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2024 Participants: Hannah Ackermans * Sara Alsherif * Leonardo Aranda * Brian Arechiga * Jonathan Armoza * Stephanie E. August * Martin Bartelmus * Patsy Baudoin * Liat Berdugo * David Berry * Jason Boyd * Kevin Brock * Evan Buswell * Claire Carroll * John Cayley * Slavica Ceperkovic * Edmond Chang * Sarah Ciston * Lyr Colin * Daniel Cox * Christina Cuneo * Orla Delaney * Pierre Depaz * Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal * Koundinya Dhulipalla * Samuel DiBella * Craig Dietrich * Quinn Dombrowski * Kevin Driscoll * Lai-Tze Fan * Max Feinstein * Meredith Finkelstein * Leonardo Flores * Cyril Focht * Gwen Foo * Federica Frabetti * Jordan Freitas * Erika FülöP * Sam Goree * Gulsen Guler * Anthony Hay * SHAWNÉ MICHAELAIN HOLLOWAY * Brendan Howell * Minh Hua * Amira Jarmakani * Dennis Jerz * Joey Jones * Ted Kafala * Titaÿna Kauffmann-Will * Darius Kazemi * andrea kim * Joey King * Ryan Leach * cynthia li * Judy Malloy * Zachary Mann * Marian Mazzone * Chris McGuinness * Yasemin Melek * Pablo Miranda Carranza * Jarah Moesch * Matt Nish-Lapidus * Yoehan Oh * Steven Oscherwitz * Stefano Penge * Marta Pérez-Campos * Jan-Christian Petersen * gripp prime * Rita Raley * Nicholas Raphael * Arpita Rathod * Amit Ray * Thorsten Ries * Abby Rinaldi * Mark Sample * Valérie Schafer * Carly Schnitzler * Arthur Schwarz * Lyle Skains * Rory Solomon * Winnie Soon * Harlin/Hayley Steele * Marylyn Tan * Daniel Temkin * Murielle Sandra Tiako Djomatchoua * Anna Tito * Introna Tommie * Fereshteh Toosi * Paige Treebridge * Lee Tusman * Joris J.van Zundert * Annette Vee * Dan Verständig * Yohanna Waliya * Shu Wan * Peggy WEIL * Jacque Wernimont * Katherine Yang * Zach Whalen * Elea Zhong * TengChao Zhou
CCSWG 2024 is coordinated by Lyr Colin (USC), Andrea Kim (USC), Elea Zhong (USC), Zachary Mann (USC), Jeremy Douglass (UCSB), and Mark C. Marino (USC) . Sponsored by the Humanities and Critical Code Studies Lab (USC), and the Digital Arts and Humanities Commons (UCSB).

Quora and Other Groups doing CCS in the Wild

In the first CCSWG, @jeremydouglass invited us to find examples of Critical Code Studies that we found "in the wild," beyond this working group and beyond academia itself. I'd like to extend that conversation by looking at places where code studies are being done as the subject or perhaps even a side effect of the general conversation topic. We have already referenced discussion threads on Reddit, for example, in our thread on the Apollo 11 code. @belljo's recent post about cutting and pasting code reminds me of Stack Exchange. And there are also robust communities of code studies, such as Lambda the Ultimate. I have also been a subscriber to Quora, where people often post questions about the nature of programming languages, including their social nature, although often with an eye toward learning what's most popular or that positions one best for getting a job.

It has long been our contention, that we are not the only ones doing Critical Code Studies, that CCS builds on the practices and conversations well underway in the world of programming and computer science. I wonder if there are other communities in the wild where there are regularly posted or even irregularly posted discussions that we can benefit from for our Critical Code Studies.

What are other online forums or communities, where we can turn for insight into readings of code? Have you used any of these (in this way)?


  • This might be a bit tangential, but it also might get into some of the other discussions about forms of critical interpretation that aren't encoded as text.

    For several years now, I've been fascinated by the speedrunning community. These are people who play video games with the goal of getting to the end as fast as they possibly can. However, they play the games as they actually exist in hardware and software rather than the way the developers intended they be played. If there's a bug in your game that helps them get to the end faster then it's just as valid a strategy as anything described in the manual.

    Because they're essentially deconstructing game code and hardware in real time, speedrunners often know games better than the people who wrote them in the first place. They've also been instrumental in taking romhacks from a relatively small audience to mass streaming appeal on Twitch by popularizing things like randomizers (e.g., play a game where all the powerup locations are swapped around) and kaizo games. At the extreme end of things, some people use game controllers to run arbitrary code execution attacks on games and reprogram them on the fly.

    Obviously their audience and concerns are different, but their methods and results often mirror the kind of work that CCS takes on. Instead of writing code or an essay, though, they've made deconstruction of code a spectator sport on twitch.

    (If anyone is curious and in the area, I'll be talking about speedrunners at CAA2018 in a couple of weeks too. Drop in and chat!)

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