Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Witty Text Heading

The NLO site contains a lot of what I'd like to consider kindergarten-like art. We as internet users and writers are still developing the motor skills, the very tools we need, to properly modify and depict the world around us. Right now, a lot of these projects show promise of future brilliance, but at other times I think the kid was eating glue.

As other people have discussed, Deviant was a frustrating experience. I thought the art work was creepy and the constant moving of the clickable icons was kinda creepy/annoying, but on the whole it wasn't really a story. Without text, it's hard for me to consider it a piece of literature, and without any sense of a linear path it's hard to be a story. That said, technically speaking "choose your own adventure" books tell many stories and insure a somewhat unique (or at least more personalized) tale. I think how the user selects the icons, in what order, what catches their eye, etc- can be a very important aspect of a story. What does it say that I clicked on the little moving guy in the window before the tree thing? I don't know. But I think a story can be told that incorporates those choices in a more rewarding fashion.

I also liked Red Riding Hood, but what does that say about us as a group that everyone clicked on the two obviously cartoony stories? Probably that we like cartoons. Anyway, it reminded me of an old radiohead video. I suppose music videos are as good a way as any to tell a story. I remember watching (with deep guilt mind you), some pop punk band's music video that basically depicted the story of a bank robbery. The lyrics had nothing to do with the song, but were fitting. The band became a soundtrack to this other story. Personally, I thought Garden State was just a long shins music video. Riding Hood was more interactive than a music video, of course, but they managed to get out the main messages of the project despite the various "paths" of the user. I thought it was a cool story, well settled but I wondered why it couldn't be linear. Video games get away with not being linear (Zelda, for example), because they make you assume the role of a character and are rewarded with more plot. Your actions directly affect the story. These projects, on the other hand, the user is unsure of what his/her actions will lead to. It becomes random.

For the two sites. Let's go to some oldies but goodies: http://www.yourethemannowdog.com/. Sean Connery from "Finding Forester" does his beautiful line over and over and over again. This site gets more hits than you'd think. Every college I've ever visited has seen this site. We all eat, sleep, and in between, watch this site. Brilliance.

On the lower end of the spectrum, Ninja Burger is a satire site online with some frequency, but it's lesser known fake rival is Samurai Burger. I just find jokes about eating puppies funny. But the following of Ninja Burger (you can buy t-shirts, etc) is really strange. It's a fake delivery place that became popular around the same time as realultimatepower.net, a parody ninja site. I think an entire book can be done on the success of realultimatepower alone. This fake site originally was very bare bones and not very user friendly. It still is not a very well put together website but the text is some of the weirdest and funniest stuff on the web. It went from obscurity to popularity quickly. It spawned on the internet spin off sites (Ninja Burger) that got more and more obscure (Samurai Burger, etc). How that match got lit I will never know, but it's now a part of internet culture.

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