I thought this game was pretty cool. You win the game by touching as many words in the paragraph as possible. Give it a try!!
It’s been a great semester in Elit
I thought this game was pretty cool. You win the game by touching as many words in the paragraph as possible. Give it a try!!
It’s been a great semester in Elit
“Timeline is the story of your life…a new way to express who you are.” -Mark Zuckerberg
Since we spoke of Facebook today in class it sparked me to look into more about the “dreaded” Timeline. Considering that everyone I know is anti-timeline I thought I would look at both perspectives and pinpoint the main arguments of each. I am in fact a favor of Timeline. I originally hated it, but found it to be much more organized and user friendly than I had once negatively thought of it. When I was “forced to continue to the new timeline” I thought that I was going to have to delete my Facebook as a whole because of all the negative criticism I’d heard about the new format and website. The new Timeline is a merged version of the Wall the the Profile.
Timeline is going to take over everyones original Facebooks according to this article. Here, I learned that there will be more Timeline apps that are integrated with apps such as Pinterest.
I watched the ‘Introducing Timeline; Tell your story with a new kind of profile” video that is on the Facebook homepage before one even logs in. This shows the story of Andy Sparks; year after year. One of the most distinguishing features of the new Timeline is the “cover photo.” This is actually my favorite part of Timeline- allowing one to display a picture with them and their friends, their favorite scenery, or capturing a particular special moment. Currently, mine is of the UMW Lady Eagles celebrating the winning and advancing to the Elite 8 this past year. The reinvented Facebook timeline seems to be more described as an online scrapbook that one has collected and added to over many years.
To thoroughly explain Timeline, I’m going to add the full online definition of it I found online:
“Since December 15, 2011, a Timeline is the new virtual space in which all the content of Facebook users will be organized and shown. Replacing the Facebook Profile, in a Timeline the photos, videos, and posts of any given user will be categorized according to the period of time in which they were uploaded or created. Posts and events are displayed along a timeline that runs through the center of the profile, with the option of adding events that occurred prior to the user joining Facebook as well as “hiding” posts. Some experts see this as a crucial step on the use of social networks.
In March 2012, Timeline became available for Facebook pages, and by the end of the month, Facebook had forced all pages to convert to the Timeline layout – against the will of many page admins.
Like the Wall, users can set Timeline privacy settings to change who can see their entire profile. Users’ friends have the ability to post messages on the user’s timeline” (Wikipedia).
As with much confusion with the Facebook timeline (we even discussed some points in class) there are many how to and help videos found on YouTube. This one in particular I found to be helpful in explaining the vivid Timeline feature. The timeline, on the far right can easily be scrolled through going through the years since one created their own individual Facebook. This is a feature I wasn’t aware of how to use so I found this video to be helpful. A “cooler feature” talked about was how one could view their profile as someone else. For example, there is a little drop down menu that one can “View As ____” to see how that person would be able to view your profile.
The next video I watched projected the “First Look: New Facebook Update” and further discussed the Timeline feature. Mark Watson (the speaker) talks about the cover photo and how to upload one. He also points out where ones common information is written. He then begins to explain the “maps” section, which I wans’t aware of how to use either. One criticism I have of the maps feature is that it’s not easily accessed through my Blackberry, rather I feel that it’s more easily accessed and browsed for iPhones or Droids. However, Watson explained how one can place a “pin” on the map leading to a popup or photo of that location and how it connects to the individual user of that Facebook profile. For example, Watson clicked on Berlin, Germany and a photo popped up of the date he uploaded the picture (while he was there) and how long he was there for. Its interesting because you can make this very personal by adding tags, such as “broke a bone here or learned a new language here.” I found this to be very fun and sentimental towards the particular user. This truly seemed like a scrapbook digitalized. Watson then touches on the layout. There are much larger photos and he visually shows the viewers that.
Although I wouldn’t give up my cutting and pasting that I make for my scrapbooks I do think that this is a very easily organized “newer Facebook.” I found all of the online help tools to help me to enhance my Facebook experience. Timeline is definitely an experience of organization, which I am in favor of.
Now…. What will the next Twitter be??
