Hello everyone! Here is the link to my final project.
Hello everyone! Here is the link to my final project.
Maria is a character who works as an information thief. In a world where the government has taken the role of protecting citizens, those in power have equated protecting with covering up the truth.
The year is 2334 and every major country has banded together in a union called the New World Federation. The act of disrupting the flow of unauthorized communications usually ends up with the party in question disappearing into one of the worlds many political prisons. Maria, however, has the gift to “upload” her mind into the cyberspace and share whatever knowledge she gains with the citizens of the world. At this time in history, the science of cyberkinesis is still in the early stages of being researched and no known humans have been able to connect to the cyberspace without the detection of the government’s infamous brain implants received at birth. These implants are primarily used to monitor the thought patterns of suspected law breakers and track the location of every citizen. They also bombard users with random, unrelated thoughts in an effort to enhance worker productivity by limiting the imagination.
Maria’s implant suffers from an odd glitch that jams any signal attempting to read her implant and manipulate her thoughts. It instead allows her to perpetually remain connected to cyberspace without detection, “read” through its massive digital dimensions, and broadcast information she finds with anyone who has an implant. Once, while rummaging into the governments digital information database, Maria uncovered a secret plan called “Proposition 80″ that would mentally enslave the human race and grant world domination to the select few who head the New World Federation. The brain implant received at birth was first introduced under the disguise of a supplement to enhance intelligence for mankind by connecting everyone to cyberspace. Because of the system-wide corruption, Maria is determined to liberate people around the world by introducing them to uncensored information. She also wants to “free” their minds by persuading them to refrain from using their implants and rely on their natural intelligence.
Through exposing people to information they would have never known about, Maria hopes to start a revolution. Once thoughts have bypassed the initial “implant’ layer, citizens can begin to verbally speak with each other about what they have learned. Maria plans for the ancient art of storytelling to undermine the government’s efforts to limit the amount of knowledge gained in society. She sees herself as a vessel to transport information from the source (digital government files in cyberspace) to the citizens of the world. Because Maria cannot be tracked like the rest of the population, she almost doesn’t exist in the physical or cyber spaces. According to the world’s government, her mind cannot be traced so therefore she does not exist. Physically, she moves throughout the world as a sort of “ghost”. Because she is always connected to cyberspace and her physical existence cannot be verified, she exists in some realm between the physical world and the cyber world.
The weather-battered faces of limestone cliffs cover the land while a calm river casually carves its way through the terrain: Preikestolen, Norway is absolutely stunning. I feel as if I have witnessed the power of this landscape simply by viewing it through the pictures of previous travelers. They have littered this virtual land with their photographs of majestic blue skies as they innocently lay on top of the narrow fjord.
Pulpit Rock is a very popular attraction. There are many photographs capturing this landmark during various conditions ranging from overcast to sunny. I keep seeing groups of travelers standing near the edge of the cliff and looking over two thousand feet down into the emerald-blue colored water. This area includes hundreds of miles of trees in a Norwegian boreal forest and a river that seems endless. The pictures covering the land on Google Earth all capture images of a naturally hospitable environment. There are no sudden movements, surprises, or distractions caught by any of the visitors. All of the photographs of the river surrounded by the cliffs have a way of inducing serenity. Now, I feel just as speechless as the rest of the travelers gazing into the beautifully sublime abyss.
Let’s venture into the abyss.
The river is surprisingly flat. It sits as still as the faces of rock surrounding it while clouds move from one side towards the other. If I were on a boat, I would lie down and stare at the sky’s moving panorama. Looking around the area through Google Earth reveals the character of the rock. Their humongous size gives off a feeling of intimidation but the deep green vegetation clings to their steep sides like a newborn baby to its mother: this environment is very nurturing. The absence of distractions allows an explorer to mentally become absorbed into the attractive sites.
With the drag of a mouse Google Earth allows me to easily travel past the river into the depths of Norway’s boreal forest. A few miles away from the edges of tock faces and water reveals a slightly different environment. Images scattered over the map are less numerous. The scenes I do find contain rocky knolls covered in huge stones. Herds of sheep are photographed feeding on the vegetation and innocently moving through the trees like there aren’t any predators in sight. The trees are more vivid and numerous than they were near the river. It’s amazing to see how all the forces within this environment work together to create a tranquil atmosphere.
