All posts by giuliasforazzini

I’d rather be a coma than a fullstop

It’s incredible how time flies. Our journey through Digital Genres is almost finished as this is my final blog. Here I will talk about an E-lit work from the Volume 2 that I found interesting and original, a new way of portraying comics on web.

Hobo Lobo of Hamelin

hobo lobo

Hobo Lobo, a wolf, arrives to the town of Hamelin: a town that is over-run by human-like rats. The wolf sets up shop. Although Hobo Lobo’s pitched craft is to deal with simple problems, the mayor soon initiates his services for solving a heavy problem: getting rid of the rat population. Previous attempts have failed at keeping the rats at bay so Dick Mayor looks for some divin intervention. Now, the reason why this issue is so important is because Mayor hopes that by getting rid of this social problem, he will gain more votes in the upcoming election.
So Mayor, after visiting a fortune-teller, recruits the wolf in solving this issue with the promise of fabulous wealth and riches as compensation. For the money, Hobo Lobo does exterminate the rats, leading them off a cliff.
The repercussions are felt by the town, but not in a good way (as we can see in the images). Mayor happily takes responsibility for the improvement. Meanwhile, Hobo Lobo has not been paid.
So, after a reasonable time of waiting, Lobo calls up the mayor’s office, gets the receptionist, and is unsatisfactorily dismissed. Afterwards, Lobo walks straight up to the mayoral candidate in his office and gets cussed out. Mayor immediately has him tossed out.
Hobo Lobo resorts to suing the mayor, but due to the fact that there was no written contract, Hobo Lobo is labeled a liar by the court and the mayor. Now Hobo Lobo owes the mayor for two trials (after the mayor countersued him for blackmail and extortion). The mayor believes justice has been served; Hobo Lobo is now poorer than ever.

Clicca per vedere lo slideshow.

This is a digital pop-up book about a city, the rats from which it is invaded, a wolf, a selfish and opportunist mayor. This digital broadside adapts the story and setting of the medieval Pied Piper. It’s flat and 3D at the same time as the images overlap and move as the reader continues reading. It was built from scratch for the web (in HTML) as an exercise in medium synthesis. Hobo Lobo weaves a satirical fable that breaks with web comic conventions, from video games and animation in order to create something completely different and new.

Stevan Živadinović’s piece is one of the first examples of digital sequential art to make use of parallax and limited animation. A wolf turned Renaissance journeyman travels to the town of Hamelin where the local mayor refuses to pay him for ridding the town of rats. The story catches the reader’s attention by playing with static and kinetic imagery, together in hybrid ways. Rather than using the page breaks of traditional comics, Hobo Lobo’s polylinear timeline proceeds unbroken as the reader goes through the episodes. It’s a digital experience that gives the illusion that you’re looking inside a story box where a little technology can have a surprising and even old-fashioned effect.

While I was reading, a short sentence jumped at my eye. It is right after Hobo Lobo has taken care of the rats, and the town has had time to react to their disappearance. To describe how the citizens felt about it, the author writes, “This was noticed”. Simply, but very powerful, especially when you see the illustrations at the top where the kid kicks a ball at a wall, and looks very disappointed. His friend, who I think was a rat, is not there to play with him. That’s when you realize (and I believe that’s the author’s aim) that the rats weren’t as evil as the Mayor described them to be: they were friends, neighbors, other citizens of Hamelin. At this point, the tone of the story has turned less bright and more bleak. Maybe the townspeople might speak up against these actions and expel the mayor. But that is to be decided… Yes, because the story of Hamelin ends without really ending: it is only two sections long at the moment, but looks promising to be watched for coming updates. Furthermore, the author is making much of his code available under a Creative Commons License to allow other creators to make similarly comics.

Risultati immagini per hobo lobo of hamelin gif

Another thing I did is to create my own twitter bot by following instuctions. What is it?

A Twitter bot is a software program that sends out automated posts on Twitter.

