Paper Project: Paper Facebook– For the paper project, we tried to examine some of the properties of paper, and see how those properties fit into other forms of media. We created a paper facebook as a means of highlighting the characteristics that paper has by showing how they apply to universally used online medium. The paper facebook had limited space, the changes were often times permanent, and it existed only in one place.
Podcast Project: Emotions and Sounds of the Beach– For the podcast project, we wanted to look at the different uses of sound and their effects on human emotions. We had the same audio track describing a day at the beach played twice. For the two different read-throughs, a different soundtrack was added to the background. The project illustrates that a completely different message and emotional response can be evoked from different audio stimulations as was illustrated by the two soundtracks.
Remix Project: Movie Title!– A compilation of movie titles quoted in the actual movie. This project acted as a means of getting inside the heads of the web “geeks” who compile lots of clips in order to make their fan videos. By using a variety of different film clips we were able to illustrate both how easy it is for fans to get their hands on large amounts of content to play with, while also simply commentating on films in general and how certain dialogue can seem quite comical or cliche when taken in a certain context. There is a certain feeling of pride and being in on the joke when you watch the remix video and recognize movies you know.
Gaming Project: DDR In the Real/Gaming World–
For this project we decided to look at the game Dance Dance Revolution. The game seemed interesting because unlike most video games where you are using just your hands to control play, this game uses your whole body and tries to mimic actual actions from the real world… i.e. dancing. Another amazing phenomenon of DDR is how it is a very good social and spectator game, where many people enjoy simply watching others play.
The video tries to highlight these two qualities, the way in which the crowd can come into play with DDR and the link between dancing for DDR and dancing in the real world and how they are different.
Final Project: Fictonal ARG for ‘Lost’– For this final project, we tried to illustrate what goes on with an ARG (alternate reality game). Using the TV show ‘Lost’ which already has its own ARG, we created an online scavenger hunt that would promise “players” additional story lines to go with the show and the potential for easter eggs of information.
In the fictional ARG we had players go across several online media including twitter, gmail, youtube, and various blog/news sources. In the end, after searching these blog/news sources, following a twitter account closely, and using corresponding emails that lead to a youtube video, the player only gets a one minute long video with little information. This is a commentary on how alternate reality games can only go so far in terms of linking to the actual story of the original show. It also points out how time consuming an ARG can be for such a little reward.
For this particular project, most of the work ended up being the actual creation of the ARG. The final video which demonstrates how it would be played (in fast motion), does not necessarily demonstrate how much time and energy it might take to actually to play the ARG let alone be an actual creator of one.
Self Evaluation- I enjoyed this class very much and feel like I was an active participant both in group discussions and group projects. The one area where I feel like I should have been more participatory was in my blogging. While I tried to be an active blogger, and often times wrote about programs/games/videos etc. that we used and discussed in class, I did not meet the requirement of three blogs a week. I am not exactly sure why this happened. I suppose I felt (and still feel) a certain amount of insecurity in terms of my online voice. I still feel as if what I am saying cannot possibly be that insightful or interesting and therefore to publish it on the web for anyone to see seems foolish. While I felt confident enough to blog about things we discussed in class, often times bringing up my own topics and blabbing about it was difficult. I did end up using twitter a fair amount by the end of the semester. I was totally against twitter at the beginning of the class but am now a changed man. The balance I had trouble with on twitter, was knowing that both the class (and Prof. Mittell) and my friends outside of class would be reading my tweets. I was embarrassed to put things too personal/casual that my professor might read, but also embarrassed to put media-tech stuff that my social friends might read. Despite this, I have become a twitterer and continue to tweet via apps on my phone and computer.
All and all I had a very positive experience in the course, and hope that I was able to bring some insight and experience to the table in terms of our discussions and projects.