the reader. Because the earlier webcomic has now been wholly replaced by the port, understanding these changes as adaptation allows us to see what is at stake the preservation of digital-born works. Homestuck’s versions show adaptation theory to be a vital lens for understanding the consequences of the differences that arise when multimedia digital-born works are reproduced with other technologies, an occurence that will only grow more frequent over time.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-28T05:13:37Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221141961
       
  • Independent podcast networks in Spain: A grassroots cultural production
           facing cultural industry practices

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      Authors: Toni Sellas, Montse Bonet
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article analyses the main Spanish independent podcast networks. It is a two-phase qualitative study based on direct observation of the networks, a number of secondary sources and, especially, on semi-structured in-depth interviews with the coordinators or managers of these networks. From the political economy of cultural industries, the main objectives are to determine the motivation, perspective, and dynamics of these networks, as well as to explore their financial model. As podcasting implies cultural practices and meanings, we want to analyse whether independent podcast networks are basically a grassroots cultural production that maintain their amateur philosophy, or whether, in contrast, they are evolving towards an institutionalization that moves them closer to cultural industries and their practices, and the study of Spanish independent podcast networks is a useful starting point for putting mainstream and historical definitions to the test. This study sets forth how the progressive formalisation of podcast networks has generated tensions in the grassroots-industrialization balance. Spanish independent podcasters are pro-ams entering the production process of an industry in which other industrialized actors have already been established.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-26T11:02:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221142147
       
  • Stretching immersion in virtual reality: How glitches reveal aspects of
           presence, interactivity and plausibility

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      Authors: Linda Ryan Bengtsson, Elizabeth Van Couvering
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Virtual reality (VR) immerses users in others’ lives, creating empathy and understanding long after the VR scenario has finished. As VR technology has matured, VR scenarios have begun to be used in complex real-world areas such as education, health and organisational change. These scenarios can be of variable technical quality, with limited interactive capacity, unrealistic environments and clunky or absent avatars. In this study, three scenarios related to gender inequality training were constructed with glitches in the core immersive qualities of presence, interactivity and plausibility in order to understand their effect on the immersive experience. Using a multi-step in-depth series of qualitative interviews to examine the whole immersive process, the results show that immersion is not compromised but changed by glitches. Limited interactivity led to uncomfortable interactions that allowed participants to process difficult emotions; implausible situations surfaced buried norms and prejudices; and avatar variation gave rise to a sense presence that also included distance, which gave the user opportunities for critical reflection. These results point towards immersion as a robust and richly textured concept, while interactivity, plausibility and presence can best be understood as dimensions rather than goals. Totally seamless and immersive experiences may not only be utopian but also unnecessary. The glitches in low-end productions can produce powerful communication without expensive technology.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-24T10:33:56Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221129530
       
  • From critical technical practice to reflexive data science

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      Authors: Simon David Hirsbrunner, Michael Tebbe, Claudia Müller-Birn
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      In this article, we reconsider elements of Agre’s critical technical practice approach (Agre, 1997) for critical technical practice approach for reflexive artificial intelligence (AI) research and explore ways and expansions to make it productive for an operationalization in contemporary data science. Drawing on Jörg Niewöhner’s co-laboration approach, we show how frictions within interdisciplinary work can be made productive for reflection. We then show how software development environments can be repurposed to infrastructure reflexivities and to make co-laborative engagement with AI-related technology possible and productive. We document our own co-laborative engagement with machine learning and highlight three exemplary critical technical practices that emerged out of the co-laboration: negotiating comparabilities, shifting contextual attention and challenging similarity and difference. We finally wrap up the conceptual and empirical elements and propose Reflexive Data Science (RDS) as a methodology for co-laborative engagement and infrastructured reflexivities in contemporary AI-related research. We come back to Agre’s ways of operationalizing reflexivity and introduce the building blocks of RDS: (1) organizing encounters of social contestation, (2) infrastructuring a network of anchoring devices enabling reflection, (3) negotiating timely matters of concern and (4) designing for reflection. With our research, we aim at contributing to the methodological underpinnings of epistemological and social reflection in contemporary AI research.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-21T10:38:18Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221132243
       
  • Interfering with the black-box-tradeoff model: Gephisto, a one-click Gephi
           for critical technical practice

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      Authors: Mathieu Jacomy, Anders Kristian Munk
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper presents and justifies Gephisto, an experimental tool visualizing networks in one click. Gephisto’s design exemplifies how we can interfere with a user’s utilitarian goals, by giving them what they wish (an easy way to get a network map) but in disobedient ways (the produced map is different every time the tool is used) that encourage them to engage further with the tool’s methodological tenets. As an apparatus, Gephisto aims to incentivize untrained users to become more critical of their network mapping practices. As an intervention into the field of digital methods, it aims to show that tools that support critical thinking do not have to be hard to use and hostile to beginners. We criticize the idea that tools range from easy-to-use black boxes for unreflexive lazy-thinkers, to complex and demanding instruments for hard-thinking experts. We argue that learners need ease of use and critical thinking at the same time, and that it is possible to design tools that support both needs at once. We offer an alternative model where we acknowledge the active role of the user in deciding the tradeoff between learning to master the tool, and progressing toward their utilitarian goals. We argue that the design of the tool should not oppose the beginner’s need for assistance in decision making, but find other ways to incentivize critical thinking.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-16T08:44:53Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221129053
       
  • Never forget' Memory maintenance on an aging platform

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      Authors: Frances Corry
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article addresses the intersection between platforms, their sociotechnical process of aging and memory practice, by focusing on local social platform OakdaleTalk and its use in reflecting on September 11, 2001. Founded in 1997, OakdaleTalk serves the town of Oakdale in New Jersey, a place significantly affected by the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Situated in literature on digital memory work, this analysis draws on interviews with 15 OakdaleTalk members who have used the platform to reflect on September 11th. Asking how users maintain particular meanings of this date while negotiating sociotechnical changes to the site over time – including the loss of posts from 2001 – it discusses how users perpetuate hyperlocal interpretation and describes how community members grapple with lost content. The article concludes by proposing a ‘preservation paradox’, an emerging memory practice under platformized media conditions describing a contradiction in user preservation attitudes and behaviors toward posts of memory-related significance.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-14T04:36:37Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221129224
       
  • Systemic issues with narratives of identity: Toxicity and esports media
           professionals

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      Authors: Mateusz Felczak
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper aims to highlight structural issues concerning the conduct of esports media professionals and their work as social media influencers. The data selected for this study include footage from social media and digital streaming platforms, with spatial analysis serving as a primary theoretical scaffolding to support the paper’s rationale. The systemic nature of self-perpetuating circulation of contentious media-related content is observed through the assessment of three case studies which feature various discourses of identity concerning players, media professionals and the audience alike. The paper discusses personal media branding strategies and the perceived role of esports media professionals in the esports communities, the proliferation of ‘reversed safe space’ serving as an element of strengthening the media presence and the discrepancies between the accepted codes of conduct in the various esports-related media.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-10T08:37:20Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221138761
       
