On “One-Star Reviews” and on #elit

When I first heard about the One-Star Reviews movement, I immediately began to think of bad things that I found merit in. This wasn’t a hard task — my favorite “getting to know someone” question is “what do your friends with ‘good taste’ hate that you like?” My answer is frozen vegetables straight from the bag.

So I began to make a list. I thought of chip crumbs and the kind of signature you get when your pen runs out of ink. The “buffering” symbol and mint flavored toothpicks. Finally I settled on something: these gloves that they sell in bins at Target. I began to write my post, constructing a persona that was a little bit like me but more so not. She was … more gregarious I’d say? I guess she’s still being built. But then I stopped — the words were flowing and I was having a blast, but I couldn’t finish; I still haven’t posted my response in the subreddit. Every day I think maybe I’ll do it, and then find an excuse to put it off a little longer as I read through new posts. I think maybe I’m saving it for a really rainy day because it’ll give me an excuse to do something creative. Since I began to understand the implications that starting on social media and the internet so early will have on the rest of my life (helllooooo Instagram addiction), I’ve been worried I’ve been losing creative parts of myself that are now taken up with scrolling through feeds and reading celebrity gossip as it happens. E-Lit has — and is — showing me a way to still hone my creativity while not sacrificing involvement in these platforms. I really cherish it. There’s also the possibility that I’m nervous to publish on a platform that I’m new to. I respect the authors and their creativity and am not quite sure how to jump in.52216908.jpg

When I first read through the posts already uploaded on the One-Star Reviews subreddit I laughed, and I became a little more convinced of value in the often un-loveable. When someone next to me in class also started to laugh while reading the reviews and we began to chat about them I was even more convinced. Basically, we’re using the internet to find possibly-fake value in real life things. And that’s so neat.

We often utilize e-lit to tackle tough subjects traditional literature wouldn’t allow an ideal platform for (i.e. the problem with celebrity, filter bubbles, growing up on a computer), here I see it working in a new light for the first time, bringing people together in real time and making them (literally) laugh out loud.

I love #e-lit, catch me on the next Netprov.


#8 The Grand Finale

For my final elit project I want to explore self-representation on Instagram. Not only the visuals, but also how cultural capital is valuable, but sometimes very hard to obtain.

My initial plan was to create an Instagram-persona, who “read” a lot of elit, but every time she wrote anything about it, what she wrote didn’t quite fit the piece. I wanted it to seem pretentious, but it turns out, I don’t really now what to write. The new plan is still “reviewing” elit, but I am trying a more fun approach now, where she barely read the cover sheet, but just scrolled through each piece. She might for example describe Soliloquy as “very minimalistic, and not having a lot of text” or Queerskins as “good that someone focuses on the issues with AIDS in Africa”.

The pictures will be a distraction from what is written in the caption. This is something I often see on Instagram. The more nudity, the less thoughtful content. My character could be anyone who wants a few extra virtual pats on the back, therefore she doesn’t have a face, or her face is never showed.

My elit piece might not get very text heavy, but I think of it more as a comic strip. I want people to think about those people they see, that read a new book every other day, while going to the theater several times a week, where they will have a glass of rosé, and all at the same time they have a full-time job. It seems too good to be true, right?

I think my difficulties throughout this project will be that I have to post something at least once a day for the next three weeks, and I’m not usually one that post a lot. I still need to figure out how or if there will be a story line. I think she might become aware that she seems very stupid, but then become more and more desperate to seem clever, but she doesn’t have the skill to do so, which just makes her seem more and more pretentious. But I am not really sure how to do this. I think I just need to jump into it head first and then I will make it up as go.

Follow me on @constance_lit (but like wait till tomorrow, then stuff should be happening).

