All posts by Andaiye Hall

Blog 11: The last blog: With Those We Love Alive and The Cape

Blog 11: The last blog: With Those We Love and The Cape
By Andaiye Hall

I found The Cape to be completely uninteresting. The black and white stood out to me but in the way that it was completely not engaging for me. It didn't captivate me as well as other pieces have managed to do for me. I think I'm really stuck in my way of how e-lit is supposed to be. Nevertheless, the author did do a variety of unique things to capture the general reader's interest. She had pictures that would appear out of thin air and audio files that would randomly play where she saw fit to place them.

I did like the other piece With Those We Love Alive predominantly a lot more than the rest of The Cape. I had explored this piece before and was confused at where it ended. During this revisit, I was still confused and stop at the same place I stopped before. It was a little personal when you were given some choices. I wondered if you chose a different b-day if your experience would change. I thought that if everyone would see something different, that would have been a lot for the author to have written. Even though this piece was simple it still had the key elements of music and color. These are what are very important to in terms of what I think e-lit can be. I want to turn to e-lit for the authors help in how to view the story and possibly hear the authors voice or what the author wants me to hear when I read his or her piece.

It's been a fantastic semester learning about this new branch of literature which isn't that new but I'll save the rest of my thoughts for my self evaluation.

Blog 10: On Sooth and Separation

On Sooth and Separation 
By Andaiye Hall 


     After being blown away by so many e-lit pieces in the semester, these pieces didn't have that big of an impact on me. They were cool and unique but I felt a little disappointed. I understand that not everyone has the same technical skills amongst the e-lit community but I felt there was a lack of variety. Nothing was excitingly hidden from the reader as far as I was aware.

    The Sooth piece did however present poetry in a very interesting way that isn't common but I've seen more unique things done in poetry than this one had. The background clips and color changes were cool along with the words bouncing around to a certain extent. Unfortunately, I couldn't really fully interpret the meaning behind the clips and the poems. The one on weeds especially. Maybe there's just too much going on at once for my brain to personally process. A lot of the times the words would block the ones I was trying to read. I like to revisit things at my own pace and this didn't afford me that opportunity. When I would try to reread the whole poem from the beginning more words would appear sequentially and they'd move all over the place. For me personally it's annoying to read words that are floating in every direction and into each other. I think the author could have decided them to stop after the whole poem is presented to the reader instead of it replaying. That music was creepy to me and definitely not "soothing" at all for me.


    In the beginning of the semester I explored Separation so this was a second visit. I actually forgot you had to press the screen to start and thought something was wrong with the piece this time. The first time I was really into it. This time I did it just  to get it done so of course I was told I don't know how to work with a computer or whatever that pop up said. I thought that the clicking part was sooo annoying. Click. Click. Click. I got paranoid that my laptop touch pad would stop working from those a zillion clicks. I've got to say the way the exercises were designed were awesome since I wouldn't know how to do it. I totally would assume it took some serious effort unless their an expert. It showed you the moving woman and the time going as you should be moving along with it.

Blog #9:A Hobo Lobo Adventure

A Hobo Lobo Adventure
By Andaiye Hall

I really want to thank Katherine for choosing such an awesome piece. I found this literature piece to be a source of escape during a fast approaching end to the semester. During my first exploration of all the e-lit volumes, I completely ignored this piece most likely because the name sounded nonsensical to me. It just sounded silly but this piece actually went above and beyond my expectations. When I first began reading this piece, I thought oh, boy another piece with no music. However, this e-lit piece I later discovered wasn’t as predictable as I thought. I found myself taking notes all over the place as I would continually be surprised at how good it actually turned out to be. I decided to check up on some words that I wasn't familiar with. According to Google, a hamlet is a small settlement generally one smaller than a village. I also looked up the meanings of hobo and lobo as well. According to Google, a hobo is a homeless person and a lobo is a timber wolf. This is exactly the description of the main character that we are shown. His name is exactly who he is.

Before I actually began reading the piece I explored all the extra stuff on the page like clicking the “?” and the extra notes in the corners of the piece. I thought the site for the author was really creative and cool as well. When I began reading this piece I felt inclined to read the story out loud for some reason.

I believe that author narration would have been really helpful in this piece. On the other hand I still loved the silence. As they say silence speaks louder than words. The transitions were very surprising and eye catching as well.

