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November 16, 2009

Egypt-Sweden-USA CCR Connection

Today, students are connecting three ways across three continents. From the American University in Cairo, Egypt to Orebro University in Sweden, all the way to Stanford University in California, students are video-conferencing in real time to discuss cultural blog entries and differences in living accommodations, education, and cultural values (doxa).

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According to the Lesson Plan, students will first introduce themselves and then discuss their blog posts that show aspects of their culture.

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After sharing their differences, they will be creating a brochure TOGETHER as a team --> and composing a visual argument to launch their imaginary new company.

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Students, please take a moment to write a comment on this blog entry with your response to your experiences connecting today. Be sure to include your name and institution.

• What did you learn about rhetoric and cross-cultural communication today?
• How did you resolve any technical difficulties (we know you had some!) What was your solution?
• What was most memorable moment or element of the video-conference exchange? What surprised you the most?
• Explain your GROUP BROCHURE - how did you create it? What does it mean?
• What new insights do you have about diverse cultures or ways of working together that you can use for your future?

Thank you!

October 12, 2009

Morals, Empathy and Video Games

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Many people have formulated opinions on the effects of video games on the today's youth. People make claims that video games increase aggression and violence, and that they decrease a person's empathy for others and perception of reality versus fantasy. Many of these and more myths are discussed and debunked in an essay by Henry Jenkins, the director of comparative studies at MIT. Essentially, the youth crime rate is currently much lower than it has been for the past 30 years. People are still influenced by video games, yes, but does a virtual experience of violence influence people negatively? In a 2007 poll, parents of video game playing children age 12-17 mostly said the games had no effect, but 19% said they have a positive influence and only 13% said they have a negative influence. However, the 55% of the parents of children who don't play video games said that video games have a negative influence (probably the reason their kids don't play in the first place). Only 10% of children of that age do not play video games, so only 17% of parents with children of that age actually think that video games have a negative effect on children. 17% of that same group also thinks that they have a positive effect.

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The Video Game Rating System

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Although most kids (including me) never even so much as glance at the rating of a video game, it's a primary concern of many parents. My goal is to dig a little deeper and find out just how video games are rated. What's the process? Who's in charge of this sort of thing? I'm also going to explore the social effects that these ratings have. What percentage of kids/parents take the rating into account when they look to buy a game? Are there any parents that believe the rating system is too lenient? Furthermore, has any legal action been taken against video games?

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Pikachu and Pokemon: From Idea to International Sensation

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Pikachu. Thirteen years ago, that word had no meaning. Now, it is the mascot for the second-bestselling franchises of all time. My research project focuses on the rise in popularity of Pokémon, and how one person came up with an idea that took the entire world by force. What was so appealing about Pokémon? What were the early marketing strategies by Nintendo? And is the popularity decreasing now, as many say, or is there more in store for the franchise? These are all central questions to my topic.

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Video Game Violence: Is There Only a Thin Line Between Virtual World and Reality

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

“Nothing good ever comes of violence.” This is a quote which is said by Martin Luther. It is ironic because even though the majority of the people view violence as something bad and evil, we still see it daily everywhere; we see it in our favorite TV series, newspaper, computer games etc. It seems as if violence is a part of our culture. Because of this, people are starting to question the effect of exposure to violence on us; many say that violence in media causes us to be violent. Although various kinds of media expose us to violence, video games is one of the most popular things that people believed to have the worst effects on the players. Therefore, many countries now ban video games that are violent.

The focus of my research paper will be to argue against video game policies, specifically Thailand’s. The first source I am going to use is a news article from The Scotsman, August 5, 2008. This article will complicate one of my hypotheses that violence in video game has no influence on the players, because according to the article the murderer claimed that he robbed the taxi because he needed money to play video games and used this method because he thought that it is very easy to do in the video game. He tried to recreate the scene in which the character in the game robs a taxi driver and flees the police by driving the taxi. He failed to flee the police because he doesn’t know how to drive a car, but he also said that he thought he would be able to drive a car by just learning how to by driving one in a video game. This would therefore be challenging for me to argue with, because it is a good counter-example that shows that the video game influenced the murderer so much that he began to mix it with reality.

So, Star Wars Will Help Me in Med School????- Video Gaming and Surgery

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Two of the constants in my life have been surgery and video games. From Ubisoft’s Chessmaster and Pangea Software’s Power Pete in the computer lab during Kindergarten Recess, to playing Rock Band and Mario Kart Wii to waste away hot summer days, video games have surrounded me no matter where I go. Surgery has always been around just in a different way. My mother has been an pediatric otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat) for close to 30 years and, as I have been interested in being a doctor since a young age, I have always been interested in hearing about her cases.

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October 11, 2009

Wii-hab

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

For my research paper, I will be looking into video games (specifically the Wii) and how they are used in physiotherapy and rehab. Nintendo Wii was released in 2006 and completely changed the gaming world. It applied movement and activity into gaming, appealing not just to teens but older generations as well. The more popular Wii games, as well as the ones most commonly used in therapy and rehab, are Wii sports and Wii fitness. These games are used as rehab for patients ranging from injured athletes, to stroke survivors, to combat wounded soldiers.

I began my research before I even knew about this research paper.

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Eve Online - An economic sandbox?

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

This is a prewrite for my topic of interest in the use of video games for simulating complex economic markets, mainly the video game EVE Online. EVE is an incredible game in many ways. Its super realistic in its depiction of a future space empire, in that it takes forever to get anywhere, its tediously mathy, and it is full of space jerks and space pirates. But the main thing about the game is how it has a massive economy that is pretty much all controlled by the players that dedicate thousands of hours into developing the economy. The result is a functioning economy that surprisingly mirrors the real economies of the world. s'crazy!

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Taking Video Games to the Streets - The Future of Gaming Controllers

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Video games have been a huge part of my life, having played them ever since I was 3 years old. In the past 18 years, I have played many different games on various platforms that have advanced and diversified as computer technology improved. Regardless of the platform used, the fundamental component of game play has been the controller through which I, the player, interact with the world of the game. The evolution of gaming peripherals is therefore a key driving force in the production of new games, and this fascinating topic has become the topic for my research.

In the midst of my research on the history of gaming peripherals and recent developments in gaming technology, I read a research paper from the International Journal of Computer Games Technology which was titled “Using a Mobile Phone as a “Wii-like” Controller for Playing Games on a Large Public Display”.

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Generative Music in Video Games

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

We are all familiar with the rapid development in gaming technology in both areas of interactivity and performance. Modern games on the Xbox 360 or PS3 have such realistic graphics thati it's getting a bit scary, and the Nintendo Wii has introduced a new level of immersive interactivity with their acceleration-sensitive controllers. My intention is to look at how the implementation of music in video games is also changing and developing as technology allows more and more freedom.

Scoring for a game is a much different process than scoring for, say, a movie. In a move, the sequence of events is fixed, and thus each second of music is tailored to fit the visuals. Since a game's motion is determined by the player, writing one fixed score would not meld seamlessly with the gameplay. Most games in the past two decades have done a decent job of working around this by having different pieces, or musical elements that trigger during different scenes: the intro will be some epic orchestration, while the boss fight will have heart-stopping drum breaks with adrenaline-fueled synth lines. While this doesn't disrupt the flow of the game so much, it does draw attention to repetitive play, as each similar scene is accompanied by a very recognizable theme.

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October 10, 2009

The Rhetoric of Gaming - topics for research

I'm once again teaching the Rhetoric of Gaming here at Stanford, and this quarter, we started off by working with the Cabrinety Collection, a large repository of vintage video games currently housed in Green Library's special collections.

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After this opportunity to analyze primary sources, the students have been busy selecting and refining their own research topics for explore over the next six weeks. As one of the first stages in their projects, they were asked to post a blog entry on the CCR blog in which they identify their topic and then describe and analyze one source that they feel will be important for their research.

Their blog posts are listed below -- they would welcome feedback on their ideas as they continue to refine their topics, revise their research questions, and brainstorm productive ways to research this project!

An International Perspective on Gaming

This week is a big week for my fall Rhetoric of Gaming course here at Stanford. Not only are my students preparing to share their research topics on this international blog, but they are also eagerly anticipating their video conference Tuesday night with students from the University of Sydney, Australia. My class drew the late-night video conference, so we will be connecting at 10pm Stanford time for an hour-long activity with our global partners.

It's funny that just as we prepare to chat with Australia, Australia is in the news specifically for their gaming rating restrictions. As one blogger reports, it is looks as if Australia will be lifting its ban on the violent video game "Left 4 Dead 2" -- after the game has been revamped and censored specifically for Aussie audiences.

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April 28, 2009

Cheating and Hacking in Video Games

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Published by Feross Aboukhadijeh.

For my research, I will be investigating the phenomenon of cheating in video games.

0262033658-f30.jpgAlmost every type of game—online and offline, single player and multiplayer—has cheaters. However, not all cheaters are the same. It’s impossible to fit all cheaters—or gamers, for that matter—into a single stereotype or definition. The variety and differences among gamers in today’s society is simply too great to allow such a blanket categorization. Mia Consalvo, author of Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames (pictured at right), agrees. She argues that identifying cheaters as having a unique subculture does not “adequately explain the broader world of gamers and game players that currently exists.”

Everyone cheats for different reasons. Some players cheat to make games easier during solo play. Cheat codes that generate extra lives, allow players to skip levels, or grant God mode (invulnerability) are common examples of harmless cheats that players use to make the game easier. Cheat codes are typically harmless and are often programmed into the game by the developers as “Easter eggs” for dedicated players to discover. Other players cheat to ruin the game experience for other players. This typically occurs online in the form of aimbots (software that assists the player in aiming), twinking (passing on powerful items to players who would not typically have such items), and the illicit sale of in-game currency. Other players cheat for the technical challenge of “hacking” the game and defeating the anti-cheating mechanisms built into the game.

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Reality Blurred at the First Log-In

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

In today’s tech savvy era, more and more people are relying on the internet and computers to perform daily activities and tasks. Professional and mundane work aside, technology has taken on more recreational tasks and responsibilities. Once seen as a luxury, video games have become a necessary component of daily life, as it provides gamers/players with an escape from the burdens of reality. Interestingly enough, in both Multi Massive Online Role Playing Games and Single Player Games, the creation of avatars (virtual characters with which players can interact with the virtual world) has become a major lure.

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A Tale of Two Worlds: Virtual Reality and the September 11th attacks

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

For my research topic, I originally intended to write on governmental structure and how its relationship with the citizens of a country affects the games it produces. However, through my research of this topic I stumbled upon a perhaps more intriguing and certainly more defined topic: virtual worlds and their relation to the September 11th attacks. Much of what happened and the surrounding events were supported by the existence of a virtual world. Indeed, Slavoj i ek comments upon this relationship with the virtual world, writing that “’If there is any symbolism in the collapse of the WTC towers, it is not so much the old-fashioned notion of the “center of financial capitalism,” but, rather, the notion that the two WTC towers stood for the center of the VIRTUAL capitalism….’”

There are two significant ways in which the gaming world and the military world have interacted with regards to this attack: flight simulators and government-funded games. Elizabeth Losh of the University of California Irvine investigates the games funded by the government and they deep impact they had on the gaming and development world in her piece titled “Making Things Public: Democracy and Government-Funded Videogames and Virtual Reality Simulations” (This article can be found at http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1183334&coll=GUIDE&dl=GUIDE&CFID=33116903&CFTOKEN=47434535&ret=1#Fulltext ). This piece serves not only as an introduction to Tactical Iraqi and Virtual Iraq, two games currently funded by the United States government, but also as a sort of summary of the controversy surrounding the creation of these games.

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Saving the Economy with Starcraft

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

My research topic is on the influence of gaming within the whole economy of a country, especially on the positive influence of the release of the upcoming game Starcraft 2 within the Korean economy.

