My BCM215 DA

Hi Everyone! Here is my BCM215 DA link! Exciting stuff!


Why True Crime Podcasts Are So Effective

True crime is a popular genre of podcasts, but why? Does everyone just love murder and serial killers (don’t answer that)? We dive into the science and drivers propelling the popularity of true crime as a category.

According to Scott Bonn, professor of criminology at Drew University and author of the book, Why We Love Serial Killers, true crime “triggers the most basic and powerful emotion in all of us—fear.” This is the primary driver of the popularity of true crime novels, television shows, and podcasts. People look at true crime as a way to face their fears without actually experiencing the danger or trauma associated with them. This controlled exposure to fear is a way to face the possibility of crime and subconsciously develop strategies and coping mechanisms to handle it in the event a similar situation comes to pass.

In a study conducted by social psychologist Amanda Vicary, it was found that women tend to prefer true crime topics more than men. As an example, the Wine and Crime podcast, which gets 500,000 downloads per month, has an audience of 85% women. What Vicary discovered in her research of a variety of true crime books, podcasts, and television shows is that women tend to be drawn to the psychological content of true crime stories. They are interested in understanding why such a crime would be committed. In addition, Vicary found that women seem to “like reading about survival, whether it was preventing or surviving a crime.” Her hypothesis is that because women are more likely to be a victim of crime than men, they are interested in using true crime stories to learn how to prevent it.

Dr. Mayer further explained this phenomenon as he connected watching true crime as an extension of people’s inability to look away from a disaster or tragedy. His research indicates that when people become aware of a violent situation or disaster, it “stimulates the amygdala (the part of the brain responsible for emotions, survival tactics and memory). The amygdala then sends signals to the regions of the frontal cortex that are involved in analyzing and interpreting data. Next, the brain evaluates whether this data (awareness of the disaster) is a threat…, thus judgment gets involved. As a result, the ‘fight or flight’ response is evoked.” Mayer states that the need to prevent harm from a disaster or tragedy is also behind people’s need to “Google what happened” after hearing about or seeing an accident on the highway. He said, “This acts as a preventive mechanism to give us information on the dangers to avoid and to flee from.”


Why Do We Love True Crime?

Everywhere you turn these days, it seems like there’s a new—and wildly successful—book, podcast, or show devoted to a crime.The genre is so huge that Netflix—whose offerings in this arena include The Keepers, Evil GeniusWild Wild CountryMaking a Murderer, and The Staircase—even created a parody true crime series (American Vandal). Which raises the question: Why are we so obsessed with true crime? Here are just a couple of reasons!


The true crime genre gives people a glimpse into the minds of people who have committed what forensic psychologist Dr. Paul G. Mattiuzzi calls “a most fundamental taboo and also, perhaps, a most fundamental human impulse”—murder. “In every case,” he writes, “there is an assessment to be made about the enormity of evil involved.” This fascination with good versus evil, according to Mantell, has existed forever; Dr. Elizabeth Rutha, a licensed clinical psychologist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago, told AHC Health News that our fascination begins when we’re young. Even as kids, we’re drawn to the tension between good and evil, and true crime embodies our fascination with that dynamic.


“Serial killers tantalize people much like traffic accidents, train wrecks, or natural disasters,” Scott Bonn, professor of criminology at Drew University and author of Why We Love Serial Killerswrote at TIME. “The public’s fascination with them can be seen as a specific manifestation of its more general fixation on violence and calamity. In other words, the actions of a serial killer may be horrible to behold but much of the public simply cannot look away due to the spectacle.”


Psychologists say one of the main reasons we’re obsessed with true crime is because it gives us an opportunity to feel relieved that we’re not the victim. Tamron Hall, host of ID’s Deadline: Crime, identified that sense of reprieve at ID’s IDCon last year. “I think all of you guys watch our shows and say, ‘But for the grace of God, this could happen to me’ … This could happen to anyone we know,” she said.

In a weird way, these true crime stories—as horrific as they are—end up being comforting. “While living in a world where there is rapid social, political, economic, and technological change,” Andrist said, “true crime comforts people by assuring them that their long-held ideas about how the world works are still useful.”



“In simple terms, the IoT stands for the connection of usually trivial material objects to the internet – ranging from tooth brushes, to shoes or umbrellas” (Mitew, T. 2014).

