Friday, February 29, 2008

My incomplete completely unrefined draft.

Informal Blog on Telos

Telos was discussed in classes as being the greek word for end. Meaning both a means to an end and termination. What interests me about this word is another instance in biology where telos is used.

At the end of each of our chromosomes we have a structure called a telomere. A telomere is a repeated sequence of non-coding nucleic acids. Every time that DNA is replicated before cells divide a small sequence of DNA cannot be copied. So with every replication of the DNA the chromosome becomes increasingly shorter. Eventual the chromosome will use up all of the non-coding telomere and start removing coding sequences. Whenever this happens protein mutations start to occur and eventual cell death. It is theorized that aging may be related to the effect of using up the telomere. The telomere acts as a means of an end to when DNA can be safely replicated.

One other instance of telos in biology closely related to the telomere is telomerase. Telomerase is an enzyme that repairs the telomere. So what effect does this have on the cell? If a cell can go on replicating indefinitely and a mutation occurs in this cell, large problems can arise. Cancer cells contain telomerases allowing them to replicate quickly and indefinitely, reeking havoc on the body.

I may be possible to guess that Haraway had these ideas in mind as well if she has a PhD. in biology.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Progress on rough drafts

Before I say anything, I have to admit that the versions on "rough" - rough like shark skin, rough like sandpaper - are a perfect reminder of why I _like_ using a blog in this class.

All your drafts have merit, but all of them need lots of work - work hard, and help each other as best you can with your comments. I'll do my best through the weekend and into the week to look at your work, but the earlier you post something new, the more likely I'll get to glance at it.

I've now read everyone's that was in on before now except Eric's, Chris's, and Sean's. I'll read those tomorrow, hopefully early in the morning. My intention is to send you all of your grades in the next few days. If I don't (say, by Monday), please feel free to remind me.

DVD Midterm Rough Draft

Here are two documents for my rough draft.  The first is my brainstorm/outline for the DVD.  I actually have a DVD mock-up without footage, just text, and I also have some analysis of the project thus far.

Rough Draft

My topic covers how people choose to socially interact with others via online and computer based programs specifically MMORPG's. I also am bringing in how the technology allows us to accomplish such things. This is however just a rough draft and I am interested in some feedback before I finish writing it, I left further areas I am going to touch on at the end of the draft.

Here is the link to the file:
click on "free download"
enter in the image code and then the download should start

Rough draft, rough like the skin of a shark! Anybody ever felt a shark before?

Disclaimer: Some of the stereotypes mentioned here are not personal beliefs of mine and I may not agree with some of them so please do not be offended. If you have any questions concerning my personal views: do not be afraid to ask me in class – I assure you I hold no prejudices against anybody and I am not a bigot although I am afraid many people in the United States are.

World of Warcraft:

Social Commentary of Modern Stereotypes

Many people discard the notion of academic studies concerning themselves with video games. In many cases that is certainly a valid position to have because many video games have no relevance to society and academic analysis is impossible when narrative elements are lacking (i.e. Tetris). However, World of Warcraft (WoW), which has become a rather large cultural phenomenon, could prove itself worthy of vigorous academic examination. The designers of WOW have carefully shaped a universe that mirrors our world today, with subtle but sometimes obvious metaphors to represent concepts and stereotypes that people have today. This is significant because it can help people of the future (or people from other cultures) learn about the predominantly Caucasian American youth of this current generation and their respective beliefs, manifested by various stereotypes.

The Tauren are fictional race of bull-like humanoids in the World of Warcraft. Very peaceful in nature, these creatures live in the hilltops of land called Mulgore. Mulgore’s geography represents that of the Midwest of the United States circa 18th century – vast grassy plains with ample wildlife. These Tauren live in small tribes for the most part, in tiny villages consisting of a dozen or more teepees. Tauren’s greet each other with sayings such as “Ancestors watch over you” and “Peace, friend” which reflects some of their key characteristic of peace and ancestor worship. They are one of the only two races who can learn to become druids (individuals that worship the land). Their special racial ability (which is not available to any other race) is called cultivation and it is a talent in their skills of herbalism. These two characteristics are a representation of the Tauren’s love for nature. The Tauren do not believe in technology and they rely on crude strength to achieve their goals. Why is this important? This is important because it teaches us (a faulty) modern stereotype of Native Americans – ancestor worship, love of the land, living in teepees and peacefulness. People in academia understand the warlike and very brutal truth of many of the Native American civilizations and the fact that some of them were not tribal based but lived in giant (much larger than their European counter part) urban cities. The importance of this lies that it shows us the stereotypes that many the current generation holds concerning Native Americans.

Orcs in the World of Warcraft are also humanoids, with large fangs. They are green in color and slightly larger than humans at around 7-8 feet in height and around 300 pounds in weight. They reside in the land known as the barrens which looks like a stereotypical savannah with its respective wildlife (Zebras, Giraffes, Lions and Hyenas). Their homes are small huts made of mud with straw roofs and they live in small groups, although their largest city, Ogrimmar, is the capital of the largest alliance (the horde) in World of Warcraft. Their values lie in strength and prowess in combat. Their leader’s title is “warchief” and their sayings included “War first…ask questions after humans are dead.” and “blood thirst is the only thirst” clearly reflecting their warlike and barbaric culture. The unique Orcish racial abilities include an expertise in wielding axes, bloodthirst (increased strength in combat) and hardiness (resilient to stunning effects). These traits represent the Orc’s toughness and strength. Thrall, the leader of the Orcs has worked hard to abolish slavery and that no Orc would ever be a slave again to anybody else, which shows their hatred of oppression. The combination of these qualities matches the modern stereotype that many people hold about native Africans: Warlike, tough and barbaric people that once sold one another into slavery but now vehemently oppose the notion of slavery and value their freedom. These stereotypes are again clearly faulty because we know there are warlike people in Africa and very peaceful people in Africa, including people that still practice slavery and countries that have achieved technology that rivals the western world. So again, we are able to derive cultural stereotypes that people here have.

In the World of Warcraft there are also humans that look just like us. Some Humans live in farms surrounding Elywnn forest (a stereotypical central European forest with its respective wildlife consisting of bears, deer, boars and wolves) although most Humans live in the mighty city of Stormwind. Stormwind is a formulaic fortified city, surrounded by mountains on side and a river on the other. There are mighty walls surrounding the city and the only way into the city is over thin bridge that is protected by guard towers. This fortified city looks like a carbon copy of what most people imagine medieval European cities. The guards of Stormwind are wearing heavy plate armor with shields and swords – complete uniform. Humans greet one another with sayings such as “Strength and Honor” representing their chivalrous nature and their value of honor. The title given to their leader is King (although at the moment he is missing in action and his young son is ruling in his place). The unique human racial abilities are an increased skill with swords and maces - clearly their weapon of choice and diplomacy a passive ability used when gaining positive repurtion with various factions around the World of Warcraft. These characteristics are a stereotypical of the Arthurian notion of feudal Europe. Farms scattered around a castle with their loving king who protects the brave and hard working citizens of his empire. To top this idea off, their values consist of honor and chivalry like one would imagine the Arthur’s round table. Finally, their weapons are much less barbaric (swords vs. axes). The human stereotype of World of Warcraft is of course also a misconceived stereotype of medieval Europe as we know from various accounts that it was an age filled with war, disease, poverty and exploitation.