About the Game
Starcraft 2 is a sequel to a strategic simulation game that became the prototype of the current real-time strategy games today. Considering the fact that the gaming market and other markets associated to the gaming market (Internet cafés, food industry, TV Programs) are significant in Korea, even just one game can be an important factor in revitalizing the Korean economy. Other than direct sales of the game Starcraft 2, there are magazines, toys, and other merchandise that are sold under the name of Starcraft 2.

Starcraft 2 features numerous new characters and upgraded visual effects.

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The Difference in Movies and Games

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Video games and movies are both great forms of entertainment. They both have rely on the interaction with their user, or viewer, to create a desired effect. The success of movies and video games also relies heavily on the ability to tell a story. This would make one think that when a popular video game becomes a movie, the film would also be fairly popular. Unfortunately, this has not been the case. What differences in the two forms of entertainment contribute to the success of one and the failure of another? Why have few video game based movies been successful? Have movie based video games faired any better? These questions will hopefully lead to a focused topic analyzing the relationship between video games and movies.
In order to tackle these questions, I will rely on primary research to not only view movies, but to play the games they are associated with. Among the movies I will look at include the Super Mario film, the Laura Croft films, Mortal Combat films, and more. It will also be useful to research video game reviews and film critique reviews to see what elements are analyzed in both forms of entertainment and see why there is little crossover in terms of success. Hopefully, when my work is complete it will become clearer as to which elements of video games fail to translate into success for movies.

Video Games are gay?

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Tracing back the origins of video gaming, it seems that a majority of video games in America were the means of escaping reality for many straight, white male adolescents. Video games offered a life that they couldn't live, rescuing damsels in distress, blasting aliens into oblivion, and attaining glory. They were, of course, direct responses to the life outside video games: unrequited love, bullies, and a lack of social acceptance. In modern times, there is a much wider audience playing video games. The appeal is no longer limited to race, gender, and age. Game designers have also considered sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is the most taboo characteristic of them all, but more and more games have progressed to include homosexual relationships, aside from the typical hero-damsel love story.

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The Hard and Soft Factors of Gaming

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

With sales of over $22 billion in 2008, video games have experienced quite a transformation from the humble Tennis for Two created in 1958 to the graphical miracles of titles like Metal Gear Solid 4 or Crysis. For my research, I will be investigating how the evolution of the hardware and software responsible for these novel forms of entertainment has impacted game play throughout the years.

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The Irony of Emulators

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Who could forget sitting down in front of their Super Nintendo, N64, or any other old generation consoles and feeling the rush of playing video games for hours on end? Video game emulators let you relive the thrill and excitement of these days by mounting any game you can find on your computer to be played at any time. People often throw around the phrase “it's so much fun, it should be illegal.” In this case, it really is illegal. No matter how much fun reliving your childhood through the convenience of your computer or how much easier it is to just download the “ROM” (read-only-memory) for the game you want to play than tracking down a copy of the game, it end up hurting the gaming industry and the publishers who originally put out the games we have grown to love.

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April 27, 2009

Machinima: Red vs. Blue

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

For my project, I will be researching and investigating the uprising, history, and evolution of machinima as a form of film, entertainment, and advertisement. I will also be researching the different techniques and methods that are part of the “machinimation” process. For those who are unfamiliar with the term: Machinima refers to the fairly new method of filmmaking that is created by taking and editing real-time recordings of video and computer games and virtual worlds. The term machinima is also used to refer to the films themselves and is derived from the terms, machine and cinema. Originally, machinima were simple recordings of game play that were captured by gamers to document achievements, stunts, or just really cool footage. Today, machinima have become elaborate, full-length movies or series that are watched, mostly through the Internet, by millions of viewers all over the world.

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Sexism in WoW: man-made or inherent?

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

My research addresses the factors contributing to the prevalent sexism in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. First launched in 2004, World of Warcraft’s rich graphics and detailed story lines have captivated countless gamers, promising new goals to attain, new gear to acquire and more content to see with each of its two expansion packs. In the game, the player is able to choose their faction- Horde or Alliance- their race, their appearance, and their gender. Though members of both genders of any given race are placed in the same starting locations upon creation, the player is made painfully aware of the discrepancy; starter gear looks different depending on your gender.

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Foldit: From Educational Video Game to Scientific Pioneer

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

The typical educational atmosphere consists of textbooks, teachers, lectures, studying, and exams. Each of us has experienced first hand this physical method of learning. However, over the past decade virtual worlds have invaded the “traditional” classroom and have secured a position as primary teaching tools. Educational video games that have been crafted to teach students all range of subjects have assuredly impacted the learning environment. Recently, these “learning” games have also become an alternative method to teach medicine, both to the general public and more importantly to those aspiring to enter medical fields. Yet, some of these “new” medical tools are not only influencing education, but rather the games themselves have become a platform for scientific research and the advancement of human knowledge. The creators of the online video game "Foldit" believe they have accomplished just this.

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Racism in Video Games

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

For my research, I will be focusing on racism in video games and how it may be related to the evolution of the “gamer”. I have found that gamers and non-gamers have opposite opinions on whether or not they find a game to be racist. One newly developed game in particular, Resident Evil 5, has been criticized by a number of groups for promoting racial stereotypes. The game takes place in Africa, where you play as either the white, male, and American character Chris Redfield or as the African, black, and female character Sheva.

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Grand Theft Auto video and its implications

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

Gaming is fun, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes video games cross the line, especially when portraying women and violence in games. Two such examples of inappropriate game play are the games Rapelay based in Japan and the Grand Theft Auto series made in the United States. Both games show women being violated in virtual yet realistic worlds where the player can do whatever he wants. The idea behind the game is that you can get away with illegal behavior with no consequences. In one clip of the game Grand Theft Auto 4 found on Youtube, the player is shown driving up to a curb in a stolen car and proceeds to pick up a hooker. While the player drives wherever he wants around the city, the hooker and the main character, being played by the gamer, have an explicit conversation about what they plan to do to each other. After the player drives around for a bit, he decides to stop in a deserted back alley and the car begins to rock back and forth while noises and vulgar language can be heard inside the van.

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Differences in Casual and Professional Gamers

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

My topic is the gap between casual and professional gamers. For the most part, only games that involve some form of multiplayer competition can be played competitively, because competition is by definition a test of skill and a multiplayer activity. Therefore, the biggest professionally played games are FPSes (first person shooters, like CounterStrike) or RTSes (real time strategy games, like Starcraft). However, many other genres of games exist. Clearly, there is some gap between casual games and competitive games. According to an article on PBS entitled “Gen Nexters Take Video Gaming to the Next Level,” there is also a gap between casual gamers and competitive gamers. The average age of a casual gamer was 33, while the average age of a competitive gamer was 21.

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April 26, 2009

Profitability in the Video Gaming Industry: Is there any, at all?

This entry was created by a student in Stanford's Rhetoric of Gaming class. For more about the class and the assignment, click here.

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Modern video game companies have recently displayed interesting business models behind their cutting edge products. The state-of-the-art software and hardware that readily entertains us today are very complex and costly creations, taking years to develop and often requiring vast amounts of funds and resources to complete. Profitability is a key term that has been brought into question when analyzing current video games systems like Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's Playstation 3 and even Nintendo's Wii.

My research topic consists of a look into these business practices, and the motivations behind the sales of video game products that turn little to no profit, sometimes resulting in losses. The scope of the research will also include the actions that these companies take in order to boost revenue considering they cannot cut production costs by much. Thus, they turn to extremely well-developed marketing strategies and rhetoric in order to promote continued sales, which in the long run offsets poor gains from high production costs associated with the products.

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Research Blogging for the Rhetoric of Gaming

This quarter, I'm teaching a first year course called the Rhetoric of Gaming. Below you can see my students hard at work in the classroom.

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While it may look like they are just playing, in fact these students were performing a group rhetorical analysis of gameplay and game design focused in on educational gaming. We have also been looking at persuasive gaming, advergaming, video game marketing, and virtual worlds/play. In fact, we are also gearing up for a possible Second Life encounter with students from Egypt, where we can mix our interest in intercultural communication with questions of identity, avatar construction, and virtual communities.


Currently, my students are embarking on their own full-length research projects. As one of the first stages in their projects, they were asked to post a blog entry on the CCR blog in which they identify their topic and then describe and analyze one source that they feel will be important for their research.

Their blog posts are listed below -- they would welcome your feedback on their ideas!

As you can see, they are approaching the issue of gaming from multiple perspectives -- from the technological, to the economic, and the cultural. We're very excited to post on the Cross-Cultural Rhetoric blog to get an international point of view on these issues.

February 09, 2009

Can't We All Just Get Along?

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

I’m working on a research project centered on the evolution of online gaming. As part of my research I’ve been spending time playing social games with my friends and online. And I have recently come across a new phenomenon: the win-at-all-costs gamer. These are people who don’t play by the rules and will use any exploitative measures they can come up with to give themselves an unfair advantage.
Halo 3, named best multiplayer game of they year in 2007 and most innovative game of the year 2007,2008 by Edge Magazine because of its stellar us of the online platform, is a gathering place for all sorts of gamers and you can find virtually every gaming demographic there is playing this game online. One of the best things about the game is that you and three of your friends, sitting in the same room, can venture online together and test your virtual might. These players need only sign in as “guests” on your Xbox 360 and presto, you’re playing together online.

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Psychology of blogging

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Over the past few years, the popularity of blogging has grown dramatically. Since 2002, the number of blogs has grown to over 180 million, with over 90 million daily readers. Due to the popularity of this rising trend, I decided to research blogging. However, when I started looking up the topic, I noticed that the question of why people do it has never been fully addressed. This is the question I am researching.

During the past few weeks, I have been viewing blogs, reading articles, and conducting interviews. Throughout all of this research, the source that I have found the most interesting, mainly since it provided a new way of viewing blogging, is a journal article written for the American Behavioral Scientist titled "The Psychology of Blogging: You, Me, and Everyone in Between." In the article the authors present their views on blogging and why people may do it.

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DRM survey at Stanford suggests students lack awarness of DRM issues

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Digital Rights Management are a group of technologies and means in which corporate software companies impose restrictions on to the end user (the user of the software) by extending the intellectual property rights of the owners. These technologies are taking away the users rights, effectively controlling the end user as to what they can do to their purchased property. Thus, in researching the methods by which these corporate software companies attempt at stealing away users rights, I have created a survey to get a sense of the awareness people have towards DRM and its issues.

There are six questions in the survey:
1. Have you heard of DRM?
2. Do you know what DRM is and what does DRM stand for?
3. What is the use of the End User License Agreement *EULA)?
4. Have you read the EULA in its entirety?
5. Have you heard of or do you use open source software?
6. If yes, please state two examples of open source software.

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Online Anonymity's Failure to Remain Anonymous: Ways to Identify Users' Information Through A Non-Technological Technique

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.


The New Yorker published a cartoon that summarized digital life in 1993. “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Intrigued by this cartoon, I decided to research on its validity in the present and concluded to prove that online anonymity is never anonymous. Most of my research consisted of technological issues such as creating programs to secure online anonymity and tracing IP address to locate users. However, I came across an article from CNET.com that introduced a way to identify online users without relying on technological instruments. What? I never expected that a posted text/comment would allow professionals to identity some personal information about users. So how is this possible?

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February 08, 2009

MMORPGs: The New Training Wheels

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

These days, people are finding accessing the internet easier with better and more efficient technology. As we witness an evolution in graphics and computer interfaces, which allows computer use to be more enjoyable, it is also evident that games designed for internet play are becoming more prevalent. Specifically, MMORPGs, or massively multiplayer online role-playing games, have begun their assent on the industrial ladder to become a popular mainstream activity. As a researcher, student, and player of these types of games, I want to know what propelled MMORPG to a multi-billion dollar industry within just a couple of years at the consumer level. In other words, what are the motivations for playing?

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February 02, 2009

Television or YouTube?: Forecasting the Future Balance of Television and User-Leaded Web Media, YouTube

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Viacom, a media giant which is the home of many television companies including MTV and Comedy Central, sued YouTube for failing to regulate more than 150,000 unauthorized Viacom Video clips viewed for 1.5 billion times.

