Amy’s Pecha Kucha Reflection

For my Technologies and Future of Writings module, our group presented a Pecha Kucha on our topic of anonymity. A Pecha Kucha is composed of 20 slides with no words, only pictures. The presenter has 20 seconds to present each slide, for a total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds. There are four people in my group, so we each got to present 5 slides, totaling 1 minutes and 4o seconds. I presented the second set of slides which would be slides 6-10.

A Walk Through a Slide:

8509205855_60d6006537_oThis was my last slide out of 5 in my portion of the Pecha Kucha. I especially like this picture because it represents the future of anonymity in video games. I wanted to show the horizon, because there is much to come of video games, especially in education. Video games are meant to engage players, and are an excellent way of learning. Video games also allow gamers to explore new worlds, which is also why I chose this representation. This portion of my narrative correlated nicely to the image because it focused on the future of being anonymous in the gaming world. Based on the readings both inside and outside of this class, I foresee the gaming world becoming a valued aspect of society.

This idea of the future of gaming ties into anonymous gaming in the virtual word because with more gamers, comes more characters and interactions among individuals. This built on the beginning part of my narrative that incorporated the idea that many gamers chose to be characters in games that don’t actually mirror who they are in real life. For instance, an excessively shy person in the physical world has the opportunity to break out of their shell in a virtual world and start anew. Many players like this thrive in these types of virtual environments because face to face contact is eliminated, which in turn creates anonymity. The pictures also reflect the mindset that while players can also explore new virtual gaming worlds like a sailor would on the open seas, these timid gamers are also exploring themselves deeply. The last portion of my narrative and slide offers a good reflection on my 4 previous slides, incorporating not only the benefits of today that were touched on in the slides, but also what is to soon to come in the future.

I chose to cite the article “Who Am We” by Sherrie Turkle because she talks about how quickly gaming is changing our society and mindset of community, and how it will surely be even more prominent as the years go on. Turkle even interviews children gamers and shows how easily they can interact with the games, making them great for education. I am very happy with this slide, however I would  liked to have memorized what I said for my narrative rather than just read from a piece of paper.

What I learned About My Blog Topic:

Through blogging about online anonymity, I learned an incredible amount of information in the past four weeks. Prior to this assignment, I never realized just how much the power of anonymity on the web affects how people talk as well as how they respond to anonymous comments. Being able to easily hide your identity online creates an environment where people are more outspoken because they are not worried about being personally criticized. While this exercises freedom of speech, there can also be downfalls, such as virtual rape and harassment as seen in the reading by Julian Dibbel. If the online issue becomes serious enough, I learned from the article by Kevin Whitelaw that it can even be taken to court, were the anonymous person’s online information is usually disclosed.

I have heard of anonymity being used by people of social networking cites, chat rooms and blogs prior to doing any readings or research, but I never realized how it also runs ramped in video games. Thanks to both Dibbel and Turkle’s articles, I was given a better understanding for the reasoning of staying anonymous on games. That reason is basically to be able to live out a fantasy life that may or may not mirror the real world.

Although some people use technology to hide their personal information to avoid spam and viruses, many others do so to be able to freely speak their mind. An article that I blogged about found on wisegeek.com actually looks at how anonymity causes people to be more mean online than they may normally in real life. This is because many people are not ashamed to voice their own brutal opinion since they don’t think they’ll be found out. While it may seem tempting to do, it is not a great idea since the issue can be filed in court for harassment. People that consistently create trouble online anonymously are known as trolls in the web community, and are thus frowned upon by regular users.

Through the readings and blogging, I have learned that anonymity is an important web 2.0 issue that has both perks and downfalls. It is up to the user to use the power of anonymity responsibly. While not everyone agrees with it, online anonymity is here to stay for awhile, so I am glad that I am more knowledgeable on the topic.

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Anonymity Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha slides

Narratives:

Alli P.-

What is anonymity? Anonymity is defined as the state of being anonymous, which is to not be identified by name. Many people like the feeling of being mysterious. They like to lay low and fly under the radar. This is fine, as long as these people intend no harm. It is when the wrong people get to stay anonymous is when the trouble starts.

Online anonymity is the act of staying anonymous online. Sometimes we want to stay anonymous, while other times we want to be noticed. Ben Rooney brings up the point in his article “The Debate over ONline Anonymity” which is published in the Wall Street Journal, that many comment sway the readers to one side or the other. Many times, validity is at steak.

Social Media and online anonymity go hand in hand. Any social media site has its skeptics. Remember when the Cordell kids got one million “likes” in seven hours for a puppy? Or when you want to follow Lady Gaga on Twitter but hundreds of accounts show up? How does this happen? No on really knows. But think about it– it’s kind of creepy.

