E-Literature & Gaming-Relations

What is E-literature you may be asking yourself? Well a definition offered by the Electronic Literature Organization (ELO) states electronic literature “refers to works with an important literary aspect that takes advantage of the capabilities and contexts provided by the stand-alone or networked computer.” [1] However, it can be much more than that. Of course E-literature refers to your Kindle or reading a digital news article on the train on your iPad but it also offers new depths for stories to explore.

E-literature to me also revolves around new ways of showing a story. Be that through game-play elements such as [2] Pry (2016) allowing you to see into the mind of the protagonist ever step of the way and understand their motives and decisions vividly unlike the pages of a novel could express. It could also be like in [3] Journey (2012) where you are initially a mere wandering wayward vagabond learning small tidbits of the world as your explore a wasteland and find little pieces of information along the way that tell a story unlike any novel could express without words.

Stories are developing beyond the medium of pen and paper. Many mediums are looking towards creating video-stories such as in interactive Youtube videos such as Hell Pizza’s Zombie Attack. Videos like this craft  a story with some different outcomes depending on the viewer or reader. E-literature is a medium where you do not merely read and enjoy a novel but instead interact with it, explore it and absolutely become a part of the story yourself.

I’ve been a firm believer in anything being able to create a grandiose story when people come together to put it together. As a Dungeons & Dragons (I’m gonna get nerdy for a second, just let it happen!) player and long time Dungeon Master, I know that crafting a story, setting and world can take months of work to pull off. However, that world would go nowhere without the players to push the story forward. I understand that this is not entirely E-Literature as it is not online but it does connect people together to create a collaborative story. Together the players work to craft their story.

It might be a little irrelevant but Roll20 is an online place for D&D players to find each other and play online as well which, in my opinion, is the pinnacle of E-literature as you craft your own story online with other people, the possibilities of these tales are endless.

I hope this was an enjoyable read! Thank you for making it to the end!

Bibliography :

[1] Electronic Literature Organization – http://eliterature.org/

[2] Pry 2016 – http://prynovella.com/

[3] Thatgamecompany – Journey 2012

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E-Literature & Gaming-Relations

Gaming in Education and Holograms

Last year, I discussed Gaming in Education and the positive effects it could enable students between more diverse interesting classes to less likely chance of burning out. While looking into this I discovered Hologram Videos and how some teachers have found ways to incorporate them into their classes (albeit, it is a very limited practice as of right now).

While limited, it is possible to create a hologram with your Smartphone right now if you wanted to try it! I’ll leave a link to the creation of the apparatus you’ll need to make to do so here as well as a video made for holograms.

and once you have this created, place it on the video below for results. (This requires viewing the video below on a Smartphone)

Now, how are these relevant to Gaming in Education? Well, the videos are exceptionally interactive, they’re more or less 3D models of figures, places and such. One day perhaps that Butterfly or Jellyfish could be intractable in a Biography class, allowing “dissection” of creatures without all the grisly bits in between.

We’ve seen great success come from Holograms before from concerts with Tupac from beyond the grave to vocaloids like Hatsune Miku in Japan (Essentially animated musicians coming to life on stage!). But I want to look at the possibility of such a thing coming to the class or boardroom one day. Instead of Skype calls, you could almost be sitting next to someone in the same room while in reality there in America. Would it be possible?

Well, it is sort of a Reality already. The iCandy glass and other Virtual Reality augmentation devices can already perform such a task over skype giving the illusion of real perspectives near the person. That is merely an illusion however, can we take it a step further?

The answer is yes, Cisco have been developing something known as TelePresence Live Holographic Calls and there is even a video circulating YouTube showing off the strides they’ve made (they even had a conference in front of a live audience). So the technology is definitely there! It is just sad to say it is not cost-effective as of yet and the “interactive” nature of this equipment is in its primitive stages as of yet. One day we may see “touch-screens” similar to our smartphones incorporate holograms we can play with on our phones (imagine Pokemon GO where you could pet your virtual friend!) but that is sadly still a futuristic idea but not complete technological jargon! Our technical know-how just may evolve to a stage where holograms are common place everywhere between meetings and in the classroom to give students from primary school to college “hands-on” experience without the actual need for having to actually dirty your hands.

