The Final Whistle

“Attention involves the allocation of cognitive resources to deal with multiple inputs at once. Switching, screening, analysing and risk management are all part of normal cognitive processes” (Maloney, 2016). 

Space, place, audience and media are four components that individually affect your viewing experience. Adopting the participant ethnography research method, it allowed me to examine how these component effect others and also myself. This has been proven through my observations while watching the Premier League at a friends house, in my bedroom and at The Star.

Approaching the assessment, my preconceived ideas were that audiences and media would have the greatest impact while viewing the game. However, space and place played a large role in the way each individual enjoyed and focused on the game.

My bedroom

  • My attention span was low and media activity was high and constant.
  • Being alone I was not able to share the excitement of Arsenal scoring with anyone else
  • Watching the game in the comfort of my bed caused me to relax and fall asleep throughout the game unintentionally

My boyfriend’s house

  • Being surrounded by friends made the game enjoyable
  • Media use was average, as during halftime and pauses in the game we would all log onto social media and communicate with others regarding the game
  • ‘Soccer watching etiquette’ allowed each viewer to have a comfortable view of the game and all were mediated by these un-proclaimed rules

The Star – 24/7 Sports bar

  • Attention spans carried as a result of external components and surroundings e.g. alcohol and the crowds of people walking around the casino
  • Atmosphere enhanced the viewing experience, being surrounded by hundreds of strangers who share the same passion for the sport as you creates a welcoming community bond
  • As a result of the interactions with those around us, our media use was roughly 15% of the night
  • However, as a result of a ‘drunk’ spectator, it affected our viewing as a result of insults being taken a bit too far

It is evident how viewing the Premier League in three diverse settings can alter the enjoyment and engagement of the viewer. Furthermore, from partaking in this assessment it has allowed me to identify a range of avenues for exploration for future research. Examples of these would be:

  • How alcohol affects sports fans
  • How the Premier League can incorporate these online sports communities into their halftime commentary and interact with there fan baseArsenal-16-17-kit (1).jpg

Only to name a few. I think observing and researching these areas and sports fan habits are valuable for Premier League stakeholders, it will allow them to identify areas that fans around the world suggest to improve. Potentially changing and revamping the viewing experience all around the world, lessening the need or desire to be at Emirates rather enjoying the game from the comfort of the local pub or home couch.

While the project has come to an end, it definitely has taught me where and who to watch the games with.

Till next time, Up The Gunners!

References:

  • Maloney, S. (2016). Attention, Presence, Place.

Arsenal vs. Southampton

The Premier League season is finally back and to say I am excited is an understatement.

Week 4 into the EPL season Arsenal was set to face  Southampton. After SouthamptonSouthampton-vs-Arsenal-prediction.png
scoring the first goal, in the 29th minute Koscielny legendary bicycle kick settled the score to be 1-1 at half time. However, with 5 minutes extra added to the clock, Cazorla’s last minute penalty gave Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Southampton at Emirates Stadium.

This week I had chosen to watch the game at my boyfriend’s house with some friends. We were a divided audience, and it was safe to say that the banter was at its peak.

Cheering and laughter filled the room as the game became neck-to-neck after half time, like any sporting event a referee is always subjected to hateful remarks. And in this instance, hateful remarks were yelled at the television as three Southampton players were rewarded a yellow card, and the “banta” did not stop there.

Throughout the game, I began to observe the social media habits of myself and also my
friends. For myself, I noticed that my mind wandered more at the beginning of the game, my social media activity was at a high as I found that I was not as interested in the first 30 minutes of the game in comparison to the 65 minutes remaining. Whereas observing the boys around me, after every five minutes each one would log onto Facebook to post something in the sports chat or access Twitter. From there, conversations would circulate during the game around certain players and dispute certain official calls.

“Through social media, fans not only connect with sport teams and leagues, but the athletes themselves have accounts which allow potentially millions of fans to connect personally to the athletes and their teams. This direct connection has allowed fans to now be a part of the sport organization’s story.” – Dr. Alyssa Tavormina.

It is becoming increasingly evident that social media is having a profound effect on the way sports fans interact and watch sports. It is almost like their social media activity adds to their viewing experience, a friend said that it adds an extra commentary section which is both informative and entertaining. Mashable have designed an infographic which displays how social media is changing our sports experiences, http://mashable.com/2012/04/27/sports-social-media-2/#9_5J3wwr8kqf.

While the night was all fun and games, I noticed that unenforced rules began to emerge such as:

  • During a good play, no one was allowed (or did) speak
  • The ‘banter’ came to a halt when we each realised it began to become a bit much
  • Once the game resumed after halftime, we all were back in the same spots as no one wanted to shift the unexamined balance of the room

After everyone left I began asking my boyfriend why he thinks these rules were unknowingly followed, he responded: “to tell you the truth its just ‘soccer watching etiquette’, rules that we’ve just unknowingly followed and its mediated everyone”. I thought this was interesting, that these rules were based on seating and speaking rather than focus on social media or what is going on around them.

