Final Blog Post – Reflection of the Course

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For my final post, I have a lot to talk about considering how much I enjoyed this course.

The first part was seeing elements of things I love like video games, comic books via Marvel and movies be incorporated into the course. It was honestly surreal seeing the playing of Shi-Ho and Stanley Parable as parts of our course as someone well versed with the topic of video games. I always saw the medium as a way for great story telling but that being taught to everyone was wonderful to see. Hope that continues in future versions of this course.

The second part I really enjoyed was the Kitty Horror Show portion of the semester, were we read interactive fiction from the site. I really love the format and nature of the site; the stories on there were dark and presented new locations I never heard of before. Was a great experience and will check the site in the future for more creative stories.

The third part of the semester I loved was the presentations. Me and my group looked through a lot of sources and find ways to link things that at first didn’t make sense like Lion King into elements that complemented Hamlet was really rewarding. Reading through fan fiction, pictures on the net and more was enjoyable as well. Overall that was a great experience and was happy to be part of the presentation.

Lastly, I want to talk about how different this was from past English courses. In my other English courses, reading text and commenting on it was the bread and butter of the course, which was great. I love reading and being able to read new things is always a nice time.

But we read different kinds of text with this course. Online fan fiction, article going into theories about the different mediums and more were really insightful to me, as learning about how mediums I love a lot like Video Games can become interactive fiction was eye opening to me honestly.

In addition to that, the extensive discussions were very enjoyable. Talking about Marvel and how it relates to transmedal storytelling, commenting on current events happening around us and more was wonderful. This happens in other English courses but I really enjoyed this element for this course.

Overall, I really loved my time in this course and I hope the core of this course, reading and interacting with text using new mediums and tools, is something I wish remains in this courses future.

Happy holiday’s everyone!

Online Literary Fiction – Marina Pantelidis

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Scrolling through different blogs or even Tumblr posts can allow someone to find stories or poems published on the Internet.  A lot has changed from the time that people needed publishers and editors to get their work out in the public.  Nowadays, a person just needs to have a creative mind and people (or followers) who are attracted to their work.  The example that comes to mind is R.M. Drake who started off on Instagram and now has so many opportunities to publish his work in print.  The Internet has become a way of life for most of these upcoming authors or poets, even though writing may not be their main career they still have that pleasure in sharing their work with others.

While scrolling through different blogs, I found one solely based on fiction short stories and different people publish on it daily.  The stories have sections in which different people can comment, and in many of the stories the authors write back.  Throughout class, we discussed how people build friendships and fandoms through the different comment sections in works.  In this particular site, I saw that a lot of the same people commented on different works which only allows me to think that these people have build a connection with the blog.  Maybe it is not as strong as other fandoms, since it is solely based on short stories but this is something that interests different people and allows them to enjoy in their leisure time.  

In the short story entitled “Tin Man” written by Tom Lisowski, the narrator makes the readers believe that he is on an airplane dressed in “silk shorts” and a “tinfoil helmet”.  The comedic part of this short story was that the narrator addresses all the passengers on the plane as being distracted on their “tablets” or “cellphones”.  The readers that are engaged in this story are also looking at their tablets, since it has been shared through a blog.  In a certain way, the readers in the story are the distracted people on the airplane.  The speaker of the poem starts to panic and realizes that everything around him was disappearing, starting from the passengers on the plane to the actual plane.  The short story ends with the narrator being “surrounded by cops”, and addresses the readers in order to talk to them later.  The story starts off with a man that seemed to be out of his mind on an airplane and ends with a man being dragged out.  The short story leaves the readers with so many questions that makes you want to continue reading more and more and hoping for a continuation.   

 http://www.veryshortfiction.com/tin-man/#respond

All’s Well That Ends Well (But it never really ends) -Chloe Tsiames

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For my final blog post, I thought I’d write about the class discussion that resonated with me the most. Majority of the time, I do not find myself thinking about games outside of the context of “winning.” Every game I have ever engaged myself in has involved concepts like levels and quests where you reach a conclusion by either beating all the levels or accomplishing the goals of the quest. Never before have I been introduced to an interactive game like The Stanley Parable, where no matter how you play there is no victory.