Most Twitter bots work simply, sending out tweets periodically or responding to instances of specific phrases in user messages. More sophisticated Twitterbots perform various tasks, such as mining and analyzing tweets in real time. Socialbots, for example, incorporate artificial intelligence and sophisticated linguistic software to convincingly replicate human interaction.

Many Twitter bots are specialized for various purposes. Depending on what the particular purpose is, Twitter bots can be useful, informative, annoying or dangerous — just like human tweeters. According to  The New York Times, on average, only 35 percent of the followers of any Twitter account are actual people. Presumably, the remaining 65 percent are Twitter bots.

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About this course I can say that helped me a lot to understand and discover the digital world, the one we are living in. At first, my basic knowledge of computer made me think how difficult this course would be, but I was wrong. With the right teaching and method everything is possible. Now I’m ready to experience the digital world on my own.

Experiencing E-lit works

In this blog we are going to analyze more closely some pieces of electonic literature from the E-lit Collection Volumes. I’ve opened many of them and finally I chose two pieces different from each other.

Separation

The first work that captured my attention was “Separation” by Annie Abrahams, from the Electronic Literature Collection (Volume 2) and was written during a stay in the hospital in 2001. The title page of Abrahams’s work explains that the text’s primary purpose is to inspire physical responses in sufferers of Repetitive Strain Injury (often people that work with computers), which will in turn alleviate pain and help with physical recuperation. Its main intention is not only to rehabilitate people physically, but emotionally, as well.

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This text’s presentation is entirely linear. Using a yellow, featureless background (which remains blank until one impatiently clicks at it, thinking it to be frozen) and the character of a typewriter, the work resembles the error screen of a Windows computer and sets the bleak, lonely tone. User beware, however: if one clicks too rapidly, the screen will freeze and an alert will appear, slowly explaining that one doesn’t “have the right attitude in front of [his or her] computer”.

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The text itself appears one word at a time, testing one’s patience as one tries to stop from clicking too rapidly so as to avoid the alert window. It can prove to be quite a challenge, primarily due to the fact that many of us are from a society where we are constantly bombarded by information via media and cyberspace, and we must learn how to consume information as quickly as possible. This single work attempts to revert this habit and, in some ways, succeeds, at least momentarily.

The work’s text tells the story of the complex and troubling state of being emotionally detached from other people. It expresses how people, despite their longing to get close to others, can unwillingly hold others at a distance due to emotional trauma and/or other psychological issues. The slow pacing of the text seems almost representative of how people with emotional issues have to take slow, cautious steps when entering relationships.

Finally, another feature of the work is its interactive aspect, in which the entire window freezes and an alert pops up with an animated diagram and instructions on how to do things like “show pain” or “show courage”. It encourages sufferers of Repetitive Strain Injury and casual readers to do some exercises: stand up, move about, and feel true emotion while using the computer. The instructions seems really clear in their purpose of how to relax and move,and, almost comforting like you are talking with someone who truly understands you and your pain.

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In my opinion this E-lit work is a reminder that computers and the media can bring people to be absorbed in receiving information and so to lose connection with themselves. At the same way, emotional issues can mirror this, forcing people to distance themselves from others regardless of how they truly feel. “Separation,” is a practice in remembering to move, to live, and to remain connected with others and, more specifically, with ourselves.

Toucher

While playing “Toucher” by Serge Bourchardon, Kevin Carpentier, and Stephanie Spenle I was able to experience different sensations of touch. Toucher “refers to physical act of touching and reflects upon the possibilities of developing haptic sensation in a digital environment.” and allowed a work of electronic literature to be multisensory. Before discovering this game, I had not even noticed that the aspect of touch was missing from accessing works of literature on the computer.

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flyWhen playing the game, there are six sensations that you are allowed you to experience: brush, blow, spread, hit, caress and move. The first sensation that I experienced was “Hit”. In this game, there is a fly that flies over a piece of paper, covered in glass. In order to win, you must hit the fly by trying to click it with your mouse. It was very interactive and added a lot to the game because every time I attempted to kill the fly and missed, there would be a loud cracking noise and it would appear that glass was broken at the place that I clicked.