We could describe the regular household as a representation of the impact of “The Internet of Things,” which is a term to describe the “ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction” (Wikipedia. 2019).

Companies are now single-handedly using the IoT as an advantage to connect households with multiple devices from the same brand.

Chet Pipkin, the CEO and founder of Belkin has a very positive outlook on the future of connecting technologies in the house, stating “The world is made up of trillions of things — cars, planes, jet engines, exercise equipment, the items on my desk. And then there’s the Internet. This category is about all of these things and the Internet, as we know it, coming together. Anything I can do over the Internet blended with my things” (Forbes, 2014).

As technology becomes more and more integrated into our networked home, we find that everything can be connected, making home-life just a little bit more easy to control. Is that such a bad thing?

Forbes. 2014. Everything Is Connected: What ‘The Internet Of Things’ Means Now. Available at: Accessed 1 November 2020]

Mitew, T. (2014) ‘Do Objects Dream of an Internet of Things?’, Fibreculture Journal, 2014 (23), 1-25. Accessed 1 November 2020]

Wikipedia. 2020. Internet of Things. Available at: [Accessed 1 November 2020].


Dark fiber: exploits, botnets and cyberwar

Whilst last week’s topic was related to illegal activities online such as hacking, this week we discussed botnets and cyberwar. I found this weeks materials really helped me with the understanding of the topic, especially Arthur’s 2013 online article ‘LulzSec: what they did, who they were and how they were caught’. Within this, there is discussion regarding, who was targeted by a new hacking group which had been formed in private online chatrooms of the hacking collective Anonymous. This is really helpful in understanding what Botnets are. They are networks of hijacked computer devices used to carry out various scams and cyberattacks. As you can see, this doesn’t just happen in high-profile cases, people are hacked everyday, which is why this is such a relevant topic in terms of increasing awareness of technology.


Anonymous resistance: hackers, lulz and whistle-blowers

This week’s topic was super interesting to me. It was interesting to look into a topic that I hadn’t really done much research on before and that I didn’t know heaps about. Hacking and whilst-blowing are terms that are becoming more prevalent in society, especially as technology grows. Hacking refers to an attempt to access or control a computer network system for data collecting or attacking. This week’s topic got me thinking about some of media’s most talked about hacking scandals and I think chatting about 3 major ones in this piece would be really helpful in the understanding of the topic.


Date: October 2013
Impact: 153 million user records
Details: As reported in early October of 2013 by security blogger Brian Krebs, Adobe originally reported that hackers had stolen nearly 3 million encrypted customer credit card records, plus login data for an undetermined number of user accounts.


Date:  May 2019
Impact: 137 million user accounts
Details: In May 2019 Australian graphic design tool website Canva suffered an attack that exposed email addresses, usernames, names, cities of residence, and salted and hashed with bcrypt passwords (for users not using social logins — around 61 million) of 137 million users. Canva says the hackers managed to view, but not steal, files with partial credit card and payment data.


Date:  December 2018
Impact: 162 million user accounts
Details: In December 2018, New York-based video messaging service Dubsmash had 162 million email addresses, usernames, PBKDF2 password hashes, and other personal data such as dates of birth stolen, all of which was then put up for sale on the Dream Market dark web market the following December. The information was being sold as part of a collected dump also including the likes of MyFitnessPal (more on that below), MyHeritage (92 million), ShareThis, Armor Games, and dating app CoffeeMeetsBagel.


Networked Insurgencies

‘Use social media for mobilization, coordination and dissemination, scale up fast because anyone can contribute in any capacity.’ -Travis Wall & Teodor Mitew

Having studied BCM112 already, I have a bit of backup knowledge about the topic of collective intelligence and memeactic warfare on the internet. It’s a super interesting topic that I was actually excited to explore and unpack a bit more. I want to talk about this in terms of the US election campaigns and the social media revolutions and warfare that accompanies this battle. Haddow (2016) goes into this in awesome detail when referring to the 2016 presidential election and how meme warefare became a huge deal during this time. As he states, “These shareable, sometimes pithy and often puerile units of culture have emerged as the lingua franca of the 2016 election, and have given the American people an entirely new way of articulating their beliefs”. This basically means that we, as a generation,  are communicating our beliefs in the new way we know how, no matter how harmful this may become. 


