Posts Tagged ‘NEW MEDIA’

NEW MEDIA: Mutekikon

Saturday, May 8th, 2010

One of my framing customers and friends, Kevin Osborne, surprised me with a DVD he left at my shop door when I wasn’t around. I knew that Kevin, an artist, had been working on a project of some Japanese prints but this DVD is a complete story in visual and text form.

Mutekikon is the fable of a boy who befriends an eagle and the lesson learned through the transition of changes that affect them both. Kevin’s narrative voice is strong yet gentle, completely bringing the reader into the story. His artwork has been filmed in a manner that suggests motion that follows the story, yet allows a contemplative background to the text that invites deeper reading and consideration.

I love what Kevin has produced in this merging of audio, video, text, and story. Here’s the website where a trailer and purchasing information (unbelievably reasonable) can be found: Mutekikon

This is one of the first physical DVDs I’ve had the pleasure of viewing in this new media method of storytelling, and it’s getting me more excited than ever about the possibilities it opens for writers and artists alike.

NEW MEDIA: Internet Connected

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

This morning I received an e-mail from where I frequently purchase books.

Dear Customer,
As someone who has purchased or rated books by Roland Barthes, you might like to know that Health Insurance And Health Savings Account Made Easy is now available. You can order yours for just $9.95 by following the link below.

I’m still trying to figure out the connection between Barthes and Health Insurance and even with the longest stretch, I cannot see one. So? Obviously a sales gimmick to push a current hot topic on some configuration of their customers.

This is what bothers me about social networking and internet identifiers. Bad enough that folks don’t seem to “get” us in real life, but on the net where we’ve so carefully (and carelessly) let ourselves be judged by what we write, link to, photo-share, and buy? The old Animals’ tune is running around in my mind: “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good/Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” It’s one of our  fears, for many of us, one of our biggest.

So is an internet identity as cool as we think? Is what we put out there–real or wishful fantasy–something we want hanging in cyberspace well beyond our own physical presence has mouldered (or been crispy-fried) away? Interesting, this new technology, eh?


Sunday, March 21st, 2010

Excellent post from Tale of Tales on the history, the rise and fall, the pros and cons, of producing a “new” style of video game not for the gamer perhaps as much as to reach and appeal to the non-gamer audience.

I found it interesting for many reasons but basically two: 1) a high degree of interest in the game once I saw the trailer and the exquisite graphics and work that went into this, and 2) I’m facing the same dilemma in literary hypertext. Shall I continue to bother “breaking into” the reading audience that chooses romance, sci-fi, or whatever’s trendy and appeal to their interests which I’ll try to appease, or do I write for the experienced hypertext reader, i.e., the academic, the new media or contemporary literature professors, or the coding folk.

This also caught my eye within the article:

But all the modelers we tested just couldn’t get the style right. To create stylized characters for a horror game that are not cartoony but still attractive, is apparently a skill not taught in 3D academies. Part of the reason probably was that we only got male candidates. Our experience with finding our wonderful animator Laura Raines Smith had taught us that it takes a woman to animate girls properly. Maybe it takes a woman to model girls as well. We don’t blame the men. We blame the fact that more women don’t choose 3D modeling as a career!

Ah, but there for the span of thirty years, would I be.

GAMES & NEW MEDIA: The Greatest Race

Saturday, March 13th, 2010

Found on Dark Roasted Blend, the Great Sperm Race: The Most Extreme Race on Earth which has a lot of the screen shots of the forthcoming National Geographic program which will be aired tomorrow, Sunday, March 14th at 9 p.m.

This looks like an amazingly different take on the topic of reproduction, judging from the photos, but it is put out in an interesting and imaginative manner. The images reminded me somewhat of an old Woody Allen movie that had a particularly hysterical scene wherein Allen and others, all dressed as sperm cells, were arguing over the ejaculation and journey to the womb.

To bring back some of the fun–check out the game on the National Geographic site; I almost knocked over my laptop when I bonked my sperm into the vaginal wall. Then, when I got my laughter back into a reasonable semblance of gameplay and moved on, I killed it with oozy acid. Too funny.

HYPERTEXT & NEW MEDIA: An Interview, and On New Media as Metafiction

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Thought I’d point to an interview I recently did over at Fictionaut about hypertext and new media in general. I had formed a Hypertext Group within this online writers colony and am thrilled to encourage interest and find a receptive and curious audience there.

At Facebook there is some commentary between myself and Finnegan Flawnt, who just recently started playing with the Tinderbox program, that entertains the question of new media being metafictional by nature. It is worth thinking about, if perhaps even the simplest hypertext is in fact calling attention to the act of writing by its visual invitation to interact with the text.

We’ve gotten used to seeing text as thoughts and read them not as signs and symbolic marks upon a background (think of looking at a page of Chinese writing when you can’t read the language), but see the idea presented in the pattern formed by the letters. Possibly seeing beyond the words and sentences to the images they represent. Hypertext includes links within text of a different and obvious color that is saying something about the text itself and the process of reading it, rather than merely being a part of the story. It’s talking directly to the reader. It’s an interesting way of looking at new media, particularly when it includes audio and visual effects that further call attention to the experience. Is it screaming, louder than the story it presents, “Look at me, I’m a story!”?