YouTube has grown continuously and the online video site is now ranked the number four web site in the world -behind only Yahoo, MSN and Google itself according to Internet traffic data of Alexa. YouTube is a representative platform of user created contents (UCCs), which provides software which enables users to create their own videos without professional knowledge. Coincided with increased broadband availability, increased quality of consumer technology devices for videos, as well as with the shift of information and communication technology (ICT) skills to younger age groups who are less hesitant to reveal personal information on-line, such a UCC website could grow rapidly and dramatically. However, Academics and Media Executives estimate that thirty to seventy percent of YouTube videos are unauthorized copyrighted materials such as music videos or full television programs. The astoundingly high potential of copyright infringements within YouTube suggests the great anger of Viacom over YouTube; unauthorized YouTube video clips have stolen their viewers!

As the lawsuit mentioned in the beginning showed, Viacom presents very stubborn attitude on unauthorized materials trying to “rip down” any of their original materials on YouTube. But is mere “ripping down” an appropriate reaction on such video clips? Will not there be more reasons that some people prefer watching television programs on YouTube to watching them on regular television, than just because it is free on YouTube? Based on this idea, I am researching on the solution for the future video industry which provides the merits of YouTube and compensates the producers simultaneously. And I will introduce some models of websites that also provides television programs but protecting copyrights. Yet, I focused on websites ran by television companies to find out the desired remuneration of television companies.

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Learning to Share

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

In an age when virtually any information is available online in an instant through Google and Wikipedia, higher education is often stuck in the proprietary, campus-centered models of the past. In the past decade, however, top universities have begun to share their course materials (lectures, notes, homework assignments, and more) with the public over the internet. As a researcher and as a student of one such prestigious university, I want to know how the recent trend of open course materials will affect university education and society in general.

I began my research with the same perception that most people have: that online courses are for people with technical skills and interests. After all, MIT was the university that pioneered OpenCourseWare, and MIT is world-renowned for its Computer Science and engineering classes. Even at Stanford, a research university that also focuses on the liberal arts, 59 of the 62 paid online SCPD courses are offered by the School of Engineering. The other three are from Biomedical Informatics and Statistics. After some searching, however, one can discover a varied selection of course materials in non-technical subjects.

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iReport a Solution

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Journalism is defined by Merriam-Webster.com as: the collection and editing of news for presentation through the media; an academic study concerned with the collection and editing of news or the management of a news medium. Like many other terms, with the passage of time and the advances that come with technology, this definition is changing. Editing, management, and academic study are aspects of journalism that belong solely to the media. However, the collection and presentation portion of that definition has extended beyond the grasp of the “Newspaper Tycoons” of old to the camcorder-clad-suburban-American. This modern reporter has no training or experience, he just happens to be in the right place at the right time and have access to basic technology. He is known as the Citizen Journalist.

It seems to be a growing phenomenon, this Citizen Journalism. I wondered how it came about. Is it a solution to the problem of Journalism needing to catch up with the times, or is it a symptom of that problem? Is it something that is going to last, or a fad that will pass? So I began researching to discover some answers.

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February 01, 2009

Guilds and Gangs

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Is crime in a virtual world comparable to crime in the real world? Is it worse?

Way back in April of 2005, I read an article in PC Gamer magazine that changed my perspective on the social dynamics in massively multiplayer, online, role-playing games (MMORPGs). The take-down of the Ubiqua Seraph Corporation by the Guilding Hand Social Club in EVE-Online was one of the first heavily publicized acts of crime in a virtual world. To lose $16,000 to a bank robber or a con artist would be significant in the real world, but to lose $16,000 to a criminal in a video game is outrageous. That sum was surpassed in 2006, when a user named Danatara Rast founded the EVE Investment Bank (EIB). Within a short period, the EIB had secured the funds of hundreds of players and many large corporations. One day, Danatara revealed the bank was a scam by pocketing the holdings of the bank and making off with roughly 700 billion ISK, well over $100,000 in real-world currency.

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The "Minerva" Syndrome

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

I am currently researching on the “Minerva” syndrome that has happened since a couple of months ago. “Minerva” has posted about 200 articles predicting the current economic situation on a Korean website, called Daum Agora. His articles have become so famous among the users of the website that some even called him “the Internet economic president.” I want to find the relationship between this syndrome and the government’s loss of credibility.

Two events mainly contributed to raise “Minerva” up to the position of “the online economic president.” First, in August 2008, Korea Development Bank, run by the government, tried to purchase Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., while “Minerva” warned that Lehman is in danger of bankruptcy. Lehman went into bankruptcy at last, and “Minerva” turned out to be correct.

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Shopping for Love?

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

According to recent reports, online dating sites have reached record numbers in the recent months than ever before. .As the online dating industry continues to expand not just in the United States, but internationally, I am left to question why this phenomenon is occurring. What is motivating people to meet for the purpose of dating in a place that has been coined so unsafe, where deception is only a step away, where you can't even physically see a person or speak to them? Furthermore, why are people willing to pay for these types of services?

While doing research on this topic in the library at Stanford, I came across a book entitled Cyberspace Romance: The Psychology of Online Relationships by Monica Whitty and Adrian Carr. What set this source apart from many articles I had found online was that it didn't just simply pour out statistics, but it gave foundation, background, and a process as to how online dating relationships worked. Whitty and Carr first defined what a relationship was and how these paralleled to how cyberspace relationships function, spanning from virtual reality relationships to video game relationships.

In the 7th chapter of their book, Whitty and Carr focus on Online Dating and the motivations for using these online dating networks. They conducted their research using those online matchmaking users registered on Australia's largest online dating site, giving a worldwide view of the situation in question. Included in the listed motivations were reasons that I, personally expected, such as being too shy or reserved, or simply for fun (to find casual sex). But there were other responses that surprised me, like how 57% of the sample group mentioned using online dating as a substitute for the club scene because they had gotten tired of these places, or how 67% "felt they had no other option (because of their work situations, family commitments, dislike for other venues)." What caught me off guard with this statistic was how strong the statement was. I had never looked at online dating sites as an only or last resort, but rather as a simple alternative, another option to other forms of meeting people, but the fact that more than half of the sample felt this way was astounding. I had not even thought of people that were so busy with work to go out using this as a convenient means to find people around them. Maybe this feeling of desperation is what is adding to the success of this industry.


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January 31, 2009

ミクシィにミクスする

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Winter 2009 Technology & Identity class. To learn more about the assignment, visit this blog post. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

I like aligning with my favourites. I only buy Macs, rarely purchase a non-Nintendo video game, and only use Facebook. Or rather, only used Facebook. After exploring some alternatives, I might have found a new web-hangout: Mixi (ミクシィ) the Japanese-specific social network.

Is Mixi as active and linked as Facebook? Probably not. But it really is a breath of fresh air.

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Technology & Identity Research Blogging: Winter 2009

This week, the students in my New Technologies of Identity class will begin their research blogging assignment.

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The course itself is concerned with the way that we construct our identities differently in an online environment -- so writing on this blog gives us a great opportunity to test out how our voice as writers is transformed by the genre of blogging. Since the students have already written a proposal about their topic and given a presentation, this is a fresh medium for them to explore.

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November 28, 2008

Robert Karlsson (Analysgrupp 3 Uppsala)

I have chosen to analyze a song from the swedish political party "Sverigedemokraterna" (roughly translated "Sweden democrats" or "SD" for short) called "Blåsippans väg", or "Path of the hepatica". In the following link you can hear the song, alas in swedish, with the political party flower shown (since swedish political parties traditionally use a flower as their symbol). The man talking at the end of the song is their party leader, Jimmie Åkesson, urging people to follow the "Path of the hepatica" in the upcoming election.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtZ2mg4-zTk

When the song was written and created, recent polls had shown that SD was the third most popular party amongst youth with just under 12% of the votes. This coupled with the way the song is made (lyrics and instrumental, they've released a karaokeversion and a technoremix etc.) leads me to believe the purpose is to win votes from a younger, still undecided audience. This is what my project will be focused around, I am going to analyze the target group of the song, how the SD have tried to approach this group (both in the distribution of the song and how the song itself is formed to convince the target group) and evaluate how well this task was accomplished as well as presonal thoughts on how they could have improved on their works.

The SD is a very patriotic and conservative party (oftentimes thought to be racist), which reflects very well in the lyrics of the song. Here is an excerpt from the song, quickly translated word for word (so it's no poetry, not saying that it is in it's original, swedish form either).

And next to the little flower
that stands alone and shines
which threads down in the ground are a thousand years and more

There a little stripe is sighted
where tha grass has been tread
where naked roots are revealed. It's a path I see

I left your path so broad
and follow the other path's steep way.
Yes I left your path, because I'm not a coward.

November 19, 2008

Group A: Christian Ollano and Alan Joyce

We are two students working on analyzing various forms of advertising media. In Christian's research project, he explored advertising campaigns that have advertised the adult entertainment Mecca of Las Vegas and how the images conveyed reflect the image of both Las Vegas the destination and Las Vegas the residential community. Alan is looking into the concept of corporate image management, meaning the use of advertising by corporations to sell themselves to the public rather than any specific product or service.

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In his research project, Alan touched upon a variety of current examples of prominent corporate image management, such as GE's "ecomagination" campaign and provided an analysis of the contributions that corporate image can play in forming the company-consumer relationship. Even for those without direct involvement in corporate marketing policy, these issues and the knowledge carried with them are important keys in the understanding of modern society, and should be of ample value to all readers. As new communication methods bring corporations closer to consumers, the relationship between company and customer becomes increasingly more personal, based on the persona of the company that is portrayed through their corporate image.

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As a past resident of Las Vegas of seven years, Christian Ollano has been exposed to the plethora of suggestive and racy advertisements that promote and form the image of Las Vegas popular to the world today. But this is provocative image is not the only side of Las Vegas that exists. For years, many have been lost in the misconception that Las Vegas is solely and adult entertainment capital, but in fact, it is a metropolis composed of two contrasting ideals of community. On one side there is a quaint residential community and on the other, an enticing adult getaway. After thorough research, it has been discovered that both these entities survive through a clashing co-dependence, one in which unbalanced power allows the casino industry to promote and uphold a racy and controversial identity of the city as a whole. This is a public image of the city that has been disseminated and made popular by Las Vegas marketing agencies, casino companies, and pop culture. In order to fix this problem, the casino sector will have to tame their strategies in an attempt to create a healthy and mutual co-existence between the two entities.

Samara, Bart, Katherine, Stanford Visual Rhetoric Group E

Introducing the creative work of three distinguised Stanford students: Samara Nichols, Bart Thompson, and Katherine Disenhof. Analyzing souces of viusal rhetoric, they each produced extensive research-based arguments on their respective topics. The following images concisely summarize their projects.

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The Darfur conflict has the potential to become a multi-million death genocide--the blood on the hands of our generation. In looking at the ways that the media has covered the topic, and more importantly what the media has not covered in their presentation of the issue, we can discover ways to better solve the Darfur problem and eliminate this devestating tragedy right now.

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Pallavi, Kanoa, Catalina, Stanford Group C- Visual Rhetoric

Hello, our names are Pallavi, Kanoa, and Catalina, and we are students at Stanford University, in the course Visual Rhetoric Across the Globe. Our three respective topics are fairness creams and social mobility, portrayal of racism in political cartoons across history, and negative media portrayals of elderly people.


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Older people are negatively portrayed in the media, from magazine advertisements, to health care commercials, to beauty products. Their roles are often those of the simple, feeble, overly conservative, physically or mentally deficient. Furthermore, they are underrepresented in advertisements, and when they are advertised they are shown in an excessively negative light. Negative media portrayals of older people have a detrimental effect on how they feel about themselves, as well as how younger people view the prospect of aging. This paper explores the ways in which our preconceived notions about older people are shaped by the media and the degree to which they are ingrained.

