2012 i3 Research Projects
Xavier Dillahunt, North Carolina A&T State University
Denzel McCollum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Kevin Murray, University of Pittsburgh
Austyn Shaner, University of Texas at Austin
Kathryn Vogelbacker , University of Pittsburgh
Research Advisor: Rosta Farzan, University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences
Dream Team will investigate how online videos go viral through further research of video characteristics, commonalities, sharing methods, and trends. The Team will also consider the social and cultural implications of viral media in its research. Dream Team will explore different aspects of how viewers interact with viral videos using social media. Within the category of viral videos, Dream Team has chosen to focus specially on amateur videos. The label 'amateur' is limited to videos that are homemade, do not have household names, and do not include celebrities or existing famous people. The Team plans to study viral videos that fall into different viewer ranges, sorting videos according to themes (e.g. political, humorous, offensive, informative, musical, instructional, or other). The Team will then analyze these videos for commonalities to better understand the factors that cause a video to go viral. Lastly, Dream Team will test its findings and conclusions by creating and sharing a video that is meant to go viral.
Elaine Gomez, Rutgers University
Armanda 'Mandi' Gonzalez, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Samuel Jacobs, North Carolina State University
Maria Rebeca Orozco, Washington State University
Research Advisor: Joe Sanchez, Rutgers University, School of Communication and Information
Although the increased presence of women and girls in gaming culture seems encouraging, many games continue to reinforce existing gender stereotypes. Consequently, a variety of negative social issues are often connected to gaming, ranging from the prevalence of violence against women and the depiction of the female body as a sex object to women and girls' limited interest in STEM fields. Past research has reaffirmed that the majority of females are generally disinterested in technology-related areas of study, and by extension, video games. Fewer than 20% of workers in the gaming industry are female, of which only 3% represent game programmers. Team GAMERS will investigate the current generation of gaming consoles (e.g. Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony Playstation 3, and the Nintendo Wii). Specifically, the Team is interested in the gender gap among players that play "hardcore games," a term used to describe games that generally make the top selling list and require time, comprehension, and/or effort in order to play and master. In its research, Team GAMERS intends to learn why female gamers play games, which games they prefer, with whom do they play games with, the level of intensity at which they play, and whether they immerse themselves enough to not only consume but generate game experiences. The Team will also consider issues relating to hypersexualization of genders in the gaming industry, both in-game and out-of-game, the common stereotypical tropes of primary and secondary female characters, and sexism in the online console gaming and gaming tournament worlds. In doing so, Team GAMERS will be able to identify approaches to game design and game marketing that appeal to both genders.
Team Time Zone Scholars (TZS)
Raul Corral, East Los Angeles College
Sook Yee Leung, Chatham University
Ryan Pink, The College of Westchester
Gregory Roper, Oakwood University
Jamar Smith, University of New Mexico
Research Advisor: Marisa Ramirez, California Polytechnic State University, Robert E. Kennedy Library
During the rise of social media and its use in politics, there has been speculation of social media becoming the medium for re-engaging citizens in politics. Social media has the potential to address reasons for political apathy, such as the lack of a voice to appeal to administrators, and the lack of gratification in participating in political activities, or the high likelihood that political engagement will meet few direct and urgent needs. While there has not been specific research on measuring the connectedness sentiment in political engagement, there has been previous sentiment analysis research on politics regarding how the public feels or responds to issues of interest, particularly with Twitter data. Much sentiment analysis research has been employed to develop predictive methods on the outcomes of political elections. Comparing use and sentiment from Twitter data from periods before, during, and after the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012 Team TZS aims to answer the following questions:
- RQ1: Upon comparing the 2008 to the 2012 Presidential Elections periods, to what extent has online political engagement increased (e.g. daily Tweet post frequency, daily retweeting frequency)
- RQ2: Upon comparing the 2008 to the 2012 Presidential Elections periods, has the increase in social media use for politically related activities led to an increase in offline engagement?
- RQ3: Upon comparing the 2008 to 2012 Presidential Elections period tweets, is there a greater frequency of words associated with connectedness in tweets during the 2012 Presidential Election period?