Volume 1, 2002

Contents:

1. The Techno-Sublime by Barbara Bolt

2. Contested Spaces: The Internet Ate My TV, The TV Company Ate My Internet Site by Djoymi Baker

3. The Uncomfortable Cult: How Novelty and Subverted Expectations Generate a Cult Following in Contemporary Fantastic Television by Patrick Porter

4. I Know What Movie You Did Last Summer by Peter Mattessi

5. Does Game Size Matter? Comparing Vivian Sobchack’s theory of the QuickTime Memory Box and the experience of Tomb Raider on the Game Boy by Tim Drylie

The Techno-Sublime
by Barbara Bolt

Barbara Bolt argues that the encounter between dance culture and technology as experienced in ‘clubbing’is a sublime encounter. However, the techno-sublime encounter is predicated on a very different relation to the sublime, than that developed by Immanuel Kant. In the ‘techno-sublime’encounter there is no longer a concern with the re-assertion of ‘self’in the face of the sublime event. Rather, there is a collapse in boundaries as ‘I’ dissolve into the collective techno-experience. In the combination of the beat of bodies, heat, music, vibration, lights and drugs, the techno experience creates an intensification that is oblivious to reason or to the reasonable limits of the organism.

Contested Spaces: The Internet Ate My TV, The TV Company Ate My Internet Site
by Djoymi Baker

Beyond the usual location of the television set in the private home, television discourse extends into other spaces, such as those created by TV gossip, journalism, and merchandising. In the age of the internet, virtual space has become the site of both official and unofficial television discourse. These virtual television spaces have been the site of conflict between TV fans and the copyright owners who have increasingly fought to curtail web-based fan activities. In particular, for Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Star Trek fans, this conflict has seen legal warnings and fan site closures. Djoymi Baker focuses on the way in which the battle over the sites can itself be characterized in terms of cross-media textual expansion, extending both the television text and the television “viewing” experience.

The Uncomfortable Cult: How Novelty and Subverted Expectations Generate a Cult Following in Contemporary Fantastic Television
by Patrick Porter

It has been suggested that cult shows have a large percentage of viewers who are avid fans and these fans have relatively high visibility compared to the fans of other shows. These ‘avid’fans, as opposed to ‘casual’ or ‘devoted’viewers are the hardcore cultists who ‘love’a television show to the extent that their devotion is drawn to the attention of the wider community. The questions that arises from this observation are: Why do these shows attract so many avid fans, and how are their activities responsible for their visibility? In this essay, Patrick Porter seeks to identify some of the textual elements that have been made visible by the recent emergence of demanding shows such as Buffy:The Vampire Slayer and Farscape.

I Know What Movie You Did Last Summer
by Peter Mattessi

Focusing on Vera Dika’s idea of audience ‘game play’, and the increased intertextual awareness of contemporary audiences detailed by Jim Collins, Peter Mattessi demonstrates that a new level of reflexivity, inspired by Scream, has entered the realm of the teen slasher film: that of actor recognition and identification. Repetition and variationwithin the generic framework has been extended to include the repetitive use of the same actors, and variations on their other roles. The result is that a hyper-aware audience is placed in a situation where much of the fun of the shared horror experience is the communal identification and dissemination of familiar faces, and the importation of generic elements carried with them.

Does Game Size Matter? Comparing Vivian Sobchack’s theory of the QuickTime Memory Box and the experience of Tomb Raider on the Game Boy
by Tim Drylie

Focusing on the Game Boy format, Tim Drylie outlines why it is a fallacy to assume that an ‘authentic’ and ‘true’ path for computer game development leads to a more ‘real’ game experience via a connection with more powerful and larger digital technologies. It is not always a greater expansion in size (of processing speed and capability, or a more ‘natural’ reality experience) that matters; it is what you do with ‘it’ that counts. Drawing upon Vivian Sobchack’s comparison of the miniature ‘memory box’ to the QuickTime ‘movie’, a poetic and philosophical interrogation of the Game Boy Tomb Raider game follows.