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Skin lightening is a phenomenon that has for years been quietly sweeping Asia into frenzy, particularly in the Indian Subcontinent. Presently, the fairness cream industries are not as discrete about their products as they were in the past. Fairness product advertisements monopolize all mediums of communication with deliberate intent, and promise a better life to their consumers. Companies such as Fair and Lovely and Ponds are thriving on well-believed notions that fair skin is superior to one that is dark, and are using this emotional vulnerability of the consumers to unscrupulously promote their products. The companies clearly state that fairness will lead to success both corporately and socially, thus fueling a plethora of existing insecurities that ultimately, and selfishly translate into reaping windfall profits from their sale of a ‘promise.’

The purpose of this essay is to explore the change in perspective of racism and U.S. relations in Hawaii using political cartoons. The author focuses on political cartoons from the annexation era, circa 1875-1905, to understand societal assumptions of race and U.S. relations in early Hawaii. He then focuses on cartoons of today to see the change of these key issues throughout Hawaiian history. Political cartoons give a definitive lens in which we can understand how Hawaii has changed, due to the social change of the islands. He then argues how cartoons can help to shape the future of Hawaii.


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Megan, Benamy, Aidan, Stanford Group F Research Arguments

Megan, Benamy, and Aidan of Stanford Group F present their original research and arguments.

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From all of us:
We are three Stanford undergraduates writing for our Writing and Rhetoric class. We invite you to read and learn from our research. The topics we are writing on were all individually chosen, so they have special significance to each of us. It's our pleasure to share our work with you.

From Benamy:
My research concerns the campaign for clean coal in America. The campaign is led by the special interest group, the "American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity," which runs a slew of ads across the media, which have profound affects on public opinion of clean coal. This public opinion and active lobbying by ACCCE all have affects on energy policy in America. I argue that the ads mislead the American public with misinformation and by using empty rhetoric. The energy policy these strategies promote is wrong for America.

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From Megan:
My argument will discuss the current forms of exploitation of the Maori culture utilized by New Zealand advertisers. Domestic exploitation by ignorant and insensitive advertisers will be analyzed along with international exploitation by advertisers misusing the Maori culture for financial gain. The argument’s main purpose, however, will be to analyze exploitation so that recommendations can be made for solutions that will prevent and reduce it. Social advertising will be given as a concrete example of a successful solution. This example, along with other plans for change recommended by a New Zealand marketing authority, will provide the argument with the information necessary to extrapolate a proactive plan of action for the Maori.

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From Aidan:
In 1980, more than 120,000 Cuban refugees came to the United States. Many of them were gay. No government or religious agency would assist them. The gay and lesbian community in the United States (gay church groups in particular) pulled together to resettle these refugees, and help them assimilate into U.S. culture. Much of the rhetoric they employed in recruiting sponsors for these refugees relied on the ideas of brotherhood and unity across culture. But things did not quite go as originally envisioned – language barriers, class differences, racial tensions, and different expectations on the part of refugees and sponsors all got in the way of making the initial utopian ideals a reality.

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October 27, 2008

Interview with a L.A. Gang Member

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

My cousin is very lucky; he is 21 years old and currently finishing a sentence of 5 years at a state prison. As this in itself is not the most conventional depiction we make of luck, we should consider why indeed he is fortunate. Born into a rather poor, gang populated neighborhood located in the heart of Los Angeles, he was drawn to this gangster lifestyle after he became a relative academic failure and lacked family support—he was an only child raised by a mother who worked more than the standard 9-to-5. Participating in crime, associating with drugs, engaging in illegal ways of making money, he was quick to form relationships with correctional facilities starting at age 16. Being in and out of jail for several years, however, he developed a unique interpretation about a very compelling issue facing the Los Angeles area.
And it was through mentioning this brief summary of his gang involvement—along with many of the stereotypes we hear from the media as well as contemporary society—that sparked our conversation over the phone. He was restricted to only 10 minutes, but this short interview was critical to bringing a primary resource to my research topic that focuses on gang culture, and more specifically highlights how it is only through a shift in paradigms that we may understand the struggles of this subculture in order to progress in the fight against it. To do this, I plan to emphasize the incentives for joining a gang, the violence that affects many, what we may be able to do to hinder its advancement, and I might even narrow my scope from gangs in L.A. to Latino/Hispanic gangs in L.A. Considering that my cousin is indeed Hispanic, one thing he said that stood out to me was that a main belief of “my crew was you either kill, or let yourself be killed. They didn’t care what color I was and I didn’t care what color they were, I knew they would shoot me just as fast as I would shoot them.” Thus, surprisingly, he at times prefers to be “locked up because at least I don’t have to worry about being killed everyday on the streets. Yea we still fight in here like everyday but there are no real guns so it’s not as bad,” he states. This comment was interesting to me, as I did not normally think of prison as a safe haven, and this is why I found this interview particularly useful—it gave me a unique unexpected sense of knowledge that I can now integrate into my final project.

Stanford baseball

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

My research subject focuses on Stanford baseball players and how they fare during professional baseball and after their baseball days end. My research will focus more on interviews than actual academic resources. The reason for this includes the amount of contacts I have in both Stanford and professional baseball. Secondly, there are not many books written or research done on such a specific subject. I will use articles and statistics for general case facts but a majority of my argument lays in the experiences others and myself. In this blog, I will focus on one interview in particular.

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Christian Persecution in China...the cause and the effect.

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Perhaps one of the most well-kept secrets from the mainstream western world is the daily, yes DAILY, plight of Christians in China. Since Mao Zedong instituted the People's Republic of China in 1948, the nation has adhered to an atheistic religious policy. As a result, those who profess any type of faith, Christian or not, have been subject to harsh treatment and heinous torture. Such an aggressive response is taken by the government because they view any form of faith as a threat, possibly galvanizing individuals under a creed different from the one promoted by the government.

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October 26, 2008

Fantasy Football: Interactive AND Interdisciplinary?

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

It goes without saying that the digital age is in full effect right now. Everything important, or so it seems, either is dominated by or comprised of digital/electronic counterparts. For example, college students have the option to submit their applications online or by mail. Voters can use touch screens or punch ballots, and the list continues. However, when talking about fantasy football, a game designed by Wilfred Winkenbach in 1962 with no digital aspect whatsoever, any subtle changes to the game are worth noting, especially when it is transformed into an online phenomenon. One of the most interesting section of information I have discovered thus far comes from Gerhard Falk's "Football and American Identity". Although fantasy football itself does not dominate the book (actual American Football does), Falk does a great job of linking his ideas on fantasy football to his larger message. As I perused the text looking for helpful information, something caught my eye. Falk, in describing how fantasy football went from an annoying "fill in and mail your picks" nuisance to a phenomenon online, also mentions that certain schools in Sacramento are trying to force fantasy football into their curriculums. Their reasoning, he explains, is that it could serve as motivation, especially when paired with mathematics courses.
Not only was this a complete surprise, but it also did not seem like the most beneficial idea, especially with respect to practical student learning. Nonetheless, for the scope of this research paper, it serves as fodder. Considering the central argument (of both my paper and this class) on identity formation via digital media, the fusion of school and digital fantasy football (at least the mere thought of it) is extremely relevant. Consider a classroom environment where students are actively utilizing the system of fantasy football (scores, strategies, forecasts) in math classes to help themselves along. It goes without saying that the power of fantasy football lies within its ability to transform a once boring math class into something that students might get excited about. So maybe attendance in certain classes might increase. However, my initial stance still applies. Higher level math classes, successful ones at least, simply do not have room for supplemental classroom activities.

October 22, 2008

Information Connoisseurs

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

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There is much information asymmetry in our world; people have varying access to information depending on their geographical locations, social status, wealth, and power. Is there a link between information and "social well-being" -- social mobility, wealth, power, and so on? This is a very general question which I hope to answer with my research project. To facilitate my research and argument process, I define a new subculture of people: the information connoisseurs.

Who are these information connoisseurs, and what is their role in the context of increasing or reducing information asymmetry? Are they simply hypothetical mental constructs or do they actually play significant roles in reality?

Note: This entry has been updated as of October 22, 2008, 1930h (Pacific Time, GMT -8)

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My Place in CCR

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

When I joined the CCR PWR2 this Fall, I was incredibly excited--I would finally get the opportunity to write, research, and speak about Soompi, the online forum that changed my life.

This is not to say that my other two research topic choices, Korean Hip Hop and Japanese Rock Culture were just for show; I simply would have found a way to include Soompi as a significant part of those research arguments as well ;)

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Personal Blogging

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

My project deals with exploring the realm of personal blogs. I am hoping to find people’s reasoning for posting diaries online for faceless strangers to read, as well as the allure of reading these posts.
I decided that the best way to research this topic is to explore multiple personal blogs, instead of focusing on academic research. With this method of research, I have created my own classifications of personal blogs, identifying the intended purpose of the blog through the writer’s rhetoric and recurring themes. For example, I have found that some personal diary blogs seem to act as a kind of therapy for the writer. Why they post it online instead of saving files to their computer or writing in a more traditional diary I have not yet determined. Perhaps the reasoning is simply the influence of technology. On the other hand there are personal diary blogs that seem to be seeking attention. The recurring pathos in these blogs is the first sign, along with encouragement for feedback and continued attempts at wit and humor. Other types of personal blogs include philosophical reflection, and what I classify as a “play-by-play” blog: a person who updates their blog constantly with minute details of their day, to the point where the postings seem obsessive compulsive.
I am planning on tracking 5 blogs within in each of my classifications. I will then be able to compare similar blogs with each other, as well as cross-analyze the blogs for differences in themes, rhetoric, and purpose. Ultimately I hope to be able to comment on the rationality surrounding personal diary blogs, and identify the motives behind the different categories of these bloggers.
The best part of this project is the entertainment. Each day I follow along with a stranger’s life, and quite often their life is silly, preposterous, ridiculous, or just fun to follow. Here are a few examples:

“The Gay Banker”- A homosexual investment banker in London, detailing the drama of his love life. http://gaybanker.blogspot.com/

“Tumadora”- A borderline play-by-play blogger, whose posts have no real value other than that she seems to enjoy rambling about senseless occurrences in her life. http://tumadora.info/?cat=3

October 21, 2008

PC Bangs as an Industrial Driving Force.

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

My research focuses on the role that PC bangs have played in Korean culture. PC bang is the Korean term for PC room. These numerous establishments are a hybrid between Internet Café and videogame arcade. Since their introduction in 1998, PC bangs have become the hub of Korean online gaming. Offering popular titles such as Starcraft, WarCraft and Diablo II, PC bangs have become an important part of leisure for youth in South Korea. The social aspects of PC bangs have been thoroughly analyzed. The economic impacts that PC bangs has had, however, has long been overlooked. In an article from the Journal of Education, Community, and Values, Byungho Park and Thom Gillespie of Indiana University present PC bangs as a business that has deep ties with the gaming industry in Korea.
Park and Gillespie first relate the rise of the PC bang to the expansion of the online gaming industry. Piracy had been a huge problem in South Korea and the lack of copyright laws discouraged software companies to establish businesses in the country. PC bangs provided these gaming software developers with a market. Because PC bangs were legal businesses, they could not use pirated material and thus were forced to purchase games for their computers. The success of Starcraft in South Korea helped to cement the profitability of PC bangs, as well as that of the software market in Korea. According to Park and Gillespie, “Just after one year since its introduction, PC-bangs became the center of the Korean software market, an inevitable change considering the PC-bangs purchase six million dollars worth of game software every month.” Once it found a market, the gaming industry then began to diversify its products offered in PC bangs to include online chatting. This was aimed at the female adolescents, “who were stereotypically thought to be unfriendly with computers,” but were more interested in socializing.
In this way, the gaming industry and the PC bangs worked together to target customers from ranging demographics. This is important to my topic because this helps to explain why PC bangs have such a widespread influence on Korean culture. From the journal, it would seem as if the gaming industry played a pivotal role in promoting PC bangs, which in turn, enhanced the gaming industry.

