"Social networks such as Facebook and on–line gaming are changing people's view of who they are and their place in the world, according to a report for the government's chief scientist. The report, published by Prof Sir John Beddington, says that traditional ideas of identity will be less meaningful. ... It states that the changing nature of identities will have substantial implications for what is meant by communities and by social integration.
The study shows that traditional elements that shape a person's identity, such as their religion, ethnicity, job and age are less important than they once were. Instead, particularly among younger people, their view of themselves is shaped increasingly by on–line interactions of social networks and on online role playing games.
The study found that far from creating superficial or fantasy identities that some critics suggest, in many cases it allowed people to escape the preconceptions of those immediately around them and find their 'true' identity. This is especially true of disabled people who told researchers that online gaming enabled them to socialise on an equal footing with others."
(Pallab Ghosh, 21 January 2013, BBC News)
International Conference, Workshops and Exhibition University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
3–5 May 2013 Call for Paper Abstracts DEADLINE: 12 November 2012
"What new lines of inquiry and emergent relations between urbanity and digital media are found in non–Western cities, in post–Capitalist cities, in cities hosting civic turbulence or crossing international boundaries? What urban–medial relations are taking shape differently in urban milieux that may have been heretofore overlooked? These cities are deserving of more attention than ever before, as sites of population growth, of new cultural and social formations, of new entanglements between urban life and contemporary media, communications and information technologies, and more. MediaCities promises to expand our understanding of both media and the city today, and to articulate new sites of practice and working methods for an expanding field. ...
Areas of interest may fall broadly into several themes, with the assumption that others will appear in the process of proposals and discussion leading up to the event, always expanding our lexicon and mental maps of MediaCities globally. These themes are: Other Urbans, Uncommons, Zero Growth Cities, Media Geographies and Bordervilles."
Fig.1 Reuters/Sheng Li (2011), "ethnic Dong minority woman uses her mobile phone to take a picture of herself after a Kam Grand Choir gathering in Tongguan village of Liping county, Guizhou province". [http://pixtale.net/2011/10/21st–century–china/#img33]
"Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can –– and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments –– and their neighbors.
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder of Code for America, which matches software geniuses with US cities to reboot local services."
(Filmed February 2012, posted March 2012, TED2012)
"OpenUrban is the first open source user–generated web map and forum focusing on current and proposed urban development. It is a web platform for civic collaboration, a venue for debate, and an outlet and archive for information on urban development. We embrace crowd sourcing technology as a means to inform and empower. By combining written media with spatial information OpenUrban creates a powerful tool for people to understand how their cities are changing and supports their active participation in that change."
"The theme of the lecture addresses a question: how can we design spaces in the city which encourage strangers to cooperate? To explore this question, I'll draw on research in the social sciences about cooperation, based on my book, and relate this research to current issues in urban design."
(Harvard Graduate School of Design, 28 February 2012)