With the bouncing, sliding and moving, the popups were so reader interactive. Thus this became a dominant contributing factor into why I loved this piece so much. Hobo Lobo was visually captivating and keeps readers interest throughout the storyline.

I also felt like this piece was hilarious. There were times when I was shaking my head like "yes, this piece is so awesome!" At one point when the mayor went to see a psychic I was wondering where did the psychic come from.

At one point I thought that the author may have a vendetta against religious people when the mayor turned the removal of the rats into something solely based on the Divine. I think there is nothing wrong with thanking the Divine for a blessing but you should also thank the person God used to do so and you must keep your promises. It seems like the author was trying to explore criticizing hypocritical religious people. In my opinion I just hated that innuendo that I picked up on but that all religious people are just self-righteous.

I attempted to understand all the pictures. When I saw the radio talk show host with many eyes, I saw it as a symbolism of someone who gets their information from many sources (i.e. other people in addition to themselves.) The part with the KoolAid having a note on the poster was funny. (had a screenshot of that part but I guess I never saved it:/ ) When the music began on one of the slide I found it enjoying and it helped me relax for some strange reason. It slowly became annoying as the music became full of horror. I was creeped out a little and very shocked. When the Hobo barged in on the mayor and the mayor was butt naked, I got the feeling that truth was going to be revealed.

This piece gets better as you proceed in the piece. I really wonder how the creator produced this.Where the author did add in music and sound effects were very complimentary in their placement. It had alot of symbolism in it too. I thought that this piece was kid friendly until I saw cursing and how the rats were actually "coked up." I was shocked and disappointed but I’m in love with this piece and can’t wait for the rest of it to be finished. When someone explores this piece for the first time, I would tell them to Expect The Unexpected.

Blog #8: Checking out First Draft of the Revolution

Checking out First Draft of the Revolution
By Andaiye Hall

Upon first opening the e-lit piece I was surprised when I got no music in the background. I immediately checked my sound. I guess I have preconceived notions based on the e-lit pieces that we have read this far. All e-lit pieces should have animations, music, pictures (videos) and more than just words. I liked how the first page was actually like a real book. Once I started reading, I immediately wondered how long the piece was going to be. I considered this e-lit piece to be really simple and bland from what I read through. There weren't a lot of things going on to keep my interest especially without the other types of e-lit that we have read. It was pretty much like a typical book except you would be apart of the writer/author in the story.

When I got to the first draft, I thought that this was the last page of the story. Once I clicked the first bold sentence(s), I assumed that it was my choice on how I wanted to send my letter. I tried fixing all according to how I wanted it to be and when I clicked everything nothing happened. I did notice after certain clicks I couldn't go back using a click to the previous version. I didn't try pressing the previous button though. I saw no instructions saying edit all of the letter to continue. I feel like I truly experienced just working with the first draft and I liked the pop ups with how the narrator was thinking.

In terms of design, it kind of reminded me of my PowerPoint produced e-literature. Mine does have alot more things to catch the readers interest and actually keep it. I think it's so important when authors produce e-lit they make sure to actually utilize most if not all the tools provided in this format. I think this reading kind of fails to keep interest for people who are mostly visual.

Blog #7: On Visiting Thermophile Land

On Visiting Thermophile Land
By Andaiye Hall

This was completely awesome to take part in especially now that we are all adults. This allowed us to use our imagination like we did when we were children. I really got the sense that kids could enjoy this type of game but the thing is the internet is really dangerous. We would have make sure all users are actually children and not pedophiles.

I first interacted with the piece in class. Until I read the directions I was pretty much lost. A part of me felt like the directions for day 1, day 2 and etc needed to be followed completely for the correct experience. With all the other stuff I needed to do for other classes, Theophile land drifted away from memory soon after class. I had created an account and the rest of it was up to me. There were no acidoquiloniusA we miss you-come back messages in my phone or newsletters talking about this whole other world. No one was telling me come back to Thermophile Land. I was just MIA and noone cared. A lost thermophile drifted away at sea. Finally that lost thermophile made its way back and came home. After finally fulfilling my worldly duties, once I arrived I had one notification from another acido about how our pre-date night was. I quickly read the directions and "contradict" stood out. I reread the persons one over and over again. I felt like speaking correctly would be out of character. It was like I needed to think like this thermophile and I wasn't sure how to. I followed suit off of the other acidos I read and came up with madeup words that sounded real for this fictitious place.

