Gaming in the Real World

Gamification is a term used to describe a real life event or process and turning it into a game that has rules and rewards. Some key examples are dieting, exercise, quit smoking, and even farmville. All of these applications hold incentive for the user, or why else would the user desire to play it? For example, a teenager that drinks too much soda and acne is the result of consuming so much sugar on a daily basis, his incentive is to eliminate his acne. There is an application available that can monitor how much calorie and sugar intake one is receiving from drinking soda, you merely log how much soda you drink per day by scanning each can. The application then takes the information provided by the user and organizes the date to show the user how many grams of sugar they intake per day, followed by a hypothetical that will allow them to recognize the influence it is having on their complexion and over all health. As human beings we are more likely to complete a task that we will be rewarded for, as opposed to a task that we will not be rewarded for. 


Chapter 6 Lev Manovich: The Language of New Media

In the final chapter of The Language of New Media, Manovich sums up his entire book. He brings everything he previously addressed and ties it together.. Manovich especially refers to his previous theories of new media. . He primarily focuses on Cinema in chapter 6 and how it has changed with computer databases and technology. Cinema has come a long way since it first began, from a series of photographs that move in a circular motion, to thousands of photographs digitized that create a video. Manovich previously discussed what new media is and he lays out a guide for defining it. Numerical representation, modularity, automation, variability, and transcoding are all required elements for media to be considered “new”. He also considers the use of algorithms, a process that requires consequential steps in order to complete a task. Cinema is the last form of media Manovich addresses, which meets the criteria for new media. Many components contribute to cinema, which is also known as the modularity. Software programs are utilized for cinema (videos) which is known as the automation. The ability to generate new versions and continue to change is the variability of cinema. The transformation of one format to another, or transcoding, is another aspect of new media used in cinema. What is actually there, relative toward how we perceive it as the audience. Overall Lev Manovich has expanded my knowledge of new media, what the characteristics are, and how to recognize it distinctly from older forms of media. 

Chapter 5: The Forms Manovich

Manovich Chapter 5: The Forms

In this Chapter 5 of “The Language of New Media” of Lev Manovich’s book compares and contrasts previous forms of communication with media forms of communication. He lays out how the form of communication used to be before new media. He then lays out the form of communication used with new media. In previous years, the narrative form of media, if you will, consisted of a step by step process that the writer would need to employ in order to complete the narrative process. This can easily be compared to the five paragraph essay format most of us are used to. We would begin with an idea, research the idea, generate facts, reference them, generate a thesis, introduce and compare and contrast each idea within five paragraphs. What I am trying to say is it was a process. Now we are capable of organizing information in so many different ways that this format is history. The beginning of the form of new media has drastically altered the way we read, write, learn, and store new information. For instance, if we stumbled upon a webpage were interested in, we could “bookmark” the web address and visit it later. In the past, we needed to write it down, remember where we put it, and if we did those two things, we could revisit said webpage. The complexity of new media is astonishing. It allows for the user to create or intake new information so quickly, while leading the user to new information almost instantly. Manovich refers to algorithms, which is a step by step process developed and used for technology. These algorithms create a “Database” that we use on a daily basis. For instance, there is algorithm your computer has stored that allows for me to save my Word documents under a specific name, with the date and time I saved it, into the database. Overall the form of new media has altered the way we think, how we utilize our time, and the endless amount of information we could absorb into our brains. 

Chapter 4: The Illusions, Manovich


In Chapter 4 of “The Language of New Media” written by Lev Manovich, he addresses the Illusions that new media generates or creates for the user. Manovich states, “Synthetic computer-generated imagery is not an inferior representation of our reality, but a realistic representation of a different reality” (p.202). Manovich compares and contrasts digital images versus our perception of reality. Through images and videos our perception of the human body and mind becomes very complex. For instance, in video games, humans are strong, capable of anything with little emotion. The user can take that perception of the human race and project it upon themselves for a virtual reality or perception of their own human being. The ability for new media to do this could have great effects on the user(s). Manovich also states, “…if a traditional photograph always points to a past event, a synthetic photograph points to a future event” (p.203). This statement supports the idea that “if we mimic what our perception is of the human being through this new media, we will strive to perform to the same if not better level than what we perceive ourselves to be.” Our perception is everything, especially of ourselves. It carries a lot of weight on our personality, how we treat others, and how we live our lives. So new media has a profound effect on human beings and who they will or have become. 

2nd Annual OneSpark Event Downtown Jacksonville, FL

The following photos were taken on April 12, 2014 at the OneSpark event in Downtown Jacksonville.


These photos were taken right outside of The Landing in Downtown Jacksonville. A local artist recycles what many would label as useless things, and creates amazing art sculptures. A huge draw for me was the sea life, pictured below. I am a huge fan of the ocean and it majestic creatures. 





If you look close enough you can take apart the pieces used for each sculpture and really appreciate the thought and talent put in to each piece. 



Many artists, engineers, and local inventors joined together in the event OneSpark with one common goal: exposure. Each person was able to exemplify their talents and ideas to the general public and receive feedback on interest in the product or service/talent as well as the chance to win financial support for their particular idea. 

I had a personal interest in a particular invention in the engineering department. An previous roommates father created the Meatrix System, which is innovating precise meat preparation. Straight from the OneSpark App, this is “patented system analyzes meat during the cooking process to assue it is cooked to precisely the desired doneness, is safe to eat, and juicy”. He was seeking $24,000 towards this innovation. The idea behind the Meatrix is to save money for restaurants The funding will be used to have a FCC approved handheld system built and optimized for production. Algorithms will be developed to correspond to meat cuts, weight, and cooking styles. Overall this is the project I voted for. Mr. Samples ended up winning $10,000 towards the Meatrix, which means he is well on his way to making this a reality. 

Photo Credit: Brittany Samples (daughter) 

Overall the OneSpark Event in Downtown Jacksonville has taken the city by surprise. I believe it will continue to generate curiosity and help aid in come back of Jacksonville’s economy.