  • Rhetoric in the metaverse

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      Authors: Sergio C Figueiredo
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      During the summer of 2021, the concept of the metaverse emerged as a macro goal for Big Tech and entertainment industry leaders. The concept is a familiar one: the creation of an embodied internet facilitated by wearable virtual reality technologies (e.g. smart glasses). References to the metaverse often identify Neal Stephenson’s 1992 novel, Snow Crash, as the place where the term was first coined, although the concept itself can be traced back to Stanley G. Weinbaum’s 1935 science fiction short story, ‘Pygmalion’s Glasses’. Other media critics, like Wired’s Kevin Kelly have also used the term mirrorworld to describe immersive virtual and mixed reality worlds in the same vein as the metaverse.The aim of this article is to offer a speculative and pragmatic reimagining of rhetorical pedagogy for the metaverse. For instance, in place of reading Plato, how might students come to understand Plato’s philosophy by walking and talking with the Socrates trope or engaging in a dialog with an AI Plato' How might students feel the affective significance and impact of Martin Luther King, Jr’s ‘I Have Dream’ speech by attending a virtual simulation of the event or sitting alongside MLK in a jail cell as the author pens ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’' The metaverse holds potential for creating these sorts of embodied learning experiences to enhance traditional pedagogical and post-pedagogical methods, as well as to foster a new level of engagement with arts and humanities curricula at a time when administrative leadership and governing bodies in higher education are exploring new options for delivering high-quality, engaging learning experiences.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-11-03T08:10:37Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221138399
       
  • Climate futures: Machine learning from cli-fi

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      Authors: Natalia Sánchez Querubín, Sabine Niederer
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper introduces and contextualises Climate Futures, an experiment in which AI was repurposed as a ‘co-author’ of climate stories and a co-designer of climate-related images that facilitate reflections on present and future(s) of living with climate change. It converses with histories of writing and computation, including surrealistic ‘algorithmic writing’, recombinatory poems and ‘electronic literature’. At the core lies a reflection about how machine learning’s associative, predictive and regenerative capacities can be employed in playful, critical and contemplative goals. Our goal is not automating writing (as in product-oriented applications of AI). Instead, as poet Charles Hartman argues, ‘the question isn’t exactly whether a poet or a computer writes the poem, but what kinds of collaboration might be interesting’ (1996, p. 5). STS scholars critique labs as future-making sites and machine learning modelling practices and, for example, describe them also as fictions. Building on these critiques and in line with ‘critical technical practice’ (Agre, 1997), we embed our critique of ‘making the future’ in how we employ machine learning to design a tool for looking ahead and telling stories on life with climate change. This has involved engaging with climate narratives and machine learning from the critical and practical perspectives of artistic research. We trained machine learning algorithms (i.e. GPT-2 and AttnGAN) using climate fiction novels (as a dataset of cultural imaginaries of the future). We prompted them to produce new climate fiction stories and images, which we edited to create a tarot-like deck and a story-book, thus also playfully engaging with machine learning’s predictive associations. The tarot deck is designed to facilitate conversations about climate change. How to imagine the future beyond scenarios of resilience and the dystopian' How to aid our transition into different ways of caring for the planet and each other'
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-31T07:00:27Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221135715
       
  • Social media, migration and the platformization of moral panic: Evidence
           from Canada

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      Authors: James P Walsh, Dallas Hill
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      As a contentious issue affecting the character, boundaries and future of social order, migration represents a recurrent source of moral panic. While analysts have considered conventional outlets’ role in triggering collective alarm, less is known about social media’s effects on migration’s construction as a social problem. Working with an original dataset of tweets from the 2019 Canadian election, a period of heightened concern and outcry for significant portions of the electorate, this paper employs content analytic methods to assess migration’s online demonization and interrogate the patterns of framing, participation and engagement brought within the issue’s orbit. Alongside documenting significant disquiet and antipathy, its findings suggest that Twitter is transforming panic production and facilitating forms of reaction involving mass-participation and collaboration; interference from automated ‘bots’ and considerable dispute, dissent and negotiation. Based on these results, the sensitizing concept of platformed panics is proposed to capture how social media’s technical affordances, design and appropriation align to promote moral panics that are networked, algorithmic and contested.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-31T05:54:36Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221137002
       
  • Players’ perceptions of sexuality and gender-inclusive video games a
           pragmatic content analysis of steam reviews

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      Authors: Joseph Kohlburn, Hyerim Cho, Hollis Moore
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Video games reflect the current culture and society. Games stand as points of transmission that reflect cultural trends and social norms, although not comprehensively. While it seems that more games have tried to be inclusive of diverse gender and sexual identities recently, there is still a lack of studies that discuss how real video game players see LGBTQ+ inclusive games. To understand the game players’ perceptions in this regard, this study qualitatively analyzes online video game review postings from Steam, focusing on user reviews of gender and sexuality inclusive games. Based on four gender and sexuality inclusive video games selected, we collected 400 user-generated video game reviews as our dataset. Our findings identified 22 primary themes, including Mood/Emotions, Social/Cultural Importance and Representation. This paper further discusses some of the critical topics discovered, such as identity, conflicts in game communities and representation.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-31T05:14:56Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221137481
       
  • When youth ecological commitment is hindered by identity issues: the case
           of commitment visibility on social networks

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      Authors: Jocelyn Lachance, Mathias Przygoda
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Young ecologists find themselves torn between the desire to expose their commitment on social networks and the risks inherent in this exposure. Based on a qualitative methodology, we analyzed the visibility strategies developed by these young people to avoid confrontation with their peers, marginalization in certain groups or to protect their professional future. This involves, for example, removing the digital traces of one’s commitment or concealing one’s personal identity by using collectives accounts. In this context, one of the obstacles to the development of the ecological movement is not only a lack of commitment to the cause, nor even a lack of awareness of environmental issues but also the lack of ontological security needed for the commitment to be displayed.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-31T03:55:14Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221123944
       
  • Techniques of commensuration in the videogame industry

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      Authors: Ben Egliston, Dan Padua
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article considers the role of techniques of measurement and quantification, or ‘commensuration’, within the videogame industry. We argue that commensuration is performed as a discursive technique by institutional actors in the videogame industry to shape the form of, and ultimately derive value from, videogame markets – doing so by influencing collectively held perceptions concerning public policy and financial investment. This article draws on two case studies. First, the use of commensuration techniques by the Entertainment Software Association in lobbying the US government on behalf of large publishers, hardware manufacturers and videogame holding companies within the videogame industry. Second, the use of metrics and enumeration by videogame software companies in their financial reporting to craft narratives of user scale, engagement and ultimately value, particularly as it relates to articulating the value of their data-driven advertising services.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-18T01:44:50Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221123761
       
  • You Must Touch It

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      Authors: Rachel Plotnick
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article examines how people have constructed touchscreen smudges, those oily marks left behind by users’ fingers on shiny glass, as a form of ‘mess’. It offers an historical account of smudges between 2007 and 2010, when users, corporations, journalists, third-party accessory manufacturers and others began to first frame smudges as a problem for mobile media due to users’ constant touching and the evidence of their finger trails which functioned as a kind of ‘visible tactility’. Solutions took the form of engineering special screen coatings or cultivating responsible users who would maintain their devices through cleaning and caretaking practices. In both these cases, smudges were denigrated not for degrading media content or breaking the device’s functionality, but rather for violating high-tech aesthetics and drawing attention to porous, tactile and germ-riddled bodies. The piece, bringing together this case with the present, encourages scholars to attend to the ways that users are entreated to tame and groom both their bodies and their media devices in particular socio-historical contexts.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-15T11:17:55Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221118625
       