Here is a link to Cisco’s Presentation, it is very interesting and I recommend you give it a watch if you have time! (Or at least the first 2 minutes to see the holograms come on stage). This is quite primitive (it was from 5 years ago) and I believe they were using a projection screen which is technology that can be dated up to 15 years ago but with correct innovation it does show just how far this technology could go.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

Gaming in Education and Holograms

Visual Analysis of “Artemis Fowl”

As my final Digital Humanities assignment of this semester, I was tasked to analyse any publicly available text using some visualization tools such as Voyant 2.0. I chose to analyse Artemis Fowl (2001, E.Colfer) in this way as it was the first book I read as child and nostalgia drew me back to it. There will be spoilers to the plot of this book beyond this point! Consider yourself warned should you wish to delve further.

A-D

So, just what does this jumble of text tell us? At first glimpse it looks pretty meaningless, like a kid just scribbled all over his parents’ walls. However, we can see all the main (and even most of the side characters) names appear in this block of words.

First, we have our main characters:

-Artemis Fowl (His name appears 748 times in total): Our protagonist, the boy genius who kidnaps our second main character, Holly and holds her at ransom.
-Captain Holly (Her name appears 429 times): A fairy and captain to the armies of fairies who live just below our feet.
-Commander Julius Root (His name appears 269 times): Commander of the fairy armies, his mission is to save Holly from Artemis.
-Butler (His name appears 229 times): Artemis’ most loyal and deadly servant, military-trained man but with a soft side for his younger sister.

and our secondary cast:

-Foaly (184 appearances): A centaur who is an expert in all things computing, he is allied with Commander Root.
-Mulch (149 appearances): A convicted criminal Dwarf with a nack for burrowing into places no one else can get to. He is reluctantly recruited by Root when it looks like he may be Holly’s only hope of escape.
-Juliet (84 appearances): Butler’s sister who he cares about above all else, even Artemis.

Now, using Voyant’s Trend tool, we are able to see when and where each character is mentioned in the story. This* is a link to a trend page of voyant which compares the frequency of characters appearing in the story. We can see from it, Artemis is always a character in focus, being the protagonist. However, Holly spikes in importance at chapter two and then is pushed to the side in a way by chapter four while other characters see more of the spotlight. Comparing mentions of characters in this way can show their importance to the story line at that moment (such as Commander Root receiving no mention in chapter one, due to this chapter primarily focusing on the kidnapping of Holly.)

Other words being used such as “Fairy”, “Troll” and even “Human” to an extent in context show us a little of the world in which Artemis Fowl resides. It is a fantasy world where ages ago, humans evolved and pushed fairies (who were weaker bodied but technologically superior) under the Earth, where they stayed and were forgotten about except in myths. Artemis believed in these myths and lures Holly – which is where the story begins, however it shows that in the ancient past of this world humans and other mythical creatures were at war, setting up a resentment of one another bringing racism into the novel as a theme (which is developed on in further installments of the series).

It also allows Colfer to write about fantastical creatures such as Dwarves with the power to burrow miles into the Earth, Trolls – mindless but powerful and dangerous creatures which dwell beneath our feet and so much more which gives this series a real flavour of that “fantastical but almost believeable world” one can truly immerse themselves in.

So, in answering, Voyant allows us to quickly glimpse and assemble the image of an entire book, it’s characters, main themes, genre and even the frequency of characters appearing in one amazing tool. It is a fantastic way to covert raw data into visual text and particularly great at turning novels and texts into one “bite-sized” chunk.

