Joshua Jackson

Blog 10 – 3/29/19

Pry is a story about a war veteran struggling with PTSD, on the iOS App store that rethinks the way an eBook is created. The story was created mainly for use on a tablet but also works on the iPhone.  Pry is fantastic as it uses haptics, expanded cinema, and interaction design from which methods and functions are intensely intertwined. Pry gives us a relationship of touchscreen clickables and text that uncovers reading as a unity of haptic and thinking processes. Pry provides the reader with the feelings of the main character’s thoughts through literally pinching the screen as if you are opening your eyes from a dream and haptics that give you a sense of being in the story.


The goal of the piece I think is to give the reader through, and touchscreen gestures a new way to feel the story’s content instead of just reading and imagining. Touching and tilting the screen gives us the feeling that we are the main character. Readers can decide how long to focus on the character’s thoughts. The period of focus changes the parameters of the next available scenes. The thing that makes this story great is that we get to feel the inner world of the main character through floating text, animations, and video flashbacks as well as experiencing the and the outer world of video that details the main character’s day-to-day experiences. This story is incredible for all readers young and old that would like a new way of immersion in storytelling.




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Blog 8 – 3/8/19

I chose I Love Alaska this week because I didn’t find anything else really appealing. This is a story told of an AOL user #711391o.

“On August 4, 2006, AOL accidentally published a text file on its website containing three months’ worth of search keywords submitted by over 650,000 users.”

This piece would not have been an existing idea, circulated piece, or as a film without the Internet. As the fractional search history of an AOL user, is narrated over images of Alaskan glacial paintings, each entry unlocks a hole upon an overwhelming portrait of oddness. The user seems to have a faint grasp of search methods, and blunt need for guidance, user #711391’s search bar becomes a priest, therapist, prophet. A user log of three months gives us the following perceptions into their life:

“Don’t cut your hair before a big event,” “People are not the same in person as they are on the Internet,” and? “I thought I could handle an affair but I couldn’t.” 

As we watch I Love Alaska, we come to learn that each search history establishes a secondary archive of the self. The continuous process of the inner life is now accessed through keywords. We cannot assume to know what the life of this user is truly like, but the unlimited isolation of being trapped in our own skin has seldom been fabricated in fewer words than,

“Why can’t I sleep since I had a hysterectomy?”

I had trouble finding something that truly hit home this week, but this story makes you think about how secure our information truly is on the internet.

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Blog 7 – 3/1/19


After I watched and played around with A is for apple last week, I knew 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein was my first choice for this week. Another piece done in Flash, demonstrates constellations in which you click on each and it opens displays with animated pictures and narration that creatively relates certain things from Wittgenstein’s life and philosophy. For example, the piece plays on numerous meanings of “88”, from its ban on German soccer jerseys to a deeper idea that “88” implies “Heil Hitler” because the letter H is the 8th letter. The piece is not an effective story being that it is very nonlinear rather it is an assembly of clicks that make connections in multiple ways, yet works very well to keep your attention.

The next piece I chose was Mark Amerika’s “Film Text”. As I watched the introduction and After no changes on the screen, thinking this was a video only, I started to interact with the text. I really enjoyed the audio and visuals used in the piece that connected the use of technology and living in inner-city communities with many people. again, I felt the piece was a critique of modern society with its large urban centers, technology, and media. I found It interesting that Amerika intended for this piece to have a more particular narrative with specific characters, places, and events. The only continuity in this piece was the shadow man with a hat who appeared throughout the piece. Very nice pieces this week, I feel sometimes I have little to no understanding of why or what these artworks are all about and then some just click with me.

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Blog 6 – 2/22/19


After looking through all of the works for this week, I chose two that stood out to me. The first piece I picked was “The Dreamlife of Letters” by Brian Kim Stefans. The digital poem was created from words written to him from a coworker during a roundtable conference. He alphabetized her words and produced a series of short digital poems. The poem’s text moves in different ways on your screen.  The text is responsive to other words and letters, but sometimes the text seems to only have the first letter in common, rather than the first few letters, or patterns of letters inside the word. At certain points of the poem, the movements of the letters match a word.