 


VIII. One-Star-Reviews

Yes, I can’t believe it either: this is my final blog post for this class. My time in Bergen has flown by – nostalgia, here I come! But first, let’s take on one more topic. This week’s E-Lit brings me into a forum I have managed to avoid so far: Reddit. It is a whole new world that opens up the depths of the internet – but doesn’t that make it perfect for a netprov? Okay then, sign me up, I guess… Having never navigated the site, I did not find everything as obvious at first. The thing I struggled with the most was that I did not understand at first whether this was the only place to post, or whether the actual netproving would take place on the product sites themselves. But once I had a basic understanding, I did find some very funny reviews. So, I left my own review to this great product in the role of Dolly Fletcher, a middle-aged gadget lover with 2 kids:

“I love gadgets. Everything that makes my life a little easier is very welcome in my house. So, when I stumbled upon this little helper here, naturally I had to have it! I must say that I was not sure at first what to make of this amazing product – is it for cheese? For butter? For very buttery cheese? But now I can assure you – it is everything your heart desires. With one firm grip you can slice up whatever you can fit in there (being a little engineer myself, I had a lot of fun with bananas, very soft bread in small quantities and even soap). And the description does not lie – you really can cut an entire stick of butter in less than one minute! In fact, with a little practice I managed in only 43 seconds. Try that with an ordinary butter knife! All in all, this is a nice addition for my kitchen. Thumbs up!”

I feel like the basic idea of this netprov is great – it just might lack the right forum. The fact that it is based on reddit removes the illusion and makes it a sort of inside-joke among experienced netprovers. However, I should still put a disclaimer here: I might just have missed the point! Some of the interactions under the reviews make it clear that there are some very witty people behind the posts. I will keep an eye on how this develops.

Now, a few words on my personal E-Lit project. As always, I keep running into the same problem here: in my mind, everything works out perfectly – on my screen however, everything is a mess. Over the weekend, I have tried my luck with wordpress, but I must admit that I find it rather difficult. Finally, I got so frustrated that i went back to hand-coding everything with HTML and CSS. That also means that I haven’t got much to show in class… I just hope that I will have an epiphany in the next couple of days, because I’d really love to continue on my idea the way it is now.

To end this post (and this blog), I want to say that I really enjoyed this class. There was a great vibe in the room all semester long and I really appreciate how many creative people are working on awesome things right now. I am so sad that I cannot be there for the final exhibition, but hey – who if not a class of DIKULT-experts could come up with a way to show us around digitally? 🙂


Last blog post for the semester

Hello, this will be my last blogg this semester and i will say thank you to all the readers that have followed my journey trough e-lit class

This blogg post was original about the e-lit project “one star review” but for some reason the links tjat I have recived will not work. Ibthink maybe is because its some strange protection on the wi -fi i use, And I sadly didn’t had the time to go to a place there I got free wi-fi. For this i’m deeply sorry.

Instead I will write about my semester with e-lit class and my own e-lit project.

The e-lit class was alot of of fun I learned a lot of new stuff that I didn’t know about the world of e-lit. One of the best part of the class was the many different prenstations about all the different e-lit projects. I think this was a hreat way to let students learn and debate the different meanings of e-lit. Also to have the opportunity to make our own e-lit is a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to se what all the different creative studens of the class will cook up. To day it short: this class is the most fun I had at the university so far

 

My own e-lit project is going good.  I have showed what I have so far to some of the other students and the feedback has been positive.

So far I have done the front page and 3 of the 4 lyrics page are done and the 4th is halfway done. For the own story pages tje layout for each page is done, but I need to put in the story.

If you are curious about whats song will be used. I can spoil that one of the songs are Pet shops boy “west end girl” and the personal story is connected to the lyrics and the song itself.

So sum it up, this semester have been a blast and the elit prject is going forward. See you soon


#8 Getting Personal – about my own Elit

I can not believe this semester is heading towards its end already. And with that comes the fun part of being a student: term papers, exams, projects and deadlines.
For our Elit class, we are supposed to create our own piece of Elit . From what I have heard so far my classmates are planning some really amazing stuff and I can not wait to see the final results. And who knows – maybe we are even planning to release something at the end of it all?

Finding Ideas 
As I mentioned before, my classmates planned some incredible stuff – games, poems, netprovs … you name it.
My own project is going to include short stories and poems (and even some pictures if I can include them the way I want them to be included in this). I always loved to write and even though I usually write for myself and never showed it to anybody, I think its nice to put something out there. At first I struggled to find a theme/topic that fit, but after reading through some old notes and walking around Bergen I decided that I wanted one of the main topics to be nature and how we connect with it in today’s society. Nature is one of the most important things in our lives – whether we realize it or not – and I think we sometimes need to make ourselves aware that its resources are limited and can not be replaced. As I’m still working on the works I don’t know what I really gonna end up with – to me writing is a lot about change and I can’t even tell how many times I changed the stuff I’ve written so far. But I’m pretty sure there will be other themes coming up – but I don’t want to give away too much just yet.

