… I’m starting to write my thesis proposal.
… I’m starting to write my thesis proposal.
If you are headed to ICA in 2013 there are several pre-conferences you are probably interested in. I’d like to underscore the Communication Science – Evolution, Biology, and Brains pre-conference:
The goal of this pre-conference is to bring together scholars who are working across sub-fields of communication studies using evolutionary theory, neuroscience and other biological measures to address core questions in communication studies. A critical mass of scholars are now employing such methods to advance theory and application within communication studies. Furthermore, biological paradigms clearly include additional questions and methods that can be added to our research agenda, however, incorporation of biological explanations and methods can also highlight new questions. In addition to plenary talks given by invited senior scholars in the area, the pre-conference participants will share new data and ideas and discuss a vision for how communication studies can best leverage such new theorizing and study paradigms moving forward.
More information (e.g., costs, deadlines, agenda) is available here. Hopefully I’ll see you there!
The Communication department at UCSB publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Gaucho Communicator. This newsletter generally contains useful information about the department, past/upcoming events, student opportunities, etc. The Fall 2012 issue features a brief profile of yours truly (page 6). <insertsnarkycommenthere>
UPDATE: Bio is on page 7. <insertevensnarkiercommenthere>
Rise of the Video Game is a five-part documentary on video games produced by the Discovery Chanel. Video, as well as descriptions of each episode, are shown below the fold.
The Discovery Chanel hosted a two-part video series – Gamer Generation. While these videos are a bit dated, each still provides a useful overview of the industry, media effects, and video games research. Of particular note, Dr. Weber’s study Does playing violent video games induce aggression? Empirical evidence of a functional magnetic resonance imaging study is featured in the fourth video (starts at 7:20 and extends into the fifth video). Embedded videos shown below the fold.
Finishing up my first week back at UCSB and this comic is all too accurate. Cheers to a new year!
This video comes via the folks at Ethical Technology. Creators May-raz and Lazo offer a glimpse into an augmented reality future that allows individuals to monitor and interpret everything from environmental to nonverbal cues. Taken at face value, having access to these capabilities seems exciting. However, there are potential issues. In Sight, the slimy protagonist uses augmented reality capabilities in an attempt to seduce his date. Creepy, but an interesting premise that highlights some of the potential drawbacks of an imaginable future.
Sony Online Entertainment is beta testing a new feature for EverQuest II, SoEmote. This sort of technology has been around for a while, but to my knowledge, this is the first time it has been incorporated into an MMO (and a popular one, at that). This is likely an interesting feature for players, even if the audio is a bit off-putting. The audio fonts are pitched as a feature for role-players, but is this something they even want? I’m not terribly familiar with EQ2, but voice chat (outside of instances and raids) never really took off in WoW (even then 3rd party software seems dominant). For me, the face-tracking feature is far more interesting. I’m often put-off when my character’s head movements and facial expressions are different from what I expect them to be. SoEmote seems to do a nice job capturing, and replicating, facial movements (be sure to watch the video in full-screen, check out all those points of reference on his mouth, eyes, and eyebrows).
I digress… What has me most excited is the opportunity this feature offers researchers. One can easily think of several studies that test immersion, nonverbal cues, realism, etc. According to Kotaku, SOE will demo SoEmote at E3. Exciting!
I’m generally not one to link TED talks, but Sherry Turkle’s TEDxUIUC talk is worth watching. In sixteen minutes, Turkle outlines the second half of her latest book, Alone Together (this book is a terrific read, and absolutely worth the purchase). While I do not always agree with Turkle, I tremendous respect for her, and her work. This video demonstrates some of the things I think Turkle gets right.