Testing, 1 2 3

This is the very first post on the site! I am using it to make sure that everything is up and running like it should. Hopefully everyone can read this and likes what they see. Give the about page a look to learn a little more about me!

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Artists Statement

The idea for the final project for this class was by far the easiest to come up with. My partner Joseph Donoughe and I knew straight away when the suggestion to use ideas from past projects to create the final was expressed in class. I worked with Joe on every narrative but one over the course of this class, and we both agree that three of the projects really stood out as our favorites. We decided to use these three as the basis for our final, by picking out the parts of each and fusing them together into an all new narrative that shows the reader who we are and the type of content that we like to consume.

The first of the three narratives from the class that we took inspiration from was the collaborative narrative. This is the only project that Joe and I did not work on as a team, although I was one of the collaborators in his project. My project focussed on an event that takes place every year at the end of staff training where I work over the summer. It uses screenshots of snapchats with captions explaining various sections of the event told by every member of the staff from the past year. I took the responses from my coworkers, added my own memories, and uploaded them to my class blog in chronological order (https://thekevinwilson.wordpress.com/2017/10/06/the-collaborative-crucible/). I really enjoyed the collaborative nature of this project, especially the act of taking the responses of others and rearranging them to make a coherent story.

Next was the interactive narrative that I made with Joe(https://drive.google.com/file/d/1id2BGOzYIg2OajRa6-uZc6JZAxhU9Adc/view?usp=drivesdk). We used Twine to create a branching story that provides the user with choices at each step of the story. These choices greatly changed the course of the story and lead to many different endings. In the end, there were sixty five different paths that one could take to get to the various endings of the story. The picture below is a map of each possible path that the user can follow.Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 10.45.05 PM

We had a great time coming up with this narrative and loved the branching nature of the story progression. Twine (http://twinery.org/) was also very easy to work with and made creating a polished, compelling story a very simple process.

The last of the three narratives that inspired our final project was our mashup. We took famous movie scenes and quotes, and changes their meaning by quickly switching to clips of White Goodman from Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTZr9_WHNI0).

white-goodman-dodgeball

These quick swaps changed the meaning of every scene that we included in the video, and became a hilarious compilation of White Goodman interrupting some of the most well known movies that we could think of. The project turned out better than we expected, and was our favorite one to make by far.

So with these three projects fresh in our minds, the idea for the final project fell into place. We decided to use our favorite component from each of the three projects explained above, and mash them together into one larger narrative. The process was actually much easier than we expected. First, we asked friends and family to provide us with characters, settings, and events that they would want to see in a story. Joe and I sifted through each of these responses and picked out ones that we liked or could relate to in some way. We ended up choosing Adam Sandler, Spongebob, and Eric Cartman as our three characters. The events that we chose range anywhere from going out to dinner, meeting clint eastwood, to driving to the atlantic ocean. We then took these core ideas, and constructed an interactive story using Twine 2. Finally, with a little help from this article (https://twinery.org/wiki/twine2:add_an_image_movie_sound_effect_or_music),  we added videos and images to most of the pages in the twine story to add a remixed multimedia aspect to the project. You experience different versions of each character based on what path you take through the story.

In the end, Joe and I were extremely pleased with how the story turned out. The images and video really gave the story some personality and helped to draw the reader into the events of the story. It also features many characters and personalities that are favorites of ours. This gives the reader a strong sense of who we are and what we enjoy in entertainment and social media. We are very proud of the final product, and hope that our readers enjoy the experience!

Below is a link to download the html file for our final project!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/f3kl06gft18x21f/Final%20%282%29.html?dl=0

Procrastination

This week, Kleon asked us to describe our favorite method of procrastination. For the first time in a few weeks, I didn’t have to think for more than a few seconds about what my response should be.  100% of the time, I end up procrastinating with YouTube. It is such an easy platform to get lost on and it is so easily to access that it is hard to put down. I am subscribed to far too many channels, and I always seem to miss videos that I want to watch because I don’t have the time to get to them all. Because of this, when I start to procrastinate, I fill that time with YouTube videos. I even justify this in my head by telling myself that most of the channels are in some way educational or informative. I’m not wasting my time, I’m gaining useful knowledge about a subject that I did not previously understand. Or I am getting up to speed on current events so that I know what is happening with the world, right? Even if I am not being informed, I am easily entertained on YouTube. There are so many funny and interesting topics that are covered extensibly on the site. I am nearly sure that it is impossible to be bored as long as it is open in my browser. I rarely procrastinate, but when I do, it is certainly because of YouTube And even though I know what is happening when I do this, I have a very hard time breaking out of it. It is something that I definitely need to work on, but I don’t see any major changes coming any time soon.

Describe What You Do in Six Words

For this blog post, Kleon asked us to “Describe what we do in six words” This question took me more time than I expected. The more that I thought about the problem, the more things came to mind that I think define who I am. I do vastly different things in varying places and with many different people, and almost all of it is very important to who I am as a person. When I eventually boiled everything down, I came to 6 specific categories: Technology, outdoors, school, family, and Outdoor Odyssey (where I work and regularly visit). These categories have very few similarities, which made me realize how odd my interests are when they are all put together. Most people that are interested in tech have very little interest in the sort of outdoor activities that I love, and vice versa. I feel that these odd pairings are a good thing however, because they make me the person that I am. All of the six things that I chose are things that I truly care about and hold a very special place in my life. I would be a completely different person if it were not for each of those six things, and that person would not be me. Abstracting this prompt even further, the exercise will bring to light the uniqueness of everyone that does it, and give them a strong feeling of who they really are.

