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Presentation from ECREA’s Digital Media Revisited, Berlin, November 20-21

Title: Do you want to play? How making-sense of entertainment innovations relates to engaging with media products

Abstract: With the rise of digital media and advancement of the internet as a distribution medium, there are increasingly more media products being offered as sources of entertainment. The digital age of media has given us video games, computer games, massive multiplayer online role-playing games, virtual social games, and so forth. But how entertaining are these innovations in delivery systems seen compared to more traditional media, such as movies? In other words, how do people make sense of the innovations in entertainment as having entertainment value to them, and how does the perception of entertainment value relate to their engaging with that media product? This study primarily focuses on conceptualizations of virtual worlds and how they are becoming increasingly prevalent in modern media environments. This study investigates how media products that vary in their technological innovation are seen as being entertaining by using a quasi-experiment method under the aegis of Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology (SMM). To do so, people with a variety of experiences engaged with four different media products: a motion picture; a video game; an MMOG (massive multiplayer online game); and an SVW (social virtual world). This presentation provides some of the first analysis of the data, where the experiences of the individuals were gathered in interviews and retold as narratives. These narratives demonstrate the complexity of their engaging with the media, and in doing so demonstrate the utility of this interpretivist approach for helping us compare engagings with a variety of media products, both “old” and “new”.

Posted in Conferences, Presentation, Workshops and Seminars.

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2 Responses

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  1. Mikala Hansbøl says

    Hi Carrielynn,
    Thank you for making your interesting presentation available here. I really enjoyed reading your three illustrative stories. Within much research into and – not the least – marketing of media/technologies there has been a tendacy to overemphasize that media/technologies come with built-in structures, agencies and thus also potentials. It is great seeing that you are working to further develop methodologies that shed different light on both people’s actual engagements with media and the agencies of the media they are engaging with. I look forward to hearing more about your research results :-) . Enjoy your work.



    • carrie says

      Thanks, Mikala, you hit the topic on the nose there. I see my goal in life — as a researcher at least — to deconstruct this notion of technological determinism — and also sociocultural, psychographic, sociodemographic determinisms — when it comes to understanding the processes and outcomes of media engagings. I feel doing so is the best way to show the commonalities that exist between people, and across time and space. Perhaps if we stop focusing on “structures” as the determining force in how people act, with the media first, then we’ll stop seeing these structures and their categories of “mutual exclusion” as being prime facie in other areas of life as well.

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