Sunday, November 27, 2011

Copyright and... Whaaaat?

Sometimes you have to wonder about copyright. You read some odd little snippet about a copyright and have to wonder, what in the world is going on?

"The Bulldog Club of America (B.C.A.), which owns the copyright to the American standard..." (From the Sunday NYTimes magazine.)

What? Apparently "the standard" is just a written description, and written things do indeed fall under copyright: "the bulldog standard (a written template for the look and temperament of a breed)." But this isn't just a copyright of some written stuff, it's more than that, it's the definition of a breed of dogs (with horrible health problems) as recognized... well as recognized by people who recognize it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Making, Self-Making, Community Sharing

I was skimming through a web forum for people who care about and work on a particular type of car (E46Fanatics, for a specific body-model of BMW, the E46, which looks like this), not primarily mechanics but instead owners who maintain and work on their cars -- car modders, essentially -- and I noticed that a lot of them would, as part of their post (and probably part of their .sig), include a photo of their car.

This is in part because their car is something they have modified since it came off the showroom floor and, although it may not exactly be unique, it is probably unique or definitely quite rare in that specific configuration. (We're talking rims, tints, suspension, trim, some things you can't see so easily in a shot of the body of the car, and some things I probably don't even know about.)

However, it is also in part because the car is part of their identity -- it is something they are proud of, something they may have had a hand in modifying (i.e., creating), and it is something that identifies them as a member of the community.

What struck me (was the tire that flew off the car... no no) was that this is the same behavior that some people who play MMOs do in their MMO forums -- in some cases people will post pictures of their in-game avatars. I think this has been written about academically, but I don't offhand recall by who. But it's easy to see the similarities:

  • Posting/sharing the image
  • Image is of the thing that the community is about
  • Object in the image is made, to some extent, by the poster
So we have:
  • Sharing
  • Membership-claiming
  • Making
All of these activities (or behaviors if you will) are pro-community activities, they can both create and reinforce community and sense of community.

The obvious and significant difference between these two examples are that one community deals with concrete objects (cars) and the other with digital objects (MMO characters), yet, the behavior is the same.

(EQII has a default sig image, I grabbed the generic "this is what it will look like" image which doesn't have the character image in it but is for my main. And, that's an E46 with three really nice non-standard features: the rims, the clear turn signal covers, and the spoiler.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

He's Dead, Jim.

Star Trek is all over the net. Everywhere. Even before the World Wide Web (and I'm not having a debate about capitalization or hyphens with that). But, I hadn't seen it in EQII, despite all the homage there, until now.

"He's dead, Jim," is the classic line spoken by Dr. McCoy (a.k.a. Bones) what seemed like every time someone or something died, which was quite often.

Someone has even made a little montage of "dead" quotes from Star Trek, mostly by Bones but not all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Candy Humor

EQII also has plenty of cultural references, like a quest based on icanhazcheezburger. Here, though, is some of the Nights of the Dead (Halloween) candy, spoofing green M&Ms. (Nice M&M color chart in Wikipedia showing the timeline of changes.)