Anonymous gamers pretty much live a double life. They have reality and that have virtual reality. A 47 year old man could be playing a 17 year old girl. In Gee’s article, “What Video Gamers Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy”, he introduces a new kind of literacy, gaming literacy. There is a whole new world of language many people don’t know about.

There are many different steps to understand online anonymity. The first step is very basic but many people could not give you an answer to the question “What is a blog?” Rettberg’s answer from his book “Bloging” simply states “to really understand a blog, you need to read them over time.” So, I encourage everyone to get out there and see what the millions of blogs have to offer.

Amy S.-

Gaming anonymously is when gamers socialize with one another typically hiding their personal self behind a character that they create. While some gamers are completely different characters in the game than they are in real life, others are exactly the same. The article “Who am We” actually touches on a specific incident of a reclusive guy who proposed to his gamer girlfriend on LambdaMOO.

The article, “Staying Anonymous Online” says that playing these games give users the freedom of speech because their real life selves are hidden by the gaming character. Many people are more willing to speak their minds on the games because they have no fear of being frowned upon in reality. This is a great aspect of the anonymous gaming world, but there are also drawbacks like harassment and virtual rape.

An article about virtual rape by Julian Dibbell actually goes into detail about a character named Dr. Bungle who would lock other female characters into a room and force them to have sex with him. While Dr. Bungle may have been living out some sick fantasy in the video game, his actions emotionally hurt the women in real life. This type of anonymous virtual harassment is an unfortunate reality of being able to hide identity.

The idea of games being better than reality can also lead to video game addiction, like what happened to the one student in the video we watched called “Are Games Better Than Real Life?” These players have a hard time separating the real world from the virtual one. Many gamers tend to want to keep their anonymous playing nature rather than deal with their real life selves and it’s more dulled down version.

Gaming is a great anonymity tool that will likely become more valued for both play and education over the years. It is so simple to create a virtual character on a game and potentially live a second life, so there is endless opportunity. “Who Am We” says they let the gamer explore worlds and live lives that would be impossible to in reality. Likewise, anonymity also plays a part in social media.

Chris S.-

Dick Clarence Hardt talked about how each website has their own way of identifying a person .  We web users register with individual sites numerous times what about registering once and being done with it? Wouldn’t that be convenient?   It is happening somewhat with Facebook, with the whole” login with facebook” when you’re trying to play candy crush.

Social Media anonymity is everywhere, as stated by Marie Atwood, “The Twittersphere is an odd and uncanny place.”How do you know anyone is who he/she says he is,  when they put up pictures of themselves that might be a tin of Spam?”  She is right.  If you search for let’s say Kim Kardashian on Twitter, you’ll find a lot of “Kim Kardashian”s on there, but how do you know?  Granted there is the verified check mark but that could be a fluke too.

The internet has come a long way from what this picture depicts but in Kevin Kelly’s article he discovered that many “professionals” agree that “as computing devices become embedded in everything …, these networked devices will allow greater surveillance by governments and businesses.” This is prevalent with the whole Target almost spying on people trying to figure out if they are pregnant or not.

Anonymity in social media is there it is nearly impossible to change but why should we, granted it may bother some when they are online talking to someone they may feel a connection with and find out that the dreamy person they started talking to is really….

Just some computer savvy kid thinking he’s playing a game.  And as this kid would probably say, why not go to a place where everybody doesn’t know your  name.

Brianne O.-

Online anonymity can be a wonderfully useful and positive tool. The internet practically strips us of our identity, allowing us to become anyone we want to become, and say anything we want to say. However as we all know, the power that being faceless gives can be overwhelming to some, leading them to abuse it. Like most web 2.0 topics, anonymity on the web has its share of pros and cons.

Free speech is our constitutional right as Americans, but we all know that others can judge us harshly for the things we say. Online anonymity gives web users the possibility to build upon our right to free speech, adding facelessness. This gives us the freedom to say whatever we want without the fear of being judged or directly criticized by others. It’s truly a wonderful feeling to be able to speak your mind and write about the things you want to write about without the fear of being judged.

People can use their online anonymity in an extremely positive way. Some use it to write about an opinion they have, with their facelessness giving no evidence of a bias on their part. Many people use anonymity as a way to compliment or make each other feel good, facelessly in order to avoid any awkwardness that may come from someone knowing who they are.

However these positive actions are usually the result of the negative uses of anonymity. People can use their anonymity to facelessly harass and torment others, much like the case we read about by Julian Dibbell involving LambdaMOO. Negative anonymous comments are very common on popular blogging sites such as Tumblr, and can lead to a variety of dilemmas such as self harm and sometimes even suicide.

