All posts by theliterateowl

Presentation time

As I’ve been following Mia Zamora’s class, it’s now my turn to do take over the class for parts of tomorrow and present my thesis.

My thesis will focus on Participatory culture within game developement and gaming communities. I will present my practical projec,t the Twine game I’ve been blogging about, my positive and negative experiences about it and how I connect it to participatory culture. I will also talk about what my plans is for the rest of my master program, what I plan to do and how to go about it.

I hope to get a fruitful discussion going in class about participatory culture, the reading I assigned for them (chapte 5 of Participatory culture in a networked ers and a video with Henry Jenkins), and any input they might have on the topic.

Blogging about Masters #4

Whoah. Getting to the end of the Twine project I think.

Progress_25thOctProgress as of 25th of October.

Originally  wanted to have it finished and playable by the end of last week. but I think I can do it this week. Two of the three ‘events’ you can do before the fighitng in the game is done and I am currently in the process of the fighting mechanic.

Both you and the enemy can attack and if you win you can g on to the ending that I still haven’t finished. What I need to do is implement the items you gain from the different ‘events’ that will make the battle more than just chance on how much each of you hit the other with.

I only found out recently that audio is hard to implement in Harlowe format, but it is not essensial to the game and I do not plan on changing it to a format that support audio better.

firstpassage25thoct First passage in the game.

Learning and Literacy

My thoughts on chapter 4 of Henry Jenkins, Mimi Ito & Danah Boyd’s Participatory Culture in a Networked Era.

After reading chapter 4 of this book, I ended up writing quite  a few pages of notes and thoughts on this chapter. The book tries to critically examine “participatory culture” and how our thinking around this concept has changed over the last 20 years since Henry Jenkins first coined the term.

Chapter 4 focuses on media literacy as well as learning in a community such as in a participatory culture.

One thing I kept wondering about was why they kept going back to Youth. They spoke of youth as if the rest of the population didn’t contribute to participatory cultures in the same way. Youth was also vaugely defined, and I wondered more than once what age range they were thinking and how old the oldest “youth” were in their talk.

The text was quite easy to read as it was written in a very oral style of an interview.

A discussion they had was about learning and producing as a community. Wikipedia came up several times; Jenkins calling it possibly the greatest example of a good participatory community. At the very least it is one of, if not the most well known example. I agree that Wikipedia is far more cedible than many High schools and universities gives it credit for. Even if you don’t want students to cite just wikipedia, it is a great starting point when researching a topic.

Another concern that was brought up was the possibility of “information overload”. This is due to the overwhelming information that can be found on the web and that we now have access to. With it comes questions of Quality of information and if we should vet the information or expect people to develop any kind of sensibilities when navigating through seas of information. I agree with their assessment of the need to adapt to the amount of information rather than try to go back to a world were we would be “go back to a diet of starvation in terms of communication and information.”(p. 100)

This chapter pointed me towards Jenkins’s White Paper which I will check out as well as other authors that might be useful in my own research. I hope to make a post on chapter 5 of this book as well later on.

Konsoll 2017

Not really a blog just about the masters so I’m not calling it such.
A more in depth progess blog will come later, I promise.

I was at Konsoll 2 weeks ago here in Bergen. It was very interesting and though I didn’t catch any of the workshops, the talks were very good. I especially liked theones talking about specific games such as Jane NG‘s talk on Firewatch, Martin Fasterholdt on INSIDE and Colm Larkin on getting your game out early with his Guild of Dungeoneering.

Met many people within the video game developing community, both Norwegian and internationally. I am already loking forward to next year.

Blogging about Master #3

Whoah. It’s been a while huh? Sorry about that.
A small update here for you.
I’ve worked more on twine and the Harlowe format, not only working on the story I’ve showed you a screenshot of last time, but a seperate oneto test more of the coding and on my actual game that will be my finished Twine game.

For the game, I’ve made a timeline of how I want the story to go and what I want to be able to do in the game.


thoughtmap2(Illustrations: My thoughts on how the game should proceed)

Twine has a page where they have documentation on the Harlowe format. It’s very useful and helps a lot with smaller problems that I do not need to ask in the Q&A forum for.

I am also trying to be more active in the community that I find around Twine. They have an official Q&A forum that I’ve now asked a question at (currently waiting for an answer). They seem active there so I hope I get some feedback there soon. I will also go looking for more games made in twine and try to find out where twine developers tend to be. What website do they prefer to use? Do they talk in forums a lot? Where do they publish their twine games? These are questions I am asking myself.