From reflecting on this sit in with my friends I wanted to decipher why they added to my viewing experience?  I noticed that we feed off each others enjoyment and passion of the sports, while we were a group divided it was this division that created an energetic atmosphere. It can be said that “sports bonds people together“, while we may not have a continuous conversation circulating, “sports isn’t replacing other, more worthwhile topics of conversation between those sons and fathers, it’s just adding a level of closeness that would not be there without it“. It is this ‘bond’ that created an enjoyable atmosphere while my engagement was not at its peak, it was the influential attitudes that drew my attention more so to the game than usual.

It is the norm to say that having our eyes glued to social media we become anti-social, however in the case of this event we were becoming more social than ever. Not only with each other but from people around the world, and also individuals watching the game first hand.

Despite being in Oran Park in front of the television, having a valuable group of friends that share the same interest in sports as you enhances your viewing experience. The energetic atmosphere of Emirates stadium is also replicated in our lounge room.

Where is your favourite place to watch sports?

Till next week, up the Gunners!

An English Premier League Experience

Space – What is around you. Place – Where you are. Audience – Who is viewing.

These three key themes frame our understanding of the modern media environment. The evolution of television and the way audiences view media content has dramatically changed and is constantly evolving.

This evolution is illustrated in the practice of viewing sports on television, which has Archie Williams interview.jpgprogressed with technology; in 1936 Berlin Germany was the first television viewing station to watch the Summer Olympics of that year. This was the World’s first live stream of sports. Fast forward decades later and viewing your favourite team from anywhere in the world play has been more portable and widely accessible than EVER. Smartphone apps and online streaming services now allow the viewer to watch games instantaneously.

From antennas to live streaming sports, broadcasting companies now are offering bundles of sports channels; for example, Foxtel Australia offers the sports combo for $51 per month, consisting of channels such as all Fox Sports channels, beIN Sports etc. While lounge-projector-screen.jpgthese companies are offering various subscription packages, public spaces are purchasing and promoting these channels to encourage sports lovers to view the current games. An example of this would be Star City Casino’s  24/7 Sports Bar, a popular public space where sports, gambling and alcohol is on the agenda for the wild Saturday night and also available everyday throughout the week.

As a sports lover, going out with friends a soccer or NRL game is a great pass time for me. In particular, we favour watching the English Premier League  (EPL) with a strong focus on Arsenal. Living in Australia at first, it was rather difficult to view a live game, simply due to the time difference, not to mention access to various streams. However as of the start of this year Optus bought the rights to broadcast all EPL games, which has enabled greater access.

As a result of the love I have for watching EPL,  my digital project will be based on remote_image_ece3c110f8.jpgviewing selected games, and monitoring media habits in relation to several of the key theories we have discussed this session (list these: eg public vs. private space) . I have chosen to watch the game in my own home, at a friends house and in a public space. By doing so I will be measuring and examining:

  • My attention levels (how often I lose interest, how often I look at my phone etc)
  • Observing the actions of others
  • How the atmosphere varies and influences viewing experience
  • Are there un-proclaimed rules that we have to follow

Ultimately through experience and observations, I want to find out how space, place and audience influence an individuals viewing experience and learn how the levels of enjoyment differ each time. In pursuing this project stakeholders such as EPL viewers, owners of such public spaces and broadcasting companies can gather a wider understanding of how space, place and audience ultimately affect a viewers experience. Ultimately begin working towards how to enhance and cater to audience viewing and these various trends in a variety of different places.

Stranger Danger

Growing up did you ever attempt to attend a movie that you were old enough to see? Or parent.jpgfake your age just to be able to access a variety of social media platforms?

Well these restrictions can be identified as ‘media regulations’. Media regulation is the control or guidance of mass media by governments and other bodies. It not only monitors what certain age groups can and cannot access, it regulates where we can and cannot use media. For example in Australia it is illegal to use your mobile phone when driving, when working and when in the cinema.

While some think that media regulations can be an ‘inconvenience’, the Australian Government is updating media laws to adapt to an ever changing landscape.

“The Government has announced the most significant reforms to Australia’s media Media-regulation-MO-INFOGRAPHIC_v1B.JPGlaws in a generation, supporting the viability of our local organisations as they face increasing global competition in a rapidly changing digital landscape.”

With advancing technology and the rapid growth of the World Wide Web, we now have instant access to any content from around the world. As a result I think it is necessary for these restrictions to be enforced, particularly online.

