Monday, March 26, 2018

yo tony, where'd u get that fresh pepperoni

phew! it's been a long week! and a pretty long checklist, too :P i kid, i kid!

last tuesday was a bit of a technical mess, with our projector dying for good. but, the twitterchat still persisted, and i think we had a great conversation about empathy games - particularly SPENT, Bad News, and Syrian Journey. Our group played SPENT, which I also encountered last year in Networked Narratives. I remember doing infinitely better than I did this time around - I ended up with $23 at the end of the month, no more plasma to donate, and rent was due.

SPENT really puts you in the shoes of someone else. i think we can all relate to financial struggles and tough choices, but the curves that SPENT throws at you are pretty hard and fast - but hey, sometimes that is someone's life.  empathy games are wonderful means of teaching others, if they have the mindset of wanting to learn - especially when they have correct facts & stats to back up the realistic nature of the game. i mentioned that the ideal formula for an EG is when the game can create a perfect balance of emotional storytelling and objective facts - if the game is solely based on emotion, it might be impossible to suspend our disbelief and immerse ourselves in the story. or, if a game is purely facts and numbers, it can glaze right over people. having a character you can empathize with and go through their story together really drives home the point.

I agree with Stephanie here strongly - it's a wonderful point. A lot of what we consider games are ones that really "don't have a higher meaning" to them. Sure, games can be great because they have strategy, wonderful art, or moral lessons - but EG teach real global/nationa/societal issues, and is an outlet to have an experience you might never have in your own lifetime. introducing EG that are both enjoyable to play to the gamer with an emotional reward to children at young ages could do wonderful things for the personal growth of humanity.

speaking of more empathy games! i checked out Marwan and Hoda from Cairo's Survival Game, which focuses on the daily routine and gender expectations & stereotypes shoved onto Egyptian men and women. i thought they did a great job in telling the experience of gender inequality in both the routine for what is expected of men and of women. however, i felt like there was a lot of depth and storytelling for the woman's path - she felt like a fleshed out character that you could empathize with. for the man, while the stereotypes and inequality was technically there, it was not as masterfully woven into the storytelling like the woman. instead, his choices were abrupt, and consequently either got fired from his job or literally died for defying stereotypes. the woman, however, seemed more realistic - i suggested they try to create that same depth and chance for empathy for the man. then again, i have neither experience that they have, as I am a privileged white woman from America - i find it hard to offer more valid critique about any experience, because it is not mine to tell.

moving on! after our twitterchat, we moved on to a lesson in audacity, which i've worked with before. however, when i did do some audio editing a long time ago, i would use Sony Vegas - the same program I would also edit videos with. i thought this was going to be somewhat painless - i was wrong! it took me at least an hour to figure out why i couldn't move my darned audio bites over... even though the sound was paused/stopped, i had to make sure none of the buttons were clicked. i really couldn't believe it took me that long. oops.

but, i eventually got through it! i want to say that, yes, i might have been hungry when i was looking for inspiration. and no, i never did end up ordering pizza. a tragic day for everyone, if i'm being honest (someone create an empathy game out of that, why don't ya?)

if you couldn't tell, i was a little hungry when i was thinking of a concept...
nothing feels better when your project is rendering! takes me back to my video editing days

warning: you may want to order food after listening to this. you have been warned.

it's the only story i know how to tell... audio credits!

also, if you want to hear a real great song about pizza (and pizza parties), i suggest this.

lastly, as a parting gift, i want to share one of my finest photo manipulation achievements and a culminating statement about games to end the blog. that is all. and i am sorry.

