After Anita Sarkeesian’s talk and a short lunch break, I stayed around for one of the afternoon sessions. I attended the 1:00-2:15 concurrent sessions in Regents Hall. Unlike the one I saw earlier in the day, which was a mixture of men and women, this session was all women, which I found interesting. Here are my recaps of each woman’s talk:
Sara Perry, University of York
Gender & Digital Culture
Sara was a pretty blonde woman, and I think this made her speech on online harassment stand out even more. She told her personal story about how she had been sexually harassed online multiple times, by colleagues, people she knew. She went on to talk about online harassment of the office/professional space. It was interesting to hear how as offices have shifted to do more things online, harassment has shifted to be online as well. Yet, there are often no safety precautions implemented in offices to stop this harassment online. It happens to both men & women and is harassment of all kinds, not just of a sexual nature. She did a study and found many people experience it but often ignore it because of a lack of safety protocol to protect works in regards to it, which is upsetting, because this is an issue that should be taken more seriously.
Lindsay Ems, Indiana University
Approaches to Amish Technology Use: The Body as an Optional, Ideal Communication Medium
In Lindsay’s talk, she used the Amish’s use of technology to show how technology can ideally be used. As like anyone else, I was surprised to hear that the Amish even used technology! They can’t have buttons but they can have cell phones? News to me! It was interesting to find that they use the same technology as us, smart phones with all the apps, etc. Yet, they treat technology differently. They moderate their use- phones aren’t allowed in the house, they only use it for just what they need, no excess. Lindsay did an ethnographic study and found that the Amish value face-to-face communication over anything. In-person communication strengthens community and close bonds, helps adults to lead by example and promote good messages and values, and so on. Technology can’t express emotion and many other aspects that in-person communication has. Taking a look as Amish culture and how they use technology made me really take a deeper look at our use of it and how we have let it affect our culture.
Burcu Bakioglu, Lawrence University
Ethics of Unethical Play: Curious Case of How the Bad Boys of Second Life Transformed into Digital Activists
Burcu talked about how government is set up in the virtual world. She started off talking about “grieving” in virtual game play. She mentioned LambdaMoo and of course I got really excited and was glad that I knew what she was talking about! Kudos to comm 200! She mentioned the virtual rape and all. She then went into an analysis of how there are different levels of governance in virtual worlds, but how it mainly comes down to individual players. Most games have of course terms & agreements, but there are many levels under this. Ultimately surveillance rules and proactive security is key. The creators of the game can’t help us so it’s really up to us, the players!
Dara Byrne, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Dara talked about how there are real crimes happening in the virtual world yet there is not much being done to stop it, no digital justice. She talked about those internet scams we all see, but think no one really falls for, using the Nigerian email scam as an example. Many normal people would think “who falls for those though?” Yet, many people do fall victim to internet fraud apparently. She talked about the impact and we have lost millions of dollars to internet crime, the numbers were insane! And law enforcement can’t even really help, it is so hard to track and control. She highlighted that it is up to us as a community to act as vigilantes, or “digilantes,” and to alert others to these possible frauds and educate one another and ourselves so as to try and avoid them.
These talks weren’t as interesting as the earlier ones I thought, a few were kind of hard to follow, but they were interesting nonetheless!
What were others insights into these talks? Which were you’re favorites? What were some interesting things you may have picked up from them?