          E.g. , “the word height expands and grows taller at first,       then shrinks away, while the word “drip” appears as the letter D falls down the screen.” 

I felt excited as I made my way through Brian Kim Stefans work but nothing prepared me for A is for Apple. I watched this a couple of times, and I felt like I needed more. I went to David Clark’s page and started looking through more of his work, and I am thrilled to have discovered this man. All of his work is just beautiful, and I can’t wait to explore all of his stuff. For now, I will discuss A is for Apple. This piece is a Flash-based project that uses the hypertext to investigate the science behind an apple. The piece uses a sequence of links, looking for hidden meanings that come from the apple. 

        “The image of the apple leads to references and ideas borrowing from western metaphysics, popular culture, the history of cryptography, ideas of language, and psychoanalysis.”

A is for Apple was created using the model of a collage. Initially, paper collages were made. Those became the basis of a flash website where David and his associates made the page interactive and animated. One of the best Pieces of art I have ever scene.

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Blog 5 – 2/15/19


After sifting through these games that I would not consider ever playing if I had not taken this class, I found two that were very well created. I felt all the other games besides Blackbar, and Device 6 was lacking a great structure and were very obnoxious. Device 6 to some may not be a game in the most real sense; it requires a strict amount of attention. A series of short stories combined with interactive riddles.

Device 6 starts with a girl named Anna who seems to have a bit of a problem remembering how or why she is in a castle. Device 6 the game is full of strange devices and cryptic clues. Strange audio sounds and tons of locked doors to open divides this game into six separate chapters. The game has a minimalist art style and fantastic audio. What’s unexpected about this game is it is mostly just text, but the story opens up like a book in that you swipe through words, but the structure is very abnormal. The text shifts to suit the gameplay. For example, the text will stagger like a staircase when you are moving down and will even split, twist and turn.

there are moments you will have to solve interactive devices that are password protected or need a code. There are audio clues throughout the game so you must have audio enabled. This game gives you many different ways to interact through text and audio, but those aren’t just the things that keep the story moving, the text is also the game’s map.

As for the game Blackbar, I found it was a bit slow and somewhat frustrating. If you are able to get something right, you will advance through the story, if you get the answer wrong you sit in limbo until your next guess. It’s a touching and somewhat difficult game about loss and language, and while it doesn’t seem like a game of the normal stature Blackbar gives us a story of communication between two women and parts of their letters have been blacked out by a dictator like system, like censorship. You must fill in the words that have been blacked out. Some of the words are a common sense solving Other parts of the game will have you solve a word puzzle, or put your memory to the test from an earlier conversation. Some puzzles are a bit mysterious, but there’s enough reasoning behind them that, when you FINALLY figure out the HARD ones, you can breathe again. The narrative is what really makes this game. It’s about the importance of language and the price of censorship.

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Blog 4 – 2/8/19

I had first heard of “My Boyfriend Came Back from the War” when I started at WSU in 2017. Now that I have gone through a few different DTC classes I have clicked through this story on multiple occasions, and it seems to get more interesting every time I look more into it.  Olia Lialina’s story, uses simple HTML elements to communicate a somewhat haunting like a cinematic narrative. Olia Lialina’s story tells the story of a young lady who is reuniting with her love, after his return from war. The story makes use of browser frames, hypertext, and also includes both animated and still images. This story highlights the artistic similarities and separations between cinema and the web as mediums, and explores the early language of the internet. The author uses the web to question our understandings of the story and organization of memory through a set of on-screen graphics that are clickable.

The story is somewhat Incomplete which opens up a user’s imagination through navigation and reinterpretation of the piece. “My Boyfriend Came Back from the War” demonstrates the possibility to use the internet as a way to remember, together. The work brought cinematic themes such as pulsing imagery, intertitles, and close-ups of actors into an interactive, multilinear structure of hypertext. As you click on each fragment, the browser window splits into smaller and smaller frames. When interacting with this story a user can advance through the story by clicking on the hyperlinks, images, and incomplete phrases. I like this story. For how old this story is, I get a feeling that it was written in more modern times, being that we are still at war in the middle east.