Beta Contextual Comments


Hi lovely! To start off, I just wanted to say that I really liked how refreshing it was to see the layout of your video. The transitions were really nice, you were on camera and very well-spoken so I think that really assisted in the flow of what you were saying and it helped with my concentration on the video itself. Moving on from that initial point, I like how you have shown a clear update from your pitch to your beta. I think it’s very easy to do a pitch and then forget about it until your DA is due but you’ve really shown your audience how you’ve progressed with your research and you’ve also added further points amongst it which you want to investigate further which is really cool. The one thing I would say is that I’d love to see more of your research and what academic articles have to say about it compared to your opinion. I did find this one that I thought would be cool to check out and even slyly asking your friends about it during a stream could be a good observational method for your study?
This article keeps its tone casual so it’s super easy to read but super informative at the same time! Hope it helps you xx


Tori’s Beta video and post first struck me to be very easy to read and understand. I really liked the way she approached the video (sitting at the camera and having a casual chat) as it made what she was saying easier to relate to. At times the focus was a bit lost along the way but for the most part, the tone of the video was good. Tori aims to discuss League of Legends and the ‘skins’ that one can acquire through the game and why these are so popular. I tried to be as helpful and focused on the research aspect of things as possible as I know this is a major focus of the beta process. I suggested that Tori has a couple of academic sources under her belt and even suggested one myself that I thought was interesting after I read it. I suggested that she use the live streams she is doing to get her friends opinions as this is a great observational tool. I believe my comment was helpful in the sense that I provided, good actionable, simple solutions to heighten her experience with creating her beta. Her research made me look up ‘League of Legends’ and made me interested in playing it. I learnt something new about the online gaming community and was drawn in by her fun, casual tone. I think I improved within my comments as I was more specific and felt more educated on providing feedback.


Hi lovely! Firstly I would just like to say that I really love the name of your DA. It’s really catchy and it instantly caught my eye. It really suits what you are trying to do so well and I think that it’s such a great starting point. Just in terms of your Digital Artefact, I would have loved to see a project recap plan just so I knew what you were trying to achieve before coming into it blind but as I read through I got the jist of things as you spoke about your first Mario Kart blog. I think the first comment I would like to make regarding your project would be to not only use your peer comments but start commenting on reddit forums as this topic is one that would be extremely popular amongst gaming fandoms and internet fans alike. I think that you would find that there is much discussion surrounding the comparison of new and old technology especially in the gaming realm. I think you will find that it’s really valuable to search other platforms as I know how hard it can be to gain traction when we start from scratch on these things. To help you out, I did a bit of background research and while I’m sure you’ve had a look at these sources, I thought this one was particularly useful after having a read through it. It’s really jammed packed with info but once you break it down, it has some good info on the camparison of gaming media from old to new and the affect this has on society. Good luck with everything! 


Flora’s blog post was initially quite bare. I couldn’t find a space to leave a comment on her blog and her video wasn’t initially up, however, the information she had provided in the contextual piece provided me with enough information to add some suggestions and feedback throughout. Flora’s visual and formal features of her DA such s the colours and name of the blog really stood out to me. They were very well-thought out and drew me in to research more. I tried to focus on the further research that could be undertaken with this project. I provided an online journal that could be helpful in terms of what she was trying to achieve with comparing old and new technologies of games. I also suggested that in terms of social research, she may use reddit to gain further research online regarding fanbases of older technology. I thought this may add tot he nostalgic vibe that she was going for in her DA. Flora’s DA was one that interested me as it made me think about the projects in a new way. It was a fresh take on media paratexts and the way audiences react to them so I think that she has so much potential with her project.


Hi lovely! I love this topic! It instantly made me feel so nostalgic and want to click back on my old sims game and play for 5 hours straight. My first point would be that I really love the way you have included points from the research you have found as it’s such a major part of the beta process. You have shared your information in a really succinct and clear way that communicates you know what you are talking about. I really like how you shown a positive feedback loop through the development of your pitch to beta also. I think you should consider using your audience in the sense that you could post on reddit and instagram to look for opinions as there are such wide fanbases for both of these online games. You would have so much information to delve through! I think another good source for you to use would be the Teens React to childhood games videos on Youtube. A really good social media source that keeps the information casual whilst giving you good first-hand observation of what actual people think about these games that you are studying! Good luck! 