About the technical stuff
I have to admit – I don’t know anything about computer games, coding, or any other technical stuff (in fact, I don’t even know what I don’t know). I know about printing books and how you can make a text look pretty in a it but that’s all I can do with a computer and the right software (not really helpful for Elit though).
One of the most important things (or let’s just call it one of our assignments) for our project was to make it interactive. So I had to face two problems: 1. How can I make/write/create something that is interactive or has interactive elements? And 2. How can I achieve this with my non-existing knowledge of coding/it-stuff/anything technical?
I think I found a satisfactory solution for problem number 1 – not I just have to find a way to solve number 2.

Due to some other project that I have to hand in in three days (well no I just checked – two days) I have not worked as much on this project as I would have liked. But after handing in this term paper in my whole life (which, fun fact, is the last term paper in my whole life) I will finally have enough time to focus on this project and I am sure I will come up wit solutions to all problems that go along with its development. 

 

 


Failed attempt at netprov (aka update on my own elit)

This is to be my final official blogpost for #elitclass. If I will continue blogging, we will just have to wait and see.

For our final blog entry we have been asked to participate in a netprov called “one-star reviews” where we create a character through a reddit account, and write a review stating we really like something about something which everyone else seems to really dislike. I have tried all week to find time for creating a character and find something to write my review about without success. The past week and the two upcoming weeks will be the busiest weeks of the semester for me, and therefore my time has gone to working on my own piece instead of contributing to someone else’s.

I have read through some of the rules and instructions for One-star Reviews and checked out the netprov itself. I wish I would have had time to check it out more closely and participate myself,  but sadly no. I must say though that I find the project very interesting. Even when I go on sites online like TripAdvisor I kind of tend to to read the bad reviews before the good ones, so yeah – the topic of this netprov is interesting to me.

 

So, about my own elit piece…
Earlier this week, I run into a huge problem. My starting point of the story was gone, and instead the starting point was in the middle of my story with a loop at the end going back to the original beginning. It took me a long, long time to figure out. At one point I was ready to give up and start all over with the whole story. Honestly I was about to cry at this point because I have worked so much and so hard on this story.  

Luckily, after some time, I managed to save the story and get back to how it was supposed to be. I am not sure if it is 100% how it was before, but if not then the changes are too small to really matter. What did I learn from this? Make sure the top of the page in Inklewriter says “saved” before signing out! Even though I am not sure if this is what caused my troubles, the page said “saving…” when I signed out and then when I signed back in later on everything was messed up.

I still haven’t fixed my issue when it comes to the layout where I wanted the lines of the poems on separate lines instead of being a regular paragraph – but honestly I have gotten used to the way it looks and it has definitely grown on me. Therefore fixing this will not be a priority to me anymore – if I end up having extra time towards the end (I highly doubt it) I might reconsider but for now I will ignore it.

I continue to make progress on my story. Most paths are still unfinished, but within another week or two I think most of those will be finished as well. I think the paths will have around 10-15 choices in total (depending on the path) and just as many poems. Most choices have two alternatives, but at some points the reader might only get one choice depending on previous decisions. So far I do not think any choices have more than two options, but different paths may get the same choices with different options than the other. Does that make sense? I hope it does.

When it comes to Inklewriter, I have gotten used to working with it and like it for the most part. However, I have not yet figured out how the if-statement function works – at the same time though I haven’t tried it that much because honestly I do not see it necessary for my project. It would possibly have made working on my story a bit easier, but then again I do not know if it would save me enough time for it to be worth the time it takes to figure out.

Another thing with Inklewriter is that when you get to a new page, you can write a new paragraph or use one you have already written for another path of the story. In my case, many of the paths at one point are at the same place in the story as another path and therefore I reuse the paragraphs often more than once. The problem with this I discovered was that I do not just copy-paste the paragraphs, but if I change one of them then all places the paragraph is in use will be changed too. This made it harder for me to have smaller changes to each path’s version of the same page.

Copy-pasting the old fashioned way is not easy with Inklewriter because you can only do it one paragraph at the time. This means that if you have several paragraphs you have to go back and forth between the two pages, which takes a lot of time once your story map gets up to a certain size.

