Week 13: Thinking Critically about the Web

The internet has greatly affected the way that media is consumed globally. Within the past decade, media consumption has become non-stop. The internet now connects all of humanity on phones, music streaming, and even TV’s so there is literally no escaping the grasp of online media. Besides the fact that media is now always present in an individual’s life it also has created a larger sense of community that has never before existed within the history of mankind. People from all corners of the globe can connect because of a single idea, movie, or music group creating a new sense of wonder that could have never been done before. The internet as created a global community that absorbs different types of media and then the community reacts to it.

The reading also talked about the difficult balance between fans and the product owners. Logically fans cannot exist without the product and the product can not survive without fans, therefore creating a complicated cycle that quickly becomes a culture. When fans have a deep interest they create art, stories, mini-films, and a slue of other things; many product owners, however, try to stifle fans from doing so because it can cause copy write issues as well as creating an unwelcoming (explicit) environment for any new fans. So product owners legally restrict and hold the rights to their creations all while maintaining a fake “fan friendly” environment that seems to promote the creativity within fans. If product owners restrict their creations to heavily, the fan base will begin to leave due to most likely feeling unappreciated and not free to express their creative interest in the subject. This is the power cycle that fans and product owners, one cannot live without the other so therefore once the fans or the product owners back out the product ceases to exist.

Within the past four years, however, it has become almost impossible to stifle a fan base’s creative works. There are too many platforms and more importantly too many fans to watch and restrict from creating different works. The constant role of the internet has created an enormous fan environment that cannot be controlled by legal practices like fan bases were controlled during the previous decades.

The video game industry as I see it is built differently than most media industries. Video games rely on fan interaction to survive. This is extremely evident on how many different Youtube videos there are of individuals and channels playing video games just so other people can watch them play that game. By working directly with the fanbase of different video game franchise the product owners of video games have created an alternative form of advertising that they do not even have to initiate. Instead of video game owners trying to stifle fans who record their video game experience and release it, like many movie media companies do, they allow fan culture to drive future sales of their game and the industry.