  • Cynical technical practice: From AI to APIs

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      Authors: Sam Hind, Tatjana Seitz
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      In this article, we examine how critical thinking, methods and design are used within the tech industry, using Philip Agre’s notion of critical technical practice (CTP) to consider the rise of ‘cynical’ technical practice. Arguments by tech firms that their AI systems are ethical, contextual, situated or fair, as well as APIs that are privacy-compliant and offer greater user control, are now commonplace. Yet, these justifications routinely disguise the organisational, and economic, reasons for the development of technical systems and features. The article considers how different forms of ‘technical critique’ are used by technical practitioners such as software engineers, applying Agre’s work on CTP, AI planning, grammars of action and empowerment to evaluate, and contextualise these justifications. As Agre understood, technical practitioners are not necessarily ‘a-critical’ or ‘uncritical’ in their approach to the design of technological systems or methods, but ordinarily compare the utility or performance of such according to a golden ethic: ‘does it work'’. Drawing on Agre’s studies of AI in the 1990s, the article considers how and what Agre considered to be the ‘Cartesian soul’ of AI research, on linguistic structuralism, and continues to frame much work within the wider tech industry today. Yet increasingly, as the article shows, ‘narrow’ and cynical forms of technical criticality are being used to legitimise, and publicise, corporate strategies of tech firms, whether through the development of AI systems by automotive start-ups such as Comma, or the management of relations with external developers through APIs, in the case of Facebook. Rather than judging the moral character of technical practitioners, however, the article offers an approach – via the work of Philip Agre – to examine how critical thinking is used, and often abused, within and beyond the tech industry.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-15T07:13:08Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221133248
       
  • Digital transformations in a platform society: A comparative analysis of
           European football leagues as YouTube complementors

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      Authors: Renan Petersen-Wagner, Jan Andre Lee Ludvigsen
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The prevalence of digital technologies and emerging social media platforms in the 21st century has altered the ways in which individuals and groups produce and consume elite football (soccer). Elite football is no longer consumed merely through ‘traditional’ media as television or radio. By comparing the ‘big five’ football leagues (the first divisions in England, France, Germany, Italy and Spain), this article examines how these leagues have adapted to an algorithm logic (monetization strategies/content strategies) on YouTube. Drawing from data collected (64,247 YouTube videos) using YouTube Data Tools, we argue that the ‘big five’s’ content creation on YouTube work in a complementary manner to ‘traditional’ platforms, allowing for the testing and adaption of their content practices based on instant consumer feedback. This article makes a contribution to the literature on the symbiotic media/sport relationship with its analysis and insights into the digital transformations occurring in a ‘platform society’.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-10T07:58:03Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221132705
       
  • “Through the digits, through the fingers”: Variations on the string
           figure as imaginary digital medium

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      Authors: Henry Adam Svec
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article considers artistic engagements with string figure performance and collection as ‘imaginary’ articulations of digital media. As an object of anthropological inquiry, the string figure emerges in 1888 with a short paper by Franz Boas. Encouraged by more mainstream publications by Caroline Furness Jansen (2008) and Kathleen Haddon (1930), over the course of the 20th century the string figure would become a model through which largely western writers and artists have explored both the anxieties and dreams of ideal, embodied and networked communication technologies. The present article explores, specifically, the collecting projects and films of Harry Smith in the 1960s and 1970s; the video-performance piece of 1974, titled String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City Video, by the interdisciplinary artist Vera Frenkel; and the string figure exhibit at David Wilson’s Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, California. Through a media-archeological lens, the history of string figure fascination takes shape as a repository of dreams about (digital) communication, which, it is additionally suggested in a final section, might yet allow for the expansion and enlargement of conceptions of both digitality and media.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-06T10:16:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221122912
       
  • The promise of beginnings: Unpacking ‘diversity’ at Oculus VR

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      Authors: Daniel Harley
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper presents a case study of the inaugural year of Launch Pad, a diversity initiative by Meta’s virtual reality (VR) subsidiary, originally known as Oculus. As industry-led discourse presented VR as a vision of opportunity and change in the tech industry, Launch Pad presented a vision of social progress through improved diversity. However, a variety of contextualizing factors within that first year complicate these visions of progress, including the gendered and racialized norms of the tech industry, the politics of Oculus’s co-founder and the mixed feelings of the first beneficiaries of the program. I argue that even if Launch Pad is a good faith effort to address historical and current forms of marginalization and underrepresentation in the tech industry, such efforts must go much further than mentorship and tokenized inclusion, requiring a genuine recognition of the need for systemic change.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-10-05T05:37:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221122911
       
  • Playing with history in World of Tanks: Negotiated readings, historical
           realism and cultural memory

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      Authors: Natalie Jonckheere, Christopher Persaud, Calvin Liu, Dmitri Williams
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This study focuses on United States-based players of World of Tanks, a historical battle arena game that features many playable tanks based on their actual historical origins, mostly from the World War II and postwar eras. Through a partnership with the game’s developer Wargaming.net, we conducted interviews with 20 players of World of Tanks who indicated that they are interested in history generally or military history specifically. Our findings indicate that playing World of Tanks is one dimension of a broader spectrum of interacting with history as a kind of leisure activity. Players put history in service of their own interests and recreational enjoyment, while acknowledging that historical accuracy is a moving target that must be balanced with elements that shape gameplay structure, competitive potential, and player agency. This study contributes to scholarship on the experiences and motivations of people who play historical games, situates interest in historical games within a broader array of history-related leisure, offers insights for historical game developers interested in players’ cultural and social context, and notes the limitations of games to teach about the past.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-09-30T09:45:19Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221130891
       
  • Postcyberpunk dystopian cityscape and emotion artificial intelligence: A
           spatio-cognitive analysis of posthuman representation in Blade Runner 2049
           (2017)

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      Authors: Nashwa Elyamany
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Within visual culture, postcyberpunk films are best approached as places of Otherness whereby human identity and agency are downplayed and posthumans are magnified in highly technopolic societies marked with scientific determinism. Postcyberpunk treats the posthuman enclave as a heterotopic site, oscillating between utopian and dystopian spaces, potentially and optimistically, creating a space for humanity to be reassessed and renegotiated. Against this backdrop, the current research endeavor proposes a Spatio-Cognitive Model of Posthuman Representation focusing attention on heterotopic ‘spaces’ and ‘bodies’ in hyperconnected environments. While the model owes a substantial debt to Foucault’s writings on heterotopia and the utopian body, in tilting the focus of enquiry, this paper is informed by the tenets of polyrhythmia, hypermimesis, spatial repertoires, semiotic assemblages and cognitive embodiment as insightful interventions. Blade Runner 2049 is taken as a fertile case study grounded in paradoxes and ambiguities around the contradiction between humans and replicants, artificial intelligence and super-large enterprises. The hybridity pertinent to the postcyberpunk film genre and the inner and outer topographies of posthuman representation proved to be insightful investigative vantage points of multimodal inquiry for the socio-political and technocratic implications they underlie. With technology seamlessly integrated into social spaces and posthuman bodies, Blade Runner 2049 is arguably structured as an emotional journey composed of multiple heterotopias (spatial layers, ruptures and bifurcations expressed through socio-political capitalist projections). The article adamantly argues for new philosophical perspectives and praxis in redefinition of the social relationship between human and posthuman.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-09-24T06:46:15Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221122913
       
