Friday, July 31, 2009


Social Networking

I have recently been reading up on how social networking is expanding not only in the sense of their being more users, but also in the fact that it is spreading to new mediums and is offering many commercial opportunities to consumers. For example, Microsoft is adding Facebook and Twitter functionality to the Xbox 360 in order to further increase the sense of the home network that is based around the Xbox. The future seems to hold many opportunities for such programs as they continue to evolve and become more advanced. It seems logical that the next step for social networking is in "games"like Second Life where people are able to interact with each other almost as if they were standing next to the person in real life. Chris Crawford in his book talks about the game Facade and how it is essentially the pinnacle of interactive storytelling right now. However as social networking becomes more popular it may be possible for games like facade to emulate almost perfectly the complexity of human interaction and make it so that the player really can believe they are are interacting with another human being.

In- Depth

The more in-depth are class gets into interactive storytelling, the more complex the concepts become. At the beginning of the nineteenth chapter, Chris Crawford explains the research for certain software technology programs is never complete. The ideas for a certain project can keep building from one simple concept. One game that is introduced during this chapter is Facade. We were fortunate enough to demonstrate with one of the software programs, Façade. Façade is basically about a couple, whose marriage is falling apart. The player has the opportunity to interact with the story, by speaking with the married couple. When we played this game in class, the couple responded to most of the questions that we asked them. One thing that I’ve grown to realize is that this complex game that seems complete is another form of ongoing research. Although Façade is the most complex interactive storytelling game of our time, we must realize that there will be better and more difficult games in the future.

Fight the Design

The thought of Spirit and Opportunity rolling across the perilous terrain of distant Mars fascinated me. What heightens the feeling is how we as humans developed the means for the rovers to land there safely. The idea awed me and persuaded me to google for more information. When I was little, I wanted to be a part of the NASA team. I found a video, which I hope will shed some light if anyone else is interested in this feat of computer science. Please click on the link. Crawford wrote that these “robots aren’t programmed to make judgment calls based on hunches or soft factors. That’s not their department―computer science doesn’t do that kind of thing well.” When I read this statement, I thought “computer science doesn’t do that kind of thing well yet.” Like how the author mentioned that the chapter will be obsolete by the time it is published, it is hard to say where technology will take humankind.

Various forms of entertainment have taken a stab at predicting our future. I particularly would not like having to battle against robots like the film “iRobot” starring Will Smith. Unfortunately, pressing a button to eliminate any sort of disastrous disorder will not work in this case.

Source: Wikipedia

While reading the paragraph concerning the rovers, I thought of the Pixar animation release “Wall E.” The robot was programmed to clean up the Earth, which has been massively polluted. He continues on this mundane routine daily and would probably not have stopped if he didn’t meet the high-tech robot named EVE. The animated film explored the ideas that robots could fall in love and develop on their own over time. I don’t know if the scientists behind Wall E designs build “love” into his system. EVE went against her designs to save Wall E, which brought out a humanistic nature to her. This is always an important element to weave into stories, because like Crawford stated in an earlier chapter, stories are about people.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Letter A

I cannot believe I had not seen this guy's work until now! I find it absolutely beautiful in many levels, one of which is the simplicity of mediums and resources, of course talent, creativity and stop-motion animator patience is the most important. I think this particular one is drawn with charcoal, but there are traces of wash as well, I will investigate further. I really love how the space is explored and at the same time dissolved into your brain. I want to see the whole Alphabet! The artist probably used a simple digital still camera to shoot it.

Do not miss his MUTO masterpiece a few posts below.

Letter A from blu on Vimeo.

Interactive Story or Not?

To be honest when I began this class I had no idea that Interactive Storytelling was going to be technologically based. As days in class went on I was appalled by the fact the RPG video games, as well as others that I have played were Interactive Stories within them selves. Trying to find an Interactive Story in my opinion is quite tough. As Crawford states " Interactive storytelling is so difficult that any foothold ou can get is worth trying" I agree with him 100 % on this one. Finding the skeltal base of our story or story trace as defined in the book was quite tough, but after a while our group grasped on something, and held it tight. What interested me most in this chapter was reading about DNA and HEFTI. DNA as stated in the book is like our own "biological computer". It helps us adapt, and its kind of like the story of our lives.

3 Principles for Interactive Narrative

The role of an author of an interactive story or system is to create a narrative that will engage the participant and produce opportunities that allows the participant to take charge of some aspects of the story. In addition, the author is responsible to organize the information in a way that will give the story meaning and will stimulate the participant’s imagination. According to the book “Pause and Effect” by Mark Stephen Meadows there are three principles of interaction which are; input/output, inside/outside, and open/closed.   The first principle “input/output” is based on the concept that every input should create and output and vice versa. Therefore in an interactive narrative, the participant should be able to take part in a way that his interaction with the system will promote some sort of change. An action inflicted by the participant has to cause a reaction in the narrative system. Meadows refers to the second principle of interaction as “inside/outside” or “inside-the-skull” and “outside-the-skull”. The author Meadows explains that “inside” deals with experiences that occur inside the readers subconscious such as imagination. The “outside” is the experiences that can be physically felt by the participant such as sound, tactile, and so forth. In the third principle “open/closed” Meadows states that an interactive system should get better the more the system is used. A “closed” system is a predictable system or narrative where the participant knows exactly what will happen next. On the other hand, an open system is unpredictable, and the participant cannot foresee the result of his actions.

MUTO, a wall-painted animation

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.
See this fascinating graffiti animation. Ruben showed it to me during class so he deserves all the credit for finding it. It's interesting how this story progresses from a single wall to an entire city block.

Watch, listen, turn off your other senses and enjoy.

Media Art?

Or have we reached this point in reality?

California Cryobank.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Julius Von Bismarck

I was on like always and I came across this video. In this video you will see a helmet which allows the user to see themself through the first person shooter perspective which is one of the most popular views in video games today. When I saw it I thought about Interactive Storytelling becuase it's like your living your life but through someone else's eyes. I don't know if this is real or not but I plan on doing more research on it becuase this is an interesting idea to me.


