Assessment Task 3: Collaborative Hypermedia Story & Reflection

Written Reflection

In order to be able to write a successful Hypermedia story; you need to first have an understanding of network literacy, which “is not merely knowing, it is doing; it is an applied knowledge.” (Miles 2006) As we are a group of produsers, which is literally both a “producer and consumer” (Bruns 2006) we have needed to actually put what we have learnt from the workshops and readings into action, with the more work put in, the more network literate you become and the better work we can create. Using a wide range of hypertext, from plain text to the music to help us create a more in complex Hypermedia story.

Making a story, you need to start off with an idea, a bigger picture of what we wanted the reader to take out of it. As a group we thought our bigger picture would attempt to discuss contemporary issues in Australia within a story that you could interact with and choose your own outcomes including things like Uni Deregulation. Something interesting for the reader to participate in, but to also learn from. Similar to how The Are You Happy Project works, an interactive website where you’re enabled to see what happiness looks like from various places around the world.

When writing online, regardless of where, be it a blog post to your private blog or a Facebook status update you have to be aware that there will be an audience, which sometimes moderates what you will say but can also help in shaping what you write. With our idea coming together, we needed to have an audience in mind, who do we want to experience this? Which is vital in deciding as it influences the final hypermedia story. We decided to aim our story at younger adults who we thought would be the most receptive of our ideas and take the most out of it. Giving the reader a sense of social currency which they are free to use online.

But in order for this to work we would need to choose an appropriate platform which lets all of our chose elements to come together, one which would make the experience for the reader a memorable one. Deciding to go with Wix as it is very versatile and can host the story though also allowing for us to add music and art on top of it, making the story more immersive. Most importantly allowing us to “move the boundary of power away from the author and in the direction of the reader” (Landow, 2006) While also allowing us to have a cohesive design which flows through all pages of the story.

In the end we wanted the hypermedia story to be one where you “fall in through the living-room ceiling rather than entering through the front door.” (Landow 2006, p 111). And thus are free to choose how your ‘story’ starts but more importantly the decisions in ‘your’ life which will affect the end outcome.

References:

Bruns, A ‘Produsers and Produsage’, Snurblog, 25 March 2006. http://snurb.info/produsage

Landow, George P. Hypertext 3.0: Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2006. Print. 107-124

Miles, Adrian. Network Literacy: The New Path to Knowledge [online]. Screen Education, No. 45, 2007: 24-30.

 

HOMEPAGE: http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!select-screen/a4d2x

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!brian-young-adult/rtpei

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!peter-young-adult/opujg

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!kate-young-adult/e8brr

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!ya-result-1/hjebk

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-5/kn7pf

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-6/mhztw

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-9/ho61r

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!ya-result-3/v9f4z

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-10/i1fp2

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-11/qjk00

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank/dujjx

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-1/rnhcw

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-8/qom7n

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-7/hp0e5

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-13/f8nae

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-12/d8bw3

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-2/u8w2a

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-3/ov448

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!blank-4/dk0uu

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!end-result-1/mkquw

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!end-result-2/pyk5w

http://s3542366.wix.com/hypermediastory#!end-result-3/z25aq

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Assessment Task 2: Finding My Community

The past few weeks I’ve been investigating different online communities and have been trying to integrate myself into them and offer up my contributions. But one specific online community I’ve been using is the Steam Community (http://steamcommunity.com/). It’s a subsection off of the Steam store, the biggest online video game store. This community platform allows users to post content related to specific video games that can be purchased through the store. Whether that be through the Forums, uploading screenshots, videos, artwork or even the workshop which allows you upload modifications to games that anyone around the world can use.

But what makes this website a community? When looking at communities we can recognise that they are formed on 3 general points. Central unifying values, participation within a conversation and a sense of shared experience. The community is unified by there not only their love of video games but for the Steam platform itself. It allows users to interact, post pictures and discuss this love within the forums and enables participation within an overall conversation. The sense of shared experience comes from playing the video games themselves and being able to share your own personal experience of the video game, with other likeminded individuals on the Steam platform.

