Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Things I know by heart

When I started thinking about things I know by heart, the first thing I thought of were song that I like/love. But I realized, to know a song by heart, you'd have to be able to write it down without listening to it and I honestly can't do that with any song and get all the lyrics correct. I can sing along to many songs and get the lyrics right but that's about it.
Then I thought of movies and there is a movie that I definitely know by heart, and that is The Swan Princess. This was the movie that as a kid I would watch, rewind and re-watch all day. I think I burned out the VHS. It's an old Disney style movie, like Cinderella, Beauty & the Beast(both which I kinda know by heart). I know the plot, songs and almost every line of dialog in this movie. How does it affects my storytelling, I'm not entirely sure. The only main thing I can think of is that any story I write has a happy ending and I tend not to dabble in darker, more mysterious stories. Everything for me is pretty "light" and "fluffy" as it were. One quote from the movie that I love and apply to a lot of things is: "Once you steal something, you spend your whole life fighting to keep it." This line wasn't a direct moral of the movie or something that was emphasized, which I believe is why I learned to pay attention to details and like to throw in subtle messages in things I write.

A note on Pluto not being a planet.
I think it's ridiculous that they decided it's not a planet any more. It has been taught as a planet for over 75 years and the only reason scientist decided it's not a planet is because it's made of ice instead of gas. It's now a dwarf planet and to top it off it's not the first dwarf planet, it's the third or something like that. Pretty soon they'll reduce Pluto to a moon since it's so small. 

Cerquita de mi Corazon!

So we were asked to blog about certain things that we know by heart, and honestly i can't think of anything else more relevant than the song we sing at birthdays. Because I'm Venezuelan, we've got a whole other song we sing at birthdays titled ' Ay, que noche tan preciosa' which literally translates to ' Oh, what a precious night' and it pretty much captures the essence of what birthdays are, who you share them with and the beauty of accomplishing an extra year of your life. I can honestly say that there are moments in my memory where this tune becomes transcendental through so many years of my life. The image of a birthday cake lit up with candles, an extra one added for every year, and the changing faces, setting and emotions, each one different for every year, rush around me like a film. Its incredible what music and lyrics can do, and how knowing something by heart and so close to your heart can tell the story of your life. Literally.

PS: Click on the title to follow the link and listen to the song in case you're curious (the part of song we've always sung starts at :55)

Is history really history? hmm..

History is defined as “the record of past events and times, esp. in connection with the human race.” History, to me, is unchangeable. It’s an event that happened in the past and we all know that no one can go back in time. So why is history changing? It’s something I wonder. The example brought up in class was Christopher Columbus discovering America. Isn’t that what they teach in school now-a-days? But, wasn’t it Leaf Ericson who discovered America? What about Pluto? In my opinion it’s a planet. But does my opinion really matter? Who is to decide whether it is or not? I know I’ve asked a lot of questions..but a lot of them are unanswerable. The ironic part is..when I was in class and had just said something about Pluto I got a text. The text read something like, “9 planets, trillions of people in the world.. ..and I met you.” I kind of chuckled cause are there really 9 planets? In my eyes there always will be.

On the Topic of Tropes

This is gonna be a quick post, just to share a link with you guys. We mentioned tropes a lot in class on Tuesday (at least 10 times) and every time we did, this website came to mind.

TV Tropes is a wiki that details pretty much every literary trope known to man (for more than just television) and links them to examples in books, films, movies, comics, television shows, real life, and more. It's a very interesting read.

A friendly warning: this site may be addictive. I've found myself inadvertently burning hours here when I only intended to read the page initially linked. It's interesting and fun, though.

Young at Heart

"Deep in the hundred acre woods, where Christopher Robin plays,
You'll find the enchanted neighborhood of Christopher's childhood days."

And mine as well. "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree" is one of my most favourite stories of all time. Not only do its catchy songs stay with you for days, but the characters leave remarkable impressions and relate to both children and adults. I was not allowed to watch much TV as a child, but between reading Pooh's books and occasionally getting to see his movie when a babysitter came over, I had pretty much memorized the entire tale by the ripe age of 6.

