Author Archives: danceaddict

Final Project

Hello hello! I hope everybody is having a relatively stress-free day and enjoying the gorgeous weather!

Darina and Irving present to your attention their long-anticipated project: the Real Life game or, the game of real life –choice is yours. Some of you might be slightly disappointed by the lack of an actual game simulation but the fact of the matter is, the point is sent across by simply presenting the thrilling trailer. In actuality, a lot of us have to admit that trailers usually exaggerate the “coolness” of whatever they present. For that reason, we are oh-so-slightly poking fun at the way trailers, in particular the ones for games, are made. We used Gamers Theory as our main text and explored the coming together of the gaming and real world.

Please feel free to comment/critique. In fact, your opinion is much wanted and appreciated!

Thanks guys and have an awesome – possum summer šŸ™‚

Click Here to go to our website.

Reflections on the Class

One of the most interesting readings for me in this class was the one about games. All the way from the forming of the game goals to implementing them into a visually pleasing software, games were a pleasure to learn about. Interestingly enough, I don’t play games and I am still not hooked up enough to start now. Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the story behind of each and every one of them. On one hand, I am curious about the social implementations different games have–why they were created, what kind of game audience they attract, how is the game played and how that affects the players’ real life. On the other hand, I am simply mesmerized by the advanced methods used to create such life-like environments and characters. I think a big part of attracting audience has to do with how a game “looks”, not just how it “feels”. I feel like this is what makes games nowadays different from games of the past–it is not so much the content that has changed but rather the visual representation. Why are interactive games that involve violence, fast cars, zombies or popular characters more popular than brain-twisting games that require logical, strategical thinking and planning? Are gamers looking for more fun and easy rather than slow and difficult? It seems like games have been engulfed by the entertainment industry and their purpose is only to blow brains out rather than blow minds out (intellectually, that is). Of course this is a very general overview coming from an inexperienced “gamer” but I tend to make this observation based on the video games that I have seen and that are most popular from my point of view. What is really cool, however, is that even in times like that creativity finds its way out of the cage. Even if strategic games are not so popular, some people explore their imagination by creating machinima videos from their favorite games. Thus, those players are now actively participating in the game– not blindly following a mission but creating their own goals within the limitations of the game. The task remains for all the passive viewers as well as gamers to ask themselves the question of why they are playing and of whether it is worth the time.
When it comes to evaluating technology used in our projects, my favorite by far was the video project. I enjoyed the long quiet hours of trial-and-error xhtml programming, the audio experiments and the multimedia dimension of Sophie but I think one of the most effective ways of conveying a certain idea is through a visual presentation, preferably a motion picture. My opinion is definitely biased though since the area of media studies that I am focusing on for my major is digital/film production/editing. Overall, I found all of our projects very educational and interesting and I “secretly” wish I could be a super-duper awesome xhtml programmer.

CCBCD Spring Concert!

The Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company is having its annual Spring concert Do You Believe in Magic?Ā  this weekend!

You guys, please come support all of our hard work throughout the year in this spectacular, magical event!

ItĀ takes place in Big Bridges Auditorium at Pomona on the following dates:

Friday, April 30: 7 PM

Saturday, May 1: 7 PM

Sunday, May 2: 11 AM

You are guaranteed a great time, it will take your minds off finals and stress for a little bit, and it is a great way to see what all of us ballroom people have been up to. Ā Tickets are generally $15 but we have received subsidies that allow us to sell them for only $5 to students ( $10 for faculty)! You can buy your ticket from me during class or contatct me at dasteko@gmail.com for more info. A big part of the money we collect will go towards purchasing more costumes, which are very very expensive (anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for one).

This is a really exciting event for me personally since I will be performing 4 routines. This is a big jump from last semester when I only had 1 so I am both thrilled and a bit nervous. I’m in the lindy hop, polka, salsa and paso doble routines and all of them are absolutely amazing! I love the spirit of our team, how organized we are and how much we achieve every year. Basically, dancing makes me feel alive šŸ™‚

Here’s a little scoop of one of our campus team routines, just to get you guys a bit excited:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GyqJOE_dRLc&feature=fvsr[/youtube]

Skype Sophie

After many trials and errors, here comes my Sophie project! I hope it works but I have a nagging suspicion two of the three videos embedded in it are not working so I’m providing you guys with links to them if you feel inclined to watch them (they are quite amusing and rather short).

The topic of my project had to do with searching for and definingĀ identity through Skype emoticons. I used Sherry Turkle’s article on Identity and used her ideas to explain my personal experience with Skype and particularly Skype emoticons. I discuss the formation of an emoticon culture and how it defines people who are part of it. I have included numerous pictures of Skype emoticons as well as a few cartoons which poke fun at the obsessiveness and related to Skype. The videos demonstrate what 1) Skype is, 2) what we can do with Skype emoticons beyond their immediate purpose and 3) how some people attempt to imitate Skype emotiocons with facial expressions.

My questions are: can we convey all our emotions just through the use of emoticons? If not, is Skype then limiting us or is it creating an order and a sense of belonging in a community that all uses the same type of emoticons? How can we change as people or explore new sides of ourselves if we use emoticons?

