Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Module 3: Born Digital Fictions

Image via Inanimate Alice.

      Add a comment to Module 4’s blog post with your response to TWO of the digital fictions we read this week
      Send a tweet to @JessL with a comment about the Module 4 PowerPoint lecture. What did you learn about transliteracy and from reading born digital fictions like Inanimate Alice? Will you read more born digital fictions?


  1. Regarding the Module 3 readings, "Episode 1: China" was great to watch as it was nice to see Alice's beginnings. In retrospect I wonder if I would have enjoyed it as much had I not seen Episodes 3 through 5 of Inanimate Alice. I was curious to see her online birth and learn more about the girl/woman she is growing into and how her early years shaped her. Visually, Episode 1 was somewhat plain but the graphics and accompanying audio contributed to the story and I was compelled to find out if Alice's dad was alive. As far as digital narratives go, this is probably one that I would continue to watch (read? play? experience?).

    'Inkubus'. Oh, 'Inkubus'. This reading was definitely a very sophisticated style of digital fiction that I don't think I am ready for. I did not enjoy having to engage in a conversation with an irksome stranger and if I had been watching something like this on television I would have changed the channel. It felt a bit like a G-rated version of Scream whereby instead of asking, "Do you like scary movies?" she was asked, "Do u think ur pretty?" Knowing more about the storyline before beginning Inkubus would have been beneficial for me.

    I was also confused by the hearts on the side of the screen. Do I get hearts by replying in a certain manner to the anonymous responder? I feel a bit like Grandpa Simpson, but when the conversation ended and I was transported to the Matrix (?) I got a bit queasy from the graphics shifting around and trying to navigate my way through where ever I found myself. I actually ended up not really sure what to do or where to go, so I shut down the browser and searched Google for a tl;dr of Inkubus. I have to say, the actual storyline of Inkubus--gender stereotyping--sounds really interesting and it's something that I would enjoy reading, but the multimodality was a dealbreaker. I swear Inkubus, it's totally me, not you.

  2. After watching/reading and interacting with all the stories in Module 3, my least favorite was Inkubus. The graphics for Inkubus was amazingly detailed, extremely interactive and the story was interesting – those are my positives on Inkubus. My negatives though were I found the interactive game was a bit too much for me. I felt frustrated at times about what to do or where to go, that I lost interest in the story. I just wanted it to end at one point. Could be I wasn’t in the mood for Inkubus, or the genre doesn’t interest me.

    I did like Inanimate Alice and Flight Path much more. The interaction level was more my style and there was a story that I could read, and not hunt for. The graphics and music tied well together for Alice, and Alice has a continuation on her story. You see the character grow up with interest changes, but the past seems to always be right there. A mystery in the making.

    Flight Path was intriguing, this story interests me about migrant workers and conditions some people endure in this world live in to make ends meet. Though, I’m not sure where the story will go with Yacub falling from the sky and living in a pantry. Is this storyline like the TV show Heroes? Does he have special powers? I would like to learn more. I might come back and follow up on this storyline.

    With all my reading on the modules, the one story I would like to read in the future is Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl. This has been mentioned times before in our readings, and I researched it. Sounds interesting. In the Digital Literature world – it’s considered a classic. I might check it out one day.

  3. Episode 1: China (Inanimate Alice):

    I wonder if my experience with this story would have been different if I started with the first episode, which lays the groundwork? I actually like this episode better than the others so far. I didn't find the dark roads and the search for her dad to be as intense as Episode 3 or 4. I love how, as the story unfolds, you can get an idea of how much longer you have by looking on the right side of the screen. I appreciated that because I had no idea when "24 Hours with Someone You Know" by Philippa Burne was going to end (even though it was interesting). This story allowed me to practice transliteracy skills. I honestly love it when stories allow me to interact with the different sounds, music, images, text, etc. It makes for a more engaging and richer experience.

    Flight Paths:

    This is an interesting story and also did a good job of integrating sound, text, and images. I think I will need to take a closer read at Flight Paths though, because at times, I wasn't sure what the authors meant. Perhaps that is the point. They might be trying to leave room for some mystery and interpretation. I liked how there were brief stories that you can explore and then you can put the pieces together. Almost like a puzzle.

    Both stories reminded me of the key themes in this class; communication, collaboration, and information sharing. I also noticed that I, the reader, had an important role. The story would not unfold or move forward without me doing something (e.g. clicking). It encourages interaction. However, does it encourage imagination? For example, the images are there, which doesn't give the reader a chance to create their own images in their mind.

  4. You really have to employ effective reading strategies for Flight Paths: discerning patterns; points of view; and vocabulary and diction. Though I understood the story for the most part, I found it a bit disjointed and more importantly found myself wondering more often than not, why is it taking so long to tell this story and is all this 'accouterments' necessary to tell it? Transliteracy skills are recommended for this reading.

    It was interesting to watch/interact with Inanimate Alice Episode 1 after viewing some of the later episodes, kind of felt like working backwards. Though I thought I would enjoy knowing the origins of her story, I found the interesting part to be the technical and aesthetic differences from later episodes. In Episode:China, her writing style is very symbolic of an 8 year-old in terms of vocabulary and diction. Compared to later on when she is a teenager, she is much more involved with her parents and shows more of a need for them. I found the audio distracting and not suitable for the story - it made me want to push through it as fast as I could to get it over with. For the most part the visuals worked with the story, though at times I found them to be more geared with the pace of the audio which made it more frenzied than the story required.

    There are definite similarities between the two stories, flow, audio, visual transitions - which makes sense as Kate Pullinger had a hand in both.

  5. Hi -- a comment on a few digital fictions that we "read" this week (as per Module 3 activities). I viewed "Redridinghood" and "24 Hours." Both have an older vibe (2001 and 1996 respectively), although Redridinghood clearly demonstrated some advancements in technology (animation, game-like qualities such as edgy art, soundtrack). Both game readers the option of choosing their path, although Redridinghood was much more linear than 24 hours, which offered more "choose your own adventure" opportunities. 24 Hours still relied heavily on text, while Redridinghood primarily used visuals to communicate. I also appreciated the photography in 24 (helped to establish the era), but the quality was so poor that I stopped paying much attention after awhile. I enjoyed the art in Redridinghood but was put off by the story -- though I doubt the author would particularly care!

  6. I found Flight Paths to be a bit too disjointed, and I only really began to enjoy it towards the end when Harriet and Yacub's paths began to cross. Having the two different styles of the story play out in parallel, switching between colours and sounds that are at odds, before coming together was really neat.

    Inkubus weirded me out. I couldn't really get whether the visuals were supposed to simulate running around inside the body? Or what was going on at all, really. I got the sense that it was about cyber bullying? The questions, the inability to leave the conversation (even though I could have quit at any time if I really wanted to), the heavy breathing and ominous colours all work well to create that environment of feeling trapped with the bully and unable to properly fight back. So I guess the story did a great job of simulating this.