The other stories that always stick with me are classic nursery rhymes, fables, and parables.
"Bah, Bah, Black sheep have you any wool?" is not easily forgotten, for it rhymes and is so popular throughout American culture, how could one not pick it up?

Parables like "The Little Dutch Boy" by Peter Miller stick out for a different reason. Aside from reading Clifford the Big Red Dog, 101 Dalmations, The Bernstein Bears, and The Magic School Bus, arguably my favorite stories as a child (and admittingly, now) are fables and parables with a moral. "The Little Dutch Boy" discovers a small crack in the dyke. Thinking quickly, he plugs his thumb into the crack to stop the leak from flooding the village. Diligently, he sits there waiting all night until somebody sees him and gets help. The lesson teaches children that acting quickly can prevent large-scale disaster. Proactive solutions now lead to smaller problems later. The book, "The Children's Book of Virtues" By William Bennett includes this story and several other memorable tales. The illustrations are beautifully done and commit the tales to memory even further. You can see or buy the book here

Stories you know by heart make great background while you work. Often, I leave on "Winnie the Pooh" or other songs or stories I have memorized when I animate videos. It makes for a pleasant experience, and I no longer need to see the images, since the story is forever ingrained in my brain (assuming no brain trauma in the future).

TTFN, ta-ta for now!

Stories of the Heart

On a light note, I know the entire Michael Jackson's Thriller album by heart. It was my workout CD (yes, this was before iPods), and every day I'd strap on my no-skip CD player and go running to the beats of "Wanna Be Startin' Something" and "Thriller". Awesome!

So far on this blog, it looks like people have only mentioned entertainment as the things they know by heart. Movies, games, and song lyrics. I guess that's because this is a public blog to classmates that we've only been in contact for about a month now. However, the two narratives that I first thought of when Professor Pat mentioned "things we know by heart" are more serious. The first one is the story of my family, especially that of my grandmother who escaped from Soviet-occupied Eastern Europe during WWII. The second narrative is that of the Gospel, or the story of one Jesus of Nazareth and his connection to each of us. I try to shape my own life's story according to these two narratives. And I know that talking about faith isn't fashionable anymore but, well, it really was the first thing that popped into my head when the assignment was mentioned.

Also, I noticed in "Pause and Effect" that "gospel" is one of four narrative categories (epic, gospel, essay, and romance). How does that work? I mean, the Gospel is one story told four slightly different ways. Maybe it's an interactive narrative, in that as Christians we each contribute our own lives to the story of Christ's sacrifice? Hmm...

Stuff I know by HEART

There are a lot of things I know by heart, particularly video games, movies, and science stuff. Here are a few favorites that I know by heart: Titanic, Resident Evil 5, and the subject of science.

My most favorite movie that I know by heart is Titanic. The story of this movie is about two lovers who meet up on one of the most challenging times in history. The two lovers' names are Rose and Jack, where Rose comes from a rich family while Jack comes from a middle class family. The story of this movie has really intrigued me since I was a kid. I remember when Rose jumped off the row boat just to go back to Jack. And this is when Jack said "Why did you do that, why?" and then Rose said, "You jump I jump right?" Also, I loved the music, particularly the song "My heart will go on" The music and the dialogues are great concepts for storytelling because they both show what one is willing to go through in order to stay close to their lovers, creating an interactive drama for the story as a whole.

Resident Evil 5 is another favorite thing that I know by heart. This game is fascinating, because it allows the player to interact with their chosen characters. For example, when another player or the computer heals you with a first aid spray, the player being healed can thank the other player by pressing circle. It was pretty neat. I did that once with an online player who had a microphone, and he said "you're very welcome" the moment my character said "thanks, partner." As Meadows stated in chapter 2.2, the "character" in an interactive narrative is one of the main keys to an excellent interactive game. Another reason to why I know this game by heart is that it allows players to buy add ons. These add ons have two mini stories, an online versus mode, and a whole new mode of mercenaries (see video), where players can get the highest score by eliminating as much enemies as they can. The add ons also add to the interactivity of the game, because some parts in the original story are shown in these mini "deleted scenes" of the game.

