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Piracy in the Caribbean


Thomas Apperley

on 28 May 2010

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Transcript of Piracy in the Caribbean

Piracy in the Caribbean Henry Jenkins (2006) Convergence Culture Focus on audience production and consumption
Emphasis on the participatory audience empowered through digital technology
Focus on 'culture' rather than technological or industrial issues Marsha Kinder (1991) Playing with Power Caveats Earlier case study of television and videogames
Points out that the empowerment provided by interactivity is linked to consumerism P David Marshall (2004) New Media Cultures also points to the imbrication of commodification and technological empowerment
Interactive media is an over-determined structured play that ursurps 'free' play Media Literacies Literacies as 'situated' 'practices'
multimodal (Kress and van Leuwen)
game literacies (Buckingham and Burn, Salen, Zimmerman) ...the next step in the process of cultural evolution - a bridge to a new kind of culture and a new kind of society. In a hunting culture, kids played with bows and arrows. In an information society, they play with information. (Jenkins 2006: 6) Citizenship and Consumption Garcia Canclini - access to information is the key to being able to act autonomously and creatively
Therefore rights should be redefine around material comsumption rather than abstract ideals Both Sutton-Smith and Mumford connect the hostoric development of toys to contemporary technologies, particularly ones of great significance In contrast Jenkins suggests that convergence culture is a return to the kinds of grassroot democracy that the USA was founded on.
Specifically he argues it will reinvigourate the public sphere (e.g. new media political campaigns
Reading not Writing Media literacy is not about consumption, its about production and consumption
Production requires new suites of skills and particular 'situations'
Venezuela public context of computer use
Critical but predominantly consumptive media literacies in Venezeula Although this does avoid the ambiguity of didactic play or 'work/play'. Piracy These youngsters on the street[s of Caracas] with their Nintendo dreams and Nike shoes, experience life in the larger context of global and transnational processes
-Marquez (1999) The Street is My Home 15 years between Kinder and Jenkins.
What has changed? Videogames are no longer ghettoized See Galloway's (2006) essay which argues digital games exemplify the 'control society' Play escapism
participation in global culture
Luxury vs. necessity (knowledge economy) The tension in the 'Nintendo Dream' Northern/Developed world understanding of the importance and stakes of participatory or convergence culture

New forms of knowledge/literacy create new forms of inequality

'Nintendo Dream' as an aspiration for participation in an empowering global culture Global Digital Games Industry Three areas where access becomes an issue Software industry in developed world, hardware insdustry in developing world
Software testing on audiences in developed world
Black market software economies in the global South Piracy essential to access to digital games in Venezuela I find out by watching the pirate sellers to see when they will start to sell the first copies of a new game. Sometimes I ask them if they have anything new right now. You can find very close to my house stalls selling cheap copies of computer games. But if you go to the mall, the same copied games are being sold for three times the price. You can find a very expensive orginal game that is a bad game, but you can find a very cheap one with the street sellers, which is very good. Piracy allowed greater flexibility in participation in terms of variety
Software piracy mitigates the extreme cost of hardware
Piracy established a culture of sharing and exchanging games
Piracy permitted an interest in a wider variety of genres and experiences Media in Venezuela Privately own media are the de facto opposition since Chavez was elected in 1998
The media played a major role in the temporary coup of 2002
After 2004 referendum stricter laws were passed to regulate media
Development of TeleSUR
After 2007 re-election the nationalization of the telephone companies was announced Piracy ignored by government while local media striongly regulated digital games are a key area in which venezuelan consumers participate in a new and global media culture through piracy
digital games are a key area of media that is outside control and regulation by the state in Venezuela Caught between local regulation of media and global regulation of piracy Gaming Capital This notion introduced by Consalvo (2007) builds on Bourdieu's notion of capital
It reframes gaming as an intensely social and skilled activity built around the accumulation and exchange of skills and konwledge
Consalvo situates gaming capital as a form of social capital
For Bourdieu's capital operates as a more or less fluid repetoire that can be 'reconverted' from one form to another (symbloic, economic, cultural, social).
Knowledge economy dialogues on gaming position gaming capital as reconvertable into other forms of capital
Ambiguous: critique and neccessity Knowledge Economy Economies characterised by intellectual/creative rather than physical labour
Model for gaming industry not just for its workers but its consumers, with its focus on generating profits from the control and distribution of user-generated content 'the skills we acquire through play may have implications for how we learn, work, participate in the political process, and connect with other people around the world' (Jenkins 2006: 23)
Gaming literacy as the paradigm for digital literacy (Zimmerman 2009)
Two steps: 1) Understanding games as systems 2) Understanding how the system can be changed (Salen 2008)
Zimmerman adds: 3) a playful understanding of the structures we inhabit 4) a drive to create or design new possibilities within systems Why 'expand' access to digital games? digital games provide access to various intangible skills which are essential for operating in the 21st century
...in the coming century the way we live and learn, work and relax, communicate and create, will more and more resemble how we play games. While we are not all going to be game designers, game design and gaming literacy offer a valuable model for what it means to become literate, educated and sucessful in this playful world (Zimmerman 2009) Digital Divide Issues cannot be solved simply by providing more access to technology (van Dijk and Hacker 2003)
Issues of access to technology are not merely technical issues (Padovini and Nordenstrang 2005)
'Knowledge societies are supposed to be spaces in which citizens will be able to communicate, interact and participate. But this risks remaining only rhetoric if transformations, challenges and political solutions are percieved as highly technical issues removed from the public' (Padovini and Nordenstrang 2005: 270) A challenge to the absolute criminality of digital piracy?
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