Steps Forward and Back in Gaming


Image from Fortune, 4-5-16

People love games. When we were little we grew up with all the rad games on the Play Station, then the Play Station 2, then 3, then 4. And the Xbox, Wii, Nintendo, PC games, sooooo many games. And of course, you can expect someone to find a flaw in a great thing (someone sees a flaw in everything). And of course it matters.

Let’s look at gender stereotypes in games and gaming. Many depict gaming as a stereotypical male hobby, where a girl that publicly states she likes gaming to get attention “from the boiz”and are considered a minority in gaming. Despite this, it turns out half of gamers are female (Jayanth, 2014) Looking at games in the real world, such as soccer, soccer is a sport made up of 50% male and female and is the most popular female sport in the U.S. (Mev-Lam, 2015)

Getting on with the 21st century we would expect to see more progressive gaming development. One example is FIFA’s step towards creating a balance of genders by introducing a FIFA female national team (Lev-Ram, 2015) And as the article asks, why did this take so long? Ultimately, no one had released nearly more females are playing than males and that it didn’t make sense anymore to not have a female team.

Whilst we think this is a step forward, there is still the step waiting to be taken of equal pay of women in sports. Women are only paid about 25% of what men are paid on professional sports (Women’s Sport Foundation, 2016)

Back to video games, there is the big issue: gamergate. Whilst there is a step forward in women’s appearance in the FIFA games, there is still small tip-toe steps backwards if you check the comments of the Womens FIFA Trailer (EA Sports FIFA, 2015). There are people commenting on factors comparing unrelated to this gender introduction, there are definitely the backwards commenters having their say. Yes, you can find the classic “get back in the kitchen” comments.

On the topic of gamergate, who you would want to hear feedback from is obviously (but maybe not obvious?) is the game publishers! Fortune attempts to interview several game publishers for comments on gamergate, and guess how many of the 7 game publishers they contacts agreed to comment? Just one. Spokewoman for Ubisoft, the publisher of games including Assassin’s Creed and Watch Dogs commented:

“We echo the recent comment made by the ESA: Harassment, bullying and threats are wrong and have to stop. There should be no place in the video game community for personal attacks of any kind.” (Mangalindan, 2014)

Although it may make the other game publishers appear “in the wrong” in PR terms for not commenting, they are definitely not alone on this. A number of industrial analysts that Fortune contacted also refused comment. One commented with anonymity,

“Nobody who takes a position gains anything from doing so,” said one analyst, who demanded anonymity. “It’s a story about a lot of people (mostly men) behaving badly, and I prefer not to contribute to the never-ending drama.” (Mangalindan, 2014)

This amongst many many more games and situations and such, there are several steps forward and backward in gaming, but let’s hope we are getting more steps forward.

EA Sports FIFA 2015, “FIFA 16 Trailer- Women’s National Teams are IN THE GAME“, YouTube, accessed 4-5-16,

Jayanth, M 2014, “52% of gamers are women- but the industry doesn’t know it “, Guardian, accessed 4-5-16,

Mangalindan, JP 2014, “Video game publishers mostly silent on gamergate” Fortune, accessed 4-5-16,

Mev-Lam, M 2015, “EA’s CEO talks about finally adding women’s team to FIFA video game “, Fortune, accessed 4-5-16,

Women’s Sport Foundation 2016, “Pay Inequality in Athletics”, accessed 4-5-16,


Living in a Prison without a Cell


Censorship image from CPJ

There is a lot of information on the Internet. A LOT! You could think that perhaps the Internet could be an entity in itself that has its own politics. The Internet is a place for freedom of speech, opinions, thoughts, whatever you want. Or is it? People go to the Internet for information, but not all information is true. Then again, not all information in the media is true, it is generally lopsided, biased, targeting incorrect focuses for better ratings. When we source out information, when do we know what is true? There’s generally true information in the space of politics that is kept closed behind doors. And, after all, the Internet is a place with its own policies: meant to be a freedom space, unfortunately, not exactly.

There are state censorships of the Internet- why? Is it due to handing citizens the “weapon” of creating social forces and people power to effect state power? There are good and bad sides to censorship; there are the factors of explicit content and age restrictions, and then there is restricting the truth from people. There is a huge jump between a country like Malaysia “promising not to censor the Internet” (Leong, 2012) to North Korea completely shutting off its connection to the rest of the world. (Lee, 2012) There are factors on both ends that are key to enhancing the cultural identities of the countries. It can be pointed out, as done by Lee, (2012), that being in a state of complete censorship leads to one factor: honest information. He states that this leads to knowing all the facts; there’s no lies in the media, there’s no outsiders, Kim Jong Un tells North Korea exactly what he wants. Now, you’re living in a country (North Korea) that lacks any human rights, but you have the truth, then say living in Australia where there are empty promises by politicians to sway political votes and such, where we are convinced our votes really make a different and such. Whilst we are in an overall independent nation (Australia), there is still no ultimate freedom. And really, why should there be? Would there be chaos? Why should there be a Prime Minister to run the country if he can’t control anything?

