Nathan R – Blog Closed

The blog is not closed for the Fall 2015 term.


Emma C. – Happily Married in Second Life

I came across this article by the DailyMail that goes into the investigation of a couple that found each other through Second Life.

A man by the name of David Pollard crumbled before his eyes as he became strongly attached to an online romance through the simulation game, Second Life. It wasn’t until his wife walked in on him having sex with another woman.

His wife in real life divorces him, and he gets married to his mistress/second life girlfriend.

Stories like this show that digital intimacies are real. In this case, they happen to turn lives upside down.


Tyler M – AI: The Threat is Real

Elon Musk has said that AI is the greatest threat to our existence. Is it inevitable? Will our machine overlords be here to enslave us all any day now?

There seems to be a lot of films recently that point in this direction. Terminator, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ex Machina. All of these films offer a bleak future for us humans. It was refreshing to watch the “Her” film in class as it offers us an alternative – coexisting with AI. Why isn’t this as prevalent in films and pop culture as our destruction at the hands of machines are? It could perhaps be because we’re arriving at that point. The point where our technology is aware. We already have AI that exists – there’s SIRI, Cortana and even the machines that the NSA has to launch cyber attacks. The future may be a lot closer than we think.

Quiz 5 – heather P

  1. Favorite reading and/or least favourite and why.
  • my favourite reading that we did throughout the term was actually the Brookey and Cannon Sex Lives in Second Life accessed on myls. I really liked this reading because the whole second life thing was very strange and new to me, so it really opened up my eyes to see how intense people get into living their fantasy lives through their avatars in the game. It was mostly my favourite because it was something new that I had never been exposed to before – having never played second life, so it was amazing to see what people experience in their virtual worlds.
  1. Favourite topic and/or least favourite and why.
  • favorite topic was defiantly the whole notion of where technology will go and whether or not these technologies will be able to constitute and create real life relationships with us. This is coming from the week where we watched the movie “her” and discusses the whole idea of people actually being able to be intimate with a robot and have a “normal” relationship. This was particularly interesting because I don’t feel like were far off from this becoming a norm in our society and I do see people eventually having relationships wit their computer in one form or another.
  • Least favourite was the topic of the public/private sphere, this was only because as a 3rd year comm. student we have gone over this topic more times than I can’t throughout prior first and second year classes. It’s not that it is not interesting or important to know – its just redundant.
  1. Topics that it would have been great if we also covered.
  • I can not think of too many except I would have maybe liked to touch on the whole fan-dom (i have no idea how to spell that) for example the one direction video. I thought that was an interesting topic and maybe would have liked to see other examples like in video games and other medias as well.
  1. Any other thoughts and reflections on the structure of the course (assignments, activities, discussions).
  • I really like this idea of the class blog, it was fun and I genuinely enjoyed going through peoples posts on here compared to dull discussion boards on MyLs.
  • I also appreciate the fact that there is no final exam for this class. I feel like the short papers along with the ethnography and participation will be sufficient in giving us a final grade, so I am happy about that (thanks!)
  • all in all this was one of the most interesting classes I have ever taken, so thanks for such a great semester.

Ethan G – new kind of camera



Being someone who frequently films skiing videos using cameras like go pros, but has constant problems with the quality and placement of the camera, I found this video very interesting. This video shows the capabilities of a new camera called the lily. The lily can follow you wherever you go, their slogan being “just throw and go”. It gives you a follow cam from multiple angles resembling as someone else was following you with the camera.


When I watch this, it resembles the quality of a professional, as if it was shot by a crew of camera men, however it’s just a small camera not even being manned by anyone. I think that this could ultimately be the future of shooting videos such as movies and TV shows, cutting the budget down on film production by a large amount.


Do you think that these type of drone, follow cams could be the future of videos or do you believe that in order to get the real authenticity of a film you need a professional to do the camera work?

Jibo: The World’s First Social Robot for the Home- Nicole M.

Jibo is a friendly, intelligent, and helpful robot that you can now purchase for your home. I came across this video and thought it was more of concept idea instead of an actually robot you can buy, but I looked up the website for it, and you can join the waitlist to get your very own as they are currently all “sold out”. This robot is like taking Siri to new extremes as its used to see the room, help like a personal assistant, hear with its 360 degree microphones built in, relate and speak. This intelligent robot is not only freakishly smart but it is human seeming as well. The avatar on the front screen see’s and tracks your movement to take video and pictures and its also used as a messenger as it recognizes you and each member of the household to deliver the right messages to the right people. This robot device shows new developments and where our society may be taking us technologically.

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 -Michael Robertson

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Features the world’s first disabled protagonist, showing that no disability should hold a person back. The protagonist is a beautiful blue haired female named Sonic who has a hearing disability. Sonic does not let this disability impede her instead, she makes her way through vast mapped levels, using her ultra-abilities to assist her. The designers a Sega focused on all the amazing things that deaf people has the ability to do and incorporated them into the game. It was clear that they paid a special attention to this, as it is the first time that deaf players have been able to see themselves defined with supersonic abilities in a virtual space. This game further opens new doors to designers as it moves away from the stereotypical male protagonist with the damsel in distress model and instead, offers individuals with disabilities a sense of empowerment.

Here is a link to a video to find out more:

Instagram Husband- Kara J

 “Instagram Husband” is YouTube video of several husbands discussing how they are forced to spend countless hours taking pictures of their wives in order to capture the perfect Instagram picture. The video accurately depicts society’s obsession of taking the perfect picture for social media. The exaggerated and dramatic detail of the video provides a comedic effect that truly emphasizes the ridiculousness of this obsession. This video relates to the previous blog post discussing Essena O’Neill’s decision to quit social media. “Instagram Husband” depicts Essena’s notion in which she discusses the deception and unauthentic qualities of Instagram pictures, as individuals spend countless hours attempting to capture the perfect lighting and positioning for the photo. “Instagram Husband” portrays Baym’s belief of a transformation within culture due to technological advances. The implementation of social media has created a heightened sense of self monitoring and has amplified society’s obsessive need to prove themselves to their peers.

Check out this video to see how ridiculous society’s obsession of capturing the perfect picture has become.


Carmen Chizanga – We Can’t Say We Met On Tinder

This video is probably one of my favourite viral videos about tinder and the change of the online dating world. The premise is essentially that a couple meets and has to figure out a lie that they’ll share with friends and family about how they met one another. This generation latches onto its phone obsessively and many people (though they’ll deny it) utilize dating sites from Tinder down to OkCUPID. The problem becomes when people deny the relationships we build on applications that pertain to virtual dating.

Why are these relationships considered  “embarrassing” or almost shameful? As virtual dating becomes bigger and bigger in our lives the question becomes will virtual dating every be truly normalized and why don’t people consider relationships formed online “real” relationships? What about online dating makes it so discrete and something which some people feel need to be a secret?

Keer W. The Fembots of Ashley Madison

Political bots online are used on twitter to influence public opinions. And now this recent discovery show that these bots facilitated relations are more prevalent than we may think. Whether its the roomba that cleans the floor, the bots on  Tinder, or the the fembots of ashley madison, it seems that there’s vulnerabilities to be had when we trust and build intimate connections with technology.

Read article here.