Although I am not physically in the environment, a few tools in Google Earth allow me to gather important information about the space. The first tool I used was the photo layer. The second was the “street view” option combined with geographic information at the bottom of the screen (location and land elevation). If I were physically in Preikestolen, it would nearly be impossible for me to cover as much area as I did through the software. I viewed miles of terrain with the software’s “street level” view which gave me a general sense of the geography of the land. I then added the photo layer and saw the actual land through pictures that were left on the map by people who had been to the location. These tools worked together to give me a real sense of what travelers experienced when they went there.
A textual visualization is very good at describing an area but it may not capture the feeling of being in the area the same way a digital space can. One example of this is the Pulpit Rock location mentioned earlier. I could describe the color of the limestone, tree patterns, and distance of the river through text. With the Google Earth software however, I can see the landscape through the lenses of cameras that were already in that location. If my curiosity impels me to look closer into the river, I am not restrained by what might have been written. I can move deeper into the river with the software and examine the area much more.
One game I enjoy playing is Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. This game is a first person shooter game taking place during a fictional world in the middle of World War III. This game heavily emphasizes harm/care and loyalty because it takes place in middle of a war. The main objective in every game mode is ultimately to survive. There three game modes are Spec Ops, Story, and Multiplayer. The Story and Multiplayer modes focus more on harm while the Spec Ops mode focuses on loyalty.
Story mode is a single player mode and the player has the ability to follow the narrative created by the game developers. This appeals the explorers because hidden Easter eggs are scattered throughout various game stages. Achievers also would enjoy this game mode because achievements can be unlocked by beating the game on various difficulties. Although the story mode provides each kind of gamer with their own objective, they still have to kill hordes of enemies throughout the progression of the mode. I mentioned before that this game takes place during a war so the ultimate objective is to survive. No matter how matter how much you may want to explore or get achievements, at some point you will have to kill (harm) in order to progress.
The other game with an emphasis on harm/care is Multiplayer. Multiplayer is a unique game mode in this game. Prior to Modern Warfare 3, multiplayer game modes favored killers because awards and achievements were based on kills. When this game came out, it created new achievement systems that also rewarded people who supported others and did in game achievements. The introduction of this increased the morality aspect of care in the game. Players were encouraged to have a choice in whether to focus on killing or aiding teammates.
The last game mode is the Spec Ops game mode: it focuses on loyalty which appeals to socializers. In the Spec Ops game mode there are survival maps that place two players on a team and force them to battle computer enemies. The player still has to kill enemies but through voice chat they can choose to talk with their partner to coordinate attacks or relax with a casual conversation in-between battles. This game mode encourages loyalty to your teammate because without them you will not be allowed to continue. If they are knocked down then you have thirty seconds to revive them or the mission is failed.
This game includes no explicit references to fairness, authority, or purity. Purity is completely vacant (as in most war-based games). Fairness may implicitly be seen in how the multiplayer game mode doesn’t only reward people for killing. The new rewards system makes the game fair by rewarding people bases on what they are good at (killing, achievements, caring for others). Authority may only be seen in the rankings. Naturally, if a player see’s another player who is ranked below them they may think their skills are superior and they deserve respect on the battlefield. This happens a lot when I play with my group of friends. We all look up to the friend who (literally) is always the top player in every online game with lobbies of sixteen players.
Based on the games other students played, I would most likely enjoy them. The game I played is very versatile in regards to gamer needs: It has something for just about everyone. On some days I may be complete garbage and my killing skills may be nonexistent. In that case, I may like to work in a team functioning as the support person or “medic”. One game another student wrote about was RuneScape. Beena mentions the main elements are “combat and murder” but she also says that a player is able to walk through cities with their friends and “slay chickens”. If I also lacked skills in killing while I played Beena’s Runescape, I may slay a chicken while walking through a town with my friend. As long as a game gives me versatility in which style I want to play, I will most likely enjoy it.
I chose to visualize my “Baptism of Death” narrative from week four for this assignment. Making a connection between the text generator and details underlying the narrative may seem easier because I knew the inspiration behind the story. I assumed that the largest words would be those alluding to zombies and some sort of chaos: I was partially correct. The most prominent word was zombies while a few of the smaller words do reflect chaos.