One last thing I do not like about Inklewriter is the design. There is only one design to choose from, with no ways to customize it. Also the design makes the story look like a good old book, which kinda defeats the purpose of electronic literature – at least to me. Therefore I really hope Inklewriter gives the writer more designs to choose from in the future.

All in all though, I enjoy working with Inklewriter. For the most part it is simple and user-friendly. It somehow motivates me to work on my project because I can just work on my project without the hassle of having to figure out how to do everything. I did not need to watch tutorials on how it works – I just created an account and tried it out myself, figuring things out rather fast. Earlier in the semester I tried Twine just to see if it would be a tool I could be interested in working with, and let’s just say I did not try it out for more than a few minutes before having to search for tutorials.

I decided to work with Inklewriter, despite the limited possibilities of customisation, because it is just so much more user-friendly – at least in my opinion. I am not saying Twine is bad, I am just saying that to me Inklewriter is better to work with.

 

I guess that’s it for now.
Thank you for reading my blog!

 

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Galatea

This week the piece Galatea, made by Emily Short, was presented in class. It is an interactive fiction game with many potential outcomes, depending on how you engage with its titular character. The work is somewhat reminiscent of a mixture of chatterbots and old text adventure games, though Galatea differs in that there is a multitude of possible narratives, and she actually keeps track of what things have been brought up in a playthrough, giving some added consistency and depth to the piece. It does have its limitations however, in that there are specific commands you have to input in order to receive an answer, and the narrative pacing can be thrown off if you start up more than one topic of conversation at a time. There is nevertheless an impressive list of commands available, and there is a surprising amount of depth and complexity both narratively and technically for such a seemingly simple piece. And that is perhaps what is so fascinating about it.

The game itself is a conversation between the player character and the living statue named Galatea, though how it plays out will depend on the player. In a way it portrays how conversations between two people could play out in a lot of different ways depending on what questions you ask, how you use what you learn, and on how you treat the other person. The difference here is that Galatea is not human, which gives her a different perspective on things. For one she doesn’t need to breathe, yet she learned how to do so simply by watching her creator, and she finds it a relaxing thing to do. She’s also quick to warn you if you, for example, try to grab and turn her around. Continuing that type of behavior leads to a quick end of the conversation, and it shows that despite her limited experiences she has her own boundaries.

I find the game to be reminiscent of how we approach art in real life. Sometimes you try to distance yourself from what you critique, so as to give a neutral, but fair assessment of it. Other times you might get a more personal experience from what you see. There is no correct method when it comes to the personal interpretation of art, and Galatea shows this through the many varied conversations you can have with her. One visit might be fairly pleasant, another cold and distant, and in yet another you might possibly befriend or even anger her. Without a list of commands the game can be difficult to navigate properly, and even then the flow of the conversation can be interrupted by new topics, which shows its limitations. In spite of that it has aged quite well considering that the game only relies on text to convey meaning. The wide variety of topics and outcomes gives the game a lot of replayability for you to explore the possible conversations with Galatea, which I quite liked.


VII. Galatea

Galatea was a beautiful experience. I liked the medium, the language and the certain eeriness of the piece. Not only that: it made me think about my interaction with objects, to be more precise technological artefacts. We are constantly surrounded by machines that know us so well that they can predict which word we will type next, what brand we will like and which show we would love to see. Artificial intelligence is evolving at an alarming (or admirable?) rate.

That’s why this text can teach us a lot about how we interact with those humane machines. Galatea goes back to the very beginning of our obsession with breathing live into objects. The myth around the sculptor who loved one of his statues so much he wanted her to be alive has influenced literature, music and art so much that entering this story feels kind of familiar.

One think I always like to ask myself is: where is the connection to Elit? Because it is so artfully and beautifully written, one might be led to think that this piece could exist outside of this genre, for example as a book – however, that is only true at a first glance. This piece depends on the variety of choices, turns and endings this story includes. Also, the electronic surface adds a complexity and depth to the story that a simple “choose-your-own-adventure-story” could not provide. Again, the medium connects to the content: By interacting with Galatea, we are  talking to a machine and the machine is responding according to what we decide to say. This has an influence on her character and on the way she thinks and acts. So far, so good, but Galatea also goes one step further: through talking to her, we are also discovering truths about the literary “you”, about who we are in the story. It is an exchange, a learning process that goes both ways. This piece asks the interesting question about the relationship between us and our devices. It is the same question that the movies “her” asks and the same question we should ask ourselves when we notice that our phones know more about us than we would have expected.


own e-lit update

In this week blog post I will talk about how my own e-lit project are going because i sadly missed this week class

The project are going forward and I have started to work on it. I will use notepad ++, html, css as tools for the project since I think it will work fine with what I have in plan.