Besides working on the game, I’m also looking for books & articles specifically relating to participation culture. Mia Zamora has many good resources on her webside for the DIKULT 303 course.  Jenkins is an author I will be using a lot from as he is very relevant to the theories I need.


Blogging about Master #2

Giving you guys an update for my Masters.

I am currently still working in Twine. It’s slowly but surely going forward.
Twine has 3 main story formats you can use when coding your story. coding in them are slightly different and what the game will look like will also change depending on what you use. I am going with the defauls Harlow format.

There are a few youtubers that do tutorials for Twine. The one I found that I liked the most was Don Cox . I am currently working my way through his tutorials to learn how to use certain techniques  such as adding a header and footer to the story.


Here I’v eadded the real time in the header as an example. We will see if I am going to implement the header and footer in the game I am making or not.

Speaking of the game itself; I have also worked on the story of the game.
I did this as I made a high concept for the Twine game. I will base it off a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign I participated in. My plan is to implement both an exploration element and a combat element, though in story format. As D&D is about collaberative storytelling, I felt it worked well with Twine as a game engine.

My plan is to have the first version of the protoype for the game ready in 2-3 weeks. At the very least, make it playable even if all the graphics aren’t ready yet by then. I do have some trouble with how to implement the CCS in the Harlowe format on twine, but I hope to fix that soon. Twine has a Q&A site where I can ask questions if I get stuck and tutorials does not work.

Twine also has a Twitter that I can interact with.

I’ll update you guys on how it goes later in the week 🙂

Blogging about Masters #1

Hello again. I’ll try to blog about my masters project at least once a week.  We’ll see how that goes.

What is my project about?

My masters is in Digital Culture. I will be doing a partly practical project and partly theoretical. As my theme is participation culture around game engines, I want to also use these game engines for myself and participate in the culture around these engines.

The game engines I’ve chosen is Twine, Construct 2 & Unity. As I’ve only got one year to do this project, the games themselves will not be very long, but I felt 2 Game engines were to few.

What have I done so far?

Most of what I’ve done so far has been preperation and setup. as such, I don’t have too much to say for now.  I’ve been setting up and organised my notes as well as downloaded the relevant programs and game engines.

I’ve also gathered texts and books by authors I find interesting and feel is relevant for my project. this is also why I participate in #resnetsem on twitter and Mia Zamora’s class.

Twine is the firss engine I’m working on and the one I will be wocising on for the next few weeks.  I’ve already started trying the game engine out.  Twine is used for text adventures and I can use HTML and CSS to edit and code the project.  So far I’ve been trying it out a little to check it’s functionality and it’s restrictions as well as looking at the official Q&A forum and tutorials online.

twinetestgame_3.PNGInterface in Twine 2.1.3 online version


Attenton in in a connected world


Howard Rheingold’s Netsmart (2012) focuses on how to traverse the internet and our age of social media more conciously. One of his main points of interest is how he as a professor made notice of student’s havbt of checking their phones and laptops during his lechtures and how we divide our attention on the internet.

One of the first things he suggests when talking about this, is that we need to be more consious about our attention; we have to pay attention to our attention. I know if I let my mind wanders I can go between my tabs unconsiously and visit several sites without really doing much on either in a short amount of time. I end up feeling restless on the internet. If I keep myself aware of where my attention wanders however, it doesn’t happen as much.

When we do focus our attention, you might also experience selective inatention.  this is to say, you filter out certsain “distractions” when you focus on a goal that might be important for other tasks or in general, but not immediatly reltated to your current focus point. An example he refers to is Daniel Simons’s “awareness test” video. If you do know know of it, I suggest looking at it.

I think one of Rheingold’s biggest messages on attention and technology in general is to be mindful of it. He talks substantially about how parents neglect to pay attention to their children in favor of being on their Blackberries (this book is from 2012 after all). And this can be also said for their use of smartphones and social media in general. You should be mindful on when you use the technology and when you shouldn’t as well as be aware of how you use your attention when you are online and how your media practices affect you.

As a book it was easy to follow and I would reccomend a read even if you’re not in academia or a student.  The book talks about more than just attention, such as the “crap detector” and online collaberation.

Net Smart: How to Thrive Online, Howard Rheingold (2014)

Starting a blog!

Well… Here I am.
Hello there.

This is my new blog which I will try to update as often as possible. It is my way of telling you about my project for my masters.  I have until next May so this will be a busy year for me.

I will also be a part of #resnetsem on Twitter headed by Mia Zamora and Alan Levine.
Checkout Mia’s website for more details. I will also try to be active on my twitter when working on this.

Feel free to comment on my posts 🙂