Another interesting section of Toucher was “caress”. When discovering this sensation, I caresshad to spray paint on a canvas. This canvas would only let me paint in certain areas. As I kept painting, it would fill in the area of the silhouette of a woman. Each time a stroke of painting was done, the woman would make a sexual sound. It was interesting how many different aspects sensation this game was able to bring out.

move.PNGWhen you scroll over the thumb a window pops up and says, “MOVE. Touch the words, replace them and move them. The first words that are on the screen say “Do you touch me when I touch you?” Next you can move the words to come up with other sayings. All the words deal with attraction and love. The saying changes to who has the feelings depending which way you move your mouse over the words. Just by simple movements the person playing this game is able to take control of the feelings in the question.

sound.PNGWhen you click on the index finger a window pops up and says, “SPREAD. Move and click the mouse upwards, downwards, and sideward’s to create a musical painting. This scene is more comfortable with headphones”. The music in this scene was smooth jazz. The faster that you made the colors spread the faster the music would go. The first time I clicked on this finger it was tie-dye pink. The next time it was tie-dye pink and green. When the whole screen is colored it automatically brings you to the pinky finger.

blowWhen you click on the pinky finger a window pops up and says, “BLOW. Bow to read the text and then to spread the words. This scene requires a microphone”. When you blow on the screen snowflakes move away from that area to show the saying “Touching with one’s finger what another person feels”.

Toucher ends up as a sort of ‘how to’ guide to interaction, there is more than one way to interact with your computer.  The boundaries between digital and physical are blurring.

Elite of the E-LIT

This new blog is about the latest topic that we have faced in class and which is the third and last part of our Digital Genres course. I’m talking about ELIT or Electronic Literature.  Let’s answer to the first important question: what is Electronic Literature and what’s the difference with the traditional one.

elit

ELIT  is a genre of literature encompassing works created exclusively on and for digital devices, such as computers, tablets, and mobile phones. A work of electronic literature can be defined as “a construction whose literary aesthetics emerge from computation”, “work that could only exist in the space for which it was developed/written/coded—the digital space”. This means that these writings cannot be easily printed, or cannot be printed at all, because elements crucial to the text are unable to be carried over onto a printed version. 

The difference between the two literature is print: as electronic literature can only be genarated by digital devices can’t be easily printed. However, the digital literature world continues to innovate print’s conventions all the while challenging the boundaries between digitized literature and electronic literature. Some novels are exclusive to tablets and smartphones for the simple fact that they require a touchscreen.

The varieties of electronic literature are richly diverse, spanning all the types associated with print literature and adding some genres unique to networked and programmable media. Readers with only a slight familiarity with the field, however, will probably identify it first with hypertext fiction characterized by linking structures, such as Michael Joyce’s afternoon: a story  and Shelley Jackson’s Patchwork Girl. These works are written in Storyspace, the hypertext authoring program first created by Michael Joyce. It was the program of choice for many major writers of electronic literature in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. As the World Wide Web developed, new authoring programs and methods of dissemination became available.

Let’s define the electronic literature’s genres:

20th century’s electronic literature are divided into “first-generation” and “second-generation,” with the break coming around 1995. First-generation “classical” works includes hypertext fiction. The later seems more “contemporary or postmodern”. The latter became diverse as the development multimedia repository. Some works were published as a CD-ROM book.

Interactive fiction is real-time storytelling format reacting to input from players. It can be distinguished from hyptertext fiction in terms of the game elements. It allows readers to choose their preference. As the development of technology including sound, graphic and mass storage media, it became harder to recognize difference between interactive fiction and computer game.
Also, interactive storytelling is called interactive drama.

Locative narratives is characterized by location technology such as GPS technology. Locative narrative embeds their story to particular location using the technology, and users read or listen to them using a mobile device. It appeared as the invention and development of mobile devices.