If there is something important that I have to also know by heart, it would have to be the subject of science. Why, you guys may ask? Because science is everywhere around us. It has helped us since ancient history and still continues today. We have discovered many new things because of science, including the art of storytelling by way of digital technology. I believe that storytellers and digital artists should create games, books, and/or movies that contribute some kind of donation to current causes. This would not only make whatever it is interactive, but also would make it interactive to those in need. The idea of helping people is one of the important facets in the subject of science.
Also, don't forget to memorize these structures of the heart by "heart!"

Things I know by heart

know A LOT of things by heart. Especially songs!! I could sing/rap more songs acapella than I could possibly write down! A few are: "Sittin on the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding, "Keep Ya Head Up" by Tupac, "Grillz" by Nelly, "Sexy Love" by Neyo, "Unpredictable" by Jamie Foxx, "Lookin at Me" by Mase, "Ticks" "Mud on the Tires" and "Alcohol" by Brad Paisley, as well as several songs by Dierks Bentley, Toby Keith, Aaliyah, Ciara, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, Jimmy Buffett, Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, The Dream, Postal Service, Incubus, Jack Johnson, oldies, and many many many more!!!

I also know a lot of movie quotes by heart. My brothers and I have always played movie quote games and even though the two of them are way better than I am, I'm still pretty good at guess movie quotes and using them in conversation! One movie I can recite frequently is "Pulp Fiction". I have a few of those monologues and conversations down pat. I also know some stories by heart, mostly greek mythology and children's stories, but I'm not confident enough to say that I could get through all of them without messing up.
My favorite song of all time and one I most definitely know by heart:

A song I know by heart that you probably wouldn't expect:

today's antics... well... yesterday's

So we talked about several things today/yesterday/whatever... The first I would like to discuss is the whole idea of knowing something "by heart."

I would really like to know what the difference is in committing something to memory and knowing it by heart.  Technically speaking, everything you know is known "by heart," simply because you know it... Then again, does knowing something by heart mean you know the whole thing word for word in the correct order/sequence?  If that's the case, is it not true that you know the burger king slogan by heart, or maybe the jingle for some other company?  Whatever the case, I suppose I'll go with the music idea that was mentioned today.  Probably the very first song that I truly committed to memory because I was the one who wanted to know the song - like... flat out listened to it over and over again until I had it DOWN - was Maxwell's Silver Hammer.  I know... but what can I say, I was in the third grade (I think?).  Of course I knew twinkle twinkle little star, and all those good ones you learn in Kindergarten, but like I said, this was the first one that I wanted to know as opposed to learning... unless you count Do Wa Diddy on the radio or the Pokemon theme song... Anyway, after Maxwell's Silver Hammer there were a few more, I suppose, but that's the one that sticks out for the most part because it was pretty much the first.  In more recent years, the majority of music that I have been committing to heart has been my own music.  I write a lot of music, I've had several bands and am in the process of starting and leading several.  I am the sole songwriter for all but one of those.  I am also the lead singer, rhythm guitarist and harmonica player (when it calls for it).  But I digress.  All of the songs that I memorize are generally my own, and therefore have a special place in my heart (or at least they did at one point in time... some I now have condemned to Hell due to my hatred and/or emotional detachment from them), so I guess you could say I "know them by heart."

The next thing I would like to talk about that we mentioned in class is losing the game but winning the story.  I'm going to be rather brief on this, because I'd simply like to mention the fact that it is also possible to win the game and lose the story.  Correct me if I am wrong, but this is perfectly exemplified by one of the groups currently in the class with the game where, whether you are the good or evil character, the evil character always prevails.  So in any situation, it can be a win-win, a win-lose, a lose-win or even a lose-lose.