Chris Crawford examines several interactivity research designs in the 19th chapter. He states that research in interactive storytelling is speculative and are not designed to function. The design is meant to demonstrate that one day with the proper funding, it could be "feasible/functional." I understand the importance of coming up with ideas that push the envelope and test boundaries. Yet, I feel that to some extent grad students that are conducting this research should keep feasibility in the forefront of their mind. What's the point of spending time and money on something that could never happen? Design at some point needs to have some sort of function behind it, otherwise it's just pretty. Crawford also talks about Facade, which we explored a bit a few weeks ago. Crawford, says that Facade is "the best actual working interactive storyworld." He does address that this program is confined and there are reaction deciders. This seems to me that the interactivity is very limited. I feel that as a participant you are a simple bystander in an awkward situation. So I would say that this program is interactive but on an extremely limited level.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Exploding Internet - A Medium for Interactive Storytelling

The link posted above is an interesting visualization of the extreme growth of the internet over the past decade. Note how 17% of world commerce now occurs through a medium that was barely present just 20 years ago.

Chris Crawford is known to consider interactive fiction a dead end for interactive storytelling. As he states in his book, "Interactive fiction is certainly interactive, and it’s fictional in the sense of being made up, but it’s certainly not storytelling." But the medium itself, in this case the internet, can be considered a story, or at least the initiation of an ever-flowing story where the characters are endless and the plots are f0rever interesting.

A closer inspection of the linked image reveals such storylines that may give us a glimpse at what kind of cultural experiences will overtake the medium in the coming years. For example, it is obvious and widely known that most technology advancements have emerged from the western world (as well as Japan and Korea), yet the advancement of the internet into the traditional household, even in the poorest countries, allows us to get an intimate look at some cultural underpinnings never before seen by the internet's traditional western audience. And the poorest countries taken into consideration are only poor in the financial sense; culturally there is a wealth of knowledge that make these an untapped source of richness unimagined by most.

Just a few days ago, I came upon a photojournalism blog that showed a fascinating story about an Israeli woman being wed to a Syrian man. They met through the internet, and though they loved each other unconditionally, their families were each on the other side of a heavily contested border that has to be patrolled by armed UN peacekeepers. The woman chose to travel across the border to be with her husband, in spite of the sharp cultural chasm encountered when moving across that border. Like a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, this story reveals an incredible set of experiences in another part of the world that I would have never known about if it wasn't for the onset of the digital age. And this is just one of thousands of events being catalogued daily through the several blogs and websites covering the internet.

China now has more internet users than the entire population of the entire United States; India's tremendous population is seeing a technology boom that reaches to the poorest neighborhoods; cheaper technologies allow children in Africa to crank a manual battery to power laptops provided by aid research from MIT. All of these events have allowed cultural hegemony to dissolve. The possibilities are now endless, and I would envision Chris Crawford agreeing that the internet as a medium on its own can be one of the most interesting interactive storytelling devices ever devised. The possibilities are truly endless here.

Group IV Website

Our website went live today:

It's still a little wonky in some spots, but it's still a work in progress. We'll be adding some more content in the following days.

On a side note, if anyone needs to make a website I strongly reccomend against using Dreamweaver (pardon my language but it's a piece of shit) or any other WISIWIG editor in favor of coding it by hand in CSS. It's a lot easier than it sounds--I basically learned it in the 5 days it took me to build our site and, honestly, most of that was spent finding a javascript for the slideshow element and then beating it into submission.

The benefit of communications by text messaging

There is much which can be said for using email as a way of getting information out, but we must face the truth. today people don't check their email every ten minutes they check their phones every other second though. By sending out through texts or putting the information up as a status update on facebook or something there is no doubt that the message will be seen in at least half the time. Take for example the article in the Alligator. USF by use of texts and sites got their message out much faster than UF who used email. This is why it is so important for information to go out. One could even take as an example the Obama campaign which made use of text messaging to get out their messages. Everyone wished to be part of the "inner circle" and so wished to be put on the list.

Monday, July 27, 2009

interactive dance

Dancing is a profoundly interactive language that crosses all cultures throughout the world. In many ways Dance follows a narrative that often dictates the the outcome of the dance. Merce Cunningham was, as of recently, an innovative choreographer who abandoned the use of narrative in his choreography and found new methods of dance that was not bound by the confines of scripted narratives.

Throughout his career Cunningham pushed the boundaries of dance and technology often incorporating computers and visual effects into his choreography going so far as to allowing computer modeling platforms to dictate some aspects of his dances.

The use of scrims, projected images and people, all on the same stage, created unique opportunities for dancers to interact with various forms of mediums all collaborating together to create sensually intriguing performances.

youtube videos of Merce Cunningham performances.

Arquitectural Magic

Pinwall | interactive facade pinball | urban screening from urbanscreen on Vimeo.

Urbanscreen is a group of architects and designers based in Bremen, northern part of Germany. Their work is an exciting example of creativity and superb execution. Notice that the players are as engaged as the audience with a total suspension of disbelief.

This second video is not yet in their website and although not "interactive" I think you will have your neurons firing away! enjoy

555 KUBIK | facade projection | from urbanscreen on Vimeo.

Watch them in full screen mode if possible (right-click on the video).

Chris Crawford states that interactive fiction will never lead to interactive storytelling. But i think that interactivity can happen in fiction, storytelling, etc. Especially in storytelling. There are so many different methods to which interactivity is demonstrated while telling a story. For instance, the classic example of telling stories around a camp fire. Or there is always the different social netwworks, such as twitter or facebook. Interactive fiction and storytelling are related from my view. A sotry can be fiction, and can be told where there is interactivity involved.

Group II – Digital ThrowUp!

The initial idea for Group II was to create a story that would then be experienced through a series of events that would lead to a destination. The use of Quick Time VR would have been utilized for the exploration of various environments to navigate through a “branching tree structure” maze. When reading “Interactive Storytelling” by Chris Crawford, he describes the branching tree structure as a story that is given multiple choices and decisions after an event has occurred. After choosing one option you are given more options to choose from and so-on and so-on. The initial idea seemed to be an interesting one at first, because it was being viewed from the “designer’s point of view”. Crawford gives an example of a story going through 10 phases. “From the designer’s point of view, these 10 steps represent a heavy workload. From the player’s point of view, however, all this work yields a story that’s just 10 steps long.”

This concept of the branching tree structure was discovered as an unsuccessful tool for interactive storytelling and was discarded by Group II. Crawford goes on to say that “In interactive storytelling, plot is replaced with a web of possibilities that communicate the same message.” The revised approach for the interactive storytelling project is to let the audience create an art piece that is the combination of individual works of art and express them as a whole. To achieve this concept, a blank canvas is used like a graffiti wall for users to apply layer after layer of work. Crawford also states, “To understand the abstractions…, you must first let go the notion of plot.” The wall becomes an abstraction of individuals and their creative works, thus enabling a network of people to join a common interest that can be discussed and interpreted endlessly. The wall is ever-changing and constantly evolving.

