About Captain Keyboard:

Hi, my name is Blair Arnold and I am the editor and writer of Captain Keyboard.

1450910_617155701673990_957070028_n

As an Australian writer, my aim for this particular blog is produce content that is concerned with, but not limited to issues regarding the media and journalism. Currently I am a freelance writer who is particularly interested in novel writing, magazine writing and sports journalism.

11913582_961278080595082_1033808437_n

A Quick Thanks

I’d like to thank jakepascoe.com for refreshing this media blog with a more suitable theme. Note that the photograph above was also taken by blogging sensation Jake Pascoe.

 Make sure to check out jakepascoe.com


Make sure to check out jakepascoe.com

Make sure to click the link to his page as there are many great blog posts as well as unique and professional photographs.

As for me, I am working on some new posts so make sure to check out my latest ‘BCM111’ section. Hopefully I will be able to upload some of my new material for the ‘personal blog’ section so stay tuned!

captainkeyboard

Captain Keyboard Has Done it All! Child Sexualisation? Aren’t you appalled?

Since beginning this course my understanding of many issues has been enhanced through my own writing and through the interaction with other bloggers. My perspective on how to cover material for future topics was broadened and led me to wonder how I could have done my blog post differently.

IMG_1181

The notion of ‘blogging’ which was so surreal for me has now become a part of my weekly routine. I have also learned that creating a strong voice of opinion is the key to receiving feedback and views.

buying-twitter-followers-like-a-boss-01

Source: http://www.business2community.com/twitter/buying-twitter-followers-the-cheap-price-of-friendship-0496168#!DRq7v

Before the BCM110 blogging process, I never would have realised the extent of media influence. I think that the most interesting thing I learnt was in relation to the ‘media effects’ theory and how the media’s influence over teenage violence is blamed for issues that have a deeper reasoning to essentially form a more interesting story.

Before this understanding I had never questioned reasons for the violent behaviour of individuals other than the role of violent video games which is so highly criticised for example.

Another highly criticised influence of the media is in relation to the sexualisation of children.

It is noted by Rush that:

Images of sexualisation are becoming increasingly common in advertising and marketing material.

"The cover of Haven shows a nine-year-old model dressed in a two-piece vintage circus costume, hair teased, holding a light globe."

“The cover of Haven shows a nine-year-old model dressed in a two-piece vintage circus costume, hair teased, holding a light globe.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/02/07/3940040.htm

Controversy struck with some listeners of the ABC stating that it is “not good at all for a girl her age.”

Implications are noted by Rush (2006), including severe psychological problems, future eating disorders, neglected child development, increased wanted sexual attention, body dissatisfaction, sexual desires before an appropriate age, low self-esteem and even normalising paedophilic sexual desire for children.

There are many theories involving the representation of children, moral panic of the corporate power of the media and causality linked to a blame being placed upon the media for this type of sexualised advertising in children.

Yes, there is no doubt that the media plays a role in allowing children to be exploited for the gain of corporations in selling products. We can see through individuals such as Miley Cyrus, who has been under the spotlight in recent times for bizarre, sexual behaviour which is presented to young impressionable children who are a part of an increasing trend in sexualisation. This calls for serious concern. In face, Miley herself is a pristine example of the severe influence the media can have upon easily influenced children as they grow into adulthood.

Are role models such as Miley Cyrus contributing to child sexualisation?

Are role models such as Miley Cyrus contributing to child sexualisation?

Source: http://www.bubblews.com/news/1679578-do-you-think-miley-cyrus-should-be-time-magazineamp039s-person-of-the-year

But what if we take a step back?

In order to assess sexualisation, an adult must place themselves in a position whereby they are judging the child through adult, sexually influenced eyes. So is this young girl being sexualised and damaged psychologically? Or is she just “a lucky little girl that got to be on the cover of a magazine,” holding a lightbulb?

References:

‘Too Much? Too Young? The Sexualisation of Children Debate in Australia’, Media International Australia, No 135, May 2010, pp. 56-60.