Dwarves in the World of Warcraft are similar to those seen in Lord of the Rings. They are short but muscular, usually with long beards that are braided in various ways. Their favorite past time is drinking mead and living in homes that resemble mines, usually dug underground or into the mountains to shield them from the cold and harsh weather of their homeland. Dwarves speak with a very thick Scottish accent and their writing looks primitive like Norse writing – very jagged and simple. The unique racial abilities that dwarves possess include frost resistance, which apparently helps them against the cold nature of their home. Ironforge (the dwarven capital) is a large city dug into a volcano. The center of Ironforge has a lava river flowing through it and is surrounded with a series of forges where blacksmiths can master their trait. The Dwarven stereotype represents the drunken Scottish stereotype on the northern British isle where it’s cold for a majority of the year. Their accent coupled with their excessive drinking and Norse writing has a clear resemblance to the 12th century stereotype of the various people living in modern day Scotland.

Our misconceived modern stereotypes are each manifested in the various races in the World of Warcraft. This is certainly interesting to see and perhaps even study in the future because it is like a book of ethics and beliefs. However, the real interesting part of our social commentary comes with the complex interaction between the various races. There are two major alliances, the Horde led by the Orcs and followed by the Tauren (Trolls, Undead and Blood Elves). These are represented as the savage, unsophisticated force of brute strength and barbarity. The other major alliance is simply called the Alliance. The Alliance consists of Night Elves, Gnomes, Humans, Draenei and Dwarves. They are the opposite stereotype – the lawful good – Sophisticated, chivalrous, honest and hard working citizens of the western world. The horde are at war with the alliance, a clear conflict between barbarity and order, the west vs. the darkness of the world. This conflict represents a war on the scale of the First World War

However, to further complicate issues of morality the brute, barbarian forces of the horde are not necessarily evil while the sophisticated west is at times outright arrogant and evil. A great example of the barbarity of the alliance can be seen by the generation prior to the rise of the horde alliance. The leader of the horde, the mighty warchief Thrall is held in a camp called Durnhold by human captors. Durnhold is clearly an extermination camp as those seen 60 years ago during the Second World War employed by the Germans. Small huts that have beds without bedding, surrounded by armored guards that are forcing Orcs to work slave labor is how it is portrayed in the video game. There is no question about the barbarity that takes place at Durnhold and the war crimes committed by humans just a few generations earlier.

We are therefore proposed with a very complicated problem of conflicting views and stereotypes. On the one side we have the barbarian hordes that are examples of the primitive world, and on other side the Alliance portrays our western world and along with our ancestors. What makes this social commentary so interesting is, while the Alliance does not do particularly evil things in the contemporary World of Warcraft, in the past they can be held accountable for various war crimes. This reflects on the main (Caucasian) audience of World of Warcraft and the fact that many notoriously horrible things have occurred in our recent history (like the holocaust). The other problem of morality in this social commentary is the barbarity of the horde. They are by no means evil, although they are viewed as evil by the alliance. This conflict between the horde and alliance can therefore be looked as, as a reflection of the genocide of native Americans and the horrible era of slavery in north America and the various other conflict between the west and the rest of the world.

I have a few questions that I would like to propose here:

I looked up some things at but the information was available and I have seen it before in the actual video games: What should I cite and where? I am not trying to plagiarize!

I did not cite modern stereotypes, should I? I personally do not have these stereotypes but from the time I have spent in the united states it seems like many people have these beliefs (at least before they enter higher levels of education)

Should I include more examples? If so, of what and where?

What should I write in my conclusion?

How long does the final paper have to be?

Are my points clear or do I use video game lingo that some people may not understand?

Should I talk about more races or should I write more about the Horde Alliance conflict?

What should I add if anything at all?

Thanks for reading!!

Mid-Term Continued....

some of my project got cut is pages 11 through 17

You are already this far into the call, what would be the point of hanging up you tell yourself. Just then the tone of the voice on the other line changes, the voice is recognizable now it is your friend Eric, the one you have been waiting for all night. He asks you if you want to still hang out and do something. It is already 11 so the options are limited in terms of stuff to do. The movie theater is closed; bowling alleys close up shop in about an hour. The only real option is for Eric to come over and do something at your house. You ask him if he wants to come over he replies “Sure dude”. After about an hour Eric arrives but something is just not right about him. His skin is pale, paler than usual and his eyes glow red. You shrug it figuring he is probably just tired; you turn your back and wave him into the house. Just then you are snatched back and an intense pain emanates from your neck, Eric has bitten you. After wheeling around to face him again you realize what was not right all along, Eric is a ZOMBIE and so are you now!

The End

You decide to push forward despite the late hour. After awhile you eyes begin to feel very heavy but you push forward anyway not wanting to yield to the call of sleep. Although eventually one hand slips off the controller and then the other, you fall asleep. Your system is left on all night and before you awake it has begun to smoke and the CPU has fried due to a faulty fan. You awake to find your brand new PS3 is toasted….maybe you shouldn’t have played so much video games…..

The End

You realize that sleep is an inevitability despite the enticing video game experience it is time to call it a night. After prepping for bed you hit the sack exhausted from the extensive play. The next morning you awake and call your friends to find out what happened the night before. They explain that they tried to call but no one picked up. After a lengthy conversation you make plan to hang out that day instead and you ned up having a great time.

The End

Despite better judgment you push forward with the Zork adventure. The hours pass by eventually yielding to days and then months. Yet you still cannot get any further in the game. You try to sleep but Zork haunts you everywhere you go. Soon you never leave the keyboard, the desk is littered with chip bags and assorted energy drinks allowing you to sleep little and adventure more. One day your body can no longer take the abuse and a massive heart attack ends it all.

The End

After arguing back and forth in your mind you decide the font and pretty colors are just way to enticing. Sweat begins to run down your face, you shift awkwardly in your seat then extend one finger out towards the enter key. After covering your eyes you go for it your finger hits the key, the game begins to load. You think to yourself that wasn’t so bad, so much for world destruction. Little did you know halfway across the US a missile silo begins to open, the launch sequence has been activated. You sit oblivious playing away in the greatest interactive fiction adventure ever. After a few minutes you hear a roaring sound, similar to an airliner flying overhead, but different, closer. The missile impacts the house and pieces and parts fly everywhere and great explosion raps the house and before long it all over. You should have known better than to trust interactive fiction.

The End

After careful consideration you decide interactive fiction isn’t worth the potential annihilation of the human race. You decide it is late anyways and any hope of friends calling at this hour is absurd. After searching around the house for something better to do you decide sleep is the best option. After that night you can never look yourself in the mirror, why couldn’t you just press that button. The game haunts you day after day beckoning you to press it. After a while you can’t take it anymore and check yourself into a mental institution never fully recovering.

The End

Mid-Term Rough Draft

Here is my mid-term rough draft, like everyone else who has posted recently there is an extreme emphasis on rough.

Brian Kerkan


Narrative and Tech

Night of the Living Dread!!!!

It’s Friday night, 11:30 pm. You had been waiting all evening for your friends to call but, as usual, they haven’t. It has been a boring night and you have tried to find various things to pass the time. First you hopped on the computer and attempted to weave you way through some interactive fiction games unfortunately they almost made you brain melt with how intoxicatingly boring they are. After failing to acquire any sort of satisfaction from the stone age technology you look around the room for other things to do. Then out of the corner of you eye a shiny new PS3 catches your attention. Your parents had bought it for you last week and it has barely been played due to the enormous amount of reading that has been necessary for a certain technology class you are currently enrolled in. While contemplating which game to play the phone, currently residing in the corner of the room, begins to ring.