October 13, 2008

First Blog Ever

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

So, this is the first blog i have ever written and I'm thinking ill talk about the topic i chose to research and how my actual research is coming along. I chose to do my research paper on a large, but not very well-known group in America: Gun owners. There are many different types of people who own firearms and many different reasons they have for owning them. I decided to write about this group of people because i realized certain stereotypes surround them that are untrue and i thought it would be good to show the many different people that actually make up this demographic.

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The Social Entrepreneurship Kool-Aid?

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

These days, “social entrepreneurship” is one of many new buzzphrases entering our lives, especially for those of us living near Silicon Valley. Companies like Grameenphone and Kiva have been praised for the impact they’ve had in developing countries, one of which is Vietnam. This past week, I have been exploring both journal articles and books relevant to my study of Vietnamese women entrepreneurs. The question I’m trying to address is how these women, specifically impoverished women, are leveraging emerging technologies and/or social entrepreneurship companies to help themselves and their families. The books I’ve explored give an overview on women’s issues in Vietnam, but I’ve had less success finding articles and books that focus specifically on women entrepreneurs in Vietnam – the one gem I’ve found is a collection of interviews, “Voices of Vietnamese Women Entrepreneurs.” The focus is on existing entrepreneurs and their legal, financial and societal hurdles overcome thus far and that still remain. It will be an excellent primary source, but I am also looking for materials about how future entrepreneurs can be enabled.

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Sunrise Celebration

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

My research project, as of now, has no true thesis. But the overall research project is geared towards breaking down and analyzing the structure, interaction and overall presence of the Ethnically Themed Dormitories at Stanford University. I want to mainly focus on the interactions between Muwekma-Tah-Ruk (the Native American Indian Theme Dorm) and Casa Zapata (the Latino/Chicano Theme Dorm). I will mainly generate research by collecting interviews.

In all honesty, I haven't started to research my project thoroughly. I have found a mild amount of primary sources, but I haven't gotten into the meat of the research yet. However, an interesting source fell right into my lap, and I didn't even realize it. Well, until now.

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October 12, 2008

My First Forum

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

I will consider my first week of research for my project on the cyber subculture of music pirating in my Cross-Cultural Rhetoric class at Stanford University a success. I went to the library and came away with books; I searched in online databases and discovered scholarly articles; I searched on Google and found the federal websites I had hoped for. The most interesting aspect of my research, though, has been my most unconventional: my blog activity. I created an account on AlbumHunt.com, a music directory website used by the 2008 pirate-types (not the same as your old school Napster or Kazaa users). Along with music download links, the site also has Forum and Community pages for its users. The forum topics range from new music to politics to relationships to ethics. In fact, I began to participate in a thread called “Is immorality something we learned?” A user named dreamz began the thread by stating: “We as humans have evolved. We've been changing since before Roman times. As times go on society changes. Do you believe that our morals have changed with time?” Before I joined the thread, the discussion ranged from the innate evilness of humanity because of Eve’s actions in Genesis to the influence of graphic music and video games.

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October 09, 2008

My Very First Source: An Inspiring Read

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

I’m not usually one to bandy the phrase “paradigm shift” around, but it really suits the early stages of my research this quarter. Prior to PWR 2, it was always the same deal: decide my topic on a hunch, and find the substantiating research later. Of course, the step that came in-between those two was “cross fingers tightly,” and I consider myself lucky that the routine always panned out. This time, though, I can truly say guided my topic decision, and not just personal experience. Not a surprise, considering the here-and-new nature of this PWR course. Chances have never been greater that I’d find something relevant in my normal routine, and that’s the story behind my first source. Who knows, I may have even put Cultural Interfaces at the top of my preference list with this New York Times article in mind.

The story was written by Clive Thompson, and focuses on one or two specific tools offered on Facebook—status updates, and pictures. The author then describes the pattern of user behavior associated with these features. By article’s end, he even pinpoints and labels what he views as the psychological phenomenon underlying this behavior.

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October 08, 2008

The Facts or Just a Fad? Going Green at Stanford University

This entry was written in response to the Research Blogging Assignment for Stanford's Fall 2008 Cultural Interfaces class. For more about this assignment, click here. You can leave a comment on this post by clicking on the "comment" link below.

Just this past year when my age-old parents decided to convert our home to completely solar powered energy it struck me that if they are concerned with saving energy than things must really be getting serious where our environment is concerned. When I got back on campus this year, the posters and signs that decorate White Plaza and every bathroom stall became more noticeable to me and I became curious as to why Stanford is making such a strong effort to “go green”. I’ve always been one to turn of the lights and make sure my water bottles go into the recycling bin, but as I research further and am learning more about Stanford’s sustainability efforts I find myself asking why is this so important now but at the same time I want to do more…

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October 07, 2008

Cultural Interfaces Research Blogging: Fall 2008

This week, my students begin their research blogging assignment, which asks them to post a blog entry that focuses on their assessment of a specific source, interview, survey results, or even their own developing argument as part of their research process. All the student projects are focused on a particular culture or subculture as their starting point; however, from past experience, I know that they will evolve into very sharp, focused arguments over the next few weeks. Here's what you can look forward to reading over the next few weeks:

Week of Oct. 6th:
Green culture/environmentalism
Facebook/ social networking sites

Week of Oct. 13th:
Ethnic-theme dorms on Stanford campus (where students opt to leave with people of the same cultural background/race)
Stereotypes of gun owners in the US
Women entrepreneurs in Vietnams and gender ideology
Cyber Music Pirates (illegal music sharing online)

Week of Oct 20th:

Blogging culture
Online communities as emerging subcultures
Online information and social equality
Internet addiction and the PC Bangs (internet cafes) of South Korea

Week of Oct 27th:

Persecution of Christians in China
Online fan culture: fantasy football
American baseball - materialism vs recreation
L.A. Gang culture

We invite your comments or responses, particularly on those topics that interest you or intersect with research of your own.

May 06, 2008

The World of Virtual Medicine: the Development of Cyber Support Groups

This entry is part of a research project for Cultural Interfaces and Cross-Cultural Rhetoric at Stanford University. For more about this assignment and the class projects, click here.

Imagine yourself going to school full-time, participating in extracurricular activities, and working at the retail store right off campus. One morning, you wake up with a hacking cough, sharp pains in your chest when you take a breath, and a slight headache. You have two midterms to study for, a term paper to write and you have rehearsals for a musical that opens the following weekend. The last thing you have time for is to go to the doctor’s office. So you turn on your computer and log on to the World of Virtual Medicine.

The world of virtual medicine consists of hundreds of websites that allow visitors to learn more about illness and diseases, from experts and people who have first-hand experiences. There are three main types of forums: 1) forums that non-experts can post and comment; 2) forums where site visitors describe symptoms and a certified doctor respond with more information; and 3) a more interactive correspondence where the doctor and the patient uses a webcam and microphone to talk to each other. Though the third type of medical forum is rare, the first two are widely used.

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April 30, 2008

The Starving Student:The Integration of the Underprivileged Student into the Stanford Community

This blog post summarizes my experiences thus far while working on a research project as part of a CCR class.

My hypothesis focuses on low-income students and their integration into the communities of elite universities, namely Stanford University. According to The Stanford Daily only nine percent of the undergraduates at Stanford come form families with incomes below $30,000. http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2007/6/7/admissionsDeptSeeksRiseInLowincomeStudents With these students constituting such a profound minority one can only wonder how they interact with other students at an institution where the stereotypical student comes from the upper quartile. I have discovered a very enlightening article in The San Francisco Chronicle that suggests that lower-income students tend to feel alienated from their more financially stable peers and so they form their own cliques. The article highlights the story of a recent graduate and his experience during the summer following his freshman year. Since financial aid is not offered during the summer, he had no housing and was forced to live in his Jeep until his first paycheck arrived from his on-campus job. These students expressed feelings of estrangement from many other students, who were not able to relate to the underprivileged student’s financial situation. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/30/BAIMVHBG9.DTL

I also would like my research to look into how involved lower-income students are in the Stanford community in terms of extra-curricular activities. Many students must work to make ends meet, and I am curious to know if this has an impact on their involvement. Much of the social life at Stanford involves at least occasional nights out with friends and I would like to see how low-income students handle these situations.

Stanford is taking an interest in intelligent, low-income students and it is important that the culture that they prescribe to is observed. Without such insights, these students may not be as successful as their classmates, denying them the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty that they have known throughout life.

April 28, 2008

Cindy's Research Blog: Al Gore, Diesel, WWF and the Environment

https://coursework.stanford.edu/portal/site/Sp08-PWR-1-41/page/de4a348f-e1cb-47a6-00cd-1ce45f1c137a
Research log update:
After some initial research on Google Scholars, I compiled a list of about 10 sources for my topic. i organized the sources according to how each fits under the larger theme, instead of by source type. I did it this way because it gave me a better view of potential body paragraph topics to explore. However, to incorporate the diversity of sources, I marked the different sources with different color, so I'll have a visual grasp of the types of sources I have so far.
Image as follows:


Sudan Behind the Scenes: Resarch Update on Photojournalism in Darfur

Research Update by Julia Janssen
Darfur. The word alone brings up thoughts of violence, starvation and malnutrition. Images we've seen from the media flash through our minds of starved people, a hot desert, and tragic faces. But who takes these photos? Who is the person traveling miles from home to document these atrocities and what do they do when they are there? Do they help or just take their pictures and leave? Can anything be done? What are the risks of traveling to this region?

For my research project, I hope to explore the lives of photojournalists in the region. Kevin Carter, a Pulitzer-prize winning photographer, took a famous photo in Darfur and soon after committed suicide. In his suicide note, he wrote that he was "haunted by vivid memories of killings, corpses, anger, pain, starving or wounded children, and trigger-happy madmen." His story is the most famous because his story after taking the photo was the most controversial. Other photojournalists who did work in the region have journal entries online, such as Hillary Mayell of National Geographic.

In terms of background on the situation, I have found a few sites claiming global warming is the cause of the massive amounts of violence and human rights violations. In addition, there are many journals and articles describing the escalation of violence and waves of famine in detail.

Almost every major media outlet, such as newspapers and magazines like The New York Times, National Geographic, and Time Magazine, have had a feature story on Darfur. Each of these stories use visual rhetoric by photojournalists to lure in their readers. Analysis of how these media outlets use these images to cause certain emotions in readers may help to shed light on some of the techniques that photojournalists use to create images these media outlets will use.

Below is an Inspiration Mapping of my Preliminary Sources:

*I have not included the link to my previous freewrite because this revised version provides a much better explanation of my topic.*

A "Korean" Wave: Kenan's Research Update on Japanese/Korean Pop Influence on Chinese Youth

After doing a little research, some unique perspectives have been opened up about the kind of media and characteristics of Japanese/Korean "waves". The topic has been explored and touched on by many news sources including magazines, periodicals but the reasons for these waves have not gone back into history. I would like to explore further whether this "wave" has spread only to the metropolis or if it has spread all throughout China. I also realized that new "books" or research material on the relatively new waves will not be available, so I must seek out sources about pop culture or contemporary trends in Japan and Korea and synthesize these sources for my own project. My research so far has consisted of documentaries, books, interview source, and online databases. The online databases so far has been the most specific about my topic, or pertinent.



April 22, 2008

Lauren's Creative Research Prep

Lauren Smith
Research Idea: Increasing popularity of fast food chains in the United States-- I'm planning to research the history of fast food restaurants in America, and how they have become so much a part of our society and everyday life. I would also like to analyze how fast food restaurants and their convenience/popularity contribute to the lack of nutrition and a rise in obesity in the United States.
I'm hoping to use the movie "Supersize Me" and the book "Fast Food Nation" to help me with my research. It would also be great to use the nutritional data from the restaurants themselves-- I could analyze how their menus have changed over time in relation to American society.
I'm a little worried about talking about obesity in general, since it is such a sensitive topic. I realize that being overweight not just a manner of diet and nutrition (factors such as genetics and heredity play a large role in obesity as well). I hope I can phrase my statements properly and analyze the topic thouroughly so as not to offend members of my audience.
This is a link to the well-known picture on the front cover of "Supersize Me." http://www.dailyinfo.co.uk/images/cinema/super-size-me.jp I think it will be interesting to analyze this picture and how it relates to culture and eating habits in the United States.

