Concept in 60 Update: Video Games as Interactive Literature

So I changed my concept. Yeah.

I had a thought sometime between last class and the weekend….video games are actually interactive literature. We tell people to put the media down and pick up a book, but what’s the difference between a story on a page and a story on a computer screen? We’re stepping into the shoes of a character we created or the main character of a story. We’re moving along the story at our own pace, sharing in their struggles, their happiness, and their growth as people.

So, I give you my second and final concept idea: Video games as Interactive Literature.

Known Issues:

  • Still have to do some more audio cutting so it doesn’t just stop dead at the end.
  • Credits.
  • Very long black space in the middle where I forgot to put some clips before uploading. Oops.
  • Rendered in the wrong quality.
  • The titles/transitions will be much prettier in the final product.

Concept in 60: The Bare Bones

Youtube is being weird right now, but hopefully the link will work even if the video doesn’t show up here.

My concept for this project is “How many ways can you tell a story?” To illustrate this, I’m compiling several clips of various Lord of the Rings adaptations. Since the books were written, there’s been epic movies, animated films, and even video games. Tolkien’s world has pretty much set the bar for anything fantasy-related these days, and this video somewhat explores that.

There’s no audio for the time being, and I need to work on my transitions.

Response: Self Driving Cars

Self driving cars? I can’t say that I wouldn’t be utterly terrified to sit in the passenger seat of a car….that happens to be its own driver’s seat. No, I think that would be awkward for everyone involved. Not only is there the danger of the car malfunctioning, but think about it – from the horse-driven carriages to the modern car, humans have driven them. We’ve never put a computer in charge of taking us long distances unless it’s autopilot, and that’s not done for an entire trip.

It’s an interesting idea, but I think a lot of us would be pretty nervous hopping into the back of a car with no driver. As much as we fantasize about the future, it’ll take a lot more trust and commitment that we might imagine.

Skype: Proof that Talking Online Is Harder Than it Needs to Be

When you’re looking for a way to communicate with your friends online, Skype is probably the first thing you’ll be directed to. It’s a minimalist little app for your PC or phone that does exactly what you’d expect it to do. Plug in a headset and video chat with a friend, or omit video chatting altogether if you want to use it for gaming.

The thing about Skype is that you get what you pay for – which in this case, is nothing at all.

Often, the software is clunky and slow, taking several minutes just to reach the login screen. It’s even more of a pain to shut it down, which seems to take much longer than one might expect. Ever had that moment where you wonder why it takes so much longer to end something than to start it? It applies to Skype in several ways.

There’s also an issue with Skype’s new advertising component. As if we didn’t have anything better to do, now we’re subjected to random ads from a number of companies during our calls.

“While on a 1:1 audio call, users will see content that could spark additional topics of conversation that are relevant to Skype users and highlight unique and local brand experiences. So, you should think of Conversation Ads as a way for Skype to generate fun interactivity between your circle of friends and family and the brands you care about. Ultimately, we believe this will help make Skype a more engaging and useful place to have your conversations each and every day.”

You read that correctly. Skype is under the very, very, poor assumption that most people will drop a conversation they’re already engaged in to start chattering about Quilted Northern. Would it have been so difficult to say, “We need ads for money” and be done with it?

In addition to poor call quality, dropped calls, and constant freezing up just because it feels like it, Skype’s had several dangerous shortcomings in the past. To name a few: a location-exposing vulnerability , swallowing bandwidth like a starving animal, and a previously removed DRM snoop agent.

Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives to Skype if you’re looking for a solution with less of a hassle to chat with friends online. They have a long way to go before achieving perfection, but they won’t find it if they continue to ignore what needs to be fixed.

The Future of New Media: A Whole New World?

We’re already in a digital world that’s growing by the hour. By the time our kids are our age, we’ll more than likely have managed to invent those hovercars and instant home-cooked meals. Technology is a fast-moving creature, and we’re just a bunch of humans trying to catch up with it all.

Most of us grew up in the 90’s, right? We never would’ve thought that something like the PS4 would ever be invented. We couldn’t have predicted that the Iphone would go as far as it has in terms of development. These days, while it’s easier to predict what might come next, there’s still going to be something that’ll wow us technologically. 

The question is, how far will we go?

We could have androids serving us coffee in the mornings while our bed lifts us onto the floor. We could have voice-activated showers, cars that drive themselves, or kitchens that’ll have our dinner waiting for us when we get home for the night. As we’ve read all through the semester, technology and media is always moving, while we’re struggling to keep ourselves from falling behind. The truth is, we don’t know exactly what’s to come – heck, we may even be alive for when the world turns into Deus Ex. It’s why people enjoy anticipating the future – we hope and pray that the world will turn out the way we’ve read about in stories, and yet at the same time we want it to be done right. We may never be able to get all the right components for self-replicating nanobots or implants that give people superhuman strength. 

However, that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The future’s a complete and total open slate – only time’s going to tell what’ll eventually be written on it.

Response: Cursive? They Lied!

I remember being told that I needed to learn to write cursive because that’s all I’d ever use in high school and college.

Welp. Already graduated, and now I’m in my senior year of college. And to this day, I haven’t written a single word in cursive aside from my own signature.

It’s a dying art, that’s true, but I don’t think it should be simply forgotten. After all, calligraphy is still a beautiful form of art regardless of how old it is. I do hope one day it’ll make a comeback – all you ever write these days are papers in Times New Roman size 12, and teachers these days would prefer typed work rather than handwritten papers. It’s understandable – some people have awful handwriting. Some might also write too small for most older teachers to read clearly.

But honestly? I agree – as much as I hated learning it, I’d like to see some use for it in the near future.