  • Framing digital disconnection: Problem definitions, values, and actions
           among digital detox organisers

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      Authors: Trine Syvertsen
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Most studies approach digital disconnection from an individualistic perspective, while this article explores organised efforts to facilitate digital detox experiences. The aim is to contribute a nuanced understanding of how offline initiatives are framed and the complex relationship between individual and collective action. The study is based on qualitative interviews with ten organisers representing different initiatives and supplementary material from mass and digital media. The analysis shows how actions are triggered by personal experiences and respond to specific concerns within domains such as work and education, tourism and leisure, arts, culture and religion. Yet, the initiatives also invoke overlapping moral evaluations. The study reveals a joint scepticism concerning the lack of industry responsibility and little faith in regulatory solutions to the problem of intrusive media. Furthermore, the study discusses digital detox initiatives as an ambiguous form of contemporary activism, spanning from self-help to corporate action. The initiatives are not connected, but participants perceive their actions as part of an emerging trend. Nevertheless, few initiatives contribute to an interpretation of disconnection initiatives as anything more than unique experiences. The article contributes to the extant literature by showing how the meaning of disconnection evolves both in local settings and in dialogue with broader concerns in the public sphere.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-09-15T03:15:39Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221122910
       
  • Digital hostility, subjectivity and ethics: Theorising the disruption of
           identity in instances of mass online abuse and hate speech

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      Authors: Rob Cover
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The experience of hostility, hate speech and adversarial behaviour in everyday online spaces has increased substantially in recent years, with known health and mental health outcomes for users. This paper argues that due to the ‘massified’ form of contemporary hostility experienced in the internet ‘pile on’, a new framework for understanding and remedying hostility is required. This paper draws on Judith Butler’s theories of identity to present an account of digital hostility as cultural and as having a negative effect on the identities and selfhood of users. It discusses the impact of the online pile-on, shaming and the ways in which hostility positions victims as ungrievable subjects. The essay recommends new ethical approaches grounded in the recognition of subjects as vulnerable, arguing that cultural ethics approaches are valuable not only as public pedagogies but for development of technological solutions and moderation interventions to help prevent hostility and hate speech.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-09-14T07:37:33Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221122908
       
  • Effects of parasocial affinity and gender on live streaming fans’
           motivations

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      Authors: Ali Kneisel, Miglena Sternadori
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Gaming livestreams have seen unprecedented growth on platforms such as Twitch.tv and YouTube Live, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined fans’ motivations for watching and supporting their favorite streamers. The results of an online survey showed that the time spent watching livestreams was positively associated with the degree of parasocial affinity they feel toward that streamer. Parasocial affinity strength was, in turn, a significant predictor of the likelihood of sending virtual gifts or donations to streamers. Some gender differences in motivations also emerged. Women reported being more likely to watch a particular gaming stream because of the streamer’s characteristics rather than the game being played, while men were equally likely to watch because of the streamer or because of the game being played.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-09-13T05:28:47Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221114461
       
  • Pictures from the Atomic Force Microscope: Temporal Representation in the
           Moving Image

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      Authors: Andrea Rassell
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Historically, artists and scientists predominantly created moving images of scientific phenomena using optical instrumentation such as cameras and light microscopes that enable direct observation of their subject. However, the perception and representation of nanoscale phenomena, which are too small to be detected by optical systems, rely upon complex technological mediation via layers of  instrumentation, hardware and software. This mediation has profound implications for the perception of phenomena that exist outside the range of the human sensory system. This article describes the scientific representations of temporality in the work of Eadweard Muybridge and Étienne-Jules Marey and the complications of visualising the nanoscale. I analyse imperceptible phenomena in the contemporary moving image and draw upon my creative practice with the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM), using this instrument as a framework for discussing the temporal and sensorial challenges of working with nanoscale phenomena. This creative practice-based research resulted in the creation of several experimental moving image works collected under the title Wildly Oscillating Molecules. Through the adoption of scientific instrumentation and data for creative  production, the collection of moving image practices discussed uncover temporal and sensorial assumptions and suggest alternative experiential encounters with scientific phenomena.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-09-07T05:00:23Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221117472
       
  • Politics of fun and participatory censorship China’s reception of Animal
           Crossing: New Horizons

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      Authors: Lin Song
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper discusses China’s ban of the hit Japanese video game Animal Crossing: New Horizon. Situating the ban in the context of Chinese digital economy, this paper investigates the politics of fun as it intersects with censorship and popular nationalism in China today. Drawing on user-generated content and social media discussions of the game and its ban, the paper discusses two outcomes deriving from China’s precarious environment for gameplay, where fun could be easily confiscated by authorities: the first is the emergence of participatory censorship where netizens voluntarily and collectively set the limit for self-expression in an effort to depoliticize gameplay; the second is the convergence between fun and nationalism, which transforms gameplay into a vessel for expressing and strengthening official ideology. In doing so, the paper reconsiders the thesis of digital democratization by shedding light on the regulated processes of digital self-making.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-08-10T01:52:11Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221117476
       
  • Feasibility documents as critical structuring objects: An approach to the
           study of documents in digital research production

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      Authors: Urszula Pawlicka-Deger
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Documents have been increasingly recognised as important objects of investigation in Science and Technology Studies (STS); however, so far, much less attention has been given to the study of documents produced in Digital Humanities. The author proposes therefore to use the method of the ‘STS of documents’ and analyse Feasibility documents that aim to assess technical and design requirements based on research questions and to organise a project workflow. Drawing on the ethnography of King’s Digital Lab, the article investigates Feasibility documents produced by the lab within the Agile-based Software Development Lifecycle framework. The article aims to show that Feasibility documents (1) inform ethnographic work about lab workflow and management and in doing so, are able to capture the interconnectedness of work layers and practices; (2) enable an empirical analysis of digital research projects and the process of translation from research questions, to methods, to technical solutions; (3) are critical structuring objects that structure the research process and relationships between involved actors and are structured by local institutional strategies and decisions. The author conducts a ‘feasibility analysis’ that reveals the project management and development stages: the analytical process (the translation of research questions into technical solutions); the production process (the move from technical and design practices to research answers) and the infrastructure and management process (project workflow and sustainability solutions). Drawing on Agre’s critical technical practice and Digital Humanities’ theories of critical production, the article seeks to shift attention from end-product digital artefacts towards the complex process of their creation, which can unpack a range of social, technological and management issues. In doing so, it also aims to provide a methodological framework for the analysis of documents produced in Digital Humanities that have the potential to unearth new questions about the socio-technical nature of digital production.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-07-18T05:10:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221111073
       
