Stephanie Cook: Digital Portfolio

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Module 1, Module 2, Module 3, Digital Archaeology, Digital Polarization, Conclusion Blue divider. Blue divider.

First Module: Creativity

For the first module I chose to work on Interactive Fiction.

Interactive Fiction is something I've always been interested in. Whether is was an old-school book that had you flip to different pages based on your choices, or some old school games like Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy or even something like Oregon Trail.

After reviewing all of the recommended platforms for this module, I decided to go with PlayFic. PlayFic seemed to be an easy-enough platform to work with, and it was all online. One of the stories on the front page was written by a student in one of my professor's other classes. I really liked the feel and layout of this story, so it really helped solidify which platform I wanted to use.

I tried my hand at a couple different storylines, particularly zombie apocalypse playthoughs, before deciding to go with a simpler route, and just create a classic escape game.

PlayFic does have a bit of a learning curve, but thankfully you can see the "code" for any story on their website, and figue out how to "code" your own story from that.

One side has source data and one side has the playable story.

Creating the story was a bit frustrating at times, because PlayFic does have a learning curve, but I enjoyed messing around with the engine and creating a cohesive story.

You can check out my progression and reflection reports on module 1 on my blog.

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Second Module: Culture

For the second module I chose to work on Blogging.

Blogging has forever been a part of my life. I remember writing blog posts on forums, and a personal website when my family first got a computer. Growing up, I still interacted with blogs on art websites, writing websites, etc. It seems like blogs are everywhere. And now with the popularity of tumblr, everyone seems to have some kind of blog they want to link you to.

I've experimented with blogging throughout this course, not just with this module. I have my course blog, as well as several other blogs. I made a blog where I tried to review less popular bands, and schedule posts throughout the week, but my scheduled posts didn't save properly (oops), so I only ended up with a couple real posts. I tried tweeting some of the bands about my blog posts about them, but none of them seemed interested.

I also turned 21 earlier this year and tried to make a blog dedicated to documenting each new alcohol I tried. But I didn't like very many of them, and after two posts I realized I didn't really know how to describe the taste of each... so this blog died as well.

With both of these duds, I tried to post more regularly on my course blog, and think I only managed to stay on schedule one week. I learned that if I want to continue to devlop in the blogging world, I should really get some better time management skills.

You can check out my progression and reflection reports on module 2 on my blog.

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Digital Archaeology

Digital Archaeology was easily one of the toughest projects in this course. For this project we had to deconstruct an item and trace all of its parts back to their original origins. My group disected a Nintendo GameBoy Advance. Nintendo is notorious for making it hard to trace the origins of their materials, and we even needed special tools to take apart the device.

A dismantled GameBoy Advance

I remember having a place of origin for only two pieces for weeks, until one night I finally made a breakthrough. I traced the origins of one of the small pieces on the motherboard, and through the websites I found, was able to trace the rest of the pieces.

I did tons and tons of research on this project, and you can check out how I found each piece here. You can also click here for a map documenting where each piece is physically from.

A map of where each piece of the Nintendo GameBoy Advance is from.

My group did some research as well, but I compiled all of it together in a cohesive format, and found most of the origin evidence. Click on each item, and you can see that I wrote as much information as I could find for each item.

While this wasn't the easiest project to work on, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

You can check out deconstruction, progression and reflection reports on this project on my blog.

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Digital Polarization

For the Digial Polarization project, my group was assigned a claim and we had to determine whether the claim was true, false, or somewhere inbetween. We used The Digital Polarization Initiave website for this project.

We investigated the claim that Hillary Clinton has been officially indicted for treason.

We researched the origin link, and traced it back to a Fox News report, where some information was cited as being a fact, when Michael McCaul (R-TX), the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee just stated that he believes Hillary Clinton committed treason.

We utilized the DigiPo and chrome extensions for this project, which allowed us to annotate each article.

List of annotations to an article.

Overall, this wasn't a hard project to complete, and it was fun to see how technology can quickly tell us (with a little bit of research) whether or not something is true.

You can check out my reflection report on this project on my blog.

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For the third module I chose to work on Networking. I went back and forth between Networking and Mapping quite a bit, but eventually decided that working with networks was easier for me than working with maps, and I had many more ideas for networking projects than mapping projects. But I feel like creating a network is really just mapping out relationships, so I think it makes sense that I went back and forth so many times.

It wasn't hard to pick a platform to work with for networking. I had used one of the suggested platforms in my Transmedia Fiction class before and really enjoyed its flow. I chose to work with Kumu. Kumu is a program that I used outside of school, simply because the interface was fun to use and it's exciting to see what a whole grid of connections looks like. However, I had a hard time deciding what exactly I wanted to network.

A list of 14 different Kumu projects.

I eventually decided to work on networking verified Twitter users together based on what gaming company they followed. I initially started with just Xbox vs. PlayStation, but added Steam and Nintendo to the dataset after running into a few verified users who were diehard PC gamers. While there are tons of PC gaming platforms, Steam is one of the biggest, so I picked that one. And after adding PC gaming, I couldn't leave out the cult classic, Nintendo. You can check out a live link to my project by clicking the link below.

A Kumu network showing which verified users follow Nintendo, Steam, PlayStation, Xbox, or any combination.

You can also check out my reflection report on this project on my blog, or my webpage on this project, where I go more in-depth with the process behind it.

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You've reached the end of my portfolio, but this is definitely not the end of my work in the digital studies realm. These are all the projects I completed while in DGST 101: Intro to Digital Studies. I hope you enjoyed this overview as much I enjoyed this class.

Stay tuned to this website and my blog for future updates on my endeavors.

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