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September, 2013

  1. Just running my mind off here

    September 27, 2013 by kimberlyteoh

    There was a point made in the lecture that the internet is not virtual due to external sources from “the real world” that support it, such as electricity. I thought it was an interesting point, because I did not realize that the internet was so fragile. I mean, what if the world had a blackout? What if one day, we have no electricity? There would be no internet!

    It also made me think that the network is also fragile because it requires electricity to function. But then, I realized something else. We are currently living in the electronic era. As far as I know, practically every electronic device NEEDS electricity to work. Everything about the internet will trace back to an electronic device (I think?). So if there was no electricity, there would be no electronic era.

  2. Video Games and HyperText, 2

    September 20, 2013 by kimberlyteoh

    Glory to Arstotzka

    Remember when I said that I don’t think games can be considered as hypertext narratives? Well, I’ve changed my mind to, ” it’s possible but it really depends on the game itself” after recalling another game called Papers Please that I played during the holidays which is, by the way, the most emotionally inducing game I’ve ever played. This game can seriously make you feel bad or good about your decisions.

    Anyway, I’ll just give a brief intro about it before I begin. You play as an immigrant officer so you have the power to permit entry to foreigners. The thing is, you can choose to either faithfully follow your government’s laws and be a good citizen, or be a kind Samaritan by breaking some of them while trying to be a good citizen, or be one of the underdogs, or other possible things.  You also have a family to take care of, and your wages (which aren’t very high) depends on the number of people you allow to enter the country. There are many different story paths that lead to different endings, and they are all based on your decisions. *Incoming Spoiler Alert*

    Like when your family dies, it’s because you decided too slowly on who to let in and thus you get lower wages which results in having not enough money to feed them.



    In this game, you are the faceless and nameless protagonist. There are no words to narrate who you are and what you’re thinking  because you are the one who will fill in the narrative. Or something like that.


    Following up on the example I used which was Mario and also as a response to Adrian’s pingback, I thought a lot more about it and realized that Mario was exactly like my first point. If the game play was good, then having Peach in the game shouldn’t be necessary. I mean, to be honest, when I played the game I cared jack squat about her but I continued to play it because it was fun.

    So, why did the developers decide to have her there anyway? The answer that I came up with, was that it probably helped them move the game along and to give a reason for why Mario was doing what he does, like going to each castle and defeating Bowser’s decoys.

    This clears up my second point. The narrative becomes an element of the game but instead of motivating the player, perhaps it motivated the developer to think “what’s the next step?”

  3. Jesus, the readings

    September 19, 2013 by kimberlyteoh

    The readings this week kept reminding me of my brother and my mother. More specifically, the things they always tell me seem to relate back to the readings. Obviously, I got distracted and can’t think thoroughly afterwards. SO here goes.

    My brother always told me (without going into detail) that it is important to make links with other people, because that is how it will help you get a job and he believes that degrees won’t help you find a job. Regardless, they are important to have in this current society because according to what my mother says, it apparently increases the income you earn. I still don’t get what this means, however. Anyway, preferential attachment would come into play here since that meant that people who know the employer (on very good terms, I must add) are more likely to get hired. Studies also show that employers hire people they want to be friends with which could be that those acquaintances you make might want get to know you more and thus, are more likely to hire you? Makes sense, I guess.

    The term, “the rich get richer” is what she, my mother, always says. On another note, I believe with all my naiveté, that the reason why the rich get richer is because they have the money to spend or invest in ventures that will return more money back to them. The poor on the other hand, have to spend their money on necessities to survive and their children’s education (if they have any) and they are certainly not cheap. Then again, the wealthy have to pay huge taxes compared to the middle-low classes of society, so essentially they are helping by giving back the money to the people.