First draft layout: Kevin Silverman

The title of the project is “Digital ThrowUP!” The word ThrowUP comes from terminology that is used in the graffiti world that refers to a type of graffiti style. There will be a mix array of digital media and an unpredictability of content that will populate the wall. For maximum potential of user interaction, the wall is separated into five categories. This broadens the spectrum of personal interests and personalities. The categories are:
• Photoshopped ThrowUp (Photoshopped images)
• Photo ThrowUp (photographs)
• Graffiti ThrowUp
• Paint ThrowUp (MS Paint)
• Sketch ThrowUp (scanned sketches)

A blog will be created that coincides with each wall of art for people to explain their work and comment on others.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

group 3: creating item givers

Two things to my teammates. First off, due to the tight time constraint, I don't believe I will be able to help anybody with the creation of their areas (I still need to create the top and bottom areas, aka little reds house and the final destination). The second thing we need to create is the hint poem. I have an idea of how it would go, but I want to get my teams approval before I do it.

Now onto the main part of this discussion. I have finished the code for the teleporters and the item givers. I will give the scripts to my teammates. To use the scripts you must:

For the teleporters:

1)put the script inside the object that you want to be the teleporter (if object is linked with other objects, a special code must be made for it). You can do this by selecting the object, going into the edit menu, going to the content tab, and dropping the text into the folder.
2) under the objects tab (inside edit), at the bottom left corner of the box, select when clicked on sit on this object.

For the item givers:
1) place the object, notecard and script inside the item that you want to use by dropping the stuff inside the folder in the content tab. (Again, inside the content tab of the edit menu of the object).

Lastly, we also need to come up with a name for the game. We need to choose the name quickly tomorrow.
Anyways, see you all there, and I hope this walkthrough helps.

PS. If this is too confusing, I will do a quick walkthrough tomorrow in class for my group.

Branching Tree

The branching tree structure brought up by Chris Crawford(p.124) reminds me of the choose your own adventure books(CYOAB) I used to read as a child. When I first started this class, I immediately thought of these books as a perfect example of an interactive medium. Oh, how wrong I was.
The branching tree structure, used in the CYOABs, is little more than a story trying to get an extra mile out of a tank on E...better yet, since we are metaphoring* cars, a CYOAB is like having a learners permit; sure your driving around town, you can go left, you can go right, but in the end it is all up to your mom, sitting in the passenger seat, telling you exactly how far you an go. CYOABs only offered you so many possibilities, all of which were already predetermined, and lacked flexibility(just like a parent).
For full interactivity, there should never be an end; certainly not a clear one. If there must be an ending, let those possibilities be endless.

*NEW WORD, not yet in dictionary.

The Hero's Quest

Interactive News

I was doing a little search on "Interactive News" to see how this topic would related to some of the readings from the "Chris Crawford" book. I was interested to see how the news broadcasting is becoming more interactive. In the past the viewer could only watch the news or read the newspaper, and there was not much opportunity for interaction between the viewer and the news media. Now with the use of interactive systems such as "Tweeter" and "Face Book" very often the viewer is given a chance to comment on the news, and the comments are usually immediately posted for other viewers to see. It is very interesting to see how the news is becoming more dynamic and how big newspapers such as "The New York Times" have now departments dedicated to the development of interactive projects. Below is a link to an article that I came across called "Talk to the Newsroom: Interactive News Collaborative". This article contains little interviews with the Members of The New York Times's interactive news team with links to their projects, and also has a very interesting section on the elements of good interactive design.

Group 3 project name idea.

My suggestion for the project's name is:

"Little Red Riding Hood Quest Through the Tales"

I think this is a good name because it also function as a  very simple description of the main idea of  the project. Let me know what you guys think about it.

interactive world

As society is becomes more and more interconnected it is evident that the importance of interactivity in technology is on the forefront of our economic progress. Businesses that incorporate interactive media create more options and opportunities for their clients to learn about their products and interact with the company on a more intimate level. This interaction fosters product loyalty and devotion as the consumer develops a relationship with whichever product they may be involved with. Chris Crawford states “When it comes to interactivity, computers are the only game in town. So if you want to get down and dirty with the computer, interactivity is what you want to concentrate on; that’s the basis of competitive advantage of this medium.” Innovation is the key to progress and interactivity is a revolutionary step in the development of mass media. Interactivity has the potential to allow people from across the world to collaborate in real time on any given subject anywhere. This fact is beginning to evolve in such digital platforms as second life in which people from across the world can interact with each other and form real relationships that have real meaning in a digital environment. Although this technology is truly in its genesis the potential for such interaction through the use of computers is changing the way we live and think about the world.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


Chris Crawford's idea of taking popular charachters and adding them to the storline of his game is quite clever. Stories such as: The Little Mermaid, Shrek, and the Lion King, are all very noticeable to everyone. Using these stories will allow for people wh do not usually play computer video games relate to the game. Most people have taken an interest in any one of these films, no matter where they live on this earth. These popular films are universal, so everyone should be able to add to the storyline. I can just imagine how interesting the stories are that derive from the charachters of these animated films. I believe that games such as these attract many people, even those who do not like the idea of interacting on the web at all. I also believe that these games are a little less intense than interactive games such as Second Life. In the game Second Life, someone is put out into a digital world that they know nothing about. In the games that Chris Crawford has created, the person knows the basis of the story, they just have to add to it, other than creating it.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Group 3 Name

I apologize for not posting this post earlier. The internet signal was bad for awhile where I live. I am not sure whether anyone has chosen a name yet, but I have thought of two. I know that the first one sounds out of place, but I was thinking of the wolf full from eating grandma and little red or the wolf holding up the basket filled of all the stuff. Please comment.