As much as I tried to leave myself behind as a human, my personality still followed into my experience as a thermophile. I never consulted my gender description acido because I don't believe a gender can really describe who you are inside in this world or another world. I knew I was being myself. However I saw other thermophiles stuck to the book so to speak.

Overall this piece of netprov was pretty fun and I enjoyed working with the other students. I felt extra cautious to get into any argument or fight with any of the other thermophile people because I knew they're human just like I am. I kind of wanted to know who everyone partaking in it was and I guess some of them I will never know. I look forward to working with more netprov in the future.

Blog #6 This Is How You Will Die Review

I thought that this week’s e-lit piece was the spookiest out of all the ones that I explored already. I thought that the background music on this piece was extremely creepy. It gave the piece a gloomy and unsettling feeling. I was unsure of what to press in the piece at first. Then I explored the tabs: demise credits, explain death and death spin. At first I didn’t understand the instructions.

When I pressed the tab that said explain death, I couldn’t understand the poem that was written. If someone else could explain it, I would be truly surprised. Now that I think about it, the explanation might not have been there to actually give an explanation. Instead, it promotes the idea that we don’t know what death is. It just happens. People may try to explain death to us but it still doesn’t make sense to us.
When I pressed the demise credits tab and it said you need at least 10. I wasn’t sure what it meant at first. I wasn’t sure if that meant 10 spins or cards adding up to ten.
I could press either one of the numbers that pop up for me. I wasn’t sure where there would lead based on previous experiences in e-lit. They brought up relatively short videos with words on images. I had to keep reading the notes during the videos but still couldn’t piece them into a story. There were just random stories about how the narrator understood people’s death and he sounded really creepy. In my opinion, he kind of sounds like high, drunk or perhaps psychotic person telling a story. He wasn’t speaking to actually make sense to the readers. That could also add to what the story is about. This could possibly be a piece to show how people with mental issues view death.
I couldn’t come to any concrete understanding of what was trying to be promoted. I tried to frame the disoriented parts into a story with meaning and it still made no sense. The eerie, spooky and haunting voice of the reader stood out to me. I could also press death spin again. When the frames around the game changed I couldn’t interpret them. I would also notice some extra sentences that could come up in another spin.
As I continued playing I wondered, how do I know that I’m done. I can’t really see it coming. When the man kept saying “when you die you die,” his tone reminded me of a horror film.

My story ended when I spun 7 and that was the end. There was no big sign on the screen saying The End. There was no solid reason. I just already knew it would be coming. I just didn’t know the reason other than I spun less than 10. Instead of spinning less than 10 in life to end up dead, we just have to keep living and mess with the wrong substances, wrong crowds among other things.
Even though we may hear about how someone died or why they died but we never really understand it. The game is almost like a game of life itself. In the game, you keep playing and playing and then you’re suddenly dead. In life, you keep living and living and then you’re suddenly dead. All it takes is one wrong move. That provides me with such a grim outlook and this is why I would stay away from a piece of e-lit like this. It provokes uncomfortable feelings of sadness and despair inside me. Even though I believe in God, I’d rather not think about these things. I prefer to focus on the joy, happiness, love and abundance in living than worry about the grim reaper.
Key Questions:
1.      Could the author play with the idea of implementing the end of the game when the player doesn’t finish at a certain time? A timer could be at the top of the screen. Screen could go completely
2.      What provoked the author to do an e-lit piece like this?
Definitely not a piece that I want to model mine after.

Blog # 5: Review of Pieces of Herself

 


The first time I explored this piece was at the beginning of the semester. I found it to be a lot less enjoyable than my other readings. Although some of the other readings lacked the traditional beginning, middle and end, most of them still contained a story. Pieces of Herself has the reader do alot more self interpretation about the piece. The strongest part of the piece is when the beginning states "her friends said she needed to "find" herself. And sure enough, when she started looking, she found pieces of herself everywhere."

When I first went through the story, I felt just thrown in and just started moving things around. I thought it was pretty cool that I could drop the things on the figure but I expected a particular design and for everything to fit at once. I guess that's like my experience reading e-lit. I have been taking pieces and interpreting them piece by piece and determining how they connect with each other.

