Dissertation Series: Appendix

The Differences between McLuhan and Williams


With both of these competing theoretical frameworks there is a limitation in the debates generated about the nature of the agency of both technology and humanity. By focusing solely on the agency of their chosen theoretical framework, McLuhan

and Williams fail to the take into account the agency and possibilities of the combined power of both technology and society and their shaping of society and technology. It

is only by looking at both the technological and the human agencies together, that it then becomes possible to account for the development seen in a videogame such as Team Fortress 2 (TF2). The development of video games and the participation of players can only be fully explained by taking into account the equal importance of the technological and human elements of how the game has evolved over time. When two actors form a convergence point from which culture and new possibilities for development and collaboration emerge.



iAnime Fans

Anime fans started to learn the Japanese to speed up the process of making Anime

films, cartoons and manga (comics) available for the English speaking audience in America. By doing this the Japanese and American fans have become actors in the process of shaping a community that crosses national borders. Converging together through a common interest in Anime across the globe a fan community can greatly expand their visibility and cultural significance, Jenkins suggest that, ‘this is a new cosmopolitanism—knowledge sharing on a global scale. As the community enlarges and reaction time shortens, fandom becomes much more effective as a platform for consumer activism’ (Jenkins, 2006b, p. 141).


iii Mann Co. In-game Store

For further information on the Mann Co store in TF2, is available here: [Accessed: 03/04/2013] iv Link to Psy’s Gangnam Style Video on YouTube:

[Accessed 03/04/2013]


v Link to Baauer’s Harlem Shake Video on YouTube: [Accessed 03/04/2013]


vThe Matrix Films and Convergence



The Matrix is a prime example of how a point of convergence is not limited to just

one single media form. If Matrix fans wish to further their understanding of the matrix itself, they are required to increase their level of engagement with the content, a

casual fan for example, may watch just the films and have little interest in the supporting information. Fans with a greater interest in the broader environment of the films and their storyline can read blogs and forums that expand the resources

available to the community to increase their understanding of the universe that makes up the Matrix.


vii   Brief History of Team Fortress

The original Team Fortress game (Team Fortress Software, 1996) was a modification or (mod) of a video game called Quake (id Software, 1996), the Team Fortress mod

of Quake was developed by John Cook, Ian Caughley and Robin Walker. The Team Fortress mod for the Quake video game engine became very popular with players who were seeking new and alternative multiplayer games to play online together.



With its unique style and tactics Team Fortress provided the player with many new challenges that other multiplayer games at that time in the late 1990s could not provide. The key focus of the game play is being part of a team, working together to achieve the game objective. In order to do this, players can play as one of 9 different characters called ‘classes’. Each ‘class’ in the game has a specific role within the team, in addition to this, each character has their own unique style of weapons and

combat abilities. In much the same way that a soccer team needs to have a goalkeeper, defenders and strikers working together in order for the team to achieve success.


viiTF2 Game play Description

TF2 and the original mod both use the same 9 different classes that players can

choose from; these nine classes can be further categorized into 3 groups. The three groups are assault, defense and support. The Scout, the Soldier and the Pyro make up the assault class, the Medic, the Sniper and the Spy are all part of the support group, the last group is the defense which has the Heavy, the Demon and the Engineer. As with team sports like soccer and rugby, each class is an important component of the overall team, classes must work together in order to be effective at winning online games. Each member of the team has different movements, strengths and weaknesses; these weaknesses can be overcome by using the tactical combinations of both

weapons and different classes. There are many different tactical combinations that are possible to be used in both defensive situations as well in attack, in addition to the choice of classes it is possible to change how a class character performs in battle through the selection of different weapons.