Generative text is a category of generative art, which use algorithm to generate, randomize and rearranging existing texts. In terms of intervention of writers, generative art can be distinguished from interactive fiction and drama.

To understand better what we are talking about, we need some examples, and I will show you the ones that where presented during lecture, taken from the three volumes of E-Lit.

Michael Joyce’s “Twelve Blue” is a hypertext narrative told from different perspectives. It is possible to start reading at many different points and, as the stories unfold the reader discovers new meanings in old sequences. The text is written in HTML. The different story lines shift the emphasis to different characters and offer some insights into their thoughts. While not a point of view change, what we have is a change of focus from one character to another and from one story to another. As with other hypertext narratives the temptation is to create a “method” for reading and to try to be systematic about it. Joyce, aware of this and in an attempt to tease the reader, offers hyperlinks in some of the pages that jump from one story line to another. We can find some links that the reader might feel obliged to click: “Follow me before the choices disappear.” We are compelled to follow, afraid of losing the possibility to choose.

12blue

High Muck-a-Muck: Playing Chinese explores the narratives and tensions of historical and contemporary Chinese immigration to Canada. The project is both an interactive installation and an interactive website. Accompanying the installation and within the website are eight videopoems. The piece is a result of a collaboration between eleven writers, artists and programmers and was created over three years from 2011–2014. The digital work was created in HTML 5. Sequences of images are stimulated by audience interaction with the Pak Ah Pu lottery game. The audience marks a Pak Ah Pu card which is then read by simple computer vision. A loop of 8 short videos play when the game is not in progress.

chinese

In my opinion, E-lit gives the reader the power of creating the story he prefers and leverage him from a mere spectator to the protagonist of his choices in order to develop the story. Interactivity is the key word.

 

Games reflecting social issues

empathy

After the Easter break we are going to talk about different and new types of games that are slowly making their way through the jungle of war and fantasy games. First we need to make a distinction between play and game. Children see in the play an imaginative place where rules can shift, they can decide how to change reality and their role in it. Growing up adults don’t want people to think they are acting weird. At this point, the opinion of others becomes important and it’s increasingly difficult to ignore.

The super power of role games is this: to allow us to feel comfortable with acting like children again. Video games have precise rules already predefined so we can’t shift them as we want but in my opinion this is the only evident difference between game and play. As mentioned above, the most common categories of games are war and fantasy themed probably because both reflect realities with which we don’t come to contact and represent a way to escape from routine life. Out there we can find people that in their routine life must face major problems like poverty and illness.

The new category of games is called “empathy games” and there is a simple definition to describe them: games in which conflict resolution is not achieved through power up mechanics. These games rely on two characteristics of human behavior.

  • Affective empathy: the person’s ability to feel what someone else is feeling;
  • Cognitive empathy: the person’s ability to understand another person’s feelings and reasoning.  (This second empathy shows up more strongly in older people, studies have found).

After presenting “Hellblade: Senua’s sacrifice” in one of my latest articles, I’m going to talk about two other games I played that deal with touching topics that we meet every day. The first is “That Dragon, Cancer”.

dragon

It is a sort of interactive personal diary, an intimate multimedia confession, very far from the traditional concept of videogames. I appreciated it for the brave choice of the game designer Ryan Green to exorcise the pain for the premature loss of his son Joel through a multimedia work; on the contrary, I discovered his wife had already publicly witnessed the immense family tragedy through a more traditional means of expression, a book. Joel for the record died at the age of 5 in 2014, due to a brain tumor diagnosed when he was one year old. Ryan, an independent game designer with little experience in the field, began to develop the title before his son’s death, but after the tragic event he rewritten it almost completely with the help of a small team known as Numinous Games. I think that with this title they wanted to send a message of faith and hope to all those who face similar pains and tragedies.

