Reading list

There is quite a bit of reading in this class. Since things are developing so quickly, new items will be added to the list as the semester progresses. The online version of the course syllabus is always the most current.

Each reading is color coded. Green indicates that the reading is very short (less than 5 pages) while yellow indicates that the article is longer (anywhere between 5 and 20 pages). Red signals that the piece is long or densely packed with interwoven ideas.

We will have regular reading quizzes in order to make sure that everyone is keeping up with the reading. If you have been keeping up with the readings, they should be a piece of cake.

You do not need to read every single word of text in the assigned readings. Instead, you should approach this course with the same skimming strategies that graduate students use when dealing with hundreds of pages of reading each week. The key is to preview and skim the assigned readings so you can participate in knowledgable and meaningful ways during the class discussion. For a useful explanation of this strategy, check out Timothy Burke's blog posting "Staying afloat: Some scattered suggestions for reading in college."


WEEK 1. BACK TO SCHOOL

Wednesday (January 10)

  First day of class. No assigned reading. No class on Monday.

WEEK 2. GETTING OUR FEET WET

Monday (January 15)

Michael Rymaszewski (2006). "Chapter 1. What is Second Life?" Second Life: The Official Guide.
Michael Rymaszewski (2006). "Chapter 2. Getting started." Second Life: The Official Guide.
Neal Stephenson (1992) Excerpts from Snow Crash. (E-reserve)
David Kirkpatrick (2007). "Second Life to go open source: The creator of the burgeoning 3D virtual world expects it to grow even faster with outside programming help." Fortune/CNN, January 8, 2007.
Mark Wallace (2006). "The future of you: Virtual worlds, virtual lives." PC World, November 2006. (PDF)

Wednesday (January 17)

Deeepe Witte (2006). "Selling to an avatar: Text 100's entry into the PR industry sheds a light on the need for more sophisticated marketing." Excerpt from Second Life Business, October 2006.
David Kirkpatrick (2006). "No, Second Life is not overhyped." Fortune Magazine, November 10, 2006.
Mark Wallace (2006). "Chapter 3. The grand tour." Second Life: The Official Guide.
Michael Rymaszewski (2006). "Chapter 4. Changing your appearance." Second Life: The Official Guide.
"Second Life lessons." Business Week. November 27, 2006.


WEEK 3. SOCIAL VIRTUAL WORLDS AND WEB 3D

Monday (January 22)


Betsy Book (2004)."Moving beyond the game: Social virtual worlds." Conference paper presented to State of Play Reloaded. New York Law School. October 2004.
Timothy Leary (1994). "Imagineering." Excerpt from Chaos and Cyber Culture, pp. 17-20. (E-Reserve)
Stephen Shankland (2006). "IBM to give birth to Second Life business group," CNET, December 18.
Ren Reynolds (2006). "Countdown to Second Life backlash," Terra Nova, December 31, 2006.

Wednesday (January 24)

Avi Bar-Ze’ev (2006). "What is Web 3D anyway?" Brownian Emotion, September 27, 2006.
Clay Shirky (2006). "A story too good to check." Valleywag, December 12, 2006.
James Wagner Au (2006). "Hype vs. antihype vs. antiantihype." Gigagamez, December 18, 2006.
David Kirkpatrick (2007). "Why Second Life numbers do matter." CNN Money, January 2, 2007.
Kevin Dugan (2006). "Second Life's ride on the hype cycle." Strategic Public Relations, December 31, 2006.
Reading quiz #1


WEEK 4. VIRTUAL WORLDS, BRANDING AND IDENTITY

Monday (January 29)

Aimee Weber (2006). "The next step: Second Life professionalism." In "Going pro in Second Life" in New World Notes, May 25, 2006.
Paul Hemp (2006). "Avatar-based marketing." Harvard Business Review, June 2006, pp. 48-57. (E-Reserve)
Douglas Atkin (2004). "Symbolism." The Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers into True Believers. pp. 111-119.

Wednesday (January 31)

Betsy Book (2005). "Virtual world business brands: Entrepreneurship and identity in massively multiplayer online environments." Available at Social Science Research Network (SSRN).
Richard Bartle (2003). "Identity construction in virtual worlds," excerpt from Designing Virtual Worlds, pp. 508-526. (E-Reserve)


WEEK 5. ADVERTISING AND ITS ENEMIES

Monday (February 5)

Douglas Rushkoff (1999). "Advertising." Excerpt from Coercion: Why we listen to what 'they' say. pp. 162-192. (E-Reserve)
David Edery (2006). "Reverse product placement in virtual worlds." Harvard Business Review, December 2006, p. 24. (E-Reserve)
Greg Verdino (2006). "Welcome to Second Life, Marketers." MarketingProfs.Com, December 19, 2006. (PDF)
Wayne Porter (2006). "Exclusive Interview with Second Life Liberation Army." Torrents from MySpace: The Digital Lifestyle, December 4, 2006.
Kalle Lasn (1999). "The meme warrior." Excerpt from Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge - And Why We Must. pp. 129-136. (E-Reserve)

