What You're Reading

Welcome to NerdCultures. For the next 4 1/2 months this blog will be the product of my AN302 class: Subcultures in the Digital Age, after that we shall see what happens ;) The public is welcome to post, however comments will be monitored (mostly for spam). Guest posts inline with the curriculum (even tangentially) are also welcome (see the syllabus link at the bottom of the page for our schedule this semester).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Class - Anthro 150 - Twine Games!

Here are the Twine games made by my Anthro 150 - Multicultural America students - enjoy!

Levi's Story - In this choose-your-own-path game, you will be taking on the role of a 6th grade boy, named Levi. You will have to make decisions throughout your day, with some being more difficult than others. in order to make it to tutoring at the end of the day.

Brenda's Do or Die - In this game you will be playing the role of Brenda, a 40-year-old white woman who has suffered on and off from various drug addictions. On her road to recovery, Brenda is faced with many obstacles and challenges. Please navigate her way through everyday life while she resides in Milwaukee to keep her alive and well. While playing, will you choose correctly and keep Brenda on the straight and narrow? Or will you lead her back down a destructive path? The choice is yours.

Another Day of School - Kristoff is an African-American boy in the 4th grade who is struggling with his reading and writing. Having just moved to a new school in the inner city, Kristoff has a chance to reach grade level in reading with your help.

Struggles in the Life of a 1st Grader - The life of a 1st grader being the oldest of 4 boys, living under a single parent in an impoverished neighborhood.

Greg Brady: A Young Man Living on the Fringe - Greg Brady is 23 years old and lives in Riverwest, Milwaukee, WI. After losing his job and being forced to drop out of school, he must now overcome personal demons and adversity to get back on his feet as a responsible adult and avoid having to move back in with his parents.

Volunteering at the Assisted Living Center - A 25-year-old rocker takes on volunteering at a senior living center. There he learns the value of the elderly and the struggles they face on a daily basis.

Team 6 - Put yourself in the shoes of a minimum wage earning, single mother of two elementary schoolers. You have the difficult task of juggling your kids, work, transportation, and more. Experience a couple of days in the life of a single mom and realize how every decision can bring new challenges to overcome.

*Links were updated as I moved all the games over to a different philome.la account,

Friday, April 22, 2016

Parlaying Values



        In the journal article “Parlaying Value: Capital in and Beyond Virtual Worlds”, the author Thomas Malaby discusses three forms of capital in the synthetic world. Synthetic world is another way of saying virtual world however, Malaby uses the term synthetic instead of virtual, because it shows that the world in question is made by humans. He states that the term virtual although can be seen in a positive light for giving an image, it is also a term that created the real vs unreal division.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Let Me Post Cosplay...

In class on Thursday, April 14th we watched video poking fun at the “selfie” phenomena that seems to have taken over social media everywhere.  Selfie’s are the now expected photos of your friends that you see when they are out having a good time that they take of themselves, often before they head wherever they are off too.  The video touches on the popularity of selfies, but also communicates what is important to the cosplay community and explores what happens when that is broken.      

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wanna take a selfie?


 

            Last night in class we got the chance to watch the parody video of “Let me take a selfie” only on cosplay instead.  The major message I got out of this parody was the dislike many cosplayers have for “fake” cosplayers.  How she makes fun of how people only posting pictures of them in their cosplay for “likes” and how they take the pictures just to look sexy online.  Another reference was “I bet she didn’t even play that game” basically saying how some people dress up in cosplay but don’t know the actual game or character they’re cosplaying as.  As someone who doesn’t cosplay or know much about cosplay or the games in general I get the impression right away that a lot of girls dress up in cosplay and try to make it more of a sexy costume rather than more realistic.  That’s why I think I originally felt like this video was targeting girls who just try to look sexy. After the discussion we had in class from watching the video I realized that these games actually make women have over the top sex appeal and that when woman do cosplay it isn’t them looking for attention by altering the characters outfits.  So the video was more so aiming at those who aren’t real fans, not people looking for attention in a sexy outfit.  Another issue brought up was the idea of “steampunk” which I didn’t even know existed, or would be considered a bad thing in the cosplay community.  I assumed that adding your own custom pieces to outfits for cosplay would be cool and something that would be enjoyed in the cosplay community.  I didn’t think that making things identical to the original version was so important because now a day’s most people strive to be unique and stick out as much as possible.  I think after the classroom discussion on the video my entire views on what she was trying to say changed, my original thought was that she was sick of seeing girls just there in super sexy outfits or posting on facebook or other social media sites for likes.  However her problem more so comes from the idea of people faking their belonging in the cosplay community by not knowing the real games or characters they are cosplaying, and using it as bragging rights on social media, but not for the reason of actually having a passion for the game or cosplay.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cosplay, You're Doing it Right