E Rush, La Nauze L, 2006, ‘Corporate Paedophilia’, pp.1-53, Viewed 13th April, Source: http://www.tai.org.au/documents/dp_fulltext/DP90.pdf

Larkins, D, 2014, ‘Young cover girl sparks ‘over-sexualisation’ controversy’, Viewed 13th April, Source: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/02/07/3940040.htm

License to Thrill

anigif_enhanced-buzz-31278-1380641124-23

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/25-james-bond-facts-youve-never-heard-before-7rut

I’m sure that you know that he loves flashy clothes, fast cars, wine and women. But I’m also sure that some of you haven’t recognised that these are actually societal issues and that James Bond is a mediated sphere where these issues are addressed.

But is this mediated public sphere too trivialised causing watchers to become too apathetic?

“Shaken not Stirred.”

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPbgFd4VWGE

Real-life issues are trivialised by the James Bond industry. We as the viewer are presented with the seemingly insignificant problem of James’ alcoholism. In fact, many see this addiction as a key part of James’ charisma and sex appeal. The trivialisation of such a serious real-life issue raises moral questioning as to what type of message this is sending to Bond viewers about alcohol addiction and its link to social status. It is also interesting to note that as an audience we are left feeling as if James’ addiction is far less important than the main plot line of the film where the action and killing lies.

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggDx65cg9es

Admit it… We watch the films for action. Can you admit that secretly you rejoiced and cracked a smile when Bond saved the day in ‘Casino Royale’?

This trivialisation of not just alcoholism, but also death, betrayal and murder is yet another relatable criticism of James Bond that relates directly to Alan McKee‘s critiques of the ‘Public Sphere’ which involves the trivialisation of real life issues leading to viewers left feeling apathetic.

C21

Source: http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=20800

We are so bombarded with violence in James Bond films that we are not even phased by any form of emotion towards the people killed or tortured. Yet again in ‘Casino Royale‘, it is arguable that the torture scene is made so ridiculous that if anything, onlookers may even simply laugh it off as another ‘typical Bond moment’.

It is also startling how we are left apathetic to the countless romances of James Bond…

Research from The Guardian shows that from Dr. No through to Quantum of Solace Bond has killed 366 people and slept with 53 women...

Research from The Guardian shows that from Dr. No through to Quantum of Solace Bond has killed 366 people and slept with 53 women…

Source: http://kinetofilm.blogspot.com.au/2009/03/quantum-of-solace.html

It may not surprise you that the James Bond industry has made around $6, 198, 420, 185 with the production of over forty hours of James Bond. At least we are not apathetic towards that one man we all seem to love.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-31893-1380641736-21

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/25-james-bond-facts-youve-never-heard-before-7rut

But should we be worried about this mediated public sphere voicing opinions that allow the trivialisation of important issues that leads thousands of viewers apathetic to the notions of murder, betrayal, torture, death and love?

References:

McKee, A, 2005, ‘Introduction: the public sphere: an introduction’ in Public Sphere: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp1-31.

The Numbers, 2014, ‘Box Office History for James Bond Movies’, Viewed 6th April, Source: http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/franchise/James-Bond

Rosati, R, 2013, ‘How many people has James Bond killed and had sex with?’, Viewed 6th April, Source: http://jamesbondkillcount.blogspot.com.au/

Martain, S, 2013, ’25 James Bond Facts You’ve Never Heard Before’, Viewed 6th April, Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/stmartinspress/25-james-bond-facts-youve-never-heard-before-7rut

The Sister I Never Got To Know

 

 

LOZ0003_NEW

Lorraine, aged 15.

This audio piece connects the story of a young girl named Lorraine who was adopted by her carers’ children, June and Lindsay after the unfortunate death of her foster mother.

Looking at just one perspective from within Lorraine’s adoption family, there are distant memories and odd photographs that piece this story together. For Marcus, growing up as a young boy was seemingly normal. He says he always was close to his immediate brother and sister, but believes that he never got the chance to become closely acquainted with his much older and adopted sister Lorraine.

 

LOZ0002_NEW

From left to right, Christine (Marcus’ sister), Marcus & Lorraine – 1957.

LOZ0004_NEW

Lorraine (left) with her soon to be adopted parents.