The final and shortest of my discussions here will be of Pluto no longer being a planet... I'm sorry, but where did that guy get off saying that?  I don't care what the books say, I'm still going to teach my children that Pluto is a planet and some moron said otherwise and, surprise surprise, people listened to that moron... I think this right here could sum up how everyone feels about that guy:

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Paws & Affect

I think the best thing Mark Meadows' Pause & Effect accomplished for me was the explication of the structures and concepts that shape so much of the media we consume, but internalize almost without notice. It aids in understanding why a videogame's plot may seem "by-the-books" or a horror film may seem too predictable.

His exposition on Aristotle and Freytag's story triangles is valuable, because he doesn't just take them at face value to be the be-all and end-all of effective narrative structure. By understanding "the classics" we can also better understand what structures motivate us to push a story in a certain direction and, interestingly, how to breakaway from these structures. In essence, it's about getting a new perspective.

One quote that really stuck out to me was the one atop of page 60, where Doug Church discusses the difference between games (as a form of interactive narrative) that allow the "reader" to shape the narrative and ones that allow the reader to "figure out how to turn the prewritten pages". This is extremely relevant to me, because I'm thinking of ways in which to meld real and meaningful interactivity with our project. I want the player of our game to feel like their presence, choices, decisions, etc (basically their interactions) has effects on the universe (or multiverse?) of our narrative as a whole.

But I have to balance this with the reality of being able to produce such concepts, with my current knowledge and the time I have been alotted, when I put the game together in Multimedia Fusion. I guess one way of simplifying the above paragraph is by referring to steps of interactivity. We have observation, we have exploration, but do we have modification and change? I've got a great team though, I'm sure we can figure it out!

As far as Meadows' views on imagery, I'll just say I agree with him and then defer all further questions to this brilliant masterpiece:

Memories of the Heart

I can remember songs of artists that I feel have a lot of soul and something to say. I can remember all songs from Lupe Fiasco first and second album. As a huge fan of R&B as well and I can remember almost all songs really well.
I also remember the To Be or Not to Be speech from Hamlet. In high school I fall in love with the play and really wanted to play hamlet one day. We had to remember a speech and perform it in class my senior year of high school and I choose this speech. I still remember it from that day. I feel contemplation is one of the strong suits of my life and that speech is about contemplation. It resonates with me and that is why I remember it.
I do not believe I have a good memory but some things just hold. Songs with emotions, speeches with passion these things I remember. These are the things I feel.

Chapter 1....a big foundation for the rest of the semester!

Well, before reading the first chapter of the Pause and Effect book, I had a pretty small understanding or perception as to what interaction exactly was. I used to believe that interaction was that just piece in a story that enabled you to just hear or see it, but that you had no big influence on how it happened. However, what I had always referred to is what is known as opinion, and there is a big difference between the two. Giotto started to develop this theory of what he believed was the true foundation of interaction when he saw those houses shift angles as he walked closer of farther from them. From this concept he started to develop what he liked to call "perspective" and he came up with two kinds: emotional, which was more based on the person's reaction towards some emotional aspects of the pieces with perspective, and the dimensional perspective was how every single person could experience different geometry to every piece out there, but that the author always concealed some exact location for the "perfect sight." Giotto believed that these two perspectives were actually linked to each other and aided one another towards achieving a person's individual perspective. From this new development of virtual sense came two different kinds of narrative: linear and 3D. Narrative is the way in which something is told, such as a tale of a digital story, and the different kinds that may be available out there, some for actual fees, determine how much the person is able to interact with story development as to what degree. There is a very important concept in narrative, called the Freytag pyramid, in which a german writer, Gustav Freytag, developed what he thought was a good interpretation of what a story underwent, with a desis, a climax, and a denouement. Depending on what kind of story you can tell, this pyramid can be modified to suit different plots or even to skip the desis. It is spoken of in the book that there can be a very powerful relationship between narrative and image in a story, for each one can aid towards helping decipher what the other one is trying to convey, and that helps the story move on forward instead of just standing still in a frame of time. There are three main types of interaction available: input output (consists of putting some sort of narrative in, and getting a possible response in return), inside/outside (consists of how the concept of development changes when inside the skull or outside the skull), and open/closed (determines how widely available a type of interaction is.) There are four major steps involved with developing a narrative with a perspective in it: 1. observation (relates to how well a person can understand his surroundings and people's reaction to certain kinds of material), 2. exploration (the hunting for that idea that will make people want to interact with a certain kind of narrative), 3. modification (being able to modify certain components of society's response in order to create new, fresh kinds of perspectives out of people), and 4. reciprocal change (the system tries to change the reader.) Well, this is what I believe was the most important stuff from chapter 1. Please forgive me for the lateness, but I didn't go to class on thursday and got to know of this assignment at the last minute.