*Link to trending voyant page : http://voyant-tools.org/?corpus=d7d717b6b78e14ed7a0d3f081d420657&query=artemis&query=holly&query=root&withDistributions=raw&docId=799701add56d38cc81a7f6df42c2b527&mode=document&view=Trends

Bibilography:

Eoin Colfer,  Artemis Fowl (2001),  Viking Press

Visual Analysis of “Artemis Fowl”

On The Topic Of Openness

Internet-Symbol-Abstract-Tunnel-1118694

This week we were tasked with critically responding to one another in our Twessay on Openness. A link to it :https://storify.com/americasstudies/twessay-1-dhucctwessay-dh1001-concepts-and-collabo?utm_source=t.co&utm_campaign=&awesm=sfy.co_g1A8a&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&utm_content=storify-pingback

And what did I have to say on the topic? Well I said “I believe openness on the internet should be sharing info with each other with knowledge accessible to all people everywhere” (a) well of course, this was my uninformed mind talking here, with more digging I discovered that openness is a concept characterized by putting weight on transparency and freedom, unrestricted access to knowledge and information, especially in this day and age on the internet as well as collaborative or cooperative management and decision-making rather than a central authority. [1] As a Digital Humanities student, I believe openness on the internet encompasses many of our goals.

Between Moravec’s (digital humanity activist) acclaimed writing in public project and Swartz’s (a pioneer of open internet access and recognized as a martyr to some) development of creative commons as an attempt to open the knowledge of the internet up to the public, it is obvious to see technological developments have changed the way we learn. Despite these attempts however, still the collective works of the human race are stored on the internet with only a select few currently able to access them.

From Patrick O’Toole’s Twessay (c) “Transparency of data is the key to empowering governments & citizens on a global scale” to this, I discovered that the publishers, like Elsevier are making up to a $1.1 billion profit (2012) and are exploiting the original writers. How are they doing this? Well in the words of Samuel Gershman [2] “When I published these papers in Elsevier journals, I was required to hand over the copyrights”. Not only does this bar knowledge behind paywalls only universities or other huge institutions have a chance to afford buying information from, the original writers never see a penny of the profit.

Also from Arlene Murray’s Twessay (b) “Pay walling pioneering research is immoral” and I honestly could not agree with her more. So, with all this working against openness in our modern era, what can we do to tear down these “pay-walls” ? Well, Swartz made a huge attempt when he created Creative Commons, a way of easily sharing copyrighted work. While this greatly helps modern works, it does not help us with all the knowledge already hidden beneath restrictions.

Swartz, as some type of last stand against this moral injustice worth a guerrilla manifesto [3] urging people to share any information they could. He states how piracy in this regard is not really immoral, in face it’s a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let the human race have access to our collaborative knowledge base.

From Andrew Wiggins’ Twessay (d) “Openness to me is the idea of unrestricted access to knowledge and no one body in charge of it,more of a cooperative structure” – So does openness actually exist in today’s world or is it just a hopeful ideal long dead because of corporate greed? Well, if one was to give just a cursory glance, then no, openness on the internet is long dead and the corrupt corporations stand victorious.

However, if one were to really search deep and uncover the “underground” revolution online, we would see it is possible to find academic sources on the web. I’m not even sure if I should mention it here on my blog for fear of the sites being taken down but http://gen.lib.rus.ec/ and http://www.academictorrents.com/ have made well over 12.27 Terabytes of academic data available to the public eye. So to all readers of this post, know that there is a mutiny taking place, we will one day soon overthrow the tyrannical likes of Elsevier and Jstor.

In Swartz words “At the end of the day, we have an economy that works for the rich by cheating the poor, and unequal schools are the result of that, not the cause.” We need to band together as community and together we will make the internet open access to everyone in the world, just as it was originally intended to be – to communicate with and share computer resources. [4]

I believe I’ve said all I can on this topic, together we will need to work together to achieve true openness on the internet, so work hard my friends! Until next time, this stream is going offline.

References :
Twessays Referenced :
Andrew Douglas (a), Arlene Murray (b) , Patrick O’Toole (c) , Andrew Wiggins (d)

[1] Michael A. Peters ; The Idea of Openness : Open Education and Education for Openness – http://eepat.net/doku.php?id=open_education_and_education_for_openness
[2] Samuel Gershman : The Exploitative Economics of Academic Publishing – http://footnote1.com/the-exploitative-economics-of-academic-publishing/
[3] Aaron Swartz Guerrilla Manifesto : https://archive.org/stream/GuerillaOpenAccessManifesto/Goamjuly2008_djvu.txt
[4] Arpanet Definition : http://searchnetworking.techtarget.com/definition/ARPANET

On The Topic Of Openness