Pointing the mouse and clicking we can move the characters and make them interact with the objects in order to activate the memories associated with them. We almost always play Ryan himself in the first person, rarely in the third person. But there are times when we take the place of the other actors of this drama, the wife and the same son. The scenarios are not realistic, but rather abstract. The use of abstractionism is revealed above all in the choice not to give a face to Joel, who in this way reminds me of a figure from a painting by italian artist De Chirico. The facts are therefore not narrated in a cinematographic way, but recalled to mind with metaphors, symbolisms, voices, monologues, environmental details, surreal details, voids and absences rather than presences. Just to give an example, at a certain point Ryan drowns in an ocean where pieces and memories of his wrecked life float, which he can no longer keep together. There is also a section of the game along the lines of Super Mario Kart races, where Joel is on his tricycle and has to collect as many medicines as possible to accumulate points.

There are all artistic intentions and the experience is certainly touching and worth experiencing.

The second game I discovered is “Papo&Yo”:

papo

It’s a realistic game. a story of ordinary life, the protagonist is Quico a boy who lives in a Favela, with an absent mother and a father who, in order to escape poverty and problems, takes refuge in alcohol with negative consequences for the child who sees him as a monster sometimes violent. In a situation like this the only comfort for the ptotagonist  is Lula, a toy robot equipped with Jetpack. With him, Quico can jump on the roofs and plates.

The various locations are beautiful reconstructed in detail, the houses piled one on top of the other, the various murals seem real with these strong colors, the squares, and the mountains in the distance, all covered by the warm light of the sun.

In my opinion, this game is a metaphor of adolescence of the game designer Vander Caballera. When you play, you will move through the favelas, but with a magical touch: you will see buildings move, small houses that take flight, remaining suspended in space and gears and imaginary keys. This things reminds me of the movie Inception where dream and reality meet and the latter is modified by fantasy. Throughout the game we will have to deal with Monster, a huge beast apparently harmless but able to become furious when eating frogs. Papo & Yo is a quite simple game that tries to tell a difficult story (the alcoholic father of Quico) with a great result.

So after trying to escape reality, seems that finally we found the courage in order to experience and understand it.

The evolution of text

Last Tuesday’s appointment wasn’t a common lecture. We all were invited to discover the amazing installation of our prof. Mia Zamora. It was called “Textransformation”, a journey through the transformation of textuality from analogue to digital form.

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After an inspiring speech to present her work, prof. Mia Zamora let us free to explore her installation. What is textuality? The quality or use of language characteristic of written works as opposed to spoken usage.

The concept of textuality came about in the mid-20th century as a critical element in structuralism, a modern intellectual movement that views cultural phenomena in terms of linguistic relationships involved in all human activities. Philosophers, linguists, and literary theorists were major structuralist contributors, but it was Barthes in particular who really focused on what makes a ‘text.’ Barthes theorized that we can view literature through two different lenses: as a collection of ‘works’ and of ‘texts.’ For him, a ‘work’ is a finished, closed object. On the other hand, he considered a ‘text’ to be a process of creating meaning while escaping definitive definition itself.

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The installation was surrounded by red wool threads as they symbolized the current connection between past and future, which is the period that we are living. During this century information and messages where printed on paper and books. Now everything is online and instant. No more waiting for replies, no more time lost searching for information in a library. But there is an interesting symbol that connects paper and web: the QR CODE. Just with one picture at the printed code, we can reach internet pages, youtube videos and more. It was really interesting to see this new way to share texts close to old famous books, like the Hobbit written by J.R.R. Tolkien.

We were even able to give our contribution to Mia Zamora’s work since there were serenadeinteractive stations in some corners. I chose to create a new poem from deleting some words written on a cut sheet. The purpose is to find your own poetry that is hiding inside a written poem.

I really enjoyed this unique installation and it was fun learning more about textranformation as we are experiencing it every day.

 

 

 

Two sides of the same coin

As this course is called Digital Genres, one day we would end up talking about Genres. This is the week I was talking about because, as we began with Videogames, it is time to introduce an arbitrary form of categorization of Game Genres:

Action Games – intense, involve physical drama, require mot-sill and hand-eye coordination.

Adventure Games – require deep thinking and great patience; involve mysteries and puzzles.

