Three posts in one day!
One morning, even!
Luckily, I'm not still trying to warm up for my academic writing--I actually did some of that this morning. One of my favorite radio shows has been NPR's On the Media. The hosts do a good job of taking a watchdog role in this wacky business while also keeping the fact that it is a business firmly in mind as they even occassionally defend media practices from unworthy criticism. Unfortunately, I have not been able to fit it into my schedule recently. . .lucky for the word of podcasting, which I just pieced together with my scheduling conflicts.
You can now download OTM from their website and listen to it at your convenience.
May I suggest that you start with this episode where you not only can you find an interesting history on the world of fantasy sports leagues (wouldn't that whole phenomenon make a great topic for a class? After all, it's dependent on media to such a huge extent!) but you can also hear an interview with my colleague Ted Castronova.
Ted is a great guy, the Director of Graduate Studies in the Dept. of Telecomm., but also a researcher in a fantastic and interesting area. An economist by training, he has applied classic economic theory to the fact that people are creating value in online worlds--creating characters, playing the game so that they have more experience, gold pieces, armor, whatever. . . I don't play these things! But, then these characters can be (and are) sold for actual $$, mostly on Ebay.
Seriously, check out the interview that Brooke Gladstone conducts with Ted. It's the last interview in that episode.