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Blog 3 – 2/1/19


During the 1990s I was a teenager in high school when I first learned about this mysterious new thing called hypertext fiction, but it appeared to be around for a while and then seemed to vanish overnight unless you were someone writing it or explicitly seeking it out. So, what happened to hypertext fiction? I had myself forgotten about this type of literature until I started the DTC program at WSU. I remember teachers in high school raving about hypertext, how it was hyped up as the next big thing. Hypertext is a medium that could change storytelling in the post-Gutenberg era, a way in which the invention of movable text gave rise to the novel. Hypertexts were available, first on diskette, then on CD-ROM, and eventually on the Web.  And then, poof, nothing happened. I think that it was put out to fast and people weren’t ready for this type of thing although people raved about the technology.
Numerous reasons might exist as to why hypertext fiction has not taken off in literary communities which might include strict design problems, complications with copyright laws, and problems with stocking e-books. For me, I am a bit old fashioned as I like to feel and turn each page of a book when I am engrossed in a novel, the aesthetics are what I enjoy about reading. With hypertext fiction, I have yet to embrace the new digital media in a way that has enough added value for me to enjoy it which is a reason I chose to take this class. I hope at the end of the semester I will have gained a new interest in hypertext fiction.

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Blog 2 – 1/25/19

After going over the weekly readings, we can look at Hypertext, not as a classification but as a common term, the word hypertext is used to describe writing that is made possible by the invention of the computer and is created in the nonlinear or non-sequential space. Also, unlike print, hypertext offers numerous paths between text fragments. With its webs of linked fragments sometimes referred to as lexias, these fragments give us alternate routes that hypertext uses drastically with technology, giving us interactive independence which frees’ the reader from the author control. Hypertext users and creators are thought of as co-learners or co-writers, mapping and remapping the textual, visual, and kinetic components.

The mechanics behind “The Babysitter” follows somewhat of a TV guide listing. It is separated into sections, each of which links to a television program. From the beginning, Robert Coover uses key phrases to link the reader to characters. For example, the repeated phrase of “light brown hair” identifies Mr. Tucker, while “enough’s enough” or “that’s enough” identifies Jack. As the story develops, the character’s points of view begin to blend, and annoying attempts are made to differentiate among them. When we get to the end of the story, chaos has substituted the stories simplicity and reason. The shift in viewpoints is supposed to simulate channels changing and the fragmentation of realism in television. When we look at the beginning of the story, it was somewhat easy to recognize and distinguish the different points of view. By the end, it was somewhat jumbled.

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Blog 1 – 1/17/19

Nick Monfort’s poem, Taroko Gorge is a reproductive poem about the Taroko Gorge National Park. The words scroll down infinitely, originating from a simple nature poem. On the surface, it is a countrified description of boundless landscapes in a variety of variations and length, yet confined like a river’s gorge by its short sentences.

The poem’s simplicity is reflected in its JavaScript code that is less than one thousand words. Each line of the poem that is generated from a small collection of adjectives. Another thing I noticed when researching this poem is that Nick Montfort allows the modification of his poetry generator by users or readers, provided the users give an original copyright notification.

Scott Rettberg’s Electronic Literature reflects on new forms and types of writing that manipulate the abilities of computers and networks such as works that would not be possible without the modern digital framework. Electronic Literature by Scott Rettberg is a vital book for students and researchers studying literary concepts.

Rettberg puts the most significant categories of E-literature in a cultural, technological, and historical context. Some of the categories in this book talk about digital, hypertext, and interactive fiction. Rettberg argues that E-literature needs to be read through the view of the specifics of the technology used to produce the work. This book offers a fundamental introduction to a vast field that both reacts to innovative literature and traditions of art that generate various new forms of stories and poetry that are specific to the modern era.

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