Monday, March 19, 2018



Related image

what do we want? GAMES. when do we want them? NOW!

that's right! we've moved on from digital art to none other than gaming! while i enjoy games, i never think of myself as a gamer. a lot of the games i play are what i consider "lowkey" - games like Animal Crossing, Civilization, Sims, Pokemon, and so on. they're all games i can play on my own time, and games that usually are less violent and help cultivate more in-game "personal" growth. maybe that sounds pretentious, i'm not too sure - i guess i can't explain my preference in gaming. i don't like battling bosses because it stresses me out (i know, i know - i love Pokemon, but i don't feel like that makes me a hypocrite. something about beating the bosses is way less stressful than, say, Zelda.) Animal Crossing is the exact opposite of all that - there's honestly nothing more therapeutic than standing by the beach in animal crossing at 2 a.m. with the sound on.

with that being said, i do love a lot of card & board games as well. i was introduced to cards at a pretty young age because my grandma loves playing cards, specifically Crazy 8s. to this day, we still play (last week i beat her 20-0 and she threw her cards down and called me a b*tch. it was awesome.) she also taught me Canasta, Hearts, and a bit of Bridge. i also love playing Euchre, and i recently relearned how to play Poker. cards are awesome, 'nuff said, but sometimes you can only do so much with them.

board games, on the other hand, sometimes are more involved. my favorites are Catan, Flux, Parcheesi, Sorry, Scrabble, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, and of course Cards Against Humanity (however, recently i was given What Do You Meme?, which is 100x better, believe it or not). i'm always open to learning new games - i love strategy and games that make me think. i'm excited to be introduced to even more games over the course of this month!

so, what does that make me? i honestly thought i would be a "casual gamer," but i got active gamer instead! but i guess that makes sense. i like playing games when nothing else is happening, or if my friends want to sit down and play a few rounds of something. but if something else is going on, i'm ready to do whatever! i like playing games with friends a lot, but sometimes it's nice to cancel plans with everyone and sit in bed all night playing Pokemon.

also, i like sports too. but not really watching them (except figure skating) - sports are fun when i'm actually doing them, specifically tennis and figure skating. i love the strategy and mind games of tennis, and i love the artistry and athleticism of skating, but i digress.

but, speaking of sports, i found Radiolab's Games podcast a topic of interesting discussion, particularly when they were talking about "play." we also touched on it in our studio visit today with Remi and Keegan, with the conflation and misinterpretation of games and playfulness going hand-in-hand. when we're younger, there's definitely that part of us that is free to be creative and "open-ended" in our play, where there's the liberty of interpretation. however, as we get older, rules start coming into "play," and ideas of right & wrong start curbing some imagination when it comes to the games kids play. there's rules to play freeze tag, as there's rules to many aspects of grown-up life. i guess it's just kids starting to slowly piece together concepts of growing up, or it's just the natural order of civilization. needless to say, incorporating both playfulness & gamification can be beneficial in different settings, like classrooms. it opens itself up to new ways of seeing & exploring the material, and is more encouraging to get students to interact and engage with the subject - the ability to "have fun" with learning, which sometimes get lost, especially as our age goes up. playfulness, as well as games, can lead to a whole new experience and more solid understanding of the material being learned.

also, i wanted to touch on Radiolab's conversation about the underdog v. the expert, and who we like to win. i agree with them when they say we always want the underdog to win - the team, person, even shape, that seems to have the disadvantage, is who we back up and cheer for. however, i also agree with the one person who said he felt the exact opposite - that it's criminal for the expert to not win, and for the underdog to take that title. however, i think it boils down to however deeply we are immersed in the culture of whatever game we are playing. if we know nothing about the game, we want the underdog storyline to happen; but, if you're a big fan of the game, it would be ghastly for some no-name to take a title that you know rightfully should go to the big name.

let me give a great drag race example.

recently, All Stars 3 finished filming, and the winner was crowned. a lot of the fanbase backed Trixie Mattel, a huge fan favorite and, for lack of better words, the underdog. let me add that a lot of the fanbase who supported Trixie winning were people who were new fans to drag & drag race, and like her because she has a funny youtube show - also, a lot of the fans are the people who go around twitter & facebook and post a lot of derogatory & ugly things to POC queens. but, that's another story!

the other queen who was in the running for the title was Shangela, a queen who appeared on season 2 and 3. she was the first one eliminated season 2, but RuPaul believed in her potential so much, she invited her back the next season. she made it pretty far season 3, but did not get top four. so, when she was invited back to All Stars 3, a lot of the dedicated fanbase who had been around since Shangela's debut were rooting for her and fully expected her to take the crown.

in a nutshell, shangela had the best track record and should have won this All Stars season. Trixie, at best, was mediocre, and i don't know how she cruised by.

but guess who won???