Playing the game on my own I did not realize how many different outcomes there could be. I assumed people either chose to obey the narrator’s commands or defy him and that led to two alternate endings. However, coming into class the day we talked about the game and hearing all the different places people ended up going; I came to the conclusion that there is no resolution to The Stanley Parable comparable to “beating the game.”

Instead, what we resolved was that the purpose of this interactive game was more philosophical. There was a sort of lesson to be learned from ending up back at the beginning over and over or even worse, dead.It is a common saying that people are the authors of their own story. That we each hold the pen to write the chapters of our book of life. But, what if we were all just like Stanley? Making a choice between going through the motions of our daily lives as they are “supposed to go” or diverging from this monotony only to find that there is no escape. Since I am optimist to my core, I couldn’t accept this as the end of the discussion.

Throughout the semester we discussed a lot about how creators of texts of all kinds are often influenced by fans and fan theories. Davey Wreden, the creator of The Stanley Parable’s follow up game The Beginner’s Guide is a testament to just that. Players of The Stanley Parable that were dismayed by these dark philosophical implications like myself are introduced to a friendly, personable narrator in Wreden’s new game. Through entering the mind of game developers on their mission to create new games our job as the player here is to help the developers through the process of making the games. He wants us to understand video games from the creators’ perspective in an informative interactive way that creates a friendship connection between the narrator and player instead of an authority figure, like the narrator of The Stanley Parable. (link to the game below!) This contrast gives Wreden a greater fan base. He satisfies the sense of hope and fulfillment that we do not get from his original game. People are then torn as to which viewpoint is actually Wreden’s, if either! This game suggests we have creative control as to how we interpret video games and furthermore, life itself. It allows people to understand that there will always be different, continually developing…”theories of the text.”

http://store.steampowered.com/app/303210/

Final Presentations by, Kelsey Malles

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I needed an idea for my last blog post to meet my requirement for the semester, and while I was digging through my brain, thinking of something to write pertaining to the class, the only thing I could think of was the final projects we all presented in class. Although at first the project seemed extremely intimidating for someone who has had little to no experience with Twine and it’s context, I was thoroughly impressed with the final product of not only my group’s, but the whole entire class’s as a whole. So, I just wanted to take a moment to appreciate each and all of the handwork that went into everyone’s:

I really enjoyed working with Jennifer and Chloe as a whole. They worked extremely hard and brought so many great things to the table that I would not have even thought of. For example, just to name a few, Chloe found this great Fan Fiction article about the guards being actually being drunk when they “see” the ghost of Hamlet SR. for the very first time. I thought this was not only hysterical, but super affective in bringing home the point that literature can be transpired creatively into any sort of way. Jennifer did an awesome job coming up with amazing things like figuring out that Elsinore is an actual place, where people can vacation. Of course, if you have the means to do something like that…

Although I was very happy with how our Twine came out, there were so many other final projects that left me shaking my head thinking, “That’s amazing. I never would have even thought of that.” Never in my three years here at Adelphi have I ever been given such a great amount of creative control over a final. Usually, our finals are strictly prompted and controlled through our understanding of literature throughout the semester. Here, we did base our final project off of our enduring understanding, but we were given the opportunity to apply our knowledge to sites, posts, and pictures that we interact with outside of the academic world on a daily basis.

I would most certainly someday incorporate this as a learning tool and strategy into my class room. If students can feel more comfortable learning a text through this fun and dynamic way, why not?

I’m not sure if my jumbled thoughts made sense due to the wonderful affects of finals week, but i’d love to hear your guy’s thoughts on how you guys felt about the final projects?

 

The Frustration of Gaming by, Kelsey Malles

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While surfing around on the internet recently, I found myself typing in the words, “Interactive fiction” into the search bar. When my screen finally loaded, I was brought to the typical page search engine page with all of the blue, tempting links to click upon. My eyes automatically went to a link that was titled, “5 Best Interactive Fiction Games.” Clicking upon this link, I found exactly what it entailed, the 5 “best” interactive fiction games. As I read through each of the little bio’s, I found myself reading something I found to be familiar. In fact I was right. It was a write-up on the game Photopia. Feeling like for once I knew something about gaming, I chose to give it a go. What was the worst that could happen?