Since the internet makes us all virtually faceless, how do we know how authentic anyone is being on the internet? I could create a Facebook account right now claiming to be a Brazilian male model, and people would never know I’m just a random college student. Like Shirley Turkle says, on the internet we’re “constructing new selves through social interaction”. How do we know someone is who they say they are? That’s up to your own judgment.

Servin’ Up Some Realness

How do we know if someone’s being their real self on the internet? Do we go by the selfies they post, the facts they say about themselves, or the way they talk? Do we judge someone’s authenticity on what they stand for or how they interact with others? The truth is that because the web makes its users faceless, you will never know.

In his presentation, Identity 2.0, Dick Hardt explains that you can say anything you want about yourself and no matter how true those things could be, your identity will still be questioned on the internet. He explains that on the internet, there are fewer “trust cues” that indicate whether what someone is saying is to be considered trustworthy or not.honesty On the internet, you can never truly prove who you are. I could tell you that my name is Brianne O’Leary, I’m a 19 year old student at Rowan University, and I love cats, but how would you know that I was being authentic? I could easily be a 40 year old man who wants nothing more than to make college students think I’m one of them so I can lure them into a secluded area and murder them.

This clearly presents a huge problem with the web today. There are those who are smart about what they believe on the internet and those who aren’t. Those who aren’t easily fall prey to online scams, predators, and catfishers. It’s been made pretty clear by some popular web scams that a lot of people seem to trust anything they read on the internet, like the famous email scam where a Nigerian Prince suddenly wants to give you, a stranger, his riches- for a fee of course. While not all scams are as obvious and stupid as that one, they still get people every day (like the infamous Craigslist Killer), just because the anonymity of the internet allows you to say you’re someone you’re not, and many people have no qualms with taking advantage of that.

What we should take away from this is not to immediately distrust anyone who’s on the internet. We just need to keep our guards up. Take the things people say about themselves with a grain of salt, for sure, and avoid falling for those who may be altering their identity in a negative way. The internet does a good job of stripping us of our identities. It takes everything that makes you who you are in real life and erases it in a sense, allowing you to claim to be anyone you want to be. When we enter the web, we all become no one, a ‘John Doe’ in a sense. The trouble is, we can never fully and authentically identify our ‘John Doe’s.

Hostility and Anonymity- An Inseperable Pair

rudeness-on-the-internet_1We’ve all done it- said that thing we probably shouldn’t have on social networks that we never would in real life. Even if all of your information was available, socializing online makes it much easier to shout out rude comments because there is a virtual distance between people. Imagine then, that you were playing the anonymous card when you typed out your semi-rude comment. Don’t you think you’d find it more tempting to blurt out your darkest thoughts of that person online? I sure do. In fact, I am not alone in this thinking. The article “Does the Anonymity of the Internet Allow People to Be Meaner?” notes that, “the ability to post angry or mean-spirited thoughts without tangible consequences could prove to be too much of a temptation for certain personalities.”

Because online anonymity does give us such leeway as to what we can say without getting any personal backlash from it, there is a natural feeling to just go in for the kill. While we may all be guilty of doing this a few times in out internet career, there are others that act this way on the regular. To must internet users, these types of anonymous users making hostile comments to others to stir up trouble are known as “trolls.” And hence, the act of saying these types of harsh things is called “trolling.” These people create a ruckus in the web community and “website moderators spend much of their time online deleting offensive messages and suspending the accounts of those who leave them” (“Does the Anonymity of the Internet Allow People to Be Meaner?“).

We all get frustrated, and we all need to vent. However, doing so in an anonymous chat room or website only seems to add fuel to the flame. Witnessing hostility on the internet really is inevitable, but it is my recommendation that you should personally try to avoid it. Just because you are fed up with your boss at work does not necessarily make it right to go berserk on a chat room and offend others- there’s therapists for that. Internet trolls are not a valued part of the web, and tend to be looked at as nuisances with nothing better to do then anonymously talk down on others they may not even know.

There are trouble-makers in the real world too, of course. But usually a tiff in person can spiral out of control and become hostile when carried out online, especially if the person is hiding their identity. Being anonymous has the ability to be a wonderful tool for speaking the mind without having to deal with the consequence of being ridiculed. The problem with this is when people purposely seek to cause damage to others while remaining anonymous. Trolling is a hassle to regular online users, and creates unwanted hostility that the web community can do without.

The Princess Herself, Meg Cabot

As a young adult/adult/children’s writer, Meg Cabot has my dream job. I know that I am an Elementary Education/ Writing Arts major, but being a well known author sounds much more appealing to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love working with children. But being paid to write stories on whatever I want seems like nothing!

My love for Meg Cabot began when I was in middle school. For Easter one year, The Princess Diaries trigly was in my Easter Basket. I had only heard of Meg Cabot here and there. I had never read anything by her, but was excited to get started.

