Ian Bogost

Georgia Institute of Technology
MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
12:30 pm

Crowdsourcing is a hot not-so-new trend that’s been heralded as a solution for funding creative works of all kinds, from films to games to manufactured products. Popular sites like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are also venture-funded startups that facilitate distributed contribution to ideas, providing the appearance of investment or pre-orders. But even as more and more individuals source and fund projects through sites like Kickstarter, few realize that the satisfaction (or disappointment) they take away from the process has more to do with the experience of kickstarting, rather than from the product itself. As crowdfunding becomes its own form of entertainment irrespective of whether or not projects succeed or fail, the projects created risk becoming empty shells, lies that can never produce the results they promise because their existence was never meant to produce them in the first place. This talk offers a philosophy of crowdfunding as entertainment, and then presents a new project in development at Georgia Tech as a part of the Intel Science and Technology Center for Social Computing that tries to apply some of these lessons from popular personal electronics projects, including Kickstarted products like Twine, and related projects like Arduino and Raspberry Pi. 

Dr. Ian Bogost is an award-winning designer and media philosopher whose work focuses on videogames and computational media. He is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on political games and artgames. Bogost is author or co-author of Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, Newsgames: Journalism at Play, How To Do Things with Videogames, Alien Phenomenology, or What it’s Like to Be a Thing, and 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. His recent independent games include Cow Clicker, a Facebook game send-up of Facebook games, and A Slow Year, a collection of videogame poems for Atari VCS, Windows, and Mac, and winner of the Vanguard and Virtuoso awards at the 2010 Indiecade Festival. Bogost holds a Bachelors degree in Philosophy and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from UCLA. You can follow him on twitter @ibogost.

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