When I actually begun to play, I found myself reading through interconnected stories and giving commands to the computer at hand. I found the game to be very interesting, in that no matter what choices/commands you give to the computer, eventually you wind up making the choice that is preprogrammed for you. This got me thinking of a topic we discussed in class, “what choices our really our own?” With this thought running around in my mind as I was playing, I tried to break free of the preprogrammed chains. Not being able to make the “right” choices, I became very frustrated with the game. This also got me thinking. It got me thinking about the actual frustration the goes into gaming itself.

Doing some research on the topic, I found that I was not alone. A study from the Journal of Person and Social Psychology found that, “Any player who has thrown down a remote control after losing an electronic game can relate to the intense feelings or anger failure can cause,” (Andrew Przybylski, Ph.D.). He also stated that, there is a common name among this emotion found by gamers called “rage-quitting.” The study also stated that emotions like these are evoked when one’s competencies are pressed/tested. Which makes complete sense. I can speak personally when I say that I do not like to feel as if I am not in control of something. And to not have control of something is a better way of saying that you are not well prepared and or educated about the topic at hand.

However, my findings have lead me to believe that rage-quitting is common among gamers all over, not just 21 year old girls, who have little to no experience interacting in the gaming world. Which has made me feel a little bit better moving forward, but still unsatisfied with my lack of knowledge as a whole.

Print Textual Artifact: The Ugly Duckling -Marina Pantelidis

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When I was younger, I never had to choose between picking up a book or going online to read it.  One of my favorite things to do when I was little was crawl on my mom’s lap and have her read me my favorite classic stories.  Being read to had a calming sensation behind it and for no reason I could possibly understand.  One of my favorite classic books to read was “The Ugly Duckling”, truthfully half because of the illustrations and the other half based on the story.  When I stumbled upon this story online, I was so excited to see how it transformed into online literature.

The setup of this website makes it look like you are actually reading a book, because there is a wooden desk behind an illustration of the cover of the book.  Before you begin to read the story, there is an option of being read to or just reading to yourself.  This part especially excited me because I knew that my younger self would have been on this website all day long listening to different stories.  When the story continues, the reader gets to click the button to flip the page and has the words that are being read out loud highlighted.  It does not automatically rush you to the next page, which must be for the children’s purposes of enjoying the illustrations before continuing on.  The website also has the option of re-reading a page if it went too fast or if the reader just wanted to hear it again.  Not only does the story get read to you, if you choose that option, but the voices also change based on the dialogue they are reading.  For example, a voice of shock appears when the duckling sees himself as a swan in the lake.

The storyline and the moral did not change at all from the actual text to the online version of it.  The only thing that did change was the interactive portion of the story, which would be fantastic for children to read now.  These stories can be shown on an IPad or IPhone to children in order to occupy them while parents are out or even for leisure time at home.  The highlighted words can help the child sound out different words while also teaching them new ones.  This type of textual artifact has been transformed in a creative and outstanding way!

http://www.education.com/games/the-ugly-duckling/

Print Textual Artifact Online – Rebecca Singh

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Print textual artifacts have vastly become popular online. Genres in particular would be children stories or fairytales. Technology has advanced the learning experience for children by making it fun. Children are now able to interact in games and read-alongs. Not only fairytales, but comic books, and other sagas, like Harry Potter, have found their way through technology and media in games and animation causing a fanatic frenzy.

The Jack and the Beanstalk online version lets the viewer read along as well as visually understand the story in another form. The characters in the story are brought to life as they are animated, which makes the viewer more interested. As I was watching, though I knew the story, I was very interested in how the story still unfolded because reading the book and watching an animation of it were two incredibly different things. Right away, I was interested in the magical beans because they were not what I expected. I grew up learning that the beans that were offered to Jack were old. However, animation brought a more colorful and fitting description of “magical beans.”

Through technology, though the storyline like Jack and the Beanstalk isn’t changed, the creator manages to change visual aspects. Every Jack in and the Beanstalk has its own flair. This proves that though the plot is still the same, imagination is different allowing viewers, like young children, to understand and learn that stories can be changed and are not limited.

Online Jack and the Beanstalk, as well as many other fairytales, have been shaped to virtually take the viewers and readers differently through a familiar story by changing how they positively perceive the story. By getting the reader/viewer to interact through games and animation, it encourages the person to further explore what else print textual artifacts online has to offer.

Jack and the Beanstalk:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/cbeebies/misc/swf/jackandthebeanstalk/jack_s.swf