What Is Convergence culture?


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A Presentation on the topic of Media Convergence with particular reference to the research of Henry Jenkins

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What Is Convergence culture?

  1. 1. What is 'Convergence Culture'? “We are entering an era where media will be everywhere, and we will use all kinds of media in relation to one another...” Henry Jenkins, Convergence? I Diverge, 2001 Tom, David, Lewis
  2. 2. What Is Media Convergence? ● The combination of new media and old media within a single piece of media work – the coming together of different media products/technology. – For example, video gaming – using old media (television) to play games from new media technology in the form of a games console (e.g. Xbox, Playstation, etc.), rather than simply watching programmes or films. – Another example, is using a mobile phone to listen to music, using the old media idea of personal music players, but applying it to the new media ideas of a mobile phone that incorporates multiple platforms of media technology. (explored more later on)
  3. 3. Technological Convergence ● The digitisation of all media content. When words, images and sounds are transformed into digital information, we expand the potential relationships between them and enable them to flow across platforms. – The joining of multiple media technologies. For example, a mobile phone is expected to make and receive calls and text messages. However, as the technology has evolved, they can now take pictures, record video, play games, access the internet, and can be used as mp3 players. It is the convergence of many media technologies allowing one media product to perform many different tasks.
  4. 4. Economic Convergence ● Is the horizontal integration of the entertainment industry. Companies such as Sony and (the former) AOL-TimeWarner now have interests in film, TV, books, games, the internet, music, real estate, etc. ● This is resulting in the transmedia exploitation of branded properties including Star Wars, Pokémon and Harry Potter (to mention just a few). All have other forms of media associated with the original product, in order to expand the potential audience and saturate the market.
  5. 5. Star Wars – Originally a film Pokemon – Video Game Harry Potter – Book Now – books, comics, TV series, merchandise, video games, soundtrack CDs, etc Now – TV series, film, books, trading card game, merchandise Now – films, merchandise, video games, soundtrack CDs
  6. 6. Social or Organic Convergence ● When users utilise multiple media technologies simultaneously, such as listening to music whilst watching TV or playing video games.
  7. 7. Cultural Convergence ● When the 'audience' becomes the 'user'. Media technology has given the 'audience' the tools to “archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate content.” ● Companies use this to create low-cost content. ● Outsourcing – using 'user-generated' content in internet programmes (and sometimes films/TV) shown on sites including Youtube, e.g. The Machinima styled Red vs. Blue, an example of human-computer interaction and interactivity, one of the key trends associated with 'new media' – 'play, create, upload, watch, share.”
  8. 8. Global Convergence ● The cultural hybridity that develops from the international circulation of media content. ● Cinema – the global circulation of Asian Popular Cinema profoundly shapes Hollywood entertainment. Many well-known Asian Actors often crossover to Western Cinema, including Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon & Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End see below), Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers & Rush Hour 2 see below) and Jackie Chan (Drunken Master & also Rush Hour 2) ● This is an example of the experience of being a citizen of the 'global village'.
  9. 9. Conclusion ● These multiple forms of media convergence are leading us toward a digital renaissance – a period of transition and transformation that will affect all aspects of our lives. ● Media convergence is sparking a range of social, political, economic and legal disputes because of conflicting goals of consumers, producers and gatekeepers. ● These contradictory forces are pushing towards cultural diversity, homogenization, commercialisation and towards grassroots cultural production. – Henry Jenkins
  10. 10. ● Media Convergence is what makes humans dependent on media. The convergence of media products/technology means that, in theory, we do not have to leave our homes as (almost) everything can be achieved at the touch of a button. “The digital renaissance will be the best of times and the worst of times, but a new cultural order will emerge from it...”