Digital gaming, racial and ethnic identity, and social justice


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  • This book is on sale at Amazon it’s about user generated content such as AIM buddies, digital signatures, pregnancy avatars, and representations of race in sci fi film How do users of color and other marginalized groups use the Internet to create visual images of racialized bodies?
  • This is a piece in process, a talk that’s not yet a paper. It will eventually be a book chapter in my own book Incivility and lack of privacy are two often cited reasons that users of the Internet are cautious/critical of an otherwise wonderful and useful technology Virtual migrancy—racialized community Gold farmers saying that communication is impossible—their job cannot be spoken
  • The future of the past—ten years ago—picture the world of ICT related work as populated by adults, by well paid and highly trained cosmopolitans, all of whom are legal workers. The reality is that while much telematic or work at a distance is done by people in other nations, transnationally, many are not highly paid, and many are not legal, violating terms of service. Work performed in virtual world games like WoW and social networks like MySpace are varyingly lucrative. Contrast Worldcom’s vision of telematic labor with this gold farmer’s:
  • Nerd Credentials: Move from asian avenue—kicked off for indecency after being “top rated girl” Move to facethejury and friendster—kicked off there as well Creation of—imitation of Dani’s Hot Spot, the first really popular porn website, bought by playboy, built with html Move to Myspace after invitation by tom Anderson,
  • Claiming the “Slut” identity as part of the Nerd identity—an Asian cultural formation made of the model minority myth along with the hypersexual stereotype of Asian women (Parrenas)
  • This is my own process, but it doesn’t have to be yours the order of these items could be very different for you, but for me the first thing is to identify what I want to write about: all academic writing should be informative, should teach the reader something new, internet studies is full of really sexy things to write about—for instance just this morning I saw that Mel Gibson was reported to have used the word “nigger” in a leaked communique, and Tina Brown argued that the Internet permitted more transparency that was good for women. My examples: Gold farmers and sex workers in social networking sites—both asian diasporic groups. But as dutton has said many times before, Internet research has to be more than descriptive if it is to survive. Put together a couple of cases and see what they mean, either together or separately. My research problem is “how are forms of transnational labor at a distance, coming from Asia, being received by their respective communities? How is anti-immigration rhetoric informing this new kind of labor, and what is unique or different about its being on the Internet? What is medium specific?” It’s good to put this in your paper. How can I figure this out? Looking at other scholarship and documentary material about gold farmers and racism as well as Tila Tequila’s memoir and material from her blog and the media representations help me get at this How do I know who will want to read this, or what the niche is? Asian American Studies and ethnic studies has focused on labor, migration, citizenship forever. This is a variation of this focus. Internet studies has looked at identity, media production, and global disttribution for a long time. Social networking research is robust but hasn’t looked much at the role of Asian identity Incorporating feedback: present your work as often as possible, make revisions based on what you hear even if it’s hard work. First impulse is to preserve as much of what you originally wrote as possible, to be “efficient.” this is less efficient in the short term. Learn as much as you can, don’t recycle your own work under the guise of “polishing,” value the feedback you get because it will be scarce when you’re a faculty and nobody’s obliged to read it. Christian Fuchs told me that gold farmers and Tila Tequila have a very different class status, even if they share a race one, so I need to fix that. If listeners can’t tell what your research question is or don’t agree, that’s bad.
  • Digital gaming, racial and ethnic identity, and social justice

    1. 1. Race in Cyberspace , Routledge, 2000 Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet , Routledge, 2002
    2. 2. Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet, University of Minnesota Press, 2008 AAAS Book Award Winner, 2010
    3. 3. illegal workers in virtual worlds: unfree labor, incivility, and the new orientalism Lisa Nakamura, Director, Asian American Studies Program University of Illinois, urbana champaign
    4. 6. w
    5. 9. image credit: hooking up with tila tequila, tequila, tila and sarah tomlinson, new york: scribner, 2008.
    6. 10. Interdisciplinary internet studies <ul><li>Identifying compelling examples or cases </li></ul><ul><li>Defining a research problem </li></ul><ul><li>Framing a researchable question </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying a research niche or reader need </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate feedback from readers/audience members </li></ul>