All posts by mykingnetnarr

Galatea + Failed twitter bot

So in this blogpost we were supposed to review a work of electronic literature. I kinda did this last week as I wanted to see how electronic literature has evolved from the 1st to the 3rd collection, but in today’s blogpost I will choose only one piece of e-lit to review. I looked around the three collections for a long time until I finally decided I would review “Galatea” by Emily Short which I found at the 1st collection of electronic literature. I chose to review Galatea because it reminded me a little about Façade as both these works are interactive and with no real solution, but many different possible outcomes based on what you say to the NPC.

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I’ll start off with some backstory for this game. Galatea is supposedly based on Pygmalion. The myth of Pygmalion is about how Pygmalion made a statue of a woman and then proceeded to fall in love with the statue, which was named Galatea and also came alive. The description of the work goes like this: “While Galatea is framed as an interactive fiction piece, the system shares many qualities with the long line of “chatterbots,” going back to Joseph Weizenbaum’s mid-1960s Eliza. Conversation with Galatea is not as free as with Eliza but can unfold in more interesting ways as the topic, Galatea’s mood, and the history of conversation progress. The results of different discussions can sometimes even lead the user to uncover different stories that, while consistent within themselves, suggest different possible worlds”. In other words, Galatea is basically a chat-bot you’re talking to in this piece of electronic literature and your main goal is basically just to talk to her, uncover information and keep escalating the conversation until you come to some sort of conclusion/ending.

I actually found Galatea to be a little hard to interact with (at least at first). In order to interact with her, you’ve gotta use one of two commands or certain verbs. The first command is “Ask about” (or simply “A”). All you need to do is basically just to enter “Ask about” or “A” and then you write what you want/the topic you want to ask about. The second command is “Tell her about” (or “T”). There are only a few verbs Galatea understands, and those are “TOUCH”, “SMELL”, “LISTEN, “TASTE” and “LOOK”. I spent my time playing this by asking about Pygmalion and about how Galatea was made. She told me about how it was when she came alive and much about Pygmalion’s travels and how he hated people but still liked to interact with strangers on his many travels. It was really interesting to just see what she had to say about these topics and I just got really absorbed into the whole thing. The ending I got wasn’t really all that spectacular, kinda anti-climatic really. “You are both silent. There seems no more to say” “***THE END***”. I guess we both ran out of words, which was fine as it took me almost an hour to come to some sort of ending.

However, reviewing a piece of electronic literature wasn’t the only thing I did this week. I also tried to make a twitter bot, but failed miserably. I will probably try again though. This is also my 10th, and therefore last obligatory blogpost. If I decide to make the twitter bot, I will post it here but if I don’t, this will be the final blogpost on this blog.

It has been kinda fun documenting what’s been going on in Dikult 103 in this blog and it has been a good way for me to use the information I’ve learned through this course and has also made it more motivating for me to keep up with the course. I’ve used this blog to sum up the important happenings of the week each week, so it’s also something I can look back to whenever I might need to.

The three collections of electronic literature

We’ve been looking at electronic literature for the past couple of weeks, which is a very interesting theme. E lit is very different from traditional literature as electronic literature functions differently and produces/presents its content in different, often creative ways . E lit can be presented in numerous ways and is often interactive, may use artificial intelligence and can often look and seem like a game, e.g Façade. Electronic literature is divided between 5 genres: Hypertext fiction, interactive fiction, kinetic poetry, generative fiction and locative fiction. E lit is also collected in three collections, as the title suggest, and in this blogpost we’ll explore these three collections together as I’m going to “read”/explore one piece from each collection.

I decided to check out “Star Wars, one letter at a time” by Brian Kim Stefans when I was going to choose something from the first collection. I chose this because I though it was going to be entertaining somehow, but I was wrong. It was literary nothing but one letter at a time at my screen (as promised) and I could hear a typewriter in the background. The author’s description of this was: “A retelling of the classic story of one California boy’s mission to save the universe from boredom one letter at a time”. I guess the point with this retelling was to put us in a new perspective and see Star Wars from the author’s point of view. I didn’t read the whole thing though, obviously.

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I already knew what I would choose to read from the second collection. I chose what was seemingly the most fun piece of electronic literature on this collection (I might be wrong) – you guessed it, Façade by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern. I’ve played this before years ago, but I wanted to replay it, especially since I understand electronic literature better now after taking this course. Façade is interactive and uses artificial intelligence in the storytelling. You’re playing as a friend of Grace and Trip, who’s a couple that you’re visiting for dinner and your conversation with them can affect their relationship in both good and bad ways depending on what you’re saying. This was really fun because it’s chaotic and you’re in the middle of the mess. It’s fun to shock them by being rude and it’s even more fun to say “Melon” as Trip will then eject you from the apartment as response. I don’t know why that is, but it’s certainly entertaining to watch him get so worked up over it. However, I don’t really know what the point of this work is. The author(s) described it this way: “Façade is an artificial intelligence-based art/research experiment in electronic narrative—an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama”. In other words, I guess the real point with this was to innovate and evolve digital literature further. Anyways, this is really fun so you should check it out if you haven’t already. You will not be disappointed.

