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

BOTS

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 Pexels.com

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.

Blog#4

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.

 

 

Final Farewell

So  this is the end… I am blessed that I was able to take this course and I have learned so much about electronic literature.

Before this class, I was very green to the idea of Electronic Literature. When I first enrolled in this class, I was eager to learn what Electronic Literature was. I always to to try new things, and I had zero idea what Electronic Literature was and even how to create an Electronic Literary piece. I had blogged before for other class but not as how we blogged in this course. I am grateful for taking this course because I have learned and experienced quite a lot.

There were a lot of takeaways that I was fortunate enough to take away from my time in this course. One take-away that I took from this class was that I was able to create my own blog, and keep up with it, for the most part. As I said before, I have created blogs for different classes before at Kean, but I was given a strict rubric about what to write about and these topics would never interest me. In this class, I was able to express my opinion in the words I saw fit. When I become a teacher, I plan on blogging a lot more and implementing blogging strategies into my teaching. When I blog, I feel I am able to express myself a lot more through writing rather than speaking.

Another take away that I took from this class was that I was able to create my own electronic literary piece. At first, I was very nervous about creating my piece. For a long time, I was unsure of what I was going to write about. Fortunately, I was paired with the perfect group to workshop with and they helped me immensely with getting all my information centered and how I would go about creating my electronic literary piece. I was able to come up with my topic of my E-Lit piece and what tool was going to work best with my piece and it was all because of my group.

I developed new skills and knowledge about the world of Electronic Literature. One skill that I developed in this course was the use of Prezi when I was creating my electronic literature piece. I have never used Prezi before but I knew it would be useful with the structure of my E-Lit piece. I was able to navigate through Prezi pretty easily and soon enough I was able to put my electronic literature piece together. I feel that Prezi was a great fit for my electronic piece because I wanted the the feel of “zooming into” my piece to uncover the story.

One thing I learned about electronic literature in this course is that electronic literature is very interactive and it is considered “literature”. For example, in our class, we covered an electronic piece called Icarus Needs. At first, I thought that this electronic piece was just a video game. It had the feel of a video game which made me question if it was literature or not. When I actually went through the piece, I found that there was a storyline and characters that had human characteristics so, it can be considered Electronic Literature. I would have never know that electronic literature could be fun and interactive if it was not for this course.

Another thing I learned in this class was that electronic literature pieces can bring light to events in Electronic Literature history that people, like myself, would not normally know about. For example, I presented the electronic literary piece called Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames.  This interactive fiction piece was created during a time where feminists and people who advocated for diversity in video games were being accused of “ruining” The gaming industry. Quing’s Quest was created by Dietrich Squinkifer, who is a transgender male. Talk about diversity there! This piece is fun and interactive, there is also a somber tone to this piece that is dedicated to the “Social Justice Warriors” and the pain and struggles these gamers went through to make the gaming industry the way it is today.

The absolute best part about this course was the diversity of students in the class. In my class, there were undergraduates, like myself, graduates, and international students. I liked this diversity of students because the graduate students would help the undergraduate students and we were all able to help each other, despite our educational levels. Our class was semi-small so, we were able to make connections with other people and be able to see different writing styles of everyone and see what we could integrate into our own writing.

Now that I have taken this course, I feel that I am a stronger student in the area of Electronic Literature. I have a better self-confidence level because I know that I can create a piece of electronic literature and know what tools I can use to get my message across. I am now now able to set deadlines and follow-through my assignments. This class has taught me better time management skills because there would be projects, such as our presentation and our own electronic pieces, that I had to plan out so I would do it all last minute. I truly enjoyed being in this course and I am glad that I “came through”.

