Icarus Needs

First, I would like to announce that I managed to complete Icarus Needs on my first try! I am very proud of myself because I’ve had some difficulties navigating some of the elit pieces. For instance, With Those We Alive, I did not realize I had to “sleep” to move onto the next phase which made me little upset when we did the walkthrough in class. I thought I had made some progress on navigating elit, so it definitely felt like a setback…:(

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However, I saw Icarus Needs, I read the author’s statement and realized that I needed to complete some kind of mission. So, if the mission was not completed, I needed to figure my way around it and not completely give up. I had to figure out a few things, but I CONQUERED ICARUS NEEDS!

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I would like to do a walkthrough on how I navigated the piece which was pretty straightforward.

In the beginning, Icarus woke up or thought he woke up and realized that he was still in dreamland. On the screen, we already had our first mission on the left sidebar which told us, “Icarus Needs: To wake up.” I was not aware that it was part of the game until I noticed it added missions like finding the keys, etc. As I navigated, I noticed the right sidebar also had “In his Pocket”, which were the essentials Icarus needed for his mission to rescue Kit and to wake up from his dream.

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After completing the missions at the Corridor, I moved on to the next Location which was the Outdoors. The change of the Location also changed the color of the layout which was interesting.

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The colors were not random at all. It matched the location and the themes. For example, the author used orange and yellow undertones for the outdoors to signify the bright summer. The squirrels,  the apple tree, and the hot air balloon gave that those particular strips the summery theme to complement the “outdoor” location.  The color and the music choice for the Castle also worked well. It was not out of place. When I think of a castle, I death, blood, and all these horrible things. But the king was a squirrel which just melted my cold-blooded heart. I felt like the author was telling me that nothing horrible would happen in this castle, so just enjoy the journey and the squirrel 🙂

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Does this piece serve its purpose as an Electronic literature? I believe it does. It composes all the elements that would characterize it as such. The plot, the interactiveness, the music, the layout, etc. The way I navigated might have been different from how someone else might have done it, but we do reach the same end goal which is Icarus realizing it was just a pretty adventurous and good dream.

Overall, the is piece was very entertaining and I am very proud to have completed it!

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With Those We Love Alive

With Those We Alive. How do you come up with a title so beautiful yet so daunting? Before reading the piece and getting to know what it is about, the title got me thinking about what we perceive about those who are dead and those that are living. I can not speak for others, but whenever I do a project or write about someone based on a specific topic, I would usually choose a family member that has passed on. I would dedicate this piece of work to them and they would never receive them.

I would never think to dedicate a piece to those that are alive and I love very much. I am taking their companionship for granted. When they leave me, I will dedicate poems, stories, and handmade jewelry to them and they will never receive it. I am making something in honor of my two passed relatives and the title actually made me stop and think about the reason why I am making these things for them or in honor of them. It got me thinking really deeply and taking me to uncomfortable places I’ve been neglecting these past few years.

The title got really got me…..

The first few “pages” where the reader had the choice of selecting the birth month, eye color and element reminded me of those Tumblr posts where your birth month and birthday indicated that you were a character based on the premise of the chart.

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In this elit, you have the choice of choosing your birth month,  element and eye color which will generate a name for your journey. The first time I did this I was an artificer, but I wanted to know if picking a different birth month, element or eye color would change what my ‘talents’ were or if it would my change my journey in the palace.

Just like the title, the elit is very catching and colorful but very dark. We are presented with vibrant colors like blue and pink, but the content of the piece has death themes like the “Skull Empress.”

I read and I was very confused about the author’s intention. I read it again after reading the statement and I still struggled to find the connections between her intentions and the elit. So I am curious about what others think about the piece.

Facade:Reader/ Player

Facade was created by Micheal Mateas and Andrew Stern and published in 2005.

“Facade is an attempt to create a real-time 3D animated experience akin to being on stage
with two live actors who are motivated to make a dramatic situation happen. Instead of
providing the player with 40 to 60 hours of episodic action and exploration in a huge world, we want to design an experience that provides the player with 20 minutes of emotionally-intense, unified, dramatic action. ” This is taken from the dissertation, Facade: An Experiment in Building a Fully-Realized Interactive Drama, written by both the authors of the electronic literature. The intention behind the piece was  ” an attempt to find a capable middle ground between structured narrative and
simulation. ” I felt like I was a playing a version of the sims where the characters spoke a real language which in this case is English. But I was a co-author of the piece even though it is already programmed that way. I was reminded of our class discussions and I remember one of my classmates saying that “Readers are co-authors of electronic literature.” I believe that sentiment relates to this piece of works because we as the readers/players are trying to help this couple have a positive outcome.