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For the third collection, I tried “The Dead Tower” by Andy Campbell and Mez Breeze. I can’t say I got really far because it didn’t work very well on my PC for some reason (it was all laggy and the controls stopped working), but I really liked the idea of it. You’re in some dark and rocky area by a bus crash surrounded by text. To continue reading the text, you need to climb the tower. I guess the further you get, the further into the text you get to read. I will probably try it again on another computer as I got really curious about what has happened and what the text will unveil. Maybe you should give it a go if it sounds interesting to you.

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I guess what I got out of doing this was that I got to see for myself how electronic literature has evolved from the early days until today. Electronic literature is getting more advanced with time (duh) and has evolved from simple designs to more sophisticated platforms.

 

Empathy games

Our main focus for the past couple of weeks has been empathy games. Empathy games has as main goal to make you feel and understand somebody else’s feelings, often in order to raise awareness. Empathy games doesn’t necessarily focus at being entertaining because of this. I’ve never actually played any empathy games until recently in class. I tried a few, but the game I remember the best was “Spent”, which is a game where you’re supposed to survive on only 1000 dollars a month. “Spent” is text-based and is driven by you choosing one of two to four options and you’ve got to make some hard decisions. These hard decisions can be anything from making your child skip a birthday party in order to save money and get rid of your pet. “Spent” shows you how harsh the “real world” can be. This game was made in order to create awareness about less fortunate people’s daily life and to raise money to help people living in poverty.

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Empathy games was also the theme for this week as we had a task about emapthy games. There was no class this week, so we were supposed to use the time to play an empathy game instead. I chose to play a game called “Depression quest”, which is available for free on Steam. Depression quest is a game about living with depression and is supposed to simulate how life with depression is. Depression quest is text-based and gives you options that affect the “story”. This game allows you to see the world through the eyes of someone with depression and helps you understand how life with depression really is (even though it takes much more than a game to understand depression).

I can’t really say I enjoyed playing this, but this game wasn’t really made for entertainment. It was, however, an eye opening experience as I got to better understand how people with depression understands and deals  with the world and society around them and I’m glad I played it.

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I’ve talked a little about what empathy games are and mentioned two of them, but I would also like to talk a little about why such games are important. Understanding other people’s emotions and feelings might be hard. This is why empathy games are important. The thing about video games is that they’re easily accessible and quite literally makes you see through the eyes of somebody else. You also usually get to know what the protagonist’s thought process and intentions are. I think empathy games are a great way to raise awareness about different issues and topics and I’ve learned alot by the games I’ve played and I would recommend everybody to play one of these games.

Why video games are important to me

As I mentioned in my previous blogpost, I’m going to talk about why video games are important to me.

As many others, I grew up playing video games and has been playing them since I was a little kid. Video games have been and still is a huge part of my life. Video games allow you to do things you cannot do in real life. Video games have no limits or borders and video games allow you to play with people across the world no matter where you are. This is why I like gaming. Games allow you to be creative in many ways and stay in contact and have fun with friends no matter where you’re located. This is kinda important to me as I have close friends who doesn’t really live nearby me which causes hanging out to be inpractical at times. This will also happen more frequently as I get older as more of my friends will move because they’re going to the university in different places. With video games, we can still have fun and play together without it being impractical.

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Video games are also important to me because playing video games is my favorite way to just kick back and relax. Especially while playing mindless games where the objective is very straight forward, like in FPS games and/or hack and slash games. Two of my favorite games I play to relax is Team Fortress 2 and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. All you need to think about is to killing the enemy, as brutal as it sounds. I also like video games because they can be challenging in numerous ways and it always feel good to be the best at something especially when you’re better than your friends so you can rub it in their faces.

In other words, I guess you can say that I like video games because it’s allows you to be creative, to communicate and interact with friends, to relax and it might also challenge you.

My favorite games

Hey guys. Some students were presenting some video games last week so I thought I’d do the same in this week’s blogpost and present two of my favorite games!