If you decide Playstation 3 is too new school for you and interactive cra…..I mean fiction is the route to go turn to page 3

If you decide that answer the phone is for losers and you want to get right into the shiny new PS3 action turn to page 2

If you think that it is a good idea to answer the phone turn to page 4

Having realized that interactive fiction is for old-timers and that answering the phone is for people who like telemarketers you opt for the vibrant colors and hi-def action of the PS3. The library of games is compelling, your parents are the kind that when they buy something they go all out so 10 games sit before you in semi circle of next generation glory. One in particular grabs your attention, you haven’t heard of it before or seen it at any of the games stores. The cover art is bizarre and cheap with a look of wear upon it. The title read “Zombies ate my parent……and eventually me”. The other various games spread across the floor vary from sports to role-playing games with a bit of fighting game mixed in for flavor.

If you choose to play “Zombies ate my parents…and eventually me” turn to page 14

If you choose to play a fighting game turn to page 5

If you choose to go with a sports game turn to page 6

If everything else looks unappealing and you’d rather eat up a bunch of time with an RPG turn to page 7

You have decided you want to “kick it old school” tonight and go way back to the origins of gaming with some classic interactive fiction. After firing up the old pc you search around the internet a bit and find a wealth of interactive fiction games. Two in particular stand out “Zork” and “Playing interactive fiction is for losers so play this one instead”. After examining some reviews you find that most reviewers proclaim “Zork” to be a classic stating that quote “it makes you appreciate how far games have come”. “Playing…..” on the other hand has two types of reviews. Some say it’s an amazing interactive game that will restore your faith in the interactive fiction form while others warn that opening the game infects you computer with a horrible virus that may cause nuclear missiles to launch leading to a sequence of events that could destroy the earth.

If you believe playing Zork is the best option turn to page 8

If PIFIFLSPTOI sound like more your cup of tea go to page 9

You decide its more respectful to answer the phone, besides it might be the friends you have been waiting for. As the reach the phone it is on its third rign you scramble to pick it up and quickly say “Hello”. A voice comes from the other end “Hello we have an exciting opportunity for you” the voice sounds slightly familiar. “You have been selected for a free vacation to…..” the guy on the other end continues. Caught in another telemarketers trap, ugh. You consider hanging up but you’ve already listened to half the recorded message by now.

If you choose to hang up go to page 10

If you stay on the line go to page 11

After carefully taking the disc out of its case you pop Ultimate Fighting Game into the PS3. The title screen pops up and you choose the first games mode. After getting beat on for a considerable amount of time by the inhumanely hard computer you switch game modes and still the computer is unbeatable. The game is frustrating and yet it is so frustrating you keep playing and playing becoming more angry at the impossibility of this game. Soon the rage within you is approaching an unacceptable level you could quit now and let the computer defeat you or you could push forward and show this computer what’s what.

If you continue playing go to page 12

If you decide to call it a night go to page 13

After considerable internal debate you opt for a sports game, it doesn’t matter which one they are mostly all the same. Since you realize that sports games aren’t exactly your best field of gaming the difficultly level is set on rookie. You pound the computer into submission again and again every time more satisfying then the last. After what seems like a while you look up at the clock on the wall, it’s 4:30 in the morning. You don’t want to feel like a hardcore gamer and yet the feeling of superiority is incredibly inticing.

If you continue playing to go page 12

If you call it a night go to page 13

Wanting to kill time, and forget about the shame you feel from being ditched by your friends you decide hacking and slashing through ogre and orcs in an RPG is the best option. You pop in Elder Scrolls: The Never-ending Game. The menu screen loads and you enter the game. The character you create has a plethora of customization options and 13you try as hard as you can changing this and that, messing with the flesh tone sliders and the facial shaping feature to get the character to look just right. You customize the armor, abilities, and starting weapon down to the very last detail. Upon finishing your character you take a look at the time it already 5 am! But you just finished making your character and really want to try it out.

If you decide to continue playing go to page 12

If you decide to go to bed go to page 13

You decide that going with the tried and true Zork is the best bet. After finding a downloadable version of the game and taking the necessary steps to ensure playability you begin on your Zork adventure. You walk north, walk south, climb in windows, open doors, go through forests all the while having an excruciatingly hard time finding the correct command that actually does something. After four hours you have managed to find a sword, some treasure, and a game that will help you lose your sanity. Stealing a glance across the room the glint of the shiny new PS3 catches your eye again.

If you continue playing Zork go to page 15

If you decide Zork is boring and opt to play the PS3 go to page 2

After deciding that a gamble is the way to go, you take the necessary steps to install “Playing…..” despite the risk of world destruction. The game loads, the screen prompts you to press enter. There is still time to turn back now, forget about interactive fiction forever, and possibly save your hide. The screen is bright and enticing the font and color contrast seem to lure you in, assuring you that everything will be alright if you just press enter.

If you throw caution to the wind and press enter go to page 16

If you better judgment kicks in and you decide no game is worth dying for go to page 17

Ugh fooled again pulled into the ploy of another fiendish telemarketer, oh well it could have happened to anyone. Before the person can say another word you slam the receiver down, stamp around a bit, and then retire to bed. The next day you go to the mall and surprisingly there are you friends altogether. They begin to walk towards you and one of your close friends, Eric shout “What the hell man”, “I was just messin’ with you last night you didn’t have to hang up on me dude that was not cool”. After a considerably long explanation you manage to “cool his jets” and patch things up. You hang out with your friends the rest of the day and have a great time.

The End

Mid-Term Project Rough Draft

Below is the link to my blog on South Park. I decided to go with the method of letting the blog run its course. Then for the final Mid-Term product the blog will be further along and I will write a paper on the blog as well. I will discuss the topics, discussions and posts that went on the blog, the interactiveness of the blog itself, amongst other elements. Finally I will discuss how these things relate to the techniques, concepts, and readings we have dealt with in the class.

My Midterm Rough Draft

Include the standard comments about 'omg this is a rough draft, i have so much to add, it's poorly written, i know, i'll fix it, kthxbai'

Things to do:
Add how these points relate to objectivism and the real world
talk about how the story of the game makes its own judgement call a bit more
clean up the structure a bit. it feels sort of odd.

My Midterm Draft: Like Sandpaper it's Pretty Rough.

This is a very rough draft of my midterm project. It's a choose your own adventure having to do with a night at a college party and the many different outcomes that could become. I haven't fully developed all of the endings and here I've only included one so far, but I have a lot of crazy ones in store, rest assured. I'm planning on writing two short essays to go along with this. One is on interactivity, and the other is on how technology affects our lives and our need for it as a generation. I have them both outlined but the outlines need some work. Im hoping to post the rought drafts of those by this weekend. The first idea is that technology cannot be fully interactive, but it can have a certain level of interactivy. I talk about how even though it is interactive, your choices can still be influenced by other factors. You do not have the ability to make 100% of the choices in interactive fiction. The second idea stems from a conversation I had with someone a few weeks ago about how technological advances are dumbing down our generations ability to act in live social situations. People can't go places without their cell phones and PDAs anymore, and people are becoming more dependant on technology to commnunicate rather than talking face to face. Also how we have become dependant on it in many aspects of our lives. I'll appreciate some input.