Chapter One: My Most Creative Title Yet...

I have to agree with Shell on the general analysis of the first part of chapter one. It was rather boring. But then again, I can almost never read a text book and stay awake, no matter how "interesting" it may be (no offense Prof. Pat). I think it may just be the negative connotation I've associated with the term "text book." I mean, since when is reading a book of text ever anything fun? Don't get me wrong. I enjoy reading. But the association of homework to text book just naturally disgusts me. I've never been one to be proactive in my homework. However, I digress (as usual).

So, like most others, the section about Giotto caught my attention more than other sections. Perspective is a cool thing. One cannot deny that. Whether it applies to art or to human interpretation. I mean, perspective is so interesting that it caught my attention in the text despite the fact that I've encountered numerous homework assignments regarding this subject matter. And that's saying something. I appreciate the quote in this section that states, "...dimensional perspective affects emotional perspective." That's an interesting thought. And a true one (obviously, it's in a text book! Right?). In fact, we've discussed material similar to this in my first semester architecture class. We're learning about space
and how each space we create creates a reaction (hopefully) so, hey! look! I can apply text book information to my own experiences... Okay, Pat. Maybe you're right... But only about this one!

Anyways, Giotto combines the ideas of spacial perspective and emotional perspective by spending (or having spent? hehe) a lot of time on facial expression. I can relate to that as well. In the art I've spent time on (or am spending time on? Yea, I'm going to stop this now) I've focused a great deal on facial expression because I feel that a person's face is where a story can be made. Well interpreted. Actually, my entire concentration in AP Art Drawing Portfolio was the effects of an individual's facial expressions and how they can tell the most about a person. Cool. Giotto and I are like "homies" now... Okay. I'm definitely kidding. I'm not even comparable to his genius. We're more like distant cousins thrice removed or something along those lines...

So the text goes on about other subjects... somewhat interesting, somewhat not, and
then I come across the topic of Imagery. Now, to be honest, the only reason I especially caught attention to this section is because I always use the term "imagery" and I was really curious to see if I was ever using it correctly or if I just sounded stupid... Turns out I'm not as stupid as my informal blogging may make me seem like. Yes! This section talks about how text and imagery go together like milk and cookies (see section 1.3.3 to further read on figures of speech) and when I read this I remember thinking, "Well, of course!" Because I started thinking about all the ads we see around everywhere... and how the combination just seems so... natural. Also, thinking about this idea again makes me want to follow through. Refer to this picture as an example ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I think that's the right idea. I just went with a more
old-fashioned touch. So yes, this section also caught my
eye because I am considering switching my major to
advertising, and this idea of marriage between text and image obviously
plays a large role in advertising. Doesn't Uncle Sam make you want
to join the army...?
Alright. I could continue on to summarize the rest of the chapter,
but you've all read it. You don't need me to recap every detail. At least I hope not.
I just wanted to point out the parts of the text that caught my eye. I'm curious
to see what interested everyone else...

