Tag Archives: hypertext

Four Way Gameplay

In Chapter 1 of Gaming: “Gamic Action, Four Moments,” Alexander Galloway explores video games as a mass medium. He does this without delving specifically into the more creative comports of gaming or the social and specific significance of the playing of video games, but focusing on the semantic makeup of the video game design as a whole and play as medium-specific actions.

First, he explores the differences between video games and previous media. “If photographs are images, and films are moving images, then video games are actions” (2). This is not the same as “active audience” media, where an audience can apply their own subjectivities to media, such as an interpretation of a film. While films and images are passive in our intake of them, in that we cannot affect them directly in how they affect us, video games are an “action-based medium” which requires our input to engage us (3). This concept can be compared to children’s toys.

First, there is the image, the photograph—or in children’s toys, the action figure. Think specifically of the action figure that you are not supposed to play with, or one of the shoddier type you get in Happy Meals: the one that doesn’t have moveable bits, where you must invest your own interpretations into the toy. This could range from anything to fighting aliens to having a tea party, but the main point is that while the toy might look like Iron Man or Barbie, it doesn’t have to be played with in a certain way.

Next, there is the moving image, the film—or the active toy, like the Furby. Furbies were these toys from the early 2000s. If you don’t remember, here’s a commercial:


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Ted Nelson, Hypertext and the Web

Xanadu

The Ted Nelson GoogleTech Talk presentation was delivered on January 29, 2007.  Nelson began his career in the computer world in the early 1960s; an era where the term hypertext or the concept of the World Wide Web was only a figment of ones imagination.  Known as the man who “coined” the term hypertext, Nelson attempted to create a set of constructs for a new world of personal computing and a world of electronic documentation.  Hypertext is defined as “machine-readable text that is not sequential but is organized so that related items of information are connected” (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn). However, Nelson thinks the world of such personal computing constructs has gone all wrong.  In his introduction, Nelson states “The clearer your vision, the harder it is for you to explain.” He believes he is part of an elite group of “old-timers” or the original men who believe that they have a problem– that nobody sees their original vision.

However, certain misunderstanding have occurred in the present world that have skewed these old-timer’s visions regarding their original ideas for just how personal computing would take shape (back in 1960) and the trajectory it would follow in order to be the most efficient and productive system possible.  In his presentation, Nelson addresses the issue of how we can best fix electronic literature, what the original vision for hypertext was and how he personally is envisioning a way to best redesign the “current copyright fights” through selective quotation ownership that “liberates and benefits everyone.”

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Where’s the Bug?

Jodi is a collaborative creation by two net artists, Joan Heemskerk and Dirk Paesmans. Together, they have created original artwork via the Internet, using software art and computer game modifications as their main medium.

As predicted, Jodi faces  many questions and panicked responses from viewers of their net.art. Can it be sold? Is it political? But most importantly (at least for me) is the question, what is this “net.art”? The interview addresses these questions.

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The Power of Words

The function of hypertext

The function of hypertext

We’ve been talking in class about the progression of media and how society has taken technologies from the past and, not only, built upon them but applied them to needs of today.  Steven Johnson’s discussion of hypertext does exactly this.  What is the function of hypertext?  Johnson connects the ideas about a machine conceived by an engineer, Vannevar Bush, in 1945 to links on the Web.  He argues that links have become a form of punctuation but have the potential to completely transform storytelling, or, more generally, how people relate to information.
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Links: Even Grandma Gets It


When one considers the effect that modern technology has had upon scientific and social progression, it is nearly impossible to imagine our culture in the days of non-existent or even old technology.  As the flow of knowledge becomes greater and greater each day, the expectations of technology grow exponentially as well.  Everyday, a new technology, scientific breakthrough, artistic creation or even something as minor as a new interest posted on my Facebook page all become part of the information highway.  The Internet has allowed this constant knowledge flow to be recorded and stored in the World Wide Web, however, it is fundamentally incorrect to assume that the abilities of new media have completely surpassed and replaced old media.  Important minds in the scientific and technological fields have examined the ways in which some new media (i.e., the Internet) have appropriated and integrated old media models.  This paper will examine the works of Steven Johnson and Dr. Vannevar Bush, and the ways in which both men understand new media and the evolutionary processes that occur from old to new media.

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