video

From Sand to Skin

Talkin' About Technology, yet not restricted to.

Following on from my blog posts about the Buddhist Sand Mandala I bring a Prezi that encompasses the thought process and transition from researching the Buddhist Sand Mandala to having a Mandala tattooed on me. Enjoy.

https://prezi.com/s2dppoxhxji0/from-sand-to-skin-mandala-tattoo/

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Quality control

This week I also decided to look at the quality of the videos (The cutting the editing and the prime video quality available) and see if it was possible to see if good quality meant a better following. Of course that’s a rather ambitious to research as there is no concrete data, so I figure why not use a little bit of auto ethnography and consult a view articles that guarantee more viewers. For me, I LOVE good quality and well edited videos. I’ve tried to make videos in the past, for pleasure and for uni assignments and it’s a LONG process (particularly if you don’t really know what you’re doing). There is so much cutting and editing, I can really appreciate it. I don’t really like watching videos that are available in at least 480. Let me show you a difference in quality

Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 2.31.10 pm Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 2.30.45 pm

One is 240 and one is 1080, I’m sure you can pick the difference!

From my own observations I can only assume others feel similar to the way I do. I like to watch videos that are of good quality because they feel more professional and easy to watch. I scoured the ‘tube to try and find some bad quality videos that have gained loads of views but haven’t come up with anything concrete. I think it also differs in what content you offer. Some subcultures of YouTube expect different things. A certain way something should be cut, edited and presented. Some areas have intros and others spend more time discussing comments and other platforms. On a side note, I came across lots of articles that suggest “buying YouTube views”. Has anyone heard of this? As far as I’m aware, YouTube are pretty savvy and will delete your account if they notice something suspicious. Although this trusty wikihow provided some interesting tips into quality of videos! This guy is probably my favourite though http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-YouTube-Star

English subtitles for Japanese Ghosts

While searching for Japanese ghost videos on YouTube I came across the above show. It seems to be a sort of reality TV show where they get people to watch a series of viral ghost videos and get their reactions. I’m unsure of the name of the show or of its popularity, but it’s existence and over 2 million YouTube views give some evidence to the pervasiveness of the horror genre in Japanese popular culture. 

The Ghost videos are all edited or faked, some significantly better than others, but still give off a creepy vibe followed by a good jump scare. Once the clip has played the show plays an instant replay of the jump scare but still with live footage of the people watching, seeing their horror intensify as they are forced to watch the scare again. 

After watching about 15 minutes of the show and understanding none of the Japanese being spoken I was a bit lost on the purpose or context of the show. I trawled the comments for some sort of insight and saw one user mention Closed Captions. I then realised that YouTube had Closed Captions available for the video, albeit in Japanese. Luckily Google has integrated all of its services so it can instantly translate the Japanese subtitles into plain English for me…
re-watching one of the clips (at 9:40) the only context it gave me was “Damage due to High Crude Oil prices also a profound…” JUMPSCARE! so that didn’t really help my understanding at all. Even further into the video I’m great with this translation

the installed ratattat

 

Which again gives me no context or understanding. Just an urge to make this

install

This week I was trying to look at viral Japanese ghost videos as a peripheral media and potentially look at the digital stories they told. Instead I was left struggling with translation and laughing at horrible subtitles, let’s call that a success.

-Nathan Smith

Gaming Cafés

With the people, if someone wants to play a video games, you buy an expensive computer or a console.  If you want to play with your friends you either hook it up to the internet or you struggle to get the damn thing over to your friends house and hook them all up to the local modem.  It’s not easy.  Only recently did I hear about the notion of gaming cafés.  They’re like internet cafés but come with popular games installed so that everyone in the café can play together.

It’s a nifty idea that no one ever seems to have thought of here.  After looking a couple of them up I realised I had walked past a couple before but never really thought about it, disregarding them as the boring internet versions.  Even still, they always seem to be empty.  The only time I’ve ever seen more than two people in one of these cafés is in my briefs forays into chinatown, but I didn’t really notice what they were playing.  The notion of having to leave home and go somewhere I’m not socially comfortable with is totally foreign to me.

The idea could be kind of cool though.  Personally I like to play Magic: The Gathering.  For the uninitiated it’s like playing the grown up version of Pokemon cards.  For the initiated I’m sorry but that’s the fastest way to make people unfamiliar understand what’s going on without a lengthy explanation.  You can’t play a paper card game online so I have gone to events to play with people I don’t know and made new friends.  I guess it’s the same with the gaming cafés, going somewhere to both enjoy your hobby and play with like-minded people.

The more I think about this the more I wish that I was old enough to remember the game arcades of yesteryear, here people were almost forced together to play together, to compete together, to share a hobby.  Which was something I never had.  For me, games were never that social an aspect of my life until recently, which I think is a product of me living in Australia where physical sports are much more popular and sports personalities can become celebrities.

Professional Gamers? They exist?

I’m not sure you’re 100% aware of this but yes, there are people who play video games as a professional sport.  I’m going to ignore the debate about whether or not Starcraft counts as a sport and focus more on on of the pro players Kim “herO” Joon Ho.

Pictured: Sport

Pictured: Sport

Kim is from South Korea, where they treat pro gamers the same way America treats pro football players.  I know it sounds a little strange doesn’t it, something we’re not used to here in Australia.  It’s difficult to get a handle on just how popular pros like Kim are.  

Part of the lifestyle is living in a team house.  The whole team lives, eats, sleeps in the same building so that they can focus on their craft.  Kim is no exception, being part of team CJ Entus,  so public appearances seem to only happen during tournaments or events organised by CJ Entus for the sake of publicity.  Most of the interviews he partakes in are after the series of games he has played.

Kim in his most recent interview. Notice the amount of sponsors (source)

In my opinion it wouldn’t hurt to have professional games become popular in the west either.  When I was growing up everyone was into their sport of choice, my family was into soccer more than might be considered healthy, and I was almost alone being interested in video games.  I know most people never grow up to become professional football players but it would have been nice to have some sort of aspirations of professionalism rather than just be playing what everyone called “silly games.”

In fact if it weren’t for tournaments with their own celebrities, like the Global Starcraft League (GSL), games might not have taken off today in the same manner.  Games like Starcraft and DotA are much more popular in South Korea than they ever were in the west, resulting in the 11 year wait between the initial release of Starcraft and the sequel.   It’s interesting to me though that these games are all manufactured by companies from America, instead of local companies making similar games in a more familiar language for people like Kim to excel at.

All in all, I can’t wait for pro gaming to become mainstream enough that I can say what I watched instead of the Superbowl at family gatherings.