An introduction to cybercultures by David Bell

By David Bell

An creation to Cybercultures offers an obtainable advisor to the foremost varieties, practices and meanings of this rapidly-growing box. From the evolution of and software program to the emergence of cyberpunk movie and fiction, David Bell introduces readers to the most important points of cyberculture, together with e-mail, the net, electronic imaging applied sciences, computing device video games and electronic lighting tricks. each one bankruptcy comprises "hot hyperlinks" to key articles in its significant other quantity, The Cybercultures Reader, feedback for additional analyzing, and information of suitable websites.
Individual chapters examine:
• Cybercultures: an introduction
• Storying cyberspace
• Cultural experiences in our on-line world
• neighborhood and cyberculture
• Identities in cyberculture
• our bodies in cyberculture
• Cybersubcultures
• gaining knowledge of cybercultures

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In terms of aesthetics, we also need to consider the ‘objects’ that circulate in cyberspace – the look of emails, websites and so on. As computer programs have grown in sophistication, so the products that we produce and consume have grown in ‘style’ – from the range of fonts available for wordprocessing, to the aesthetic processes of web design (see below). In their ethnography of the Internet in Trinidad, Daniel Miller and Don Slater (2000) look at the huge popularity there of ‘egreetings cards’ and ‘egifts’ such as virtual bouquets and virtual chocolates – users can select these off websites, and send them to each other (though there has, in this country at least, been some discussion of the etiquette of sending ecards as against ‘real’ cards).

But it, too, exhibits schizophrenic or decentred tendencies in Cubitt’s reading, which is worth quoting at length here: Under the myriad guises it takes as it roves across the screen – wristwatch, spinning ball, arrow, fingered hand, gunsight, magnifying glass, pen – the mouse pointer’s mobility and its function in shifting modes – pulling down windows, opening files, driving scroll bars, dragging icons, clicking buttons – seats it at the head of a hierarchy of subject positions voiced in the Macintosh HCI.

It raises some interesting particular questions, too: in what ways is the discourse of cyberculture legible within something like Country and Western music? ) What kinds of metaphorical or cultural work are computers-on-haybales doing in the setting of the CMA? What kinds of connections are being made by the people sitting in the audience, either in Nashville or at home? In acknowledging the multiplicity of symbolic sites where we encounter cyberspace – and the multiplicity of cyberspaces we encounter there – I’m trying to highlight the continuous work of thinking cyberspace, of adding into the mix new images, new ideas.

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