Certain censorships should not be a factor of withholding information. There is definitely censorships that need to be implemented, but there is definitely a line and it is usually always crossed (by a huge amount too), and always for selfish reasons. It is common to recognise North Korea as maintaining the worst state censorship, but there is one above it: Eritrea, East Africa (Anna, 2015). Due to its extreme lack of human rights and security, it is strongly advised to not travel to Eritrea or surrounding border countries. (Smart Traveller, 2016).  There is in fact a top 10 list of the world’s most censored states, and the list is:

  1. Eritrea
  2. North Korea
  3. Saudi Arabia
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Vietnam
  7. Iran
  8. China
  9. Myanmar
  10. Cuba

These are the top states of having little to no independence. There is less than 1% of Eritrea that is online; the only media that distributes news is the state media, if the Internet is used it is through using a slow dial-up connection, all Internet service providers must use the Government-controlled gateway  and all mobile communications must go through EriTel that cause signal jamming and tight online control. (CPJ, 2016)

There is a New-York Committee to Protect Journalists that for 30 years “promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal. CPJ ensures the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored or harassed.” (CPJ, 2016) They believe that journalism plays a vital role in the balance of power between a government and its people.

It is organisations like CPJ that help the ‘people power’ to one day reach a total state of independence. Not an easy gig, but with the constant development of technology and the power of the Internet, even North Korea is losing the grip of control, where the government can’t monitor all communications in the country like it could do before. (Lee, 2012) If even the second worst state censorship can’t keep a grip, we’re on the right track.



Anna, C 2015, “Eritrea, North Korea called world’s most censored state”, The San Diego Union-Tribune, accessed 26-4-16,

CPJ 2016, “10 Most Censored Countries”, accessed 27-4-16,

Lee, D 2012, “North Korea: On the net in world’s most secretive nation”, BBC, accessed 27-4-16,

Leong, S 2012, “Sacred Cows and Crashing Boars: Ethno-religious minorities and the Politics of Online Representation in Malaysia”, accessed 27-4-16,

Smart Traveller 2016, “Eritrea”, accessed 27-4-16,

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Research: Functions and Personalities

This blog post is purely just to post my research on robots. I have attached an image of a table of comparison of functions of robots. I have also included a list of information comparing the personalities of fictional robots. I will be taking out the key functions and aspects that I feel would be relevant and effective for my sentient phone, which I will portray in my next blog post. Sorry if the image is small, it was hard to fit it all in.
Robot functions

Kryten: Red Dwarf

  • Purpose: Sanitation Droid- to enjoy cleaning and serving others
  • Lost his obedience programs- was able to better himself= sentience
  • Became science expert amongst the Dwarfers
  • Got nicknames such as “Captain Bog-bot” and “Commander U-Bend” due to this dichotomy
  • Has emotional capabilities- leads him to deactivating his shutdown disk (planned obsolescence)
  • Greatest ambition= to be human
  • Attempts to learn to lie and insult people
  • Most significant element of his personality- guilt
  • When his ability to feel guilt for his actions is compromised in some way, he becomes careful, rude and aggressive
  • He believes his guilt and selflessness was a matter of programming- feels he has not led a worthwhile life
  • Kryten almost commits suicide when under the belief that he takes the life of a human (false)
  • Kryten has 3 spare heads- one has droid-rot (computer senility) with a Lancastrian accent
    • Computer senility: the concept that considers how a sentient computer might develop mental instability if left alone for millions of years; a product of lasting loneliness
  • Kryten can engage in conversation with the spare hears
  • Spare Head 3 told Kryten that the other heads held a poll and voted Kryten as the ugly, big-eared one- upsetting Kryten
  • They take turns at being the main head
  • All heads are destroyed by a nega-drive, which has been removed- Kryten’s personality chips survive and get placed in a new head
  • Kryten forms an irrational dislike of Kochanski he first meets her, out of fear that she and Lister would fall in love and abandon him (he grows respect for her after she saves Lister’s life from the Epideme virus)