If I could give myself a grade in this course, I would give myself a B. I feel like a B would be a sufficient grade because even though I came into this class three weeks later than everyone else, I feel that I have proven myself. I worked as hard as I could so I could get on the same level as my classmates. I was able to come over obstacles in this class and was able to succeed. I would personally like to thank Dr. Zamora as well. Thank you, Dr. Zamora for letting me into your class and believing in me so that I could succeed

Farewell Elit…For Now

 

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This semester was probably one of the hardest semesters I’ve had since my undergraduate years. There were some days I would come to class and think there was no way I was going to make it to December. However, escaping into a world so intriguing and intimidating at the same time, allowed me to push through everything that was going on in my life and make a product that I will cherish forever. My final project for this class went from an idea to a sketch, to a storyboard, to something elaborate. 

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My idea of electronic literature was almost the opposite idea of what it is. September, I was nervous about how the semester will go after the first class. There were other students, specifically graduate students, in the class who have taken a similar course before electronic literature. It was new territory that made me afraid that I will not be able to understand the material. I thought electronic literature was merely reading a piece of literature on a device. I was not aware that it was an entire community. By October, I wanted to stay “safe” and only focus on the electronic poems and generative poetry that we looked at during the walkthroughs. The other pieces of literature seemed to be too difficult for me.

 November is when it clicked for me. I realized that interactive electronic literature is the type of pieces that captured my attention. That is when I became passionate about my electronic literature piece for my final project. Even as a student, I am at fault for finding myself not allowing my mind to make room for new learning opportunities. When the material or subject is something I don’t understand, it is difficult for me to grasp the information. However, I realized that new means power. This was not simply an elective to fill credits; this was a course that taught me that literature could be in any form as long as it teaches, expands on cultural backgrounds, and accepting of the knowledge that formal literature provides.

At the beginning of the semester, I remember my instructor painted the picture of reading a book on the couch with a cup of tea next to a fireplace and the feeling of reading that piece of literature. She was not that descriptive, but the point was that is the image that comes to mind when we think “reading literature.” It is now December, and I can proudly say that I can read and interact with electronic literature on my couch with a cup of coffee. I am grateful for this course to expand my mind on this subject. This made me excited to move forward to create other pieces of electronic literature. Also, to become apart of its community.

Well, my friends, this isn’t goodbye. I’ll see you all in the electronic world (or the real one, whichever comes first.)

Happy Holidays!

 

Final Thoughs on E-Lit




E-Lit exceeded my expectations. It was everything I thought I was looking for in an electronic literature class and more. I learned more than I ever thought I was going to learn. Honestly, I didn't have true expectations other than I thought we would read different stories online. It didn't really dawn on me how the stories would be presented. Or that the mere fact that these works live in an online space make them electronic literature.

Growing up I was always a fan of stories where I got to choose my own adventure. All of the electronic literature pieces we read where the course of the plot relied on my decision to click a certain word were some of my favorite e-lit pieces. The last text we read Quing's Quest sticks out to me as it is the most recent but I really enjoyed the bright and vibrant colors.

Originally, when I thought of electronic literature I used to think in terms of fan fiction websites where people create their own storylines to their favorite books, tv shows and movies. I was a little disappointed that we did not discover any e-lit pieces that served as windows into this fanfic world now did we get to explore any sights already dedicated to this literary artistic art form. I have never had the chance to be a part of one those online fan fic communities, but I've always admired them and had I been a teenager when these worlds were introduced online, I would've joined them for sure.

I really enjoyed the interactivity allowed by the electronic literature pieces we explored in class. Social media has become a large part of electronic literature in a way I don't think anyone could've predicted. In spaces like Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, we are all given an opportunity to create our own pieces of electronic literature, on a daily basis. Even if we aren't aware we're doing so. Daily postings of positive words, funny memes, quotes or GIFs are all apart of the electronic literature landscape.