FAT Project-Fairytales Adventure Time
RRALHP Project-Red Riding Hood Hood, Ratatouille, Alice in Wonderland, Little Mermaid, House (as in grandma’s house), and Peter Pan

Putting It Together

Initiating the project four weeks ago, I found that as a beginner, I made the mistake of thinking “in terms of ‘story plus interactivity” when “a story is a data structure, and you cannot interact with data; you can only interact with a process. Story is data but storytelling is a process.” Flipping through my interactive storytelling textbook, I chewed over the technical terms and enjoyed the quick mention of favorite stories, such as Shrek, Romeo and Juliet, and The Arthurian Tales. To communicate with his readers, Chris Crawford utilized stories that he surmised that the audience is familiar with; thus, he does not have to go through an in-depth explanation of the tales or leave the readers hanging. For our second life project concerning Red Riding Hood’s quest, we are depending on the audience to know, at least to an appreciable degree, the stories of The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Ratatouille, Red Riding Hood, and Alice in Wonderland. It is through these familiar tales that we hope users will find the grounds to build a relationship with the characters as they venture on the quest.
When I considered the methods in which a drama manager attempts to mold the storyworld into a desirable form, I thought of two examples.


One is the maze and the rat. The rat’s goal is to escape the maze and hopefully find a bit of food on the way. Escaping the maze would earn it 80 points, but finding the food would boost it to a perfect score, which is ideal. The goal of the maze is for scientist to test if rats do intend have measurable intelligence or is it just a trail by error process. How many shots of intelligence does a player require to play a fighting game like Ark the Lad Twilight of the Spirits or is it mostly a trial by error process? While the rat is roaming through the confusing environment, the scientist can install new walls to confound the poor creature even further. The scientist wants the experiment to take a successful turn.

Consider again the novel Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, which I had mentioned in an earlier post. Fenoglio, an author or storybuilder within the tale is one of few who can bring back dead characters or erase existing ones in the novel. Futilely, he attempts to bring back his beloved Cosmos character from the dead to defeat the army of the Adder (the Silver Prince), but each time he does, the story degrades even further until Fenoglio gives up his advantageous ability for a period of time. The point of Fenoglio’s mistake is perhaps it is better not to “correct” the player and to retain free will in the storyworld. Should Fenoglio really be messing around with necromancy? Probably not. It is better to treat the players as an “adult” by killing them off rather than treating them like a “child” by blocking their foolish actions.
Also, I wanted to add that the concept of “verbs” dominating and being an essential foundation for video games and computer software is new to me. Now, pressing the Microsoft sign in the top left corner of my computer screen, I’ve noticed a total of eleven verbs, which seven of them branch off to different verbs. I can understand why building Microsoft alone took the time of over 100 computer software designers.
Knowing history and keeping a file of it, whether in the mind, on the computer, or in a well-kept cabinet is essential to saving time, especially involving the long url addresses. I rarely want to memorize these addresses, because it is too much of a hassle, so I depend on the history feature on my browser, which allows me to search for a desirable place that I have visited in the past.
Gossip is significant in a game, especially when players are looking for interactivity. In games that I’ve played, I’m always instructed sometime down the line to talk to someone for important information relating to my quest. It is important to be cautious and weed out the malicious gossip. I find this relevant to my group’s project, since there will be characters in the different fairytale worlds with a wolfish characteristics, giving out false clues. It is nice to be updated on the latest news. Perhaps that is why Facebook and Twitter are such successful social utilities. They make gossiping faster and more efficient. Of course, the chapter involving “verbs” comes into play to define the way in which characters “gossip”. It would be awkward for me to say that I saw three businessmen gossiping during lunch. Somehow, the word “gossip” conjures up images of four women rolling mahjong tiles between their fingers and “gossiping” about what they saw, heard, etc.


The segment concerning “scoring system” will come in handy next week when my group will be discussing Little Red Riding Hood’s measures of success and the consequences of not retrieving all the items from the various fairytales. I think our group should consider Crawford’s point system for the tale of King Arthur.

Is "The Path" true Video Game Art?

Video games. Most of them involve shooting people, driving like a maniac, slashing swords, or some combination of all of the above. But how many test your curiosity and make you face your fears in a truly mature way? Until quite recently almost every video game has been the equivalent of a summer movie blockbuster; fun to watch, but intensely insipid in its depth. And though almost every video game involves art in its basic sense (the design of the worlds, the audio), very few games approach the level of artistic storytelling that The Path has achieved.

After choosing from one of nine characters (all seem like different versions of the archetypal Little Red Riding Hood character, albeit at different ages) the game throws the player into the titular "path", and a cryptic message briefly shows on the screen: "Go to Grandmother's house... and stay on the path..." Follow the game's only direction and you find a "You Failed" screen as soon as you find your granmother's room in her house, all akin to a game over. In a stark contrast to almost every other video game I have played, this was pretty disorienting at first. I did what the directions told me to do, and yet I "failed" the game. In this sense, The Path is parodying the way every video game always sifts the player through unquestioned directions. The first challenge in the game is an actual challenge of convention. You have to stray from the path to start experiencing the game.

As cliche as it sounds, once you start thinking outside the box is when you start to experiment the genius in this game. The game has bright, colorful graphics when you're in the path, but once you venture out into the forest the colors start to dilute and the game takes on a much darker tone. The farther you go into the forest, the darker and scarier the game turns. All the other aspects of this game follow this theme. The music is a simple piano tune while you are on the path, but once you go inside the forest the music fades away and random, creepy noises gradually fill your ears (growls, whispers, footsteps, a blackboard scratching). It can be genuinely scary to venture really deep into the forest, which is where you start seeing the fable unfold.

In your life you may choose to take a safe path to the end, experiencing very few unique moments but being generally safe throughout. This can lead to a life of regret, where you may wish you had taken more risks and lamented the opportunities you let get away. On the other hand, you may try to lead a life of adventure and risk, experiencing unique moments that will forever stay in your mind, though at the risk of also experiencing some horrible moments that will be hard to erase from your head.

This is what I believe The Path is trying to convey. The notion that curiosity has both advantages and disadvantages is nothing new, but playing this game made me reflect on how I personally lead my life. Roger Ebert once commented that "art is a medium that makes you reflect on your own life, even if it's not a positive perspective of it". This game is not always fun, and in some cases it can be quite disturbing, but you will have its imagery and messages stuck in your head for a long long time.