1 It’s Friday night (and the feeling’s right). Let’s be honest, you’ve had a rough week. Midterms haven’t been exactly the whipped cream on top of the pie. You deserve to go out and have a little fun. Your two suitemates Helen and Becca are excited to take you out to this “cops and robbers” themed party. They are heading to the costume store in a few minutes, and they insist you come along. Your other suitemate, Debbie, asks you if you want to have a quiet night in with Chinese food and a “Friends” marathon. She just bought a gallon of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream (your personal fave.)! You are really beat from your hectic week, but on the other hand you could really use a night to let loose…

If you choose to go to the costume store with Helen and Becca, and throw inhibitions to the wind, turn to page 3.
If you choose to stay in with Debbie, turn to page 5.

3 “Thank God you decided to ditch Debbie Downer,” exclaims Becca, “We’re going to have so much fun tonight; I promise. Although Becca’s promises don’t always end in euphoria, you still feel relieved and very anxious. You start looking around for your costume and find a really awesome looking cop one. Helen and Becca are both being robbers, and you consider this but decide you’d rather carry handcuffs (uh oh!) “You know Gary is going to be at the party tonight; the one you think is cute,” says Helen. “Yeah and I heard he is going as a robber so you can catch him,” giggles Becca. Your friends are juvenile, but you really do think he is cute. His slim, muscular body and his green eyes… perhaps something could happen there, you fantasize to yourself. Come back to planet earth, silly! You still need to pay for your costume and get ready.

Turn to page 8

4 “Baby, I’ve missed you,” says Kyle. The alcohol is starting to settle in and you start to feel flattered by Kyle’s compliments. You seem to forget that he was always a jerk who loves lines. You drink more and reminisce about old times when you two were together. You start to forget why you even broke up in the first place. He asks if you want to leave this “beat joint,” and go back to his dorm room. Tempting, I know. You heard he was with this girl named Stacey, but where is Stacey tonight?

If you decide to go back to Kyle’s dorm room, knowing what is going to happen turn to page 6.
If you decide to stay at the party some more and say goodbye to Kyle, turn to page 9.

6 The two of you stumble back and you begin to ask yourself if this was such a good idea. You get to the dorm and Kyle immediately comes on to you. This was to be expected. You start to get hot and heavy when there is a knock at the door. “Shit, it’s Stacey,” Kyle whispers, “You need to hide right now.” You think to yourself: “this really isn’t fair.” If Kyle wanted you so bad then he should be straightforward with Stacey.

If you listen to Kyle and hide under his bed, turn to page 28.
If you refuse to hide, and go get the door, turn to page 27.

7 Uh-oh! While standing in the keg line you start feeling really faint. Someone next to you asks you what is wrong… After that you black out. Looks like you should have listened to the “paranoid parents”…

The End.

8 You and your roommates are getting ready and Becca gets a call from Gary. “Put it on speaker!!” Helen squeals. She does. “Hey Becca, what’s up? Are you going to the party tonight?” says Gary. “Of course I am silly!” shouts Becca. Gary then suggests that she bring you along. It’s obvious he thinks you’re a cutie! You get ready in absolute bliss, thinking about what a good time you’re about to invest in. It’s like what you learned in economics class last week you decide; the opportunity cost of not going to the party is a whole lot more than going! (phew!) You finish getting ready and as you’re walking out the door, you remember you brought your car to campus after winter break…

If you choose to drive to the party, knowing you might be drinking, turn to page 13
If you choose to take the short and convenient bus there, turn to page 14

11 “Hey Kyle, it’s been a while! How are you doing?” (you giggle to yourself because you just rhymed, but he was never one to laugh at your jokes). He seems really excited to see you and he tells you you’re looking real good. He always was a charmer and he’s looking pretty good himself. Why did you guys break up again? He pulls out his own stash of alcohol and offers you some. “Let’s go in the other room,” he asserts. You do miss spending time with him and it could be fun, but Gary and your friends are waiting on the other side of the room. Is Gary really that cute?

If you go with Kyle to the other room, turn to page 4
If you decide to tell Kyle it’s still over and head back with your friends, turn to page 25

12 That’s so much better; now you don’t have to worry about beer spilling all over the place when you’re trying to get down. There wasn’t that much left in it anyway. Dancing in so much fun, whoever’s ipod is playing has really good music. Remember the days when you had to change CDs every few songs? That sucked. After a while you start to grow really tired (Justin gives you a work out!) and Gary asks if you want to go get another beer. You spot your cup on the bar and pick it up. You finish what’s inside and go upstairs to get more.

Turn to page 7

14 You’re glad you didn’t end up taking your car, now you can do whatever you want and not worry about having to drive home, right? Anyhow you get off the bus and walk down the street to the party. It’s really dark and kind of scary, thank God your roommates are there with you. Some random guys about your age sitting on their porch cat call at you. (you are looking good tonight!). They ask if you want to come in for a drink. You know the party is only a block away but you think to yourself what could be the harm of stopping by for a small bev (short for beverage)?

If you convince your roommates to go in and “have a drink,” turn to page 17.
If you ignore their calls and continue onto the party, turn to page 20.
If you decide to yell at them and tell them they are being gigantic “assholes,” turn to page 23

18 What the hell, why not let loose!? So you go down to the dance floor in the basement and the new “Justin Timberlake tune” is playing, or whatever you kids listen to these days. You spot Helen and head over towards her. You all start to get your groove on, respectively. As Gary puts his arms around your waist you think to yourself, “thank god I chose to party.” It’s getting a little crazy and you wish to put your drink down on the bar nearby, just so you can dance a little more. You’ve been warned not to ever leave your drink unattended at a party, but that’s just paranoid parents right?

If you decide to put your drink down and dance without it, turn to page 12
If you decide it is best to keep your drink with you and not go too crazy on the dance floor, turn to page 19

19 You start to get a little thirsty if you will and ask your friends if they want to go get some more booze. You head up the stairs and you realize the party got a whole lot more crowded than when you arrived. Oh well, the more the merrier! You look around at all the costumes and you spot your ex boyfriend, Kyle Scott, in the corner in a cop getup. You want to go say “hello,” but your friends are calling you to do a keg stand. The line is very long, but you feel rude because Kyle has spotted your law enforcing self.

If you go and talk to Kyle and tell your friends to wait, turn to page 11.
If you follow your friends’ chants and go do the keg stand, turn to page 24

20 You and your friends arrive at the party. It looks really bumpin’ and you can’t wait to get inside. You’re ecstatic that you arrived early because there is an enormous line behind you. You see Gary inside and you immediately get butterflies. “How 7th Grade of me,” you think. You get your cup (for free because you’re a female; thank god for that rule!), and enter at your own risk. “Lets go dance!” says Helen, but you’re wondering where the keg is located in this humble abode.

If you go and dance with Helen before you fill your cup, turn to page 15.
If you decide to locate the keg and fill ‘er up, turn to page 21.

21 There is a bit of a line at the keg, but there’s a huge plus! Gary is standing right in front of you. He looks so dreamy, it’s almost unreal. You give him a tap on his shoulder and he turns around. “Hey! What’s up?” you exclaim. He replies, “Nothing, I was just looking for you.” You start to blush against your will. “Be cool,” you think to yourself. You continue your small talk with Gary. (It should be a lot easier to talk to him once you’ve had a few in you). You hate how you’re so awkward in real life; if this convo was online your words would be flowing like Niagara Falls. Your mom always tells you talking online so much would dumb down your social skills (but you hate admitting she’s right). Finally you get your beer and Gary asks you if you want to go dance. You’d like to hang by the keg for a while so it will be less awkward, but this could be a one chance thing.

