Handout King, Feminist Worlding: workshop with WMST 619, 8 March 2013 with Jarah Moesch: jarah.

mo@gmail.com (“Feminist Worlding,” http://femworlding.blogspot.com/; Social Media Learning: http://socmedlearn.blogspot.com/) Genres of participation and practice in media ecologies: hanging out, messing around, geeking out Katie King, Women's Studies, University of Maryland, College Park/Email: katking@umd.edu Home Page: http://katiekin.weebly.com/ Twitter: @katkingumd; in Second Life: Katie Fenstalker (you can friend me)
“…in line with approaches that see knowledge and expertise as embedded in social groups with particular media identities…. ‘Hanging out,’ ‘messing around,’ and ‘geeking out’ describe differing layers of investments in new media activities in a way that integrates an understanding of technical, social, and cultural patterns…. The genres of participation that emerged from our research can be viewed as an alternative to existing taxonomies of media engagement that generally are structured by the type of media platform, frequency of media use, or structural categories such as gender, age, or socioeconomic status…. Our approach… [focuses] on how social and cultural categories are cut from the same cloth as media engagement, rather than looking at them as separate variables…our genre-based approach emphasizes modes of participation with media, not categories of individuals.” (Ito 2010: 35-6)

References: • Ito, M. et al. (2010). Hanging out, messing around, and geeking out. Cambridge: MIT. Free download at: http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/hanging-out-messing-around-and-geeking-out • “Feminist Worlding: Media Ecologies Learning.” Co-authored with Jarah Moesch. Chapter in Feminist Cyberspaces, pp. 14-32. Edited by Sharon Collingwood, Alvina E. Quintana, and Caroline J. Smith. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2012. (Included in sample pdf: www.c-s-p.org/Flyers/978-1-4438-3633-3-sample.pdf) • Online SL Quickstart Guide here: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Second-LifeQuickstart/ta-p/1087919?lang=en-US ; install viewer from here: http://secondlife.com/ • Want to try out an online game? Pottermore: http://www.pottermore.com/ ; Fallen London: http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/ ; Grow a Game Online: http://www.tiltfactor.org/growagame/play.html USEFULLNESS OF GENRE-BASED APPROACH (37; emphasis mine) “First, it enables us to move away from the assumption that individuals have stable media identities that are independent of contexts and situations…many youth craft multiple media identities that they mobilize selectively depending on context…. Second, the notion of genre moves away from a focus on media platform…and shifts our attention to the crosscutting patterns that are evident in media context, technology design, as well as in the cultural referents that youth mobilize in their everyday communication. Finally, genre analysis relies on what we believe is an appropriately interpretative model of analyzing social and cultural patterns. Rather than suggesting that we can clearly define a boundary between practices in a categorical way, genres rely on an interpretation of an overall ‘package’ of style and form. Genres of participation take shape as an overall constellation of characteristics, and are constantly under negotiation and flux as people experiment with new modes of communication and culture. In this way, it is a construct amenable to our particular methods and approach to looking at a dynamic and interrelated media ecology.” COMPARE TO SOME TRANSVERSAL VERSIONS OF INTERSECTIONALITY AS DYNAMIC VARIATION HANGING OUT (38-9) “…how youth mobilize new media communication to construct spaces for copresence where they can engage in ongoing, lightweight social contact that moves fluidly between online and offline contact… how youth use new media to be present in multiple social spaces, hanging out with friends in online space while pursuing other activities concurrently offline….online communication as a persistent space of peer sociability where they exercise autonomy for conversation that is private or primarily defined by friends and peers….’ambient virtual co-presence.’” COMPARE TO FEMINIST ACTIVISMS AND SOCIALITIES NOT DEFINED BY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTS WORK-AROUNDS, BACK CHANNELS, AND MULTITASKING (47-50; emphasis mine) “The desire to restrict hanging-out practices at school in favor of keeping students ‘on task’ while using media and technology for production or research, combined with concerns about which media and websites are suitable for citation (e.g., Wikipedia and .edu sites), can prompt teachers and principals to develop rules about the appropriate use of media structures. // In response to these regulations, teenagers develop work-arounds, ways to subvert institutional barriers to hanging out while in school…. // These work-arounds and back channels are ways in which kids hang out together, even in settings that are not officially sanctioned for hanging out… adept at maintaining a continuous presence in multiple social communication contexts… or engaging in multiple social contexts concurrently…. // The social desire to share space and experiences with friends is supported now by a networked and digital media ecology that enables these fluid shifts in attention and copresence, between online and offline contexts.” MESSING AROUND (54, 56-7; 76) “…messing around as a genre of participation represents the beginning of a more intense engagement with new media. …’fortuitous searching’ …’Experimentation and Play’ …’Finding the Time, Finding the Place’ …” //