    I also found it interesting how Barabási mentioned how nodes that are already heavily linked are linked at a faster rate, like how “highly cited papers are more likely to be cited again”. This is kind of related to popularity in a way, since for some reason, popularity equals to success. When something is highly popular, it is more well known by other people thus linking more people to said thing, and it will be considered “good”. I guess it’s a part of human nature to assume that when something is “highly linked”, it should be something good otherwise, why is it highly linked?

    Okay, I’m done for now since I don’t have anything more to add on.

  4. Video Games and Hypertext

    September 19, 2013 by kimberlyteoh

    When this course started talking about hypertext this and hypertext that, I did come to a point where I thought some video games can be considered to have hypertext narratives. Of course, I’m only talking about this generation’s video games and not the ones that were created from before and around the 90’s like Tetris and Space Invaders.

    Since I’m talking about video games though, I want to first get this out of my chest. Why do video games made in this day and age have a narrative? To me, the answer’s real simple.

    One, the narrative is like a cherry on a cake; they don’t need to have a narrative but it certainly adds to the experience when it does have one.

    Second, the narrative becomes an element of the game whereby it motivates the player to complete an objective. For example, in Mario, you have to save Princess Peach, no personal reason why, you just do and that’s part of its “story”.

    Finally,  the video game industry is slowly getting bigger and it’s becoming one of the biggest entertainment industries. As of late, the narratives in them have become very cinematic. What’s really pushing it though, is that the graphics are improving so rapidly that the characters and settings look realistic. No, no, it’s actually because many consumers and some developers are obsessed with making them look realistic AND be realistic. Therefore, most of the games made today can be considered to be “interactive cinema” because they look so gosh darn real, except unlike films, the player fully controls the protagonist’s actions and you can do other stuff (like killing random, virtual people on the street) besides continuing with the storyline. A good example of an “interactive film” game would be Beyond: Two Souls, because one, David Cage the creator keeps calling it “interactive storytelling” and second, from the looks of it, you can only go with the storyline (so no sidequests, and random killing) and you cannot make other decisions for the protag. Of course, I may be mistaken since I haven’t played it yet.

    Anyway, back onto hypertext. I once considered that video games that have multiple, different endings can be said to have a hypertext narrative. After all, the decisions you make will ultimately affect the ending you will end up with. I rejected and abandoned the idea though, because I figured that a hypertext narrative would have different railroads that end up at different destinations. I’m not very good with explaining so I drew this to show what I mean.

    As you can see from this terrible and not thoroughly thought out diagram, in a hypertext narrative, the way I see it, each decision you make will lead to a different story path and ending. I also thought about the possibility of how some decisions will lead you back on another track, hence the reason why you see some are linked. Video games with multiple endings on the other hand, don’t do it like this. Instead they do it, like this: 

    I have to be honest though, this diagram is heavily influenced from how Heavy Rain handled it but otherwise, I would assume that games with multiple endings do it this way. The only thing hypertext about it, is just the endings and there is no divergence in the story’s path. There was another game called InFamous a few years ago and it did it this way, you make decisions throughout the game that total up to give you an ending based on the decisions you made, there were about 3 endings (?) in total that you can end up with.

    My verdict is no, video games cannot be considered as hypertext narratives. It is possible to make one, however I assume it will be extremely exhausting to make one like in Diagram 1.

  5. An Insight into Me

    September 13, 2013 by kimberlyteoh

    When I was a kid, I wanted to become a doctor/surgeon. I wanted to be able to help people and get them to feel better, because I knew how much it sucked to have a fever and oh dear god, stomachaches (I always cried when I had these, lol and still do) as a kid. However, at some point in life, I wanted to become an actress instead. Then, a businesswoman. Then, a psychologist and finally, a psychiatrist/writer. Heck, I even tried applying myself to be these with my friends at the time like playing doctor, and especially being a businesswoman. I once tried to sell sweets and what not to my classmates at the age of 9 (the hell was I thinking?) to earn some pocket money which I was quite successful at doing at the time because I was basically competing with the staff at the cafeteria. ‘Course, that career was put to a stop by my teacher, who told the whole class something about jellies (one of my products) and green apples and choking (a story that I find absurd now that i’m older), while embarrassing me and mortifying all of us in the process. Just goes to show how easy it is to manipulate or should I say, how impressionable a kid’s mind can be, and just how some teachers can be really mean. I’m looking at you, Malaysian teachers.