Navigation

When you open Facade, the red curtains welcomes you like there is going to be a big show and right away you’re greeted with a phone call from one half of the couple, Trip, inviting you to come over for dinner. Right from the get-go, we know that this will be very different because Trip’s voice sounds like he is in big trouble and he is asking for your help. That is the introduction that is offered to the reader/player

The call is over and then we move to the next screen which is where the reader/player gets to choose their name and gender. There are options for the names and they are gender-based. For example, when you click the letter A, click the right arrow and you will get multiple options beginning with that specific letter. Some letters like Q did not have any names that began with it. So you might try your luck with another letter.

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You can go in as a man or a woman using the names that are already programmed into the system. After getting your preferred name and gender, you press enter and then you are brought to the front door of the couple’s home.

The keyboard is the main tool we can use to navigate the story. The pointer also guides us as we navigate different parts of the electronic literature. The arrows aid the reader and the player to navigate the apartment and the pointer helps us open things like the door and picking up a wine bottle or a glass.

Player/Reader

The first time I read the story, I was very confused about how to navigate the story. I closed out the window since that is the only way to restart.

I tried again a week later and it worked out perfectly. Happy face.

 The “happy” couple welcomed “Jane” with an argument. I answered any questions they asked like “How are you doing.”I was able to answer whatever they asked “Jane.” However, I did not say anything for a while which prompted in me being kicked out of the apartment since did not offer any insights into their marriage. Capture

The tried multiple times to get a different outcome but to no avail. Sad face. 

So I went to youtube and searched for Facade. The first thing that actually pops up is “How to actually win Facade.”How delightful.

Virtual reality games

When I was searching for more information about the Facade, I saw a lot of people referring it to it as a game rather than electronic literature. It is conceived as a virtual reality game more than electronic literature. I am not sure if it is because Elit is not as known or if people are more comfortable with it being in the same category as virtual reality games like the SIMS. The authors described it as an “interactive drama or fiction.” which goes hand to hand with the type of the Elit this falls into. Is it a game or an electronic literature? Are you the player or the reader?

Conclusion

As I looked over the piece, the question, “What is Electronic Literature?” came to mind. Is this considered as one? I believe it is, but wished it was “advertised” as an Elit rather than a game. Electronic Literature is awesome!

 

 

Give me some more Hobo Lobo!

Okay, I think Hobo Lobo of Hamelin is my favorite elit that I’ve read so far. I loved the story including the ending of page six (Don’t judge me….). I loved so many things about it that I don’t even know where to begin so I might as well list them.

  1. Navigation

After reading a few elit,  I have learned to click anything that is clickable on the screen. Never know where it might take you. Although this was very straightforward with the page numbers and the end and beginning tabs on top of the page, I was still curious about the question mark in the corner and the psst at the top. After satisfying my curiosity, I saw that they were the author’s notes which were even interesting to look at. It was not your typical author’s note, but I will not get into that.

After clicking everything, I realized that I was on the first page of the story(facepalm). After reading #1 of page 1, I clicked the sign(>) that indicated going on the next page. There was a quick movement, and then the next scene. I was baffled like, why did this move so fast. So I went back and forth a few times on the 1st and 2nd page to catch what was going on in scenes. I grasped everything and moved to #3 but instead of clicking on the screen I subconsciously used the arrows on my keyboard and noticed a difference in how the scenes changed. Navigating the story with the keyboard arrows helped capture the essence of the animation.

There were a few pages that a had slideshow to give more insight into what Hobo Lobo did as a “professional.” The pictures in the slideshow moved very fast, but there was a pause tab on the bottom which made it convenient and very easy to navigate.

 

2. The story

I felt like I was reading a fable filled with satire. It reminded me of Animal Farm by George Orwell and I guess that was part of the reason I liked it even more. The animation also played a huge role because it was well crafted and sometimes it had a lot going on and I believe the author wanted the audience to take it all in. I felt like a kid again reading this twisted story. The characters felt very familiar and believe that also played role in me liking this elit.  I felt like I was flipping through a book at some point, but then  I would get to some parts and then I’m like, no this is electronic literature and that is what makes it special. The traditional literature would not have you sitting a minute or two waiting to see what happens to about 20 children going inside a cave. This particular author had an image he wanted to convey and he did that beautifully through the animation.

