Third Module: Networking [Final Report]

Like all of the projects I’ve completed in DGST 101, I’ve really enjoyed doing this. I chose to sort verified Twitter users by the gaming platform they followed on Twitter, with the options being PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, or Steam. The process was a bit frustrating and tedious as there was just so much data, but overall, I am happy with my product.

I feel that I chose to take on a huge subject, and that I did it some justice. While I didn’t process all 5,000 sets of data, I did spend many nights in the library and HCC categorizing and sorting all of this data into Kumu.

I am happy with my project overall, and you can all check it out here. (:

Third Module: Networking [Progression Report]

Picking a topic for the third module was really hard for me. I went back and forth between “mapping” and “networking” for a long time, experimenting with websites from both module sets, until finally deciding on mapping. And then I switched to networking a few days later.

That was only half the battle though. I’ve had so many ideas and trials that my kumu project list runs quite a bit down my browser now. Many of the projects I took on were huge, so I had to go to the library or HCC to actually work on them, or my computer would lag out.

I finally decided on doing a console war network, but my ambitions always seem to be higher than what I can actually achieve. It started out just being what verified users on Twitter follow Xbox, Playstation, or both. But I couldn’t just leave out PC gamers like that, and chose to add Steam to my project. I debated adding Steam, or Origin, or Blizzard, etc. but there were so many possibilities when it came to PC gaming, and I went with Steam, simply because it’s a fairly well-known PC gaming platform. I also couldn’t help but add Nintendo, simply because they’re a completely different company than Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation.

Perhaps now you can see how I ended up a little over my head.

For more on the process of how I actually completed all this, stay tuned to my blog!

Digital Polarization [Reflection]

Like most things we’ve done in DGST 101, I’ve loved working on DigiPo. The extension is super useful, and I’m glad DigiPo showed me what it was all about.

I worked on the article claiming Hillary Clinton had been officially indicted for treason. This subject was interesting to me because the whole 2016 election seemed like a comedy show that just kept giving (and unfortunately the show has continued).

The original article listing the claim was very biased, and a clickbait article. Upon research the claim was stated as an opinion, and Hillary-haters just ran with the headline.

The page originally had just a claim on it, so my group added all of the information there now. I enjoyed the process, gathering data is always fun, and the claim was so wild that some of the articles were actually pretty interesting.

DigiPo was a project that didn’t take too long to complete and I really enjoyed it. The more we do in this class the more I wish I could be a Comm and DGST major. Maybe I’ll try to pursue the field even with my measley English degree, but digital studies will always be one of my passions after this class.

Digital Archaeology [Reflection]

Digital Archaeology sure is a tough topic, but I’ve honestly really enjoyed the process!

After many long nights spent with countless tabs open, and even more pinned tabs, I feel that this project is finally coming to an end. While the work my group and I conducted wasn’t easy and challenged my faith in universal search engines, I feel as though I’ve learned a lot from this process.

Not only do I now have way more information about the processor inside of a Nintendo Game Boy Advance than I ever thought I would, but the concept that some of this information was so hard to find, or turned up absolutely nothing really left me wondering. Why? Why is it so hard to find this information?

We live in an era where hackers can easily access entire population’s social security numbers, where people list their home addresses online. One glance at someone’s Facebook profile could tell you where they were born, where they went to high school, where they graduated college, where they work, who they know, etc. I could probably find out the address of my kindergarten teacher in mere minutes if I really wanted, but somehow hours upon hours of research on where the plastic case of the Game Boy Advance turns up nothing.

It wasn’t hard to find out who designed the case, but my guess is that’s because it was designed under better conditions than it was manufactured..

Overall, I feel as though my group has made great strides in our work. I was able to find out a lot of information about the ARM Processor, and I’ve found mild amounts of information about many of the other chip components. One of my other group members is conducting research about the plastic buttons and triggers, but when I complete my research I’ll jump over there and help them out.

I’ve also been working on our group’s Neatline and trying to pinpoint the actual locations of factories based on the surrounding information. This part of the project is kind of fun for me, and I set up our Neatline during the class demonstration, so I don’t mind working on it.

I feel like we could have had a bit more coordination on who was doing what at this point, but honestly maybe I’m just assigning too much to myself. I can’t help but look at everyone’s items and think “I could probably find some more citations for that..” I haven’t looked at other group’s Neatline maps or item databases, so maybe I’m overkilling it on the citations, but I just prefer to have more than less. Additionally, as I’ve said, I have really enjoyed this project, and while it is a bit stressful, I actually enjoy trying to find articles from around 2000 about the system. I’m learning a lot about what a lot of terms I’ve heard before mean, like LCD means a Liquid Crystal Display.

After taking this class I really wish I could take more DGST courses. I wish I could’ve declared a second major in Communications and Digital Studies (or even go back to my freshman/sophomore year when they were separate and declare.) I’m an English major, but this is just so interesting to me. Next Fall will be my last semester as I’m graduating early, but I hope I’ll be able to register for a DGST class.

