Interventions in Machine to Machine Writing

by Kyle Bickoff Hi all— I really tried to bring my hands-on work and some of the theory I’ve been interested in all together here. I’ll first talk about the additional research I did before speaking, and then I’ll go into what I believe this can help me understand. In particular, I’m concerned with, perhaps, illuminating the moment of human intervention in machine-to-machine writing, a moment clearly marked when we ‘codebent’ Super Mario Bros. So, after talking yesterday in class, and after Patrick’s suggestion, I looked most closely into Footnote 6 in Chapter 1 of Kirschenbaum’s Mechanisms. Kirschenbaum here discusses a great many of the origins surrounding inscription, particularly in relation to the divide between the terms communication and signification....

Textual Communities and Gameplay

by Becky Anderson This past week, my research has circulated around transmedia, storytelling, & sub-creation with a specific focus on the way in which a secondary world is mapped. The two lines of inquiry precipitated by these three concepts that I’ve been thinking about this week are first, Mapping & Player Experience of Space; and second, Proprioception & Experience of Place. Specifically, I’ve been particularly interested in a game’s topographic transfer of a Secondary World into the chosen medium and how the adapted layout of that world into the game impacts player experience. I’ve been equally interested in exploring how space influences and interacts with the social within the gameworld of a particular secondary world. With LOTRO, I’ve been thinking...

From Goombas to Gluskabe: Coding Culture into Super Mario Bros.

By Ashlee Bird Gitelman’s concept of the frivolity of dissecting the content of a medium without first examining the abilities and limitations of the medium itself has been present in almost every aspect of this week for me. However, as I began to think more about this ideology, I’ve realized that NAS actually tends to be skewed more towards the cultural/content end of the spectrum, probably to a fault. We discuss changes in education systems, but often ignore the fact that a large majority of Native students go to public high schools not on the reservation, and some of the changes that are seen as necessary are simply not achievable within that structure. So, the general suggestion is complete separation...

Exploring “home” in early home computing

by Bailey Kelley In various ways, I’ve been interested in domesticity as a constellation of expectations, practices, technologies, and affects that can provide access to all kinds of questions about labor, gender/race/class, and materiality. This week I’ve been asking: What does it mean to have a computer in the home, and if women have traditionally been the creators and managers of homes, what is their relationship to this technology? Keeping in mind Gittelman’s definition of media as both technology and context, this project has two pieces. The actual hardware and software of early home computing intended to assist with various housekeeping tasks and the physical experience of using them; and their various paratexts, including advertisements, packaging, user manuals, and popular...

Recap from the Week

by Jaime Kirtz project recap Above is the power point of my work here. The notes sections expands the images.

Documenting my (Nearly Successful) Attempt to Location Spoof in Ingress

by Kaitlin O’Brien This past week, I have tried to extend beyond my academic comfort zone to explore new concepts and I feel like nothing showcases this as much as my final blog post. I decided that after my exploration of hacking concepts, exploitation in Ingress and location spoofing, I would try my hand at following a few threads and testing out their instructions to ascertain overall feasibility and to learn the degree of accessibility these location spoofing instructions have. After all, I don’t claim to be overtly tech-savvy but I am open to putting my best foot forward to have my avatar in Ingress show up geographically half a world away. Going into this venture, I wanted to establish...

The Atari 2600 and the Search for Removable Memory

by Kyle Bickoff Hi all, let me apologize for my late posting on Day 3—I felt quite poorly after class so am putting this up a day late. Here it is: Today I’m thinking about what exactly the vintage computers I’m using are helping me to reveal, particularly in regards to my topics of interest: memory, infrastructure, and the blackbox. I worked today with the Atari 2600, specifically, connected to the Spectravision Compumate. Rather than simply inserting a traditional cartridge and connecting a controller via serial port—this cartridge first inserts, and then has three different cables connecting—two of which insert into the controller ports and the third of which leads to the Spectravision keyboard. I’ve never used such a system...

Gaming the Ingress System

by Kaitlin O’Brien While I have not used any type of spoofing software to disrupt or confuse my locational data, I can understand users spoofing their locations not to have an advantage in the game, but to falsify the data records Google is collecting on behalf of Niantic Labs. Giving a corporation like Google open access to the location data being collected on one’s phone is a scary concept because by doing so, one is disclosing areas that are frequented by that person. To make a mockery of the fact that Ingress is in fact a “form of digital economic exchange—one that requires the ‘datafication’ of one’s mobility and communicative action in exchange for the gift of play” (Hulsey &...

Fidelity and Glitches

by Becky Anderson During today’s discussion, Darren asked if a customized, changed or altered NES is still an NES subsequent to the completion of various modifications and, importantly, what do these modifications do to gameplay or how do they then effect player experience? Indeed, these questions are at the crux of what I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of days relative to Turbine’s MMORPG computer game adaptation LOTRO; that is, what does transmedial adaptation do to the parent narrative, storyline or world (I’m deliberately refraining from using “original” here) from which it is derived or on which it is based? Making decisions in the adaption process based on fidelity to the source text is, in my opinion, a...

Cords and Connectivity

by Jaime Kirtz *work in progress* A preliminary search in Google Scholar for the term ‘infrastructure’ yields results from disciplinary journals in computing, communication, law, history, geography and numerous other fields. As a concept, infrastructure’s extensive reach resides in both the intangibility that allows for its flexibility, such as hierarchies of power, and its tangible implementation that quantifies or produces concrete elements like roadways and power lines. As a term, infrastructure originates in militaries and was used to describe the installation of structures, systems and operations (McCormack, 2016). Considering the original use of the term, infrastructure illustrates active elements of its use in current rhetoric that reinforce and legitimate social norms as well as the connections between these norms, governance...