I assume that everyone knows what the literary canon is, but if not check out this video that explains all about it.
Amidst the many classics in the literary canon such as Joyce, Shakespeare, Austen, and countless others, I began wondering if digital literature is included in this exclusive society. I came across this article by a German professor, Florian Hartling, who surmised that digital literature is in its infancy of being inducted in the canon because of the uniqueness of the work.
Literary writings have a five step process as outlined in the article to be inducted (put very simply);
Digital literature has a unique situation because it is based online, the first step to get published is a moot point because anyone can publish their digitized work on the internet. Consequently, there is not extreme competition to have the work available to the general population. Therefore, digital literature has to have its own set of steps in order to be canonized. Hartling designed five requirements for inducting digital literature into the canon, establishing the necessity of imaginary publishing houses and encyclopedias for digital works to be published. However, these fictitious entities are unfeasible at the present, so according to Hartline, no digital literature will be in the canon until the proper criticism outlets are formed. However, I adamantly disagree with his line of thinking. There are already hundreds of digitized hypertext and interactive fiction that are reviewed and scholarly criticized. A lack of publishing house or involvement in a certain professional journal does not make some works of digital literature any less important.
Hartling states that any literature inside the canon becomes the standard for judging other texts in that genre or time period. The canon serves “primarily as a way to orient themselves not only during their period of development, but also in the process of producing their own texts canons serve as mechanisms for selection and orientation. In the overwhelming range of literary works, canons help to focus on texts which are considered valuable and timeless and can therefore be incorporated into the culture’s memory.”
Though still a relatively new phenomenon there is already an active community evidenced through twitter, digitized literary conferences, and the vast array of produced games. There is already a standard with underlying cultural values that others base their work off of.
In my opinion, a canon for digital literature already exists, as the last requirement for the literature canon is that the work is included in university curriculum. Since our entire class is devoted to this exact subject, there is already a standard to be reached by other game makers. The standard has been created. Value of certain works has been recognized. There is critical analysis of games. Therefore, according to the definition of a canon, the digital literature canon has already been created, and many of the works we have discusses and viewed in class is ultimately part of this elitist group.
What works would you think should be included in this canon?
For those of you who don’t already know, Pottermore is an all-new interactive look at JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It does something interesting (and really fun) by taking books that most of us have probably already read (maybe more than once) and making them interactive. Well, in a sense.
There are still plot lines that are very definite and can’t be changed around, but Pottermore does offer an entirely new perspective on the Potter books. Instead of only thinking and knowing what Harry knows, the user has a chance to view Hogwarts from their own point-of-view and form opinions and memories unique to them.
Aside from being totally geek-tastically fun (users are sorted into Houses and chosen by a wand), Pottermore is unlike most things I’ve discovered online. It brings users together they same way that the books brought readers together. I have friends on my Pottermore account that I have never met, but we mare members of the same House and work together to earn points. My House, Slytherin, is currently in the lead for the House Cup.
And even though I have always identified as a Hufflepuff, I feel a growing affection towards Slytherin House that I would not have gained outside of the Pottermore experience. For one thing, JK Rowling designed the Sorting Test herself, and I feel as though if anyone knows better than I do what House I belong in, it’s Rowling. And there’s no going back – no being re-Sorted or choosing another wand. But I kind of like it that way. It means that it’s more “real” in a sense because I didn’t just choose what answers I knew would get me into which House.
But it also means that Pottermore is far from being truly interactive. In each chapter, the user can only explore three layers of the newly-designed environment. (Think of it like a pop-up book in style). There are items to be collected, which gives the whole experience more of a “game” feel, but also brand-new content about the story and characters, written by JK Rowling. For example, Deputy Headmistress Minerva McGonagall is discovered to have a very detailed (and sort of tragic) back story that is never revealed in the printed series.
So far, only Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is open on Pottermore, but it is an experience not to be missed by any fan of the series. While it is not completely interactive, it does add another level of interactivity to the beloved series. And it makes me feel like Harry Potter isn’t over after all.