Digital Archaeology [Progression Report]

For our Digital Archaeology project my group is deconstructing a Nintendo Gameboy Advance from the year 2000. Disassembling the system wasn’t too hard, but finding our where each individual component comes from has served as quite the task.

Although Nintendo is a fairly well-known company across the globe, not all of their work is carefully detailed online. I’ve been able to find quite a bit of information about certain components, likes the AGB ARM Processor, but when it comes to little chips that regulate the LCD screen and such, google searches turn up absolutely nothing or very little information.

I’ve heard a lot of discussion about how this is a very hard project, but researching where everything comes from and placing it on a map is actually a really cool concept to me, and I’m enjoying it.

So while the process of finding information is a bit hard, the work in the end is pretty cool. I’ll be sure to post some images of the final map to my blog, so stay tuned for that. (:

Second Module: Blogging [Report]

I believe that our project was an overall success.

Obviously, we’ve all maintained blogs on WordPress, but everyone in our group also remembered having blogs on websites like LiveJournal, BlogSpot, and Tumblr. It was interesting for us to all be able to compare what blogging used to be like and what it’s like now.

I learned a more detailed process of how blogging has grown over the years and was able to observe many websites and their transformations over the years. I also delved deeper into how and why blogging has grown so popular recently, and looked deeply into the monetary aspect of the growing trend. It’s also interesting to note that some huge websites technically function as blogs. Some notable examples include The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed.

This project has been a very interesting insight to a subject I already had some familiarity with.

Second Module: Blogging [Progression Report]

After conducting some research on blogging, I think it’s amazing to reflect on how much the platform has grown over the past few years. I remember making a blog a long time ago and only being able to change the background image, and now you can customize almost every aspect of a blog.

Growing up, I remember blogging platforms like LiveJournal, Blogger, and Tumblr getting huge. I remember it was a big thing in middle school and high school for students to make blogs and have other students ask them questions and read about their daily activities.

Blogging in the modern era has definitely spread its scope. There are teens who blog, young adults, adults, and the elderly. Whether it’s blogging about local coupons, their kid’s grades, hipster photos, or travel experiences, blogging has taken over as a form of communication.

Nowadays people even monetize their blogs and make money off of them. Blogs are sources where anyone of the web can see what you’ve written, and everywhere is a public forum.

It will be interesting to see where blogging goes next.

Digital Archaeology [Deconstruction]

My Digital Studies group decided to deconstruct a Nintendo Game Boy Advance, from the year 2001 (technically created in 2000).

We deconstructed the mechanism last Monday and have since been documenting the details of each individual piece.  You can check our documentation of each piece here.


First Module: Creativity [Reflection]

For our first module, I joined the Interactive Fiction team.

Interactive Fiction is something I’ve been interested in since when I first started using a computer. I remember playing The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy interactive game when I was younger, and now I dabble in interactive video games, like Telltale’s The Walking Dead, where the choices the player makes influences the game’s outcome.

In making my own interactive fiction piece, I found many elements interesting and some challenging. I loved that there were so many platforms, even more than just the ones listed on the website, ready to help aspiring authors/creators draft their pieces.  All of the websites I looked at required no knowledge of coding, which made them very easy to navigate and to use. However, I did run into some unexpected problems in creating my own piece.

My original idea for a game was so drawn out, and I didn’t realize how long it takes to even create one room with interactive objects in it. A formula listing every possible interaction and their consequences had to be laid out for each object in every room on the platform I was using (Playfic). The story felt incomplete to me if I didn’t give the player a way to examine and use each object. This led me to narrowing down my original idea of a zombie apocalypse survival game, to a much simpler room escape game. Even just creating one room took me days to configure. Whenever I thought the game would work, I would get an error with something like, “The system does not understand the phrase [use table]” or something to that degree. It was frustrating to have to keep changing my work and trying to figure out what went wrong every time the script failed, but in the end it was rewarding.

I definitely learned that something seemingly simple can very quickly become complicated. Just because coding wasn’t required, didn’t mean that what I wrote was guaranteed to process correctly every time.  In the end, I am proud of what I made, and will definitely continue to dabble with Playfic, and maybe one day I’ll be able to write and publish a zombie playthrough, but for now I’ll take these stories one room at a time.

First Module: Creativity [Progression Report]

After toying around with story ideas and reassessing the mediums used in interactive fiction, I’ve started transferring my paper ideas into the digital mediums.

After toying around with each of the platforms a bit, I’ve decided to use Playfic, rather than Twine.

Playfic has been a bit difficult to maneuver with, but I believe once I get more practice with it I will be able to convey my story properly with it.

Using Playfic, I’ve already changed the layout of my story a few times, just to try to get it to fit within the parameters that Playfic functions around. The tutorial provided isn’t terribly helpful, so I’ve looked at other stories and their codes to try and grasp how to platform works.

The code seems straight-forward, but it also leaves me with many questions. For example, why can’t I get the backpack to show up in the list on the right? I’ll have to look through more stories to find out how other’s have created their stories, but once I get the hang of this app, I think the rest of the module will be smooth-sailing.