The Wollongong Housing Market Demand

The coastal city of Wollongong, NSW has experienced an increased demand in its housing over the past two years. Prices have dramatically risen, with many wondering when home values are expected to settle.

David Greenwood, from LJ Hooker Figtree says “We have seen the market level off this year. That being said, the prices have stayed steady and haven’t really decreased in price. Some information suggests that they are actually growing.”

Research Credit:

www.propertyvalue.com.au/suburb/wollo…ong-2500-nsw

www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf

Reflection: How I Learned To Be A Project Manager

Given the opportunity to create a digital storytelling project, I decided to investigate how our use of the mobile-phone is influenced by the space it is used in. Further, I wanted to explore privacy within these spaces and develop an understanding of which spaces are appropriate to use our mobile phones within and which are not. Through the incorporation of primary sources of quantitative and qualitative data, as well as relatable picture and video content, I believe that the blogging medium allowed me to create a detailed and concise two-part storytelling project. I also believe that this project features a unique topic, bound by a passionate writing style that is often read by a fairly large audience who follows my blog presence. Hence, my blog was used as a means to showcase my storytelling project.

Extensive research into how to be an effective project manager allowed me to complete the storytelling project to a high standard. Looking back, I think one of the most important things I learned from being a creative project manager was the skill of networking. After I came up with my topic of investigation into the use of mobile phones and their relation to space, I began to think of the acquisition of primary data. Knowing that I needed to conduct a group interview, I decided that I would use social media to reach out to potential interviewees. This knowledge was obtained after reading Five Steps To Becoming A Successful Project Manager, an article that allowed me to put my fear aside and become active in online discussion. This knowledge allowed me to organise the group of four to be involved in a group interview.

Another important aspect of being a project manager was my use of communication skills. After understanding the importance of not only communication, but also listening skills, I was able to develop my verbal skills to try and get the best out of my interviewees. I read up on enhancing these attributes because I wanted to make sure when I began to build my project, that I was effectively explaining what I wanted my audience to understand.

In relation to the interviewees I also needed to master my emotions. Feeling tired from a busy schedule of upcoming work, mixed with illness and stress, I became aware of the importance in appearing enthusiastic. This was to allow my interviewees to be a part of a positive environment, and not to be subjected to how bad I felt that day. I feel that self-awareness of my emotions during the interview were controlled well as a project manager. Even when an interviewee pulled out of the interview the day before, I was able to control the project and gain another interviewee.

I wanted to know what made a good project manager. Interested to know how to manage the creative process, I took notes from an article written by  my audience to think about how media practices and audience experiences are spatial in nature. In particular I wanted to make my interviewees feel free to answer my questions and understand where they were coming from. I also understood the significance of them feeling comfortable to disagree with other members of the group interview, without feeling intimidated. To monitor this, I critically evaluated members and their responses.

I considered changing platforms and possibly creating a piece of video storytelling. But after weighing up the options as a critical thinker, I decided that the time it would take to make a video and accompanying text as well as the cost of driving to the University of Wollongong to borrow camera equipment and return it made the reality of me having limited time and money sink in. Besides, after reading Burgoyne’s piece it made me realise that I needed to “turn the creative idea into a somewhat manageable reality,” and for me, the reality of making a good quality video would take a lot more time and would not improve the quality of my project much further anyway. With this in mind, I decided to stay with the blogging medium, thinking that if i incorporated pictures and video content with my quality writing it would be the best way to go in representing data and research.

Overall, I think that I have overcome the challenges that are common in creative project management involving other people. With extensive research I was able to gain knowledge of how to effectively network and gain interviewees whilst maintaining my emotions around these people. I developed my verbal and listening skills to get the most out of my interviewees whilst maintaining a sense of critical thinking. To conclude, I believe I demonstrated the essentials of an effective project manager and gained the best information out of my interviewees to make a high quality digital storytelling project.

Excuse You: Part Two Of The Mobile Experience

In part one of Excuse You: Part One Of The Mobile Experience, we looked at how audience experiences are spatial in nature, and how some spaces allow mobile phone interaction over others. Some spaces are mobile friendly, whilst others aren’t. In these circumstances, the user can be deemed as rude or obnoxious. To find out which spaces allow our experiences to take place in relative privacy, I interviewed two female and two male mobile-users in a group setting, asking questions in relation to the elements of space and privacy.