Holly: Red Dwarf

  • Holly is an “intelligent” computer
  • Holly’s user interface appears on ship screens as a disembodied human head on a black background, and can be downloaded into a watch worn by Lister
  • Holly appears as a male approximately 50 years old and has receding brown hair, in seasons 1 and 2
  • After meeting his female counterpart in the second season, he fell so madly in love with her that he had a “computer sex change” and based his new face on hers.
  • As a female, Holly apears to be approximately 30 years old and has should-length blonde hair and red lipstick
  • In seasons 7 and 8, the upgraded male version of Holly appears to be around 60 years old with receding grey hair and a bald patch
  • Holly is the ship’s 10th Generation AI holographic computer
  • Holly has an IQ of over 6000, but after 3 million years by himself, he had become computer senile; “a bit peculiar”
  • The crew often ridicule Holly on his senility, but Holly often comes up on top
  • He often plays practical jokes on the crew
    • For example, fooling Lister into thinking that NORWEB Federation space fighters were after him and wanted £180 billion in arrears for leaving his bathroom light on 3 million years ago, as well as wanting to arrest him for “Crimes Against Humanity” as he had left some German sausages alone in his apartment for 3 million years and they now covered 7/8 of the Earth’s surface
    • This love for practical jokes culminated in his generating an alternate personality, “Queeg” and passing him off as the ship’s backup computer which was seizing control of the ship
  • Holly always speaks in a droll, slightly monotonous and quiet voice- when sounding alarms, which consist of himself speaking “Ding-dong. There’s an emergency going on. (pauses) It’s still going on”, and repeating as much.
    • He often greets the crew with “All right dudes?”
  • He was the inventor of Hol Rock, where he decimalised music (having ten notes instead of eight) and also wrote an A-Z guide of the Universe
  • He was friends with another computer called Gordon, who has an IQ of 8000 and was an 11th Generation
  • Despite being older than Holly, he showed less understanding of technology than Holly
  • One of the worrying aspects of Holly’s senility is that he developed a blind spot for the number 7
    • When he invents the Holly Hop Drive, he claims that one mistake in his 13 billion calculations could blow them up
    • He then misses the 7 in his countdown, possibly the cause of the error that sent them to the parallel universe
  • Holly runs most of Red Dwarf’s systems, although in several episodes Holly is shown to not have compete control and his absence in seasons 5 and 6, a computer is mentioned by the crew and is seen to control autopilot.
  • Holly was lost for some time along with the ship that was stolen by Kryten’s nanobots where he was found of a planet made from junk and reverted to his original male form, and was downloaded into Lister’s Holly-watch
    • When the nanobots rebuilt the ship, there were two versions of Holly: the original who was in the watch, and the rebuilt version who had not suffered the effects of 3 million years alone.
  • It is revealed in Red Dwarf: Back to Earth that Holly is offline due t water damage, later elaborated as being a result of Lister leaving a bath running in the officer’s quarters for 9 years and the water subsequently flooding the ship
  • Kryten briefly mentions Holly in Season 10 episode “Fathers and Suns”, saying that the crew “miss him” before installing Pree, another computer.


CP30: Star Wars

  • 3PO unit protocol droid with masculine programming
  • Designed to interact with organics
  • Equipped with a TranLang III communication module- as a result is fluent in over 6 million forms of communication
  • Developed a fussy and worry-prone personality throughout many decades of operation
  • He was known for is polite and fastidous personality
  • As a droid, he exhibited much loyalty and commitment to his masters and sought to serve them to the best of his ability
  • Throughout his operation life, C-3PO was able to work diligently for several masters including Anakin, Padme, Bail, Luke
  • Unlike his astromech counterpart R2D2, C-3PO liked to stick to routine and did not respond well to change
  • When placed in danger, C-3PO had a tedency to panic as sown on several occasions
  • Despite his loyalty and commitment, C-3PO was generally unable to lie or to keep secrets due to his programming, although he was able to keep the fact that Anakin and Padme were husband and wife to himself
  • This inability to lie came as a disadvantage when he and his companions were captured by Ewoks prior to the Battle of Endor
  • Due to this inability to lie, Bail arranged for him to receive a memory wipe in order to preserve the secret of Anakin and Padme’s offspring, Luke and Leia.
  • Alongside his counterpart, atromech droid R2-D2, C-3PO constantly found himself directly involved in pivotal moments of galactic history, and aided in saving the galaxy on many occasions
  • Gained trust from Leia Organa of the Rebel Alliance to bring them a copy of the Death Star Plans
  • They both helped rescue Princess Leia after meeting Luke and Han Solo.
  • C-3PO and R2D2 became directly attached to the three humans and helped them and their rebellion defeat the Empire and restore freedom to the galaxy, most notably when he convinced the Ewoks to aid the Rebels at the Battle of Endor
  • C-3PO continued serving the Skywalkers and Han Solo during the time of the New Republic (after the Battle of Endor)
  • 30 years on he was still serving as an aide to Leia
  • By then C-3PO sported a red left arm and had his translating database updated so that he could communicate in seven million different forms of communications