To someone looking at the Wordle, the largest words may seem disconnected. Those words are teleporter, zombies, room, elevator, leg, and Sam. The accuracy of these words is very good in mentioning the main subjects of the narrative. By connecting the larger words, the viewer of the Wordle may believe Sam comes in contact with zombies, a teleporter, and an elevator at some point. Unfortunately, the words do not reveal any clues about any details describing actions within the story or the significance of the larger words.
The smallest words provide the details surrounding those important parts in the story. Words such as running, pistols, American, and blood suggest an environment with war or some kind of chaos. Surprisingly, these words help explain some of the questions left behind by the larger words. By connecting the smaller words, one may believe that an American is running with pistols and interacts with blood in some way. Combining this inference with the inference created by the large words, a possible connection between the words may be that an American named Sam is running from zombies. This explanation would also clarify what blood has to do with the story and why chaos is apparent.
A distant reading tool I think would be very helpful is a tool similar to a search bar that can search for possible sources of inspiration behind a story. The first thing that comes to mind when I want to search for the connection between words and phrases is the Google search bar. In some cases, the search returns results directly related to what I searched for and people or ideas that may be associated with it as well. What if a distant reading tool incorporated this into what words appear on your screen? An entirely new story could be created by linking the most popular words in returned articles by Google. If those words were glowing or somehow looked different from words in the original Wordle, it may help viewers decipher some hidden messages that could be associated with other sources of inspiration. I did this for my own Wordle. I typed the largest words in Google and the list of articles that appeared were all connected to the game “Call of Duty” which was my inspiration for my story. By connecting that game to the words seen in the Wordle, the visualization may be even more effective.
Item #44 “Rafting In Costa Rica”
At first glance, this photograph may resemble a picturesque scene of friends bonding in the great outdoors. After taking a closer look however, it seems as if half of the purple raft has disappeared beneath the water. Why is this? In the caption, it says that the group is on a rafting trip in Costa Rica. This is true, but there is one missing piece of information the creator of the picture did not mention: there is a hidden behemoth swimming directly below the waves. The dark portion of the water on the left-hand side of the picture shows an unidentifiable creature pushing against the first raft. If you look at the facial expressions of three of the girls on the first raft, you will notice that they look disturbed. The raft is listing to the left and is undeniably being pulled underwater by the animal creating the dark spot in the water. Following the raft with the scared girls is a second raft. The second raft has clearly seen the turbulent waves around the first raft and has veered towards the right in order to avoid being capsized. They have also seen their comrades on the first raft dealing with some threat that is pulling the back of their craft into the water. It all makes sense now.
Item #96 “Friends in A Dorm Room”
This picture serves as the alibi for the alleged kidnapper of Coconut, leader and founder of the organization called “The Coconut Club”. Seventy-two hours before this picture was taken, the promotional photo shoot for the organizations new magazine concluded. The only remnant of that event can be found here http://mith.umd.edu/arguing/admin/items/show/46. Compare the two pictures. In the item 96, there are five individuals. There are seven individuals, including the coconut, in item 46. Who are the two missing members? Well, Coconut is the first, and Catherine is the second. When Coconut wound up missing, the first suspect was Catherine because she was the only other person absent from item 96. Now let’s take a closer look at item 96. If you look at the bed in the background, you will see a teddy bear. Turn your attention to the left and you will see a small, brown, Coconut-shaped figure. That is Coconut. That leaves one more question to be answered: where is Catherine? Counting from the left hand side of the picture, look between ladies three and four. Between them is a dark coat: the same coat that Catherine wears wherever she goes. The figure behind ladies three and four is undeniably Catherine. After she placed Coconut on the bed, she bent over to tie her shoe and the photographer didn’t catch her in the picture. Therefore, Catherine is innocent and Coconut was never kidnapped.
Tuesday, September 11th
BBC (London) – 9:40am
The first thing the man being interviewed mentions is a “declaration of war”. The news anchor repeats President Bush’s comment about hunting down those responsible. The man also mentions governments that may be harboring terrorists and how that will make them “very vulnerable” to possible action against them. This coverage focuses more on a possible U.S. retaliation rather than helping the victims. The tone doesn’t sound like it’s a tragedy at all and the news anchor speaks about the situation very calmly. I did notice that the camera angle does not move or shift at all: this may be an effort to have the viewer focus on what the man being interviewed is saying. The station also does a playback of the second plane hitting the twin towers and its subsequent fireball.
