Today we are publishing the final report of the Media Systems project — including a set of 12 key recommendations for building the future of computational media.
This report is the result of bringing more than 40 field leaders together for a meeting made possible by an unprecedented set of organizations: the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, Microsoft Studios, and Microsoft Research. We followed the meeting with more than a year of additional analysis, conversation, and writing.
Our report, “Envisioning the Future of Computational Media,” starts with the fact that the future of media is increasingly computational — video games, smartphone apps, ebooks, social media, and more.
As media evolve and change, the stakes are high, on many fronts — from culture and the economy to education and health.
To create media capable of continuing the expansion of computational media’s impact, we need to combine technical research that expands media possibilities with innovations in the creation and interpretation of media projects and forms.
Instead, today, we generally separate these activities. Technology research organizations generally don’t have disciplinary, funding, or organizational support for making media. Media making organizations generally lack support for long-term technology research.
Our report is focused on recommendations for how to fix this. We hope that it will provide one part of the foundation for a set of new approaches to computational media — from industry, higher education, federal and non-profit funders, professional organizations, and more.
If you wish to discuss the ideas in the report further, please contact me directly, leave comments here, or take to Twitter with the #MediaSystems hashtag.
About the author: Noah Wardrip-Fruin is an Associate Professor at UC Santa Cruz and the author of Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies.