“What’s Making Them Run Away?”: The Nintendo DS and the Casual Revolution

Jesper Juul argues in A Casual Revolution that “The stereotype of a casual player is the inverted image of the hardcore player: this player has a preference for positive and pleasant fictions, has played few video games, is willing to commit little time and few resources toward playing video games, and dislikes difficult games” (8). Juul goes on to relate modern casual video games to arcade games from the 1980s, such as Pac-Man, and ultimately posits that the Nintendo Wii played the biggest role in ushering in this casual ‘reinvention’ of gaming that exists today (2). Steven E. Jones and … Continue reading “What’s Making Them Run Away?”: The Nintendo DS and the Casual Revolution

Interactive Horror and Fake News: ‘Penny Dreadfuls’’ Movement into the Digital Age

  England in the nineteenth century was a city full of innovation and anxiety. Especially in large cities like London, Manchester and Liverpool, the industrial revolution brought on rapid technical and cultural change. England was faced with a rise in working-class and the poor conditions that came with working in factories, as well as an increase of crime and poverty throughout the cities. As Michael Anglo describes London in 1843: “It abounded with festering slums, refuse-covered streets and yards, where open sewers overflow, swirling over dead cats and dogs, cess-pools leaked into wells, and graveyards were full to bursting. Male … Continue reading Interactive Horror and Fake News: ‘Penny Dreadfuls’’ Movement into the Digital Age

Annotated Bibliography

Ito, M. (ed.) (2009). Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press. Retrieved from http://www.ebrary.com Do teenagers waste their time by using social media? No, according to a recent three-year study conducted by the MacArthur Foundation and led by Mary Ito.  Hanging Out, Messing Around and Geeking Out is a report by Prof. Ito and her 23 colleagues on the study and its key findings. This book fills a gap in research on teenage online behaviour. Rather than taking a negative technological deterministic view, the authors seek to understand how these tools improve the teenagers’ … Continue reading Annotated Bibliography

BEDTIME

BEDTIME is an interactive video experience that seeks to imitate bedtime rituals and our experiences with digital tools and media at large during restful periods. Taking up concepts from the digital humanities, the project asks its participants to consider the relationship between digital activities, distraction, and the necessity of sleep that is so often delayed by our engagements with the digital. The relationship between screen time and bedtime is constantly examined by scientists, but extended engagement with the digital is unavoidable for many professionals, students, and the population in general. By taking a light-heartened and aesthetic approach to the activities undertaken before falling asleep, the viewer of BEDTIME … Continue reading BEDTIME

What’s Your Research Story? An Online Exhibit About Crafting Digital Narratives As An Academic

What’s Your Research Story? An Online Exhibit About Crafting Digital Narratives As An Academic How can we use digital storytelling to craft narratives to promote our research as academics? Whether you’re a graduate student, researcher or professor, you’ve likely been asked this question: what exactly is your research about? Although public audiences might not always associate digital storytelling with academic research, it is, in fact, an effective medium to share what your research is about in a concise, engaging way. One of the key challenges with digital storytelling in academic research environments is being able to combine “cold” research data with a rich, compelling narrative (as the two are traditionally seen associated with two different spheres). … Continue reading What’s Your Research Story? An Online Exhibit About Crafting Digital Narratives As An Academic

The New Digital Storytelling, by Bryan Alexander

Alexander, Bryan. The New Digital Storytelling: Creating Narratives With New Media. Praeger, 2011. In The New Digital Storytelling, Alexander addresses academic, practitioner and public audiences, arguing that digital platforms are effective mediums for storytelling and can be used successfully for research, learning and reaching large audiences. In Part I, Alexander first addresses what he calls, “creators and would-be-practitioners,” giving insight into the different sectors of digital storytelling, such as web and social media storytelling and gaming. As well, in Part I of his book, Alexander begins by defining what constitutes  “storytelling” using digital mediums, giving a survey of the series of new platforms in which these … Continue reading The New Digital Storytelling, by Bryan Alexander

Malandia – An Exploration of Permanence, Consequence and Player Agency in Interactive Narrative Games

Malandia is a text-based interactive narrative that aims to explore ideas related to contemporary game theory. Before you read on, please play the game and then return to read more. (Disclaimer: This game requires an active internet connection. This game is best played with sound turned on.)   Malandia was conceived as a hands on exploration of contemporary issues related to game theory. In How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost writes “we can understand the relevance of a medium by looking at the variety of things it does” (3). In this case, he is making reference to exploring specific productions of a medium before passing judgement … Continue reading Malandia – An Exploration of Permanence, Consequence and Player Agency in Interactive Narrative Games

Having it the Player’s Way: (Sub)Way and the Illusion of Narrative Choice

https://itch.io/embed/63269?dark=true NOTE: (Sub)Way can be found at these links if the above embed is not working/down: http://www.philome.la/Daniel_Rosen/subway https://danielrosen.itch.io/subway In making (Sub)Way I learned a fairly important lesson about the way I perceive game design and the narrative possibility space of interactive fiction. Namely, that the smoke-and-mirrors effect of choice-based narrative design is not only necessary to making a game narrative function effectively in terms of interpreting player involvement, but that it is an inherent positive trait of interactive narratives. Games and narratives have a complicated relationship, particularly when it comes to authorial control over the narrative and the decisions made within it. The issue being there … Continue reading Having it the Player’s Way: (Sub)Way and the Illusion of Narrative Choice