Discussion question

Please write 150 words in response to the following discussion question by Thursday:

What text are you planning to write about for the final paper? What are some points you intend to make about this text?

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Published in: on April 12, 2010 at 9:23 am  Comments (15)  

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  1. I intend to write about “Howl’s Moving Castle”, an animated film directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The reason I chose this piece, was that I feel it is an excellent example of materiality and transmedia storytelling. It demonstrates this by the fact that it was originally a book written by the British author Diana Wynne Jones before its film adaptation. So primarily, it can be said that the content of this story is interpreted and envisioned through new mediums such as the color animation and sound the film lends. Also, the use of digital technology is subtly incorporated into this film, showing a further cooperation between mediums. The main point I wish to approach to my paper would be in discussing digital technology and mediums as ultimately enablers of limitless amounts of expression of older mediums (such as books, art, etc.) in films, games, and other pieces of digital work. I hope to explain how Hayoa Miyazaki found harmony between several mediums and his choice to make cartoon animation the most apparent shows the choice that digital technology allows, as it enables the complexity of the film, while remaining essentially another typographic element akin to Beatrice Ward’s “crystal goblet”. Ultimately, I hope to cast digital technology as a medium that contains the entire realm of human imagination, and is so transparent, as compared to older mediums such as print media, older animation, etc.,
    that its presentation and imagination of creative minds are almost visibly the same.

  2. I will be writing my paper on the effects of typography in educational material. I will be focusing on two interactive typography projects. The first focus is on a website called Bember’s Zoo. They have taken every letter of the alphabet and associated an animal with it that starts with that letter. For example, the letter W has a wolf. When you click on the letter, the word “wolf” forms before you. Then the letters form to create the image of a wolf. My second focus is on Word World. Word World is a TV show on PBS. All of the animals and objects in the show are made up of letters. So a dog is made up of the letters d, o, and g. I want to look into how these programs are helping children learn and the practical, educational purposes that typography can serve.

  3. I am currently planning to write about Wes Anderson’s 1998 film “Rushmore” and its use of filmic technique to negotiate its materiality. This materiality aids in portraying what Anderson and co-writer Owen Wilson describe as a sense of “heightened reality” within the film. Evidence of experimentation with the materiality of film occurs throughout the picture, with the opening roll of Max’s many extracurricular endeavors being a salient example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MDMdWdWqr0 . The curtain calls used throughout the film which situate the narrative within a self-conscious reference to the structures of a stage performance, further reinforced in the narrative itself by Max’s own stage production at the end of the film. This elaborate construction juxtaposes itself with the sequence describing Max’s club activities, which are filmed and presented as a series of unmoving shots which allude to the photographs in the preceding yearbook. The concept of “heightened reality” is claimed by Anderson to have emerged from his love of Roald Dahl’s films and indeed, one can see in Dahl’s books a similar experimentation with textual materiality.

  4. I’m thinking about writing my final paper on Final Fantasy XI, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) similar to World of Warcraft. The way the game is played is by creating one or several characters which you then use to interact with the online world. You can play with other characters from all over the world and can develop your character by engaging in battles and doing other things within the FFXI world.
    In order to make your character interact in this world you have to type in various commands that enter into the lower part of the screen which has in addition to what you are doing and saying it also tells you what other characters you’re playing with are doing and saying. I want to look into the idea of MMORPGs and if this is really where the future of gaming is headed. The ability to not only create your own character and interact with a digital world in your own way as well as the ability to interact with people all over the world. The use of typographic elements is also an interesting and dominant theme in the floating text within the game and the typed commands on the bottom of the screen.

  5. I am planning to write my paper on a YouTube presentation entitled “Social Media Revolution.” The video represents interactive typography in a way which I believe will become common in the world of information presentations. Through the use of animated typography in conjunction with music and color, the video shows the ways in which digital media has and will increasingly transform our perceptions of technology and how it is embedded in our lives. A presentation by Sony entitled, “Did You Know?” is another example of this phenomenon. Both videos show the future of typographic materiality as an increasing “crystal goblet”- not only is the text thoroughly readable and modern, but it also engages them in a completely different way and makes real things that in times past would have merely been stated on a piece of paper. Through their engaging sense of materiality, both videos show consumers the impact of digital media with their interactive, insightful, and profoundly material presentations.

  6. I am planning to write on God of War III and how it revamps the feel of the game but at the same time uses retro style typography. The HUD in God of War has been done over, not in the sense that it was changed functionally, but stylistically. Also the way that the mini-games function is different. I plan to talk about some of the in game symbols and texts as well. Finally I want to discuss how, despite being on the cutting edge of graphics, God of War III actually has a retro feel to it. For one, when you die in the game, the load screen that comes up looks very similar to the old mortal combat text in that it’s a blocky outline of the letters that get filled in. The game also has a very cheesy looking 3-D loading symbol that adds to the retro feel.

  7. In Ghostdance, Derrida makes the claim that technology only increases the power of ghosts. im going to try to find evidence of this in mmorpgs, especially with regard to the nature of chat and player interaction; in splinter cell: conviction as i previously discussed; in works that play with phantoms, such as the house episode i just saw where he was hallucinating a lot. also wasn’t there a movie that came out where the actor died halfway and they inserted and composed the rest of his shots digitally in absentia??