  • Race/ethnicity, online information and COVID-19 vaccination: Study of
           minority immigrants’ internet use for health-related information

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      Authors: Annalise Baines, Hyunjin Seo, Muhammad Ittefaq, Fatemeh Shayesteh, Ursula Kamanga, Yuchen Liu
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The COVID-19 pandemic aggravated existing challenges for racial/ethnic minority immigrants in the U.S. in obtaining health information and seeking health care. Based on in-depth interviews with 49 racial/ethnic minority immigrants in the U.S. Midwest, this study examines how they navigated online health information related to general health issues and in particular COVID-19, how they encounter online misinformation related to COVID-19 vaccination and their willingness to get vaccinated. Results show that participants use online health information from both the U.S. and their home country to stay informed about the pandemic, but often encounter misinformation and hate speech online. Further, participants are hesitant to correct misinformation due to contentious online environment. Additionally, findings revealed that younger participants tended to be less willing to get vaccinated due to low perceived benefits. The study suggests scholarly and practical implications for those who work in the area of health communication, digital media messaging and minority communication.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-07-18T02:57:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221116075
       
  • TikTok’s ‘Republicansona’ trend as cross-party cross-dressing:
           Legible normativity, (in)dividual representation and performing subversive
           ambiguity

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      Authors: Briand A Gentry
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      In the early months of 2021, a curious trend began to emerge on TikTok: left-leaning TikTokkers engaging in lampoonish performances of cross-party cross-dressing to re-present themselves as their alter-ego ‘Republicansonas’. Fascinatingly, the most profuse and popular engagements with this trend have been to cannily recode BIPOC and queer self-presentations through a sardonic pantomime of a legibly centrist normativity generated by strategically ambiguous performances of ‘whitewashing’ and ‘straightifying’. Deploying affect theory, Deleuzian critiques of neoliberalism, affordance theories of algorithmic culture, critical race theory, queer epistemologies of discursive space and textual analysis of Republicansona content, this article interrogates the operations of not just TikTok but of an increasingly right-leaning America. The central questions in this article are to examine the utility and ideology of this memetic mimesis trend while examining what this trend reveals about TikTok’s infrastructure and the potential for revolution from within the apparatus. This analysis of the mindful sardonicism of the Republicansona trend reveals its disruptive potential to call attention to the impacts of neoliberalism on expression. The act of simulating legible normativity generates a subversively ambiguous depth where testimonies of survival in the face of image-violence are shared as a second layer to the trend’s inside joke modality.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-07-07T01:05:33Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221113469
       
  • Deathlogging: GoPros as forensic media in accidental sporting deaths

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      Authors: James N Gilmore
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article develops the concept of ‘deathlogging’ as a complement to the more popular ‘lifelogging’ to describe how wearable cameras record fatal accidents, particularly among action sports participants. The article situates deathlogging in a history of media and communication theory interested in the relationships between life and death, and in particular the concept of forensic mediation to describe technologies capable of documenting and reconstructing accidents. The wearable GoPro camera is a camera of choice for action sports athletes to easily record and share things like BASE jumping to gain audience views and capital in the form of sponsorships. Representative examples are discussed and analyzed to demonstrate how fatal accidents transform the value of GoPro footage from social-economic capital into forensic or juridical evidence to reconstruct accidents, make sense of fatalities, and, in some instances, argue for legal culpability. The article offers deathlogging as a concept which can be applied to a variety of recording situations with different kinds of wearable cameras.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-30T08:47:19Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221105787
       
  • Mapping an online production network: The field of ‘actual
           play’ media

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      Authors: Alex Chalk
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article maps out and analyzes relationships shaping production in a growing cultural field of online gaming media production called ‘Actual Play’ (AP). AP occupies an ambiguous economic space between fan production and professional media and is marked by widespread monetization. Drawing on qualitative semi-structured interviews with 24 AP producers, this article uses actor-network theory and the concept of cultural fields to understand that space through an account of the actors constituting it. This maps the how AP producers develop their practices through complex relational networks. The analysis identifies ‘key actor types’ – the varieties of technological, human and corporate actors whose activities give shape to producers’ practices. The article concludes that despite pervasive pressures to professionalize, the field offers limited pathways to vocational sustainability.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-23T01:53:00Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221103987
       
  • What’s behind that screenshot' Digital windows and capturing
           data on screen

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      Authors: Emily M Cramer, Bryan M Jenkins, Yoonmo Sang
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The number of digital tools able to capture and manipulate online information poses implications for how users manage content connected to online life. Blending media convergence and networked sociality frameworks, an exploratory content analysis of reasons for taking screenshots led to the development of the digital window, a four-quadrant conceptual model depicting where individuals’ online information – captured by screenshot – resides at any given time. Results indicated that most participants used screenshots either to bookmark or contain information needed to navigate the practicalities of both online and offline life. Screenshots were also used in communication with others, specifically to disclose or reframe information to another audience. In addition to elucidating more data on how social practices shape information and communication technologies like screenshots, the digital window establishes a working visual model for understanding possibilities for networked sociality across convergent architectures.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-04-26T06:11:29Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221089211
       
  • The ‘connected migrant’: A scoping review

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      Authors: Claire Moran
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Since 2015, academic enquiry into the ‘Connected Migrant’ has proliferated globally. This scholarship has demonstrated the significant role that digital media play in the decision-making, information-seeking and community-building processes pre-, during and post-migration. This review contributes to the expanding field of Digital Migration Studies by summarising the academic literature on the ‘Connected Migrant’, to thematically explore how digital media is used by displaced migrants globally. Using a scoping review, this paper presents the literature (75 studies) by mapping the key findings using the different ‘stages’ of migration – displacement, arrival and settlement – to explore the benefits, threats, challenges and opportunities that exist for displaced migrants who use digital media. This paper finds that displaced migrants rely on the use of digital media at all stages of the migrant journey, utilising an abundance of technological affordances that are integral to navigating displacement, arrival, and settlement. However, digital media also pose a threat to displaced migrants who, often already disadvantaged, may have their locations tracked and their data surveilled. This paper concludes with a summary of the scholarly challenges faced by researchers and anticipated future directions in the field.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-04-24T05:24:15Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221090480
       
  • Consumer nationalism in digital space: A case study of the 2017 anti-lotte
           boycott in China

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      Authors: Sara Liao, Grace Xia
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This study advances the understanding of consumer nationalism through an analysis of a Chinese boycott of South Korean goods. In early 2017, Chinese internet users expressed their strong aversion to the South Korean conglomerate Lotte and coordinated a folk boycott against it on the grounds that Lotte supported South Korea’s deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile system, which China considered a threat. We explored the increasing convergence of consumer activities in the form of consumer nationalism with commercial entities’ marketing strategies and also with the state’s interests with respect to security and promoting national pride. The internet and new technologies have facilitated grassroots nationalist activities in terms of the ready circulation of information and mobilization of collective actions. We investigated a digital discursive space in the communicative interactions among stakeholders through which digital media not only amplify the scale and intensity of the mundane and everyday practice of nationalism but also blur the boundaries among the participating actors. Our research documented the multilateral relationships among stakeholders – individual consumers/media users, commercial entities, and the state – in practicing nationalism and reproducing the nation through (non)consumption.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-04-24T04:20:50Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221090198
       