Pinterest is essentially an online pinboard that allows users to create theme based bulletin boards by pinning content, particularly pictures, to their various collections. Pinterests are easy to share and the website suggests you use your pinterest to plan your wedding, decorate your home, or document your favorite recipes. This is probably why 83% of American Pinterest users are women. Take a look at this Pinterest, made by a woman who is not engaged, to depict things she likes about weddings. I’m still trying to decipher this content; it doesn’t appear to have much organizational motivation for her future fantasy wedding nor is there some unique representation of “wedding” as a concept or artistic idea. The images are disjointed and vague – just there, available for anyone to look at, for no reason.
Right now, I hate Pinterest. I’m tired of people’s pins being shared on Facebook and running into blogs that link to what, to me, are just glorified collages. Pinterest’s mission according to their website is “to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” It promotes the very idea that the internet already has too much of – the sharing of meaningless things that people think are unique, original, interesting, whatever, to a bunch of aquaintences who just don’t care. Every Pinterest I’ve seen has been of a bunch of material objects I never needed to see, and I have a feeling even the creators will seldom look at their boards again.
It’s not that I think Pinterest is a bad idea. I don’t. It makes sense to have a mechanism for organizing images from different parts of the web thematically that makes it easy to share, a place where we can hold onto things we see and want to remember. In concept, it sounds like something we should have. However, Pinterest lately has added bulk to the internet; it’s like if we walked around with a lifetime collection of knick-knacks in our pockets through everyday life. There are some things we shouldn’t hold onto because they don’t matter; they’re not worth remembering. Take this Pinterest below, that someone themed “I love Smoothies” and then pinned pictures of smoothies that looked good. What does this achieve? Who cares? Why am I looking at this? Why would the creator even look at this again? A quick google image search could produce similar, if not the same, pictures of smoothies.
I know – Pinterest could be a great, easy-to-use organizational tool for content; sharing business plans, coupons, designs, inspiration boards, memories, family history, etc could all be made more accessible to the average computer user. However, we already have ways to achieve that same goal and the fact is it’s being overused to present content that doesn’t serve any greater purpose. I guess what I’m emphasizing here is that Pinterest’s purpose is empty; there is no deeper meaning behind these trivial things that we’re all supposed to be connected to, and through them, be connected to each other. It is the insignificant, mass consumption of “pretty pictures.”
Recently in my Anthropology course we’ve been talking about inequality in society, and gradually the conversation progressed to racial inequality. My professor often points to history to explain the origins of said inequalities and slavery often enters the discussion. Humans have a fair amount of experience in enslaving one another as a result of racial prejudice or conquest or what have you. However, today my professor showed us a more recent article to demonstrate that these injuries are perhaps buried deeper in a more modern age, but far from gone. I am of course talking about the reactions of many Hunger Games fans in response to casting decisions for the movie. If you haven’t read one of the articles about this, check it out.
The article describes essentially how many fans had a very different mental conception of certain characters, despite having textual evidence to the contrary, and how the race of these characters affected the way they were perceived. Where did Jezebel find some of these reactions? Twitter. The tweets range from mild shock: “after watching the hunger games preview 6 times in a row, i realized Rue is black. whaaaat?! #shocked” all the way to “Kk call me racist but when I found out rue was black her death wasn’t as sad #ihatemyself“. Despite the societal implications this has, I’m more concerned about the medium these people used to express themselves.
Twitter as of April 2010 has begun donating all public tweets to the Library of Congress, and you can check out that article here. This is and will be such an immensely rich database of the past, first and foremost because of the number of different perspectives it offers. For instance, Twitter played a large role in the recent Egyptian unrest as well as Iran’s election protests. These tweets will hopefully allow a fuller and more complete perspective on historical events as opposed to the limited and often biased versions we have now. The article also mentions that “Twitter will be one of the most informative resources available on modern day culture, including economic, social and political trends, as well as consumer behavior and social trends.”
It’s tough to keep track of one’s digital footprint in the current state of things, but before you tweet make sure it’s something you’re willing to have go down in history bearing your name.
After speaking in class about the deeper meaning in such games like Gravitation and Passage, I had an idea to change my analysis paper topic from glitch art to this deeper analysis. However, I went to speak with Dr. Whalen in his office and decided that instead of changing my paper topic and all of my research over to this I would instead cover it in my blog post for the next checkpoint assignment, hence the following post was born.