  8. I plan to write about Square-Enix’s Final Fantasy XII and the materiality of numbers. Computer programs are determined by code which is written in binary and so forth. Reality is also determined by numbers, constants at govern our very life. As such I tend to argue that the materiality or a virtual word is just as solid or materialistic as the very ground we walk on. Numbers are universal in every language, one plus one always equals two no matter where you’re from. As we move more into the digital age, the existence of numbers and their influence over typography, media and even the way we communicate through the use of lines of code written in numbers. I will also dive into the game’s coding where gear or equipment is just numbers that can be swapped around to give it a different look. Though you may have one low level armor equipped, by the change of a single digit the appearance of that armor changes depending on the new file you added by changing it’s value to that of the armor in question.

  9. I intend to write my final paper on the Xbox 360 game Mass Effect 2. The game features a heavy importance on reading strings of text that the player chooses in order to shape his or her character. Players are able to pick responses to events or conversations however they like, and these chooses have varying consequences in the game world. One interesting point about this development is the seeming endless string of choices any one player can make and the plethora of outcomes to follow. As far as the future of typographic materiality, Mass Effect only scratches the surface of what could be possible in textual player choice. I intend to ponder the possibility of user entered responses that would require a powerful parser capable of processing limitless responses and returning countless outcomes. A variety of other examples of text occur in the game and should provide an ample amount of material for the discussion of the future of typography.

  10. I plan to write my paper on the future of social networking sites and the direction that technology will pull graphics and texts. For case studies I’ll be discussing the future of sites like Twitter and Facebook and how they will adapt and be manipulated through different mediums such as the iPhone, iPad, and Microsoft’s new Kin. I will be focusing on how text in social networking will be becoming more and more transparent. People in social networks will be pulled into the experience more, it will get further and further away from the email that out parents are used to. Instead there will be a seamless intertwining of information through text, video, pictures, and audio. The lines of information will blur, it will be much more difficult to separate one social network and one type of media from each other. There will be less and less that can be organized into it’s on media form, instead companies will try to blend all types of information into one, adding more materiality to the digital age.

  11. I plan to write about how materiality is disappearing from video games because they are progressing with touch screens and, in the case of Project Natal, no controller interaction. Similarly to my presentation, I want to track this through the changes in the games in the main Pokemon series. These games have moved toward letting the player interact more directly with the game through the touch screen. this rids the game of the materiality of the controller. Materiality is reintroduced by game peripherals that the player interacts with in the same way that the player interacts with the real world.

  12. In my final paper, I would like to talk about the Playstation 1 rhythm video game Parappa the Rapper. In this game, the player must hit the corresponding buttons on the game controller in order to have their character repeat certain words to form a musical rhythm. Parappa the Rapper was a game ahead of its time that has affected the video game industry today and will continue to do so in the future. The points I wish to make in my paper are how the game causes players to interact and play with the words through the playable character, who can say each word in a different manner, forming unique rhythms, if the player desires to do so. I would also talk about how the game has affected the video game industry today, with other rhythm games like UmJammer Lammy, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band following in its footsteps, and how the game industry will continue to change in the future because of the standard set by Parappa the Rapper.

  13. I will observe the transformation of text (both in-game and player-generated) through the use of alternative interfaces such as the Nintendo DS pad, the Wii’s remote, and Microsoft’s Project Natal. I will use The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, a text that displays complex pattern, letter, and sound recognition. These processes not only outline the future of gameplay experience but also mark a change in modern video game typography. Words, letters, characters, mimetic and non-mimetic signs are shifting from vehicles of narrative information to being supplementary text like subtitles, menu options, and instructions. Diegetic text will become increasingly transparent, while player-generated text through the aforementioned interfaces will take on a double-materiality, through which the text takes on a reality in both the diegesis and the player’s experience.

  14. I am planning on writing my paper on the Xbox and Xbox 360 games The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. In these games, there is a discussion window that appears when characters interact and you are able to chose what topics to pick and in what order. I will be exploring the different ways this can be utilized in the games and the differences between them. If possible I will get The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall as well as The Elder Scrolls I: Arena in order to compare the transformations each of the games have gone through. This topic is still pending as I really need to talk to you about this paper.

  15. I am doing my essay on the materiality of 3-D graphics in film, especially Tim Burton’s, “Alice in Woderland”. I plan on talking about the why 3-D has become the “new” norm in the format of film. The materiality of the 3-D glasses/ lens that remind the spectator of the medium (hypermediacy), the transparent immediacy of the photorealistic visual space, and how this technology is connected to virtual reality. I really plan on talking or reinstate most of the topics discussed in class. As far as the materiality and the future of typography in 3-D films, like Alice in Wonderland,” diegetic lettering will always be prevelant, along with opening and closing sequences. But 3-D films leave out/ absense of typography as a material aspect. And that is most of my argument; “why is typography secondary or absent in 3-dimensional films?”


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