Thursday, December 15, 2016

Zack Final Essay

There are many different things to be said about video games. There are certainly people that write off video games as having multiple negative comments about video games, but to be fair most of these people are coming up with these ideas right off the street. Not actually devoting time and effort into gaming and what it can actually do in a positive way for people. Final essay. 

Zack Tokosh

Jeremy Justus

Digital Humanities

15 December 2016

Video games, what do they really do?

            When you think of games, what exactly comes to mind? Is it scrabble when you used to play with grandma, is it Candyland or Yahtzee. Is it playing a sport, Clue or just Cornhole in the backyard. There are games everywhere in life and that is something that I am extremely interested in. I, along with every other college student looked at the syllabus to see what is going on in the class for the year.  You we are always looking to see if we think a class will be difficult or easy and the syllabus gives us a basic understanding to the basics of the class. As  I walked into your class I went through and saw that we would be talking about Pokemon Go, which I really got into during the summer, and video games.  I myself have been a gamer since day 1. I can remember sitting in my grandmas basement playing the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for hours on hours. This you could say started my love for video games. So begin, I will be going through a little history about Nintendo but also the effects of the gaming industry on people, positive and negative.

            So from the very begin, Nintendo was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1889 where he began the company with simple playing cards. Not many people know that the company is that old or even that they started as a playing card game called Hanafuda.  It brings you back to what was stated earlier about what exactly do you think of when you hear game. So next in the timeline for Nintendo is the Osaka Stock exchange. This is something that I found extremely interesting when doing my research. The stock for Nintendo hit an all time high in the 45 years of being around. The reason for this is that Nintendo decided to try and expand to get more of a following to their company.  So what they did was explored their options and worked with Disney and used some of their characters from Disney and put them on the Hanafuda playing cards. This is when the stock rose at an incredible rate and ended the day at 37,450 yen ($312.62).  So this went on in the early 1960s and was a very big success for a few years. Right around 1970 the company needed something to revamp their audience. This now was the time where toys were becoming more and more popular. So a simple repairman in one of the factories was messing around and created something in his spare time and named it the Ultra Hand. It was very simple, it was a device that extended out and it came with items that it could grab. So something that was as simple as that actually hit the market in a very positive way and was Nintendo’s most successful product up until that time. So Nintendo lived off of their success of the Ultra hand for a while before dipping into the video game market with its enormous hit Donkey Kong. Donkey kong was an arcade game that came out in 1981 that a very popular idea for Nintendo. The game was simple, you played as Mario and trying to avoid different objects  that were being thrown down at you by Doney himself. Your goal was to rescue the girlfriend Pauline.  It was pretty interesting to find out that the name of the game originated from the movie King Kong and Donkey was meant as “stupid”. In it makes sense, stupid kong. This game was extremely successful which only lead up to multiple editions of Donkey Kong. So next on the list was what I stated earlier, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which hit the market in japan in 1983. It was not released into the United States until 1985. This was the first take home console available to the market. It was originally called the “family computer” and eventually changed its name to what it is called today, Nintendo Entertainment System. This was the gaming system for the ages. Everyone that did not have a NES wanted one! It was the system of the decade until they were able to top themselves with the Game Boy. This was the ticket to the winners circle for the company Nintendo. This Gameboy was portable gaming system, it was size of your hand and you could take it anywhere with you. It was a 4 colored gray device that was an extreme amount of fun. It was originally combined with the well known game Tetris.
The next biggest thing in the Nintendo timeline is the biggest success the company has ever endured, the Nintendo 64. This was an instant classic that to this day I still play regularly. It was the first system that introduced the infamous analog stick to be able to move your player in all directions. This controller compared to the controllers today are unbelievable but it still in a nutshell started it all. So from there the company took a turn into cards again with the pokemon playing cards which almost seemed like a fall back play for the company. The company really started its revamp. They came out with the Nintendo DS a newer portable game system. This was a few years after the Gameboy color. Nintendo did not wait to produce their next big hit, just 2 years after the Nintendo ds they opened the market to the Nintendo Wii. This was one of their latest greatest hits for the company excluding the partnering with Netflix.
            So will all this being said, is this company good for the world, there are many different ideas out there for the gaming community. In recent years people have been saying video games is nothing but a negative, it is making kids lazy, fat, worsening their vision. These “video games being bad” for you has information like stated before about the negatives the gaming community can be bad for you. Is it true? There is really no right or wrong answer to this discussion, especially with different ideas being thrown out into the wild of people today. There are certainly negatives to everything in life. There are many different ideas about video games being such a negative influence on people being more interactive, or even with the most recent violence ideas.  This is something that people do not take lightly, this if true would influence more and more people against video games. We live in a world where violence is an extremely big thing. We have riots for everything from sports teams losing in championships, from black lives matter supporters, to presidential elections. We are beginning to live in such a violent world that things like this just adds to the negativity around us. We see something like video games being known as “bad for you” and it just adds to all the social problems else where in the world we live in. So is this a truthful thing that video games are bad for you, maybe it is, maybe it is not. Like I stated before there are just too many people with different opinions in the world that are so self-centered around their own ideas. The thing is that just because some people believe in something does not mean that they are always right. There is always another view, what the other side has to say.
            Are the video games that are out and about in our world good for us? This is the other side of the puzzle. Like I stated earlier that there are many different arguments about how video games can be a negative thing for people that play them. Such as the laziness, violent, or even bad vision. There can always be another side to make that argument. Video games are also a positive thing in many different peoples life. For example mine, I have played sports all of my life, including hockey, soccer, baseball and basketball. These are not simple things to do as you can see by the amount of the players that actually play their sports professionally. Sports require an insane amount of dedication, practice and hand eye coordination. This is something that if you truly think about is very vital when you are playing video games.  You need to practice what you are playing and have a serious amount of dedication to the game to be able to play it as well as you need to be. There is serious hours of gaming that is involved which I can vouch for personally.
            So if we want to debate if video games are good or bad maybe we should throw sports into the same equation.  This is just another possibility that can be thrown into the mix with people debating on different ideas with video games.  There are certainly positives in videos games if people want to say there are positives in sports. This is just some of the thoughts that I have with the video gaming community in a whole.
            In conclusion there are many different things to be said about video games. There are certainly people that write off video games as having multiple negative comments about video games, but to be fair most of these people are coming up with these ideas right off the street. Not actually devoting time and effort into gaming and what it can actually do in a positive way for people.

