Digital Literacies

Researching New Literacies, Learning and Everyday Life

Archive for the ‘play’ Category

Traditional Game Play and the Digital

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A friend on my Facebook filmed herself involved in a strange ritual involving a plastic cup and some clapping. I watched it several times and then posted a comment to ask what it was all about.

It turned out, in order to understand, that I should have had my volume playing while I was watching, but also I needed to know the cultural back story. The song my friend was singing was related to a film, Pitch Perfect.
In the film they sing what has become known as ‘The Cup Song’.

It appears that this song is quite a trend – or I assume – was a trend. The film was made in 2012. Looking on YouTube there are loads of examples of girls doing the song – to different levels of expertise of course. This is my personal favourite:

The singing is superb. But it’s in the kitchen so has the charm of the amateur – something I love about YouTube.

And here is a tutorial (also in a kitchen):

(Maybe kitchens are a theme – the cup song maybe requires it. Sorry but I will not watch the whole film just to check).

Again, there are loads of these tutorials. Which I assume it is better to watch on slow and repeatedly. It seems the girls are all looking at each other’s videos; choosing to make one’s own is about social participation, joining in the action, parallel play on a global scale. There is a sense of this game playing involving participants across the life span. I think it’s wonderful!

It reminded me of my school days, when the girls would pass on songs and clapping routines in the playground. I used to love doing them. I especially loved doing them in big groups all together, singing really loudly. For some reason our teachers sometimes shook their heads at the dances that might go with our songs. Maybe they were a bit precocious – I remember one song referring to Dinah Dors!. (You can imagine the actions!)

But I love that this tradition goes on, partly with the aid of digital technology. It’s all been written about already by Jackie Marsh and Julia Bishop.
I think this playing online shows people interacting with those they already know – making films together – as well as with people they don’t know – the invisible audience and commenters. When I was a kid we performed sometimes for our teachers, sometimes parents. We taught the songs to each other – but mainly we just liked singing and clapping together. It was quite a physical way of showing friendship.

Play, media and commercial culture from the 1950s to the present day

Written by DrJoolz

May 25th, 2015 at 9:23 pm

Keeping Going

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The thing I like about Christmas is that I get hardly any emails from work; normally when I am on holiday, nobody else is – like in the summer we take holidays one after the other so that there is always someone around to deal with ‘stuff’. So the place keeps going and the emails keep coming. It is the down side of going on holiday – you choose whether to keep looking in your inbox while away, or whether to come back to a deluge. But at Christmas we all take a break and it is such bliss knowing that my inbox is not getting crammed full of demands, whines, instructions, requests etc etc. I am less afraid of my computer at Christmas and so in that case feel more relaxed about going online .. knowing I can come along and play on Flickr and do blogging, facebook and Twitter (etc), with no pressure from elsewhere.
Doesn’t sound like me?? Much as I wax lyrical about the wonderfulness of technology, (and you can barely tear me away most of the time), it does mean that my work can get at me 24/7; even when on a weekend away or a holiday, I will always look at work email as it is always just a window away or sharing the mailbox with all the other messages needed to run my life. It’s a click that takes you into work … and a click that can get you so totally stressed out very quickly. This merging of the public/private and home/work identities can be a ball … but it is sometimes SUCH a tyranny. (And I know you all know EXACTLY where I am coming from here).

So yes, I have been having some time to play with my camera, take photos for fun and mess around in photoshop. So I have been into town and taken in an exhibition .. ‘Can Art Save us?’ Seriously it was incoherent and just yet another excuse for Sheffield Museums to drag out the old Ruskin stuff again. It dominated the exhibition and I have got bored of reading about his philosophy of art and education. (There was a Tom Hunter portrait but I have seen it before and it was one of about three pieces I liked). Don’t go – save your self the £4.00. (Better to go to Graves Gallery nearby as we did yesterday and see the Mapplethorpe show and The Comedians).

Checked out the street art (by Phlegm) I had seen on Clydehouses’ Flickr stream the other day; and took a few shots myself:

vexatious stuff

house stealing man

Hoodie detail

I also loved today this website which hosts ‘one sentence stories’. Made me think you could play with that idea on Twitter.

Written by DrJoolz

December 31st, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Wii had a blast

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I do love the Wii Fit which Rosa got me for my birthday last year. We have had a scream playing on it – enjoying it as a family and ending up really competitive on the leader board.
It is obviously fast becoming the centre of family fun for others too. Flickr is full of images tagged as ‘Family’ and ‘Wii’ and there are marvellous shots of people having a great time – many of whom you would imagine were not ‘into’ technology. Such as this.And this.

There are some fabulous groups for people to put their Wii photos in as well. One of my favourites is Wii Motion here.

Of course if you are not satisfied with the aesthetics of still photography, YouTube has some classic shorts now. Take for example the much loved bowling one.


Oh No. It just seems so real when you are playing:

It seems that schools have cottoned on to the fact that people who don’t normally play sport, will actually participate in Wii activities. The Mail has this piece today, talking about how one school is allowing kids who are too embarrassed to do ‘conventional’ PE lessons will do Wii Fit stuff. I am interested mainly in the comments that follow this piece; they vary from those commending the school, saying that PE lessons in the past have often been of a bullying mach nature (etc ) and that this is a welcome change – to the ‘they have it too good these days’ type of approach. For example we have Beckie from Bristol saying:

Oh diddums – when I was a kid we HAD to do physical exercise – PE. Like it or not you did it and no excuses. Forgot your kit – no worries, the school always had spares. Funny thing happened – no fatties back then

While Derek says:

At least it’s a constructive approach, when I was at school the games teachers were a byword for sadism and sarcasm unbridled by any notion of their true value which was a big zero.

I love it that you can make comments on news reports these days and I also love it that you can vote for which comments you agree with.

Despite the fact that many commentators worry about new technologies making for isolated individuals who have nothing to do with each other, I see a lot of evidence that technology aids participation. This is confirmed By Pew’s report about Technology and Social Isolation.

Written by DrJoolz

November 25th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

My little podcast thing

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I have just done my first podcast. I wanted to check that it was easy to do … and it IS!! (I mention this new course in the recording.)

All I needed was to go the website, register and that was it. I recorded straight onto my powerbook and it just did it – no outside microphone or owt. Just stared at the screen and spoke.

So that’s that decided. I am going to do so many of these things that you will be sick of hearing my voice. ( I would like to have a different accent.)

Things to say about it … I don’t sound like me. I repeat myself. I talk rubbish. And at the end I say ‘Grrreat’ instead of ‘great’.

I think in fact that I need to script these things or at least make notes of what to include.

So yes, it is a learning experience. techNOLOGY = easy. TechNEEK – bad.

Makes me realise exactly how clever these young journalists are.

And in the meantime poor old Sheffield is still suffering. TT told me outallnight had some great shots of the effects of the flood as opposed to the floods itself ….

here is part of the busiest motorway in the UK – closed due to floods higher up ….

The Flood! Motorway closed - very eerie

The Flood! M1 closed...once in a lifetime!

Well done to outallnight whose full set of flood photos are here.

Written by DrJoolz

June 28th, 2007 at 4:34 pm

new technologies

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My New Apple does not seem to work as well as some of the others.


(I have been silly again. See full set here.)

Written by DrJoolz

June 17th, 2007 at 8:29 am