The first game I would like to talk about is my current favorite game, Rainbow Six Siege. Rainbow Six Siege is a first person shooter and is highly competitive. Your goal in this game is either to defend an area or to secure it. Your objective could either be a hostage or a bomb. There are two teams, defenders and attackers, and their goals are quite obvious. You’re supposed to either defend the objective from the other team, or attack it and either save a hostage or plant a bomb. The team consists of 5 members (Even though people often leave in the START OF THE MATCH!!!). You can choose and unlock “operators” to play as and every operator has its role and special ability. Operators are characters in the game who has different weapons and abilities.

every-rainbow-six-siege-operator-year-1-and-2_e113.pngThese special abilities are different from each operator. Some abilities can be the ability to destroy reinforced walls with tools, shooting grenades into a room through a wall, being able to track other players pulse etc. It’s really fun that there are many different operators because it gives the game more depth. You’ll have to use different tactics for each operator and since there are so many different operators, it’s very hard to predict what tactics they’ll use.

 

The second game I’d like to talk about is Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. This game is a hack and slash game, so your weapon is usually a melee-weapon like a sword, knife or axe. This game is fun because it’s brutal as hell. You can behead your enemies and you can chop off their legs, arms – you name it! This game is also really fun because of its mechanics. Some of these mechanics would be “dragging”, “reverse-dragging”and “spinning”. Dragging is when you move your mouse slowly which makes your sword drag and go slower than usual. Your weapon can also go faster depending on how fast or slow you move your mouse (reverse-dragging). It’s REALLY hard to predict when the sword is going to hit you when your enemies are doing this, so it’s really fun to do this to other players. Spinning is when you’re, well, spinning while attacking your enemy. The most efficient way to do this is by spinning so you’ll have your enemy behind you while swinging your sword from behind your back and upward so you’ll hit them while they’re behind you. The advantage by doing this is that you’re making yourself unpredictable and hard to hit. There are four classes in Chivalry: Medival Warfare and those are archer, man at arms, vanguard and knight. Archers are usually using bows and knives to attack. Man at arms will usually use quick weapons, like short swords and hatchets. Vanguards usually use large swords or halberds. The knight, who is the slowest class usually use large swords and axes to do as much damage to the enemy as possible. They’re also really hard to kill due to their armor. I prefer to play as vanguard since they’re both relatively fast and has powerful weapons which aren’t too slow. Chivalry-Medieval-Warfare-4.png

 

So there ya go. My two favorite games. I was thinking I’d write about why video games are important to me in next week’s blogpost, so stay tuned!

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Video game history

We’re finally diving in to the video game part of this course, which is probably what most people were looking forward to. We’ve only had 1 lecture about video games so far, but it’s been very interesting and I can’t wait to learn more.

The most interesting thing I learned during that lecture was the history of the very first video game to be created: Tennis for two. Tennis for two was released in 1958 and was a multiplayer game where two players would compete in a game of tennis (obviously). I think it was really awesome just to see how simple video games started compared to how video games are these days. It was also very interesting and cool to learn about the first video game console, the Odyssey which was released by Magnavox in 1972 and was based on Ralph Baer’s “Brown Box”. We also learned about how video game industry came to be because of Pong and how the industry evolved further.

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There was little competition in the start, but Japanese companies would eventually enter the market and be dominant after Space Invaders was released in 1978. Japanese companies would also make cheaper and better electronics. Japanese companies would only become even more dominant after Namco released Pac-man in 1980 who ended up being the very first gaming superstar. Pac-man was, in contrast to other games at the time, not a violent game. preview0001.pngDD4BED9C-542A-47A0-90A4-4A77AD1D2BBCOriginal

I’m really looking forward to learn more about video games and video game history next week as I really find this interesting since I am a gamer. It’s fun to learn a little about the past of video games and consoles. It’s a little weird to see how much video games have advanced since the release of Tennis for two. Early games didn’t have 3d graphics or advanced mechanics. They just did the best with what they had and so it evolved from there.

DIGITAL ART… AGAIN!?

Yep. You read the title. I’m going to talk about digital art once again, mainly because I like to follow the current theme we’re covering in #NetNarr/DIKULT103 in these blogposts.

Emilio Vavarella was guest for the studio visit which took place late tuesday afternoon. It was fun and interesting to be able to see and understand art from an artist’s perspective. It was also quite interesting to learn a little about Vavarella’s background and path to digital art, however, this is not really what I’m going to talk about in this week’s blogpost. What I wanted to talk about today was how digital art can say something about the world we live in today. I got the idea to write about this when I was watching the studio visit video because Vavarella talked a little about this.

 

So how can digital art tell something about todays society?

We’re relying heavily on computers and digital medias in today’s society. Everything is becoming digitalized, which is including new ways to make art.

One good example of this might be digital art portraying United States’ president, Donald Trump. You may wonder what a simple artpiece of Donald Trump might tell you. Well, we’ll get to that pretty soon. Mr. Trump, who is a very controvertial character in today’s society, is portrayed in numerous different ways. He’s often portrayed in a humoristic way because many people find him funny, often because of what he shares on his Twitter and what he says in his speeches wheter he’s being intentionally funny or not. Trump is also commonly portrayed as some sort of villian/bully, which is most likely because many people actually views him as this because of the things he might say or the way he acts, while others might just portray him as a good president because they think he is a good president.