Upon a second walk through, I noticed that there are actually instructions at the bottom on how to play and it states its a game. I am not sure if I noticed that the first time but nevertheless it helps to know that. I think the voice and music were really random. Sometimes if you pressed one thing and then moved around a little and then you wouldn't hear her properly because of layered noises. At one point I pressed the apple and a preacher was telling the story of Adam and Eve and I moved my screen over to the truck and a loud song started playing and I could no longer hear the preacher. I kept looking for signs I'm on the right track and didn't leave anything behind.

Sometimes I liked the little parts of songs that would play. I had to download All I have to do is dream by Everly Brothers after playing the game. I felt at times I needed patience to make sure I heard everything an item may contribute to the story. I especially couldn't continue once I heard a song playing. Sometimes the multiple noises were annoying.

The piece reminded me about a discussion that was held in one of my classes. Basically, we talked about how we have so many roles as human beings and we have to continuously adopt all the time. In this walkthrough experience I could hear the previous things I had pressed-the frog making noises and water dropping. Even though I couldn't hear the author talking anymore I still could remember all the things she has floating around in her body as she travels different places. I think this would make a nice short film. The funniest part to me was the one boob on the building and how she spoke about cleavage. Once you finished,that was it. I didn't really like that but that's a common thing in e-lit.
Here's my finished figure below:


Blog 4: Checking out Inanimate Alice 4


This was a second revisit of Inanimate Alice Episode 4 for me. When I was exploring Volume 1 at the beginning of the semester, I found Inanimate Alice Episode 1. I immediately loved it right away. In fact, I almost chose to do my presentation on it but I thought that episode was too short. It made me want to watch the entire series and I was able to watch all except Episode 5.

I feel like Inanimate Alice is not only kid friendly but is also very adult friendly. Instead of the story going at its pace, you can finish read before continuing. Unlike my issues with some of the other e-lit texts, I am able to actually read and then click the next button to move forward at my own piece. Just because I may continue slowly doesn't mean the music stops. It repeats until I proceed. It had a movie like intro and I knew it was going to be absolutely good. I have to say though I love it very much, the beeping and static follows in every episode I don't like that part. It's a little distracting for me. The beeping reminds me of the sounds of the old internet dial up connection. The static reminds me of how our TV's used to have a annoying static sounds in the background.

The picture backgrounds were very unique and really added to the storytelling aspect of the text. It's really interesting how the designer chose not to use any voices and decided to only incorporate music and dramatic sounds. It worked really well to help me get a feel of the story.

The hands were pretty interesting in this episode. The hands would point to different sections of the story. On the right side of the screen you had a table of contents. I wanted to keep reading and was really into it. At a certain point you can either continue reading the text or play it as a game. The first time I pressed continue reading. The walk through was very long. When I went back and I chose play it as a game, it was long as well. During both times, I really began to sympathize with Alice and feel that I would be scared if I were in her shoes. God knows who or what lies in abandon building that no one should be in. This was a really great e-lit piece and I'm so glad that I am getting to explore this whole new territory of e-lit texts.

Exploring this piece again really gets me thinking about my own e-lit piece. I think this is a good model for my own. I already have music in mind. I can let pictures and music do the storytelling in my piece as well.

Blog #3 Interpreting High Muck a Muck

Immediately when I was aware that I had to read High Muck a Muck, I thought it had a funny name. That was one of the reasons I personally would not even open up the piece to find out more. It almost sounded nonsensical. Muck a Muck could be a person but hi isn't spelled right. I just decided to Google what it means and here's what came up.



Being that this was in Volume 3, it was a little different in opening the text as I previously experienced in the other volumes. Some of the texts from Volume 3 wouldn't open on my laptop because of software that I don't have or because I don't have a MAC. Instead of being taken right to the piece after pressing begin, you have to chose WORK WEBSITEBEGIN and WORK VIDEO. Pressing WORK WEBSITE allows you to go to a website that allows you start the story by pressing ENTER but gives you a slightly unique experience. Pressing BEGIN takes you to a non website page where you can also press ENTER. Pressing WORK VIDEO allows you to be guided through the text through the experience of a previous user.