“Without having to risk displaying their ignorance, they find that opportunities for legitimate peripheral participation (Lave and Wenger 1991) abound online…. // Online sites, forums, and search engines augment existing information resources by lowering the barriers to looking around in ways that do not require specialized knowledge to begin. Looking around online and fortuitous searching can be a self-directed activity that provides young people with a sense of agency, often exhibited in a discourse that they are ‘self-taught’ as a result of engaging in these strategies.” “…it is also a transition zone along a continuum between geeking out and hanging out and between interest-driven and friendship-driven participation.” COMPARE SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES TO LEGITIMATE PERIPHERAL PARTICIPATIONS & FEMINIST ACTIVIST AND SCHOLARLY CONTINUITIES AND DISTINCTIONS EXPERIMENTING AND PLAY (58, 61) “…messing around also involves a great deal of trial and error…much of contemporary gaming is built on the premise that players will engage in a great deal of experimentation on their own in a context of social support…. // Messing around is easiest when kids have consistent, high-speed Internet access, when they own gadgets such as MP3 players and DVD burners, and when they have a great deal of free time, private space, and autonomy. However, these are not necessary conditions for messing around. Some of the innovative experimentation in youth’s messing around was seen in their circumventing limited media access.” FINDING THE TIME, FINDING THE PLACE (65) “Unlike learning in more structured settings, messing around often hinges on certain modes of sociability and play, along with access to resources on a timely and as-needed basis. As we outline, even youth with well-provisioned media environments can lack the time and social resources to successfully mess around with media. Messing around is therefore a powerful modality of learning that requires a whole ecology of resources, including time and space for experimentation.” NOTICE HOW MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANY NOTION OF ‘ACCESS’ THUS HAS TO BE GEEKING OUT (65) “This genre primarily refers to an intense commitment or engagement with media or technology, often one particular media property, genre, or a type of technology…. // although ‘geeking out’ describes a particular way of interacting with media and technology, this genre of participation is not necessarily driven by technology. The interests that support and encourage geeking out can vary from offline, nonmediated activities…to media-driven interests… which are larger than the technological component of the interest.” HANGING OUT INTERSECTS WITH GAME PRACTICE (206, 212, 213, 220) “…the hangout out genre of gaming represents a relatively democratic and accessible form of play…. // recreational gaming is a site of activity where more friendship-driven modes of gaming move fluidly into messing around and geeking out. As a genre of play, recreational gaming is compelling because kids can engage flexibly in these different modes of participation and learning. // learning outcomes of recreational gaming call attention to the social and technological contexts of gaming practice rather than focusing exclusively on the question of the transfer of game content to behavior and cognition. // Knowledge, competence, and dispositions are developed in the contexts of intense social commitments. These commitments can be so strong that they compromise commitments to other social groups and activities.” COMPARE WITH ACTIVIST AND SCHOLARLY COMMITMENTS TO FEMINISMS, WITH AN EYE TO HOW GEEKING OUT MIGHT BE ABLE TO NAME A RANGE OF INTENSITIES TO BE CULTIVATED AND APPRECIATED IN A SOCIAL MEDIA RICH FEMINIST LEARNING BOUNDARY WORK & INCLUSIVE PROFILES (228-9) “…how gamer identities intersect with gender and geek identities. While killing time and hanging out forms of gaming practices tend to have more inclusive identity profiles, recreational gaming and more mobilized forms of gaming tend to be more exclusionary and strongly associated with male geek identity. Within the genre of practice that we have called augmented gamed play, the practices associated with aesthetics and design tend to be gendered female, while those relying more heavily on technical expertise tend to be gendered male…. // Among girls, the dominant social norm was that it was not socially acceptable to be identified as a gamer.” HOW MIGHT THIS BE DYNAMICALLY CHANGING? OR NOT? GENDER GAP IN RECREATIONAL GAMING (235, 240) “When one considers [technical expertise] gender becomes important not only in terms of gender representation in video games but also in terms of participation in certain social, cultural, and technical worlds. As gaming becomes increasingly central to young people’s socialization into networks of technology expertise and learning, the persistent gender gap in recreational gaming is problematic. // Similarly, although we found that the more accessible forms of gaming were pervasive across different socioeconomic divides, access to mobilized and augmented forms of gaming were limited to those with high-end gaming resources, both technical and social.” INTERSECTIONALITY MATTERS IN WAYS THAT ARE SOMETIMES COUNTER-INTUITIVE

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