The Computer Culture Reader

The Computer Culture Reader




The Computer Culture Reader brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to probe the underlying structures and overarching implications of the ways in which people and computers collaborate in the production of meaning. The contributors navigate the heady and sometimes terrifying atmosphere surrounding the digital revolution in an attempt to take its measure through examinations of community and modes of communication, representation, information-production, learning, work, and play. The authors address questions of art, reality, literacy, history, heroism, commerce, crime, and death, as well as specific technologies ranging from corporate web portals and computer games to social networking applications and virtual museums. In all, the essayists work around and through the notion that the desire to communicate is at the heart of the digital age, and that the opportunity for private and public expression has taken a commanding hold on the modern imagination. The contributors argue, ultimately, that the reference field for the technological and cultural changes at the root of the digital revolution extends well beyond any specific locality, nationality, discourse, or discipline. Consequently, this volume advocates for an adaptable perspective that delivers new insights about the robust and fragile relationships between computers and people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781847185563
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Pages: 310
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Joseph R. Chaney is an Associate Professor of English and the Director of General Education at Indiana University South Bend. He has published articles on the history of rhetoric, Shakespearean drama, and eighteenth-century autobiography. For seven years he has chaired the Computer Culture Area of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture and American Cultures Association. He is also an award-winning commentator for WVPE Radio, an NPR station. Judd Ethan Ruggill is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Arizona State University and Co-Director of the Learning Games Initiative, a transdisciplinary, inter-institutional research group that studies, teaches with, and builds computer games. His scholarly work has appeared in a variety of books, journals, and periodicals, including Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, M/C Journal, Works and Days, FLOW, TEXT Technology, The International Digital Media and Arts Association Journal, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is co-author with Ken Mc Allister of Fluency in Play: Computer Game Design for Foreign Language Pedagogy (CERCLL, 2008) and the forthcoming Defining Games: Coming to Terms With a New Medium (U. of Alabama Press). Ken S. Mc Allister is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Arizona and Co-Director of the Learning Games Initiative. He has been Executive Director of Alternative Educational Environments, Co-Chair of the International Digital Media and Arts Association's Game Studies Special Interest Group, a Project Director for the Center for Educational Resources in Culture, Language, and Literacy, and is currently a member of the National Science Foundation's iPlant Collaborative. His book Game Work: Language, Power, and Computer Game Culture (U. of Alabama Press, 2004) is now in its second printing and received a Choice Outstanding Academic Title award in 2005.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 More Real than Real: The ur-Reality of World of Warcraft Marlin Bates 9

2 We Are Blog: Implications of Viewing the Blogosphere as a System Andrew Chen 25

3 Speech Hacks James Brown 44

4 The Personal as Public: Identity Construction/Fragmentation Online James Schirmer 61

5 New Media Objects of WWII: Kenneth Burke's Intersection with Computer Culture Jason Thompson 73

6 The New Literacy Challenge: Coming to Terms with the Processes and Practices of Digitization Jeff Rutenbeck 90

7 Aesthetic Reproduction in Japanese Computer Culture: The Dialectical Histories of Manga, Anime, and Computer Games Jennifer de Winter 108

8 Fantasy and Finance: Play Money and Computer Game Culture Joyce Goggin 125

9 Codifying Crime: A Hacker's Guide to Computer Culture Kevin Moberly 137

10 Through an Interface Darkly: Consumer Power and Agency on the Commercial Web Kylie Jarrett 159

11 Death by Computer Marcel O'Gorman 176

12 Dionysius and Savonarola: The Historic Split in Web Design Margaret Batschelet 192

13 The Uneasy Co-Existence of a "Culture of Ease" and a "Culture of Dummies" Mary-Louise Craven 212

14 "Nothing But Severed Heads in Jars": The Transhumanist Vision and Theories of Technology Ron Scott 225

15 Art in the Age of Cyberia: The Obsolescence of the Original? Monica Kjellman-Chapin 240

16 Playing with the Past Nicholas White 256

Appendix Chronology of Computer Culture Daniel Griffin 270

Notes 278

Bibliography 289

About the Contributors 318

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