Tag Archive: participatory culture

Foldit was developed for the purpose of producing new protein models that could help in the search for a cure for AIDS. The game takes advantage of humans’ superior capability of spacial reasoning to help solve the problem. Until this idea of crowd-sourcing medical data was developed, the main solution for fleshing out new protein models was to increase computational power. Now, this game provides a more efficient route to the discovery of potentially important models. It’s neat to see how involved the public can be in producing something so beneficial to humanity and how is can be done through a game format. This is a prime example of participatory culture due to the heavy dependence on the public to produce new information.


Participatory Culture Application

Participatory Culture describes a culture of active users that add their own creativity or information to be shared with others relating to the topic. I thought that a good example of this is video game culture, this example if a culture for the game Bioshock. Bioshock has a following that goes beyond the game itself. Besides the actual video game, Bioshock has websites that add to the story, as the plot is extremely detailed and complicated. One way a player can further enlighten themselves on the plot, is to use the Bioshock Wiki. This wiki is an example of how players have come together to add and edit their insight, connect, and further learn summaries of levels, plots, characters, etc. It’s a platform for a social culture of a specific technology.


“Democracy and culture can only thrive when people are engaged in creating the world around them; not when they are passive recipients or alienated from the society they live in.” This quote is directly from the About page of the following link to a website for a nonprofit that is completely dedicated to the distribution and open source availability of media and the development of a stronger participatory culture.


It is interesting that there are entire nonprofits dedicated to this ideal but another great example of participatory culture is the following example that is the creation of many people contributing for a common cause of promoting education through technology to kids in the form of  http://www.edubuntu.org/.  Edubuntu is an operating system designed in opensource that was designed specifically for kids.

It is important to note that not all participatory culture is reflected in blogs or fan art but can be used to create something functional to society as well.

This video gives you a taste of the environment and features that are available to the kids with a jazzy soundtrack!

The website states, “The Internet grants new powers of collective action to those who master its literacy.” Here they are talking about the participatory culture that we have with the internet, ways that we can collaborate and debate with one another to learn more. They describe participatory media as follows, “Technological changes in accessibility of production tools and distribution media have led to social, cultural, economic, political changes in the ways people communicate, a set of technologies, practices, and skills some call participatory media.”

Some examples of participatory media include blogs, RSS, social bookmarking, wikis, tagging, mashups, videoblogs and music-photo-video sharing. Within these types of media they have characteristics that make them participatory. These include:

– many to many media – it is now possible for everyone to share their information to anyone else around the world that is connected to the internet.

– social networks – easier access to communicate and inform others faster, cheaper and more efficiently about activities or events.

– social media – is the active participation of many people.

The availability of participatory media allows us much better access to information that we were not able to acquire before.