Readings 11: Games & Stories

I’m going to talk about this weeks topics a little differently this week.

Let’s begin with Stories

In the article Televisions Invitation To Participate we find that successful storytelling has always relied on the listener/reader/viewer feeling personally connected in some way. So there is no doubt that in order for television to be successful the shows need to relate and connect the viewers. The teen/tween show iCarly on Nickelodeon is a perfect example of how television engages the viewer. Viewers could go online and message the iCarly webcam show (even though it’s fake) and in the TV show iCarly when they are recording an episode of the iCarly podcast, the members answer the questions posted on the internet.

Our iming, web surfing, texting teens are going to be tomorrow’s multimedia-texting adults. With that said, television producers are already marketing products and shows towards them. When cell phones first came out, you didn’t really see characters on TV shows using them that often. Now every character on every TV show is being shown texting, you see their texts, and emailing, they show you their emails. (even cartoons!) Every show has some sort of technological device being showed and used in each episode.

It was neat to read Release: Immersive & Interactive Digital Media Programs to Receive Emmys. I didn’t know that the Emmy’s had these categories. (Probably because they aren’t announced on live television) The following categories are as followed. Multiplatform Storytelling, Original Interactive Program, Social TV Experience, User Experience & Visual Design. I’m not going to talk about all four winners but I would like to talk about User Experience and Visual Design. Nick Apps won this category. How Cool! The app is so easy to navigate that it allows children to really discover and explore. Go Nickelodeon!

We meet Katsura Okiyama in the article Tone Language. She is a mother of one, and a typical Japanese woman in her mid 20’s. She is a writer, but not just an ordinary writer. A mobile writer. In Japan it is very popular for people of all ages to type their novels on their phones. When I was reading the article I thought that makes a whole lot of sense because everyone is always on their phones anyway but when I looked at her picture she had a flip phone. Wouldn’t her fingers get even more tired texting on those old buttons? I couldn’t help but think that. Also, how does her phone have enough storage space to keep all these texts in order? The website Maho i-Rando is a mobile novel publishing site. Whoever helped turn these mobile novels into hard copies is a genius! The novels turn into movies and series. This is the future of storytelling.

We Tell Stories Project, is by far my most favorite story I have read this semester in this class! Well, the story, Your Place or Mine that was one of the story projects was my favorite. I have found a lot of the information in class to be neat, strange and interesting, but this story tops them all! I’m sure we will talk about the detailed story of Laurence and Terry in class (crazzzzzyyyyyy) so I will talk about the concept. We Tell Stories, is a project that Penguin UK Publishers created to promote digital story telling. Every time readers follow a story and finish it, they are directed to a new page with a new story. After they read all 6 stories by 6 different authors they will find the hidden secret 7th story. It’s such a fun, creative way to promote this new style of writing. I absolutely loved it.

The quick read version of Hamlet being told as a Facebook page was great. If Historical Events had Facebook Pages, was just as funny. I couldn’t help but read all those posts and think, hmm, this is really funny but how cool is it that now every piece of human history is being recorded this way. Everyone wants to share their story and their lives, on Facebook.

Next Topic Games

This week, in Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together, we read chapter 11 Reduction and Betrayal. It was really hard for me to follow along only because of how repetitive it was. I feel like we already touched base on some of the topics she brought up. So here is what I did find different. Towards the end of the chapter Sherry brings up Chatroulette. Yet another thing I have not heard about. So this caught my attention. Chatroulette is a game that brings you live video and audio feed of any other people who are logged into the game. If you do not like what you see you can hit the next button and someone else will appear on your computer screen. How nuts! So pretty much you can meet anymone face to face now. No more hiding. Chatroulette has also added a new word to the international lexicon: “nexting”.

Another thing from Sherry that I really liked was when she wrote, “But looking to games for amusement is one thing. Looking to them for a life is another.” Games were created for fun. I don’t think the person who created Pac-Man or Galaga would have ever predicted some of the games we have to play with now. They are so interactive that it could be a positive thing or it could be a downfall.

Like I said, this chapter Reduction and Betrayal was repetitive but it made me think, this video game vs. reality problem going on is a cycle. People use video games to escape their every day, normal, boring lives. But then they get so wrapped up in these fantasy worlds that when they come back to reality their bills still aren’t paid, they are still in their unhappy relationship, and they still have to go to work. They procrastinate by spending hours playing a game. They could be spending hours working at on their unhappy relationships, or working towards getting a better position at their job or a new job but instead they are addictive to these games because they are an easy fix. To me, it sounds like just a vicious cycle.

So, what are the good things that come from playing interactive games? One good thing is leadership skills. According to an IBM Study: Online Multiplayer Games Build Business Leaders, gamers learn collaboration, self-organization, risk taking, openness, and influence. Playing video games also train brains to solve puzzles. In the article, Online Gamers Help Solve Mystery of Critical AIDS Virus, researchers turned to a group of FoldIt experts to help them solve what automated methods could not. (Fold It is a game where players need to figure out how to fold proteins into their final form.) Sure enough, the experts from FoldIt solved what the researchers wanted them to and now we are one step closer to finding a cure.

Have you ever heard of Machinima? Cause I haven’t, but here is what it is. Machinima is the use of REAL-TIME computer video graphics engines that create a cinematic production. Here’s my question, what makes Machinima any different from Pixar?

Last, but not least, the article Ridiculous Life Lessons From New Girl Games. I gotta say I agree with the author 100%. These video games are doing nothing but teaching young girls unrealistic lessons. But I have to play devils advocate. When I grew up all I played with was Barbie. Although Barbie advertised that as a woman Barbie could be anything and do everything, she was shaped unrealistic to how real woman look. We also had a game called Dream Phone, that allowed us to make pretend phone calls to dreamy boys (who weren’t real) but we hoped they were. What was that teaching us??






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