With TV shows dedicated to it, and pictures and videos all across the internet, cosplay has now officially entered the public consciousness. All over the world, enthusiastic fans dress up as their favorite characters and show off amazing homemade costumes at conventions and in inspiring photography sessions. But beyond the glamour is a powerful story of personal transformation.
While players of multi-player games are aware of their in-game economies, their growth and complexity would surprise many outside the world of gaming. With hundreds of millions of players around the world, MMOGs' in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars (i.e. MILLIONS), and real world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds.
As technology speeds forward, humans are beginning to imagine the day when robots will fill the roles promised to us in science fiction. But what should we be thinking about TODAY, as robots like military and delivery drones become a real part of our society? How should robots be programmed to interact with us?
In the digital age, we increasingly use written language in place of face to face chat or phone calls. But the advantages email, chat, and text give us in speed come with limitations in communicating emotional tone. Enter emoticons and emojis.
As technology becomes ever more pervasive, the people who actually create it have an increasingly influential impact on our lives. Their ability to code allows them to mold our interactions with computers, and define what services computers bring to us. In essence, coders have become the gatekeepers of how our culture uses technology.
Creativity has always been essential for our cultural growth, but there are still many misconceptions about this elusive process. Not the left-brain/right-brain binary that we've come to believe, being creative is considerably more complex, and requires a nuanced understanding of ourself and others.
The magic of stop-motion animation has enthralled audiences for over a century, but with the advent of CGI, many thought it was at risk of extinction. Yet despite these fears, animators all over the world continue to manually create unique stories out of physical materials, be it clay, sand or paint, puppets or people.
Humans have been creating likenesses of each other for thousands of years, but with the introduction of photography, a new language developed for capturing the human image. Photography created opportunities for not just for biography and documentation, but also depth, empathy, and experimentation.
As technology has evolved over the past two centuries, so have our expectations about privacy. This new digital world allows us to connect with each other with increasing ease, but it has also left our personal information readily available, and our privacy vulnerable.
Artificial intelligence is an ever evolving goal for researchers, and the object of endless fascination for writers, filmmakers, and the general public. But despite our best science fiction visions, creating digital intelligence is incredibly difficult.
Illustrators articulate what a photograph cannot. Using an array of techniques and styles, illustrators evoke stories and meaning in a variety of mediums, from editorial illustration in magazines and newspapers, to comics books, to activist media.
Logos surround us in digital and physical space, but we rarely examine the thought and artistic thinking that goes into the design of these symbols. Utilizing a silent vocabulary of colors, shapes, and typography, logo designers give a visual identity to companies and organizations of all types.
For fun, we compiled some of our favorite GIFs from the Off Book Animated GIF episode, and mashed them all together in this fun short piece. GIFs continue to amaze us, and we hope you enjoy this little tribute to the form!
Before the mass media, people actively engaged with culture through storytelling and expanding well-known tales. Modern fan culture connects to this historical tradition, and has become a force that challenges social norms and accepted behavior. "Fannish" behavior has become its own grassroots way of altering our society and culture, and a means of actively experiencing one's own culture.
Since their growth in popularity in the 1970s, RPGs have had a huge influence not just on players, but on everything from Hollywood to the development of video games. Now, In a world dominated by video games and social media, there remains an enduring interest in gathering around a table and playing games face to face.
Over the past 8 years, YouTube has given birth to an increasingly sophisticated entertainment culture that operates outside of the traditional television and film ecosystem. With humble roots in charismatic and creative people simply sharing their lives, thoughts, and humor, YouTube entertainment has diversified and grown into tens of thousands of unique channels with millions of loyal fans.
Space presents a fantastic mystery to human life. Unfathomably large, with characteristics that defy our experience and understanding, the stars have perplexed and amazed humanity for our entire recorded history, and likely before. In the present, astrophysicists and astronomers are aggressively studying the universe in an attempt to solve critical scientific and philosophical questions.
From scientific visualization to pop infographics, designers are increasingly tasked with incorporating data into the media experience. Data has emerged as such a critical part of modern life that it has entered into the realm of art, where data-driven visual experiences challenge viewers to find personal meaning from a sea of information, a task that is present in every aspect of our lives.
From the Nike Fuelband to Google Glass, consumers are already seeing hints of the future of wearable devices. They have the possibility to make us more knowledgeable about ourselves and our surroundings, and connect us with each other in an uninterrupted, more intimate way. From DIY wearables to high-tech sensors and smart fabrics, the years ahead will show how technology can impact our lives.
Photoshop has completely revolutionized our visual culture. Artists now use Photoshop to create complex imagery that would have been impossible 20 years ago. It has also profoundly changed the art of photo retouching, turning a labor intensive process into an artful and often controversial digital workflow.