Pause & Effect Ch. 1 Summary

To begin with, the first few sections were quite interesting in relation to Giotto's paintings. Giotto was quite the mastermind in incorporating perspective into his paintings. I found it nice how he tends to paint his pieces based on his actual perception so it's like we are looking at that very scene through his eyes. Besides the dimensional perspective, his capture of emotions is really great and very distinguished.
Subsequently, the chapter moves on to discuss narrative. We have already discussed a part of this section in class referring back to Freytag's Triangle. However, the narrative is actually a lot more complicated than several steps on a triangle. "A narrative is built, symbol by symbol, brick by brick." (Meadows, p. 24) Moving on, reading inbetween the lines just explains how every story and even every sentence has a beginning, middle, and end, while at the same time containing interactive elements that are determined by the user. Readers can control the pace, the level of participation, and the dwell-time, which is key to be aware of when creating a story. The audience likes to be in control. Furthermore, Use-Case Scenarios are used to help supplement these interactions, but what really distinguishes a narrative from just a lot of soft-ware related writing is the opinion in the story. Narrative requires opinion.
Next, it goes on to explain the importance of metaphors and imagery in narratives. I must assert that imagery is probably one of the most important elements in telling a story. If a reader can't imagine the scene and be immersed in it, much of the key interaction is lost. Speaking of interaction, there are four main steps to it including observation, exploration, modification, and reciprocal change. Although reading about it seems strenuous, these four steps always occur even if we don't realize it.
Finally, the three different structures of interactive narratives are discussed which include the nodal plot structure-- a series of noninteractive events. The modulated plot structure--plots that still support the dramatic arc, and lastly, the open plot structure which is basically a road map of events. In retrospect, I never realized there were so many elements to a narrative but reading up on these will definitely help in writing our story.

Introducing the Interactive Narrative

The initial chapter of "Pause and Effect" introduces the concepts of narration and perspective, describes their history and present day manifestations, and explores their ability to interact. In short, this first chapter lays an excellent foundation for a course on interactive storytelling.

Meadows begins by examining perspective through the centuries. For instance, the painter Giotto allowed his viewers to connect with his creations by developing visual perspective. The concept of perspective applies to writing as well, with visuals and words combining to produce "dimensional and emotional perspective". Furthermore, Meadows discusses the narrative structure of Freytag’s triangle, or a plot structure consisting of desis (beginning), peripeteia (middle), and denouement (end). He also mentions Edgar Allan Poe, one of my favorite authors. Meadows describes how Poe eliminated the desis of his stories to form mystery stories. Seeing as I shamelessly skip to the middle or even end of a novel, perhaps this desis elimination explains in part why I enjoy Poe’s work.

Narration also receives an examination. Meadows begins by mentioning AOL, which feels somewhat outdated to the modern reader. Granted, this book was first printed in 2002, so a book that deals with the constantly evolving world of interactive media can be expected to feel dated faster than a text on, say, geology. I also promptly created a Banja account to explore the book’s example of an interactive game. Perhaps by 2002 standards this Flash game was groundbreaking, but to my jaded 2010 perspective it felt like one of thousands of Flash puzzle/interaction games. Meadows also mentions interactive marketing, a precursor to what we now term “viral marketing” as seen in the promotion of the movie Cloverfield and Halo ( Furthermore, the idea that programming is a digital narrative is discussed although, since basic programs such as spreadsheets have no human elements, this narration is incomplete. Personally, I feel that spreadsheets are tools to manipulate our analysis of reality, nothing more, just as metaphors and symbols are tools to manipulate our understanding of reality. Finally, the story is presented as an interaction between the author and the reader. As I discussed in an earlier comment, the reader has to uphold her part of the interaction in order to fully experience a novel. This explains why so many great classics put me to sleep when I was required to read them in middle and early high school – I wasn’t fulfilling my side of the author/reader collaboration!

Meadows next describes interaction. With interaction, a user collaborates with the author not only to understand a narrative/experience, but also to construct it. The principles of interaction are input vs. output, inside vs. outside (the world of meaning vs. the world of sensorial experience), and open vs. closed (reactive vs. unresponsive). Furthermore, interaction is accomplished through the four steps of observation (viewing the author’s interactive environment), exploration (determining the user’s power to change said environment), modification (invoking that power), and reciprocal change (observing the user’s effect on the environment, reacting to those changes, and making further change). I was delighted to see that Meadows mentions Myst, one of my favorite childhood computer games, as an example of interactive narration.