    Now that I’m older, it’s sad to say but I can’t find a passion or an aspiration to follow. No, I’m actually afraid to. My intentions to be any of the above mentioned were killed off by the reality that it is a long and arduous road to be anything, but what I’m really afraid of is the chance of failing again and again on the way and not to mention, some discouragement from some people. My past experiences don’t help, if anything they discourage me from pursuing anything I want to do. Funny how my thinking is all single-loop rather than double loop.

    just add the fails on those lines


    Sometimes, I wonder why am I still in this program, when to be perfectly honest, I don’t enjoy being in it. Perhaps  it’s still too early for me to judge, being a first year and all but I cannot help but wonder if it will be the same next year and the year after that. Won’t I just be wasting three years? Is it necessary to have a degree to enter the media industry? Is a degree in any art even necessary to be precise? Over and over, these undesirable  thoughts would come back to haunt me when I try to think about my future. Time and time again, I would get the occasional, “just go with the flow” advice, but it just doesn’t help that there’s nothing there to help me “flow” in any direction. I feel like I’m on a boat but there’s no current to push it at all.

    So, I’m going to recount my past and think about why I’m even here in the first place. When I was in Year 12, I originally planned to go into a Marketing course because a friend suggested I should. So, I took up Business Management as one of my subjects and wow, I hated it. Not because I hate business in general, but because the whole subject was about memorizing business terms/words and their definitions. What I was interested in though, was learning how businesses worked first-hand, why it worked like that and well, solving problems. When I was about to  graduate though, my mother dissuaded  me from pursuing marketing, for reasons like the career itself will build up so much stress in me and since I was so stressed out from being a prefect and had other prefect-related problems at the time, I agreed to not do it. She then suggested I do communications, mainly because she had recently noticed my hobbies and thought it would fit me well.

    What were my hobbies? Arts. I have a huge history in dealing with the arts since I was a child. Even though I aspired to become people that were in the business and science department, arts was also a part of my life. First I have to mention that my drawing ability is not the best. I have no talent in drawing life-like images or drawing up some real cool stuff on paper. At best, I can draw stick figures which prompted me to make comic books out of my school’s note books. I created a character that became a huge part of my life then at the age of 10, ‘Kung-Fu Boy’ (wished I made a better name) who fought ninjas and saved people across the world! My classmates enjoyed these comics and I hope they did, and somehow they started making their own comics which was totally awesome. I remember making at least 6 “volumes” and only stopped so that I could concentrate on my studies.

    Poetry and drama were the same. But I’ve never really indulged in them, because poetry is hard as hell in conveying emotions than just rhyming stuff which was the only thing I was kickass at, and drama was just a hobby. Another big part of my life was strangely, documenting what I did when I was a kid with my camcorder that I sadly lost, especially that glorious footage of me speaking to my future self, curses! And then there was animating, creating and drafting characters, and a small bit of editing. One thing I’ve learned from this is that what I truly enjoy, is making a story. A fictional story. So, I’m back to the question, why am I still in this program? I like making stories but at the moment, all I’m doing is reading theories. Also, up ’til now, arts was a hobby of mine but I didn’t think about pursuing one as a career. It was just that, a hobby. Sure, I like to edit and make stories for next to nothing if it gave me some fun, but I still can’t see myself as someone who would be making a film. Maybe it’s because I haven’t put myself into any professional practices so I have never experienced what it’s like to make one.

    And I still do want to pursue business (a teeny-weeny part) but I guess that’ll have to wait when I do  my Masters or…?


    On a random note, I want to share this post, something which I believe many people can relate to.

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