Cover of "The Princess Diaries (Full Scre...

Cover via Amazon

The Princess Diaries was the first book I read and understood the meaning “I can’t put the book down!” Reading Meg Cabot’s books were always simple. There was never any trouble and they all flowed so smoothly. One book lead to the next and soon enough the series was over. Luckily, Meg Cabot has other series, so i obviously got started on them.

By following Meg Cabot on Twitter, I learned that she is coming out with a new young adult series. Though some may think that I am too old for her series, I like to think differently. Having wrote two children’s book, 41 teen books, and ten adult books, Meg Cabot can cover many genres in her writing.

Meg Cabot is following over 100,000 people on Twitter. Analyzing and making assumptions about her the people she is following is quite difficult. I did come to the conclusion that she follows a lot of females who are in college. This could be a stragegy to find out more about this age group because they are between young adult and adult books, so maybe she is trying to reach out to females this age. I can also conclude that she follows a lot of mothers. By reading people’s mini bios on their Twitter pages have taught me about these complete strangers. Many of them say they are mothers.

By following over 100,000 people, it is safe to say that Meg Cabot has a variety on her Twitter feed. I am sure that when and if she does go through it, she has many different genres at her fingertips. Meg Cabot’s follower list is just about the same size as her following list. This shows that she must use her twitter a lot. Meg Cabot also has her own website. Here you can find much more information about her than what is on her Twitter. Part of her website is her own diary. This is her own version of a blog. She has personal posts and posts written by her characters. Be sure to follow Meg Cabot to get her latest updates on her career!

Perks of Being an Anon

There’s a huge negative connotation to being anonymous on the internet these days and with all of the people who abuse their anonymity, you may be thinking what possible positive side to anonymity there could be. How could there possibly be something good about something that allows people to facelessly harass and generally annoy the shit out of others? Well, as I’ve always been told by heartfelt movies and TV shows, every cloud has a silver lining.

In an article by entitled “In Defense of Internet Anonymity”, author Wendy McElroy brings up a few major perks for anonymity. First, the anonymity of the internet allows you to be who you truly are without the fear of being judged. This is a huge plus for many ranging from LGBTQ people who are afraid of people who will judge them based on their sexuality to those who just want to get their stories and experiences out there into the world without showing their faces.

Another large perk to internet anonymity is the power to say anything you want. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t that one of the negative things about anonymity? You’d be correct, dear readerUntitled-1. However, when used correctly, anonymous words can be extremely powerful in a very positive way. Have you ever complained about your looks or your personality and had a friend reassure you that you were fine? I know when this happens to me, I always think about how they’re my friend, and they’re supposed to reassure me, and that makes it mean less. Well with anonymity online, this removes that thought entirely. If I go on Tumblr and post about how fat I think I am, I’m undoubtedly going to get anonymous messages reassuring me that I’m perfect the way I am. Could some of those be from my real life friends? Perhaps. But the fact that they say it anonymously proves that they mean it. I know, it sounds silly, but it’s true. It removes the friend-obligation we have to reassure our pals that they’re wonderful. Everything’s coming from the heart.

Being anonymous online is a freeing experience. It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to express your opinions without being immediately judged by others. I tell all of my friends that I hate Glee because they think it’s the dumbest show on television. On the internet, however, I can talk about how I’ve seen every episode and am heavily invested in Rachel and Finn’s relationship ups and downs. I can join this online community of people who like something I have to pretend to hate in real life, and I can talk about it freely. This is the beauty of the internet and its facelessness. As Wendy McElroy says in her article, “the right to withhold your identify, like the right to remain silent, is not the sign of a thug or child predator. It is the sign of a free human being.”

The Virtual Mask

As Bob Dylan once said “the times they are a changin”.  I remember when I was little the internet was non existent and gaming with your friends meant you were sharing a screen, and a couch in the same room.  Games like Contra,contra

 

were extremely easy to understand.  Run forward and shoot anything that moves.   The hard part of the game was typing in the cheat code for 30 lives.  Up, up down, down, left, right, left, right, a, b, start.  If you are over the age of 25 and that code is not embedded in your brain, then you missed out on a small piece of pop culture.

The landscape of games have changed, with playing online being a huge attraction for most gamers.  A gamer now can act inappropriately and have very little repercussions since the use of “usernames” are in effect and most people do not know the real person behind the virtual mask.halo4

Games like Halo 4, for example, offer online multiplayer games in the vast universe of “Halo”.  Players use a variety of weapons, and gadgets to defeat each other.  Some actually modify the game to gain an advantage.  This is against a moral code between players in Halo.  Yet there is very little one can do to stop this type of thing since the mask of a username hides their identity.