Javier Chapa
Dr. Sherwood
English 856
Thoughts on Media Project
While researching for my pedagogy project for the end of the semester, I came across a description of work in digital literature where the reader interacts with the work and helps a spy character to blow up a major city. In the hypertext, when the reader clicked on the button to blow up the city, the new screen presented would start out castigating the reader for making that choice by saying something to the effect of isn’t it easy making major decisions from the comfort of your living room chair [and for the life of me I can’t find the article I was reading for the name of the work that inspired my composition]. In this manner, I tried to give my work some digital intertexuality.
My project is a simple hypertext done on twinery.org. I wanted to borrow the idea of making a decision that may have a negative impact on a general population and perhaps a favorable outcome for the reader. I liked the idea of a difficult decision being made from the comfort of an arm chair, and it reminds me a lot of our current military engagements where drones are being flown in faraway places by pilots in Las Vegas, Nevada. If my reader chooses to “blow up” innocent people in order to possibly change his/her own life, then my work too goes to a page that castigates the reader for choosing the possibility of harming hundreds of people for personal gain. But there are many other pages to see as well. In much of the work, I try to give the appearance that there is a “ghost in the machine” as often the screen refers back reflexively on the idea that it is the computer “writing” to the reader rather than having the appearance of human cognition behind the work.
Lastly, I wanted to also give a hint that the reader can get lost in a lot of the choices made. There is no linear idea to be had in my work. Some pages refer to songs that I like. Other pages are fictional tales of the computer having a romantic encounter with an algorithm, or talking about familial relations [I have a page where the computer lists its cousins, like the Atari computers of old, and modern computers and manufacturer names like Dell and Toshiba). Some choices lead to dead ends, and others refer to more pages, and sometimes, the pages can go back to the start. Overall, I had a ton of fun putting this piece together, and getting lost in the creative process myself.