SCT #11: Legal News Round up with Jas Purewal

SCT #11: Legal News Round up with Jas Purewal

This episode of Social Change Technology is a games and tech legal news roundup with solicitor Jas Purewal from law firm Osborne Clark. Jas is better known on the internet as @GamerLaw on twitter and editor of the Gamer Law web site.

In the show we look at three items of recent news: the Infinity Ward case, the state of free to play gaming and the UK courts ordering a number of ISPs to blocking the Pirate Bay website.

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SCT #8: What’s social about social games?

SCT #8: What’s social about social games?

Episode 8 of Social Change Technology explores the social aspects of so-called social games with Dr Mia Consalvo of Concordia University and Ron Miners of Electronic Arts.

In the episode Ren, Mia, and Ron talk about what we mean by ’social games’ and the social conventions and norms that are emerging from them. For example the common practice of gift giving has been adopted by main games as a key part of the play mechanic. However, in some social games this voluntary action has morphed into a social obligation on our socially-networked co-players; a process which in turn has been automated to such a degree that it has almost lost touch with the notion of gift giving that inspired it.

The podcast also covers the relationship between our social / family identity, as expressed in Facebook, and our our gamer identity. Do our social relations constrain our game actions? Do our game actions re-construct our social world? For example, in games that have ‘relationship’ options, are people prepared to have an in-game partner who is not an out-of-game partner, are people prepared to play a different gender or sexuality – all to achieve game play goals?

Make sure you catch every episode of  Social Change Technology by subscribing on iTunes or via our RSS feed.

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SCT #7: Rita J. King and the Robots

SCT #7: Rita J. King and the Robots

In episode 7 of Social Change Technology we speak to Rita J. King of Science House, New York. Rita is EVP of Business Development and head of Science House Creative.

In the episode Ren Reynolds talks to Rita King about the work that Science House does to bring ‘hard science’ together with business. They touch on the range of Science House’s work from being a start-up incubator based in New York to outreach programmes bringing science education to children around the world.

One area covered in greater detail in the podcast is that of the actual and perceived future of robotics. Rita raises the issue of robots as a new source of possible technogenic disaster in the minds of media and the public alike. That is, the idea that robots may bring about some catastrophic global event – think the Terminator’s Skynet or the robot takeover in the Matrix or AI for popular science fiction interpretations of such a catastrophe.

Such notions have recently been taken up from various angles by academics such as Sherry Turkle, who has written about the ethics of the emotional bonds that humans may form with robots. At the other end of the spectrum a research team at Georgia Tech has been looking at military robots with the capacity to deceive.

All this has given rise to conferences such as the inaugural We Robot conference on legal and policy issues relating to robotics, held in Miami in April of 2012. It should be noted that academic communities such as those researching ethics of technology (See: ELTHICOMP and CEPE), law of emerging technology (see Gikii), and specialised research areas such as the ethics of tele-care have been researching this for some years.

In future episodes we hope to have more on the social, legal and policy implications of robotics. To make sure you catch it, you can subscribe to Social Change Technology on iTunes or via our RSS feed.

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Virtually Policy #5: The co-creators: audience, artists & the future of music

Virtually Policy #5: The co-creators: audience, artists & the future of music

Episode 5 is an extended interview with Robert Thomas, Chief Creative Officer of RjDj, and Jim Purbrick & Max Williams, who together are 100 Robots (the group which provide the theme music for the Virtually Policy podcast).

RjDj is a reactive music application for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that creates a unique sonic experience each time you listen to a ’scene’. 100 Robots combines analog music creation with live control of electronically generated sounds using drum interfaces and iPhones/iPads/iPod Touches.

Both RjDj and 100 Robots have experimented with enabling their audiences to be co-creators of the live performance experience. They discuss how advances in technology are bringing music back to its participatory roots.

In this episode, we discuss how technology has changed our relationship with music from the pre-industrial age, where music was often a communally created and consumed experience, through the twentieth century that emphasised passive consumption of a recordings by ’star’ artists, to the present, where technologies such as karaoke, SingStar and Rock Band have enabled people to re-connect with music making.

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Transmedia story telling and the crisis of authorship

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Brian Baglow

Brian Baglow founded and runs the independent communications agency Indoctrimat. Prior to this Brian has had a long and casually notorious career in the marketing wing of the interactive, online and mobile industries.

Before founding Indoctrimat, Brian worked as Global Communications Manager for Digital Bridges (now I-Play). Working for a pioneering company in an emergent industry, a major part of Brian’s task was initially to educate the media about the possibilities and realities of the mobile entertainment sector. This was a huge success as everyone in the world now loves mobile games. Brian continues to work in this area out of spite.

Previous roles include: UK PR Manager at Take 2 Interactive, one of the world’s fastest growing videogame publishers and 3 years in Propaganda and Indoctrination at DMA Design Ltd. At DMA, Brian convinced the media that DMA was unique, precious, special and sexy. He worked on titles such as Grand Theft Auto, Space Station: Silicon Valley and Body Harvest, writing the background story, plot, dialogue, song lyrics, unreal band names, fake companies and actual manuals.