I know that one other student has already written a post about Gravitation and Passage and the deeper meaning behind both; however, this post is not only designed to focus on the deeper meaning behind these two games but their real life applications.
In the game Passage the player must move around a maze and find treasure that helps to add to the game score. As in most games, the goal is to reach the highest score you can before time runs out or, in this game, you die. However, unlike most games, Passage has various elements that are not only important to the game but represent real life elements as well. For instance, in the game when you come upon a lady, you fall in love and she is with you until the very end of the game. This extra player comes as both a companion and a hindrance. As the sprite, you are no longer alone for the rest of your journey and, conversely, you have a life companion. However, your companion will not leave you and you can no longer fit into some the spaces that you would have been able to had you not met your companion. Also once you find her you are no longer able to move as fast. This is very much symbolic of real life. When you find a partner in life, you are no longer able to do some of the things that you would have been able to do before hand. Also, typically, you will be with that special someone until you die.
Passage, not only, serves as a game but also as a life lesson. Love is eternal and your partner is their until death. I also think it is an interesting quandary that throughout this game you and your partner age gradually. Like in real life, no one lives forever and your life is set to a limited time that no 0ne knows for sure. You, as the sprite, are encouraged to move through the maze while you still can. I feel this massage is also applicable to life; you must live your life to the fullest while you still have life. No matter what you choose, whether you choose a life of solitude or a life partner, the game always ends in death, much like real life, no one lives forever.
Just as much can be said of the game Passage, so too can be said of Gravitation. Gravitation also serves life lessons. The object of the game Gravitiaotin is a bit different of that in Passage. In Gravitation you are faced with a discision early on in the game. You can choose to play ball with a child and gain an energy boost that you need to reach the higher levels. you then use that energy to jump up to these levels and retreve stars that eventually fall back down tot he first level of the game. When you run out of energy, you climb back down to the first level and push the stars, that have now turned into ice blocks, into the fire. Once you have accomplished this you can choose to play with the child again and the cycle repeats.
Much like Passage, you, as the sprite, are bound to the implications of your choice. You can either play with the child or you can choose not to. If you play with the child you get and energy boost that allows you to jump higher and collect more stars but, if you choose not to, you lead a very dull life. Much like real life, if you choose not to interact with anyone else you will lead a very dull, uninteresting life and you will not go very far at all. I feel that Gravitation serves not only as a fun game but also as reminder of life’s choices. You are encouraged to interact with the child, whom I took to be your child, and reach your full potential. Family is an important part of life and you have to interact with your family and grow those close bonds in order to make it in this crazy life. Gravitation is designed around this core moral, strong relationships are the key to a successful life.
It is true what they say, the best
stories games are often more true to life than fiction.
I became interested in the interactive fictions we had been playing (such as Shade) and wanted to research more possibly games to play. Specifically I wanted to blog about one, rather than a digital poem or electronic literature story, which I have mainly done in the past.
I came across LostPig after searching for interactive fiction games in Google. My introduction was this:
“Pig lost! Boss say that it Grunk fault. Say Grunk forget about closing gate. Maybe boss right. Grunk not remember forgetting, but maybe Grunk just forget. Boss say Grunk go find pig, bring it back. Him say, if Grunk not bring back pig, not bring back Grunk either. Grunk like working at pig farm, so now Grunk need find pig.”
Not only did I laugh at the name “Grunk” I felt funny reading these short, choppy sentences. I felt in character and that I became Grunk, the man looking for the pig. His speech reads like he is a caveman. I imagined him with a big stick in hand and wearing a loincloth.
I tried going north, south, east and west and couldn’t make a move anywhere. I typed help in search for help. I was led to hints.
After making way through a part of the forest and bushes, Grunk fell down a hole where the pig in fact was. I appreciated that “sub notes” provided in brackets that offered me advice on what to do next. For example, after the pig had Grunk running in circles after him, I typed:
(response) Grunk can try TELL PIG ABOUT ENTERANCE or ASK PIG ABOUT GROUND or OINK AT PIG.