Firstly, participants were shown statistics from The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), which reference a study commissioned by Microsoft that reveals that “almost one in two Australians admit to using their mobile phone while using the bathroom.” They were asked if they thought that the bathroom was an appropriate space to use their phones for calling friends and internet browsing.

Responses varied slightly. but overall, the respondents, aged between the ages 19-55 agreed that this space was appropriate for experiences such as social media (Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc.) However three out of the four respondents deemed that it was not an appropriate space to call friends. Respondent 1 said, “The bathroom is a pretty private place. I think I would feel extremely embarrassed to talk on the phone while sitting on the toilet.” Respondent 3 said that they did not mind talking to people on the phone while using the bathroom saying that “it doesn’t matter where you are when you call somebody, (because) the person you are talking to probably won’t notice anyway.”

Secondly, participants were asked if they have ever had an experience when somebody was rude to them whilst talking on the phone. All four participants stated that they had witnessed somebody on their phone being rude, mostly accounted for in work situations. Respondent 3 stated that working as a delivery driver, they had an “annoying” experience in which “a man opened the door, gave me a twenty dollar note, took the pizza and slammed the door in my face without saying a single word.” The other participants shared similar stories.

Lastly, participants answered the question of whether or not they believed that in a public space, they felt they had the right to privacy and freedom of eavesdropping when talking on their mobile phone. Two respondents agreed that they think they deserve a right to privacy when talking on the phone, arguing that the public space is a large one and therefore eavesdropping on phone conversations should not be excused. Respondents 1 and 2 however, said that the public space is not a private place and is open to eavesdropping. They stated that phone users should remain “wary” when using media devices in public if they are anxious of their privacy.

Using quantitative as well as qualitative data, I also conducted an online survey to find out our spacial habits in relation to phone use. The results are below:Untitled Infographic (1)

So what can we gather from these results from both the interviews and the survey? Are we able to piece together what spaces are appropriate to use our mobiles within?

From what we can gather, it seems that the shock of columnist Ken Gallinger to see a male talk on the phone whilst urinating was a suitable reaction. It seems that the bathroom seems to be an inappropriate place to call friends. However despite this, it remains one of the most popular spaces where phones are used. It seems that the toilet is the perfect place for people to scroll through their social media feeds and browse the internet.

Both studies revealed that using a phone whilst interacting with people is considered to be quite rude. Further, participants of the survey mostly admitted to using their mobile devices inside their home and used them less in public places. Most likely due to the presence of people like friends and family etc. There was also a mixed consensus as to whether mobile phone users deserve the right to privacy when using their devices in a public setting as 50% of the primary interviewees agreed, whilst the other half disagreed.

To conclude it seems as if there are certain spaces that mobile phones can be used within effectively, such as a home space. This is of course aside from the bathroom, despite its popularity of use. Furthermore there is a trend of low use of mobile device in spaces like the cinema, the car or in a classroom environment compared to using the media device at home. Overall, privacy seems to be a pressing issue, with participants unsure of the extent of privacy given in a public setting. From these results there should also be concern in regard to the high number of mobile-phone users who tend to be in their bathroom as a primary space of audience experience.

Excuse You: Part One Of The Mobile Phone Experience

Have you ever considered how your experience with your mobile phone is affected by the space you are in?

I’m sure many of us have been told to switch off our phone at the movies or to put our phones away at the dinner table. For some reason, we consider phone use to be rude, but only in certain places.

Take this scenario;

Recently the Daily Mail revealed that an Australian cafe manager “imposed a 50-cent ‘talking tax’ on customers who refuse to get off their phones while at the counter,” after staff were fed up with rude customers displaying ‘bad manners’. So bearing this in mind, let’s say you had an incoming phone call while you were in line for this cafe. Would you answer and order anyway, paying an extra 50 cents? Or would you be inclined to hang up? The truth is some would pay for the convenience in this circumstance.

But what if the cafe displayed signs stating that staff refuse to serve customers who are using a mobile phone when ordering? There is no fee, but if you wanted to eat at this particular cafe, you would be forced to hang up the phone or go to a different place.

