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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Class Meeting 4/16/07 Techno-Pop Culture

Techno-Pop Culture
How has technology become a part of mainstream pop culture?

Jessie's timeline of arbitrarily selected technologies:
Sony's Betamax ($1300 player) Video (1975) & Pong @ home (1975)
VHS Video (1977) Apple II personal computer (1977)
Sony Walkman (1980)
Music CDs for sale in retail stores (1983)
Nintendo (NES) (1985)
Compuserve - retail stores sell "box" for service
(mid 1980s)
Prodigy - regional introduction (1988)
Prodigy -
US-nationwide (1990) LCD Displays (1990)
Super Nintendo (1991)
WWW gains interest (1994)
CompuServe, America Online, Prodigy as ISPs (1995)
Nintendo 64 (1996)
MP3s online via Winamp (1997)
AOL Instant Messenger (1997)
4 years after 1994 over 30 million people online (1998)
Napster (1999) Tivo (1999)
Google - resembling its current incarnation (2000)
iPod (2001) Nintendo Game Cube (2001)
Friendster (2002) Blog - as distinct online format (2002)
MySpace (2003)* Second Life (2003)
Blog - increase in blog titles - political content (2004)
YouTube (2005) (2005) Webkinz (2005) Blog - use by mainstream media for commentary & for primary source reporting of major world events - Madrid Train, London Tube, Hurricaine Katrina, Tsunamis (2005)
Nintendo Wii (2006) Unless you're me, then it's still not on the the timeline b/c they're always out of stock!

The service has gradually gained more popularity than similar websites to achieve nearly 80% of visits to online social networking websites. It has become an increasingly influential part of contemporary popular culture, especially in English speaking countries (Wikipedia)

Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 5,583,649 people from around the globe.

  • From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

  • You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents.

  • The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world unit-of-trade, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online Linden Dollar exchanges.

Welcome to Second Life. We look forward to seeing you in-world.

Ganz stuffed animals with a secret code for kids to use online in Webkinz World
What are Webkinz pets?
Webkinz pets are lovable plush pets that each come with a unique Secret Code that lets you enter Webkinz World and play with a virtual version of your pet.
What are all the cool things I can do in Webkinz World?
Where do we start? First, you adopt your pet and name it. Then you can custom design a room for it. You can play games in the Arcade, or compete against other players in tournaments. You can answer quizzes in Quizzy's Question Corner and enter contests, too. All of these things earn you KinzCash, which you can use to go shopping for your pet in our W Shop, where you can buy toys, furniture and clothes. There are stories to read and fun daily activities. The best part is that we add things to Webkinz World frequently, so it's always getting bigger and better.

Discussion Questions:
Does virtual representation (re)create the gender norms and appearance of difference between the sexes?
Has technology altered gender norms? Does technology have the capacity to alter our understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman in a less-concrete, virtual world?

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