Wednesday (February 7)

Kurt Scherf and Harry Wang. (2005). "Reaching the unreachable consumer: Advertising in the digital age." White paper published by Parks Associates.
Schneider and Cornwell (2005). Cashing in on crashes via brand placement in computer games. The effects of experience and flow on memory. International Journal of Advertising, 24(3), pp. 321–343. (E-Reserve)
Kalle Lasn (1999). "Posthuman." Excerpt from Culture Jam: How to Reverse America's Suicidal Consumer Binge - And Why We Must. pp. 43-47. (E-Reserve)
David Radd (2005). "In-game billboards go interactive." Business Week Online, July 20, 2005.
Press Release (2006). Microsoft acquires in-game advertising pioneer Massive, Incorporated. May 4, 2006.
Press Release (2006). Leading independent in-game advertising company Double Fusion raises $26 million in funding round. December 18, 2006.
Reading quiz #2


WEEK 6. PUBLIC RELATIONS AND ACTIVISM

Monday (February 12)

Edward Bernays (1927). "Counsel on Public Relations -- A Definition." A three-page draft of ideas from Bernay's personal files. (PDF)
Douglas Rushkoff (1999). "Public Relations." Excerpt from Coercion: Why We Listen to What They Say. pp. 131-161. (E-Reserve)
Aedhmar Hynes (2006). Promotional video for Text 100. (Quicktime) Note: Text100 was one of the first public relations agencies to explore the potential of Second Life as a vehicle for on-line promotion. Aedhmar Hynes is the CEO.
Aedhmar Hynes (2006). First lessons from our Second Life. Monday Morning, November 2006.
Edward Bernays and Everett Dean Martin (1929). "Are we victims of propaganda? " Forum Magazine, March 1929. (PDF)
Edward Bernays (1936). "Freedom of propaganda: The constructive forming of public opinion." Vital Speeches of the Day, July 16, pp. 744-746. (PDF)

Wednesday (February 14)

 

Guest Speaker: Robin Harper (Linden Lab) Vice President of Community and Support.
4:00 - 4:30 p.m. CST
.

Abbie Hoffman (1968) "Yippie! -- The media myth," Excerpt from Revolution for the Hell of It. (E-Reserve)

Abbie Hoffman (1984) "How to fight City Hall." Excerpt from The Best of Abbie Hoffman. (E-Reserve)
Rik Riel (2006) "Second Life political organizing and consciousness raising," The Click Heard Around the World, November 13. (PDF)
Nancy Scola (2006) "Avatar politics: The social applications of Second Life." (PDF)
Wagner James Au (2006). "Guarding Darfur," New World Notes, May 1, 2006. (PDF)
Wagner James Au (2006). "Return to Darfur," New World Notes, May 25, 2006. (PDF)

Rik Riel (2006). "My friend Mensajero, the virtual panhandler," The Click Heard Around the World, December 5, 2006. (PDF) and Wagner James Au (2006). "Homeless for the holidays," New World Notes, December 5, 2006 (PDF).



WEEK 7. BUILDING COMMUNITIES AND NETWORKS

Monday (February 19)

 

Guest Speaker: Aleks Krotoski. Scholar (University of Surrey) and technology journalist (Guardian UK). 4:00 p.m. CST during Monday session.

Sitearm Madonna (2006). "Living structures in Second Life virtual worlds projects." (PDF)
Aleks Krotoski (2006). "Social life of virtual worlds." (PDF)
John Coate (1998). "Cyberspace inn-keeping: Building online community." (PDF)
Douglas Atkin (2004). "Introduction: Brands are the new religion." Excerpt from The Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers into True Believers. pp. xvi - xvii.

Wednesday (February 21)

Susan Blackmore (2000). "The power of memes." Scientific American, 283(4). (E-Reserve)

Steve Jurvetson and Tim Draper (1997). "Viral marketing." Originally printed in Business 2.0, November 1998. Also Steve Jurvetson (2000). "What is Viral Marketing?" Originally printed in Red Herring, May 1, 2000.

Martin Raymond (2003). "Organic networks: Every brand should have one." Excerpt from The Tomorrow People. pp. 58-70. (E-Reserve)
Douglas Atkin (2004). "The Great Cult Paradox: Why people join " Excerpt from The Culting of Brands: Turn Your Customers into True Believers. pp. 1-16.


WEEK 8. STEALTH ETHICS

Monday (February 26)

Russ Pitts (2006). "I'm evil. Confessions of an online guerilla marketer." The Escapist Magazine, 62. September 12, 2006. (PDF)
D. Eisenberg et. al. (2002). "It's an ad, ad, ad, ad world: As conventional methods lose their punch, more marketers are going undercover to reach consumers." Time 160(10), 38. (E-Reserve)
Deborah Branson (2004). "Marketing under the radar," Corpwatch, December 22, 2004. (PDF)
Timothy Leary (1994). "How to publish heresy in mainline publications." Excerpt from Chaos and Cyber Culture, pp. 177-178. (E-Reserve).