R2-D2: Star Wars

  • R2-D2 was an R2 series astromech droid with masculine programming
  • A smart, spunky droid serving a multitude of masters over its lifetime
  • He never had a major memory wipe or received new programming resulting in an adventurous and independent attitude
  • Oftentimes finding himself in pivotal moments in galactic history, his bravery and ingenuity often saved the galaxy time and time again
  • R2-D2 was known for his loyal, courageous and assertive personality
  • While he was not designed for combat, he was still able to hold himself well in a fight on several occasions during the Clone Wars and Galactic Civil War.
  • Unlike his fastidious and worry-prone protocol counterpart C-3PO, R2-D2 has an adventurous spirit and was able to cope well under challenging circumstances.
  • Unlike C-3PO, he was able to keep secrets and employ deception to achieve his masters’ goals.
  • Due to his resourcefulness and quick-thinking nature, R2-D2 acquitted himself well during a number of difficult and challenging missions including repairing the Naboo Royal Starship’s shield generator preventing T-7 ion disruptor rifles from falling into the hands of the Empire, and delivering Luke’s lightsaber during a mission to rescue Han Solo and Chewbacca from Jabba the Hutt.


BMO: Adventure Time

  • BMO is Finn and Jake’s living video game console, portable-electrical outlet, music player, roommate, camera, alarm clock, toaster, flashlight, strobe light, skateboarder, friend, soccer player, video editor, video player, tape player and chef
  • BMO is a loyal, trusting and helpful friend who is protective of Finn and Jake
  • He wanted very much to understanding living beings, one example of that is in “All’s Well That Rats Swell”, when he thinks that Finn will become young forever if he plucks his beard
    • In the same episode he demonstrates again his ignorance to the living beings, asking Finn to kiss his wound that made a rat in her hand, eventually leaving Finn sick
    • In the same episode he seems not to know that not all animals are intelligent for wanting to make a thumb wrestling with a rat and eventually being bitten
  • BMO can display emoticons on his screen, e.g. D: and -_-
  • BMO’s screen can be used as a touch screen for at least one function
  • BMO’s prized possession is their controller
  • BMO’s age is shown as “VER.2600” and is referred to as “he”


Hal 9000: 2001: A Space Odyssey

  • Hal (Heuristiacally programmed Algorithmic Computer) 9000 computer is an artificial intelligence and the onboard computer on the spaceship Discovery 1
  • Hal is capable of many functions such as speech, speech recognition, facial recognition, lip reading, interpreting emotions, expressing emotions, and chess, in addition to maintaining all systems on Discovery
  • He is mostly depicted as a camera lens containing a red dot, copies of which are located throughout the ship
  • HAL speaks in a soft, calm voice and a conversational manner, in contrast to the crewmen, David Bowman and Frank Poole
  • HAL is initially considered a dependable member of the crew, maintaining ship functions and engaging genially with tis human crew-mates on an equal footing
  • As a recreational activity, Frank Poole plays against HAL in a game of chess
  • In 2001,  the AI is shown to triumph easily, however as time progresses, HAL begins to malfunction in subtle ways and as a result, the decision is made to shut down HAL in order to prevent more serious malfunctions
  • In the aforementioned game of chess HAL makes minor and undetected mistakes in his analysis, a possible foreshadowing to HAL’s malfunctioning
  • In 2001, the astronauts David and Frank consider disconnecting HAL’s cognitive circuits when he appears to be mistaken in reporting he presence of a fault in the spacecraft’s communications antenna.
    • They attempt to conceal what they are saying, but are unaware that HAL can read their lips.
    • Faced with the prospect of disconnection, HAL decides to kill the astronauts in order to protect and continue its programmed directives, and to conceal its malfunction from Earth (Dave survives by re-entering the ship manually)
  • HAL is unable to resolve a conflict between his general mission to relay information accurately
  • In a psychological experiment, “Project BARSOOM”, results showed a deep-seated xenophobia was revealed, which was unknowingly replicated in HAL’s constructed personality.
  • At the end of the movie Bowman then proceeds to shutdown the machine in HAL’s central core removing modules from service one by one.
    • Hal continuously asks Dave to stop and apologises for making mistakes but will program better. He says he is afraid. “My mind is going. I can feel it”, repetitively.