The Internet is becoming a popular source of information and entertainment for children. Increasing numbers of schools are coming on-line and material on the Internet targeted at children is burgeoning. As with television, there is increasing community concern that young people are being exposed to pornographic and other inappropriate material such as aggressive marketing on the Internet.[82]Placing or possessing material on the Internet that infringes existing legislation regulating, for example, racial vilification or defamation may be a criminal offence. These laws are difficult to enforce as the originators of Internet material can rarely be identified.

The instantaneous nature of the internet is revolutionary, however it is becoming a common action that children are neglecting the age restrictions set by websites. For example when I signed up to Facebook, the minimum age was 16 and I was 14. Now social media services such as Facebook and Instagram now require the user to be at least 13-years old.

What is the problem with this but?

An article from the Daily Mail explains that a study in 2014 found that 59% of children are networking at the age of 10. A poll highlighted that 21% of children have posted negative comments and 43% have messaged strangers on social media. It is these statistics that should concern individuals, while developing an online presence is a social norm, at such a young age it diminishes the barrier between their public and personal life.

Furthermore Dr Richard Woolfson explains “children are gaining access to social media Cqs8yWPXYAAgHiE.jpgsites at a younger age, which could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth and which they’re not emotionally prepared for“. It is evident that what younger generations are seeing on social media websites is increasingly influencing their daily lives.

Online presence can be altered to reflect yourself or to transform into an entire other being. The implications of children being on social media at such a young age is that they can  fall into the traps of strangers online. “The capacity for communications to be online, and yet under the radar, is something parents, teachers and policy-makers need to remain aware of“.

In 2014 an incident regarding online stranger danger occurred, where a 12-year-old girl had met and invited an unknown man to her house through online interaction. The platform that was used was the popular messaging app Kik, where the minimum sign up age is 17. A casual conversation had begun between the young girl and old man, he who had been pretending to be younger than his actual age of 32 and eventually led the man to her front-door. Investigators found that this was not the only platform the two were using and he was not the only man she was communicating with, Xbox live had been a popular communication platform for the young girl. Later that year in November Microsoft supplied a 30 day transcript of the girls conversations with strangers.

 

The offender was immediately jailed and charged, this incident has acted as a cautionary tale in Baltimore to warn children of the implications of their online behaviour.

Media regulation is vital in keeping all media users safe. Age restriction is important to limit young children, it is common that young children who are unaware of online stranger danger, cyberbullying and how permanent their actions are.

The rise of the gold fish

Whenever we see (…) appear at the end of a post on social medi, whats our common thought? “I can’t be bothered to read this….” Unless of course it is a topic that interests us. If a video is longer than the average 30 seconds our minds start to wander.goldfish2.jpg

A study from Microsoft Corporation has highlighted that as a result of the increased use of digital technology, it has made it difficult for individuals to focus shortening our attention span from twelve seconds down to eight.

“Consumers’s lives are increasingly digital – at work, home and everywhere in between. With news reduced to 140 characters and conversations condensed to emojis, how is this affecting the way [we] see and interact with the world?”

In 2014 Microsoft conducted a two part research project. The first was an online survey andmicrosoft-research-on-evolving-attention-spans-100585696-large.idge.jpg
game to test its participants attention span, respondents were divided into three groups based on their performances: low, medium and high attention. The second was neurological research, where participant brain activity was assessed as they interacted with different media and participated in a range of activities. Results highlighted that the main factors impacting attention were:

  • Media consumption
  • Social media usage
  • Technology adoption rate
  • Multi-screening behaviour

Living in the 21st century, it is becoming almost impossible to avoid using some form of technology. Susan Greenfield explains that our brains have the capacity to mirror or transform into what we are absorbing, the ‘personalisation of the brain’.

To test this theory I gathered my girlfriends for a girls night in. I decided that we were going to start the night with a game of Cards Against Humanity, however without any
alcohol. I wanted to test how long the girls would engage with the game before deciding to check their phone and give up. A 30 minute game found that:

  • Instantly minds started to wander
  • From start to end amongst 10 girls their phones were checked over 30 times
  • Messages were replied to at least 20times
  • 7 posts to social media sites were made
  • And 4 people complained

During this observation I noticed that, what was supposed to be a quick and easy game turned into a prolonging activity all because of our constant urge to check our devices.

After reading out their individual statistics it was safe to say that each and every one were in denial. “I’m not obsessed with my phone”, is the response I constantly received. Phone-Addiction1.jpeg

However, our constant use of technology is not only shortening our attention span. It can be said that we are suffering from “nomophobia(short for no-mobile-phone phobia). Symptoms can include feeling anxious or panicked when being away from your phone, and in the more severe cases feeling the vibrations of your phone when it is not ringing or receiving a notification.

After researching into these issues, I found that there were online sites where you could test whether you have an internet addiction and an attention span test. Have a try and feel free to comment your results!

