Converging Cultures #101

Welcome to convergence culture, where in the words of Henry Jenkins, analogue and digital media collide and producers, prosumers and consumers interact in unpredictable ways

The concept of ‘The medium is the message’ plays an integral role within this converged society, where we see the medium as the nature and characteristics of anything we conceive or create, define the change of scale, pace or pattern which an innovative product introduces into human affairs, in others the message.

Dino Ignacio’s infamous series of ‘Bert is Evil’ images saw Sesame Streets character Bert interact with terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden to form a somewhat politically incorrect medium.

(Source: ‘Know Your Meme‘)

 Confronting? Just a little. Although there is no questioning that the above image (medium) is successful in fitting the criteria of ‘becoming the message’ as it challenges and shifts our opinions and political views on not only terrorism, but the light in which terrorism is viewed in this day and age.

Speaking of political views, the ‘Obama Campaign’ brings us to the concept that convergence is the flow of content across multiple media platforms and mediums, and can be identified by that of a transmedia project. The Obama Campaign has been to date one of the most successful non-fiction transmedia projects, where Obama gained international popularity through exploring and utilizing all forms of media to express his political views. Social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, where the Presidents followers on twitter exceed 12 965 057, as well as YouTube were used as a platform for Obama to distribute lectures, interviews and videos of campaigns, such as his victorious election speech in November of 2008.

For all you Matrix fans out there, the film itself has also proved to be an incredibly successful transmedia project. The action packed science fiction phenomenon has been converted into comic strips, video games, Lego toys, theatre plays and character costumes.

So in a little under 400 words, there is convergence for you. Day by day, minute-by-minute, ‘tweeting’ or simply viewing YouTube videos, whether you realise it or not you are immersing yourself into this converged culture that we like to call the 21st century.

(Quick Edit 28/3/2012)

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