Advanced Media Issues – Week 3

Fuller expresses ‘Media Ecologies’ as an “interrelation of processes … of beings … and matter”. I like this interpretation, as media ecologies are exactly that. The ‘ecology’ aspect being, it’s interaction with the living things around it, including us as humans, and the other living things around us. When looking at ecology, you must look at the things around you. I’m fascinated with the idea that media shapes the thing around us. Why are we in a certain place doing a certain thing? Why not somewhere else? Does media decide what we do, and where we do it?

It is known fact that media has changed the way we live our everyday lives. There are certain aspects of our lives however, that are not only changed, but maintained by media, and thus a media ecology is formed.

The idea of ‘feedback loops’ is raised in the ‘Games as a Happening, as a Service’ blog post. The author, Tomas,  states that with certain games, particularly, MMO’s, players’ activity encourages more people to play. This concept of a media event creating loops, linking back to that same event is very familiar in it’s nature. I immediately think of online forums when considering feedback and feedforward loops. What people contribute to forums is very influential in our practices. For example, researching a product online before buying it may lead you to a forum relating to that product. You will read and take on board the comments about that product (good or bad) and thus make you decision on whether to by that particular thing. However, within forums, there are few boundaries of opinion, so pretty much anything can be said. What people say will to an extent influence your decision, whether true or false. You will make you purchasing decision on those opinions. You may then contribute for yourself about the product, once bought and give your own take on it, further influencing what people to come, will think of the product and whether they choose to buy it or not.

We see that within media ecologies, experiences are created by our own interactions with media. It’s astounding to see that most of the time, we don’t recognise that our own contributions shape our experiences.


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