GAMES & NEW MEDIA: Spirited Heart

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

Every now and then Chris Crawford’s Storytron comes back to mind and it’s what I thought of this morning when I ran into this note on my newsfeed on a game called “Spirited Heart.”

Spirited Heart is a fantasy life sim game. You’ll be able to create your alter ego choosing from 3 races: Human, Elf and Demon. Each race has different starting attributes, and unique dialogues and events, so if you play with a different race you’ll see different in-game situations.

You can see where I mentally linked the this with Storytron, in the mention of “Each race has different starting attributes” so that events will play out according to certain predetermined conditions that need to align. I’m sure this is nowhere near as calculated and intricate as Crawford’s work which he and his team have put years of effort and intelligence into.

Time perhaps for me to revisit Storytron and other exciting ventures such as Facade that are at the forefront of new discoveries in gaming and new media.


Sunday, October 11th, 2009

In this case, methods of working up funding for a project that someone may feel passionate about but can’t get others interested in backing.

Led by the notorious Anne (who has more skills at tunneling through the web than a mole underground) to Kickstarter, which seems to be a place to lay out your idea and hope for some promises of dollars to help you get started. This one, for example, caught my eye because it’s so close to what I took part in with the 100 Days Project: 50 Characters in 50 Weeks, spiels the maker, is,

“…an exploration of humanity. It’s an exploration of acting and storytelling, but also of what it is to be human. There are lots of laughs, there are some tears. There are nice people and mean ones, but none of them are two-dimensional. Each film is designed to transport you, to make you laugh, think, and feel, if only for a few minutes… and I’m trying to create fifty of them in a year.”

Hi, my name is Brent Rose. I’m an actor, writer, and film-maker, and I’m working on the toughest project of my life. I am trying to create fifty short films in under a year. The project is called 50 Characters in 50 Weeks (or “50in50”).

An ambitious endeavor, and as of this moment, he’s got $1748 collected with 44 backers and 26 days to go.

What then, can I promise in return for some cash to fund CD’s and a website on hypertext stories? This is a possibility to get this project off the ground, not just for the money–which would take it above the personally-funded hokey stage to a more professional level–but for the chance to generate interest in the hypertext medium.

Ach, more thinking to do.


Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

It’s no good; I can’t just transfer the damn thing into html and make it any better with color and fancy design. It’d be like putting the cardboard back behind a work of art in a frame. Just don’t have it in me to cut the wrong corners when it counts.

So that’s what’s holding me up right now–as well as keeping me busy while I wait for more hypertext story–editing the somewhat sloppy language in Paths that I thought was so great at the time. That, and trying to figure out how to get the image of Jesus Christ from showing up as the representative frame of Recycling on You-Tube. No offense or sacrilegious intent meant, but He’s scaring readers away.

NEW MEDIA: Its Appeal and its Influence

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Even as I settle myself in for a nice hypertext write, I wonder where it all is going. Even I still have some dislikes of the medium in the reading of it, but then, there’ve been quite a few changes incorporated into hypertext work now. Even as I write in it I need these ‘changes’ to keep the groove, namely, to see the visual presentation and that for me usually means some color if not graphics.

This is also likely why I’ve still not bothered to master interactive fiction, as in the old text-interplay of Photopia, et al. It’s not visually exciting. Particularly when seeing “There’s no such thing” a few zillion times (I happen to be certified directionally dysfunctional). When I first got into IF and then hypertext via Storyspace, my mind zoomed ahead to a combination of the two–never the concept of IF alone–and with images and sound as well.

Now I’m not quite a senior citizen but I’ve been raised in the era of television at least, so I’m used to the visual saturation of the senses–though books were still a big, big part of my list to Santa. It makes one wonder how the younger generations, brought up on laptops rather than mere laps in a rocking chair, feel about these forms of story when they can get film clips on their phones for goodness’ sake.

A couple of years ago I played around a bit with Chris Crawford’s Storytron, in beta form, more on the authoring side of things than on the reading and playing of the prepared story.  At that time, unless my mind is deceiving me, there was a very promising graphical interface that was highly sophisticated to go along with the program. When I checked out Storytron in the last couple of days after its launch of a fully useable program, I was surprised to see the same old Sponge Bob Square Pants figures (faces?) in the play areas.  While Storytron is sort of halfway between IF in its decisions and hypertext in its manual use of clicking menus, it doesn’t do much in the way of eye-appeal. Same thing with the promise of Facade, which hasn’t progressed any from its intial output and primitive visuals.  Why are some of these great concepts not really accepted by a much wider audience?  Somehow I believe it has something to do with needing to look as exciting and interesting as the content should certainly be.

Like I said, I may often opt for the classics in their physical text and creamy-paged form and a quiet corner with a soft-cushioned curl-up-type chair, but I still have come to expect some visual stimulation when it’s just my Mac and me. In this hungry-eyed era I would think that aside from story and good solid writing another major consideration needs to be presentation.

NEW MEDIA: Priceless Photo

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

Well I guess the answer to which medium of text is more enduring has been answered. Via J-Walk, this photo of a book is priceless. I’d love to see this done in animation too.