Ooh, I heard through the grapevine that I got a lovely NPR shout-out this weekend. So I went to the online archive to check it out.
This week's "On the Media" segment explores the online story phenomenon of the summer: the YouTube lonelygirl15 saga. Given the phenomenon's close relationship to alternate reality games and other unframed fictional media, I was glad to be name dropped as a researcher of this kind of collective, investigative entertainment experience. :)
Better yet, the observations about the emerging lonelygirl5 community made by New York Times' Virginia Heffernan are really spot-on and wonderful. It's a great segment, and I'm really excited that Virginia has taken up the lead in reporting on what's really interesting here-- not the "is she (real) or isn't she" question, but rather the amazing conversations, investigations and relationships growing out of the audience's consideration of that question.
Virginia calls it a kind of "scholarship, almost" that is taking place in the chats and boards, and I couldn't agree more. (In fact, a new essay I'm writing for a collection on Digital Games and Learning describes alternate reality gameplay as an extremely rich, open learning culture.)
You can listen to the NPR segment here.
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That's a great segment a nice explanation of what's happening. And you're right, the observations that she made are excellent.
I was really thrilled to see something like LonelyGirl15 get positive media coverage, especially by an outlet like NYT.
So much of what's written about online gaming and ARGs and whatnot is focused on the gimmick of it all - "isn't this neat? They used Flash!" - and less on the community, the scholarship, and the relationships that get formed around these games, which in my opinion, are the things that really turn the crank of the imagination.
Anyways, I was happy to see intellectual coverage of the LG15 saga and holy crap, love On the Media. That's just too cool.
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