TCN (Texas) – 9:40am
This report is very different from the BBC coverage. The news anchor is only mentioning details. She is talking about the aircraft, where they all departed from, and also briefly mentions the 1990′s Muslim bombing of the same location. This report differs from the BBC report mainly by what it intends to put in the viewers head. The BBC coverage puts forth ideas of retaliation which lead the people watching to have their eyes on the country as a whole. The TCN coverage gives out as much detail as it can which allows viewers to draw their own conclusions and think about what may happen next. This anchor also sounds more concerned. She doesn’t mention anything about President Bush or America’s response but she does focus entirely on “victims, casualties, and rescue efforts”. The camera angle shows both towers burning.
Monday, September 17th
CBC (Ottawa) – 5:20pm
This network is very similar to BBC in how it is only really focusing on the reaction of the U.S. The man being interviewed has a concerned tone (less emotionally concerned, more political) and begins speaking about the U.N. and how as policymakers they must act to be a part of the battle against terrorism. He also mentions terrorists using Canada as a safe haven and an “aircraft carrier for the Jihad”. Another government representative comes into the camera and begins being interviewed. He quotes a U.S. military official and says “not to react would be to give a free hand to these people but to react in the wrong way would create a new set of martyrs and problems”.
FOX (Washington, DC) – 5:20pm
This network is focusing on the families of the victims and is talking about the local area residents who are affected by the attacks. The news reporter speaks in a respectful tone that matches the camera angles being used. The focus of the camera is on the family of the victims and their memorial services. At the bottom of the screen the caption sends updates about anti-Islamic, Muslim, and Arabic attacks.
From September 11th to September 17th, the tone of domestic news channels changed more than the foreign ones did. In the beginning, channels such as BBC and CBC focused on the U.S. response to terrorists. There were less changes in the camera angle (this may have been to make the viewer focus on what was being said). In contrast, the domestic stations were very different. One thing I noticed is that a few stations began showing “UNDER ATTACK” rather than “BREAKING NEWS” (one of them was GLVSN, a Latin broadcaster in New York). To viewers, the two phrases could really change the message coming from the news stations from “let’s provide important less biased information” (breaking news) to “let’s instill fear or arouse emotions” (under attack). This observation parallels the other things I noticed while watching the clips. Non-American stations generally reported information about how their country would aid the United States in the fight against terrorists. They also put more importance on the future U.S. reaction rather than the (then) current terrorist situation. The American stations focused on facts solely on facts surrounding the confusion. As the day progressed, the reporters grew even more emotional and concerned in comparison to their non-American counterparts. They also interviewed normal eyewitnesses that experienced the destruction. Foreign reporters interviewed their elected officials and terrorism experts.
Edward “Ej” Waddill Jr (5/14/1993) was born to Patricia and Edward (picture of my parents or a family photo) in Prince George’s county, Maryland . He grew up developing a keen interest for developing music (link to page with some compositions) while taking part in many community service activities with his friends (link to my digital album containing my election season photographs). In his college years, Edward studied business on a full academic scholarship (hyperlink to University of Maryland homepage). Being is always looking for a good laugh(embedded video showing his freshman “running out of diner points” recording).
-chronological order that overlaps pictures/significant life events with the compositions made at that time. This may allow people to see see any relation between the music and the events (or how one impacts another)
-collection of twitter updates and Facebook statuses that also parallel the time structure. This would help people going through the archive to get a sense of what my personailty is like.
“I’m sorry Sam.”
Never in a thousand years would I have imagined killing my own best friend. Hell, if it weren’t for this guy I wouldn’t even be alive right now. “The least I can do is escape from here for you.”
I noticed a battered American flag covered in blood hanging from the flagpole in front of me. Sam was a real American hero. He’s the one that helped design the teleportation systems used in our defense bases throughout the world. Now those systems would be the only thing keeping me from being exposed to the same poison that turned him into a zombie. Sigh. “I can’t even look at your face without tears running down my cheeks. I know this flag meant a lot to you. Goodbye, Sam.”With that final farewell, I laid the flag across his chest and continued down the hall to the emergency elevator leading to the war room.
“Looks like you’re all I have left, Mustang and Sally. You’ll have some fun once we make it downstairs.” These M1911 pistols have killed many men. As long as I point in the right direction, they do a pretty good job of finding a target.
