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You Tube Pranks: Schadenfreude and the Scary Maze

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Research study compares "scary maze game" YouTube videos in U.S. and Germany to advance reflective thinking about the ethical and social relationships between victims, pranksters and their audiences.

Research study compares "scary maze game" YouTube videos in U.S. and Germany to advance reflective thinking about the ethical and social relationships between victims, pranksters and their audiences.

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  • 1. You Tube Pranks: Schadenfreude and the Scary Maze Renee Hobbs Media Education Lab Harrington School of Communication & Media University of Rhode Island USA Silke Grafe Ruhr-Universität Bochum Department of Education Bochum, Germany National Communication Association Washington DC | November 21, 2013
  • 2. The „Maze Game“ on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_y8RdJ0HzY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2R9YTXJeWE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyOr9RAMzmM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-MAR7n3qrQ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQff6yj6vWA
  • 3. Research questions 1. Are there differences between German and US examples of user-generated video depicting user reaction to the “scary maze game”? 2. Are there specific features of these videos that contribute to their popularity? How to engage adolescents in dialogue about transgressive media experiences that can stimulate critical thinking, building empathy and moral reasoning? Research Design and Methodology Content analysis of 194 German & U.S. pranking videos
  • 4. Scary Maze Prank The Original Steffenelite feat. Googlecheep - Scary Maze Source of images: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oh87njiWTmw
  • 5. YouTube as a mass medium viral videos Online origins in 2002: “scare pranks” or “scary mazes” global phenomenon Sources of images: lead.jpg, http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/134/6/3/Man_Scared_Face_Reference_by_ahtibat_stock.jpg, http://im.videosearch.rediff.com/thumbImage/videoImages/videoImages1/youtube/rdhash4/W2R9YTXJeWE.gif
  • 6. YouTube videos uploaded with “scary maze game” tag Week of November 2013: 1,600 Last 30 Days: 12,300 Last Year: 79,800 Sources of images: lead.jpg, http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/134/6/3/Man_Scared_Face_Reference_by_ahtibat_stock.jpg, http://im.videosearch.rediff.com/thumbImage/videoImages/videoImages1/youtube/rdhash4/W2R9YTXJeWE.gif
  • 7. Historical and Theoretical Background PRANKS are historically welldocumented in ancient and medieval literature
  • 8. Historical and Theoretical Background PRANKS are historically welldocumented in ancient and medieval literature Television pranking: “Candid Camera”, “Verstehen Sie Spaß”
  • 9. Historical and Theoretical Background PRANKS are historically welldocumented in ancient and medieval literature Television pranking: “Candid Camera”, “Verstehen Sie Spaß” Children are exposed to inappropriate/transgressive video content Source of images: http://mediamusings.dsc.rmit.edu.au/files/2011/05/mr-schadenfreude.png
  • 10. Schadenfreude is defined as ridicule and destructive humor Source of images: http://mediamusings.dsc.rmit.edu.au/files/2011/05/mr-schadenfreude.png
  • 11. Research Methods Sample. 194 YouTube videos using the phrases “maze game” and “erschrocken maze game” between April 5th – April 25, 2010. Criteria for Inclusion. Explicit or implicit geographic identification (Germany – United States) Method. Two coders who were native English and German speakers coded a sample of videos to develop and refine our codebook. Interrater reliability between .86 – 1.00. 11
  • 12. Variables of Interest Victim, perpetrator and witness identity demographics Anticipatory set of victim Visual depiction of fright verbal reaction physical reaction length of the scare reaction Use of editing techniques Popularity Index: Number of views / days since publication Viewer Engagement Index: number of ratings, number of video responses, and number of written comments. 12
  • 13. Characteristics of Most Popular Scary Maze Game Videos Example 1 Example 2
  • 14. Selected Results Characteristics of Most Popular Scary Maze Game Videos Example 3 Example 4
  • 15. Comparing US and German Pranking Videos anticipatory set 8% > 17% post scare reaction (sec.) 28 (49) > 13 (18) editing intro and/or titles 31% music 12.9% slow motion 14.9% looping of emotional response 17.8% N = 194 > > > > 8.6% 7.5% 6.5% 5.4%
  • 16. 16
  • 17. Differences between US and German videos Age prankster victim 0-12 26.7 7.5 2.0 1.1 13-19 45.5 73.1 67.3 89.2 20 + 25.7 19.4 21.8 6.5
  • 18. Core Principles of Media Literacy Education media literacy produce analyze become aware access evaluate inquire communicate criticize reflect express participate “media competence” media in a variety of forms
  • 19. Exploring Online Videos: A Lesson for Grades 7 – 9 Learning Outcomes: Students will • recognize different ways to categorize online videos by personal pleasure, genre, purpose, author, and audience response • use charts and graphs to record & visualize data • strengthen discussion, listening, speaking and analysis skills • use comparison-contrast to identify patterns in media messages • reflect on the ethical relationship between the author, subject and audiences of online videos
  • 20. Engage Online Videos: What we like and dislike
  • 21. Analyze How to Categorize Internet Video? • • • • • Videos I Like – Videos I Dislike Music Video – Movies – Sports – Reality, etc. Amateur – Professional Information – Entertainment – Persuasion Socially Acceptable – Controversial WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT THESE WAYS OF CATEGORIZING INTERNET VIDEOS?
  • 22. Transition: The Scary Maze Game Videos Basic facts and student familiarity Sharing our reactions
  • 23. Analyze: create a chart WHAT PATTERNS IN SCARY MAZE VIDEOS CAN YOU FIND? URL WHO IS THE HOW DOES THE VICTIM? VICTIM REACT? WHO IS THE PRANKSTER? HOW DOES THE PRANKSTER REACT?
  • 24. Learn and discuss A Social Taboo Becomes Normalized
  • 25. Reflect Reflecting on the social responsibilities of Authors and Audiences Subject (Victim) Audience Author (Prankster) Discussing moral dilemmas: Imagine your best friend asks you to upload a scare prank video of his little sister to YouTube. What would you do?
  • 26. Renee Hobbs Media Education Lab Harrington School of Communication and Media University of Rhode Island Silke Grafe Ruhr-Universität Bochum Department of Education Bochum, Germany http://mediaeducationlab.com http://www.ife.rub.de/ unterrichtsforschung Email: hobbs@uri.edu Email: silke.grafe@rub.de