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Write a Peer Review and Critical Commentary on each of the following blog post (average around 100 words for each post)
Blog post 1
Participatory Media Culture
“Cultural texts, are viewed as open texts that different groups of viewers interpret differently,depending on social, cultural and other contexts” (Raessen).
This is a short but efficient quote which represents Raessen’s view on how the domain, ‘Interpretation’ which influences how each individual participates in media cultures. Ultimately, because of our cultural position, we therefore exert these views in the way we interpret.
More specifically, when this domain is related to the game Mario Vs Bowser it becomes more clear. In short, this video game entails Mario completing a number of missions which lead to the ultimate battle-off with Bowser where he gets the opportunity to ‘save’ Princess Peach.
As a child I played this game on Nintendo 64. The fact that it was Mario that had to save Peach seemed completely rational and normal to me because Mario is a man who is naturally ‘stronger’ than females. Furthermore, seeing Princess Peach in a long pink dress made me perceive her as vulnerable because she was presented in a sophisticated way.
Now when I look back at how I participated in the video game and how I perceived this, it was because of my cultural context which made me ‘interpret’ this video game to be relevant to society.
This photo represents the fragile state of Peach, emphasised through attire, hair and physical stance.
Photo Source: http://lusipurr.com/2012/08/30/editorial-the-evolution-of-relationships-in-video-games/
While it is not only our cultural position that coerces individuals to participate and perceive something in a specific way, Raesson argues that it is also Video games that can create how we interpret our culture. A very justified argument video on youtube ‘Damsel in Distress’ shows us a large amount of video games which hold this same characteristics where the Male is the saviour and the female who needs to be saved:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toa_vH6xGqs – Damsel in Distress Part 2.
Ultimately, both these arguments are strongly influential. Video Games along with many media outlets such as T.V shows and films also portray these story lines which furthermore convince individuals that this participatory act in interpreting media is in fact a result of Cultural contexts where individuals form an opinion.
Raessens, J. 2005, ‘Computer games as participatory media culture’, Handbook of Computer Game Studies, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 373-388
Blog post 2
My favourite blog, I have connected with people multiple times via this wonderful little blog The Man Repeller
Participatory media is any form of media that the user can interact with, this is not necessarily a new concept and it is not a concept just for computer games. As mentioned in Raessens, “The view that participation is a new, exclusive, and essential characteristic of computer games ignores the fact that radio, film and television, for example, each have their own versions of this concept.”
When examining participatory media cultures of computer games Raessens looks closely at the concepts of multimediality, virtuality, interactivity, connectivity. He notes that these concepts are “distinguishing, specific characteristics or principles of computer games,”. However, these concepts also can be used to describe many other forms of participatory media culture.
Looking specifically at connectivity, Raessens explains this as offering players the opportunity to exchange ideas, knowledge and game elements via the internet. There are plenty of non-game participatory media outlets that offer users this element of connectivity, pretty much every social media platform.  For example blogs and in particular the blogs that we are all working on for this unit. These blogs enable us all to connect with each other; they enable us to share ideas, links, information and they allow us to comment.
Blogs encourage users to share their ideas and to connect with others, and like games they allow us to connect with people from all over the world. They encourage communities, and as mentioned by Raessens they can encourage users to “construct events and actions”. Blogging is a participatory media from that I have spent a lot of time using, I read blogs, I comment on blogs, I have joined blogging communities. Blogging has allowed me to connect with likeminded people from all over the world. Much in the same way that gamers are able to connect with other gamers through computer games via the internet.
As technology evolves there will be more platforms that enable participatory media, more platforms that enable users to connect with others, to interact, to simulate virtual worlds and communities and to utilise multimediality.
Raessens, J. 2005, ‘Computer games as participatory media culture’, Handbook of Computer Game Studies, MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass, pp. 373-388

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