Mechademia 6: User Enhanced

Paperback / softback
Manga and anime inspire a wide range of creative activities for fans: blogging and contributing to databases, making elaborate cosplay costumes, producing d\u00f4jinshi (amateur) manga and scanlations, and engaging in fansubbing and DIY animation. Indeed, fans can no longer be considered passive consumers of popular culture easily duped by corporations and their industrial-capitalist ideologies. They are now more accurately described as users, in whose hands cultural commodities can provide instant gratification but also need to be understood as creative spaces that can be inhabited, modified, and enhanced.User Enhanced, the sixth volume of the Mechademia series, examines the implications of this transformation from consumer to creator. Why do manga characters lend themselves so readily to user enhancement? What are the limitations on fan creativity? Are fans simply adding value to corporate properties with their enhancements? And can the productivity and creativity of user activities be transformed into genuine cultural enrichment and social engagement? Through explorations of the vitality of manga characters, the formal and structural open-endedness of manga, the role of sexuality and desire in manga and anime fandom, the evolution of the Lolita fashion subculture, the contemporary social critique embodied in manga like Helpman! and Ikigami, and gamer behavior within computer games, User Enhanced suggests that commodity enhancement may lead as easily to disengagement and isolation as to interaction, connection, and empowerment.Contributors: Brian Bergstrom; Lisa Blauersouth; Aden Evens, Dartmouth College; Andrea Horbinski; It\u00f4 G\u00f4, Tokyo Polytechnic U; Paul Jackson; Yuka Kanno; Shion Kono, Sophia U, Tokyo; Thomas Lamarre, McGill U; Christine L. Marran, U of Minnesota; Miyadai Shinji, Tokyo Metropolitan U; Miyamoto Hirohito, Meiji U; Livia Monnet, U of Montreal; Miri Nakamura, Wesleyan U; Matthew Penney, Concordia U, Montreal; Emily Raine; Brian Ruh; Kumiko Saito, Bowling Green State U; Rio Sait\u00f4, College of Visual Arts, St. Paul; Cathy Sell; James Welker, U of British Columbia; Yoshikuni Igarashi, Vanderbilt U.