Individual Work

Generally speaking, the web is an invaluable source for the democratic dissemination of literature, art, and information. However, it is also used as a corporate marketing tool and for the distribution of biased statements. In the Flash-based work “myBALL,” Shawn Rider mimics the appearance of an informative commercial site to satirize common advertising techniques. This work is included in the Electronic Literature Collection, Volume I.

According to this piece, "myBall" is the latest must have "toy." It assures parents that its camera can record their children's activities for later playback, while "myBall's" GPS can track the child’s movements. Parents can now "micromanage their children's lives" at their convenience. Meanwhile, "myBall's" "FactKits" can ensure that their children have the religious and ethnic experiences that the parent desires. "myBall" also appeals to kids, as it can record secrets that they wouldn't trust to their friends (but that can unbeknownst to them be accessed later by their parents). An array of fashion accessories are also available (sold separately, of course).

As such, "myBall" draws explicit attention to common marketing strategies and raises questions about the role of technology in our everyday lives, particularly in relation to child rearing. As the section "About Us" states, "[w]e must become introspective about our goals and motivations: How are we using our technology, and what does it tell us about ourselves?"