My presentation was on bots and unfortunately, I couldn't do it up the way I would've liked. Technology failed us that night. But I love bots and after learning how to make one. I really like the way they add to the electronic literature landscape. Bots can take on their own life and spit out their own story in a semi-random way. Even in its unpredictableness, it makes sense and it lends itself to being able to be included in literary conversations. Especially ones that you can program to spit out parts of a literary work.


via GIPHY
I was surprised that I didn't allow myself to get frustrated by the technology. And my inability to use some of it. I started off wanted to do something really grand with my e-lit piece. I wanted to have it be a backdrop for my main character but I didn't know how to manipulate the different sites in the way I envision. I started off using Presi then I was introduced to Thinglink and I felt that had a better flow but it still really wasn't what I had in mind. But I learned how to navigate two new sites. I am even thinking of including Presi into my presentations for work. Google slides is dull in comparison, so I'm really excited about using this in my classroom. 

The best part of this class was our discussions after a presentation. I was able to get a deeper understanding of the piece when it was presented in the class. There were some of the e-lit pieces that I just didn't connect with at home but as they were presented I got a better understanding of their meaning because each of the presentations was so thoughtful.

The most challenging part was pushing through the technology when I found it difficult. I often found myself wanting to just engage with text without the use of technology. In some instances, I didn't like to be spoon feed the narrative and I just wanted to read the stories "straight" through. When it came time to creating my own e-lit piece I was frustrating and I found it hard taking my big ideas and tailoring them down into ones I could actually do myself. I wished I had more time just to work and experiment with things on a technological. More time with the creating part could've really helped me to bridge the gap in technological capabilities. I was able to get some help from my classmates and during our work sessions in class. And I suspect if my personal life wasn't so chaotic I would've had more time in class to connect with my peers and fill in the spaces where I needed more clarity. 

In terms of a final grade, I would have to say I deserve an A-. Simply because of the days I wasn't physically present in class and because my Twitter particpation wasn't as robust as I wanted it to be. But, when I did tweet or participate in class it was meaningful and I enhanced the learning environment.

Facade

Facade was one of my first experience with an interactive literature piece. Being the player, using your own name and gender, you’re visiting a old friend of yours that’s suppose to be a “nice get-together” that quickly turns awkward. Basically you’re suppose to respond to your friend Grace and her husband while not pissing them off, but by actually helping their marriage out (in a strange way). If they kick you out, you initially ‘lose the game’. I had to play twice before actually ‘winning’ the game. It was definitely awkwardly funny.

This electronic piece was one of my favorites. I actually swore I did a blog on it, because it reminded me so much of one of my favorite video games, “The Sims“. The fact that this piece was indeed a ‘game‘ made it that more interesting to ‘play.‘ I did find it more of a game rather than a literature piece because of the constant interaction and ending with a initial goal.

The best part of this game is the reality of it. There are times when you go to your families house and there’s an awkward situation going on and you’re sitting there all weird “LORD, MAKE IT STOP!”

If you haven’t, i’m sure you felt the awkwardness during this game. I enjoyed it. And even showed it to my brother to give him a little idea of what “Electronic Literature”. He enjoyed it just as much as I did, oh and lost the first time coming around too. Overall, one of my favorite pieces. Definitely a game over a literature though. (In my opinion)

On Quing’s Quest

Quing’s Quest is a commentary as much as it is a text-based adventure game. It’s humorous, critical, and allegorical in nature, and its message may not be entirely clear at first. In the end however, it is an effective dive into the current state of both video games and the industry as a whole, even if I may not be entirely in agreement with it.

Anyone who knows me will probably know my passion for video games. I still remember writing to Nintendo at the tender age of 10, wondering how I would ever find myself in the industry when I got old enough. Well I’m old enough, and while my interests in the video game industry haven’t changed too drastically (focusing on video game voice acting now instead of programming), I still have a sense of camaraderie for anyone who considers themselves a gamer in this day and age.

That includes women, naturally. I run across people of all types through online gaming, and while I’m typically surprised over running across a girl gamer in my online matches, it is the good type of surprise (the bad type, for reference, would be someone so young they don’t even remember Spongebob coming out). It reminds me that gaming no longer carries the type of negative connotations that it once had; that it enables people all over the world to interact and play the same game without having to leave the house.

