We take video games as our impetus and our enterprise. With multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity as our tools, we look to the past of video gaming in order to orchestrate and build its future. Looking to rhetoric, media studies, and cultural studies, many apparatuses of analysis are present, but they all must be brought into these media and reborn.
[in]Transition […] is the first peer-reviewed academic journal of videographic film and moving image studies.
Practitioners of these forms (which include, inter alia, the ‘video essay’, ‘audiovisual essay’, and ‘visual essay’ formats) explore the ways in which digital technologies afford a new mode of carrying out and presenting film and moving image research.
We visualized character interactions and relative emotional content for three very different books: a haunting memory play, a metaphysical mood piece, and a children’s fantasy classic. A dynamic graph of character relationships displays the evolution of connections between characters throughout the book. Emotional strength and valence of each sentence are shown in a color-coded sentiment plot.
The subject of comic-related-films (or film-related-comics) had understandably arisen and, when asked, I had ventured my honest opinion that I found something worrying about the fact that the superhero film audience was now almost entirely composed of adults, men and women in their thirties, forties and fifties who were eagerly lining up to watch characters and situations that had been expressly created to entertain the twelve year-old boys of fifty years ago. […] It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite ‘universes’ presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times.
Every map tells a story, and writers yearning for new ways to tell stories are drawn to them. Walter Benjamin wrote of how he had “long, indeed for years, played with the idea of setting out the sphere of life—bios—graphically on a map.” Written when he was forty, “A Berlin Chronicle” resists a standard, linear biography and, instead, plots a map. Rather than a chronology, Benjamin creates a geography of Berlin; the relationships and events of the author’s life become map dots rather than plot points. A geographical map of Berlin converges with Benjamin’s personal map of the city, though Benjamin is still dependent on sentences and paragraphs.
Perhaps because of technological convergence through DVRs and TiVo, television fragmentation, and the so-called post-network era, for many television scholars working on “important” texts – most often masculinized shows that air in primetime – flow has become passé, bygone, and moved beyond in television studies. Choosing not to engage with the (super)text and focusing only on the narrative elements of a show makes for concerning, unremarked-upon assumptions about “quality” audiences and spectatorship practices with strong implications for erasures of class and gender beyond what I can cover here. But flow is, of course, alive and well and even, as I’ll argue, desired. Moreover, it’s not only characteristic of network broadcasting (especially in daytime), but cable and non-network spaces are themselves begging for ‘flownalyses.’ For instance, I’m an avid viewer of Logo’s #sitcomtherapy nights, which air old episodes of queer-friendly sitcoms like The Golden Girls and Roseanne, punctuated by bumpers showing gay men and couples, PSAs by gay puppets educating audiences about AIDS, and programs for queer shows with queer bodies like RuPaul’s Drag Race, all the while overlaid by Tweets, hashtags, and queer trivia.
Computers Watching Movies shows what a computational system sees when it watches the same films that we do. The work illustrates this vision as a series of temporal sketches, where the sketching process is presented in synchronized time with the audio from the original clip. Viewers are provoked to ask how computer vision differs from their own human vision, and what that difference reveals about our culturally-developed ways of looking. Why do we watch what we watch when we watch it? Will a system without our sense of narrative or historical patterns of vision watch the same things?