Social Media and Politics: the Digital Generation's Combination

My final essay, titled "Social Media and Politics: the Digital Generation's Combination" analyzes the millennial generation's connection and communication abilities via social media, as well as how social media influences American politics. It explores the platforms of Facebook and Twitter, how politicians can communicate with voters through those platforms, as well as how political campaigns are able to manipulate those sites to increase their candidates' popularity.

Low-Tech Digital Poetry and Digital Fringe Art

My final essay, titled "Low-Tech Digital Poetry and Digital Fringe Art," defends the idea that a prospective artist need not have a lot of technical training nor a lot of resources to produce digital art of value.  Digital poems and special artworks resting on the fringes can be made through low-tech means for high-quality returns.  In this essay I write about professional low-tech digital poetry, works on the fringe, and student works from UPJ's Digital Poetry course this semester.

Final Essay

In my final essay for Digital Humanities, I write about what is causing the Increase in Social Media. I focus on three main reasons for this increase that include the need to stay connected, reputation, and the want of expanding their knowledge.

Essay Exhibit

The final essay exhibit is new to the class of Digital Humanities and I believe we can all say it was a hit. It gave everyone some time to make an outline and get some thoughts down for their final essay in a more creative way. Most individuals made a powerpoint or prezi and others were more elaborated. This also gave options for opinions for the writer from multiple different people. The ones I found most interesting were Bailyn and Zack's.

Bailyn was one of many of us that made a prezi presentation. She is writing her final paper on hyperlinks, however, her presentation goes beyond that. She recapped the whole semester of Digital Humanities into one presentation and the work and thought that had to go into that is astonishing. It was cool to look back and realize how much we have learned and cool to see how hyperlinks have played such a big part of it. She picked a topic that accurately describes the field of Digital Humanities.