He admits to having an unhealthy obsession with computer games, the latest mobile phones, comics, consoles and his Wii Sports fitness score (25).


Simon Bradshaw

Simon Bradshaw, Postgraduate student, University of Edinburgh. Formerly an engineer in the RAF, with degrees in electronics and satellite communications engineering, Simon studied law with the Open University and went on to specialise in intellectual property and IT law at the University of Edinburgh. He iscurrently undertaking the Bar Vocational Course.


Dr Andrew Burn

Andrew is Reader in Education and New Media in the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media at the Institute of Education. He teaches on the MA in Media, Culture & Communication, supervises research students, and works on funded research projects in the field of media and young people.

He has published work on many aspects of the media, including the use of horror films in schools, young people’s production work with digital equipment, and the semiotics of computer games.

He is interested in the adaptation of theories of multimodality to describe and analyse media texts, and has published a research methods book developing this approach, with Dr David Parker, Head of Research at the British Film Institute.

He has previously taught English, Drama and Media Studies in comprehensive schools for over twenty years. He has been a Head of English and an Assistant Principal at his last school, Parkside Community College in Cambridge, where his main role was to direct the school’s media arts specialism: it was the first specialist Media Arts College in the country.


Professor Bryan T. Camp

Bryan is Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law and admitted to practice in Virginia.

After earning his J.D. and M.A., Professor Camp clerked for the Honorable John P. Wiese of what is now called the Court for Federal Claims. He worked on tax, takings, and government contract cases. Then, as an Assistant County Attorney for Arlington, Virginia, he experienced the myriad delights of providing legal counsel to a local government, ranging from litigating various civil matters to practicing what he likes to call “transactional constitutional law.” Professor Camp left public service briefly to work as an associate in a small Washington D.C. firm. There he divided his time between commercial law, contract law, and estate planning.

After earning his LL.M., Professor Camp returned to public service as a Senior Docket Attorney in the IRS Office of Chief Counsel’s National Office in Washington, D.C. There he spent eight years delving into the details of subtitle F of the Internal Revenue Code and the subtleties of the Bankruptcy Code, dispensing advice to IRS field attorneys across the country and helping devise appropriate responses to adverse judicial opinions. In 1997 and 1998 Professor Camp was privileged to be a fly on the wall when Congress ground out the Internal Revenue Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998 (the RRA). He participated in the IRS efforts to affect that legislation. After the RRA’s enactment, Professor Camp led the regulatory response to one of the most complicated of the RRA provisions. The resulting proposed regulation was published in the Federal Register on January 2, 2001. During his tenure at the IRS Office of Chief Counsel, Professor Camp received numerous awards, the last one being the 2000 Attorney of the Year for the General Litigation Division.

Since joining Texas Tech, Professor Camp has lectured and written on bankruptcy law and has also written in the areas of tax law, statutory interpretation, constitutional law, and jurisprudence. He is the author of over 23 published articles and treatise chapters, plus numerous shorter works. Since June 2004 he has written 13 articles on tax administration law and policy for Tax Notes, the premier national publication devoted solely to tax issues. In addition, his long-standing and continuing interest in United States legal intellectual history and social history is reflected in his selection to participate in the 2003 Supreme Court Historical Society’s summer seminar and in scholarly presentations before the New York Historical Society and Haverford College.

Professor Camp is currently Chair of the Committee on Individual and Family Taxation of the American Bar Association’s Tax Section. He is frequently invited to present at CLE functions; currently he prepares materials for and presents at two to four CLE meetings per year.


Dr Gianna Cassidy

Dr Gianna Cassidy is a Music Psychologist and Singer-Songwriter, currently lecturing in Psychology of Music and Interactive Entertainment Design at Glasgow Caledonian University. Gianna joined the Psychology Department in 2003 having gained an MA Honours in Psychology and Music at Glasgow University. Her PhD, supervised by Professor Raymond MacDonald and Dr Christina Knussen, focused on the role and function of music in driving game performance and experience. In March 2007, Gianna moved to the school of Computing and Engineering continuing her research in the eMotion Lab. This work has been presented internationally, most recently at The International Digital Games Research Association Conference Vancouver 2006/Tokyo 2007, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco 2007, and the International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition Chicago 2004/Bologna 2006/Soporro 2008. Her active research interests include the role and function of music in interactive technology experience, the role of creative technology in musical identities, the process of composing for games, and music and exergaming.


Patrice Chazerand

Patrice is Secretary General, Interactive Software Federation of Europe. Patrice Chazerand has held the position of secretary general of the Interactive Software Federation of Europe (ISFE) since 2002.

The first fifteen years of his career were spent with France’s foreign ministry, six of which at the French embassy to the United States. In 1989, he was hired by AT&T France as director, public affairs, in the run-up to the opening of European telecommunications markets. In 1999, he moved to Brussels to establish and run the European office of Viacom, the mother company of Paramount, MTV, CBS, etc.