Braid links

braid_title

Braid is fantastic and well worth playing. But I know it’s a busy time of semester. Some links if you didn’t have time to play it through (or if you are click-challenged like me and can’t get that far with it):

Opening: watch until you see the first screen with clouds and the narrative framing and then far enough in the gameplay to see the player use the  shift key to rewind time to redo after making a mistake (just before 4 minutes). You can see more uses of the reversal of time if you go a bit further.

Conclusion: the hidden ending that you only see if you collect all the stars in the game.

And if you have time and the inclination:

Super fast playthrough – 24 minutes (thanks, Matt!). You can see how the temporal element becomes used at points in how the player overcomes obstacles.

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More Video Games….

Here’s my start on a list of more games and related things to explore, for those who are interested. As I noted, I asked a group of colleagues for feminist-oriented games, and this is the wonderful array of suggestions that resulted, slightly augmented by things that have come up as I’ve been exploring them. Descriptions are by people who recommended the games or from the site itself or by me, as indicated. Feel free to add to the list either by modifying it directly (for members of the class) or adding suggestions in comments.

Games

Analogue: A Hate Story. See the trailer on the site.

Choice: Texas. “an educational interactive fiction game addressing reproductive healthcare access in the state of Texas.” (site) Free.

Cibele  (Nina Freeman) See also http://boingboing.net/2015/11/11/cibele-and-the-end-of-an-era-f.html

Gone Home: “an interactive exploration simulator. ” “about Riot Grrrl and references zines, punk music and queer coming out, so it foregrounds the connections between games and other alternative modes of cultural production that have been taken up by feminists.” (recommender) About 2 hours. Trailer on site.

Dear Esther. 2012. See trailer on site. Painterly canvas, aesthetically ambitious. Described as both a game and as interactive storytelling by reviewers.

Dys4ia (Anna Anthropy). “A journal game about the six months of my life when I made the decision to begin hormone replacement therapy.”(site) Mac or Windows. See her rebuttal to the notion that it is an “empathy game” here and her sequel game ohmygod are you alright?

DepressionQuest (Zoe Quinn). “Depression Quest is an interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression.” (site) Pay what you can. Prompted the GamerGate controversy. Trailer here.

Luxuria Superbia (Tale of Tales). Multiple platforms.”A simple game of touch, pleasure and joy.” (site) Haptic–for touch screens or controllers (SB).

Freshman Year (Nina Freeman). “Freshman Year is a vignette game about an ordinary night in the life a college freshman named Nina.” (site)  Free.

Papers Pleasean immigration office simulator set in a vaguely soviet dystopia (recommender). iOS, PC, Mac, Linus. Trailer on site.

Rise of the Videogame Zinesters (Anna Anthropy)

Sunset (Tale of Tales): The protagonist woman of colour who has ended up, despite being an engineer, working as maid in the residence of a leader in oppressive Latin American regime starts to discover interesting things. (SB) See trailer on site.

Game designers:

Anna Anthropy: http://auntiepixelante.com/

Nine Freeman: http://ninasays.so/games/

Robert Yang: totally delightful (if also very sexually explicit) (recommender): http://debacle.us/

Related Links:

Games for Change: http://www.gamesforchange.org/

Serious games: http://valuesatplay.org/play-games

Merritt Kopas, Forest Ambassador: “a videogames site for anyone who is excited or even simply curious about the possibilities of digital play, but feels excluded, intimidated, or put off by videogames culture.” (site)

Anthropy, Anna. Rise of the Videogame Zinesters: How Freaks, Normals, Amateurs, Artists, Dreamers, Drop-outs, Queers, Housewives, and People Like You Are Taking Back an Art Form.  2012. Book.”Part critical essay, part manifesto, part DIY guide….” (Amazon site)

Flanagan, Mary. Critical Play: Radical Game Design. Book. See also the TED talk here: http://maryflanagan.com/tedxdartmouth-mary-flanagan-critical-play/

Kopas, Merrit. “Trans Women & The New Hypertext.” 2014. Blog post. Re: Twine games; Anna Anthropy.

Preserving Stories on a Massive Scale

Given that we’re thinking about interfaces this week, and graphical representations, and it happens to be Holocaust Awareness week, here’s a really interesting blog post by Scott Weingart about digital preservation en masse of the stories of Holocaust survivors by the Shoah Foundation:

Ghosts in the Machine

One of the things that is haunting him is the graphical resemblance between server farms and Auschwitz. You may be interested to know that the Scalar platform was developed in part to mobilize the Shoah Foundation‘s massive video collection.

And I imagine you’ve all seen the cattle car out by the Bull Ring. I hope you’ve all taken time to really see it.

E-Lit

I’m posting links to a couple more short pieces of e-lit for us to talk about this week. One of the artists/writers, Young-hae Chang Heavy Industries, also has a very short e-book that you can download to an iPad, if anyone is interested.

Don’t forget that everyone is to come to class today prepared to give a close analysis of a moment in or aspect of one of the texts. We’ll go onto the readings about visualization and graphic design on Wednesday.

Outlines

Outlines can go up here (use the Outlines Category) or in the Dropbox in Courselink.

Format doesn’t matter, just legibility. Ditto with writing: feel free to use point form and don’t worry about the grammar.

Try to give some sense of the organization or structure of the component parts of your project; both how you structure and how you convey that structure  will be very dependent upon what tool or platform you are using to produce your project.