Chris Crawford suggests that static mediums, like video games, are usually not considered the best examples of interactive art since the participant only experiences a set storyline that cannot be interacted with. But my argument for this game's place as a prime example of interactive art is that the story itself can be interpreted in several ways. The user decides what to take from this story, and his inputs in the game directly reflect on the outcome of the experience.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Science has always been an interest to me. As Chris Crawford states in the text book. The subject we call Science is so abstract. The fields of Science are so broad and expand outward greatly. The universe as it expands itself leading to more exploration of the universe. The information in Science is unlimited, in our lifetime, there is so much to learn, so much to research. Planets just having indirect evidence, that we have never seen in real life, just through images. The more abstract these ideas are the more we strive to finding the real meaning. The subject of Science is bounded around how Abstract the matter is. I find it amazing that Science is ever expanding, into new ideas, where one field can interact with another, branching off into more abstract ideas. I am forever interested in Science, and I want to further learn about the body, in my research of this Abstract world of what we call SCIENCE.

Graffiti Wall

The idea for Group 2's project is to create a website that contains a blog and a blank wall that users can upload digital media (pictures, scanned images, drawings from Paint, etc.) and post them on the wall. The wall then becomes a collage of peoples art work. The blog coincides with the images to explain the significance or interpretation of the individual pieces or the canvas as a whole.

When researching for ways to integrate the idea of a graffiti wall and internet users for the project, I stumbled upon the "YrWall". The YrWall is a digital graffiti wall created by a small creative company called Lumacoustics. The wall is essentially a blank canvas that allows people to create works of art or to just have fun.

Modern Day Camp Fire

Thinking back to the beginning of the class, I distinctly remember when we were discussing how sitting around a fire in prehistoric times telling a story was one of the first forms of interactive storytelling. This practice has been a continuing tradition among us, however it has evolved as we have and has adapted to our new social standards. I was thinking of what could be considered a "Modern" Camp Fire scenario where people are just simply interacting with each other and sharing ideas and stories, as well as letting other people interact with what is going on. The closest thing I could think of that matched the description was a party. At a party, similar to a camp fire, there are groups of people clustered around the area, each telling a different story. These different stories combine to create the atmosphere and actual "story" of the party, the interactions between people are what many people seek when they go to a party, which is not much different than our ancestors circling around a fire.

Only Human

It is fascinating to me how the medicine and the scientific world are weaving new technologies into their research and applications to reach higher levels of success. I am part of the University of Florida Pre-health listserve and today I received a link to an article titled “Med School, High Tech.” I found the details in the articles significant to the role of a doctor. Now more than ever, medical schools are encouraging new physicians to treat patients in a more holistic manner and to understand how an individual’s parts become a whole.

Source: IMP Awards

Suddenly, I am reminded of the movie The Island starring Ewan McGregor and Scarlett Johansson. The clones in the movie carry out a systematic lifestyle where a majority of them do not stop to consider the reasons behind their actions. How are they all so sure that “the island” actual exist?In the movie, they work in the lab and mix together different chemicals? Why do they do this? Part of being human is to be curious and to ask questions (not necessarily vocal). The concept applies to doctors. Physicians cannot always work in a systematic manner, because their patients are not like video games. Once you play through it a few times, you are bound to know all of its strength and weakness (how to beat it efficiently).

Source: Natural News

The human mind and body is complex. Sure, it’s important to know the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and the digestive systems, but the truth is, they are interrelated. This is why drugs have side effects. Physicians must always be on their toes and not land face down through unexpected trapdoors that patients open up. If interested, please click on title to view article.

Source: Media Photobucket
Yesterday, I was walking down the sidewalk not paying attention to my surroundings and I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk. I flew at least ten feet, Landed flat on my face, and everything that I was holding flew out of my hands. before I could even process what had happened a few strangers came over to make sure that I was alright. They helped me up, and made sure that I was alright. We got to talking and then we all went out to lunch together afterwards. Because I had made such an embaressment of myself by falling, I interacted with three new people. I was just thinking about how if i never would have fallen I probably wouldn'y have met these new people.

Group 1 concept and explanation

Basic explanation – The whole idea behind our project is creating a website on which the police can post those problems which arise in our projects case a missing person. The idea is that instead of saying nothing about what you know due to a feeling of awkwardness in speaking with police the website would allow you to report what you know while keeping anonymous. This can also be linked to various social networks such as facebook and twitter by using ping. Why we are doing this – posted on the blog was a video concerning the police and their way to capture and deal with the problems which may arise on campus. We were speaking that over, along with the idea of how the police got out their updates on information which they felt people ought to know. There was an email sent out concerning an armed robber and asking for any and all information as well as telling all students to beware. The group while discussing this were speaking of peoples’ feelings concerning the idea of coming forward with information and so decided that what we would like to do is to come up with a way in which the information can be sent out, noticed, remembered, and allow people to give the information without felling awkward . This is done because on our website it connects to all emails and facebook and twitter so not only does the information go out quickly through many different channels but it allows anyone who does have an email to leave a message and it can be done anonymously while on other blogs you need to have a specific type of email such as how on blogspot you must have a gmail.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


sketching and architecture go hand in hand. A sketch is a quick study of very particular moments and done in very particular ways. After reading Professor Arturo's post on story boarding I have been revisiting many of the sketches and diagrams that I have been working on for the past few years and have found that in each one there is a particular story that is being outlined. For instance one particular drawing that I had been working on was of the Kimbell Art Museum i Ft. Worth Texas by Architect Louis Kahn. After spending several days drawing many buildings and works of art I realized that the drawings that I was doing were too representational, too picturesque, I was not analyzing what the building was about, how it worked, why was it important. but in a moment of Aha! I began to disect my skectches into primary elements, such as light, and structure. By focusing on only one detail at a time I began to tell the real story of the building, The strongest drawings that I have are no more that a handful of lines detailing the effect of light in a particular space. No these are not pretty drawings, I do not have the greatest hand in the world, but they are understandable by pretty much anyone who sees them. (the sketch below is not mine)
Sketch of the proposed kimbell art museum addition by Renzo Piano.

Sketches are also instructive documents which in brief detail demonstrate a sequence of actions. Over the past few months I have been doing research on my thesis which is about the relationships between gastronomy and architecture. thorough this research I have been diagraming the action of creating certain dishes. These diagrams serve as a storyboard for the production of food items and how independent elements are brought together to form a cohesive final product.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

putting it all together.