As mention before I will try to make a textbased interactive collection about depression and mixed with song lyrics that will tell an personal story. The goal is have at least four different songs and stories, but I hope to get the time to have six stories, but time will tell.

So far I have on one the song lyrics finished and make the whole part ready before tomorrow class. The song lyrics are from the song “Red like roses II” by Jeff Williams and Is abouth a Daughter that deals with the lost of her motherroses

The way the reader will explore this part of the project is to hoover over the text to make the lyric clear. The reason why, It gives the reader time to read the piece of the lyrics alone and not with all the text. And also I think it looks cool. The last part of the lyrics will be cliable and will lead the reader to the personal story.

 

For the others part I have plans, but it will not be the same as  the Red like roses part, but I will try to make them uniqe based on the the theme of the song like red like roses lyrics are red on a black background focusing on the lyrics and not all is clear. I will try make the lyrics and story to make an impact on the reader, if I will manage that Im not sure, but i will try my best.

The next personal story I will make is actuall a my own personal there I had alot of troubel with my own mind and I found help in music (this is also one of the reason I will make this e-lit).  The song I will use is “Beyond the realm of death” by Judas priest. Since the theme for “red like roses” was red and black I will usee different colors and I will make it feel different, but at the same time have a similare feel. I will continue to work with html and css and hopefully it will work.

For the four other partsI know what I will write about and what lyrics I will use, but I will not spoil everything and you will just need to wait for the rest.

 

If some of you are intrested in HTML here are the project base HTML

 

 

And oh the template name for the project is “Beyond Roses and mirrors”

See you soon

 

 


#7 Meeting Galatea

In this week’s presentation, we were introduced to an Elit piece called Galatea. I had never heard of it before but the name immediately made me think of Greek mythology.
And I was not disappointed. Even though Galatea might have been the most minimalistic Elit piece so far really liked it.

What is is about?
In this piece of Electronic Literature, the player finds himself in the role of an art critic on some sort of vernissage, who discovers a statue, Galatea. In contrast to all the other objects, Galatea is alive/animated. To interact with the statue, the player has to type in commands. These can be simple questions, but also more complex. There are different commands available, from asking questions to just simply looking around – but the most interesting in my opinion is the „think“ command. In this case, the art critic does not interact with the statue, but more with himself, presenting is thoughts on eg. Galatea or his surroundings, so the player gets to know more about the character he is playing.
There are different topics one can talk to Galatea about, for example about her creation, her creator and about different mythologies. There is a whole list of topics one can discover in the Elit piece. 
The player even has the chance to walk away from the statue, but this ends the Elit immediately. But, at least in our walkthroughs on Wednesday, the Elit sometimes ended rather abruptly with a longer answer from Galatea.

About Interactivity
As mentioned before, Galatea might be the most minimalistic piece of Elit I have encountered so far. The layout is simple and looks almost like some sort of notepad or Word document. There are no sounds, no pictures – the reader/player can solely focus on his interaction with Galatea.

I don’t think there is a real topic in this Elit. There are different ones that the player can discover through the questions he asks – but in contrast to e.g. last week’s Queer Skins, I don’t get  a real message form the piece. I believe its main focus is on the interaction, rather than on the topic – which I think is nice.
In class we briefly talked about a possible feminist read of the piece – a woman being put on the pedestal, supposed to look perfect.  In connection to this there is the reference to the mythology – and Galatea being the recreation of a perfect woman without being perfect.
We also talked about Galatea referring to the subject-object part in human conversation. Galatea being a literal object, but also the subject of the conversation – or the object when you look at it from the reader’s perspective.

Conclusion
Even though it might not be my favorite piece of Elit I have encountered so far, I liked it. I think that it is nice that its layout is simple – but I can imagine the work behind this piece must have been incredible to make it possible for the reader/player to interact in so many different ways simply through text.