Category Archives: Assignments

Response Assignment # 11

I just found two interactive narrative sites well worth visiting:

Ripples of Genocide and About Life After the Holocaust

For next week, please read:kitchen_panorama_1.jpg

Interact as much as you can with the Online Caroline site and respond to both the site and article in this response assignment, considering (and discussing) the effect and/or possible effects of this type of interactive narrative.

  • What are the drawbacks and potential benefits?
  • What about this type of interactive narrative seems to work well or not? Why or why not?
  • How does this type of narrative reflect or seem to help inform our understanding of some of the larger cyberculture concepts we’ve discussed in class?

ALSO: for extra credit, write about whatever most took your attention (and why) within the film Deja Vu. In order to receive the extra credit, your response to Deja Vu MUST be in addition to (not instead of) the above post requirement.


Reading Assignment for November 27th

REMINDER: No class 11/20!

You all have until the last class (December 11th) to turn in your final version. Since you are all doing a revision of this paper instead of a second essay, behomework5.jpg aware that this version will count as 60% of your final grade! So do the best job you can! I am happy to take a second look at your essay before you turn in your final one, but I MUST receive these second drafts by SUNDAY, December 2nd (so I have time to respond with comments and give back to you the next class). A second draft is not required, but highly recommended for those who did not receive a passing grade on the first draft.

For next week, please read (handout given in class):

* Wardrip-Fruin, N. and Harrigan, P. (2004) First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Cyberdrama, p. 1

Murray, Janet. From Game-Story to Cyberdrama, 1-10.

Response by Bryan Loyall, p. 1-9 (not available online).

Optional: Aarseth, Espen. A Riposte to Janet Murray and Janet Murray Responds.

* be prepared to discuss in class; no blog response necessary for this reading (above), but if you are seeking some extra credit, then feel free to blog.

Response Assignment # 10

For next week, please read the handout I gave you all in class:powerbook.jpg

  • Winterson, Jeanette. (2001) The Powerbook. Vintage: London. Read pages 1-97.

Write about whatever most takes your attention in this narrative OR what most took your attention within the film we saw in class: Natural City.

Also, be sure to bring your copy of Winterson’s The Powerbook to class next week, as we’ll be doing some close-reading of her narrative.

Response Assignment #8

For next week, please read the following (handout):always_pb.jpg

 * LeGuin, Ursula. (1985) Always Coming Home. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

“Towards an Archeology of the Future,” p. 3-5. 

“Time and the City,” p. 149-172.

“Newton Did Not Sleep Here,” (poem) p. 487

If you weren’t in class, I’ve placed the remaining handouts in my box in the English Dept office (on same floor as our class). You do not have to blog on these this week, since the first essay is due, but I do expect you all to be prepared to discuss the reading. 

Response Assignment # 7

* Note: for those of you who have already missed two or more blog response assignments, be aware that these online responses are worth 30% of your final grade and can very quickly pull down your entire average in this class. If, at any point, you miss more than three, you will need to meet with me.

Reading Due (to be discussed in class):

  • Selections from Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (online):

Chapter 2 / Chapter 5 / Chapter 7 / Chapter 9 / Chapter 11

Chapter 10 is optional (very short – but would help flow from 9 to 11)brave_new_world.jpg

Discuss some of the similarities and dissimilarities between Frankenstein and Brave New World. DO NOT simply compare each and summarize the two – ANALYZE and DISCUSS the two in relationship to each other (talk about WHY you think the two texts might be similar or different and what the texts might be trying to do, suggest, or imply). Use examples and/or quotes from the text to illustrate your points!

Some topics/ideas you might think and write about are:

1) the creation of a “being” versus the conditioning of a being – what’s the difference, in terms of the impact each has on the “being” itself and/or the society in which such a being is being created or “conditioned”?

2) What were the goals of each creator/controller (Dr. Frankenstein’s goals versus Mustapha Mond (the World Controller in Brave New World) in their attempts to create another being versus condition other beings? Make sure you reference the text.

3) How did these concepts (of creation and conditioning) forsee any of what is happening in digital media technology today? MAKE SURE YOU REFERENCE BOTH TEXTS.

4) Compare what each text implies or suggests about human “feelings” and independent thinking. Do you think it is important to either feel or think independently in either of these two texts? Why or why not?

5) In Frankenstein, everyone is miserable; in Brave New World, supposedly, “everybody’s happy.” What does “happy” mean in Brave New World? Is it really an emotion? And how does that experience of happiness in Brave New World compare to the misery both Dr. Frankenstein and the monster feel?

6) In Frankenstein, the “monster” is feared and hated because he’s not at all human-like. Conversely, in Brave New World, it is “John the Savage” (and all from whence he came) that are feared and hated because they are TOO human. What do you make of this radical narrative difference? And which, in your opinion, more closely resembles our current societal fears and perceptions (and why, do you think?)?

Response Assignment #6

For next week, read the following:snowcrash.jpg

  • Stephenson, Neal. (1976/1992) Snow Crash. New York: Bantam Books.

Chapters 1-5 (p. 1-44)

Blog about whatever most takes your attention. We’ll finish watching Metropolis in class next week. Also, if you have suggestions for films to watch that you think speak to many of the issues we’ve thus far discussed (or is in any major way relevant to this course), I’m open for suggestions.

Response Assignment #5

For next week, please read the following (handouts given in class):

  • Fox, Gardener. (1965) The Hunter Out of Time. New York, NY: Ace Books, Inc.

Chapters I-II (p. 5-35).

Chapters VII-VIII (p. 97-119).

This time, instead of listing questions, I’m going to ask you to either write about whatever most takes your attention (as it relates in style, content, or concept) about the culture/s of cyberspace, compare this reading to another previous reading, or engage in a conversation with someone who has already posted.