Strategy Games – like a game of war, but the player resembles the General; conflict on a map (resembling classic board games); 1. Real-time strategy or turn-based strategy.

Process-oriented games – the player plays with a system, could fit the definition of a toy to play with; the games lack consistent criterion for success.

Action and strategy games are those that are more present in teenage society and many times these genres end up merging creating great detailed war games. Parents are worried about the impact that the game’s world has on their sons and daughters. Sometimes compulsive use and total immersion in the digital dimension can lead people with untold psychological issues to no longer being able to distinguish the reality we live from that of the game.

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We can find an example in the Columbine High School massacre which was a school-based massacre on April 20, 1999 in the United States, involving students and teachers at a high school not far from Denver (Colorado): two students , Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, entered armed in the building and opened fire on many schoolmates and teachers. A movie has also been realized about this shocking event in 2003. In one of the sequences we see Eric playing a videogame in which he shoots some figures wandering in a desert. The video game images were conceived specifically for the film, since Van Sant (the director) could not get the rights to use a really existing and widespread videogame among teenagers, the “shooter” Doom: the company producing the game, in fact, believed that the use of sequences taken by Doom in a movie like Elephant would have damaged his image. In 2006, however, Danny Ledonne created “Super Columbine Massacre RPG”, a video game not only inspired by the facts of Columbine, but rebuilted them to perfection (starting from archival materials such as security videos released on the web and the testimonies given to the media by people involved) giving the player the opportunity to play the two boys who are the authors of the massacre. And, in my opinion this is even more shocking.

 

 

Sometimes, rarely, action-strategy games can surprisingly help sick players and teach others about different psychological disorders. This is what I’ve discovered when a student from my class presented a videogame during the last lecture. She was talking about “Hellblade : Senua’s Sacrifice” which is a dark fantasy action-adventure game developed and published by Ninja Theory. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on August 8, 2017.
Inspired by Norse mythology and Celtic culture, Hellblade follows Senua, a Pict warrior who must make her way to Helheim by defeating otherworldly entities and facing their challenges, in order to rescue the soul of her dead lover from the goddess Hela. In parallel, the game acts as a metaphor for the character’s struggle with psychosis, as Senua, who suffers from the condition but believes it to be a curse, is haunted by an entity known as the “Darkness”, voices in her head known as “Furies”, and memories from her past. To properly represent psychosis, developers worked closely with neuroscientists, mental health specialists, and people suffering from the condition.
The game blends several genres, including hack and slash, puzzle solving, and psychological horror. Voice acting is an integral part of the game. Hellblade was a commercial success and was well received by critics, who praised it as a work of art and applauded its uncommon choice of revolving around psychosis, the quality and uniqueness of its approach of the condition, and its story and main character.

As we can see that’s quite impressive. Even if this videogame is filled of death, fighting, violence and horror the main theme is still Senua and her interior struggle about what she lost. This is something that all of us can understand because everyone is always fighting an inner battle, and this makes Senua’s character extremely close to people’s reality and emotions. There is also a video where all positive and deep messages from players are collected. Many of them said that thanks to this videogame they were finally able to understand relatives and friends trying to deal with their psychosis’s condition.

Seems like we found an incledibly happy ending to a “once upon a time” that only began with violence.

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“In representations of mental illness onscreen, you usually have the illness first, and then a two-dimensional character attached to that. In this case, the character is fully-formed, and they are not defined by their condition.”
—Prof. Paul Fletcher, neuroscientist and psychosis expert, who worked on the game.

 

Annunci

Level Up!

wii

New month, new season, new topic : Video Games. Next level in Dikult103 class is understanding games so discuss about their history, aesthetics, culture and the impact on our society. Let’s begin with a simple question : what is a game?

