I wish I had known about this survey on cyber forensics done by Sydney Liles is a PhD student at Purdue University with the College of Technology and Marianne Hoebich is a MS student . They are both with Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) program at Purdue. I am not involved in cyber forensics, but I would have least liked to have seen what was on the survey, especially since it will be used to assist in the development of global standards on cyber law. I’ll have to see if I can find a way to keep up with this (it was hard to find in the first place) so that I can read the research when it comes out.
I got this in my email today:
“We need your help. We are researching how UNT students think and use computer games and every opinion is important. Consider that your next class could use games as a method of teaching.
Please take a few minutes and complete the secure survey at
(removed as it is for UNT students only)
Dr. Jones in the Dept of Learning Technologies is conducting research on Computer Gaming Habits and Attitudes of UNT Students.
Dept of Learning Technologies
I will definitely be taking this survey and I may even see if I can work myself into some of this research if they’ll have me!
I am currently pouring over about 60+ pages or so of interviews and focus group questions for my qualitative methods class on my relevant codes alone (4 very broad ones out of over 50 that go from broad to very specific). I am doing this so that I can then recode all of this information with more detailed and specific codes to make it easier to spot trends within the data my classmates and I have collected all semester long. This semester we are working with the Denton County Health Department to assess the general populations knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes concerning the seasonal, avian, and pandemic flu. My particular part of the assessment is on one of our major research questions, “What are the reasons why and ways in which the general population seeks out health information regarding seasonal, avian, and a possible pandemic flu, and which sources are considered most trusted?”. Though this doesn’t really sound like it has anything to do with cyber anthro, one interesting trend I see cropping up is how people view the Internet in terms of accessibility, health information, and trustworthiness.
I have to have my first round of analysis done by Wednesday night at midnight. I can imagine that the next three days I’ll be totally consumed with this research and will be posting anything relevant or interesting here. It’s hard to believe the end of the semester is only three weeks away, almost a disheartening revelation with the amount of work I have to get done!
I worked on a long eloquent post on the way to my father’s (where I am now) via my Blackberry. Apparently Opera Mini has no idea how to post to a Word Press blog, or Word Press was upset with Opera Mini and much to my irritation my post was eaten in transmission. So, here I am on my father’s eMac making a quick to post say as much. Perhaps I’ll try again tomorrow on the topic I was so very eloquent with. However, I am afraid it will not come out quite so eloquently the second time.
Even though I spend a lot of time online, it has been fun today to spend most of it away from the computer for a change. I reccomned that everyone do themselves a favor and separate themselves from the connection addiction every now and then. I actually spent the day doing the one thing I never do, watch TV! Of course, this was after a Black Friday run where I scored my very own Nintendo DS. I am most interested in it’s wireless capabilities of course!
Short post today on this holiday. I know there are some people out there who look to online friendships and relationships to get them through this time of year. If you’re a WoW player, perhaps you can finally do something about this! Why not try Datecraft a dating website for those who wish to find others as interested in the game as they are. It’s in beta right now so it will be interesting to see how it evolves from here.
Happiness is spending the day doing card sorting. Why does this make me happy? Well, it is me being able to apply my education as an anthropologist to my job as an information architect. So, I get to do anthropology and web development all rolled into one. It could only be better if I were being paid to do ethnographic studies within Warcraft. Here is a great article on what exactly card sorting is, and here is an interesting site on sorting data in general as it relates to other fields (including anthropology).
In class this week are we talking about Globalization and Arjun Appadurai which sparked some thoughts in me on how I’d like to study globalization through interactions online. What I am interested in is seeing the mashup of ethnoscapes, mediascapes, financescapes, and ideoscapes within and because of the technoscape. It’s amazing the adaptation of people and culture and as Appadurai put it, the indigenization or really the melding of cultures to create new ones that are not based off of any specific existing culture.
Take World of Warcraft for instance – it is an online game that over 9 million people play. These people come from all over the world to mingle online as they cooperate together to complete tasks and forge ahead to new and unexplored frontiers. Within this technoscape there is the ethnoscape of the different races of characters that each have their own history and part they play within the storyline. This is on top of considering the different ethnicities of players who play the game, each contributing their own point of view through play style and idea of what is important to them within and what brings them to this online world.
Due to this game being so extensive it is forced beyond its own pixel borders and into the expanse of the outside world of the Internet (as opposed to the enclosed game world). It does so in the form of external communities, blogs, and even internet movies that have their own storylines completely separate from the game. All of which form the game’s mediascape as well as ideoscape even in it’s political terms.
Add to that the economics that exist within the game in dealing with money, services, and goods and you can easily see it has its own financescape as well. This is especially evident when war efforts effect supply and demand, or rare world drops bring in a very pretty penny at the in-game auction house similar to ebay.