Unfortunately, there is a silver lining when it comes to video games, namely the recent backlash caused by a wave of misogyny  collectively known as “GamerGate”, and while most of the gaming community has been quick to denounce this, it still carries a negative connotation that no one should aspire to, and yet it still persists to this day in some form.

QQ wastes no time making it clear that it has a message, but which one isn’t exactly clear from the start. Even the abbreviation of the title, QQ, resembles a crying emoji, a preview of things to come from the game. The character can choose to be any colorful type of character they want (right down to purple mohawks and black T-shirts with less than tasteful writing on them) and you soon discover that you’re the captain of your spaceship, the Social Justice Warrior. You want to make your way to planet Videogames, but you were being pursued. Okay, now this is a little more obvious. Whether this was a mockery or a homage I couldn’t tell…until the antagonists showed up, a bunch of men eager to lay on you and your partner with a bunch of minor crimes that honestly were so minor I can’t remember them right now. What followed was a hilarious assortment of escape options and none of them worked….except for dancing, for some reason. That had lethal effects for your pursuers.

What happened next was a little more heavy handed: to choose to defend video games, destroy them, or even walk away from them entirely. I liked the “walk away” approach even though it didn’t really leave a clear resolution, except for the idea that maybe videogames weren’t for you and your companion anymore….which admittedly would be borderline impossible for me to admit in real life.

In the end though, this was an exciting e-lit piece to cover, not just for all the video game homages that hit close to home, but the intentional delay of information until around the climax, that left me to decide just what the piece was actually about. It was a little heavy handed at times, but considering the subjects it decided to cover, sometimes less subtlety is better.

On Crusing

Most of my mid-2000s on the internet can be summarized with one website: Newgrounds. The admittedly not family-friendly site hosted lots of user-created media, but its star of the show was “Flash movies”: videos made with Macromedia Flash. I even have a flash movie of my own…before it was wiped off of the site for quality control. I deserved it.

“Crusing” from 2001 is reminiscent of those same flash movies, but it remains an e-lit piece solely because of the presentation. It has a very rough representation at that; the audio is tinny and overly loud, the textures are low-quality and the font used looks like some early Microsoft nonsense. But when you look past the production value (and the fact that it doesn’t even run on modern internet browser), you have a fairly interesting e-lit piece that is just as interesting to traverse through as it is annoying.

The annoying aspect comes from the fact that the entire thing is constantly scrolling, and even when you try to slow it down it only scrolls more. A poem is recited in the background, or perhaps it’s a spoken word piece. Either way, it describes the teenage obsession with “cruising” in a car back during those times.

Let me put it this way. Cruising is such a foreign term to me that I actually at one point looked up what those “No cruising” signs actually meant. The findings were admittedly tame; it just referred to the joyriding around town back when people weren’t bold enough to do it on the highways and gas was more affordable. But the fact that the poem is never stopping should be enough of an allegory that adds to Cruising’s story; it signifies the never-stopping feel that most teenagers probably felt at the time, the constant pace of a coming-of-age lifestyle that borders on self-destructive.

At least, I hope it was all of that. Otherwise I just breathed some fresh life into a piece of e-lit that is old enough to actually drive.

Still, there are some indicators that it fits. The setting is a never ending road, constantly looping back on you. The poem restarts itself once its finished, just in case you somehow missed something in the rather flat delivery of the woman speaking, presumably the author. Finally, the road seems to reflect the backdrop of a quiet suburb or town, and suddenly it makes a little more sense to me why the aspect of cruising seems so appealing to turn into an e-lit piece; it makes time in the town go by faster, and for a teen, sometimes you want to rush things.

While I can’t exactly give it any brownie points for its presentation today, it definitely holds up well enough to tell the story that it meant to tell, about teens in a small town area using cruising to enhance their coming of age memories together. I like driving but didn’t start until college; I’d imagine I’d feel a lot more where they were coming from if it were any earlier.