“A game is a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome.”  Salen and Zimmerman

Playing games involves a large part of human brain and attention. The majority of the videogames now have action as first feature and the reason behind this choice is the lack of action and adventure in people’s routine. Humans have always been curious creatures that wanted to discover new dimensions and realities. Video games seem to feed and fulfill this primordial desire but they can affect us in direct ways in our real life. Games affect our moods: they offer a range of emotions that make us feel satisfied and increase our self esteem. Games may communicate ideas and values like in strategy and war games. Recent studies determined how people playing often video games are able to make important decisions under pressure and with little time available.

Video games and games usually reflect our world : everyone is in competition with everyone else and wants to prevail in every field like job, sport and life in general.

There are three main types of players :

Casual Gamer: a casual gamer has a casual attitude to gaming. It is something of a light hobby, used primarily to unwind and relax. This person won’t really know very much about gaming, as they will not actively attempt to research anything. Their motivation is more about relaxation over “challenge”.

Social Gamer: A social gamer is one who is motivated by connecting with other people through gaming. Their gaming habits are determined by their social circle. They tend to play multiplayer games ranging from first person shooters like Call of Duty, MMOs like World of Warcraft, MOBAs like League of Legends, and cooperative worldbuilders like Minecraft. They are drawn to games with a strong online community.

Specialist Gamer: The specialist is a less a hobbyist and more of a passion player. The specialist gamer knows what they like. What sets a specialist apart is the focus on getting the most out of their gaming experience. They are not looking to play every game, they are looking to truly and fully play every part of specific games.

Expert Gamer: The expert gamer is not specifically someone who is highly skilled at games. Rather, they enjoy reading about games, researching games, and following the video game industry. The expert gamer enjoys reading gaming-related websites, posting on gaming forums, watching trailers and “Let’s Plays”. They love game conferences (by watching them live or attending them in person) in order to know about as many games as possible.

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I identificate myself as a casual gamer. Super Mario bros. and Super Mario Kart were my favourite video games. I used to play nearly everyday alone or with my friends. They were just an easy and funny way to escape from my routine and school. I also liked the aesthetics of this games that are so colorful and imaginative. I appreciate the feature that other players in my room can join and compete.

bros

But be careful! Every game that offer the possibility to escape from reality can easily bacame your own kind of reality, and like using drugs it is difficult to stop. So I suggest to get involved in real games with real players. In one word : sport.

 

#SelfieUnselfie: our society’s phenomenon

Today we are going to talk about selfies. What are they?

With the advent of social networks as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, the fear of people to don’t feel accepted by society and the their desire to be envied by others growed uncontrollably. If you are beautiful, everyone will be pleased to get to know you. But the thruth is that there’s more than this behind selfies. Now is possible to publish videos too, to show everyone what we are able to do and what we are doing in a precise moment. It feels like now life is just a big tv program and we are the actors. We always want people to know about our life but we don’t really care if they care too.

Taking a selfie is something really common now. We take selfies everyday, some of us more than others.

CatturaI choose to post this photo for the #SelfieUnselfie Challenge. As you can see there is snow behind me and I’m wearing my snowboard clothes. I took this selfie while I was about to skii from the top of a mountain in the Dolomites. I covered my face because I don’t really like my nose and I wanted to focus the attention on my green eyes.

This selfie says something important about me: here I’m showing my passion for snowboard and maybe insicurities about my face while enjoying my time, I was really happy.

Now let’s talk of my #Unselfie. I like it because of the beautiful location and colours. It was taken in Santorini,Greece at sunrise. This is the reason why I put “sunrise,sunrise looks like morning in your eyes” as a quote under the photo which is a lyric Cattura2from a song by Nora Jones. This picture says about me that I love relaxing and dreamy landscapes and I wanted to stop this moment in order to remember it.

But this is what I think it shines through my photo, just my opinion. I will never know what people think about it actually. And that is a real problem.

People are always questioning about what other people think about them and their photos or selfies. There is a continous concern. I think is really frustrating to live like this, conviced that appearing good is the most important thing now.