If you decide to stay and hang by the keg turn to page 16
If you decide “what the hell,” and go dance with Gary, turn to page 18

Mid Term Rough Draft

Here's a link to what I have so far of my rough draft (word doc).
Still want to incorporate a few more points from a couple of more sources that I have listed at the bottom as well as fix some stuff up for the final draft. Please leave some comments/suggestions.

File Here

Mid-Term Rough Draft Eric B.

As technology has progressed over the past thirty years, an increased level of story depth and interactivity presented in video games can be seen . Choose your own adventure books can be used as a reference point to compare the changes in the stories and interactivity, presented in the early video games, Zork, Enchanter and Starcross, to a more resent game, The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.

Choose your own adventure stories and the first text based adventures both appeared at approximately the same time around 1980. A few major differences can be seen between these two types of media. Choose your own adventure books have a story that is much more developed and detailed than the story in text based adventures. Whereas text based adventures contain a level of interactivity that choose your own adventures stories cannot possess.

Interactivity can be briefly defined for the purpose of this discussion, as the ability to make choices while either reading or playing a form of media. That is to say that while reading a book or playing a game the participant is forced to stop and make a choice before more progress can be made. The level of interactivity in a game is determined by the number of choices presented and the nature of the choices. A choose your own adventure book is very limited in the number of choices that the reader is presented. The size of the book is one factor that contributes to the number of choices; as the number of choices increases the size of the book will grow very quickly. The book will also grow in size very quickly if the reader is presented with a large number of choices at any one time. In choose your own adventures only so many of the choices overlap with different story pathways, resulting in a large number of different endings. A large number is endings is a common facet of the choose your own adventure genre. Whereas interactive games have a huge number of choices that can be made at any given time, games typically only have a limited number of endings.

Games that are considered interactive for this discussion have a strong aspect of nonlinear game play. If a game is linear it may have choices that must be made, but the outcome of the choice doesn’t provide an advancement of the story or alternative details that build story depth. The interactivity in choose your own adventure books can lead to either alternative endings or more depth into the personality of the character. The interactivity in games because of their small number of endings, that is saying that it has more than one,e often leads solely to character and story development instead of providing alternative story pathways that will eventually lead to alternative endings.

Now that interactivity has been examined it is possible to see the effects that technology has had on the amount of interactivity that games possess. Early text based adventures are quite limited in the choices that the participant can make at any one given time. It is easy to see that the early games do have more choices than choose your own adventure books. A reader may have at most typically no more than four choices that can be made at one given instance; a gamer of text based adventures may make ten or more choices at a given moment. The choices presented in a text based adventure include choices of the cardinal and intermediate directions, and possible interaction with environmental objects. The movement that occurs in these games is block based, moving from one preset area into the next. In most text based adventures the direction that an area is entered doesn’t play a role in the how the block of space is presented.

In Zork, Enchanter and Starcross movement works in this way, moving from one block to the next and getting the same description of the block no matter how the area is entered. Zork and Starcross’s level of interactivity beyond movement, are quite similar. “Take”, “examine”, and “drop” are the most common ways of interacting with environmental objects. A few objects can be manipulated and used in conjunction with other objects. Enchanter adds another level of interactivity by being able to cast spells. Casting spells makes this game stand apart from the others. To use a spell the player must first read a scroll, gnusto the spell (record it into the spell book), and then learn the spell before it can be used. These spells can be used on many different objects throughout the game. Game play in Enchanter also contains the same basic movement and manipulation actions of Zork and Starcross. The fact that Enchanter was released three years after Zork can have a reason to do with its increased interactivity. 1983, the year Enchanter was released, saw many new computing technologies appear on the market. The knowledge of making games by this point would have increased exponentially, leading to game creators being able to fully manipulate and develop the existing technology further.

Now jump ahead approximately twenty years. When a game was released that stands as testament to the progress that games have made. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind received game the year status for its system ( This game takes full advantage of the of power of the Xbox causing interactivity to be taken to a new level.

The vary first thing that occurs in the game is the building of a character. The character can take on a one of many different races and gender. This choice effects gameplay to the point that a change at this stage can alter gameplay and interactions with NPCs. The gamer also chooses attributes that will affect how the interact with the hostel aspects of the environment, by choosing fighting styles that include the use of weapons, varying from heavy weapons to the use of hand-to-hand combat, or choosing to concentrate on a heavy magic using character. These aspects alone set Morrowind apart from most games of its time and all most all games that have been created until then. Now that the character has been created environmental interaction occurs. The follow interactions aren’t necessarily new to Morrowind, Morrowind just makes very good use of movement possibilities and object interaction. No longer is a player forced to decide, do I go, N, W, E, S, NE, NW, SW, SE, up or down? Morrowind is a completely free roaming adventure. The player can choose to stick to the trails or stray into uncharted territory. It is now possible to look around 360 degrees horizontally and up and down vertically. The world have now become a character unto itself, from every lake bottom to hillside presents the player with a new view of this world that is never quite the same twice. No longer is a player confined to the blocks of space that are presented in the same manner every time they are entered. The character in Morrowind isn’t even confined to the places that can be reached by walking, the ability to fly and walk on water just serve to increase the number of ways the environment can be interacted with.

Object interaction is another facet of games that has changed drastically with the development of technology that has allowed these games to be created. Like in text based adventures, objects can be taken, used and dropped, but now because of the free roaming gameplay, this is taken much further. At one instance in Morrowind the character can create a bridge across and otherwise impossible to cross pool of lava. By carefully dropping books that have been collected throughout various areas of the world a bridge can be made by precisely dropping the books. The main idea is, because object interaction isn’t defined by specific code of what can be done with a particular object, the player can choose to be creative. I’m going to leave this discussion of interactivity with the idea of creativity. Creativity defines what games have become. No longer is the player forced to conform to what an object is supposed to be used for. Thinking outside the box, this is where games have left us. As was described in the example about crossing a pool of lava with a bridge of books. Making the bridge serves no real purpose because the pool can be walked around, but the fact is, it can be done.

In the choose you own adventure “The Cave of Time” the main character finds himself speaking with an old man. The main character is asked by the old man which time he would like to return to. One choice is to ask the man who he is, and the reader is told, “I am a philosopher who when asked to choose a time, instead chose timelessness, so that, although nothing would ever happen in my life, I would have all the time in the world to think about it” (Packard 45). This stands as to show that there are always choices that are not always available. If the reader of this book could choose timelessness the book would become boring very quickly. In a text-based adventure choosing to not advance toward story completion will also get boring quickly, but in Morrowind there exists a world that can be interacted with without causing story completion. Technology has advanced to the point where the player has freed himself from the need to make a limited number of choices, and choices that affect the story in some way.

The basis of interactivity in games and books provides the participant with alternative ways of telling the story and/or obtaining more details about the story. By interacting, the reader is attempting to determine the fate of the character that he is playing as. As mentioned earlier, choose your own adventure books contain a store that is much more developed than that of text based adventures. These books contain many ending that develops as the reader makes choices. Each choice can carry an incredibly large amount of weight, or have no effect of the out come of future events. An example is a heavily weighted decision is found at the beginning of the choose your own adventure, “A Night of a Thousand Boyfriends.” Two pages into the story the reader is given the choice to go out on a blind date or stay home with her roommate. This decision effects what pathway the reader will take, one path being quite uneventful and the other leads to many different adventures. The amount of depth that is presented in games will be related to the stories in choose your own adventures, because they are a story that progresses, moves and develops as choices are made.

