What is Gamification?

Gamification-3

Gamification, as defined by the Oxford U.S. English Dictionary, is “the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g., point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service:  is exciting because it promises to make the hard stuff in life fun”.

Social network gaming received a huge boost with the popularity explosion of Facebook (Farmville, CityVille, Mafia Wars, Bejeweled Blitz, Angry Birds…). But as usual, one of the latest technological advances has grasped the attention of the business and marketing world. Time Magazine ran a story last summer entitled “Six Reasons Why ‘Gamification’ Will Rule the Business World.” And they are most likely correct. Given our long history of couponing and our societal gravitation towards consumer rewards programs and mobile technology, I’d say it’s inevitable.

But as for me, my favorite way to get my gamify on is Foursquare, the mobile app where you “check in” to your favorite places. I mean, what guy doesn’t want to be the Mayor of The Tilted Kilt? Or check in to his favorite bathroom on campus (you can add any location you want to Foursquare)? Besides, Foursquare is also using typical marketing features for perks like free appetizers at certain restaurants, free or discounted admission to selected venues, etc. And of course, you can sync it with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, etc.

Gamification on!

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Tips for using video

mark luckie

Mark S. Luckie

Some highly useful tips for capturing video are laid out in Chapter Seven of The Digital Journalist’s Handbook by Mark S. Luckie.  He points out that as with photographers, videographers should abide by the rule of thirds. Well-framed shots are essential in any medium.

Luckie also wisely stresses the importance of good preparation: storyboarding, testing light and audio levels, always paying attention to your framing before shooting, etc.

The subject of interviewing is also covered and given the consideration it deserves. Interviewing is a delicate issue because it involves other people – often strangers – who may or may not be too thrilled with being on camera. Either situation has the potential to turn out to be a nightmare. Preparing for an interview by knowing what (and what not) to discuss, as well as making the interviewee as comfortable as possible are of utmost importance.

Personally, I think the most time-consuming and difficult facet of working with video is editing. You have to be creative, smooth, talented, and have a keen eye for detail. And on top of all that, you have to be fast. Unless you want to spend your entire life in the editing room. My personal advice for editing: Practice. Practice. Practice.

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Take a stroll through the art of streets

Street art has come a long way since its genesis on various urban buildings, walls, subways, bridges and railway cars. Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South Campus is currently welcoming this graffiti-inspired art to its South Gallery at the Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts.

Through March 1, 2013, you can view the engaging works of eight Jacksonville, Fla. artists. All are talented in unique and varied ways and use a mixture of different media to convey their messages. You’ll even find some of these gifted local artists on hand, willing to discuss their works with you. Most pieces are available for purchase. Just be sure to leave the spray paint at home.

Also on display is a screen print by the highly influential street artist Shepard Fairey. For more information, contact the South Gallery at (904) 646-2023 or email ellewis@fscj.edu.

To take a virtual stroll through the Urban Core exhibit, click on the video link below:

Local street art exhibit

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The Language of New Media – Chapter 5

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Lev Manovich

In Chapter 5 of Lev Manovich’s book, “The Language of New Media,” Manovich discusses the intertwining and often competing goals of information access and psychological engagement in electronic media. Citing the differences between media such as novels and cinema versus computer database media, he addresses the relationship between database information and the historically more traditional narrative information.

Manovich remains consistent in his ongoing analysis of old media versus new media, and new media’s interference with and transformation of old media. He uses a great example in discussing the creation of CD-ROM virtual tours of museums as a substitute for actual tours. This automatically took me back to the captivating film episode from John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing”.

Manovich broadens his scope to include not only databases and CD-ROMs, but also video games, embedded links and even Web-based pornography. He illustrates the dichotomy between database and narrative by pointing out the presence of order and flow in narrative, and the lack thereof in database.

However – in discussing the semiotics associated with database, he acknowledges a shared dynamic in imagery between database and narrative. This dynamic will continue to play itself out in the form of digital cinematography and other digital imagery, as well as digital animation and editing.

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This Is So Cool

This isn’t an assignment, but I wanted to post it anyway. One of my favorite drum songs.

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Photo Ethics Assignment, Week 4

In response to the question and article, “Is This Photo Ethical?” by Eric Kim, my answer is “it depends.” On the one hand, the photo of the dead girl illustrates the seriousness of a societal problem in a particular part of the world. It sheds light upon and informs many who would otherwise have known nothing about it.

On the other hand, it graphically shows the body of a dead 15-year-old girl. By U.S. journalistic standards, this is unacceptable. We typically don’t give such graphic details about minors in this country, much less provide readers and viewers with names of minors involved in disturbing or socially taboo situations. The photograph and its accompanying caption and story did both.

Therefore, whether the photo is ethical depends on where it is published. As it stands on Eric Kim’s Website and some other acceptable places, I consider it to be ethical. But if it was published in the Florida Times-Union or the New York Times – certainly not.

 

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Photo Essay: “The Gig”

This gallery contains 9 photos.

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