Attention Span Test:

Addiction Tests:

Calling all soccer fanatics

With the ever-growing technological advancements our society is experiencing, our most simplest and traditional activities are transforming.

For instance Digital Storytelling has had an incredible influence, it is the combination of text, photographs, animation, sound etc which are used as an ‘expressive medium’ online-collaboration.jpgcombining various forms of subject matter. Couldry explains that the movement has popularised the means of producing and exchanging stories afforded by digital media. However at the core of storytelling are story circles, they are at the centre of collaborative and transformative learning. Couldry describes the concept of story circle as “a group of people sitting face-to-face commit to produce stories and listen to each other’s stories“.

Although like any project that requires technology and collaboration, researchers are able to identify success and limitations. As part of Couldry’s project, he devised three concepts: multiplications, spatialising (narratives of narratives) and habits of recognition. Multiplication refers to the relationship that is created by the story and the platform, as a result of the convergence of media and technology it has allowed for an ever-evolving communication scope. Spatialising explores the the creation of a narrative within a narrative based on its geography. Lastly habits of recognition highlights how differently the communication occurs when face-to-face and over social media, however interacting over social media does not hinder collaboration. Couldry explains that “the digital story circle does not replace relationships… but provides a means for sustaining and amplifying them“.

Understanding Couldry’s breakdown of the factors of a digital story circle, has allowed to identify a potential topic for the upcoming digital project.

Growing up in a sporty household and as a former athlete, tsports-watching1.jpghe nature of watching sporting
events has drastically changed. Now you are able to almost have the same experience of
attending the game, but presently seated in your own lounge room, eyes glued to the newest high definition television and surround sound blaring. Could we call this a man cave?

As an avid sports watcher, my viewing has gradually spanned over a range of channels on both the Free to Air channels, Foxtel and now online streaming channels. While we now have the luxury of being able to watch out favourite sporting teams in the comfort of our homes, our access to such games and events are dramatically changing.

 

For the upcoming digital project I have decided that I will be focusing and observing how jMtu4x25.pngaudiences watch the EPL. The way I intend to present the project will be through a range of blogposts, recounting my observations and experiences in different environments. I also want to include public opinion, therefore conducting a survey will also give me insight into where soccer fans prefer to watch their games and how atmosphere effects this.

Creepers keep creepin

After attempting to take a sneaky picture of a girl this week, I got caught and was given a death stare so I didn’t attempt again.

But it really made me wonder what was going through her head, what is that girl looking at? Stalker? I wonder how I look?

What are the circumstances we accept being randomly photographed in and the ones we are not? So I decided to post on tumblr and these are some of anonymous the responses I got:

  • “If i’m out for the night and all glammed up, I don’t care take pictures left right and centre.”
  • “I can’t take a selfie, what makes a random think they can take a photo of me?”
  • “I judge others, so its only fair if they judge me.”
  • “If he/she are attractive snap away, if you look stalkerish i’ll call the cops.”

Unfortunately the answers just got worse, but it did help me to understand how some people think.

There is a different between taking a photo of someone or something in private and in public. You would assume that privately the subject of the photograph or object have given consent to allow this act to pursue. Whereas in a public space, it is again assumed that no consent needs to be given as you are in a ‘public space’. Arts Law states supports that photographers are able to take photographs without permission, however how it is used and if the subject wishes for it to be deleted, legal and ethical implications should be put into place.

An example of unethical photography is the latest issue of “Online schoolgirls pornography ring“. “On the foreign-hosted forum, users post requests for people to share pornographic images of girls at schools or universities in exchange for other images.”  Although it was not only photos that had been sent around, they were photos that were taken out in public. These photos firstly should not be on public display, and secondly they highlight how they can be used and/or sold to humiliate and expose their subject(s). Yes these sorts of photos should not have been taken in the first place, however the activity they have been put towards crosses all ethical and legal boundaries.

Further reading into the issue it became evident that stalkers were trading photos to shortly be rewarded by their ‘desired’, “a user offered to trade up to 300 nude images of other victims in exchange for a single pornographic photo of one girl he was tracking. Another user said he had been trying to unearth nude images of a particular victim for more than five years“.

I do agree that yes girls should not have allowed anyone to take explicit photos or have sent them. However the environment of schools and universities are supposed to be places where students are safe, and not be seen as a stalkers ‘prey’.

To control photography in the public space would be nearly impossible to do, living in a time where basically all devices have a built in camera and the internet is so easily accessible. Apps such as Snapchat, have changed the game of stalkers. Once the photo is snapped and a time is set – the receiver will open it and shortly after it becomes unretrievable.

Public photography targets both ends of the spectrum, you can be the subject of or witness the bad side as stated above. OR. You can witness the beauty of someone or the world around us.

Have you ever had a stranger take a photo of you? Comment your experiences!