Lydia’s DA was one of my favourites to read due to the interesting topic, fun vibe and readability of the whole project. I think I improved the most within my personal feedback when attempting to discuss Lydia’s project. I found myself researching to help out of complete interest for what she was discussing and I think this also helped my research techniques for my own project. This is due to the researching of more social aspects of the media such as Youtube. I learnt that research doesn’t have to be academic in order to be helpful. We can find so many helpful, informative sites with a focus on observational research just as Lydia has shown. I think readers will be so interested in what Lydia’s DA produces due to the nostalgic factor of her writing and the personal notions that they may bring up, just as it did for me.


BCM215 Beta

When it came to designing a digital artefact that would relate to aspects of gaming practice, I struggled due to the fact that I, myself, am not a gamer. However, through the use of mind-mapping and research, I found myself within a particular niche that I enjoy whilst also finding a really interesting topic to investigate for myself. I will be delving into the question of why we, as game consumers, consume the disturbing nature of horror games marketed towards us. This will be taken a step further into discussing Aristotle’s query into the human psyche and why we are attracted to things that disturb us. I think that investigating this in term soft h gaming design world will be incredibly interesting as it provides the opportunity to compare to other forms of horror design whilst allowing myself as a non0gamer to investigate the gaming community at a new perspective. As the video game industry is outpacing the movie industry as time goes by, horror games such as Five Nights At Freddie’s trending on platforms such as TikTok, the psychology behind the media is incredibly interesting. While we have in the past investigated the possible violent effects of video games, I find it interesting to take this a step further and ask why we ingest this media in the first place if it is designed and marketed to be ‘scary’. Some background research that interested me and would be incredibly useful in my study was found on Digest (2020).  Teresa Lynch and Nicole Martins of Indiana University looked at college students’ experiences with horror video games and found that about half of their sample (53 per cent) had tried playing such games and been frightened by them. They also found that: horror games produce these fright responses by targeting our evolved defence system (evolution has shaped us to be easily scared by the dangers that threatened our ancestors). Users being paratexts to the game and actually bringing the game to life is what makes games scary so investigating why we do this continually and on a somewhat addictive level will be incredibly beneficial. 

I focused on the iteration stage of this project and utilised the feedback that I had received to make the appropriate changes that would ultimately benefit the project. These changes are listed within my beta but have shown to be extremely helpful for myself and moving my project along its course.


My academic and social research has been one of the most effective parts of my Digital Artefact so far. In terms of non-academic research, the observation of YouTube videos and social media such s Reddit and Instagram has been incredibly helpful in terms of finding out why people think the way they do about the gaming world. It has helped on a casual basis to find out why these individuals personally wish to play these games and why they continue to do so/ how they cope.

In terms of academic research, I have listed two sources below that I utilised as a starting point for my DA. These two scholarly sources were extremely helpful in terms of finding out the psychology behind what I am researching the professional opinions of those more suited to the topic. This allows me to base my own research off of this and come to a conclusive answer. The two sources I found most helpful were Horror Video Games: Essays on the Fusion of Fear and Play by Bernard Perron and Gaming Horror’s Horror: Representation, Regulation, and Affect in Survival Horror Videogames by Tanya Krzywinska.


Feudalism 2.0: living in the information stack

Within this week’s BCM206 lecture, we drew comparisons to the modern era and the class-based Feudalistic system of the 9th-15th century. According to Oxford Languages (2020) Feudalism is defined as “the dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which the nobility held lands from the Crown in exchange for military service, and vassals were in turn tenants of the nobles, while the peasants (villains or serfs) were obliged to live on their lord’s land and give him homage, labour, and a share of the produce, notionally in exchange for military protection”. The comparison starts to come in where traditionally the class systems represented kings, lords and peasants, whereas now it represents investors, techs and entrepreneur startups. Instead of land we see the environment being the internet.

A super interesting look into this week’s topic is explained in Amy Goodman’s interview with Russell Brand.

While investors may incorporate aspects such as monetary means and resources for entrepreneurs to develop platforms, online users (modern-day ‘surfs’) actually create content which means that we don’t really needs the platforms, the platforms actually require us to function. Lawrence Lessig explains this exrtremely well with his descriptions of “Disney creating something very new, based upon something relatively new”.  Disney was always parroting the feature-length mainstream films of his day. . Early cartoons are filled with knockoffs and retellings of ancient stories. Disney added to the work of others before him, creating something new out of something just barely old. This can also be seen in the Brothers Grimm tales.