Currently our group is working towards the final product, as I am sure we all are, and we have begun to sketch out our plan of action by storyboarding how we believe the viral story will come together. our current focus in on finalizing our written products, articles, press releases, and basic biographical information that will be accessible through a central web page. We are as well sketching out ideas for developing a press confrence that we intend to post on youtube, with links to our website and various other networking resources. Facebook and Twitter will play a role in getting the viral ball rolling, by fabricating posts to these social networking sites we hope that our "friends" will view the post comment, and then visit the webpage and hopefully they will find this story intriguing enough to share with their friends keeping the cycle going. Virgil Wong has been gracious enough to allow us to post our press release on his website and has contributed some fantastic ideas about how to format the press release and the proposed video. By interconnecting all of this material, website, news articles, videos, magazine covers, and press releases we believe we can construct a web of information that will be self referential and convince people that the story is true and outrageous enough to make them comment on the practice of sexual reassignment surgery on children.

Ever Hear of Mead Library

Anyone ever hear of Mead Library? I spoke to about 6 upper class-men and 3 librarians and in the end the only person who could point me in the right direction was a lady who appeared to be a file clerk of some sort. She told that it could be located off campus 3 miles south from the Digital World building and thus I began my journey...

First let me say that I am a proud UF freshmen (innocent and fearless at the same time!) Except I forgot the fearless part as I wondered farther and farther away from campus in search of my destination, onto empty streets and foreign roads. The few cars that whipped past me drove dangerously close to curb and the few construction workers I saw were giving me the 'stink-eye'. Suddenly I remembered the Freshman Manual! Rule Number 34: When scared sh#$less call your mother! Yup, I called my mom. She wasn't very proud of the feat I had undertaken, explaining to me that I could get "shanked or killed walking alone"... moms always know just what to say to make you feel better. After 15 minutes of walking, I finally saw something that remotely looked like a school (bloodied books on the sidewalk, JK!!).

I was walking around campus for a while before I saw the main office. The lady inside said I could get to Mead library by going 'down the stairs and across the creek'. It was overcast and when crossing the old wooden bridge above the creek I couldn't help but think of the theme song to 'Are-you-Afraid-of-the-Dark' show EVER! Anyway I finally found Mead Library. Within minutes I had checked out my book and made my way once again back to the street.

I wasn't looking forward to the return journey, when I noticed a block ahead of me a bus was pulled over to the side of the road. When I got to the bus I peered in side the open doors. The bus driver turned to me a smiled "Come on in!"
Really?! Now come on! Would I be stupid enough to jump on an EMPTY old rickety bus when the bus driver wants me to "come on in" even though he doesn't know where I'm going!?

Heck yeah! It was hot outside!

I asked if he could take me to Rawlings Residence Hall and he did -quickly. I don't know if this in anyway constitutes Interactive storytelling, but I thought about how quickly my journey ended simply by jumping on a bus. I wouldn't have had a story at all if I'd found a bus route to my destination in the first place. Anyway...that is the basis for interactivity right? Choices? How many times have you made a seemingly insignificant decision that effected your entire day and or life?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Curious Findings...

During the course of our controversial viral marketing campaign, I have played about a dozen scenarios in my head. I wonder if it will be successful and catch on. I wonder what the exact responses will be and from whom they will come from. I wonder what sort of feelings we will elicit. I wonder if we will offend anyone. I wonder if anyone will find the attention brought to the issue of child gender reassignment as a positive contribution. I did some browsing and found this video on YouTube. There are some points in this outdated video that I found quite interesting.

(mind you the
video does appear biased) First of all, the mere fact that castration occurred without consent of a parent is absolutely astonishing. The reporter mentions that the family is "suing"--- I was incredibly surprised that a much more forceful term was not used, like up to the neck in malpractice law suits. Which on perhaps a more humanistic level, I wonder what possessed this doctor to perform an illegal surgery. I wonder if he felt that he was in the medical right or if he felt some form of a moral obligation my some set of beliefs to do this. Either way, what he did WAS illegal. When I came across this video, I noticed it was entitled "Surgical Abuse of Intersex Child." I never considered the fact that gender reassignment could be abused. I further found in my research that some of the associations that create awareness for intersexuality are severely opposed to infant gender reassignment. Some of these surgeries are results of not only ambiguous genitalia, but also botched circumsion. Now that I have seen some of the responses from different spectrums of people involved, I keep their point of view into consideration while creating our viral campaign.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Story as Architecture

Minh-Tam Le post reminded me of something I wrote some time ago, while thinking of issues that have very much to do with the concepts of "interactive Storytelling" that we are grappling with.

We have mentioned that the new authors of interactive fiction must relinquish control of the fate of their story to the agency of the players, that all they can hope to do, is to build an environment that in and of itself enables the seeds of the story to germinate.

From "Roboethics and Performance":

"The composite below, shows God the Geometer, building the world. The painting, which appears in the Codex Vindobonensis 255483, dates back to mid-13th Century. The detail of the world as depicted by the artist has an uncanny resemblance to another seed of creation; the Mandelbrot Set."

God as Architect/Builder/Geometer (13th Century) alongside a Mandelbrot Set (1).

"It is significant that God uses geometric, reiterative and harmonic principles to create the world.
700 hundred years later we use the same principles albeit different tools to seek and create our own reality. This time we hold the compass. And as we already know, unlike a seed that when planted needs to be tendered and watered or else it dies, the type of reality we are creating resembles more a stone thrown down the mountain towards the infinite abyss.

There is no way to stop the avalanche. In fact, we are already in it. We might not be aware sometimes, like passengers on a plane, which forget about the incredible speed that they are traveling at. Only when we are about to touch down (a frame of reference) do we become fully aware of our frailty and for a moment hope that everyone that had anything to do with the contraption that carries us, has been truly responsible, and ethical. But we doubt it. And some times our doubts reveal the tragic truth."

In his article ”The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era” mathematician Vernor Vinge writes:
“I have argued above that we cannot prevent the Singularity, that its coming is an inevitable consequence of the humans' natural competitiveness and the possibilities inherent in technology.
And yet ... we are the initiators. Even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things. We have the freedom to establish initial conditions, make things happen in ways that are less inimical than others. Of course (as with starting avalanches), it may not be clear what the right guiding nudge really is.”

(1) The Frontispiece of Bible Moralisee. Codex Vindobonensis 2554 (French, ca. 1250), in the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek.
The Mandelbrot set is the set of all c for which the iteration z -> z2 + c, starting from z = 0, does not diverge to infinity: zn -> zn+1 = zn2 + c

On Stage

Imagine God walking on stage. He needs no spotlight because the glow from his body illuminates the dark room. Sitting down in a black, comfy chair, he glances over at the stack of books on the mahogany table. He crosses his fingers and grins. “I won’t be needing those,” he gestured.