The particular part of the Steam community I chose to partake in was a sub-section for the video game Counter-strike: Global Offensive. I made a couple of different contributions. The first two contributions I made where videos (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=676604611 and http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=676604607). These videos acted as a review for the latest patch notes for the game. This allowed me to share my own opinion on the changes and hopefully spark discussion with other community members that are interested. “Hypertext thereby blurs the distinction between what is inside and what is outside the text” (Landow 2006) In these videos I attempt to make use of the intertextuality of hypertext, making direct reference to popular (http://www.reddit.com/r/globaloffensive) community threads and known image macros in the community. Such as the ‘volvo’ meme, that is used to reference the company Valve, the owner of steam. This is a theme I thought pertinent in other videos I looked at from the community. Another contribution I made was in the forums under the alias ‘ReveZ’ (http://steamcommunity.com/app/730/discussions/0/364039531225509113/), where I offered my opinion on ‘smurfing’ an issue currently plaguing the community.

“We can’t exchange social currency in a vacuum. We need other              people.” (Oatway, 2012:98) I came into this experience with this quote in mind. I wanted to break into this community and offer my own social currency to them, instead of just indulging on the side lines and giving nothing back. While I believe I’ve created content and shared content with the community in mind, I have received little or no response back from them. The reasoning for this minimal success probably comes from the fact I’m not an established figure in the community. “The hunt for community is hardest at first, but gets easier once you’ve established a presence. Overcoming complete obscurity, moving from being a complete unknown to being recognizable presence is all it takes to being to attract an audience.” (Oatway, 2012:100) This is just my initial offering to this community. To eventually attract a bigger response, I’ll need to keep offering up my social currency and progressively gain more contacts, connections and opportunities within the community. Only then will I truly establish my presence.

References:

Landow, George P. “Critical Theory and New Media in an Era of Globalization” Hypertext 3.0, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2006 117-118

Oatway, Jay, Apr 26, 2012, Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Socialeader Wiley, Hoboken.  97-109.     ISBN: 9781119943457.

 

Workshop 22/04/2016

In todays workshop I took a look into some of the communities I regularly browse but don’t necessiraly contribute to. This community I chose to focus on was http://www.SteamCommunity.com I honed my focus more specifically to the discussion forums of the website. Each game has it’s own respective forum. I posted two comments in seperate posts in the Counter-strike: Global offensive section of the discussion forums. Both the threads were focused on the issue of “Smurfing” in the competitive CS:GO environment. Which is players of particularly high skill in the community, buying lower-ranked accounts and competing against lower-skilled players for an easy win and some fun. I offered my opinion on the subject and replied to different users in the threads. I’ll subscribe to the threads and wait  to see if I get a response.

When selecting this website I made my choice on the values that make a community discussed in the lecture this week. “Central unifying values, participation within a conversation and a sense of shared experience.”

Workshop 15/04/2016

Today we discussed different media theories, I had a look at Technological determinism.

  • What you think the term means

Technological Determinism state that media technology shapes how we as individuals in a society think, feel, act, and how are society operates as we move from one technological age to another (Tribal- Literate- Print- Electronic).

  • Who are some people (if any) who relate to this (theorists etc)

-Thorstein Veblen

-Karl Marx

-Marshall McLuhan

-Raymond Williams

-Clarence Ayres

  • Think of an example that helps demonstrate this

Cell phones. Twenty years ago there were none; today they’re everywhere. We’ve witnessed a few ways that they are influencing our evolution.

First, they’ve made the world much smaller, by making it possible for people to connect just about anywhere, anytime. This connectivity has enhanced the homogenising effects of economic globalisation, while also making it easy for governments and corporations to track our movements; conversely, they have made it possible for whistleblowers and revolutionaries to get their messages out while cultural change is occurring, while increasing the speed of that change.

 

I also had a look at a few different video game communities that interested me. Here’s my top5 list:

https://steamcommunity.com – Video game stores and gaming community

https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/ – Subreddit for anything gaming related.

http://mmgn.com – Australian and international gaming news and forum community.

http://www.hltv.org – Counter-strike international news site.

http://au.cybergamer.com – Local counter-strike competitive scene and community.

 

Today’s Workshop 08/04/2016

Today in the workshop I found an interesting video game that relates to the subject. This website is called http://thewikigame.com it’s a race against time to get from one unrelated wikipedia article to another. It makes use of the millions of hyperlinks between articles on the HyperText known as Wikipedia. It’s a great example of what Landow suggests his students “fall in through the living-room ceiling rather than entering through the front door.”