When I first opened it I noticed the background reminded me of one of the Mahjong game backgrounds that I have seen on my computer. In the computer game you have to match two pieces accurately from top to bottom. Sometimes its tricky since some designs look similar to others but eventually you do get to the bottom. You have to analyze closely and be patient. According to Wikipedia, Mahjong is a Chinese game that originated during the Qing dynasty and uses skill, strategy and calculation and involves a degree of chance.

When I was navigating High Muck a Muck, I had to restart from the beginning several times. The first time I started the words moved so fast that I missed certain sentences. I felt I had to read all of them otherwise I would miss some important part of the story. Once I did read the sentences, I was confused as to what every part meant like the green spot eight spot. On one occasion I returned here to comment and I came back to the body part of a human already on the screen but had left a small square with Chinese letters. At one point the music came on and the yin yang symbol was up saying loading. I thought maybe I did something wrong. Nevertheless, I continued on from there. I pressed the square with chinese letters and clicked the about section. Once I read it, I pressed the back arrow again and began the journey. I started at the top with Everywhere and Nowhere. I thought that the art was amazing and the sound effects were brilliant. I tried my best to interpret the art and wasn't very successful. I thought it could symbolize the map but the human body didn't fit in with that. I did think that the chunk that had drifted apart from the body looked fascinating.

I thought that it was interesting to be zooming in on the Chinese man's eye. I felt impatient yet obligated to keep watching and was also afraid what I'd see when it continued to zoom in.I got a little creeped out when it was zooming around because I didn't know if it was going to be a corpse's eye then. I couldn't see eyelashes and the skin looked really pale. I was surprised when it turned out to be a baby. The text was a little unpredictable on the parts I went on. I clicked on one area and  I saw a video and then sometimes I would see floating text and a poem appeared another time.
I liked this text and I am getting even more accustomed to the variety e-lit allows.


Blog 2: A Review of Tailspin



Andaiye Hall
Prof Mia Zamora
English 5081 Intro to Electronic Literature
September 27, 2016
A Review of Tailspin

As you begin the story, there is a slow and sudden appearance of the title. You see a diagram of what the inner ear looks like briefly displayed on the background. Then you see a series of revolving spirals. You hear a consistent heart beating along with a spooky musical tone at the same time. You also hear a banging of dishes. As you press each spiral, you see a few sentences along with a moving image and additional noises that corresponds to that part of the story.
Personally the background noises gave me a comforting feeling. It probably helped me connect with the old man’s situation and helped me remember I’m alive. If you look closely at the bottom part of the screen you see a circle that has a fraction shaded in. The more pages you go through, the more complete the circle becomes. When you can go to the next page a blue spiral appears to let you know to continue reading.
In comparison to the other e-lit texts we have read, it is pretty limited in hidden areas and extra portals. Even though it is relatively simple in design, it still is highly unique. On certain pages the background looks like the sky. The completion of the circle symbolizes for me the end of the old man’s life and the heart will eventually stop beating. The last thing that you can press is a red spiral. On the last page of the reading, there is a picture of what resembles an old fashioned disco player. It perhaps symbolizes the main character holding on to the past. The disco isn’t playing any music just his own imaginings. The sentence “hang onto deafness for dear life.”  It’s the last on the screen.
Upon doing some brief research, I discovered that some saw this e-lit text as an example of e-lit poetry. I was instantly astonished because I didn’t see it that way. I only saw it as an actual piece of literature to read. I saw no signs of it being poetic. The spirals to me were just parts of a short story.
The old man is described as having tinnitus and partial deafness. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, tinnitus is “a condition that causes you to hear ringing or roaring sounds that only you can hear.” Upon further consideration, one can immediately sympathize with the main character. He is hearing actual noises from his grandchildren with annoying sounds that are coming from his own head. Everyone knows that children can make a lot of noise while playing together. I can only imagine how annoying the two sounds can be in unison.
I consider this piece to be interactive fiction. You get to press different areas of the texts in any order you want. You see visuals pop up and audio effects change according to the page and the spiral.
I absolutely love this piece more than the others I have read for some reason. All the craziness of the text makes it feel and look so realistic to the reader. I think even kids can read this text and have fun exploring through the reading. I definitely look forward to exploring more e-lit texts from Christine Wilks in the future.