April 21, 2008

Amanda's Creative Research Prep

GQ and the Metrosexual Male
by Amanda Zhang

I want to investigate the role men's magazines have in creating the metrosexual identity and how they sell this image to their consumers. I started out wanting to research magazines geared towards urban men, such as GQ, Details, Men's Vogue, and Esquire. Lifestyle magazines have tended to be a niche occupied primarily by women, and accordingly, a lot of attention has been centered around the impact magazines like Vogue, Bazaar, Elle, and Cosmopolitan have on female body image. However, little thought is given to men's magazines. I began wondering about the "metrosexual" man as a social construct, and how the phenomenon has been influenced by lifestyle magazines.

All of the magazines I listed above can be used as primary sources. I will also research articles and books that concern my two umbrella topics: magazines and metrosexuality. The biggest concern I have with my topic is that it forces me to deal with stereotypes. Using the word "metrosexual" as a label is dangerous, as certain associations with the image are not universally applicable.

I found a page from the Spring 2006 edition of Men's Vogue here. It is from the portfolio website of Patrick Wilson, the model depicted in the image. The article is concerned with Michael Bastion, a menswear designer. He is being interviewed on his views on American fashion design. That such a topic occurs in a men's magazine is very telling. At the same time, images such as this, taken from pop-junkie.com, still continues to exploit female sexuality. In no other setting besides on the cover of a men's lifestyle magazine can one find Halle Berry in a corset and a discussion on how to stylishly update the suit for spring in the same place. I want to explore such ideas in my future research on this topic.

Trisha's Freewrite

Freewrite pic.jpg
Source: PHILIP JONES GRIFFITHS
Independence and Transition
Vietnam: values, old and new

Capitalism is certainly helping the Vietnamese economy, launching Vietnam into a position as the second fastest-growing economy in Asia. But who is this really helping – if it is helping anyone at all? Do the everyday people of Vietnam benefit socially from this economic development? What is happening to the Vietnamese identity?

Continue reading "Trisha's Freewrite" »

Kenan's Freewrite

Research Freewrite
Beijing and Shanghai have been increasingly exposed to advertisements from their neighbors to the east: Japan and Korea. There has been a increasing trend in the “fashionable” Korean and Japanese products, clothes, and cuisine marked by pop culture imports such as Korea’s Winter Sonata TV Drama, Japanese face lotion, and the perception of female beauty from both countries. What the Chinese call “Han ri” and “hang Han” ) (literally “trendy Japanese” and “trendy Korean”) have swept the metropolitan areas, especially with the youth who are constantly exposed and more receptive to movies, music, and personalities from other countries. I will research questions such as: what were the origins of this East Asia import fad? What has influenced Koreans or Japanese and indirectly influenced the Chinese? What are the key perceptions of beauty, glamour, success that the Chinese see in their neighbors? How has Korean/Japanese imports been molded or integrated for the purpose of Chinese use? With China’s increasing appetite for global imports, metropolitan Chinese youth have adopted the Korean and Japanese food, fashion, and culture as their own when determining their own sense of style in the context of China’s economic liberation.

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Freewrite - Janessa Nickell

Freewrite – Janessa Nickell

Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence from Serbia on February 17th, 2008 brings up myriad questions regarding intervention in this volatile and deadly situation of self-determination. After hearing of the momentous and controversial event, I became captivated, frantically searching through websites, newspaper articles, and the faces of key players plastered across the press. As my interest and understanding have progressed, however, I have realized that in order to comprehend and evaluate what is going on in Kosovo, it is necessary to understand how the media acts as a filter of information, with its own agenda and purpose. Tentative Thesis: The international media uses visual rhetoric to present distinct portrayals of the international groups intervening or influencing the conflict in Kosovo. Unfortunately, this severe rhetoric can provide controversial distraction from the potential unifying power of the humanity even the most extreme political opponents have in common.
I hope to focus on the international media for my analysis. This ranges from sources within Kosovo and Serbia to sources from countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. It is important to ensure that my research attempts to find a balance between extreme portrayals. I hope to find visuals that do not only negatively depict these key players within the conflict, but also stress a positive relationship between the two. The types of media include visuals from newspapers and magazines. Another potential avenue is to examine videos, which put visual rhetoric into motion. It will also be helpful to get a better sense of the history and cultural context of the region to better inform my evaluation.
There will be three major difficulties with this particular choice of topic. Firstly, I need to seriously commit to focusing on examining the conflict in Kosovo through a rhetorical analysis lens and not from a public policy or international relations perspective. Secondly, I do not know the major languages of the region, which will make accessing interesting information from sources that come directly from the heart of the conflict difficult. Finally, it could be a challenge to find visuals that reflect my hypothesis that positive rhetorical relations between countries involved are possible.

Djurica, Marko. 2008. Reuters. 20 Apr. 2008 .

November 07, 2007

Behind the E-Curtain: The Internet’s Effect in Russia

[This student blog entry is part of a Stanford PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

Originally, I had planned to research social networking sites in Russia. I was interested in the idea put forth by Dana Boyd that “Facebook attracts the good kids, while MySpace draws the bad.” I wanted to see if this were true in the context of another country. However, I soon learned that only one type of person even uses the Russian internet: those who can afford it, or roughly 10% of the population.

In doing my research, I wanted to ask, what really is the face of the Russian internet? This question led me to Vesti.ru, a Russian media website. Despite the fall of the USSR, here is a website that partially continues its traditions. It is owned by the All of Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company, and is notorious for pro-government messages. I wanted to find out whether this Russian media outlet was taking into account the massive poverty, crime, and health problems in Russia, or indeed was the spokesperson of the executive.

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November 05, 2007

Creativity Is Subject Blind: Bridging the "Gap" Between the Sciences and the Humanities

[This student blog entry is part of a Stanford PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

My research project has taken a very winding path, but I feel as though the result that I have reached is really interesting. I started out by just being intrigued by the Stanford-initated dichotomy between the science majors and the humanities majors through the "techie" vs. "fuzzy" division on campus. This interest led me to discover the quintessential book which discusses exactly this topic: The Two Cultures by prominent scientist-turned-writer C.P. Snow, in which he brings attention to the danger of the chasm forming between scientists and humanists (at least during his time - the 1960s). However, after doing primary research by sending surveys to students at colleges across the nation (including Stanford, Harvard, USC, UCLA, and BYU to name a few), I discovered that this split no longer exists.

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October 31, 2007

Cross-Cultural Examination of Gender Roles in the Media

[This entry is part of a collaborative blogging exchange between students at National University of Singapore and Stanford University. The exchange is described in more detail here and here]

Images in the media provide a model of behavior and appearance for their intended and accidental audience. Working with Swedish Law Professor Catarina Bartholdson, we found that the common theme of our group focuses on the media's portrayal of and influence on gender roles in a number of different societies. Since advertising companies approach the topic of gender roles in different ways, our group represents a variety of perspectives reflecting these cultural differences. For example, Jeri's research centers on the "dominant man, submissive woman" stereotype perpetuated in print ads, such as those created by Dolce & Gabbana. Abiy's topic also emphasizes gender stereotypes of hypermasculinity portrayed in alcohol advertisements across the globe. Pedro has decided to focus on fragrance ads in the United States, and how they influence adolescent boys' and girls' attitudes toward sexuality in different ways. Katie analyzes the influence of Fulla, the Muslim Barbie, on young girls in Arab countries and how the doll promotes stereotypes of Islamic culture. Stephanie explores the ways in which South Korean media portrays adrogyny and gender role reversals, and what implications these portrayals have in Korean culture. The variety of cross-cultural advertisements studied by this group demonstrates the strong effects that advertisements have on gender boundaries.
Catarina Group.JPG
Shown here: Stephanie Parker, Pedro Gonzalez, Katie White, Jeri Canlas, Abiy Teshome, with visiting Swedish Law Professor Catarina Bartholdson

Corporation Group Summary

[This entry is part of a collaborative blogging exchange between students at National University of Singapore and Stanford University. The exchange is described in more detail here and here]

On October 29, 2007, six strangers convened to explore corporations and advertisements as part of the Cross-Cultural Rhetoric: Ads and Activism Around the Globe. The group consisted of five men and one woman: Carlos Arellano, Min Ming, Elliot Babchick, Andrew Chien, Katherine Heflin and one Swedish expert. Our visitor, hailing all the way from the foreign land of Sweden, was a male law professor and lawyer. He was extremely helpful and interesting. He discussed with us the relationship between corporations and advertisements. We then viewed a bunch of advertisements from different corporations and countries, and then compared and contrasted different facets of each. Elliot’s and Ming’s project topics led us to look at different advertisement videos for Xbox and Halo, including their official websites as well. For the sake of discussion, we then viewed the Carl’s Jr. video featuring Paris Hilton’s sex appeal; it gave us insight as to how corporations try to gain attention and use sex to sell non-sexual items. Carlos’ project on sports marketing led us to view a Nike commercial which used Michael Jordan’s super-star reputation to promote a new Jordan sneaker. Lastly, Katherine’s activism and advertisement in relation to Guantanamo led us to view an ominous Amnesty International video warning of the horrors of Guantanamo Bay; however, we noted that the video was not as effective as it could have been since some clarity and explanation was lacking. Andrew’s topic of video advertisements on the internet was shortly discussed, and we viewed a Honda video that was only shown on the internet. Although no clear conclusion was drawn, we gained valuable insight into cultural advertisement aims in relation to corporate goals.

Anders Group.JPG

Shown here: Min Ming, Katherine Heflin, Elliot Babchick, visiting Swedish Law Professor Anders, Andrew Chien, and Carlos Arellano

Collaborative Blogging: Ads and Cultural Changes

[This entry is part of a collaborative blogging exchange between students at National University of Singapore and Stanford University. The exchange is described in more detail here and here]

With our Swedish professor Mikael Schnürer, we discussed the origin of our sources, all connected in that they deal with the relationship between culture and advertising. For example, the shift in high fashion ads from sex appeal to historical/intellectual references, the glorification of violence in advertising for rap music, Chinese economic and cultural ties to the West, Korean cultural exports as tourist advertisements, and teen community service international tourism. Drawing on the research of sociologists such as John Urry (author of the pivotal work The Tourist Gaze), Tom Doctoroff (Chinese marketing researcher), Bakari Kitwana (prominent author on social justice), Keith Howard (scholar on Korean pop), and more, we talked about how advertising shapes culture by ostensibly reflecting the masses while actually articulating new demographics and self-perceptions. When prominent rap artists depict their lifestyles to glorify gun violence and misogyny, it influences the standard of acceptable behavior in some demographics. While Western branding is prevalent in China, the Chinese still retain their identity; for example, the KFC chains have incorporated Chinese menu options. Expensive teen travel programs craft new ideals for the modern youth by articulating a new paradigm for travel perceptions. High fashion marketing is beginning to break away from the stereotypical marketing tactics of sex appeal and body image and is beginning to use poignant cultural and historical instances to create new emotions in their consumers.
Michael Group.JPG
Shown here: Yu Xian Lim, Jannah Thomas, Sophie Theis, Ashley Chinn, Swedish Law Professor Mikael Schnürer, and Stephen Scheele

October 30, 2007

Cross-Cultural Collaboration

Students in my class Power, Space and Pleasure are currently working on their Paper 3 assignment. There's some more info as well as context on this assignment below.

But first I want to thank Alyssa and Christine for this wonderful opportunity to collaborate. I am very excited that the students taking my National University of Singapore (NUS) class are getting the opportunity to post their ideas for papers to the Stanford Cross-Cultural Rhetoric blog.