I also looked into a few video game industry websites that interested me. Such websites included https://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2016/04/07/baftas-2016-gaming-winners/ which had the results of the latest BAFTA game awards. All the games that won had hyperlinks to there respective reviews, giving me a better insight into why perhaps they won the award. As well as options to share the post on Facebook, twitter and reddit.

We also discussed in the workshop today the follow points in a group discussion. (These were my personal answers):

Can you think of some examples examples of this in your own experience of reading stories online?  

.Facebook post, reading some one having a big argument and you have no idea why it started.

How do you navigate once you’re ‘in the living room’ straight away?

.Look up similar work to maybe provide context

.Try to find hyperlinks and information off the website to guide you

Assessment Task 1: Blogging

As a person, writing has never really been something that has excited me a great deal. But upon starting this course and having to start a blog, I have been really prompted to start giving it a try. The tools and perspectives I have already been given over the past few weeks has changed my view on blogs entirely. Through looking at web content and media as a series of hypertext, all interlinked. Giving an entirely new and still experimental way to display information and tell a story. To the use of creative commons as a platform to share work and collaborate with other people through online communities. These are just a few examples of ways blogging has got me excited as a writer.

Before the course I had a very plain outlook on what blogging was. I assumed it was mostly just a text posts put online mostly about political and social issues. But through viewing blogs as a hypertext or a form of online story telling my perspective quickly changed. The most obvious example to me was a hypertext I viewed in a workshop called The Whale Hunt. “First, to experiment with a new interface for human storytelling. The photographs are presented in a framework that tells the moment-to-moment story of the whale hunt. The full sequence of images is represented as a medical heartbeat graph along the bottom edge of the screen, its magnitude at each point indicating the photographic frequency (and thus the level of excitement) at that moment in time.” (Harris, 2007) Johnathan Harris decided he wanted to display his journey of whale hunting via the photos he and the crew took on the journey. But it is the way he chose to display and share the documented images which is great. With an innovative system that allows you to visually see frequency of photos being taken on a linear time scale. Like a heart rate monitor. But also allowing users to sort photos by metadata/tagging to construct their own concept of the story. With tags that allow you to sort by location, crew member, time of day and many more. To me this is a great example of a hypertext. Which excites me greatly as a writer.

When comparing The Whale Hunt to my own blog I can see how I am slowly forming my own hypertext with my blog. Through this post (https://lachlansmind.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/youtube-channel/) I have given a brief introduction to my new gaming YouTube channel. I’ve embedded the playlist of videos into the post for interactivity. As well as tagged and categorized it for easy access on the blog. Which is important for people searching for particular aspects within a hypertext. Each post about Video game content on my blog I further my story as a content producer and the overall hypertext.

The content protection medium known as Creative Commons is a form of protection almost exclusively used for the internet. Because it allows the user to set his/her license to the amount of freedom you want to give people to use your work. “Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that offers a flexible range of licences for creators wanting to allow others to use their work in certain ways. Often a copyright owner will reserve all their rights, but a Creative Commons licence allows the creator to relinquish some rights and reserve others.” (Arts law: Information sheet: Legal issues for Bloggers, 2016). This excites me greatly as a writer, as it gives me the opportunity to not only let people take my work and adapt/share it in their own way. But also if their license allows adapt and use other people’s work in my own way or style. I think it is a great way to increase this sense of Intertextuality that exists in hypertext media.

Through a new understanding of hypertext content and the way it tells a story. As well as learning the use of Creative Commons as a way to share content with other users in online communities. Overall I have gained a much deeper understanding of blogging as a whole and it has given me new-found excitement as a writer.

 

References:

Harris, J. (2007) The whale hunt / by Jonathan Harris / statement. Available at: http://thewhalehunt.org/statement.html (Accessed: 7 April 2016).

Arts law: Information sheet: Legal issues for Bloggers (2016) Available at: http://www.artslaw.com.au/info-sheets/info-sheet/legal-issues-for-bloggers/ (Accessed: 7 April 2016).

Youtube Channel

Below is a link to a series of YouTube videos I’ve started to make with a friend. We are trying to play all the old video games from our childhood. We’re having fun doing it, so we hope some one out there will have fun watching it.