Not Shangela!
ok, well, that's enough of my AS3 rant. if i sounded bitter, well, i'll admit it - i am!

but at the end of the day, guess what? it's just a game. and games are supposed to be fun!

unless you're like me, and super competitive, and then things can get a bit... messy. especially if i'm not winning. but! i hope that doesn't deter us from maybe playing some Board Game Online. i think i can control my competitiveness for one evening... hopefully.

Monday, March 5, 2018


as we say goodbye to our digital art segment, i think our last Make - the GIF It All Together one - is definitely a great way to end. additionally, i'd like to say i'm pretty proud at how my GIF turned out. but first, we have to go back to the beginning! we started out with the GIFing a Process Make, which i created based off of my poetry process photoset. i used a filter on Giphy to make sure all of the photos had the same basic color aesthetic, and kept the pictures moving at a good pace - not too fast, not too slow.

 then when that was done, i started on the second make. i wanted to think of what concept really resonated with me the most so far when thinking about Digital Life & Art, and i knew it could only be one thing - the importance of creation, of doing. i think maybe it ties in with my relationship with my thesis, too, which makes sense. i wanted to think about all of the different ways digital art can be created, and how inspiration can show itself literally and metaphorically in a variety of forms. the only way for something to happen is to just do it - so why not? putting your creative self forward is a big step and a bit intimidating at times, but you don't know anything until you hit that send button & lay it out for the virtual world to experience.

when making the GIF, i found a few of them through the Giphy search engine. i also googled some examples of digital art as well. i wanted a mixture of GIFs & images that showed the spectrum of what art can be, as well as making sure they were also visually inspiring & engaging. images that would make me want to draw, write poetry, sculpt, paint, ect. something that gets those creative muscles in gear! but, as i said, i was pretty proud of it. and even though all of the images combined were subtle enough to say "hey!! inspiring art!!" i wanted to make sure everyone heard it loud & clear, so i wrote a big CREATE across the screen to add to the trippy GIF.

list of my MAKEs so far

speaking of creating, time to turn toward the DDAs for the week!

ok, ok, maybe this one is less creating, but i still wanted to share! i keep rewatching this GIF and falling more and more in love with this dog each second. i think Felix might have some competition for the cutest dog award now!
this DDA was a bit sillier, but i loved the concept. i never really think of playing cards as prompts for stories, but i think it's gonna be hard to get out of my head now before i go play a round of cards downstairs later!

list of my DDAs so far

as we move along our #netnarr journey, it's interesting to see where i am in the twitterverse via the TAGSexplorer. i didn't know if i could zoom in or move it around, because my computer wouldn't let me. i don't have a mouse with me, so maybe that would've helped, so sorry about the bad screenshot.

i am but a small red dot, and @dogtrax is looming over us all.

and, last but not least:

links to all my blog posts so far

 i think the whirlwind of #netnarr, it's good to have some housekeeping going on, especially as we move on to the next segment. as we move into gaming, i'm excited to share some of my favorite games. in the real world, i love cards (as said above), especially Euchre, Crazy Eights, and Hearts. in terms of board games, i'm a big fan of Catan and Parcheesi, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf (which is not really a board or card game, but resembles Mafia). online, Board Game Online is a great experience maybe we can play in class, as it's free, fast, and fun. other online games i love to play are Sims and Civilization, but those are harder to include in our class.