In particular, I am looking forward to two things: the comments NUS students will post on their overseas peers' thoughts, and the comments Stanford and Örebro students will be posting on NUS students' ideas. This will give participants the chance to interact with other people taking writing classes, in other parts of the world, and in diverse institutional settings. Though I am pretty sure we share many fundamental rhetorical and other principles, it is certain that differences will emerge.

Continue reading "Cross-Cultural Collaboration" »

Sharing with Singapore

This should be an auspicious week for the Cross-Cultural Rhetoric Project Blog. We've seen a lot of activity this fall, with numerous posts and comments, but things are about to get even more interesting. We've been collaborating with a Writing and Critical Thinking class at the National University of Singapore, and we're about to kick off a blogging exchange between students at NUS, Stanford, and, ultimately Orebro.

The goals for this collaborative blogging assignment are to have students engage in a collaborative exchange on both sides of the screen that will benefit the source-based writing that they are each doing in their home institutions. Here at Stanford, students are deeply immersed in their academic research projects, while at NUS, students are starting their third paper, one that uses approximately 3 sources to generate an 8-10 page argument. Each group clearly could use peer feedback to guide their writing and research; this collaborative blogging assignments puts a ready-made international peer group at their disposal.

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Non-Minorities In Ethnic Theme Dorms

[This student blog entry is part of a Stanford PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

In researching Stanford’s Ethnic Theme Dorms for my research project in “The Rhetoric of Cultures, Subcultures, and Group Identity” I came upon countless articles condemning this system for its perpetuation of racial divides but also as many praising it for its awareness of cultural differences.
Whether these four dorms - Casa Zapata the Chicano/a theme dorm, Ujamaa the African-American theme dorm, Okada the Asian-American theme dorm, and Muwekmah-tah-ruk, the Native American dorm - are discriminatory or not, this particular graph grabbed my attention.

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Measuring the Efficacy of eCampaigning

[This student blog entry is part of a Stanford PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

I am currently researching ePolitics, the way that the internet effects political interactions and exchanges. My research focuses more specifically on the utilization of the internet in political campaigns. An interesting question I came upon is that of whether or not the internet will eventually become as essential to politics and political campaigns as television is today. When the internet was brand new, many postulated that one day it would facilitate an era of perfect politics, where constituents could easily and instantly voice their opinions to politicians who could talk back through this same medium.

At this point in time, it is quite obvious that television is still the most important medium through which politicians (especially those on the campaign trail) communicate with their constituents. However, because internet campaigning is still in its developmental stages, it is difficult to judge the effects of various strategies.

A couple of weeks ago I found an interesting blog, techPresident dedicated to covering "how the 2008 presidential candidates are using the web, and vice versa, how content generated by voters is affecting the campaign" (See their About page).

Continue reading "Measuring the Efficacy of eCampaigning" »

Looking at College Alcohol Consumption through Facebook

[This student blog entry is part of a Stanford PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

When I first started this project, I had no idea about which direction it was heading. I knew that I wanted to discuss college alcoholism, but I had no clue what aspect of the subject I wanted to study. So, I was very relieved when I finally decided on the general thesis of my paper. I want to research how American college students drink alcohol to deflect responsibility from themselves and to escape their problems.

I really like my topic. For one, it somewhat lines up with certain beliefs that I have previously held and two, I feel as though it will be interesting to write about/ intriguing to read about. However, one relatively major concern I had was that people, mostly college students who consume a lot of alcohol, would find my claims to be offensive or biased. I picked up on people’s use of words like “supposedly” to describe my research and realized that this might not be the most favorable explanation for overdrinking, or drinking at all for that matter. Add to the equation that these claims are being made by someone who chooses to abstain from the consumption of alcohol, and suddenly my credibility is “thrown out the window” so to speak.

Continue reading "Looking at College Alcohol Consumption through Facebook" »

October 22, 2007

Fantasy Sports

[This student blog entry is part of a Stanford PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

My research is about the influence of online fantasy sports on American society. A fantasy sport is a competition where participants build a team that competes against other individuals’ teams. The success of each team is based on the players that comprise each participant’s team. My research will be focused on how the world of online sports has truly infiltrated society. I will attempt to analyze how online sports are gradually overtaking the world of real-life sports, and what impact their permeating nature will truly have on our life, if any.

The world of online sports is huge—everyday millions of Americans who have normal lives engage in these online competitions. One recent poll said that 34 million people have at one time participated in fantasy sports. The question that I need to address, however, is how does this really affect our culture?

I recently read an article, titled “In Fantasy Sports, It Helps Being a Rocket Scientist”, which covers a man named Clark Olson who is rocket scientist by profession, but whose passion is fantasy football. This is an important article for my argument because it suggests a few things about fantasy sports. First of all, it legitimizes the culture of the fantasy world. It does this because it suggests that people from all different backgrounds may compete in fantasy sports, but they are all interconnected by their passion for the competition. Thus, it is evident that a true culture—one which transcends others—has arisen. Secondly, by using a rocket scientist as an example of an avid enthusiast who has excelled in the online sports world, this article does a service to my cause by suggesting that the world of online sports is legitimate. Who is more qualified than a rocket scientist? Now it is apparent that online sports are merely for the unskilled or unintelligent—they are popular even in the academic and professional worlds.

E-Vangelism

[This student blog entry is part of a PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

This project is for the PWR2 class, “The Rhetorics of Cultures, Subcultures, and Group Identity” at Stanford University. The greater scope of my research project is about the history of evangelism in general, but I feel my research and interest pulling me in the general direction of focusing in on the relationship between evangelists’ persona, strategies, and style on the internet compared to face-to-face evangelism. I started out knowing little about the subject, but my freshman year roommate was incredibly involved in the online evangelism community, so, being around him and then studying his work on the subject stirred genuine interest in me to do further research. My vision for the research is to investigate the relationship between the personality and strategies used in evangelizing online versus in person. My premonitions have lead my to conclude that people are more likely to be more aggressive and take more risk online and I look forward to researching this to see how true, if at all, it is.

http://ied.gospelcom.net/

Probably the most interesting source that I have found in my research so far is Internetevangelistday.com. My preliminary research and my initial preconceptions of evangelism in general had lead my to believe that the movement as a whole was very emotionally charged, whimsical, and sort of intangible force that would be extremely hard to transfer into internet form. This site has completely changed that view. It seems to be extremely well done the way it is put together really shows effort to utilize as many ways possible to make evangelism on-line an up-to-date, interactive experience. Looking at the print screen, some things that stand out to me is that the site is available in 6 languages other than English and has a direct link to translators. Also, there are direct links to have this page be a part of personal blogs or facebooks. Again, another rather modernized aspect of the page is the video feature of the three evangelists and the easy access sign-up box for the newsletter. Basically, this source has revealed just hoe ‘with it’ evangelism is as far as technological innovation is concerned.


***unfortunately, I have not yet figured out how to upload a print screen because it is too large so i have included a link to the website.

October 15, 2007

Misunderstood: Muslim Youth of America

[This student blog entry is part of a PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

My research paper intends to investigate the psychological and individual identities constructed by Muslim youth in America post 9/11. Immediately after choosing the topic, I pondered over who would be a good primary source and able to give insight on the topic. I came up with multiple potential candidates all college-aged with various backgrounds , but who I did not think of, which shame on me now after the fact, was speaking to my mother. Getting her views on actually raising Muslim children, all college-aged now, I thought might be a change of pace, refreshing, and a different perspective perhaps not easily found on a college campus.

Continue reading "Misunderstood: Muslim Youth of America" »

October 14, 2007

Beauty Standards for African-American Young Women in Contemporary America

[This student blog entry is part of a PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

My research topic is on Beauty Standards for African –American young women in contemporary America. Society, through the use of both electronic and print media, is imposing beauty standards that are almost impossible to acquire. The media is constantly flooded with images of popular female celebrities like Beyonce, Halle Berry, Naomie Campbell, and Tyra Banks, who are not a real representation of an ordinary black woman, because they do not have distinct African features.

Artificial beauty has become a norm, and because many young African – American women feel pressured to fit into this specific model of beauty and desirability, many young women resort to artificial solutions such as plastic surgeries, including breast implants. Other examples of common artificial beauty practices include skin bleaching, long hair extensions, slender bodies, and eyelash extensions. This has negative effects on African –American women because their sense of self-worth becomes dependent on physical appearance and beauty. With this in mind, I have focused my attention on the role the media is playing to influence the self-image of African-American young women, and the psychological effects such as low self-esteem, eating disorders, and identity that many girls suffer from because of trying to look like some celebrities that don't have the same body type as they do.

Continue reading "Beauty Standards for African-American Young Women in Contemporary America" »

The Trials and Tribulations in the Mind of a Cuban-American

[This student blog entry is part of a PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

For my research topic, I will focus on the emotions of Cubans fleeing to America during the 1960s. The immediate assumption one would make would be that Cubans had nothing but the utmost respect and love for their new country. However, Cuban-Americans had to deal with leaving their native land behind, to a country that had negative relations with what used to be there home.
One of the first negative situations that brought about bad relations amongst the two nations was the Bay of Pigs Invasion. The Invasion took place on April of 1961, in the Bahia de Cochinas, or “Bay of Pigs”. The US agreed to back Cuban exiles in an attempt to overthrow the Cuban Government. The only problem was that as the invasion began, President Kennedy canceled the rest of the mission and left the initial forces there to defend themselves.

Continue reading "The Trials and Tribulations in the Mind of a Cuban-American" »

October 10, 2007

Western Food in the East

My research is about the western influence on non-western societies’ daily lives. I focus on issues like the change in food choices and their health implications and the shift in beauty standards and their affect on young people’s body image.
I found it very interesting that when I searched westernization on the BBC website the first few results were related to health issues in Asia, specifically China. I found an article addressing the growing trend of fast food. Many people in China are abandoning their traditional soy and vegetable based diet and substituting it with a diet that includes a lot of red meat, white flour and sugar. This change in the Chinese diet is leading to a health crisis that previously did not exist there.
A major and disturbing issue that China is now facing is obesity in children. A BBC article tilted “Obesity: China's big issue” reports that one in five urban schoolchildren in China is officially overweight. The article attributes this problem to what it described as “the increasing westernization of the country”. A certain amount of blame no doubt lies on western fast food chains, yet not all. I found it interesting that the article also blames China’s ban on producing more than one child for the problem. Apparently fast food coupled with what the article described as “a generation of spoiled only children” is behind producing this generation of obese children. Another problem the nation has to deal with in fighting this issue is the fact that many parents in China prefer their children plump and do not see the danger of that. The article ends by describing the affect of westernization on China’s health “Western-style living is bringing Western diseases such as heart disease to the former colony.”

October 09, 2007

Bilingual Education: The effects of being in an English-Only school

[This student blog entry is part of a PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

For my research topic I will be addressing bilingual education in the United
States and its helpfulness psychologically and culturally to the
students who partake in it. I began my research this week by collecting books
and articles that I thought may be helpful throughout
the process of writing this research paper. Although some of these
books looked very interesting and contained statistics that will prove
to be beneficial when creating my argument, I found a lack of opinions
and comments from students and teachers who have been through a
bilingual educational system. While talking to my grandmother on the
phone last night, I brought up the topic of bilingual education. Even
though she did not personally go through the system, she had some very
insightful opinions and comments that I may possibly use in my paper.

Continue reading "Bilingual Education: The effects of being in an English-Only school" »

Second Life: Interview with Ayca Shan

[This student blog entry is part of a PWR 2 assignment that is discussed at greater length here]

For my research, I will be investigating consumerism in the virtual world of Second Life. For those unfamiliar with Second Life, users from across the world can through avatars in a virtual grid that is similar to Earth. The realm of Second Life has many features of the reality that we live in: an economy which is built on the Linden dollar, communities with shared interests, relationships amongst users, and most impressively and endless array of things to buy and sell—from wardrobes to houses, to actions and even body transformations.

ayca.jpg

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October 07, 2007

Innovations in Education

The sophomores in my Cultural Interfaces class have just received an assignment that asks them each to contribute one post to this blog that engages with a source related to their research topic. I’m asking them to blog according to the model that educational Will Richardson calls “Connective Blogging” – one that asks students to use blogposts as a way of developing connections between their own research argument and a larger scholarly conversation on the topic.