I do consider this as literature just like the previous elit we read in the class. I see them as literature because I’m reading and interacting with it at the same time. If we based “literature” on textual contexts, we are never going to be able to move forward. I would recommend this type of literature to anyone who “hates” reading because I believe it offers more to the reader. There were not a lot of interactive elements like Reconstructing Mayakovsky or Twelve Blue, but I was able to read this and I was one with this elit.

P.S When are the other chapters/pages coming out? Asking for a friend……

Reconstructing Mayakovsky

I am pretty sure everyone started on the same page as I did reading Reconstructing Mayakovsky, but probably interpreted it differently because of the way we navigated the literature. I clicked the “BEGIN” button and the first things I saw was a cluster of dots that moved with just a small touch. The cluster rotated and moved up and down. The size of the text changed as I moved my mouse which was very interesting. There was also this irritating sound which made me scratch myself multiple times. I was reminded of televisions that have no signal.Image result for television off

 

After getting over the sound and myself, I hovered my mouse over the words and found that they were clickable, so clicked Theater to see where it would take me.

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I got to the screen above and it seems like an invitation. I mean who wouldn’t like an invitation to some audition asking you to striptease. I hovered my mouse over “LOVE”, “ART” and “RELOVUTION” expecting them to take me to another secret realm. I like calling them secrets because it feels like I am the only person who knows about this place. I know it’s not! Leave me alone to fantasize! Jeez!

Anyway, those three words were not hyperlinked, so I took my disappointment to the >download invitation button which directed me to a pdf page with actual invitations with information on them.ReconMaya2

At this point, I’m like okay, what’s going on? where am I? However, I was not “lost” as I was reading Twelve Blue. There was an actual correlation and I was not trying to rack my brain trying to figure out what was going on.

I read the invitations and went back to the page before this. Since there were no hypertexts, I went back to the original page by clicking the mechanisms tab. It took me back to the cluster of dots with texts. I clicked the movie tab which took me to a different page with a sort of propaganda video which pertained to the story. The voice of the narrator played a role. The story deals with a dystopia, so it definitely had that vibe going on. I started getting a sense of what the story was about, however, I did not want to dive too much into it since my classmate was going to go over it.

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I loved the whole idea of the Manifesto. The page had Rules of what made a dystopia. But what caught my attention was the printed version which is shown above. The paper definitely had more impact and I would love to hear more about that when Kelli goes over it in class.

I went through some other tabs including Audio Podcasts, which opened up to the same concept of rotation. But this rotation involved numbers which I presumed were the chapters of the story. When I hovered, the audio had a preview, but when I clicked on it, it actually had someone narrating the story. I also clicked Mechanisms B which also took me to a  different page with the same concept of rotation. But unlike the others, the background was red and it had titles, I clicked on the titles and it took me to the chapters. The format was very traditional.

Looking forward to what Kelli and Stephanie have installed for the class!

First Experience with Electronic Literature!

Electronic Literature was something I had never heard of before taking this #Elit course. Now that I have started learning more about it, it is very interesting and new. You can never turn away from discovering something new and exciting.

However, my real experience began with the first reading assignment. We had to read it for an hour and I will say that it was a struggle in the beginning. The reading was Twelve Blue  by Micheal Joyce. From the beginning, the color blue was a huge part of the whole premise of the literature. Personally, it was a distraction because the color was a too bright for me to be able to read. I will not go into that too much since that was not the point of the assignment. But I will go through the experience of reading what I will call part one since the story is kind of split into parts and I will also relate my experience to the article.

The main point of the article was navigating electronic Literature. When reading Twelve Blue, the component that made it electronic literature was the hypertext. While navigating, there were a lot of hyperlinks there were placed in different positions which I believe were the intentions of the author. Some of the pages had one link while some had five links which all worked. I also noticed that each of these links had their own titles. They appeared on the tab when I clicked the linked which was pretty interesting. Another thing I noted was that, when I clicked one of the links, the tab remained the same. it did not open a different tab. I  believe that was also deliberate because if a new tab had open every time I clicked the hyperlink, it would have ruined my reading experience.