In the text based adventures Zork and Starcross the player is left with little information about what is going on in the world around them. The following is the introduction that a player of Zork is given, "WELCOME TO ZORK! ZORK is a game of adventure, danger, and low cunning. In it you will explore some of the most amazing territory ever seen by mortals. No computer should be without one!" (Zork 1, Leaflet) After reading the leaflet the player is left to find treasure in the great underground world, and thats about the extent of story development. This can be considered a story because an account of what the character had to go through to get the treasure can be told, but the story lacks depth. No character development is presented, no information why you are in this situation is given and very little understanding about the world that you are in is established.

Starcross is very similar to Zork, the character wakes up on his ship and describes his financial situation. You learn that you move through space finding junk and selling it. Therefore a little bit of a story is being told, but little development takes place. The interactivity that Enchanter uses is an improvement upon Zork and Starcross. The games starts by giving the following introduction,

"Krill's evil must be unmade," he begins, "but to send a powerful Enchanter is ill-omened. It would be ruinous to reveal oversoon our full powers." A ripple of concern spreads over the face of each Enchanter. Belboz pauses, and collects his resolve. "Have hope! This has been written by a hand far wiser than mine!"

He recites a short spell and you appear. Belboz approaches, transfixing you with his gaze, and hands you the document. The other Enchanters await his decree. "These words, written ages ago, can have only one meaning. You, a novice Enchanter with but a few simple spells in your Book, must seek out Krill, explore the Castle he has overthrown, and learn his secrets. Only then may his vast evil be lessened or, with good fortune, destroyed." (Enchanter opening screen)

This game does present a story, you’ve been called upon to take down a powerful Enchanter. So the player knows why he is here and what he is to do. There will be an outcome to the story by removing the evil Enchanter. The thing that the game still lacks is that by making the choices that lead closer to the end of the game not much story is developed. You really don’t gain much character depth.

In Morrowind the character is immediately told that he is an outlaw from a country sent to the island of Vvanrenfell, a Provence of Morrowind. Little more about the past is told, because you are to start a new life on Vvanrenfell. The choosing of the character and the trait that the character will possess takes place next. The choices at this stage are very important in the game because it will determine many choices that can be made and the way people will interact with you. Some guild quests can only be completed if certain requirements are met, and some people will only talk to you if you’re a specific race. Making choices still does have a highly influential effect on the main story line in Morrowind, and it definitely effects the player if he wishes to get the most out of the game. Most games has a set main story that has one way to complete it, Morrowind happens to have three; it still isn’t many story lines when compared to a choose your own adventure book. What makes Morrowind stand apart is the incredibly large number of possible adventures that the player can go on to reveal information about the world. Some quests will lead to understanding of the religious rights, ruling bodies, murders and the problems that are occurring on this island. Morrowind has fulfilled a things that the games before the technology allowing Morrowind to be created couldn’t do. It gives the player a clear understanding about the world around him. This understanding of the world around the player allows for the main story to take over and produce a large in-depth story that draws the player in.

The main story revolves around gaining the power to take down an evil god that is casting a blight upon the island of Vvanrenfell. You are given a directions that are supposed to be followed. These directions will lead the character through an extensive adventure of uniting the civilized societies and the tribes of Vvanrenfell. They must unite and declare you the a god reincarnate, Nerevarine. Upon being declared Nerevarine the character meets with the good god, Vivic, to receive an ancient artifact that will allow him to wield the weapons necessary to sunder the evil god, Dagoth Ur. The alternative story can be chosen early. Instead of ever starting on the quest to be declared Nerevarine the player can level up and kill Vivic and steal the artifact. This leads to another added part of story, because the artifact that is stolen is damaged and needs repair before it can be used. Once the artifact is repaired the stories merge back into the same path. One last choice is given right before the epic battle with Dagoth Ur. You are presented with a choice to lay down arms and join Dagoth Ur, spreading blight across Morrowind.

Morrowind’s story has depth incomparable to that of text based adventures. It takes advantage of its free roaming style and interactivity that allows creative thinking to allow for multiple ways of playing the game. The story ends very differently depending on which choices are made. Compared to choose your own adventure books, Morrowind may not have as many ending but its story is very detailed. Technology had to develop extensively to allow for a story to be told with the high amount of interactivity that Morrowind possesses. The amount of information that is in the game plays a major role in determining what kind of gameplay can be achieved. The Zork game file is 92 kb in size, whereas Morrowind is packed onto a 4.7 gig dvd. Because of advances like data storage and processing power, games have been able to become more interactive while also providing a story that feels like a novel.


Packard, Edward. “The Cave of Time”. New York. Bantam Books, 1979.

Rough Draft

During our discussions in the Narrative and Technology class, the need for defining human nature came up more than once. As we all concluded, in the future, it would be extremely difficult to characterize human nature because of the rise of new and very powerful technologies that can create replacements for human beings. I was especially intrigued by this problem while reading Lyotard’s essay, Can Thought go on without a Body? and Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? . I do realize that these texts are quite different. One is an extremely convoluted philosophical essay, and the other is a science fiction novel that holds no great value for the majority of people. However, both of these writers were concerned with the problem of continuing human civilization after a devastating catastrophe.

Lyotard’s essay presents us with problems that need to be overcome if we are to create a machine that can think as a human, and in the case of the ultimate catastrophe continue our legacy. At the same time, he is giving an ode to a beautiful complexity of human mind and thought, which is inseparable from the body. According to him, the major problem for creators of an artificial human is the binary mode, the basis of all our thinking machines. Also Lyotard states that if these machines are to represent us fully, they must be capable of suffering and they must have gender. Anything less would not suffice as a legitimate human replacement.

The novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (DADOES) paints us a picture of “the cold desert of our human world after nuclear war” (Lyotard) where we encounter androids, creations of human technologies, which have triumphed over all of Lyotard’s obstacles. Because they are not made of wires nor circuits, but rather of organic matter, they do not think in binary mode. In fact, many humans, corroded by the radioactive dust that covers the Earth, are intellectually inferior to these artificial creations. Additionally, androids come in both sexes. Therefore, they have another characteristic, according to Lyotard, that is essential for representation of humans. But, the most valuable feature they have is their capacity to suffer, and Lyotard states that human thought is inseparable from suffering. For him any creation that is to replace humans has to be able to suffer. We see this trait most clearly in the case of Luba Luft, an opera singer whose quality can be “… rated with that of the best, even that of notables in his collection of historic tapes.” (Philip K. Dick) For Lyotard, the fact that this humanoid robot “ could obtain the emptiness from mind and body” necessary for any true art “that doesn’t take place without some suffering” would be enough to call it human. So, why androids are not perceived as humans, or even living beings, in the world of DADOES? In that world, which we nearly destroyed, where the Sun cannot penetrate the shell of radioactive dust, without any plants, with some miraculously-surviving animals, and with human population reduced to hundreds, we exterminate, no questions asked, the life form that is the most similar to us. Why?

