“Long Live Play” and “Platform Dominance, Contents Strategies”

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Friday, February 7, 2014 - 16:00
Concordia University, MB 2,270

Alain Chouinard's “Long Live Play” and Marc Steinberg 's “Platform Dominance, Contents Strategies”, Feb 7,16h00, MB 2,270 (1450 Guy St.)

Alain Chouinard’s presentation, “‘Long Live Play’: The Commercialization and Capture of Play within YouTube’s Gameplay Commentary Community,” analyzes the rising popularity of gameplay commentary within social media platforms such as YouTube and the commercialization of the play-based immaterial labour of its practitioners and viewers. This paper fits into a larger research project that attempts to unearth the underlying relations of power and systems of value that inform the political economies of networked media platforms.

Marc Steinberg’s presentation analyses the now-habituated watchwords of Web 2.0 hype: contents and platforms. These words arguably mark the dividing lines between geographically divergent responses to Web 2.0 enabled commerce. Having given up the 1990s emphasis on the production of media content (under the slogan “content is king”), North American companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon now fight for global platform dominance. Perhaps not coincidentally North America is also the site for the most vibrant theorization of the platform as a new media form that quite explicitly displaces the term “medium” itself. South Korea and Japan, on the other hand, have increasingly embraced the loanword “contents” as the new catch-all term for entertainment industry-driven intellectual property. They have also been the sites of correspondingly intense discussions about the nature of contents, and strategies of its regional (rather than global) mobilization. This presentation will examine the two halves of the platform-contents equation, exploring the geographical locatedness of the two terms’ theoretical meaning and development.

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