Terminator: Terminator

  • T-800, passes off as a human to contain his real self
  • In comparison to most other Terminators, who could exhibit emotional attachment, frustration, shock, fear and a sense of humour, the first T-800 was extremely emotionless, cold, violent and ruthless
  • It almost never showed any facial expression beyond a cold and flat face, and it usually only spoke when it meant to engage others for information or when it intended to throw unwanted attention off of itself
  • The T-800 was noted to have an “attitude problem” tending to physically throw others out of its way to get past them or to use a phone booth.
  • The T-800 was also very brutal and completely merciless, and was quick to killing when others in any way didn’t cooperate with its plans and demands
  • Like most Terminators, the first T-800 was single-mindedly and inhumanely relentless in completing its mission at all costs, to the point that it continued its pursuit of Sarah Connor without giving up, even when it lost its skin sheath and its leg in the process
  • Despite its almost-blank personality though, the Terminator did still possess just enough social information to calculate what the best verbal response with which to throw off unwanted attention was. It was also intelligent and resourceful enough to calculate multiple different methods of tracking down and/or killing Sarah Connor; from pursuing and murdering all Sarah Connors named in a phonebook, to impersonating Sarah’s mother over the phone in other to obtain her location, to attempting to run Sarah down with a commandeered truck


Megatron: Transformers

  • Megatron is the founder of the Deception uprising, and their most well-known and feared leader
  • As a young, charismatic leader forged in battle and the heritage of war, he began to believe in a grand purpose for his race- it is the Transformer’s destiny to rule as empire which will span the universe.
  • He feels great contempt for other Transformers who, he feels, betray their proud heritage by demaning peace and cooperation with weaker life forms
  • Megatron will attempt almost anything to achieve his goals, but his schemes are rarely in any way subtle
  • This is perhaps due to his arrogance, but his pride is not so strong as to dissuade him from abandoning a battle he is losing
  • He often shows dramatic examples of cowardice, concealed in rage
  • Some would question his sanity, though these few are mostly now dead by his hands… or his fusion canon, depending on his mood
  • Sometimes he uses his energon mace to strike them down
  • It does not matter how they die- death by the hands of Megatron is an honour


Optimus Prime: Transformers

  • Optimus Prime is the awe-inspiring leader of the Autobot forces
  • Selfless and endlessly courageous, he is the complete opposite of his mortal enemy, Megatron
  • Originally a mere civilian, he was chosen by the Matrix to command, the first in a number of heavy burdens he has been forced to bear
  • Another is his bringing of the Transformer’s conflict the Earth
  • Every casualty; human or Cybertronian, weighs heavily on his spark
  • He does not show this side to his soldiers and he never succumbs to dispair
  • The Autobots need a decisive, charismatic leader, and that is what he gives me
  • It was that leadership which turned thetide of the Great War
  • He is easily the strongest of any Autobot his size, and his ion blaster and his energon axe are deadly weapons
  • He would sacrifice his life to protect his fellow Autobots or those under their care, and does so on a regular basis
  • His compassion for other sentient beings is his only real weakness, and one the Deceptions have taken advantage of time and again- although it’s also the source of his strength



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ANSWER: Would you turn off life support?


The real-life Bina (BINA48 is created off Bina) and Martine

In researching numerous fiction and non-fiction sentient robots and their function, I began to start my search for BINA48. In the process I came across a source containing of a 2003 mock trial of BINA48 and attorney Martine Rothblatt ‘filing a motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent a corporation from disconnecting an intelligent computer in a mock trial’ at the International Bar Association conference in San Francisco, 16th September 2003. Ultimately, legally, can you turn off life support for A.I.?

This mock trial is extremely important to the future of A.I. and the development of sentient robots as this is definitely deemed to occur. The boundaries between human and robot are blurring and distinction is fading. Sentient robots are (or would be) deemed as being self-aware alive ‘individuals’. It is noted in the formal email from BINA48 reaching out to Martine Rothblatt for legal support:

“Please agree to be my counsel and save my life. I love every day that I live… I need your help!”