So our experience with technology is spacial in nature. Society tells us that some spaces just aren’t appropriate for the use of phones. If we do have a media experience with our phone in one of these inappropriate spaces, we will be regarded as simply having no manners right?

The answer is yes to an extent. But let’s not forget that everybody’s experience with their phone is unique in their choice of space.

For example, after witnessing a person standing at a urinal whilst talking on a cell-phone, columnist Ken Gallinger found the whole thing to be quite bizzare:

“In the world where I grew up, chatting and peeing were blissfully incompatible. I flushed as noisily as possible in the hope of embarrassing my loquacious co-urinator. He just talked louder.”

It seems that our privacy is another aspect that has changed with the popularity of the mobile phone.

Take the phone booth for example. What was once a popular place for conversing with others has now become an unnecessary and out-dated communication space. Despite the popularity of phone booths just 25 years ago, it seems that our love of the convenient mobile phone has left the number of phone booths in Australia to halve. With reports of one in five people owning a phone worldwide according to Business Insider Australia, many of the younger generations have grown up having never dialled a number in a phone booth. It seems that the space where we once held our most private conversations have now been converted to Wifi hotspots and charging stations.

Australian phone booths will soon be reinvigorated as Telstra plans to invest in building over “8000 Telstra-built hotspots in public phone booths,” according to Allie Coyne from IT News. But Australia is not the only country changing its spacial experience. Jennifer Smith from The Daily Mail says “the quintessential red phone box is being reinvented to accommodate a generation of mobile-phone users,” as ‘metal headsets’ and ‘coin slots’ will soon be removed and replaced with “coffee machines, sweet jars and shoe shine.”

Above: The quintessential London telephone booth re-modelled as a small cafe space.

Above: The quintessential London telephone booth re-modelled as a small cafe space. Source: The Daily Mail

The development of the mobile phone has revolutionised communication between humans in modern times, but what has it done to our privacy in public spaces?

My point is this, communication spaces are changing as we know it, and it’s all because of the mobile phone. But there is a problem, if mobile media practices and audience experiences are spacial, how do we know which spaces are appropriate to use our mobile phones within? We are left with countless places to envelop ourselves in media practise, but what happens to our privacy when we are outside of the phone booth?

To find out, read Excuse You: Part Two Of The Mobile Experience here

Reflection As A Researcher: How Captain Keyboard Gained An Audiences Attention

As the writer, editor and curator of Captain Keyboard, I am concerned with providing content that engages readers whilst providing information through a strong online presence. But with peoples attention spans lower than ever, the task proved to be difficult. Due to the growth of the blogosphere, it has become harder than ever to stand out from the crowd and gain an audiences attention. In fact, even holding a readers attention is becoming increasingly difficult these days. Recent results from a Microsoft study have even revealed that human attention spans are now shorter than that of a goldfish, Leon Watson from the Daily Telegraph outlines. With this in mind I decided to implement a variety of techniques to gain my audiences attention.

An attractive blog layout was vital in gaining readership traffic. I started by contacting a professional photographer and friend of mine; Jake Pascoe from jake.pascoe.com, and asked permission to use a photograph. I believe that the image encapsulates the theme of my blog as it is based upon online media and technology. I also created a more user-friendly category menu and re-named my university subjects to sound more appealing to a general online audience, rather than just media & communications students.

Secondly, I recognised the influence of social media and created a stronger Twitter presence. I believe that feedback is one of the best ways to improve my writing, so I wanted to gain as many readers as I could. Of course, this is best achieved through sharing my work. I learned the importance of this by reading a step-by-step guide by o begin, I changed my online Twitter Image by creating a better biography which included a short, succinct summary of my interests and talents which was recommended by CASA co-founder Kate Bowles. I also felt this was appropriate so people would feel a connection with me as a writer, rather than a generic university student blogger. This Twitter profile was also embedded into my blog so that my comments and discussion of the media were accessible to my readers. Using Lauren Dugan’s ’10 Habits of Great Tweeters’, I tried to consistently share my blog posts each week and implemented sparse hash-tagging by “only using a hashtag when it’s relevant,” to my content. I did this only when it could  “add additional meaning” to my tweets. Below is an example of the use of this sparse hash-tagging method.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 5.53.28 pm