  • Transforming the Doctoral Defence: Remote-Access Technologies and Social
           Space

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      Authors: Tuukka Lehtiniemi, Sonja Trifuljesko
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Lockdowns and social distancing measures in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic have made remote participation a necessity for a wide range of social situations. This article examines one example: the abrupt transformation of the Finnish doctoral defence into a remote-access experience facilitated by video-conferencing technologies. The event is regularly centred on a formal public academic debate, rife with local academic ritual and ceremonial formality and firmly tied to the assumption of physical co-presence in the material space. Following the tradition of spatial conceptualisations of the digital, we draw inspiration from Henri Lefebvre’s theory on the production of space, particularly the analytical framework of the spatial triad, which enables regarding the doctoral defence as a social space made up of relations between things. As remote-access tools are introduced, new actants enter the field; the relations they mediate are affected, as is the social space that the relations constitute. This facilitates the examination of the effects that remote-access technologies have on conceiving, perceiving and living the doctoral defence, and ultimately on the social space as holistically understood. Our analysis is based on observations of remote-access defences and interviews with doctoral candidates who defended their doctoral theses remotely. Our findings highlight how the social space of the defence is both curtailed and broadened by remote-access technologies; some relations that make up space are narrowed while others stretch sufficiently to be included. As a result, the remote-access defence conceptually counts as the real thing in our material, but it remains unsatisfactory as an experience. This finding suggests how to mediate social space without reducing it: focusing on the lived experience and ensuring that it is not inadvertently distorted.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-04-04T01:05:24Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221083488
       
  • Conceptual framework for temporal discontinuance experiences of social
           media users: What factors are responsible'

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      Authors: Jessica Franks, Richard Chenhall, Louise Keogh
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Temporarily disconnecting from social media has become more widespread in recent years with users choosing to limit or stop engaging with social media platforms for a period of time. There are no published syntheses that integrate the collective research on this phenomenon, nor how this behaviour is experienced. This review provides insight into the research on this phenomenon and proposes a conceptual framework for understanding social media user’s temporal discontinuance experience. We conducted a scoping review of 27 articles published during 2010–2020, focusing on the most salient factors of temporal discontinuance. Our review revealed a number of issues related to users’ motivations for temporal discontinuance, including the need to address self-reported problematic and excessive social media use, the want to restore control and/or agency, as well as the desire to minimise distractions and address privacy concerns. We identified the various benefits and challenges temporal disconnectors experience and describe two specific practices related to their return to social media use: 1) manipulating technological and/or platform affordances and/or 2) self-regulating behaviours. The paper concludes with suggestions for future research.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-02-24T09:23:57Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565211057517
       
  • What’s the problem with “screen time”' A content analysis of
           dominant voices and worries in three years of national print media

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      Authors: Jan Ole Størup, Andreas Lieberoth
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This study examined the various ways in which Danish news media represented digital media as a problem over a period of three years. We present data from a content analysis of 263 newspaper articles and chi-squared analyses identifying associations between worries, voices, culprits, and those responsible for solving problems. We find professionals significantly responsible for framing problems with screen time in terms of mental health issues and addiction, while the broader discourse is one of, for example, time theft, video game addiction, and issues in schools. Technologies are often diffused using “screens” to describe a broad palette of devices/applications, are represented as responsible for distractions while the technology industry is held culpable for effects on social relations and addictive behaviors. We discuss how patterns in media coverage and expert use affects public understandings, and the overall findings that while technologies are represented as responsible for particular problems, the “screen” discourse is a space in which arguments shift between technologies, problems, and authorities.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-01-18T05:08:44Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565211065299
       
  • Transmedia storytelling, diegetic paratexts, and the limits of real time

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      Authors: Caitlin Adams, Kim Barbour
      First page: 1515
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The category of ‘transmedia story’ is generally assumed to be static. That is, once a multi-platform story world has been classified as transmedia, it is assumed that this classification applies on an ongoing basis. However, these classifications may in fact need to be revisited, particularly when a story is told in ‘real time’ across social platforms that privilege immediacy. In this paper, we examine the relationship between diegetic social media paratexts and the core text they connect to, using the example of in online transmedia story The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. We argue that once the narrative has concluded, the transmedia status of the story becomes problematic, given the effort required to stitch together the different transmedial components. Utilising qualitative and quantitative content analysis, the show is analysed to determine the relationship between the different elements of the text as presented on YouTube and Twitter. The diegetic paratexts distributed through social media site Twitter contribute to the narrative by expanding upon the events of the core text conveyed on YouTube, and providing context – but never resolution – to the plot. The Twitter paratexts are inherently dependent on the core text but are also directional in that audience members must move from one platform to another in order to engage with the full story. Additionally, the temporal model of release for the core text changes the impact of the diegetic paratexts, while limiting the longevity of the transmedia aspects to the text as a result of dispersed narrative and dependency created by the relationship between textual elements. This analysis helps to extend understandings of transmedia storytelling as we propose the concept of ‘transmedia artefacts’, a category for narratives that transform once they are no longer able to be engaged with as live online objects.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-07-21T03:07:51Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221116074
       
  • Visual tactility: ‘Oddly satisfying’ videos, sensory genres and
           ambiguities in children’s YouTube

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      Authors: Bjørn Nansen, Jessica Balanzategui
      First page: 1555
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This article contributes to research on children’s YouTube, online video genres and media consumption practices by focusing on genres that take shape at the intersection of digital media content and embodied sensation and in particular ‘oddly satisfying’ (OS) videos. This type of content has become popular on YouTube, where examples of satisfying and OS content include the manipulation or movement of a range of colourful or tactile materials such as slime, kinetic sand or icing a cake. To document the evolution and key characteristics of this genre, we analyse YouTube videos using content analysis methods. Our findings show the characteristics of this sensory genre can be understood through the concept of visual tactility, which highlights the synaesthetic feel of watching these videos. Further, we identify and examine how OS videos demonstrate ambiguities in children’s YouTube content, audiences and regulation by overlapping with other sensory genres and more adult content, such as ASMR. This analysis thus situates this sensory genre in relation to the developing study of children’s YouTube entertainment industries and media regulation.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-27T11:33:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221105196
       
  • Soft skills, stories, and self-reflection: Applied digital storytelling
           for self-branding

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      Authors: Leah Henrickson, William Jephcote, Rhys Comissiong
      First page: 1577
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This paper documents an analytical autoethnographic approach to the development of a digital storytelling (DST) app for enhancing young adults’ employability prospects. Development is rooted in the classical DST approach proposed by StoryCenter Founding Director Joe Lambert. Blending theoretical consideration and empirical user testing (individual user observations and a co-creation workshops), we affirm the value of DST – and classical DST especially – for facilitating critical self-reflection and self-branding. By structuring discussion using Lambert’s seven steps of classical DST, we highlight how particular design decisions have promoted enjoyable and effective storytelling, recognizing both user preference and empirically demonstrated usage. This paper is the result of a positive interdisciplinary academic-industrial partnership.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-03T06:14:55Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221091517
       