I hope you enojoy my representation of Turkle’s article and Skype and please feel free to critique as much as you want! =)

http://www.pages.pomona.edu/~dsk11925/skype.pack.s2Ā 
Ā 
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgvXX56R3bc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGUahltRxuk&feature=related[/youtube]

Harry Potter "fan" videos

The first video is from the show The Soup and it is quite old but it reminds me of the ones we watched today in class. I remember laughing hysterically at the genius behind it.

The second video is a puppet show which turned out to be wickedly popular with about 80 million views. Enjoy! =)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIc2YvhhFGw[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tx1XIm6q4r4&feature=fvw[/youtube]

Mr. Unknown

Well, well, well… who do we have here? No Facebook, no Myspace, no nothing… he doesn’t exist if we can’t track him down.

Facebook Dating

http://mashable.com/2010/04/10/facebook-dating/

According to this article, Facebook dating turns out to be heck scary. They list for us the 5 big reasons why Facebook will ruin your relationship and I found all of them quite amusing. As we have discussed, the issue of privacy has been hotly debated in Facebook ever since the NewsFeed feature was introduced. It is definitely true that we can opt out from displaying certain things to certain people but overall, there is a lot of information out there that is open to display to a greater number of people than we might think. With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that we see problems with knowing too much. When it comes to relationships, the intensity increases three-fold since feelings (and drama) are involved. As the article rightly proposes, we tend to overanalyze all the information we see. What does a this picture comment mean? Why did they write on someone’s wall, why aren’t they responding to my message even though I see they are online on Facebook chat? This creates a sense of paranoia, the urge to constantly check our (ex-) significant other’s activities. Another important point made is that relationships and break ups are public! Yes, you can decide to not list your relationship status but if you get an invitation from your date and you don’t accept it, you might find yourself in an awkward situation. If you, like the majority of people, display your relationship status changes, then you openly risk being judged, stalked or otherwise bothered by others (including your exes). I have been a witness of many many relationship status changes from my friends on Facebook; some of them I cannot care less about, others are interesting, and others–shocking. Sometimes I feel like I know too much and like I’m in the middle of someone else’s affairs; other times, I am burning with curiosity of how and why a certain relationship came about. I guess this article can serve as a warning–if you don’t want your personal life to become someone’s daily entertainment, just keep it on the low.

Are you Mad, Steve?!

From what I hear, Steve Jobs has decided that applications by individual developers are evil and has banned them from any Apple products. Now, that reminds me of the talk we had earlier in class about the ipad and how it limits creativity of its users and development and growth of new software. With this new trend, I sense a continuation of the same process. Is Apple trying to monopolize its practices and take over the tech world? I don’t see it happening unless people just quietly comply with its wishes and let it slide. So, what shall we do?

http://stopthemadnessstevejobs.com/wordpress/

A long lost blog

I dug out this blog entry that originally got deleted as I was writing it >.< It is quite overdue but I think it is worth posting:

Chris Anderson’s article was a delight to read since I am observing and participating in the trend he is talking about. What I found particularly interesting is the idea of the “hit” and what creates it. I like the idea of the entertainment industry being more about the “misses” than the “hits” and I agree that some people assume that if something is not a hit, it doesn’t deserve to exist. I feel like it is fascinating then that online shopping allows users to select from a huge pool of choices, rather than the limited, ā€œjust-the-hitsā€ one. I like the question he poses about what we really like. Sometimes, ‘likes’ can be imposed on us, we are deceived into believing we like something just because it is popular. Recommendations and ratings then come in handy for people so that they can get acquainted with a diversity of different types of songs or movies that are not necessarily hits. Where the problem for me comes is when Anderson talks about having one song cost more than another. I feel like the popularity issue comes right back when pricing is different. Who decides what song costs what? When people see a song that costs more, they might tend to buy it since they might be convinced that it is more popular and consequently, better. I got even more confused when Anderson later suggests that, instead of having separate prices for songs, there should just be a general monthly fee exchanged for unlimited download. I feel like this is a downgrade back to the whole CD business. What if I just want to buy one song? How do providers divide their profits amongst the artists? Also, what happened to recommendations? They seem to matter less if the emphasis is on price rather than songs.
When it comes to Benkler, I thought it was particularly interesting that the developers of Kazaa (the illegal music download provider) are also the producers of Skype. It got me thinking about where the boundary stands between free and illegal. Who determines what’s free and what isn’t? Sometimes, I wonder how incredible it is that Skype is free and you can make unlimited VIDEO calls to anyone in the world yet telephone companies charge you for a regular landline connection. Skype as a software is not open for user editing, it comes in a generic form and users cannot modify it in any significant way (at least not function-wise). I understand how Linux and Wikipedia could beĀ free since they are availableĀ for free and anyone can edit their content. SinceĀ the content cannot be guaranteed to be 100% reliable or accurate, no charge could be imposed.Ā Therefore, there is the advantage of sharingĀ and exchange ofĀ  information and expertiese. What remainsĀ for me to find out isĀ theĀ motivation behind working on free software and the ways some people actually get profit from it.

Tripping Much?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIZVCCJxIQ4[/youtube]This is a really awesome video one of my friends put on Facebook about society’s obsession with video and online gaming. It reminds me of my idea of programming dreams and it is striking to see how reality could look like through the lenses of the digital world. The video is a bit lengthy but very entertaining. Enjoy!