My own ongoing scholarly interest has to do with the effective use of technology in the classroom. One article that I recently came across that touches on this issue is Claudia Wallis and Sonja Steptoe’s “How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century”.
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The article was generated out of the conversation arising from the 2006 release of the report from the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, which found that U.S. students needed to be bettered prepared “to thrive in the global economy.”

Continue reading "Innovations in Education" »

September 09, 2007

Generic Levitra Drug

Indication to taking Generic Levitra
The main component of Generic Levitra is Vardenafil. Generic Levitra has been developed by German scientists of the Bayer Company, and became the real best seller at the pharmaceutical market of drugs for solving erectile and sexual dysfunction problems.
In contrast to the analogues, Generic Levitra does not cause any serious side effects after taking. Generic Levitra acts five times more effective, comparing to the most popular Viagra drug. It means that for successful coitus you should take one Generic Levitra pill of 5 mg, in contrast to taking 20 mg of Viagra. Generic Levitra is used for treatment of all types of men erectile and sexual dysfunction.
Taking and action of Generic Levitra
To achieve the best erection and for perfect coitus process, Generic Levitra should be taken thirty minutes prior to sex activity. Generic Levitra acts throughout ten hours.
Generic Levitra is acted on the base of relaxation of cavernous muscles of penis and penis vascular distention. Due to relaxation of these muscles blood inflow to penis considerably increases and consequently allows successful coitus.
The maximum daily dose for taking Generic Levitra is 20 mg. The men above 60 years aged are not recommended to take more than 5 mg of Generic Levitra a day.
Taking Generic Levitra is allowed only after consultation with the doctor. Do not take drug more than once a day.
Possible side effects after taking Generic Levitra.
Side effects after taking are very slight, the most widespread side effects occur at overdose: nausea, running eyes, weak sight, back pain, reddening of face. At occurrence of any above side effects immediately visit the doctor.

September 08, 2007

Viagra Soft

General information
Many men have tested an effectiveness of Viagra drug that causes increasing and maintenance of erection, and also have undergone treatment for erectile dysfunctions. For convenience of men, the new drug for treatment of erectile dysfunctions has supplied, that is Viagra Soft.
Viagra Soft is a convenient form, instant start of the action, less observed side effects. You can buy Viagra Soft online at our shop.
Viagra Soft is the improved variant of Viagra of Pfizer Corporation where the main component is Sildenafil Citrate.
Taking and action of Viagra Soft
Viagra Soft has the same active components as regular Viagra, but is supplied in the form of dragée for dissolution under your tongue. In process of dissolution acting substances get directly to blood system, missing your stomach.
It allows to reduce time between pill taking and action. Advantage of Viagra Soft is that you do not have to wait for 30 or more minutes till Viagra Soft works. Put a dragée under your tongue and wait till fully dissolute. Viagra Soft will start to work in 15 minutes after taking.
As long as Viagra Soft dissolves, your erection will be increased, and it will be caused only from natural excitation or sexual stimulation. Another advantage of Viagra Soft is insignificant observed number of side effects.
One more benefit of Viagra Soft is that you can take fat food and alcohol together with Viagra Soft but without losing effect of strengthened erection. Before taking Viagra Soft necessarily consult your doctor. You can buy Viagra Soft online without the prescription of the doctor right now at our shop.
Indications and side effects
Taking Viagra Soft is forbidden if you take drugs for treatment of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure or gastric ulcer. Side effects from taking Viagra are slight and rare.
Most often side effects of Viagra Soft are headaches, reddening of face and temporal changing in color perception. Viagra Soft taking is not recommended more than once a day.

August 09, 2007

Generic Accutane drug

General information on Accutane
Accutane is the medical drug taken for treatment of strong, inflammatory comedones that are refractory to treatment by other remedies, including antibiotics. Nevertheless, Accutane can have serious side effects.
Before taking Accutane consult the doctor to find out a current state of your disease. Accutane is one of forms of vitamin A. It reduces quantity of oily skin discharged from sebaceous glands, and also accelerates natural regeneration of skin.
Accutane (Isotretinoin) is used for treatment of comedones, which do not answer to the medical treatment, by other drugs, including antibiotics. Accutane can be also used with other purposes, which have not been defined in the instruction.
Action and taking Accutane
After consultation and examination of your health state, and degree of acne problem manifestation, the doctor will indicate a required dosage for you. Accutane will help you get rid from acne.
Acne is one of the most widespread skin diseases with inflammation of sebaceous glands of face, chest and backs. Accutane is necessary to take in strict conformity your doctor’s recommendations. Treatment by Accutane drug lasts about 30 days. It is not confirmed, whether is Accutane transferred in breast milk.
If you breast feed, do not take Accutane without preliminary consultation with your doctor. In case of possible overdose immediately see the doctor. The overdose symptoms include nausea, pain concern, stomach pain, face reddening, irritation of lips, headache and dizziness.
Possible side effects of Accutane:
Allergic reaction; sight deterioration, painful dryness of eyes; depression; stomach pain; rectal disorder; painful sensation at swallowing; heartburn; skin yellowness or urine dimness; severe headaches or dizziness; convulsions; nausea; joints or muscles pains; hearing deterioration.

August 08, 2007

Cialis Generic Drug

Indication to taking Cialis Generic
Generic Cialis is one of the most popular drugs for men erectile dysfunctions treatment. Generic Cialis is designed for men to treat any erectile dysfunction. If you have experienced abnormal erection, consult the doctor.
Probably you have an early stage of erectile dysfunctions, namely, sexual dysfunction. The doctor should define a type of your erectile dysfunctions, and indicate an optimal dosage of Generic Cialis for you.
Generic Cialis helps at both erectile and sexual dysfunction. The main component of Generic Cialis is Tadalafil.
Taking and action of Cialis Generic
Before taking Generic Cialis you should necessarily consult your doctor. Your doctor should define the reason of your erectile dysfunction as well as indicate required treatment.
Nowadays the doctors are allowed to indicate Generic Cialis, but many of them indicate an expensive branded Cialis. Consult your doctor, and get know, whether is it possible to take Generic Cialis in your particular case. Taking Generic Cialis is recommended 15 minutes prior to expected sexual activity.
Generic Cialis starts to work immediately after main component Tadalafil fully dissolute. Action of Generic Cialis lasts up to thirty hours that will allow you to make normal sexual coitus. The acting component Tadalafil stimulates blood flow to your penis. It causes normal erection, after that coitus penis comes into normal state. Taking Generic Cialis is allowed after alcohol.
Possible side effects after taking Generic Cialis
According to numerous conducted clinical trials, Generic Cialis is confirmed that not to cause any serious side effects. Side effects of Generic Cialis usually occur at overdose: nausea, headache, various allergic reactions to an acting component Tadalafil.
The people suffering from cardiovascular diseases should take drug with special care. Taking Generic Cialis with other medical drugs containing nitrates is forbidden.

Medical drug Xenical

General information on Xenical
Xenical is a Swiss drug which blocks fat absorption. Xenical is indicated for obesity treatment, in particular, for body weight reduction and keeping in a combination with a low-calorie diet.
Xenical works exclusively in your bowel movements; it is not absorbed into blood, blocks enzyme lipase splitting fats.
In this connection, fats that are not split cannot pass through bowel and are eliminated from your body in your bowel movements. Xenical is recommended to take three times a day with each basic meal. Xenical limits absorption of food fats that leads to stable body weight decrease.
Xenical allows keeping the reached weight for long. Safety of Xenical is confirmed by the numerous clinical trials.
Xenical Action and taking
Xenical should be taken in full accordance to your doctor’s the prescription. Xenical is usually taken 3 times a day, during a meal or not later than one hour after a meal. A single dose of taking Xenical makes 120 mg.
Xenical is should be taken only with a meal containing no more than 25 % fat in calories. As far as Xenical drug does not allow absorbing some important vitamins for your body, at taking Xenical you should take in addition fat-soluble vitamins.
To provide a body with required nutrients it is recommended to take also multivitamins of vitamins D, E, K. It is necessary to take these vitamins once a day, at least, two hours before or after taking Xenical.
Possible side effects of Xenical
Xenical should be stopped if you have unusual allergic reaction, such as short breath or swelling of lips. At occurrence of such symptoms immediately stop drug taking and urgently see the doctor. Less serious side effects after taking Xenical can be as follows: oily discharge from rectum; meteorism; increased number of bowel movements; an inability to control bowel movements, orange or brown oily discharge in bowel movements.

July 08, 2007

Kamagra drug

General information and indication to taking
Kamagra drug successfully solves very serious problems of erectile dysfunction in many men. Kamagra allows men suffering from erectile or sexual dysfunction to achieve perfect penis erection that further allows men to have successful sexual activity.
Kamagra drug became very popular among doctors as well as among many men, efficiency of Kamagra is confirmed. The acting substance of Kamagra is Sildenafil Citrate. The basic component of Kamagra drug Sildenafil Citrate is the same basic component as the analogue Viagra drug.
Kamagra drug additionally contains a component called Apcalis; due to this component Kamagra works several times faster its analogues.
Action and taking Kamagra
Action of Kamagra starts in 15 minutes after taking. It is necessary to take one Kamagra pill with a glass of water. After dissolution of the basic component Sildenafil, blood inflow to penis will increase approximately 10 times.
The natural erection will occur and will last throughout 12 hours only at sexual and natural excitation. Kamagra will allow you naturally and with no any discomfort to fulfill your sexual activity. Before taking Kamagra visit your doctor to get indication of the required dosage of Kamagra.
Kamagra is intended for treatment of men erectile and sexual dysfunction, taking Kamagra is forbidden for women. A permissible daily Kamagra dose should not make more than 20 mg.
Side effects after taking Kamagra
Possible side effects after taking Kamagra: headache, dizziness; sometimes stomach upset, vomiting, stuffiness in nose.
You should refuse taking Kamagra if you suffer from one of diseases given below:

  • leukemia
  • multiple myeloma
  • penis diseases
  • gastric ulcer
    You can buy Kamagra online at our shop.

  • July 07, 2007

    Propecia drug

    General information on Propecia drug

    Propecia is a drug designed for loss of hair and alopecia treatment at men. Propecia is intended for treatment only hereditary hair loss. Approximately 98 % of all cases of alopecia concern this type. The drug is not intended for treatment of other forms alopecia: focal alopecia, alopecia caused by vitamin and nutrient deficiency and so on. Propecia is supplied in the form of pills. Each pill contains 1 mg of Finasteride. A form and a type of pills can differ. As a rule, Propecia pill have a brownish shade, an octagonal form and are covered with outer layer. The main component of Propecia is Finasteride.

    Action and taking Propecia

    Action and efficiency of Propecia are confirmed, approximately at 93 % of men, after taking Propecia hair growth was observed. The results achieved by different patients are, surely, different. The most important thing confirmed by clinical trials: the overwhelming majority of the patients who takes Propecia completely save that quantity of hair that they had have for today. The majority of people wonder when new hair will start to grow. But you should remember that healthy hair grows for one centimeter a month in average; therefore time is required to reveal the visible improvement after taking Propecia. Propecia should be taken daily within 3 months, in some cases even longer in order to the effect, such as delay and termination of loss hair, is to be evident. In 6 months of drug using it is possible to see growing instead of lost hair, and it will be real hair.

    Possible side effects of Propecia.

    The side effects after taking Propecia observed at the clinical trials have been rare and have not concerned the majority of men. Rare occurring side effects:
  • sexual attraction decrease;
  • difficulties with achievement of erection;
  • reduction of quantity of discharged sperm. Propecia is intended for alopecia treatment only at men and should not be taken by women or children. Propecia taking also is not recommended for the people suffering from allergic reactions to any components of Propecia.

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