Zack was ahead of the game and changed up the exhibit by giving us a Google Maps essay to look at. He is writing his paper on the history of Nintendo and it was so crazy to see all the consoles that lead up to all of Nintendo’s famous works, such as the Wii. It was also neat to learn about all the new items Nintendo has created that I had no clue about. Nintendo paved the way for the rest of video games and now video games are part of our everyday culture. I think Zack picked a good topic that relates to digital humanities by bringing in some of the history of video games and how is has come about.

As you can see, this essay exhibit gave all of us a chance to see how people are relating what we learned back to the field of Digital Humanities. It was also an opportunity for us to brainstorm, get ideas, and expand our thinking for our own final papers. My personal favorite part of the essay exhibit was recollecting on the semester and how much knowledge was actually thrown our way.

Friday's Essay Exhibit

Last Friday I went around to four of the essay exhibit pieces in our classroom.  Three of them had something to do with social media, and the fourth dealt with bots.  I gave most of my attention to my tribe members Molly and Morgan.

Morgan's essay exhibit was titled "Increase in Social Media Due to Virtual Identity."  Her exhibit piece was a Prezi consisting of four bubbles.  The first bubble dealt with the concept of F.O.M.O. (Fear of Missing Out).  F.O.M.O. is the anxiety, often fueled by social media, that you are missing out on cool happenings.  Some people use social media to stay in the loop for fun events, parties, etc.  Morgan's second bubble dealt with reputation.  She surmised that users of social media attempted to use those platforms to show off positive traits that they possess or that they hope others will think they possess.  The third bubble of the presentation regarded social media's usefulness.  For instance, beyond the obvious functions, social media can be used to learn new things, such as recipes.  A YouTube video occupied the final bubble of Morgan's presentation.  It pulled the exhibit together well.

Morgan on Facebook
Molly's exhibit also used Prezi to convey its message.  She self-described her presentation as "Dope AF" and "Pro-Millennial."  Molly's Prezi focused on the intersection of social media and politics.  She referenced how political candidates of today use Twitter bots to propagate artificial buzz.  Molly also looked at how generational differences related to social media and politics.  Millennials, for instance, are using social media well to stay informed on political topics of interest to them.  Molly uses several statistics to back up her claims.

Molly politicking on Twitter
It was interesting to see that 75% of the exhibits I looked at were about social media.  They each had a distinct focus, but they still dealt with similar topics.  I think social media is an interesting area for this type of study, and I think these projects could prove to be fruitful for critical inquiry.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Essay Exhibit

The Digital Humanities class recently completed an Essay Exhibit, in which students create multimedia works in order to creatively present their final paper topics. On Wednesday, half of the class presented their multimedia works to the classroom, and in turn, received feedback regarding their papers topics, as well as possible paper outlines.

 The first exhibit I decided to check out was Patrick Stahl’s. Patrick’s paper will focus on the subject of low-technological poetry and fringe art. Patrick’s piece was found in a hyperlink in a blog post, and to present his ideas, Patrick created a five minute video that showed multiple forms of electronic poetry that were created on basic computer applications, such as Microsoft Excel. He included multiple examples in this video; all of his examples were self-made, or came from a person in his digital poetry class. Patrick’s paper topic is interesting, and it is obvious that he has a clear and organized thesis. By using his own and his classmate’s digital poetry as examples, he is making it unique, as well as relatable.

The second exhibit I encountered was Morgan’s, who is completing a research paper on the internet group called Anonymous. Morgan is focusing on the history of Anonymous, some events and uproars the group created, and how the group’s formation and work is technically connected to the digital humanities. She plans on including pictures in her final essay. She used a Prezi to present her information. Morgan’s topic is extremely interesting, and relates to the digital humanities. It is also neat that she has decided to write on a topic that the class never got the chance to discuss.

Image result for Anonymous

 Patrick and Morgan have chosen great topics for their final papers; both tie directly to the realm of the “Digital Humanities”, and gives them chances to build upon what they have learned throughout the semester.