Augmented Reality Has Arrived and It’s Ready to Be Analyzed! Well, Almost.

Sarah A. Riddick

Accessibility, Devices, Locative Media

"win10_HoloLens_livingRoom" by Microsoft Sweden

Lately, augmented reality has been making a lot of headlines in the tech world. This week, for instance, Microsoft revealed its HoloLens, a visual headset that allows people to interact with and manipulate complex, projected visuals. In a promo for the HoloLens, a woman wearing the headset customizes a Volvo car before buying it, building it up from the nuts and bolts with gestures as simple as pressing her thumb and forefinger together. It isn’t quite the tech we see Robert Downey Jr. playing with in Iron Man’s workshop, but it’s pretty close.

Archiving in the Age of Writing Productivity

Ansley Colclough

Digital Archiving

The Digital Archiving team is currently working on the creation of an app that aims to explore what rethinking the “archive” would mean for pedagogy and writing. One implication of rethinking “archiving” and “writing” might be that writing in digital media is always already a process of archiving. How might our daily academic writing change? What technologies aimed at “everyday writing” already exist?

gif-kermityping

The Useful Art of Coding

Lily Zhu

Accessibility, Games, Multimodal Writing

user versus coder

By the time I finished writing this blog post, I had come to a realization that wasn’t even on my mind at the start: The active function (in as utilitarian a sense as possible) of an object is just as important in creative production as its affective and aesthetic potential.

 

[This might make more sense if we have a flashback sequence.]

 

I created a piece of Interactive Fiction through Twine 2 this past weekend as part of a potential skills workshop and (writing) instructor lesson plan. As I experimented with the various story formats – which determine the type of code and syntax you use – I found myself attempting to combine the incompatible, and calling on obsolete macros. I wanted the best of both worlds: the pre-set commands in the Harlowe format, and the creative flexibility of Snowman. I wanted the option to rely on the existing, built-in commands of TwineScript (from the Harlowe format), and the option to write my own, tailored functions and objects whenever – wherever – necessary. And yet, this was ultimately more time-consuming than consistently relying on a specific script (i.e. JavaScript). In what would become a fruitless venture, I spent 6 hours alone trying to connect a user-defined JS function to a TS command.

Mapping the Night

Rhiannon Goad

Locative Media

Moon with mapping pin

In the early fall of 1975, Susan Alexander Speeth was stabbed to death when walking home alone at night. Her body was found less than a block from her home. In the aftermath of Speeth’s death, feminists cried the slogan “Take Back the Night.” The call remains a rallying call to mourn the loss of what many women has never had: freedom in public spaces.

While it’s misguided to assume that most violence against woman looks like the Speeth case, the fear of harm while out in public spaces is very real for many women. In the face of this fear, women are turning to their mobile devices.

The Twine Apocalypse

Kendall Gerdes

Games

A red sky over a valley.

If you’re wondering what Twine is, check out my post Twine Games 101. Or, continue on…

The 2015 anthology Videogames for Humans solved a problem unique to anthologizing digital games: if every playthrough of a game might be different, how can a collection represent those possible differences? The answer was, as the text’s subtitle says, to put “Twine authors in conversation.” Each game is presented as a singular playthrough by someone other than the game’s maker. The player makes and records their decisions, offering annotations and reflections to readers along the way.

Writing By Design

Amy Tuttle

Multimodal Writing, Pedagogy

Mario in a Pikachu suit

The most obvious connection between writing and design is communication. Graphic designers communicate through visual elements, and writers communicate through the written word. Although they make use of different tools, essentially they both foreground methods that bring about an exchange of information. But can learning graphic design help us understand something about writing?