Liveblogging the CRC Panel V: Critical Studies in New Media

“i’m in ur head, shapin’ ur interwebz: Rhetorical transmission, Internet memes, and the problematic application of an a-rhetorical neologism” by Matt Morain

3:27 “I’m going to try to be short. At 5’8″ that shouldn’t be hard.” Rim shot. Matt kicks off with a joke.

3:29 Reminds us, via Jenkins, that culture isn’t replicated. It’s copied by people.

3:32 Matt presses us to think it terms of rhetorical transmission, emphasizing intentionality.

3:34 Mash up of David after Dentist and Christian Bale rant video on YouTube, which has had over 1.9 million views on YouTube. This video actually made one of the audience members cry.

3:37 Matt looks at comments from users, pointing out the (mis)reading of the intertextual video.

3:40 Looking at the relationship between internet phenomena and mimetics. Some are mimetic. Matt offers the “25 Random Things about” from Facebook. It functions like a chain letter, which are generally accepted as self-replicating.

Internet “meme” vs. “Internet meme” Matt encourages us in his conclusion to think in terms of the latter, as it reminds of us the socially constructed nature of them.

“Rhetorical Complexity: War and Persuasion in World of Warcraft” by Wendi Jewell

3:39 Wendi begins with a brief overview of WoW.

3:50 “The world is a highly rhetorical space.”

3:53 Design of the game encourages antagonism from the day a player joins.

3:55 Wendi discusses how metaphor is used outside the game, particularly in political speech, in order to set-up an examination of rhetorical complexity in the game.

4:00 WoW makes use of metaphor in ways similar to the way its used in political speech: to terrify, to simplify, to unify.

4:03 Wendi shares the introduction human characters receive when they enter the game. Political goals: Valorizes, emphasizes protection.

4:04 When player finally enters into play, she’s already been constructed in a very specific (dogmatic) way. The Quest Givers rely on metaphors of the Alliance (e.g., cleanliness, purity) to communicate quests to the player.

4:10 Players are unable to question metaphor use in the game, as they cannot decline requests in order to play the game.

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