Posts Tagged ‘Publications’

Last month my second book was released: ‘Killer Games’ Versus ‘We Will Fund Violence’ The Perception of Digital Games and Mass Media in Germany and Australia”.

Where my first book was my German Master’s thesis (and was about gaming behind the Iron Curtain), this one is my Ph.D.

So what is it all about?

While the assessment of digital games in Germany was framed by a high-culture critique, which regarded them as an ‘illegitimate’ activity, in Australia they were enjoyed by a comparatively wide demographic as a ‘legitimate’ pastime.

In the thesis I analysed the social history of digital gaming in both countries and related it to their socio-cultural traditions and their effects on modes of distinction. Basically, you can tell why Germany has issues with this type of media by looking into why Australia does not.

Germany, as a European Kulturnation, had a different history and different ‘foundational dynamics’ than Australia, a New-World society built on premises which consciously distanced themselves from their Old-World heritage.

Foundational dynamics signify the socio-cultural and historical forces which shaped a distinct national conscience and dominant identity constructions during the countries’ founding phase. These constructions did not stay without an impact on the perception of different kinds of aesthetics.

Closely related to the uptake of culture was the issue of distinction, the cultural demarcation between social groups: By a conspicuous refusal of other tastes, a class tries to depict its own lifestyle as something superior. A country like Germany, whose national self-conception was closely related to groups which perpetuated an idealistic notion of Kultur and later integrated it into a rigid class system, exhibited a different form of distinction than Australia.

To put it differently: A country which based its national archetype on the myth of the bushman developed a different national conscience than a country whose ruling class defines itself very much in terms of high-cultural achievements.

The thesis demonstrates how forms of distinction, shaped by different foundational dynamics, asserted themselves regarding the perception of mass culture to the point where digital games were the latest medium to be surrounded by established patterns of criticism and enthusiasm. To make this point clear it gives a detailed history of previous introductions of mass culture and with which reactions they were met on part of Germany and Australia and their modes of distinction.

Due to its history and cultural traditions, Germany strongly opposed mass media – as can be seen in the uptake of the cinema, radio and television – whereas Australians were always comparatively enthusiastic about the latest iteration of mass art, games included. It was something that confirmed Australian identity whereas it threatened Germany’s.

The thesis is the first social history of gaming in both countries.

On the other hand it also offer unique insights into the national unconscious of the two countries by means of analysing the uptake of mass media.

So if you’re interested in digital games, media history, the social history of Germany and Australia, demographics and target groups in these countries or their capacity to produce internationally appealing media content, this book is for you.

Get it here or here.

-Jens

I’ll admit, it wasn’t a very scientific study (consisting of a survey group of only myself) but it makes for the same kind of sensationalistic headline that HubSpot  went with in a post that says “Study Shows Social Media Releases Are Less Effective Than Traditional Press Releases.”

In that blog post, author Rebecca Corliss tests the effectiveness of Social Media Releases compared to regular News Releases when both are distributed via major newswires.  I’ve got no problem with her methodology, in that the evaluated the effectiveness of the respective releases by the number of places they were syndicated.

However, I don’t know what this proves.

I know that ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages is important for organizations, and I know that getting a great deal of inbound links from different sources is a good way to achieve this.

But I also think that as soon as this becomes one of the primary goals of PR and news releases, the game is over. We’ll be writing for search engine spiders, not people, and we’ll be evaluating campaign successes by incoming links, not relationships and engagement.

The whole point of a news release isn’t to blast it out to as many places as possible so that people see it.

That’s called Advertising, not Public Relations.

The point of a news release has always been to provide a journalist with information that they can use to write a story.

The same is true with Social Media Releases. However, rather than just providing journalists with plain text to tell their story, the Social Media Release makes it easy for them to use all kinds of multimedia elements in their story.

I don’t think that news releases aggregators such as the places Rebecca is getter her releases syndicated to are going to get a lot of eyeballs, nor are they eyeballs that do go there going to be particularly enthralled by the release there. Similiarly, I can’t imagine that links from these aggregators are particularly valuable.

Admittedly, I don’t know which syndication sites she’s referring to so I don’t know how many views those releases are getting, nor how valuable the link juice that they might pass on is.

However, I still feel that it is more important to focus on getting good, editorial coverage than it is to have your release regurgitated and repeated verbatim a thousand times across the web.

As I’ve often said, put the “social” into social media. Use the Social Media Release as a way to reach out to bloggers and online journalists in a personal way. Just blasting it out there and hoping it gets picked up is wasting everyone’s time.

What do you think about Social Media Releases versus traditional news releases?

-Parker Mason

*Note: As per usual, posts on BlogCampaigning are based on my own personal thoughts and opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, CNW Group or any of the other authors at BlogCampaigning.

What’s the deal with this website?
You're reading BlogCampaigning. We write about public relations, social media, video games, marketing and pretty much whatever we feel is important. We've been around since August, 2006. Right now, It's mostly written by Parker Mason.