The elevator doors opened. Gosh. I can smell the stench of death all over these walls. There are blood stains, broken glass, and the bodies of agents that made a last stand. “The Pentagon has been compromised…” As soon as I stepped out of the elevator a zombie lunged for me. I instinctively grabbed my pistols and let off a few rounds into its skull, just like I learned years ago in basic training. The sound of the guns alerted the other zombies. I dashed straight for the teleporter switches and fought through waves of the undead. “My magazine’s almost gone!” After I pushed the button for the teleporter, the system directed me towards the presidential room. When I started running towards the room, a group of zombies rushed me from behind. I threw a few grenades in their direction and shot into the crowd. “Die!” There were a few feet separating me from the teleporter. I continued to hold off the zombies and move into the room until…
“Agh!” One of the zombies I hit with the grenade must’ve crawled towards me while I was shooting at the group. It wrapped around my left leg and bit me until I bled. I shot at it until it ceased to be a threat. My leg was hurt pretty badly. By now, the zombies were closing the distance between us as I limped towards the teleporter. “Almost, there…” I fell into the teleporter as zombies converged on my location. When I looked at the zombie that bit my leg, I saw a rusted dog tag dangling from its hands with the name “Sam Stevenson” written across it.
Everything turned black. I heard a voice calling my name. It was Sam’s voice debriefing me about his recent teleporter success: four years earlier.
The first thought that arrives in my head when I think about my story “Brotherly Bonding” is action. Using e-lit, I would want to expand the presence of the action in the story and really put the reader right into the scene. A major component of “Brotherly Bonding” would rely on sound. I also want the reader to visualize the setting. Aside from the aesthetics, emphasizing and clarifying a few key Latin phrases throughout the narrative would help to signify the recurring importance of them.
1. Background Sound Effects (multimedia/musical track on page)
One of the collections in the second volume of the online literature collection is called “Tailspin”. It uses an audio track in a way that makes you feel is if you are right next to clattering silverware at a party or something. Early in the narrative I mention a few clues about the setting to let the reader know a storm is taking place. Reading this and imagining the environment is one thing: hearing the process of nature around you is completely different experience. A background simulation of a thunderstorm and every sound in that atmosphere would help add a dimension to the feeling of the story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlOJr1csOR4).
2. Picture of Thunder (linking to rest of story)
While I read through the e-lit selection “These Waves of Girls” I took note of the images that accompanied the story. While reading anything accompanied by an image, I automatically think about the ultimate purpose of the image and if it reveals anything about the story. If I were to introduce a picture of some uniquely colored lightning storm, clicking on the picture would symbolically take you in to the rest of the story and tell you more about what is occurring. This takes the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” to a new level. In “These Waves of Girls”, clicking on a picture takes you to another portion of the story and helps the reader understand how everything is connected to the overall story and picture itself.
3. Action Music
Reading a book is like being the director of your own movie. One thing that really makes an impact in a movie is the soundtrack or musical score used within the film. In a physical book, having the reader imagine the same scene you do is already a tough task. If you want them to imagine the same sounds/background music as well then you are venturing towards something very difficult to achieve. A link to a really intense musical selection would add another important element/dimension to the story. In regards to my story, a really intense rock song (such as Fully Alive by Flyleaf http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-d3RYW0YoEk&feature=relmfu) would really immerse the reader right into the action. This, combined with the thunder audio track I mentioned earlier would be a great combination.
4. Hyperlinked Latin Words
When the average reader sees a word they don’t know, they may become distracted if the definition doesn’t reveal itself. I think it would be beneficial to the author and reader to hyperlink the word to its definition/translation. In the case of foreign words, this is especially true. Linking these words would also draw more attention (and emphasize them) since they would now look different than the words in the rest of the story. Deena Larson’s Fun Da Mentals site really exemplifies this. Even though the description of whatever word she describes follows the word, the hyperlink to pages that expand on the word really do help gain a better understanding of the words she uses while drawing more emphasis to them.
5. Embedded Video Beam Struggle
There is one part in my narrative where the two brothers fire their bolts of lightning at each other. When I picture this, I remember some of the fights from a favorite childhood show of mine: Dragon Ball Z. More specifically, when two blasts of energy clash in the show, it is called a beam struggle. If I could get them to view that part of my narrative the same way I pictured it when I thought of Dragon Ball Z, the action in the narrative would be more intense than it would be if it were just read on paper. The best way to have them see this beam struggle would be to present it in the way of an embedded video right after I mention the bolts of lightning striking each other (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjalIqCl_fg).