  • Shades of digital deception: Self-presentation among men seeking men on
           locative dating apps

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      Authors: Eric Filice, Corey W Johnson, Diana C Parry, Harrison Oakes
      First page: 1598
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      In recent years, location-based real-time dating apps like Grindr and Tinder have assumed an increasingly pivotal role in brokering socio-sexual relations between men seeking men and have proven to be fertile ground for the study of identity negotiation and impression management. However, current research has given insufficient consideration to how various contextual elements of technology use interact with one another to shape self-presentation behaviour. Through analysis of interview data, we found impression construction on these apps reflects tensions between authentic depiction of the self-concept and self-enhancement via deception. Whether and the extent to which one engages in deception depends on how a number of technological affordances, platform-specific community norms and userbase characteristics interact with each other. Self-presentational choices were a result of a combination of deception facilitators, for example, belief in the normalcy of lying, and constraining determinants, for example, the expectation of brokering physical connection. Impression construction determinants also interact in ways where the influence of any one element is dependent on others. This was most plainly evidenced in the interactions between stigma management concerns, the affordances of audience visibility/control and locatability and common ground reinforcing social hierarchy.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-16T07:04:22Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221102714
       
  • Having skin in the game: How players purchase representation in games

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      Authors: Alia Reza, Sabrina Chu, Adanna Nedd, Daniel Gardner
      First page: 1621
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Microtransactions are a relatively new feature of video game software involving the purchase of in-game items, often using real money. Players may use these transactions to purchase in-game advantages, or cosmetic features such as ‘skins’, which change the way a player’s avatar looks without influencing gameplay mechanics. Skins may be an opportunity for developers to offer – and players to purchase – alternative demographic appearances. In this article we examine some of the potential costs associated with skins beyond their price tag, especially those felt by players of color, given a normative – free – white default. While previous research has looked at player identity, representation in gaming media and players’ purchasing practices individually, few scholars have looked at the intersection between all three. We analyze this intersection within the practices of selling and purchasing skins in games. We distributed a survey through social media and to gaming communities online and analyzed 158 responses. We identify quantitative differences in responses of participants of color and White participants, such as participants of color spending more on average than white participants on skins in the games they play. We discuss qualitative themes we describe as quasi-acceptance and privileged allyship, that build on previous literature about how players of color interact with – and may feel resigned about – representation in games.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-16T07:45:46Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221099713
       
  • Becoming a Virtual Cutie: Digital Cross-Dressing in Japan

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      Authors: Liudmila Bredikhina, Agnès Giard
      First page: 1643
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      There is a predominance for cute characters among Japanese virtual YouTubers (VTubers). Men who publicly use feminine avatars to conduct online entertainment are called babiniku in Japan. This research paper investigates whether embodying cute avatars impacts males’ perception of self. Examining the process leading some online performers to turn into outwardly feminine characters, we address the reasons why babiniku reproduce gender stereotypes. Our presumption is that such role play is part of a strategy with purposes yet to be deciphered. We deployed quantitative and qualitative methods, such as survey and semi structured interviews, to collect first-hand testimonies from 24 babiniku participants. This article contributes to an existing literature about digital gender swapping with avatars and Japanese cross-dressing from an anthropological perspective. As stressed by the babiniku who took part in this research, digital cross-dressing enables them to create a world where they can indulge in fancy and fantasy. All together with their fans, babiniku build a notion of femininity that allows users to act and live outside of societal pressures.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-03-11T02:37:28Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221074812
       
  • Mediatization of tabletop role-playing: The intertwined cases of Critical
           Role and D&D Beyond

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      Authors: Jan Švelch
      First page: 1662
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Tabletop role-playing has grown from a niche of analog gaming into a mainstay of popular culture. The original face-to-face way of playing has been complemented by online play using dedicated digital tools, and play itself has become spectator entertainment. In this article, I explore the process of mediatization of tabletop role-playing on the example of Critical Role – the most successful ‘actual play’ show, in which performers broadcast tabletop role-playing to audiences. I highlight the importance of commodification as a force in the process of mediatization, involving licensing, merchandising, and advertising. Empirically, the article is grounded in an analysis of Critical Role’s sponsorships and embodied player practices, focusing on the political-economic aspects of the show. While Critical Role presents a profoundly mediated form of tabletop role-playing, it promotes a traditional face-to-face way of playing using physical accessories both by cast members’ preference of such accessories (except for the digital toolset D&D Beyond) and sponsorships from manufacturers of these products. Mediatization of tabletop role-playing thus happens through an economic-driven process of addition – new mediated options for players with new opportunities for commodification exist alongside analog modes of consumption. As shown on the example of Critical Role, the digital and mediated forms of the analog hobby can be harnessed to promote physical consumerism.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-06-29T08:55:31Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221111680
       
  • Pandemic rhythms: Adults’ gaming in Finland during the spring 2020
           COVID-19 restrictions

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      Authors: Mikko Meriläinen
      First page: 1679
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      This qualitative study examines how the spring 2020 COVID-19 restriction measures impacted adults’ gaming in Finland. The study draws on a thematic analysis of qualitative data (N = 201) collected in April 2020, which is explored through the lens of Apperley’s (2010) theory of gaming rhythms. The results illuminate the ways in which gaming was situated in everyday life both during and before the COVID-19 restrictions, and how the pandemic and its associated restrictions disrupted, reinforced, and reconfigured the everyday rhythms of gaming. The situation impacted individuals and families differently, being beneficial to some and detrimental to others, contingent on other aspects of respondents’ lives. The results underline how an individual’s gaming does not happen in isolation, but takes place in the confines of everyday life, shaped by factors outside the individual’s control. Developing Apperley’s theory, the results show that gaming can be a very resilient activity, given the right circumstances.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-03-02T09:39:37Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221077582
       
  • Ethical judgments of esports spectators regarding cheating in competition

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      Authors: Mark R Johnson, Brett Abarbanel
      First page: 1699
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Esports contests at the highest levels frequently involve millions of dollars in prize money and spectatorship numbers in six or seven figures. Given these opportunities for financial success and public visibility, players have found ways to cheat in esports competitions. We draw on over one thousand qualitative survey responses from esports viewers to examine how spectators perceive cheating, both “cheating to win” (attempting to secure an illegitimate victory) or “cheating to lose” (profit or advancement is secured by throwing a match). We show that spectators hold complex views ranking different forms of cheating, displaying varying levels of understanding of the esports ecosystem, and conceptualising cheating as often more a matter of rule breaking than ethical transgression. We conclude that esports viewers’ perspectives are heavily informed by their own play, and the opacity of certain elements of professionalised esports, with implications for the long-term sustainability of esports as a cultural form.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-03T06:01:38Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221089214
       
