Winter 2019 – The moving image in new media

Edited by Izabella Füzi and Péter Gerencsér

Péter Gerencsér: Definitions and ideologies of Web 2.0: an introduction

Internet usage began to shift towards mass participation from the first years of the new millennium, which was identified by the neologism of “Web 2.0”. This study points out that the concept used in diverse ways by IT, business, and cultural discourses indicates both technological and cultural change. According to the author, however, we can get closer to understanding Web 2.0 if we look at the surrounding ideologies instead of strict definitions. Therefore, the second part of the argument examines the utopias and dystopias of Web 2.0 using the methods of ideological criticism. The paper identifies the common denominator of utopias generating Web 2.0 in their desire to extend democracy, but argues that actual practice has enabled building up centralized and decentralized structures simultaneously.

Rita Glózer: Beyond(?) participatory culture

In the last decades, Henry Jenkins’s concept of participatory culture had a notable impact on media culture research. Revealing the creative ways of fan participation and the struggles of media consumers (prosumers) for asserting their interests, his case studies have become the starting point of an important scientific paradigm. However, like any other paradigm, this one could not avoid its destiny. While in the early 2000s his proposals were mostly welcomed and followed, there was an increasing criticism of his work later on, blaming Jenkins’s understanding for being too naïve, one-sided and optimistic regarding the consequences of user participation. In the first part of this paper three questions will be discussed: the changes in the roles of producers and consumers, amateur and professional forms of participation, and the problem of paid and unpaid work in the new media. In the second part, two comprehensive frameworks for interpreting users’ participation in the digital networked media will be explained as critical alternatives to Jenkins’s paradigm.

Jan Simons: Between iPhone and YouTube: Movies on the Move?

The advent of 3G cell phones equipped with photo and video cameras occurred almost simultaneously with the rise of YouTube. Even though these two developments could not but meet, the mobile phone movie has found its way to other venues as well, such as a fast-growing festival circuit. This rapidly emerging – and now gradually dissolving – festival circuit prevented the relatively conservative film culture from missing out on possible developments opened by new technologies and enabled the relatively closed milieu of film-makers and producers to follow the flow of an upcoming participatory culture. While adapting the cinematographic field to new technologies, players and practices, the mobile phone film festival circuit sealed it off against the ‘cult of the amateur’ that lead to the prominence of YouTube. The author analyses with consistency and precision the context and the place of mobile phone movies from the perspective of digital media, in order to show how the moving image acquires new forms and functions in the contemporary variety of screens and content. Hence, the ongoing process of hybridization has deeply transformed cinema itself: outside the cinema theatre, the main task of moving images is communication rather than representation.

Péter Gerencsér: Civilian with a Movie Camera. Subversion of Certeau’s tactics in vlogs and civil journalism

The paper applies Michel de Certeau’s concept of “tactics” – referring to the way common men circumvent dominant structures – to the Web 2.0 context. Through the exploration of two Web 2.0 communicational forms, namely vlog (video blog) and citizen journalism, the study concludes that commercial and political interests have turned the logic of “the practice of everyday life” described by Certeau inside out.

 

Áron Bakos: Consumerism, liminality, puerilism: on the uses of a multi-player role-playing game

The article discusses the specifics of the game entitled World of Warcraft, primarily through Huizinga’s concept of play, Bauman’s liquid modernity, and Szakolczai’s permanent liminality. Through a critical reading of the concept of game, the study places the online program in the wider sociocultural milieu outlined by the theoretical context that reaches beyond the dichotomy of online and offline worlds. The article identifies some specifics of consumerist practices, processes of identity- and community building as identifiable in relation to the use of World of Warcraft, and notices some aspects of these as characteristics that are valid both in the wider context of society and in the context of the game, but which are described through concepts of puerilism in the case of the latter.

Csaba András: Committed games

The article examines the procedural rhetorics of Molleindustria’s games to find out ways in which low-budget avant-garde videogames can have political messages. After a brief introduction it discusses the philosophy of the group’s central figure, and through a close reading of specific games it analyses the poetic innovations and alienating strategies that rearrange the gaming situation in a way that the gamer is made to turn towards references of the game outside the game world.

Review

Imre Mátyus: From the bridges of Königsberg to smart cities (book review)

Online, the book by Zoltán Szűts attempts to provide an overview of the major milestones of the technological history of internet communication and of the social impacts of the expanding network communication. The handbook outlines the most important events, phenomena and trends of the past half century and offers a comprehensive digest of the most notable topics in online communication and new media.