Week 4 – Information Perspective for Authorship

To be completely honest, I’m not sure if thinking about my research question from an information studies perspective would simplify or complicate the research question I am thinking about pursuing. Most of my course work in this Faculty has been in the KMIM and CIS paths, which off very different perspectives on how to approach the concept of authorship of user-generated content in video games.

A KMIM perspective would perhaps want to interrogate the sense-making and meaning-making activities behind creating content in video games. This could be very interesting because it may shed light on the motivational aspects of such activities, or possibly discuss why the source of content has a direct impact on the perception of the work (as content  sourced from fans could be considered less superior, although that could be easily argued). 

However, I think I would prefer the CIS perspective, which would question the very nature of copyright, and why the content created could be considered different. Information studies allows us also to bring up the concept of medium in a way similar to Communications Studies. Research that I have read on this topic tends to rely on this perspective, but I think that’s understandable. Copyright and the notion of legal ownership has such a huge part to play in any discussion about fan created content because of how destabilizing it can be. Copyright can cause fan projects that have taken thousands of hours to implode in a matter of weeks (the Harry Potter Encyclopedia is a good example). 

Yet, both perspectives could provide insight on this issue, and I’m not even brushing against issues of libraries and how information like fan-work could or should be curated. Our faculty is so diverse that it makes these kinds of issues sometimes problematic.

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