In order to understand this paradox, I turned to Camus’ book The Plague. I am certain that there are probably better and maybe more relevant books out there that could shed some light on this question. However, I like Camus and I will do my best to connect these two texts together.
The Plague is a novel about a fictional town, Oran, located in Algeria, and struck by (surprise, surprise) THE PLAGUE. We learn about the suffering and events that took place in this small town during long months of this epidemic, through narrator’s accurate and unexaggerated descriptions. He introduces us to diverse characters, Dr. Rieux, Tarrou, Ramber, Father Paneloux, Cottard, Dr. Castel, Grand, and we get glimpses of their experiences during the plague. Many of these characters are not fully developed and realized. At times, the narrator feels detached and without emotions, but I feel Camus intended for him to report events and give his observations rather than his emotional responses to them. Because of this, we can accept narrator’s interpretations as truthful representations of human behavior.

After declaring the plague epidemic and closing the gates of Oran, all of its citizens have a sense of exile and isolation. Similar feelings can be assigned to people in Dick’s DADOES. People on Earth are trapped by radioactive radiation, and those who live on Mars are given an android to lessen their sense of loneliness. But, the androids are the ones that are the most isolated and exiled of all as they are hunted and killed on Earth and reduced to slavery on Mars. As the plagues progresses and takes the town in its deadly grip, the narrator notices the need for belonging and community in the people of Oran. “Yes, it was quite true that men can’t do without their fellow men …” (Camus). Similarly, in DADOES, the same necessity is satisfied by the empathy box and Mercerism. Through this device people achieve a sense of unity and belonging. Because of “ a deliberately built-in defect [androids] remained excluded” (Philip K. Dick) from this experience, which only enhances their feelings of isolation and exile. Androids, even though hardly distinguishable from humans and necessary for their survival, are by design left outside the human community.

The plague, from a conversation between Dr. Rieux and his friend Tarrou in Part IV of the book, can be understood as a metaphor for human aggression. In this conversation Tarrou opens up to his friend for the first time and confesses to him that he indirectly played a part in murders of numerous men and women because of his fight against capital punishment. Later he became conscious that he was indirectly participating in the act he was fight against, and the sense of shame he had because of it never left him. Tarrou realized “that each of us has the plague within him, no one on Earth is free from it” (Camus). This is certainly true of Rick Deckard, who at one point in his hunt for androids perceives himself as the plague, the force that destroys. The androids, in order to escape the slavery and isolation they are subjected to, must kill. When asked by his friend what it is he wishes to achieve in life, Tarrou answers “The path of sympathy” (Camus). The plague is a shortfall of human nature that keeps us back from achieving peace and our full potential. In this regard natural and artificial human are the same. But, because man creates artificial human, android’s deficiencies are actually reflection of our own defeat by plague.

Rough Draft

Like everyone has already said, this is a rough draft and I am just beginning to develop the story. I am not really sure where I am going to take it so i am still planning out the whole ending tree and all. I hope to create some kind of website to add a different medium of interaction besides just flipping pages or scrolling to a different section. I wish there was a better way to present this right now but this will have to do. Any input is welcomed.


It’s a bright and sunny, really hot Saturday afternoon when you wake up and roll out of bed onto the floor. Your mom is yelling at you to finish you chores, but all you hear is incoherent blabbering. You look out the window and see the familiar barren landscape of Mars. After taking a cold shower you decide that you should probably make your mom happy and have her stop yelling at you to do your chores. You have to wash the spaceship, rake the yard of meteors, and do the families space suit laundry.

Which chore do you want to do?

To wash the spaceship turn to page

To rake the yard turn to page

To do the laundry turn to page

Wash the Spaceship

You go to the backyard and hook the hose up to your water tower full of water you stole from another planet. You start soaping up the wings of the spacecraft. To reach the top you have to use a ladder. Unfortunately your feet are soapy and you fall off. You are taken to the hospital and find out you broke your leg.

To stay at the hospital and have people wait on you hand and foot turn to page

To go home and recover turn to Recover at Home

Stay in the Hospital

You decide to stay in the hospital because there is nothing better at home. You enjoy laying in bed and watching tv all day. People keep coming in and checking on you and serving you food. Little did you know that the cafeteria had a small accident and your food was poisoned inadvertently. You become sick to your stomach with some type of rare food poisoning. After suffering for a couple days you finally pass.


Rake the Yard

You go out back to the shed to fetch a huge rake. While you are in the shed you find a trapdoor that you have never noticed before. After much consideration you decide to explore it. After taking one step you fall what seems like 40 feet down and land hard on a pile of dirt. You turn on your flashlight and realize you have stumbled upon what seems like a deserted mining village.

To explore the village turn to page

To climb back up to the shed turn to page

Explore the Village

You mark your current spot by drawing a huge X in the dirt so that you will know where you started from. Then you start wondering around, it almost seems like a completely deserted civilization and you begin wondering if bad things are imminent. Is everyone about to pop out from hiding? Are people watching you? Will you find anything good? Even though you are worried you continue on. You come across an old fashion looking jail. Just to be funny, you jump in one of the cells and close the door; to your dismay the rusty looking jails works perfectly and it locks.

To try to dig through the wall turn to page

To try to kick down the bars turn to page

Dig through the wall

You start digging into the wall like a dog searching for a bone hidden in the ground. After 3 hours of digging you see light. You give a final outburst of energy and kick your way through. You step out into freedom but realize you are still in an unknown place and completely lost.

Turn to Explore

Kick down the Bars

Yeah, you’re manly enough to bust though the bars and save the princess from the village. Well at least that’s how you picture your escape. You muster up all your strength and wind up to kick the bars down. You let out your best Chuck Norris kick and to your amazement the bars fall like soggy toothpicks in the wind. I guess the bars were more rusty then you had expected. Good thinking.

Turn to Explore


After your near death experience you are freaked out and decide that it is probably better if you leave this unknown place and get back home. You start heading back down the trail that lead you to where you are now. You travel for what seems like too long, and things become unclear, and you wonder, “have you ever been here before?” You don’t recognize anything. Maybe you went too far and missed the X on the trail. You search for a couple hours but become really tired. You decide to take a rest and lay down. The hours go by quickly and you wake up to the daunting task of finding the X to return home. When you wake up you hear faint voices in the distance, and you begin to walk towards the voices. As you are approaching you see that they seem normal, but as you get closer you realize that something seems a strange about them but you can’t seem to put your finger on it. They notice your exhaustion and offer to help. You explain how you are lost and are tying to get back home. They gladly agree to help you out and take you home. You hop in their spacecraft but you quickly realize they have other thoughts in mind. You realize that the people are not what they had originally appeared. They are creatures like you have never seen before and they are speaking some language that you can’t understand.

Turn to Spacecraft

Telling your mom

You begin by telling your mom how you were going to go rake the yard. She gets excited because she thinks you have actually begun your chores. Her mood quickly changes when you tell her about a trap door and lost realm and abut finding your way back to the shed. She begins to wonder about your wild story, asks you if you have been doing any drugs. You knew she wasn’t going to believe your story, but you still can’t wait to tell other people. Your mom tells you that she is going to be keeping an eye on you, watching out for any drugs. She also yells that you should get back to raking the yard. You go back to the shed where it all began and grab the rake. You begin clearing the yard of stray meteors. While you are stepping back you roll your ankle on a loose meteor and have to go to the hospital for a sprained ankle.

You go to the hospital but have to sit in the waiting room for so long that you fall asleep and don’t hear your name called. So you have to wait even longer. Finally 10 hours later you get a brace and go home. You can’t walk for a week so you sit on your couch and play video games all day. You become really good at the game and invite others over to play you. Your mom yells at you all the time that you are rotting your mind and should stop playing those games. You eventually get sick of playing anyway and pack the games up to play later.