Finally, these principles are combined into the idea of the interactive narrative. In this, the author provides tools for user to build a story. There is a balance between interactivity and narration – one that my group has struggled to find for this course – that Meadows describes with three plot structures. These are as follow: nodal, with one path featuring separate feedback loops; modulated, with separate paths and the option to explore between them; and open, with no set narrative path and instead unfettered exploration. Using these concepts, our project is a nodal plot that requires user interaction to advance along the narrative path. Potentially, we can change it to a modulated plot system.

All in all, this chapter addresses some concerns in our own interactive narrative development (namely the balance between narrative and interaction) as well as provides excellent tools to analyze our work and construct future progress. As a team, we look forward to continuing to apply the concepts put forth by this chapter to our own interactive story.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chapter One-

Honestly, the first part of chapter one was boring to me. The thing that interested me the most was Giotto’s paintings of facial expressions. I appreciated his way of showing the emotional perspective of whoever he painted. Relating to certain things or events can be hard for some people, but I feel as some level everyone can relate to emotion. I understand Giotto did a lot like: discover the vanishing point, help bring forth humanism, and showed both emotional and visual perspectives in his work. For some reason the quote, “And vanishing point gave us perspective. And perspective is a point of view” was stuck in my head when I finished reading. Maybe it will be useful one day.
The second part of chapter one was more interesting. I enjoyed the section on narrative. As a writer, the section about metaphors interested me a lot. That may be odd, but I relate to this section. When writing poetry the weirdest metaphors will come to me or ill sit there all day trying to come up with one to portray what I want to say without saying it. The strange thing is that metaphors can be both very difficult and very easy depending on the topic.
I may not be getting out of the book exactly what I am supposed to be getting, but I’ve enjoyed certain sections a lot. Random things I’ve appreciated are the pictures and the quotes throughout the chapter. I was surprised to see a scripture quote because it seems now a day’s someone might be “offended” by that. But I liked studying Giotto’s paintings and reading the quotes throughout chapter one.

It's All About Perspective & Plot (Chapter1)

The idea of an 'Interactive Storytelling' class is the most complicated concept to explain to anyone who asks me which classes I'm taking this semester. ..

I must admit that the first chapter in Pause & Effect makes the elements of an 'Interactive Narrative' identifiable and the idea of this class much easier to explain. Of the the sections we've read so far, I must say I was most interested by the topic of perspective and how it plays such a crucial role not inly in the visual, but also in the emotional development of a story. I feel like I've taken all the camera angles and the variations in perspective for granted. The book discusses how artists can tell a story with merely perspective and how the use of at least two kinds of perspective, emotional (cognitive) and dimensional (visual), can be tools used to emphasize and develop a narrative. The idea of perspective has definitely evolved from the 13th century when Giotto first used the idea of a vanishing point to create visual and emotional effect. Now, changes in perspective and angles are seen in movies all the time to establish the importance of characters, generate an emotion or reveal certain aspects of the narrative. The perspective approach finally bonds the viewer with the environment on an emotional and physical level which ultimately makes the use of perspective successful.

This revealed to me that there is SO much an artist/director/designer can manipulate to guide the audience towards a particular reaction and therefore tell a successful narrative, even if it's just a two dimensional painting.

The second chunk of the chapter concentrated in discussing the idea of plot and how it must be organized to effectively tell a story that's coherent. This is extremely important since often an interactive story involves user decision making through the four steps: Observation, Exploration, Modification and Reciprocal Change. Therefore, multiple paths will evolve depending on the separate decisions. Our group, like the others, have stumbled upon the endless outcomes and paths our story can take and so we've been working with different kinds of graphical representations to display the plot, one much more complicated than the good ol' Feytag Triangle.

Legend of the Seeker

So, I was playing Adventure Quest and the sponsor of the game happens to be a cool new TV series: Legend of the seeker. The story and setting of this TV series is similar to that of Lord of the Rings. Check it out! What do you guys think?