Tag Archives: McLuhan

Redridinghood Analysis

@MyDtcAccount – Jonathan Crabtree


Donna Leishman’s work “Redridinghood” puts a twist on the familiar story of the sweet little girl who goes to Grandma’s, and encounters a wolf along the way. What I found intriguing was a thought that occured to me halfway through. In print literature, there is a set series of events and happenings. You don’t control what happens, nor do you control when it happens. But, when you read a print edition of a book, you’re mind is opened up to a plethora of possibilites in regards to visualization of the characters, creating a certain “voice” in your head of what the characters must sound like, and imagining the setting and all the colors of the environment. When viewing an electronic piece such as Redridinghood, however, it is backwards. Sure, you may have control over several factors like when the story progresses, choosing what the character does in a certain event, or anything else that comes from the increased interactivity that electronic media offers the user. But the author provides the visuals, provides the voices (though there were no words in this specific example), and provides the colors that make up the environment. Personally, I feel like this detracts from the overall sense of satisfaction that I get from reading a book.


One way that the affordances of having a story told in an electronic medium does enhance the work is the ability to play a set type of music for each situation in the story. Music evokes a certain mood, which changes our perception of the story and how we read it. McLuhan touched on this, saying that “media, by altering the environment, evoke in us unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension of any one sense alters the way we think and act – the way we perceive the world” (41).

Oh what Big Bytes You Have

The artist for “Redridinghood” incorporated many forms of digital media to tell a classic tale that everyone is familiar with. The twist being set in a more modern time with her going from a city to the country and the ‘wolf’ being an imposing boy on a scooter makes it more relatable to the digital generations. Because of the level of technology assimilated into our society the artist takes advantage of the natural instinct of clicking on objects without prompts to see what happens. That was my first reaction, once the story started I found myself clicking on all the windows just to see what happens and make sure I did not miss out on anything. By letting the reader of the story pick what happens when she falls asleep keeps the reader engaged and interested to see what happens next, and yes I did click on all the flowers.

With all these different mediums being used the message of the artist is expressed very well. In the book “The Medium is the Massage” McLuhan states

“Information pours upon us, instantaneously and continuously. As soon as information is acquired, it is very rapidly replaced by still newer information”

With the interaction, music and having to figure out what was needed to keep the story going Leishman did exactly this by providing information instantaneously and continuously very rapidly by not letting any gaps happen in her rendition of the story. McLuhan sums this up when he states “all factors of the environment and of experience co-exist in a state of active interplay”

Audra Mann | @WSUVcollegeMom

Blog Post: Red Riding Hood.


The affordances of the electronic medium in the story of Red Riding Hood presented by Donna Leishman, titled Redridinghood is a piece of electronic literature that must be viewed or read on a computer or another compatible device. This work is an interactive fiction piece that is very immersive as it requires the reader to engage within the work by using pictures, videos and interface connectivity (a term I use that basically means that a person must connect with the interface or the piece of art in order to continue on with the plot or to enjoy the piece as a whole). This interface connectivity allows the user to enjoy the story of Red Riding Hood not through just pictures and words like in a book but rather through the ability to choose what Red Riding Hood does; a common critique to reading books (the inability to choose what you want the character to do,  giving rise to the alternative works known as fan fiction). Tying the idea of fan fiction and the ability to choose, this is what McLuhan was talking about in this quote, “Countersituations made by the artists, provide means to direct attention and enable us to see and understand more clearly” (McLuhan 68). The countersituations that the artist provides to us through this specific medium allows us to clearly understand what awaits Red Riding Hood. The environment created through this new medium enhances the message of the work providing a more in-depth and new way to tell the story.