Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Internet: Creating a New Narrative Form?

Today I did a presentation about the  Internet, based Carolyn Miller's, "Storytelling: A Creative Guide to Interactive Entertainment by Carolyn Handler Miller." The Internet is host to an endless array of media, from social networks, blogs, TV shows and other innovative genres. The popularity of the medium is the fact that previously separate portals: video, voice, data, and so on, have now amalgamated and created synergies.  With the combining of media, a new domain for communication and interactivity arises. Miller focuses Chapter 15 of her book on the appealing characteristics of the Internet and specific genres such as Webisodes and faux blogs as forming new narrative forms.   
Webisodes are essentially brief episodes based on the Internet. They are usually between 2 and 3 minutes long and do not necessarily need to be viewed in sequential order; rather, the audience can choose specific clips to watch. The Internet allows for the interactivity and user participation that Webisodes thrive on. The concept is that audience members can actually influence the advancement of the plot through posting inputs on the site of the Webisode. 
In addition  Webisodes have many options such as community building, in which audience members can communicate with one another or message characters through message boards or blogs. 
Although this level of participation seems epic, my professor brought to the class' attention that this existed in other forms years ago. She used the example of Soap Operas, which allowed the audience to mail in their comments to characters, and comment on the plot for years. She called into question Miller's notion that the Internet is a vehicle for new narrative forms.

Given this, have Webisodes created a new narrative form? Or are they simply a digitized form of user participation that has already existed?

Friday, September 19, 2008

City Gridlock

Some friends say not to get me started on the topic of traffic. On the contrary, I think it is a big issue that everyone who lives in the GTA should bring voice to. Is it possible that "Rush Hour" has now etended itself from 3:00 p.m. to about 7:00 p.m.? I feel that the city has made a mistake in allowing for thousands of houses to be built before widening our roads. Wouldn't it make sense to expand roads before building homes where thousands of families are expected to move? Clearly, the city did not think so and has created is a city gridlock. Many newpaper articles talk about the financial problems in ammending this gridlock, stating that funding is always short-term and politically based. Others say that if nothing is done soon about the expanding of roads, Toronto's gridlock will increase dramatically in the next few years. What are others thoghts on this issue?