This is just one example. There are all sorts of places like this online, I’ve chosen to illustrate these points Warcraft because it is so expansive both through its player base (being the #1 MMO in the world) and its in-game dealings. It is likely the one online fully interactive game that can be considered ‘global’ at this time. This is, in my opinion, a great example of Appadurai’s imagined worlds.
On the subject I broached last night on parent supervision of adolescents online, here comes a story where even parent supervision failed in the end. First the St. Charles Journal broke the story, then CNN and ABC News reported on the story of 13 year old girl who after being taunted and defamed online, committed suicide. It turns out that the person who everyone thought had taunted her, a 16 year old boy on MySpace, was really the mother of a girl that Megan Meier had once been friends with. This woman had created a fake account in order to befriend Megan just so that in the end she could be hurtful to her.
Megan’s parents knowing their daughter’s history of depression, ADD, and weight problems, kept a watchful eye on Megan while she was online. Only they knew the password to her account and her profile was set to private so that all friend requests had to first be approved before anyone could see it. Her parents allowed her to accept the ‘boy’s’ friend request and kept an eye on their conversation. At first he was friendly to her. Had he not been, her parents would have terminated the friendship immediately. However, it is likely that because this persona was at first a friendly one that Megan gradually trusted it and was even excited by the fact she gained the attention of a ‘hot’ boy online. This is also why it would have hurt so badly to have him turn on her in such a hateful and malicious way and why, for a girl that had already had problems, it drove her to suicide in the end.
It was a matter of chance that Megan’s mother had been pressed for time leaving with Megan’s younger sister for the orthodontist as Megan began reading the horrible things this boy was saying about her. During a phone call Megan made to her mom crying, her mom urged her to log off immediately. Her mother returned to find Megan having said some mean things back to those that were being cruel to her as she ran away from the computer and up to her room. It was there, in her closet, that Megan hung herself.
What may be the worst part of it all, after their daughter’s death, Megan’s parents let the girl with whom Megan had once been friends with know that Megan had really valued their friendship. This family offered their condolences, invited Megan’s parents to their daughter’s birthday, and even had the Meiers store a Christmas present for them. It was only after another neighborhood girl came forward as to having known about the fake account that the Meiers found out who was really the person behind the boy that was so hurtful to their daughter. Now they had not only lost their daughter, but had also been ‘played’ by the family who had instigated their loss in the first place. The county prosecutor is now looking at ways to try to press charges in the case, while others infuriated with news outlets for protecting the name of the family involved decided to search it out and publicly publish it for all to see.
As far as cyber anthropology goes, this incident could have far reaching effects as Megan’s parents are trying to get laws enacted to protect children from harassment online. It will be interesting to see where this goes and what the trickle down affects are. I’m interested to hear other opinions on this and will continue to follow this story as it unfolds in the press and in the law books.
Just who is the most wired nation in the world? Well, Korea boasts this title and it may well be true with over 90% of Korean homes online. For a nation as well wired as Korea it has been suggested that many of its internet users have become compulsive or even addicted to being online. It is generally suggested that such addictions are only looked at as problems once they become disruptive to ever day life, causing behavior that is other abnormal and potentially damaging. Such is the case of people who die at their computers after days of endless online gaming. To combat such a problem, South Korea has instituted a first of its kind real world Boot Camp to help break the addiction.
During a session, participants live at the camp, where they are denied computer use and allowed only one hour of cellphone calls a day, to prevent them from playing online games via the phone. They also follow a rigorous regimen of physical exercise and group activities, like horseback riding, aimed at building emotional connections to the real world and weakening those with the virtual one.
While I agree that disruptive and damaging behavior caused by the internet is unhealthy and something should be done about it, my suggestion is to start from the other side. Instead of trying to correct the problem after it happens, how about prevent it before it occurs, especially when it comes to adolescents?
One participant, Lee Chang-hoon, 15, began using the computer to pass the time while his parents were working and he was home alone. He said he quickly came to prefer the virtual world, where he seemed to enjoy more success and popularity than in the real one.
He spent 17 hours a day online, mostly looking at Japanese comics and playing a combat role-playing game called Sudden Attack. He played all night, and skipped school two or three times a week to catch up on sleep.
I am in no position to place ‘blame’ anywhere, but I do have to question why was there a lack of parent forethought or supervision? I feel the same way about games being rated M or movies being rated R. Nothing should prevent access to the internet, or games being released, or movies being shown just because kids may or may not have access to them. Why should it become the industry’s or government’s burden to bare? Do the parents not hold any responsibility here? I wonder how long before a boot camp opens in the US. One think you can be sure of, unlike in South Korea where the government sponsors the camp, there will be no free help here.