In class, we watched the parody video titled Cosplay Music Video (#Selfie Parody). In this video they are judging other people's cosplay for a variety of reasons, such as if they are a fake cosplayer who isn't even a real fan, and also the cosplay they chose in relation to the convention. Personally, I don't think it matters what you cosplay at what convention, or how die-hard of a fan you are. In a sense, isn't to be a cosplayer to be a fan? When you think about it, we're all just nerds in costume, so what's the big deal if you want to wear something that's not Japanese at the anime convention?
In the video, she says "why is there a stormtrooper at an anime convention"? Well, why does it bother you? In the grand scheme of things, aren't you just happy to see other people expressing their love for whatever show, movie, game, or comic book of which they are a fan. There aren't a lot of opportunities to cosplay, so people are going to cosplay their favorite characters wherever there is an acceptable place to be in costume, no matter what the theme. Cosplay is such a huge part of all conventions; I think it's fun to see all sorts of different characters. On animecons.com, someone on a forum says "Even if the con itself has said it will only have programming related to anime, manga, J-games, and Japanese culture, anime cons have become huge meccas of nerds and geeks in general. How is it any different than someone wearing an Iron Man or TMNT shirt"? In the end, does the stormtrooper at the anime convention really affect your experience at all? Conventions are a community experience, so let your fellow geeks and nerds show off their love of their favorite characters.  

In the video, she also days "That cosplayer is such a fake, she definitely didn't play the video game". In the end, is there really such thing as a 'fake cosplayer'? Why not let people dress up as whatever character they want, regardless of the reasons? In an article titled Cosplayers are passionate, talented folk. But there is a darker side to this community,too, the writer states that "To be a cosplayer is to be a fan - the cosplay itself not much different in spirit than writing a fanfiction or hoarding collectibles of your favorite media". Maybe you aren't a die-hard fan, maybe you're just a fan of the way the character looks. But can't that be reason enough to cosplay?

There is then a quote in the article by Elizabeth DeLoria that says "I don't think anyone in their right minds would hot glue N7 armor to their skin for a Mass Effect Cosplay or go two days without sleep while sewing Super Sentail suits if they weren't a fan of it". In the video, she also judges the quality of people's costumes, saying that they were probably bought at a Halloween store. Well, cosplay, as far as I am aware, is an expensive and time-consuming hobby. Many people probably don't have the time or the funds to make a truly accurate costume. Maybe you see those people and think "their costume sucks, so they must not be a true fan", but the quality of the costume does not define the quality of the fan. 


So, let people cosplay whatever they want and take your judgments elsewhere. Conventions are for a community, a community of nerds and geeks with a variety of interests. The video showed that the cosplay community can be a judgemental place, but that shouldn't stop people from dressing up as whatever it is they are a fan of. maybe you don't know every detail about the show, or movie, or game, or comic book. Maybe you don't have the funds or the time to make professional and accurate looking cosplay. Maybe your favorite character is Gandalf, but the only convention you can attend is an anime convention. But who cares! Cosplay as that character for whatever reason you want, wherever you want, despite some of the petty judgments. Do your thing and forget the rest, 

Citations

E. (n.d.). - AnimeCons.com Forums. Retrieved April 16, 2016, from http://forums.animecons.com/showtopic.php?tid/2565/

Hernandez, P. (2013). Cosplayers Are Passionate, Talented Folks. But There's A Darker Side To This Community, Too. Retrieved April 16, 2016, from http://kotaku.com/5975038/cosplayers-are-passionate-talented-folks-but-theres-a-darker-side-to-this-community-too

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCDGSpXcChU