All posts by michaellewebsite

Blog # 7

Separation is a very interesting interactive poem. I really enjoyed the poem. In the beginning , the poem started slowly as I read the words and did the exercises suggested. The words started to come faster toward the end, and some of the sentences were longer. I found the exercises relaxing and enjoyable. The type of exercises that would be helpful after a long day sitting behind a desk. In the beginning, the poem was slow and the exercises as well because you started by opening your mouth. I went back to read the poem at a faster pace and the message that I got was  ” I don’t have the right attitude in front of the computer” whereas when I was reading at a slower pace, I was able to get to all the exercises without any difficulty. I was wondering why the background was yellow because it is not the most calming color, blue is instead: but I read that yellow stands for freshness, happiness and positivity.  It would insinuate that after a long day on the computer, yellow would be the perfect color to separate from the machine since it evokes energy, freshness and happiness.

bunch of yellow banana


Blog # 6

High Muck Muck : Playing Chinese, this is a very moving electronic literature piece. It is an interactive poem, it talks about the difficulties that Chinese immigrants encountered while leaving in Canada. The story starts with those words written in  Chinese and translated in English: ” Take a gamble and immigrate…lottery card” Then the reader moves the mouse on the word “enter” to start playing. It was emotional for me to go through this beautiful piece, being an immigrant myself and having experienced some of the same prejudices; whether it was by my own people or others. I can relate. The pictures, the poems, the music contributed in making the story real and keeping it alive.

closeup photo of brown and black wooden houses digital wallpaper

Blog # 5


Before this class, I did not know or I had not heard anything about BOTS or maybe not. I was happy to learn something new in class and I thought it was amazing. As I started to research on the internet about BOTS, I realized  that the concept is not new.

photo of white and brown cardboard box toy figure
Photo by Matan Segev on

The robotics messages that I have been getting on social media. Those insane calls, emails that are almost inhumane. Most people do not know about the term BOTS,  but we all have been exposed to it at some point. It was enlightening that someone chose that topic.


Twelve Blue by Michael Joyce is a hypertext story of murder and drowning. There are different stories.  There is a story line with eight different numbers ranging from 1-8. In the beginning, the story starts with a sort of romance between a girl and a man then the reader has to leave the first story to get to the story line. The story is mostly written in blue but there are other colors on the left side of the story line. There is some type of connection between every character in the piece. As Jessica Pressman describes it in her article “Navigating Electronic Literature”, the navigation is part of reading an electronic literature piece. The reader, not only read the piece like it is done in regular literature, but interacts with the piece. Personally, I think, it gives the reader more control to scan what is more important for he or she to read.



Blog #3

The Death of Videogames

This is a hypertextual game about social justice. The music is typical of a video game sound but at some point change to one of George Michael’s song. The music change several time. The colors are bright: green, magenta, yellow, and the background is black which is probably space, since the game is apparently on a spaceship. In the beginning of the game, I clicked on the link “Put your make up”. It took me by surprise when it said to draw an eyeliner mustache on your upper lip. Then I realize later on that the characters were neither male or female. I did some research on the game and I found out the term was “gender fluid”. This piece talks about a lot of stereotypes, and phobias about queer and bathroom and sequences. The terms mysogynerds, their divisions into the ruling class “men”, and the slave class ” Women”. This game, although fiction, makes you think more about the treatment of women in society or at least how they are portrayed. At that point, I could hear the point of some feminists in the game. It is a very interesting piece.


It is a flash poem and a collaborative work between Ingrid Ankerson an Megan Sapnar. It is about a teenager’s favorite time  “cruising” in a small town in Wisconsin looking for love. Ingrid Ankerson is a graphic designer and a full-time faculty  in the Digital media Arts Department of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Megan Sapnar is an assistant professor in Communication Studies at the University of Michigan. They both live in Michigan with their two kids.

There is a lot of interaction between the reader and the text on the screen. The reader controls the speed of the pictures with the mouse. You can go up and down to change the size of the screen and right or left for the direction of the cars. It is like a driving a car and the reader is at the wheel. The viewer can zoom the picture in and out to match the text and the pictures. The only thing that is fixed is the speed at which the narrator reads the poem. There is a relation between the text and the images. The music in the background is suiting, The sound of a guitar while the narrator reads the poem makes the experience of driving a car exciting. My experience of “cruising” as a young adult was amazing, with my windows down, music blasting on the sound of  ” Un-Break My Heart” by Tony Braxton.

Cruising 2Cruising 1

My idea of cruising nowadays  is driving slowly through the streets, admiring the neighborhood, the beautiful architecture, checking on the new houses and sometimes go to  a scenic ride to see the cherry blossom, but not looking for love. I think that can be exciting, I imagine the writer fixing her hair in the mirror, putting on lipstick. Some of the simple things that girls do  in the car to improve their look. Personally, I always have my lipstick and a comb in my bag and apply my makeup up in the car. It is all fun, “a girl gotta look good”.  All said aside, what is cruising? “Cruising“, according to the Cambridge English Dictionary can have different meaning. a) travel at a constant speed. b) travel for pleasure on a  large ship, but cruising can have a different definition. According to, the term “cruising”, in the United States, was predominantly used to denote exclusively homosexual behavior. The term is used when technology is used to find casual sex such as using internet site or telephone service. One can only speculate on the intention of the writer about  the title. Are the characters, two teenagers who are just looking for love or is it something more to it?  This is  just a simple highlight on other meanings of the word that some people may not know.

Driving in a car can be a wonderful experience or maybe not. I find it most of the time suiting when I am driving alone. I like to listen to soft music, classic music,  and gospel music. Sometimes, I might listen to the latest songs. It is usually what I feel for  at that moment, what my mood is. Driving is not exciting when I am stuck in traffics.

Some critics said that the software used by the writers  is outdated, and that is is difficult to navigate through the poem. It  was personally difficult to control the speed of the pictures, to zoom the words in and out, but I never said I was a good driver. the poem was short but the reader could go on over and over.

I wonder what cruising  was like in the time of Ankerson and Sapnar. The poem was published in 2001, the pictures are outdated, mostly in black and white and the cars are outdated as well. Cruising in a small town of Wisconsin is probably something that teenagers did at that time, looking for love. On her site at CultureNet @CapilanoU, Megan Sapnar said that the poem is more than a flash poem or anything that the readers describes it. The poem was created with the concept to blur categories. It is more complex then we think. The poem was originally a love poem with an open-ended conclusion where a teenager was driving with someone she loves, but they wanted more interaction between the reader and the text, and they added the activity of driving in which; words and theme become connected. One of the recurrent theme of the poem is struggle and it is something that I did not realize until I read the Writer’s blog. The theme is embedded in the poem. The author describes the struggle to navigate through the text. She compares it to the struggle of adolescence, the struggle of learning to drive, learning to read, learning to control the speed on the poem, the size of the text. Struggles, the stuff that life is made of.   The struggle for some people to survive, the struggle for others to succeed or perhaps my struggle in this digital world, to get this presentation ready. We all struggle in life.

In the end, the poem is just not about cruising, but about the struggle we face in our everyday life, how we get behind the wheel and control the speed of thinks. It is about how we take charge. By creating this  “reactive/non linear/time-based/spoken word/interactive/new media poem” Ankerson and Sapnar put the readers at the wheel and therefore allow them to add their own spin or meaning to the poem. Personally, this poem that I chose randomly represents my journey to Elitclass.



Blog #2

Icarus story consists of blocks of colors: blue, orange, green and red. Icarus is in a dream and have to find different objects to move from room to room. The objects range from keys, rope, five peaches, etc. and his girlfriend apparently is in a dream as well. It is a lot of interaction with the arrows and mostly one character Icarus. The music in the background is somewhat soft, typical for a video game. Icarus walks from block to block whether it is to go to another room or upstairs, downstairs. I did not understand the game, but then I read online that a lot of people like it. Maybe, I need to learn how to play video game. I was mostly concern about the color change in the game. I think the blue is probably the state of mine that the character was, maybe he is sad, maybe he is having some issues with his girlfriend. The green, they usually say it means hope. Maybe Icarus hope things get better with is girlfriend. The color orange, I am not sure about the meaning but I look forward to hearing the class on it.

With those we love alive

blog 1

For Those We Love Alive is a very interesting piece. First, I thought about the name, I wonder if it was an irony because the peace is so dark. Even the colors are sad: purple, black, blue, white. Although the last one is not really a sad one. It is a fantasy game, and the main characters are: the empress and you, the person who plays the game. The empress does not seem to be a person. It appears as a dark and monstrous character. The minute you start the game, you have those two characters: “<3”, I wonder what they stand for, and I can’t wait to hear what my classmates will come up with. In the beginning, you choose your element and your eyes color, and the month you were born, and you are given a  name, then you start exploring the castle. No matter what you do, whether you go to the garden, the balcony or your chamber, you ended up going to the same place over and over. It is almost like a web. You can explore the castle or you can exit, either way you have to exit. when I chose my birth month, my name was Cadence Janet. I exited. Then, I changed my birth month to see if there would be a different outcome, my name was Sparma Umgloss but my options were the same, except the color was different but still dark. This game, personally can be perceived as the cycle of life. We grow up, go to school, get a job, have fun sometimes, and then we all die.  There are not too many options in life. the game is sort of a reference of life, a negative one. As some people my perceive life as dark, violent and boring, even cruel, depending on their experience. There are variations in the way we live but overall it is similar. Another theme that I got from this fantasy game is that, we are not the master of our destiny.  In the whole scheme, we seem to be some puppets. The empress is like the  higher power which is not a positive one, and the player represents humanity.