Multimedia Studies

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Multimedia Studies is an interdisciplinary field of academic discourse focused on the understanding of technologies and cultural dimensions of linking traditional media sources with ones based on new media to support social systems.


Multimedia Studies as a discipline came out of the need for media studies to be made relevant to the new world of CD-ROMs and hypertext in the 1990s. Revolutionary books like Jakob Nielsen's 'Hypertext and Hypermedia' book lay the foundations for understanding multimedia alongside traditional cognitive science and interface design issues.[1] Software like Authorware Attain, now owned by Adobe, made the design of multimedia systems accessible to those unskilled in programming and became major applications by the end of the 1990s[2]

Recent Challenges[edit]

The Internet age that has been growing since the launch of Windows 98 has brought new challenges for the discipline including developing new models and rules for the World Wide Web. Areas such as usability have had to develop specific guidelines for Website design[3] and traditional concepts like genre, narrative theory, and stereotypes have had to be updated to take account of Cyberculture.[4][5] Cultural aspects of Multimedia Studies have been conceptualised by authors such as Lev Manovich,[6][7] Arturo Escobar and Fred Forest.[8]

The increase in Internet trolling and so-called Internet addiction has thrown up new problems. Concepts like emotional design [9] and affective computing [10] are driving Multimedia Studies research to consider ways of becoming more seductive and able to take account of the different needs of users.

Media Studies 2.0[edit]

Some academics, such as David Gauntlett, have preferred the neologism, 'Media Studies 2.0' to Multimedia Studies, in order to give it the feel of other fields like Web 2.0 and Classroom 2.0.[11][12][13][14][15] The Media Studies 2.0 neologism has received strong criticism. Andy Medhurst at Sussex University for instance wrote of the Media Studies 2.0 neologism introduced by David Gauntlett, 'Isn't it odd that whenever someone purportedly identifies a new paradigm, they see themselves as already a leading practitioner of it?'

Issues and Concepts[edit]

  1. Media ecology and Information ecology
  2. Cybercultures and New Media
  3. Online Communities and Virtual Communities
  4. Internet trolling and Internet addiction
  5. Captology

Universities offering degrees in Multimedia Studies[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Andy Bull (2010). Multimedia Journalism: A Practical Guide. ISBN 0415478235
  • Nigel Chapman and Jenny Chapman (2009). Digital Multimedia. ISBN 0470512164
  • Daniel Cunliffe and Geoff Elliot (2003). Multimedia Computing. ISBN 1903337186
  • James Lengel (2001). The Web Wizard's Guide to Multimedia on the Web. ISBN 0201745615
  • Celia T. Romm and Kristina Setzekorn (2008). Social Networking Communities and e-Dating Services: Concepts and Implications. ISBN 160566104X


  1. ^ Nielsen, J. (1990). Hypertext and Hypermedia. Saunders College Publishing/Harcourt Brace. ISBN 0125184107
  2. ^ Schifman, R.S. (1999). The Ultimate Authorware Tutorial. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 3540641238
  3. ^ Nielsen, J. & Tahir, M. (2001). Homepage Usability: 50 Websites Deconstructed. ISBN 073571102X
  4. ^ Herring, S.C., Scheidt, L.A. ; Bonus, S. ; Wright, E. (2004). Bridging the gap: a genre analysis of Weblogs. In: Proceedings of the 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2004.
  5. ^ Robinson, K.M. (2001). Unsolicited Narratives from the Internet: A Rich Source of Qualitative Data. Qual Health Res 11 (5), 706-714
  6. ^ Manovich, Lev (2003). "New Media from Borges to HTML" (PDF). In Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Nick Montfort. The New Media Reader (PDF)|format= requires |url= (help). MIT Press. pp. 13–25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 December 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2007.
  7. ^ Manovich, Lev (2001). The Language of a New Media. MIT Press. ISBN 0-262-63255-1.
  8. ^ Forest, Fred. "Pour un art actuel, l'art à l'heure d'Internet".
  9. ^ Norman, D.A. (2005). Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things. Basic Books.
  10. ^ Picard, R. (2000). Affective Computing. MIT Press. ISBN 0262661152
  11. ^ British Film Institute, Media Studies Conference 2007 Archived 2007-11-07 at the Wayback Machine., 4–6 July 2007
  12. ^ Transforming Audiences International Conference, 6–7 September 2007
  13. ^ Andy Ruddock (2008), 'Media Studies 2.0? Binge Drinking and Why Audiences Still Matter', Sociology Compass, Volume 2 Issue 1 Page 1-15, January 2008.
  14. ^ 'Towards a Brave New World? The Media Studies 2.0 Debate' Archived 2011-10-03 at the Wayback Machine., presentation by Geoff Lealand, University of Waikato, at AMES conference, May 2007
  15. ^ Blog/forum about Media Studies 2.0 by William Merrin

External links[edit]