This weeks lectures and readings revolves around the keyword ~affect~; how are we affected by media (not only emotionally but technologically also).

Firstly, it must be considered, how does media communicate us to evoke an emotional response?
Communicating through media evokes emotions of happiness, sadness and discomfort. It helps us understand and engage with the full complexity of what is going on as things affect and are affected by each other.
What I thought related to this was the marketing of TV shows on Australian TV. I think that Australian media is coming to terms
with the fact that audiences are more likely to respond if we can emotionally relate to characters. Contestants on reality shows such
as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules usually have a ‘story to tell’ whether it be positive or negative. Last week’s Masterchef audition programs were heavily influenced on how the contestants could adhere to us emotionally. For example, contestant Nick had battled Leukaemia AND had lost over 50 kgs in a year (pwoah). He also had been predominantly brought up by his grandmother (who ofcourse was the sweetest nan ever). Nick was emphasised in a lot of the episodes, showing the audience that Masterchef attempts to adhere to our emotions through the use of contestants. This is further emphasised by the ‘anecdotal videos’ that show throughout the show in relation to the characters- flashback videos are often played to show the contextual backgrounds of the contestants which both personalises their stories and affects our emotions.

The ‘affect’ in media is not only caused emotionally but can also reach a technological level.
Gaming is an example of this, where the ‘atmosphere’ in which the game is set in can be understood through communication (Ash, 2012). This is furthered by Gibbs’ analysis, where emotions such as anger or happiness involves a kind of “affect contagion” because affects are “innate activators” (Gibbs, 2002). This can relate to gaming as, on gaming sites such as Dota, contenders are able to communicate on a chat-log on the game itself. If an emotion is shown on the chat, it affects as a domino affect, all the contenders on the game are affected.

 

References:

Gibbs, Anna (2002) ‘Disaffected’, Continuum: Journal of Media
& Cultural Studies, 16:3, 335-341, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1030431022000018690&gt;

Ash, James (2012) ‘Attention, Videogames and the Retentional
Economies of Affective Amplification’, Theory, Culture & Society, 29(6): 3-26

 

 

(Gregory J. Seigworth and Melissa Gregg (2010) “An Inventory of
Shimmers” in The Affect Theory Reader, Durham: Duke University
Press:2)

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