Influences

In this week’s prompt, Kleon asked me to create my creative family tree. This tree was to start with the person from social media that influences me the most, and then branch up from that person with their influences, the people that influence those influencers, and so on. For me, it was difficult to think about somebody from social media who influences me because I rarely consume any form of social media other than YouTube. In addition, the channels that I am subscribed to are almost purely informational, and have very little impact on the way that I think about things. However, if I had to choose one person that has some influence on my life from social media, I would choose Philip DeFranco. His is the host and owner of a daily news channel. Every day, he covers current events and news stories from a purely factual basis. He then explain his opinion on each story and asks his audience to share their views in the comments. Doing this, he creates a conversation instead of a rant about his own personal views. This type of character is truly inspiring to me and most likely influenced the way that I look at many current events happening around the world. His style of reporting shows that giving the straight facts from an unbiased standpoint first, rather than a pointed biased rant, is the only way to properly spread word about current events and tragedies. I like to think that this is how I approach the current world news before I decide what my personal opinion is, and also realize that my opinions on any given subject are just that. Opinions. I feel that this is the only positive way to report the news, and Phillip Defranco is leading the way for hopefully all other news stations to follow.

We Should Start a Union

This week’s Kleon prompt asked me to write something that “could get me fired, expelled, or disowned.” Something that could get me fired was extremely easy to think about. “We should start a union.” My boss works is a manager at the company where he works, and he also owns his own business where I work. There was a strong push for a workers union between workers a few years ago that had extremely unreasonable terms. They we’re asking for salaries and perks that would essentially cripple the company. My boss and the other higher ups in the company fight the union and spoke with the workers to try to encourage them to vote against it. I’m the end, the union was never established. But because of this situation, the relationship between the workers and management would never be on very good terms. This incident left a terrible connotation about unions with my boss, so even mentioning starting a union would likely get me fired. I think I may stay away from talking about that while he is around.

Also, click the link to download the HTML file for an interactive narrative that I made along with Joe Donoughe! You can download the file and open it in a web browser to see if you can survive a last final project as a college student.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1id2BGOzYIg2OajRa6-uZc6JZAxhU9Adc/view?usp=drivesdk

An Odd Mix

The Kleon prompt for this week asked me to make a mixtape for someone who doesn’t know me. Simple as it seems, this one actually took some thought for me. Frankly, I listen to pretty unpopular music. The majority if the genres and artists that I enjoy just aren’t in the spotlight anymore. I don’t listen to the radio, and I can’t use a streaming service like spotify because they don’t have many of my favorite bands and songs yet. My music collection is the culmination of years of buying songs and albums, and is all stored locally on my phone and my Mac (mirror copies unless one tries to delete itself). To many people, my music collection doesn’t make much sense. It is mainly comprised of two genres, alternative/punk rock and ska. If you don’t know what ska is, think of a normal alternative rock song and then add a horn section. It is definitely a weird combination having guitar riffs paired with trombones and trumpets, but something about it really has me hooked. In  addition to those two main genres, I also really enjoy comedy musicians, such as Weird Al or The Axis of Awesome, Irish rock/folk music, and mashups. Putting all of these vastly different types of music together never gets old, and gives me a surprising playlist every time that I press play. Here is the Mixtape that I came up with.

  1. Jesus of Suburbia – Green Day
  2. Iron Fist – Goldfinger
  3. Sell Out – Reel Big Fish
  4. A Message to the Angels – Direct Hit!
  5. Get Over It – OK Go
  6. Stick To Your Guns – Watsky
  7. Welcome to My Life – Less Than Jake
  8. Favorite Sun – Green Day
  9. S.R. (The Many Versions Of) – Reel Big Fish
  10. Do the Sick – Direct Hit!

Taking a different approach to this prompt, I also thought about ways to make it an interactive narrative. The user could answer a set of questions to get a feel for the kind of music that they like and then get a customized list of songs from my music library based on what they like. That way each person would have a custom list of songs instead of one static list for everyone.

Why shouldn’t I do this in public?

This week, the Kleon prompt asked a very peculiar question. “What do you do in private that could be done in public? Why don’t you?” It actually took me off guard when I started to think about my answer to this prompt because there are so many things that I usually refuse to do in public that are harmless. The most prominent action that I do not like to do in public is by far watch YouTube. When I do watch YouTube videos in the view of others, I always feel a little uncomfortable. The fact that strangers will know the type of things that I watch online gives me a pretty strange feeling. These people don’t know me, so the only thing that they can know me and judge me by is what they saw me watching. To them, am I that guy that just watches other people play video games, or that guy that watches these weird seemingly random videos that have no point? Most of the content that I consume on the site is very in depth and thought provoking and without the proper context may seem very stupid to passerby. It is hard to understand why somebody is staring at screen showing the scattered insides of a smartphone without the proper context. So usually, I only watch YouTube in public if I can sit in a corner where my screen is only visible to me, and if I have headphones to keep the audio to myself. I understand that it is a weird thing to be conscious of. Who doesn’t browse through YouTube videos on a nearly daily basis? It is something that I should most likely stop thinking about. Writing for this prompt clearly showed me how irrational of a fear this is!

In addition, if you are interested in checking out a location based narrative that I collaborated on with Joe Donoughe, click this link!