Turn to School Time

Do the Laundry

You go room to room with a cart collecting the family’s dirty suits. You wheel the cart down the street to a store called Spacesuits Galore. They tell you to come back later in the day to pick them up. On your way back to your house you decide to take a shortcut through a field. Unbeknownst to you there was a horrible meteor shower the night before. You trip on a crater and fall on your face. Because no one frequents this field you lay there for a couple hours in pain. Eventually you find yourself waking up in the hospital with a broken collar bone.

To stay in the hospital for a while turn to hospital collar bone

To go home and recover turn to page

Hospital Collar Bone

You stay at the hospital because you think that the nurses are normally pretty cute. To pursue your love interest you leave notes for them on your medical charts at the foot of your bed. Eventually some of them catch on and they start to think you are a creep. But, they play into it by flirting back with you. You think you have a chance but before anything comes about you are discharged from the hospital.

Turn to School Time

Recover at Home

You choose to go home because nothing seems more appealing then your own bed and your mom serving you food at your beckon call. You stay indoors for a while because you don’t want to venture outside and have everyone quiz you about how you hurt yourself. This leaves you with little choice of what to do all day, every day. You end up sitting in front of the tv screen playing video games endlessly. They seem to enthrall your life and change your way of thinking. Fortunately you become well again and go back out into the world.

Turn to School Time

School Time

You have had a good relaxing break from your normal long boring days at school. But it is time to get back into the swing of things and go back to school. You really hate school but are about to graduate soon. You don’t really know what you want to do with your life and are looking for a way to make a lot of money.

Climb back up
You decide that you better not risk it and are really not interested in adventure right now. Maybe you will check back later. You start climbing back up but find it hard because the walls keep crumbling under your hands. You slip and fall but luckily land on your feet like a cat falling from a tree. You start climbing up again and avoid the spot where you fell before. Once back up in the shed you run to tell your mom about the strange hole you just found in the backyard.

Turn to tell your mom

Tony's Rough Draft

Here's the link to my word document for my rough draft. It is set up in 15 sections but I only have half of them complete at the moment, the four at the end are the only ones where a new idea comes into play. I still need to source everything which I'm working on at the moment. Any comments are appriciated.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Midterm (really) Rough Draft

Thesis: Death is a major theme in both Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and Blade Runner. Each version uses death in its own distinct way. These distinctions can be characterized and explained by the type of story being told, the medium through which it’s told and the backgrounds of the story tellers.

In the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, death can be viewed as ever present, but never directly in focus. In contrast to this the Blade Runner universe is dark and full of life and the death’s that occur are drawn out and detailed. These contrasting styles can be attributed to many factors. The most important of these factors being the story.

Although the movie is based on the novel there are important details that are changed to create a whole new story. Many of these changes are related to how death is portrayed and the role it takes in the story. In DADoES death can be viewed as ever present. The story takes place in a world trying to survive in the wake of “World War Terminus”. Suburbs are almost completely empty, “the watchful owners had either died or migrated to a colony world. Mostly the former.” (Dick 12) This contrasts with the setting of Blade Runner. The streets are crowded and busy. There is no mention of any war. Compared to the world of DADoES, the setting of Blade Runner is not that of a dying desperate world. This is the case in DADoES. There are constant mentions of radioactive dust slowly killing everyone. As Deckard exits his home at the beginning of the book he describes the air, “The morning air, spilling over with radioactive motes…haunting his nose; he sniffed involuntarily the taint of death.” (Dick 5) Right from the beginning the novel sets an atmosphere of death. It’s literally and metaphorically in the air degenerating and killing those who remain on Earth. In Blade Runner the setting is urban and industrial, but the idea that the human race is struggling to survive is not present.

The setting is not the only thing that can be connected to these contrasting themes of death. Another strongly contrasting story element is the androids themselves both in their behavior and their deaths. In both the book and the movie there are times when the androids are portrayed as both good and bad. In DADoES there is roughly an equal amount of good and bad shown in the androids. Rachael and Luba Loft are both shown as more human. Rachael in how she helps Deckard and Luba for her artistic abilities. The Batys and Pris are portrayed as slightly darker characters with Pris pulling of the legs of the spider just to see what happens. In Blade Runner the androids are shown to be much more violent and murderous. Each of the four androids that that Deckard is after try to kill him. Additionally Roy Batty himself kills Chew (the eyeball man), J.F. Sebastian and Tyrell (the Rosen of the Movie). In DADoES the fact that the androids had killed people to escape is only mentioned in passing. They are never described killing anyone in the novel. This goes along with how death is generally portrayed in the novel, it’s there, but it’s more or less in the background and smoothed over. Whereas in Blade Runner the deaths are often shown in graphic detail and the androids always fighting back.

The manner in which the androids die and how they are described further supports each versions theme of death. When looking at both versions an obvious difference that can be observed is how much detail is put into the deaths of the androids. In Blade Runner, when Deckard kills his first android Zhora (the stripper), there is a five minute chase scene followed by a slow motion scene where Deckard shoots her twice as she crashes through multiple glass windows. Compare this to any of the androids deaths and you can see the difference. None of the androids deaths are described with more than a sentence or two. The difference is most obvious in the death of the final android Roy Batty. In the movie there is a long drawn out scene, nearly 20minutes long, of Deckard running from and fighting Roy. One could say that the drawn out deaths and action scenes in Blade Runner were simply made that way in order to conform to a more Hollywood style. I do not disagree with this, but I believe this is only part of the explanation. I believe that these scenes were made to intentionally highlight the theme of death that Ridley Scott was trying to portray. Everyone one of the androids in the movie is trying to fight Deckard. They are attempting to fight death. In fact this is the androids goal throughout the movie, to find a way around their four year lifespan. The androids are aware of their inevitable deaths and are fighting and killing to survive. “I want more life, Father” says Roy Batty to Tyrell, but Tyrell informs him that this is impossible. It’s at this point that Roy then kills both Tyrell and J.F. Sebastian.

In the book the androids behave much differently. Only Polokov and Roy really make any attempts to fight back. Luba Loft does not fight and when Deckard threatens Rachael she gives up and accepts it. Deckard himself says “I can’t stand the way you androids give up.” (Dick 176) This implies that this behavior is common among the androids. Also compared to the movie the android’s deaths are not described in nearly the same detail. Deckard kills both Irmgard Baty and Roy Baty in less than two paragraphs. Even though they do put up a small fight it is nothing compared to how the androids fought in Blade Runner. In this way their deaths blend in with the rest of the story; they remain out of focus. This is consistent with how death is portrayed in the novel. As stated before even though death is always present in the novel, it is smoothed over.

It is my opinion that a book is much better at describing details than a movie, so I believe that these deaths were intentionally not described in much detail. I believe that Philip Dick does this because the deaths of the androids are not as important to the overall story for him. Dick does not attempt to highlight any of the deaths as being that important. This continues the novel’s trend of never really putting any death into focus. The book takes a more detached approach to death compared to the movie. This is further exemplified by how the death of Polokov is described. “…Rick fired his regulation issue old-style pistol from its shoulder holster; the .38 magnum slug struck the android in the head and its brain box burst.” (Dick 82) By describing the android’s brain/head, which is entirely organic, as a “brain box” Dick effectively distances the reader from the fact that Deckard just blew Polokov’s brains out.

Now that we know how death is portrayed in the novel and the movie, the more difficult question is “Why?” I believe that this question is best answered by looking at the story tellers themselves.

Need a conclusion here!