John Banks // Culture Digitally

Culture Digitally // Examining Contemporary Cultural Production

  • With the generous support of the National Science Foundation we have developed Culture Digitally. The blog is meant to be a gathering point for scholars and others who study cultural production and information technologies. Welcome and please join our conversation.

     

John Banks

Dr. John Banks is a lecturer and researcher in theCreative Industries FacultyQueensland University of Technology (QUT). He is also a researcher with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation (CCi). He researches and publishes on media co-creativity and innovation (user-led innovation, user-created content, online social networks) in the creative industries, especially videogames and interactive entertainment. He is particularly interested in the relationships among industry professionals and innovative, creative users and consumers. He also researches policy and economics of the creative economy. Recent work includes exploring evolutionary economics and complexity science approaches to modeling and understanding creative industries phenomenon such as co-creativity.

 

 

What one insight from your field, approach, method, findings etc. do you think is most important for scholars working in this topical area?

An insight from my recent research is that the incentives and motivations for co-creative media production are simultaneously extrinsic and intrinsic. In this sense participants are playing a multiple game in circumstances of quite profound uncertainty about the benefits, pay-offs and incentives at stake in the game. Working with Jason Potts, a colleague from the field of evolutionary economics, we are developing a model of multiple games to describe and analyse the microbehaviours of social learning and innovation that characterise co-creative media production.

What are two issues that are not adequately treated within current work on cultural production in the digital age in your field or in others?

Robust and rigorous analysis of the value exchanges characterising co-creative media production. Related to this, an understanding of the emergent microbehaviours characterising co-creative cultural production. Recent work in the fields of behavioural and experimental economics may be helpful for illuminating these areas of cultural production in the digital age (Herbert Gintis, Elinor Ostrom etc). I’m not convinced that the tools currently provided by forms of political economy dominating media studies, for example, are all that helpful for addressing these issues. Behaviourally founded, evolutionary-institutional approaches to analysis that also draw on complexity theory may provide a way forward for studying and understanding these evolving institutions of cultural production.

Are humanistic values such as justice, equality, democracy or (insert preferred humanistic value here) currently served by cultural production in a digital networked environment?

The problem here is how should we address these questions about humanistic values. I am interested in the norms that are emerging among the various participants concerning cultural production in a digitally networked environment. This is inspired by Elinor Ostrom’s work. But there is a big question here concerning whether Ostrom’s focus on emergent norms and rules in the context of negotiating common pool resources also applies when such ‘commons-like’ practices are occurring on and through commercial and proprietary platforms.