Before reading the words of Chris Crawford, I have thought of God as a creator, a force to love and fear, but not a storyteller. Does he control our every move? Is there freewill?
“Every event that takes place in the universe happens according to His benevolent design. There are apparent evils in the universe, buy they are all part of God’s greater intentions…a terrible disaster is an “act of God,” but so is a murder.”
If a murder was an “act of God” and all living beings are ruled by the concept of determinism, are we solely responsible for all forms of punishments?
After reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, I find the relationships between the author and his/her more complicated than just the mind of one individual producing the realm of the others. “Like some omnipotent god, the story builder decides their actions and predestines their fates. Conversely, the history of the universe is nothing more than a huge story written by God that we act out.” There is a saying in Chinese that the pen is more powerful than a sword. Sure, with a sword, a warrior can slice through ogres and disable a fiery beast, but with a pen, an emperor can end thousands of lives by signing a single execution document.
I find that playing the game of “interactive” storytelling with children is the most fun, because like Annie, they are “forgiving audiences.” Similar to Annie’s grandpa, I enjoy my younger brother’s interruptions. I “come in with basic principles of storytelling, and then…makes up the story…in response to,” my brother’s, “needs and interests.” However, I can understand why designers of games, writers, and authors would want to hold the reins of the story.
“If the story is to be truly interactive, the player must be able to change they story, but if the player changes the story, the artist cannot control its development, and the player will likely ruin the story.”
If players or fans could contribute their ideas to the storyline Friends, would the success of the show increase or decrease? Instead, would the story just branch out like a tree on hormones and then tumble down because of all the weight?
In a recent post, I mentioned the games Soulcalibur III and Ark the Lad Twilight of the Spirits. Both are constructed around a constipated story. True, the games are not truly interactive, because like a movie, there is more reaction than interaction. However, despite this flaw, I enjoyed the games. After leaping through the “hoops” by fighting ridiculously strong villains and/or searching for more than half an hour for an item, the short clip is a worthy reward. Dissecting this concept further, I find the relationship between the game designer and player much like a trainer and his/her animal. For performing the correct task, the animal receives a reward. The animal anticipates the reward and the trainer can keep the animal “on its toes” or entertained by making the rewards random (not following a pattern). Would a designer make a game show a clip only every five complete task? Would that make the player lose interest or keep them playing because they know when the video will show? Should each clip only last a certain amount of time? Think of a trainer giving a lion only beef. What about the other meat varieties?

Source: Chris Crawford on interacting storytelling

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Age Is An Important Factor

Earlier today when group four was presenting their project, their was a question that was brought forth. The question was whether or not we should use an eight year old boy or someone younger. The gender reassignment procedure is considered taboo even in our more accepting generation. The idea of changing the sex of a child is a horrific thought for many people, but most studies show that a child is more aware of themselves and their sexuality around the ages of seven or eight. Think about it when we were in the first and second grade, we were aware of what sex we were attracted to and what, clothes would look nice on us. I'm going on and on to say, that if group four uses a younger child we would cause more controversy. A four or five year old might not be aware of their body at such a young age, and this gives the parents the decision of what sex they want their child to be.
I know many young boys who have played with dolls and dresses up as girls when they were two or three, but they've grown up to be very masculine young men. The most compelling factor about using a toddler as a gender reassignment patient, is that they are completely innocent. This is why I believe group four should choose a younger child.

Friday, July 17, 2009


The storyboard can be a combination of outlines and visual sketches that map out the contents, the development or sequence of events/ideas.

Traditionally, storyboards are associated with linear media, such as film. They visualize, in a sketchy form (although they can be very elaborate) the key sequence of events in the film, and describe things like effects, props or other production needs.

In the small example above they even describe the path that the planes need to fly in the frame, in order to match other actions in the sequence. The storyboard allows the production team as well as the cinematographer, animators, director and other members of the crew to plan ahead and in great detail what is needed and in what order.

In the case of interactive digital storytelling, the storyboard can also take the form of a flowchart, describing the logic of the interaction, it can be a simple table or an outline with a very detailed description of all the sequences, all the needed elements and their relationship, design, photography, QTVR, video, interviews etc. etc.

A Hierarchical Task Network, p.331 Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling

But, like Jane Stevens says about storyboarding in Multimedia Storytelling, "A rough storyboard doesn't have to be high art - it's just a sketch. And it isn't written in stone - it's just a guide. You may very well change things after you go into the field to do your interviews and other reporting."
And that guide is just what we need at this stage of the project so that nothing important is overlooked. It does not need to be a work of art, but it needs to be functional.

Dancing Rocks rough storyboard

Is it a boy or a girl?

An upcoming documentary (Tuesday July 28, 2009 at 10 pm ET/PT on CBC Newsworld) deals with intersexuality and how families cope with it. Although DSD was mentioned in the context of Group IV project, I think it would be interesting to contrast this type of case with the original idea of parents that wish to change the sex of their child to fit their own expectations, which would put the real intersexual case in its proper context, as a medical and social issue.

...The majority of parents of intersexed children still choose surgery to avoid social stigmatism, but many intersexuals are critical of the choices made for them when they were infants. While Dr. Nihoul Fekete thinks parents should determine the sex of their child at birth and that surgery should be performed right away, Vincent Guillot (Paris), the founder of Organization Intersex International, calls the surgery he had as a child a "mutilation". He describes himself as neither male nor female. (From the CBC report)

Here are a couple of sites with interesting information perhaps useful for your project:

What drives our thoughts?

I was thinking to my self what drives our motives in a legitimate story? In movies for example, specially those claiming to have a true story behind it, such Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What if it is just a hoax? This story bought so many to believe that a madman was loose with a chainsaw, killing people mercifully. Do not get me wrong the story was incredible, and still deemed to be true. I just think its so awesome, how movie makers, specially directors try so hard to get people into the scene and make us think about random things, for example in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, after I saw it, I was shaking at night, thinking leather face would pop out, and slice me in two. Movies intrigue us with their complex, interesting, and interactive, storylines, which just amazes me, because it drives people to think way way out of the box.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Crime Database

Group 1's idea is currently thinking of a way for the police and other law enforcement agencies to be able to spread important information about public safety to the people it needs to get to in a timely manner. We started thinking about this because of the recent occurrences on campus dealing with armed robberies. The current alert system is that emails are sent out to all the students are on campus, and though they are able to get information out to everybody, it does not meet the requirements of doing it in a timely manner. We were considering using a system that employs many of the newer social networking websites and programs that are utilized by a vast majority of college students. A message that is posted on Facebook or sent out through Twitter not only would be received by most of the students but they would also be sent out very quickly. People would also be able to spread the messages themselves through their own social networks. Ideally eventually a social environment, like Second Life could be utilized to spread information as well as provide an environment where law enforcement agencies could see where crimes are occurring by people reporting within the system. It would allow intercommunication between the agencies and the people that they are trying to protect.