After trying to communicate with the pig, I realized that the more I paid less attention to it and searched other things, the more the pig interacted with me or the story. This game made me laugh and was on the less serious side like we’ve been playing. You can’t die in this game and its comical and light.
The author of LostPig, “Admiral Jota” was the winner of the “IF Comp.” It has been rated and reviewed by many computer world “celebs” such as, Emily Short, Jay is Games and The Onion. Admiral Jota is a software developer who seems to like to use his/her pseudonym name over their real name. I searched for Admiral Jotas bio page and found myself laughing yet again, just like I did at LostPig. Admiral Jota claims that they are a dieter- so they wrote recipes for custard and muffins with lower fat count. I’ll definitely have to try them out!
If I were to change anything about LostPig I think that it’d be cool if pictures were able to insert themselves in some way or that a map could show up on the lower right or left hand corners. Also, music would be fun to insert although I don’t know if that is possible for IF games. I enjoyed this game, and although I’m not an expert at solving and playing them this one seemed to provide the most entertainment to me.
We’ve recently been discussing Façade’s unique meta-media approach to Electronic Literature (as well as its very… permutable platform). Yet, to be quite honest, I feel very underwhelmed by our conversations thus far. Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel there is still so much to say with regard to Façade’s brilliant execution.
Whether or not you define Façade as an Interactive Story, a game, or both, one cannot ignore its use of modern game mechanics. The first person perspective, the tangible in-game items, and the interactive characters are common features in many of today’s more popular games. What separates Façade from the pack, however, is more than just its inclusion of a parser and a colossal array of input values: it’s Façade’s commitment to the complexities of virtual reality long since abandoned by the game industry.
No, that was not a hasty generalization — there was indeed a time when many game developers shared Michael Mateas’ (co-author of Façade) focus on Immersion and Transformation. Games like the Petz series of the early 90′s, which Mataes coincidentally promotes at the bottom of Façade’s homepage, strove to produce the same unscripted realism that we encounter in our everyday life. More so than that, these developers sought to add the same subtle yet very distinct behavioral patterns and personalities now absent in most modern games.
It was unfortunate that the game industry’s rapid climb in commercial viability during the 90′s changed developer’s focus. The little nuances such as facial expressions, music-accented mood changes, and involved character interaction have taken a back seat to more profitable mechanics like game content and… well… more game content. Of course, the recent rise of game publishers certainly hasn’t helped matters either.
And this brings us to the question I’ve slowly been working to from the start: is the New York Times correct then in their assertion that Façade is indeed the “future of video games“? I typically try to open that question up to everyone else, but this time I’ll do that in conjunction with actually answering — and you’re damn right it is. Façade argues with convincing sound and fury in favor of quality over quantity; it suggests a recognizable value in the culmination of these nuances, and proves that a one-room game with only two characters, no leveling system, no DLC or add-on packs, and no scale of benevolence can still be fun.
This was a really interesting piece. First of all, pictures accompany the text. The pictures are actually three dimensional, 360 degree views of mythical landscapes. You can move the image to view the entire landscape. This is done in html format so there are numerous links embedded with the text to take you on your journey. This is by all definitions a fantastical journey through imaginary lands often becoming very ambiguous. That is to say it is hard to follow a set path. Some links lead back to the beginning of the piece but the landscape can change, new objects can be added in the second time you come across the same image.
While playing the game I would quite often find myself back at the “Jade Pavillion” which was the starting image of the game. On this page there are notes about the game. Each time I came back the notes had changed and so had the links. This is similar to the game “Shade” because a certain amount of times you would come back to your plant and it would be a different plants. Until you started to reach the end of the game the plant would seem to continue to change. As I progressed further into the game, “Reagan Library” introduced aliens. The landscapes changed from mythical ancient greek and roman style to invaders from outer space. After about twenty links the story actually encourages you to keep going.
I played the game for half an hour on my first run through and ended up getting myself caught in a loop of links. I don’t know how I did it but I managed to find six pages all with one link that just kept connecting back to each other in the same order. Perhaps you will have more luck than I did on your first run through.
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