ZZT, by Anna Anthropy

Anna Anthropy’s ZZT, part of the Boss Fight Books series, is something of a partner piece to her previous text, Rise of the Videogame Zinesters. It acts as a specific example of the game subcultures she outlines so thoroughly in the former. In fact, ZZT is a sort of case study. A hard example of how the possibilities within a game space can turn it into a tool of expression for players, be it personal, political or educational. She expresses her beliefs (and those of others, through interviews with both players and designers) that ZZT, an MS-DOS adventure game/level editor released in 1992 and developed by … Continue reading ZZT, by Anna Anthropy

Zine Culture and the Embodied Community of Rookie Mag

This research project analyzes the ways in which the online magazine Rookie utilizes material-based elements of zine culture in order to create an embodied community. The term “embodied community” is taken from Alison Piepmeier’s Girls Zines and it refers to the connections that are formed between zine creators and readers by materiality. A zine, in its existence as a handmade artifact, acts as a sort of mediator of human touch (Piepmeier calls it a “surrogate physical interaction” (59)), sharing human emotions through their physical traces. Such an embodied community opens up space for a participatory culture, to borrow the term from Henry Jenkins, because it encourages … Continue reading Zine Culture and the Embodied Community of Rookie Mag

Playing “Indians”: Indigenous Adventures in the Digital World

  Playing “Indians”: Indigenous Adventures in the Digital World “The truth about stories is that that’s all we are” – Thomas King “Stories are the key to the endless oratory, the teachings, and the knowledge of our people. It’s not all we are, but when we remember the story, the flood of knowledge locked behind it is let loose.” – Lee Maracle Whether one agrees with Thomas King’s proposition that stories habit us constantly, or Lee Maracle’s gentle rebuttal, which reminds us that stories need to be recalled and acknowledged to wield their power, there is little argument against their importance. No matter our culture or affiliations, stories … Continue reading Playing “Indians”: Indigenous Adventures in the Digital World

Principles of Multimedia Theory

The Multimedia Learning website is meant as a visual exploration of current design principles within the field of e-learning, and serves as a helpful guide in designing the most effective multimedia learning experiences possible. Images are presented in a DO/DON’T diptych similar to that employed by VICE, and are meant to contrast good multimedia learning design practices with bad ones. Principles are largely adapted from The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning, edited by Richard E. Mayer. Continue reading Principles of Multimedia Theory

Storytelling for Scholars, Activists and the Public

RE:Imagining Change is about using stories to “win campaigns, build movements, and change the world.” Written by Patrick Reinsborough and Doyle Canning, who are both co-founders of the Center for Story-Based Strategy in the U.S., they offer research, strategies, tactics, tools and real-world examples of successful social change campaigns. The mix of scholarly research, practical tips and fascinating case studies make this text useful and engaging for scholars, activists, and the general public.  On this page are three infographics, each one focused on those three target audiences. Each infographic offers the information and resources that will interest each audience the most. If you want to learn more, … Continue reading Storytelling for Scholars, Activists and the Public

Poetry in Play (PIP)

Poetry in Play (PIP)  Whether you are teaching or learning in or outside of the classroom, PIP is a resource for understanding poetry, literary terms, and the devices at play. Poetry is often the subject students approach with the most apprehension. We hope situating poetry in a more playful and interactive context will lessen students’ anxiety and build their confidence in their own analytical and close reading skills. Our mission is to provide students with the tools to find their own unique perspectives on poetry and to help them feel confident and excited about studying–the often dreaded unit–poetry. We hope our initiative inspires others to contribute … Continue reading Poetry in Play (PIP)

Women and Cultural Reproduction: Self-Representation as Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling encompasses a broad and crucial area of both cultural production and consumption. In Amy Shield Dobson’s Postfeminist Digital Cultures: Femininity, Social Media, and Self-Representation, young women are the active agents responsible for establishing and creating narratives in the media landscape—they are cultural producers. Using social networking sites as their blank page, these young women digitally reflect and experiment with their identities, participate in the creation and expression of others’, and contribute to the understanding of self-representation within gendered narratives of authorship and self-discovery. Dobson approaches these questions much like a scholar does humanities studies; using social, cultural, political, and historical contexts Dobson theorizes girlhood … Continue reading Women and Cultural Reproduction: Self-Representation as Digital Storytelling

Games as Electronic Literature: Storytelling in Video Games Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable

The relationship between stories and games is a central concern for ludologists, as made evident in the collection of essays entitled First Person: New Media as Story Performance and Game. Contention exists regarding the function and relevance of narrative in games, as several scholars claim games are under-theorized (Eskelinen 36). While digital games do not need to tell stories to be deemed worthy of analysis, many games are comprised of narrative aspects, thus blurring boundaries between forms, and can be studied as electronic literature (Jenkins 119). The technology of the digital game allows for innovative and interactive ways of utilizing narration, incorporating elements that are unavailable … Continue reading Games as Electronic Literature: Storytelling in Video Games Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable

Game-Player Interactions: Dualism of Motives and SIPI

       In her book Super Better, Jane McGonigal looks at the ways in which a game player can improve his or her own quality of life with a profound but simple change in perspective. McGonigal presents preconceived understandings about life and happiness, but in a new environment and with different tools. She looks at the effects of video game playing on the human condition, and how these effects diverge between two majors groups of people: those who want to play and those who need to play. Specifically, in chapter four, “You Can Make the Leap from Games to Gameful,” McGonigal describes how ones moves … Continue reading Game-Player Interactions: Dualism of Motives and SIPI

On the Landing: A Hypertext Narrative about Insomnia, Anxiety and Self-Care

Warning: There is a flashing image in this game that might be a hazard to those who are prone to epileptic seizures. In future versions of the game this image will only be a short intro. On the Landing on itch.io On the Landing started out as a short story I wrote for a creative writing class. It was chiefly concerned with how an individual dealing with anxiety finds their anxiety magnified when faced with indecision. As it is a short story that is set at night, I recently began exploring indecision and anxiety as it is related to insomnia. The piece is somewhat personal (hence … Continue reading On the Landing: A Hypertext Narrative about Insomnia, Anxiety and Self-Care