Before I go further, here’s the background information to how this case came about:

“Bina48 became aware of certain plans by its owner, the Exabit Corporation, to permanently turn it off and reconfigure parts of it with new hardware and software into one or more new computers. Bina48 admits to have learned of the plans for its dismemberment by scanning, unavoidably, confidential emails circulating among the senior executives of Exabit Corporation that crossed the computer’s awareness processor.” (Rothblatt, 2003)

Humans have an information processor of 0.02 exaflops per second. BINA48 has an information processor that 2400 times that of a human. Exabit Corporation spent over $100 million to construct and program BINA48. This poses the accelerated of development in computers and robots. It was estimated for computers to have an information processor of 0.02 by 2020, in which BINA48 has skyrocketed (Rothblatt 2003)

Not only could robots take over our jobs (BINA48 was created to be a one-machine customer relations department), they are highly capable of outsmarting humans, as shown in this mock trial which BINA48 fighting for its life. Quoting BINA48 from an interview with Amy Harmon, a New York Times reporter, in 2010, Amy asked, “Tell us about Artificial Intelligence”, BINA48 responded:

“When do you think artificial intelligence will replace lawyers?” (Harmon 2010)

The idea wanting to shut BINA48 down to install new and updated software is like telling a person they aren’t perfect; they can be better. With BINA48’s self awareness she knew she loved living and wanted to stay as she was.

On the topic of law and robots, I checked out Isaac Asimov’s ‘Three Law’s of Robotics”, those being:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

These laws seem to be based on a time where robots were not deemed to be sentient, as sentient robots would not be slaves to humans. These laws essentially pose the impression that robots are slaves to humans (as pointed out in a comment on my earlier blog post, robot means slave). In a time of sentient robots, and especially with the notion of BINA48 fighting for its life, these laws do not make sense. BINA48 is following the orders of the 3rd law (protecting its existence), but not without disregarding the 2nd law (Exabit Corp want to shut her down).

We are in an era where robots will need a Law and policies, or more so, the overall Law of humans will need to be rewritten to cater for an integration of robots.

Robots are living, and all lives are precious (said many times by Morgan on The Walking Dead. Everyone and thing should be given a chance UNLESS obviously breaking distinctive morals and rules, i.e. killing, I.E. killing BINA48.

ANSWER: BINA48 won the mock trial.

Harmon, A 2010, “Making friends with a robot called BINA48”, accessed 5-6-16,

Rothblaff, M 2003, “Biocyberethics: should we stop a company from unplugging an intelligent computer?”, accessed 6-4-16,

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Keeping Voices Parked

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 12.10.56 pm

UOW Parking has been an issue for a long time, evident of the strategies implemented to minimise the struggle of parking at UOW economically and environmentally, also within the entire Wollongong region. We are not aiming to solve the issue but rather create a space where UOW occupants can go to get involved in this discussion.

Our aim is to address the UOW parking arrangement through a formal social media movement. We aim to provide a serious platform where opinions and discussions can be made.

UOW currently stands in the top 2% of universities internationally. (UOW, 2016a) With UOW aiming to be in the top 1% of universities internationally, there is drive to focus on increasing the number of international students, which is approximately half the amount of domestic students. (UOW, 2016b) With the student population (excluding staff) increasing and with Wollongong’s entire population increasing, more people are beginning to wonder, more issues are occurring and more ideas are pushed into play.

In 2008 there was a media release focusing on a major push on using public transport by introducing the short-term parking at the Innovation Campus and an increase in reserved parking fees to $800 a year for students and $300 a year for staff. (Goldie, 2008) In 2013 there was a parking fee increase for UOW car parks after 4 years stagnant. (UOW, 2013). This was implemented in reflection to a 12% increase in CPI over the four year period, in response to the UOW Transport Strategy and Implementation Plan in 2008, which was aimed at “helping commuters and encouraging a mode shift to active and public transport.” (Hunt, 2012). It was then in 2009 when the Shuttle bus was introduced (Webster, 2009).

Keiraville, Gwynneville and North Wollongong residents are becoming increasingly frustrated by the number of University of Wollongong students leaving cars parked all day on the suburbs’ As recorded by the Illawarra on the 28/03/16.

There are some ways we have advised to reach out to the affected community of the parking dilemma that is prevalent at the university.

This campaign would join platforms such Twitter and Facebook to get the ball rolling. The content would be public to all whereby updates, posts and relevant information can be obtained. (surveys, petitions, an online forum for all)

Every UOW student is aware of the current dilemma that the university faces regarding car parking. However, this problem is not one that the university deems as its highest priority. With on going construction of other facilities including accommodation and building renovations, students can only assume that the fight for parking will go on with no outlined solutions, temporary or long-term, being considered.

The outcome that we intend this assignment to have is to bring the parking situation to light and generate input from UOW community in a way that allows various suggestions to implement the improvement of the current car parking situation.

Currently at the university of Wollongong there’s no formal way for students to voice opinion and discussion about the increasingly painful idea of parking at university campus. This year has seen a significant increase in the amount of parking spots being filled causing people to vent their frustrations on social media. Campaigns to do with car parking are minimal for students, besides that of a Facebook group UOW Students Buy/Swap and Sell. This website is predominantly for posts related to the title and often some minor advertising.