Wednesday (February 28)
Douglas Rushkoff (2000). "Tactical Databases." Excerpt from Coercion: Why we listen to what 'they' say. pp. 240-260. (E-Reserve)
Malcolm Gladwell (1997). "The Coolhunt." The New Yorker, March 17, 1997. (PDF)
Reading quiz #3 / Take-home exam distributed.


WEEK 9. SPATIAL DIMENSIONS OF E-COMMERCE (I)

Monday (March 5)
Chris Anderson (2004). "The long tail." Wired Magazine, October 2004. (PDF)
Antone Gonsalves (2006). "Second Life Residents Build Stores Around Amazon.com," Information Week, November 8, 2006. (PDF)
CNN Money (2006). "Circuit City enters Second Life: Electronics retailer to launch virtual store in the online digital world." CNN Money, December 18. (PDF)

Wednesday (March 7)
Douglas Rushkoff (1999). "Atmospherics." Excerpt from Coercion: Why We Listen to What 'They' Say. pp. 65-98. (E-Reserve)
Paco Underhill (1999). "Shoppers move like people." Excerpt from Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. pp. 75-85. (E-Reserve)
Take-home exam due.


WEEK 10. SPATIAL DIMENSIONS OF E-COMMERCE (II)

Monday (March 19)
Paco Underhill (1999). "How to read a sign." Excerpt from Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. pp. 60-74. (E-Reserve)
Paco Underhill (1999). "If you can read this, you're too young." Excerpt from Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping. pp. 129-140. (E-Reserve)

Wednesday (March 21)
Thomas Friedman (2006) "While I Was Sleeping," Excerpt from The World is Flat: The Globalized World in the Twenty-First Century. (E-Reserve).
Reading quiz #4


WEEK 11. MARKET PROFILING, USABILITY, AND ROI

Monday (March 26)
Martin Raymond (2003). "Enchanted looms: Using networks to gain insight. " Excerpt from The Tomorrow People. pp. 106-121. (E-Reserve)
Focus groups.

Wednesday (March 28)
Interface design and user testing.
Interface design and user testing.


WEEK 12. DISTRIBUTED GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE

Monday (April 2)

Measuring return on investment

Wednesday (April 4)
 

Guest Speaker: Jerry Paffendorf. Futurist, researcher, and virtual world organizer. (Electric Sheep Company and Acceleration Studies Foundation). 6:45 p.m. CST during evening session.

Garhard Fischer (2006). "Distributed Intelligence: Extending the Power of the Unaided, Individual Human Mind." Excerpt from Proceedings of Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI) Conference, Venice, May 23-26, 2006, pp. 7-14

Ludwig Fuchs, Steven Poltrock, and Richard Wocjik (1998). "Business value of 3D environments," SIGGROUP Bulletin, December, 1998.


WEEK 13. USER CREATION & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Monday (April 9)

Cory Ondrejka (2005). "Changing realities: User creation, communication, and innovation in virtual worlds." January 19, 2005. Distributed by Social Science Research Network. (PDF)
Dagmar Kojishi (2006). "Copybot causes outrage in Second Life." November 14, 2006. (PDF)
Dagmar Kojishi (2006). "Anti-Copybot petition from residents sent to Linden Lab." November 28, 2006. (PDF)
Martin Raymond (2003). "Copyleft: The battle of open think freeware." Excerpt from The Tomorrow People. pp. 58-70. (E-Reserve).

Wednesday (April 11)

Avi Bar-Ze’ev (2006). "Second Life and the Post-Scarcity World." Brownian Emotion. November 15, 2006.
Suan Landau, Renee Stratulate, and Doug Twilleager (2006). "Consumers, fans, and control: What the games industry can teach Hollywood about digital rights management." October 31, 2006. (PDF).
Quiz #5


WEEK 14. GENDER, LOVE & SEX IN VIRTUAL WORLDS

Monday (April 16)

Richard Bartle (2004). "Cross-gender play in virtual worlds," excerpt from Designing Virtual Worlds, pp. 527-546. (E-Reserve).
Bruce Sterling Woodcock (2006). "Confessions of an MMOG cross-dresser." Escapist Magazine, 77. December 26, 2006.
James Wagner Au (2005). "Man and man on woman and woman." New World Notes, January 10, 2005. (PDF)

Wednesday (April 18)

Nick Nobel (2006). "Aesthetics and gratification: Sexual practices in virtual environments," student paper authored for the course "Games for the Web" in May 2006. (PDF)

Mark Wallace (2006). "Love in a time of pixels." Escapist Magazine, 32. February 14, 2006. (PDF)
Bonnie Ruberg (2006). "Hot and bothered: Toward a sexual new games journalism." The Escapist Magazine, April 18, 2006. (PDF)
Regina Lynn (2006). "Second Life Gets Sexier," Wired Magazine, August 25, 2006. (PDF)

WEEK 15. LAST WEEK OF CLASS / WRAPPING UP
Monday (April 23)
TBD
TBD

Wednesday (April 25)
TBD
TBD


Final presentations: 8:30 to 11:30 on Tuesday, May 8
Index Assignments Students Links