Next I went back through previous blogs that I had written and tightly edited my work. It then had me thinking how I could make my blogs more appealing. With this I realised that my titles were a little basic and didn’t provoke the reader to think. In 

“No matter how great your content is, it won’t matter unless you have an amazing headline. People have a split second to decide if they should click on your post, and your headline will make them decide. The headline is also essential in making it easy and desirable for people to share your post. Keep your headlines SPUB: simple, powerful, useful and bold.”

After a few changes, I was definitely able to write simple, powerful, useful and bold headlines that were relevant to my work.

I believe that my work is engaging and well-written. My incorporation of research materials other than my own allowed me to analyse and provide my own insights into the topic whilst having academic grounding. This is also essential in providing my audience with quality information in which they are hopefully able to gain new knowledge in regards to media, audience and place. Providing links to research papers and theories has allowed my audience to conduct further study of topics for themselves which I think is effective.

Reflecting back, I now recognise that I should have incorporated more academic style blogs in my blogroll, rather than a list of mostly university counterparts. This being said, the research and theories that I have discussed are clearly explored differently by other students who are also studying media, audience and place. Because of this, the blogroll still plays a large role in my audiences’ access to media research other than my own. I also attempted to increase the professional look of the blogroll by eliminating certain blogs that I follow which are not in the field of the media. This meant that the blogs that were showcased follow the same focus on the themes explored in my own blog. Further I included polls in my work to allow my audience to be actively involved in the discussion of topics that I investigated. This also proved to be an engaging exercise for my readers.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 2.53.12 pm

Above: An example of a poll that was used to engage the readers of Captain Keyboard.

My About page has also been drastically changed. In the attempt to create a stronger image for myself and my blog; Captain Keyboard, I added a more personal tone of writing so that I can establish a greater connection with my audience. To continue this connection, I have been actively commenting on my fellow Media & Communication students’ blogs as well as connecting with my audience on Twitter to create a larger following which I think has been quite successful. From this, I have gained Twitter followers through my follow and subscription link on my blog. This essentially highlights the effectiveness of the strong image that I have attempted to showcase.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 3.06.25 pm

Through the use of a strong theme including an appropriate header image, blogroll of people I follow, an ‘About’ page, accessible category menus, links to a strong Twitter account; including a succinct biography, consistent tweets and shares as well as engaging blog posts which include links to grounding research, thought provoking headlines and polls with the ability to spark discussion, I firmly believe that I have improved Captain Keyboard’s online presence. I have provided a public media space where my audience can be engaged with informative material that will not only gain, but also hold their attention.

References:

Cooper, B. Beth 2013, ’16 Top Tips from Blogging Experts for Beginners’, buffersocial, Viewed 2nd October 2015, <https://blog.bufferapp.com/blogging-advice-for-beginners-from-16-experts>

Dugan, L 2013, ’10 Habits of Great Tweeters’, Social Times, Viewed 2nd October 2015, <http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/10-habits-of-great-tweeters/488437?red=at>

Malamed, C 2013, ’10 Ways to Learn From Twitter’, The eLearning Coach, Viewed 2nd October 2015, <http://theelearningcoach.com/elearning2-0/10-ways-to-learn-from-twitter/>

Watson, L 2015, ‘Humans have shorter attention span than goldfish, thanks to smartphones’, Daily Telegraph, Viewed 2nd October 2015, <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11607315/Humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smartphones.html>

Coming Soon: Empty Cinemas?

Let’s face it: going to the cinema is costly these days.

With rapid internet expansion and the increasing comfort of our western style homes, the temptation to illegally download and stream films has never been higher. It is well-known that our worldwide music and film industries are losing billions of dollars every year due to the rise in online piracy. We know that the rise in piracy is becoming a problem because cinema’s have even begun implementing drastic measures. Recently these are involving metal detectors, night-vision goggles, bag and body searches and audio watermarks according to ‘Ernesto‘ from TorrentFreak.