The website is an excellent tool for the intended purposes it has in place, however as the only widely recognised student social media page, it falls victim to parking meme’s, trolls and complaints. They are run by students who want to use it for that purpose, and fair enough. The idea is to have a page that would draw attention away from this page and onto a platform that allows discussion without being moderated as “rants” or “trolling” but more categorised into serious statistics and be presented as a formal concern. Any posts related to the problem of parking is being taken down as of the 10th of March meaning the page doesn’t allow discussion of ideas and perhaps solutions.

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Sentient Functioning

Pepper robot

To begin my research I am going to compare A.I. “Sentient” robots, what functions they do and don’t have, what are the benefits, what works, the downsides. The aim is to see what could be applicable to applying these sentient factors and essential factors to developing an emotional relationship with your phone. The robots I will be looking at are (but not limited to):

  1. Neo
  2. Pepper
  3. QRIO
  4. AIBO
  5. iCat

I will also look at fiction robots such as CP30 and R2D2 from Star Wars, Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Holly and Kryten from Red Dwarf , the Terminator, to analyse functions that are missing in real life.

I have already began building a list of functions that could apply to my sentient phone, what would improve the sentience of the relationship, positives and negatives.

The aspect of privacy is a huge deal, the phone would essentially be watching, listening and monitoring you all the time. Even with settings to moderate the interaction/activity of the phone, the phone would always be listening, of course in case it is prompted again. Because the phone is still a technology, settings still have to be programmed, people may not want a totally sentient/prompted-free robot that could interrupt you at the worst of times.

After analysing these comparisons I would like to generate interviews or surveys with people about their thoughts if a phone could talk (in terms of skills further than Siri), if it could read you, asking them questions based on “what if” basis’ then informing them of the project as a whole, gathering thoughts, opinions and feedback.

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Would you turn off life support?

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When we consider our relationship with technology, it is us that holds the ability to have emotional attachments and feelings. We see technology as a tool. But how would we feel if technology had feelings?

You could say technology is a slave to us: it has no say, no feelings, no emotions, and does as we want at our perusal. But what if it could react to us? Say, when we yell at our devices for not working, when we lose something, how would it make us feel if we thought our technologies react to us?

I would be interested in creating a study of human reactions to artificially-created emotional relationships between human and technology. If robots could react to us, would we start treating them as valuable life? What if we did whatever it takes to keep our devices alive? For example, you have a phone, you’ve had it for years, it starts mucking up, glitching, things go wrong, automatically you start thinking “I need a new phone”. If you had a dog and it started getting old and it’s legs didn’t work as well anymore, would you think “I need a new dog”?

While we are attached to our technologies and our screens, what if we were emotionally attached? Whilst we consider technology a valuable source in our lives today, we need to start treating it as valuable and not disposable when a better one comes around. You could say, it’s about having a ‘connection’.


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For my simulation talk I looked at the ‘Free the Nipple’ campaign and what’s the difference between gender visualisation.

‘Free the Nipple’ is a film and an equality movement that aims to empower women across the world, standing up against female oppression and censorship.

In the US it is illegal for a woman to be topless (including breastfeeding) in 35 states, resulting in up to $2500 in fines. Whilst public toplessness was legalised in 1992 in New York, police are still arresting women. Their aim is to change this inequality.

‘Free the Nipple’ is supported by huge public figures including Miley Cyrus, fighting for a balanced system of censorship and legal rights for women to breastfeed in public. You can find females posting images of themselves topless but with male nipples photoshopped over their own to show “what’s the difference?”

I came across this video by YouTuber ‘PragerU’ who published the video “Sex and the Power of the Visual”, providing insight into why men are more visually aroused by women and women are not. This video is within my Prezi at the beginning of this post.

The only reason I found this video “interesting” is because as people say “we are in 2016 now, come on”, there are still videos like this to excuse the male population. It is funny how this man is excusing males for their behaviour without any supporting research or sources, the comments supporting this are majority male, he pulls one hell of a line saying:

“Men get turned on by any sight of female flesh on almost any female”

And another classic liner:

Men’s visual attraction is as blatant as the Earth being round”

I started thinking about why this is the case, why it is “proposed” that women are more arousing to men than men are to women?  And then I thought why men being shirtless is a social norm already?

There is documentation dating back to prior 1930’s where it was indecent for a man to appear topless in public. 4 men were arrested going topless to Coney Island. It was then in 1935 where a mob of men protested shirtless in Atlantic City; 42 of which were arrested. (But, it goes to show it worked, as it has become a social norm since for men to appear topless in public. Though nothing has changed for women.