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Artworks like this seems to be typical for our time. It’s digital, it’s funny, it’s political and it involves elements of popular culture, which is in this case Spongebob Squarepants. This artwork illustrates how we often portray people we might dislike in western societies at this point in time. We can see Plankton, who is a clumsy character and the main-villian from the TV-show Spongebob Squarepants in Trump’s head controlling him as a robot, most likely to perform evil tasks. This illustrates that the person who made this artwork probably views Trump as a villian.

In short, this artwork is typical for our time and the way we think in today’s society.

 

That’s really all I had to say for this blogpost

 

 

 

 

C ya

 

 

“The horror of future technologies” + digital art!

I did a DDA yesterday with the theme “The horror of future technologies”. I found this interesting, so I thought I’d talk a little about it in this week’s blogpost!

What do you associate with the future? When I think about the future, I generally think of progress as we are always moving forward to improve technology and our society. However, this might not always be the case. You can think about what’s already happening today. Your phone is listening to your private conversations in order to sell private information about you to companies so they can personalize ads in order for them to appeal to you better. We’re also often being tracked and logged. I guess you can say that I fear that privacy might disappear in the future or atleast be drastically reduced by technology. The whole problem is about how everything is becoming digital, which is both good and bad. On one side, things are usually easier when it’s digital. It’s much easier to send an e-mail than to send actual mail. On the other, darker side, we’ve gotta acknowledge the fact that most digital medias can be tracked and might track you right now. Facebook is especially known for tracking their users to sell information so that other companies can personalize ads to you so that they can catch your attention and potentially make you buy the product which is advertised for.

Anyways, here is the DDA itself!

I did not only worry about the future this week though. I also did other things too, like checking out some cool digital art. I ended up finding an exhibit online which was called itsdoing.it. This exhibit displayed a handful computer generated images which also were updated slightly each day over a 45-day period. This was really unique to me, so I really enjoyed seeing these pieces. I did not, however, get a good idea of what the message behind these images/this project was. Maybe you might enjoy to check it out yourself and see if you can find a message in this!

Here is one of many interesting artpieces you can find on the site:DanielSchwarzMorningRoutine.jpg

We did also try to review some digital art on tuesday during a twitter conversation. I wasn’t really good at it, though. But it was a little fun to think a little more creative and outside of the box.

I did also attend to a presentation by Daniel Jung at HF-biblioteket (The library for our faculty) where he spoke alot about citation and showed us examples of mistakes made by software. I’m pretty sure the point he wanted to make with this presentation was to encourage people to check their citations manually and not to take the easy way out by leaving the dirty work to software.

 

Digital art & e-lit

This week has been a really informative and interesting one. At tuesday, we got a glimpse of some other blogs aswell as we also learned more about digital art and electronic litterature. Our theme for tuesday was “The image in the context of the digital revolution”, so we learned much about the origin of digital art and how digital art has evolved further into our generation. We also learned about how digital art is a much more broad term than we might think or understand. Digital art is such a broad term that we might actually not realize an artwork when we see it. These digital artpieces can be GIFs, images and even interactive functions. You probably see lots of digital art each and every day without even thinking about it.

Leonardo Flores also came in at wednesday and had a really interesting, fun and informative presentation about digital art and electronic litterature. His main topic was the three generations of digital art and how digital art and electronic litterature has evolved since the 1950’s until today.  The first generation was defined by experimentation  with electronic and digital media long before the internet even existed. “Love letters” and “Eliza” are products of this first generation and were very groundbreaking pieces of e-lit back when they were “released”. I found these two works very interesting as I had no idea that e-lit had such an early debut. I also thought that chatbots were a much more recent idea. The second generation was defined by that artists tried to be innovative. Flash became a quite important tool for this generation and some of the most important works was vispo.com and programmatology.shadoof.net. The most recent, and third generation, was defined by social media performances, memes and so on. Apps and adobe aftereffects are just a few of the many important tools of this generation

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I guess you can say that Leonardo Flores’ presentation was a great learning experience and I certainly learned much and had a blast at the same time. I look forward to learn more about electronic litterature and digital art.

I also had fun with doing one of the DDA’s. I did only do one DDA for this week, but atleast it’s something. I did DDA#144, where I was supposed to post a picture of everyday-magic. The first thing I thought about was also one of the first things I do in the morning/, which is taking a walk in the woods with my dog, so I proceeded to post a picture of my dog in the woods. There is something truly magical about seeing the sun rising and darkness fading to sunlight or atleast getting brighter (it’s usually raining in Bergen).

However, I can’t say this week has been ALL that great, considering the fact that lab was cancelled this friday due to a meeting, and we all know that no lab means no memes as the lab has basically become the meme-factory at this point!