  • The doge worth 88 billion dollars: A case study of Dogecoin

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      Authors: Albi Nani
      First page: 1719
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      In the modern financial system, the ability to create money is in the hands of a few central institutions. Blockchain networks, and by extension cryptocurrencies, were created with the promise of giving that power to users. The most well-known example of a blockchain technology achieving such decentralization is Bitcoin, but its popularity has arguably been matched by an alternative-currency named Dogecoin. Unlike other cryptocurrencies, which have marketed themselves on differentiating technical features, Dogecoin’s allure likely stems from its cultural roots as a meme. Where cryptocurrency is typically regarded as a difficult topic to grasp, the introduction of Doge’s (2013) most popular meme, into the crypto-space increased crypto’s accessibility to new participants. Consequently, Dogecoin exists in two economies: the financial economy and the cultural meme economy, with the latter having unprecedented tangible impacts on the former. Dogecoin’s unique cultural significance provides an example of how blockchain can succeed in promoting alternative money systems. At its peak in 2021, Dogecoin achieved a market capitalization of $88 billion. Where analysis of the Dogecoin phenomenon is lacking in the current literature, we will fill that gap with a case study of Dogecoin. By studying Dogecoin as a combination of money and meme, we can further our understanding of how to better promote social finance initiatives through the virality of memes.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-03-24T07:45:01Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565211070417
       
  • Establishing networked misogyny as a counter movement: The analysis of the
           online anti-Istanbul convention presence

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      Authors: Hande Eslen-Ziya
      First page: 1737
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      We now live in an age of unhidden gender wars where direct violence occurs within online and offline spaces. These online spaces on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram become venues for attacks on gender and woman’s rights, as well as its intersection with race and ethnicity. Such online hate expressions and networked harassments channelled towards women provide clues for us, social scientists, to understand the underlying dynamics/nature of misogyny. In this paper, by studying the online misogynistic narratives developed around the Istanbul Convention as a counter movement, I aim to highpoint the conservative and polarizing discourses that frames gender-based violence as acceptable in Turkey. More specifically I show how Twitter can be used as a platform for anti-feminist and misogynistic groups, aiming violence and hostility directly at women and their rights. As these tweets illustrate, the right-wing populist and anti-gender discourses and conservative and authoritarian politics, are being implemented on many fronts and social media is one of them.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-04-24T04:29:16Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221089218
       
  • Operationalising ‘toxicity’ in the manosphere: Automation, platform
           governance and community health

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      Authors: Verity Trott, Jennifer Beckett, Venessa Paech
      First page: 1754
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      Social media platforms have been struggling to moderate at scale. In an effort to better cope with content moderation discussion has turned to the role that automated machine-learning (ML) tools might play. The development of automated systems by social media platforms is a notoriously opaque process and public values that pertain to the common good are at stake within these often-obscured processes. One site in which social values are being negotiated is in the framing of what is considered ‘toxic’ by platforms in the development of automated moderation processes. This study takes into consideration differing notions of toxicity – community, platform and societal by examining three measures of toxicity and community health (the ML tool Perspective API; Reddit’s 2020 Content Policy; and the Sense of Community Index-2) and how they are operationalised in the context of r/MGTOW – an antifeminist group known for its misogyny. Several stages of content analysis were conducted on the top posts and comments in r/MGTOW to examine how these different measures of toxicity operate. This paper provides insight into the logics and technicalities of automated moderation tools, platform governance structures, and frameworks for understanding community metrics to interrogate existing uses of ‘toxicity’ as applied to cultural or social subcommunities online. We make a distinction between two used terms: civility and toxicity. Our analysis points to a tension between current social framings and operationalised notions of ‘toxicity’. We argue that there is a clear distinction between civility and toxicity – incivility is a measure of internal perceptions of harm within a community, whereas toxicity is a measure of the capacity for social harms outside of the bounds of the community. This nuanced understanding will enable more targeted interventions to be developed to destabilise the internal conditions that make groups like r/MGTOW internally ‘healthy’ yet externally toxic.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-06-25T04:53:32Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221111075
       
  • Characteristics of invention development during the hackathon

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      Authors: Maciej Rys
      First page: 1800
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The hackathon was developed by practitioners and it could be said that they used structures and characteristics from other invention development methods that intend to spark creativity. This paper aims to define and evaluate those characteristics that serve as determinants of invention. It analyses research performed on 14 different hackathons with the following ethnographic approach: 1000 h of observation, 36 semi-structured interviews and digital ethnography (netnography). Collected data has been analysed with the use of grounded theory methods and machine learning, which has been introduced as a triangulation method. As a result 9 main characteristics within the hackathon method that serve as invention determinants were discovered and holistically described. The identified elements have been backed by different theoretical backgrounds, but as one they form a flexible and unique mixture that helps to understand the hackathon phenomenon, potential hazards and its inner mechanisms. The discovered characteristics can help in effective organization of hackathons in the future.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-02-14T11:53:06Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565211070418
       
  • The warm expert—A warm teacher' Learning about digital media in
           intergenerational interaction

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      Authors: Carolina Martínez, Tobias Olsson
      First page: 1861
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The concept warm experts originally referred to people who helped their friends and family to come to terms with home-based computers and Internet connections. As digital technologies have continuously come to permeate our everyday lives, the tasks for warm experts have grown in kinds and character. The present study contributes to our understanding of warm experts by exploring the learning process involving the warm expert and the less knowledgeable other(s). Drawing on interviews with older adults (70 to 94 years of age), the study specifically explores older users’ experiences of learning about digital media with children and grandchildren. The results reveal how interaction with warm experts constituted important learning opportunities for the older adults, in which they developed their skills in using digital media. However, establishing potential learning situations and learning from warm experts was not a straightforward matter, but surrounded by a multitude of barriers structuring the possibilities for learning. This shows how the role of the warm expert is fluid and materializes in different ways in different situations. The warm expert can take the position (or be positioned) as one who solves technical issues. The warm expert can be one who fails in teaching, or one who adopts the position as a warm teacher and contributes to learning among the less knowledgeable user. In order to also be a warm teacher, the warm expert needs to understand the specific learning needs and styles of the less knowledgeable other and adapt to these needs.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-02-03T05:36:35Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565211070409
       
  • On the dynamics of Zoom fatigue

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      Authors: Jesper Aagaard
      First page: 1878
      Abstract: Convergence, Ahead of Print.
      The COVID-19 pandemic has made videoconferencing tools an essential part of our lives as these tools are what allowed us to keep in touch in a time of social distancing. Having said that, however, many people have found virtual interactions to be surprisingly exhausting. This has given rise to the concept of Zoom fatigue. The purpose of this article is to explore the dynamics that give rise to this peculiar phenomenon. The article first discusses the concept of Zoom fatigue and critiques the brain-centrism of current explanations. It then proposes a more embodied approach to interaction, discusses the mediating role of technology in videoconferencing, and proceeds to presents a list of five videoconferencing dynamics that may induce Zoom fatigue: Awkward turn-taking, inhibited spontaneity, restricted motility, lack of eye contact and increased self-awareness. Finally, it is argued that these dynamics should make us temper our collective expectations about the hybrid future.
      Citation: Convergence
      PubDate: 2022-05-09T09:14:12Z
      DOI: 10.1177/13548565221099711
       
 
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