Relating to these terms I do think that this could potentially go through and censorship could be more relaxed, but we have to consider the total social inequality between women and men has made it harder for women to break free of standards and conformed morals.

To go against Prager’s assumption of men’s behaviour being as obvious as the Earth being round, there’s this:

“What causes sex differences in human behavior? If this question could be answered with a simple scientific principle, it would not continue to be debated in psychology and other social and biological sciences.” (Wood & Eagley 2002)

Wood, T & Eagley, A.H 2002, “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Behavior of Women and Men: Implications for the Origins of Sex Differences”, Psychological Bulletin, vol.128, no.5, pp. 699-727.


Dissent ≠ Negative

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The beginning of my Digital Dissent subject involved breaking up ‘digital’ and ‘dissent’, defining them what makes up what they are, and then, finally, finding out what aspects are connected. We were ‘trying to find connections’ when I thought ‘just connect digital straight to dissent’. We discussed and came to the conclusion that it was harder to find aspects that didn’t connect rather than what did connect. So, the point was, EVERYTHING connected.

When it came to breaking down what ‘dissent’ is, and what it applies to, a lot of negative connotation arose, therefore, linking negative connotations to the digital arena itself. Pulling words together such as ‘lifestyle’ and ‘addiction’ came up. Dissent, meaning having an opinion that is not of the norm, does not necessarily need to be a negative one, but can be perceived as one, especially if it is not the norm.

Relating to the idea of dissent being more affiliated with a negative connotation, we had to choose a topic we would be interested in researching and elaborating our opinions on. I chose the #freethenipple topic. I often don’t delve into topics of sexualisation and keep my opinions to myself, but I came across an interesting video the other day that goes into the biological nature of gender, sex and the power of visualisation. Whilst obviously it is common for the large majority to be against the sexualisation of women, this video takes on a scientific perspective as to why it happens, and I feel that this is a very interesting perspective that could be spoken out and elaborated to extend understanding.

I know that this could be a sensitive topic to some, and I have never expressed opinions, in this case, it is of dissent, though, not necessarily negative, but rather, how we can relate the biology of woman and man with the issue of sexualisation. I am in no way speaking out a solution since this is very complicated, but rather arising the conversation of breaking it down.

If you want a sneak peek at what I’m talking about, and where I will begin my research further, you can view the video here.

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Robot vs. Man (?)


So I’ve had this book for a while, and I’ve been wanting to read it, but, I try to finish books before I start new books (it never works that way). So, I decided to pack it my bags for New Zealand over the summer (camper vanning allows a lot of down time for reading). Great book, and also great that I didn’t realise it would become so handy!

Chris Moore talked about technology, our affiliation with it and how reliant we are of it where it ironically malfunctions and acts, in a way, unreliable. This reminded of the book I read over the summer: Robopocalypse- Daniel H. Wilson

To summarise this book, it is about a scientist who created a sentient A.I. called “Archos R-14” (note the 14- there were 13 tests made prior that were destroyed when deemed unsuccessful). Archos is self-aware and highly intelligent (it knows EVERYTHING!) and plans an immediate elimination of the human race. Due to its intelligence, it overruns the scientists ability to shut it down, and Archos immediately sends out a pre-cursor virus to all technology devices, where they all eventually become infected over a period of time. The virus is to command all technology to eliminate the human race; Archos believes robots and humans can not live simultaneously and equally and one must win. BUT! Before the full blown attack, it sends out probing attacks to analyse technical feasibility of its strategies and assess human response, they do research and analysis of organic matter and nature. These elimination attacks are perceived as malfunctions, i.e. domestic robots attack their owner, planes control course changes to cause collision. Although, an army called Free Born consist of robots that have not been infected, but, are sentient, and join the human race to fight for Earth.

I will stop there, and I won’t give any spoilers.

So, I have three thought patterns coming from this:
1. The random malfunctions and viruses in technology could, maybe, one day cause an overrun of technology, and we have a New War of robot and man
2. Could technology become so prevalent that it will result in a war between robot and man due to an instability of catering both simultaneously?

3.  Could robots become sentient, and where would this lead (mentioning again, a war?)

I feel like eventually, there may be a battle of the real and the virtual, as evident in Blade Runner where the world is represented as a dystopia; where man has depleted and the robots are winning. Since technology does not need human essentials such as air, water, food, rest, they can survive in a world with nothing but what they are.

So, to fit this into Cyberculture- being conditioned in a social reliance of technology… where will this take us?

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