Transgender Tales

I just found a CNN broadcast clip on you tube that deals with an eight year old boy in Colorado that will be attending his third grade class as a girl. This clip may be able to serve as a template for our project. I think that we may be able to use some creative editing and use most of this clip.

let me know what you think.

Tired Yet?

What in games lures a person to sit in front the television to the point that his/her hands ache from the muscle sores? With every button pressing against the seconds that just float away, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that after ten hours of smashing, blocking, or whatever passion drives us, our brain has become “numb”. No, the antidote is not a hot cup of espresso, but a process called sleep that gives the body and mind time to recover. Personally, I do not play many video games, but I do recall the “numb” effect. My hands warm against the PS2 controller, I was awake 3a.m. in the morning. The images on the screen lit my dark bedroom. I was either playing Soulcalibur III or Ark the Lad Twilight of the Spirits. What reason did I have to keep on playing? The games neither advanced my career nor offered a monetary prize, but I was willing to sacrifice my sleep for it. Each game had a set of objectives, which were not out of my comprehension. If they were, would I have kept playing? Probably not. Complexity is not a necessity for a game to be great. I was the protagonist and had to go on a journey to save someone or something.

What kept me in the gaming zone for hours beyond reason is the need to obtain a certain goal, to reach a new level, and to have a source of satisfaction? What if I reached that objective earlier than expected? Well, I push forward onto another one and throw another time limit out there. I tell myself that I will beat this villain by midnight, but sadly it is already 3a.m. and I am still tightly holding onto the controller. I feel more frustrated after each failed attempt and think to myself that this game is keeping me away from the warmth of my bed. Let’s be honest. I was keeping myself awake. The games, with their eye-catching graphics, offered me an engaging world. Wrapped in a ball, the conflicts were simple. If I didn’t win the game, my comrades and I were dead. I was never a fan of morbid endings, so I was determined to give the saving the world things a try. The games offered me different choices, such as which path to travel first, which I enjoyed. What I find different in some games is the saving option. How much I loved just pressing the “Start” button and seeing the option to save. Now, I have to fight across the virtual world in search of the saving spot, which in reality could take over half an hour.
A concept that I found interesting in Chris Crawford’s storytelling book was his view on people in stories. He wrote,
“Stories are about people…Lord of the Rings, for example, is not about the ring, but about Frodo’s struggle. Replacing the ring with a magic sock or a hat or eyeglasses would not have changed the story much. Replacing Frodo with, say, Han Solo, Don Quixote, or Huck Finn would have changed the story beyond recognition.”
In truth, Soulcalibur III and Ark the Lad Twilight of the Spirits both contain tales of betrayals, friendship development, and other fragments of being “human.” I find that these pieces bridge a connection between the player and the character. As the story unfolds all its layers, it is hard to imagine another character playing the central role(s) other then the character(s) casted. I am a fan of the show Friends and after watching all ten seasons, I find it difficult to imagine another actress playing Monica. With the help of the writers, Courtney Cox has brought life to one of the beloved characters on the show.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

On 'The Path,' Everything A Big Bad Wolf Could Want

i thought this would be interesting for group 3

New Way to Interact with videogames

With the release of Splinter Cell Conviction this fall UbiSoft will be trying to engage readers in a entirely new way. For years most videogames featured cut scenes that the player was forced to just watch to continue the story. However in the new splinter cell players will be able to interact with the story during the cut scenes. Developers hope that this will get the gamer more engaged in the story. They tested this idea during the last level of the previous splinter cell game. Personally, I thought that having to decide whether or not to kill someone was very intense. Mainly because your decisions also affect the outcome of the game. How successful will this be, with most videogames its either hit or miss.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Group 3 Story Items and Locations

These are the locations and the items that will be incorporated into our story.

Beginning and Ending Locations:
1.Little Red's House
2. Grandmother's House

Fairy Tales:
1.Alice in Wonderland (Forest)- Denis
2. Peter Pan (Sky-Flying Ship)- Tam
3.Ratatouille (Kitchen)- Namon
4.Little Mermaid (Sea)- Aaron

1. Basket (Little Red's House)
2. Teapot (Alice in Wonderland)
3. Mushrooms (Alice in Wonderland)
4. Rose (Alice in Wonderland)
5.Pot(Peter Pan)
6. Recipe Book (Ratatouille)
7. Cheese (Ratatouille)
8. Recipe Bood (Ratatouille)
9. Fork (Little Mermaid)
10. Blanket (Little Mermaid)
11. Wine (Peter Pan)
12. Cards (Alice in Wonderland)
13. Clock (Peter Pan)
14. Candle or Candle Stick (Little Mermaid)
15. Pan (Ratatouille)
16. Fish (Little Mermaid)

Wrong Target

A friend of mine got this (see below) in an email today from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication...

"And speaking of journalist sources... a quick story: Several years ago, my brother was involved in an international military incident when he was flying his F-18 over Kuwait and was given coordinates for his target and told to fire. The coordinates he was given were the tower, rather than the target. Bad mistake. Within a week or two, the USS Greenville (nuke sub) was involved in the Ehime Maru mess when the sub hit the Japanese fishing boat off the coast of Hawaii.

Divers inspect the wreckage of Ehime Maru off Oahu, November 5, 2001.

The captain of the sub was my high school sweetheart. Somebody put that together and posted it on our high school forum (the high school was for military families stationed in Italy, so a very tiny community...). A NYTimes reporter in NYC actually found the message board and called me in G'ville to get the "story"... so sometimes even the "not so lazy" journalists find interesting sources for twists to existing stories. Something to think about."

Diagram of Greeneville's control room shows the locations of the 32 people in the room at the time of the emergency ballast blow maneuver. The darker marks represent the locations of the DV civilians.
(Source: Wikipedia)
Looks like "War Games" to me...