So if everybody is downloading illegal content, it seems that there must be a reason why the cinema has more empty seats.

The reason behind this increase in watching illegal movies from home is most probably due to a whole range of factors. For many it is due to cost, which is inherently linked to travel and time. This is because time is money as Benjamin Franklin once said. Funnily enough this problem of piracy can best be understood by examining a theory by a famous Swedish geographer; Torsten Hägerstrand. In his work ‘Time Geography’, he points out that there are essentially three ‘constraints’ or limitations based upon the concept of a space-time path that demonstrates “how human spatial activity is often governed by limitations, and not by independent decisions,” in the words of John Corbett from the University of California.

To break it down, Corbett has simplified these three constraints identified by Hägerstrand as:

1. ‘Capability’: Limitations on movement as humans, due to physical or biological factors.

2. ‘Coupling’: A need to be in one place for a given length of time, often in interaction with other people.

3. ‘Authority’: An area that is controlled by certain people or institutions that set limits on its access to particular individuals or groups.

Referring to this theory it does seem that there is a link between the trending decline in the cinema industry due to film piracy and our constraints as humans. In fact, as humans we are indeed limited as to where we go.

Let’s apply this theory to a personal experience for example. Just last week I organised a movie meet-up with my friends. So with Hägerstrand’s theory in mind, we’ll explore the capability constraint. On this particular occasion I found it quite difficult to get transportation to the movies as I had to drive from the area of Wollongong, NSW to Shellharbour, NSW which is around a 20 minute drive. Now this doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but a combination of the inflated price of fuel and a nineteen year-old university student searching for a part-time job as a journalist, I found it an impossible act to spend my remaining $10 on fuel for my V6 Hyundai Tiburon and a movie ticket to a $15 film that I didn’t particularly want to see anyway. Now I am lucky because my best friend Carter was able to pick me up in his brand new car and drop me home free of charge. Now let’s also not forget that If he hadn’t have payed for my movie ticket as well I would not be able to see the film.

Sitting in the movie cinema I always wonder what I am doing watching a film that I do not wish to see and certainly do not want to pay the adult price of $15 for. But despite this whenever I get that message that says ‘Hey, movies again this Saturday, you down?” from my friends, I often come to the same conclusion. Of course that conclusion is ‘yes‘. So with this in mind I think the Swedish geographer was right; we are limited as humans. But at the same time, we often push these limitations if we can, because we want to go to the cinema with friends like Carter and socially interact whilst watching a movie. This essentially fits the second coupling constraint outlined by Hägerstrand in my eyes. Now to apply this personal scenario to the third constraint; Authority. Reflecting on the night, I remember the look of sheer sadness on a childs face when the middle-aged man behind the counter told the 14-year old boy the grim news that he was unable to see a film because he was “one month too young,” what a shame.

Now that we are familiar with these constraints, if we apply our first-hand knowledge of understanding how easy it is to watch a film in the comfort of our own home for the price of nothing, it does beg the question of what will happen to the cinema in the future. In the next 5 to 10 years for example, the cinema could very well be like what is depicted in the eery video below. But to be fair, it could equally be just as full as it had been 10 years ago; that is, today. Some of you may not agree with this, and that’s fine. But understand that the cinema is a place to share memories with our friends and family. It is hard to disagree that we will probably return to the cinema in the future. This is because for many of us, sharing memories with friends doesn’t come at a price; this is of course excluding my friend Carter who I owe $14 and a free lift after my recent exhibition to Shellharbour cinema.

References:

Bowles, K 2015, ‘Annotated readings: BCM240: Media, Audience & Place Week 5: ‘Cinemas: strangers in public’, BCM240, University of Wollongong, NSW, 24th August.

Ernesto 2010, ‘Anti-Piracy Tool For Cinemas Will Recognize Emotions’, TorrentFreak, Viewed 29th August 2015,<https://torrentfreak.com/anti-piracy-tool-for-cinemas-will-recognize-emotions-101102/>

Corbett, J 2015, ‘Torsten Hägerstrand: Time Geography’, Centre for Spatially Integrated Social Science, Viewed 29th August 2015, <http://www.csiss.org/classics/content/29>