Selfie is now also a way to earn money. When you became a fashion blogger, you can advertise your own way of wearing clothes and accessories and as many likes you get, the more you became famous and this begins to be your occupation. In my opinion is more stressfull than it seems. Always posting photos and videos of what are you wearing and what you are doing takes away the time to enjoy the moments with your frriends and family.

Unfortunately this doesn’t seem to worry a lot of people.

The most terrifying thing about selfies is that many times they brought young boys anf girls to die in order to take incredible photos or to commit suicide because of the evil comments under their posts. How can someone be so cruel? Just with a few bad opinions they can convince a person that her life is not worthy for this world. And all just because of a badly judged selfie where the only mistake of that person was to show how she actually is, trusting the internet world wouldn’t care about her imperfections.

For many girls this was really a bad choice.

 

 

New dimensions to explore

In a century where everything can be reproduced in industrial quantities, is there actually space for something original?

Walter Benjamin (1936), a philosopher, had been questioning about this topic : the relationship between the original and the copy. Since is a current theme let’s try to write some observations about it.

The word “original” has different meanings. A piece of art can be original in two ways: being something never seen or produced before, or the first piece created before a million copies. But there is in an interesting thing about copies. I think they have a kind of power because for a copy by and original art work everyone con create a new, and so original piece of art. So there is an interesting evolution from copy to original . This two concepts are so close and related.

aThe L.H.O.O.Q is a famous example of how a copy can transform itself in something new and never seen before. Just adding a pair of moustaches, Duchamp gave the Monna Lisa a different perspective and even a brand new meaning.

Duchamp and the Dadaism are just the first step in terms of evolution of art in order to arrive to the Digital Art in our digital world. So, basically, the important difference between traditional art and the digital one is the reality they try to describe. As technology make progress, it allow us to discover a whole new dimension or reality that before doesn’t exist.

With the digital image, there is no inherent continuity, as in a real world object and it does not record or reproduce physical reality. The digital image consists of discrete modular elements, pixels based in algorithms, Mathematical formulations, bits, ecc…

An excellent example of what i’m talking about is Transcending Naturalism and Digital mimesis with artists such as William Latham and Dieter Huber.

Even if we live in the Digital Era, most of people have just a basic knowledge of it and so can’t understand deeply this kind of new art and even don’t know how to fully exploit its potential. Audience is still a bit hostile to this new artistic trend but will learn to appreciate and understand it through approach, discovery and exploration.

These are some of the steps Dr. Leonardo Flores described during a lecture about the Third Generation of Electronic Literature. This topic is about language centered art that engages the expressive potential of electronic and digital media. Dr. Flores showed us how the concept of literature is changed through the years, since the advent of Internet. In the Third Genetation, everyone that writes on the web can consider himself as a writer.

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Just adding random tweets in a row, Pentametron creates original rhymes but it isn’t the only creator of electronic literature pieces because this sentences come from other peolple that shared them on Internet. This makes them accomplices and so seems like a group work.

Writing this blog every week gives me the chance to share my piece of electronic literature with the world. And this looks exciting to me.

 

Unstoppable growth

We live in the Digital Era, we all know it. In this century tradition and technology cohabit but the latter is growing more and more to sound of clicks.

Traditional art is still alive in museums, galleries, exhibitions but digital art is quicky making its way because is free, interactive and fast to share. Audience is no more a viewer : now it is the springboard to let information and art surf throgh the world wide web in order to arrive to every corner in our planet.

Once something is on Internet, you can’t just delete it. Think about trees’roots : you can cut the plant but the roots underneath the ground are wide expanded even if no one can see them.

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So, as said before, now everyone can be an artist on Internet. Just think about the Fluxus Movement (1930-60) that takes its name from the verb “to flow”. They wanted art to flow into everyone’s mind and house. They were interested in interactivity and audience involvement and also wanted everyone to produce art. All the time. Now this is possible because is simple and fast.

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Dada Art, Conceptual Art and Oulipo are other movements that have influenced digital art.

A kind of Digital Art now are the memes : images or videos that reach a viral share on the Internet. I was able to create one during the Lab Group.

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