Author: mdocx1

professor of digital communication at Loyola University Chicago, School of Communication

Just A Note On Net Neutrality



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Recently, politicians have been muddying the idea of Net Neutrality, either due to political influence or due to misunderstanding of the issue. Here’s an explanation of the issue to clear things up…From The Oatmeal.


Digital Ethics Symposium, Friday 7 November


Check out the Schedule for the Digital Ethics Symposium to see what sessions you might like to attend on Friday.

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Remember, you have homework–write a blog post about one session, and earn up to 10 extra credit points by writing a second post about an additional session. Check the schedule for details.

FDM has a new class for spring 2015!

COMM 371-201 Interactive Storytelling

Video by Martin Ngo.

with Prof Meghan Dougherty

Tuesdays 7-930p

Play an Interactive Story to learn more about the class

COMM371: What is Interactive Storytelling? 

Professor Dougherty used one of the tools she’ll teach—Twine—to build an interactive story about this new class. Play through to read the course description, learn a bit about the interactive game-making tools you’ll use in class, and find links to great example games you can play. Don’t worry—when you decide to register (and I know you will!) you’ll find a link to Locus on each page.

One of the inspirations for this new class was a game called Depression Quest by Zoe Quinn. She used Twine to create an advocacy game that could help players understand what it is like to live with Depression. After releasing her game, there was much backlash from a small, but vocal part of the gaming community we now know as #GamerGate. In class you’ll discuss the role of games in advocacy, journalism, and other nonfiction writing. You’ll also discuss what role serious nonfiction stories can have in games. Since this is a production class, you’ll build your own story-games as Hypercomics, Twines, and Interactive Fictions. Log in to Locus to register.

The Great Web 1.0 Revival


Kyle Chayka, writing for Gizmodo, discusses nostalgia for the early Web in his article “The Great Web 1.o Revival.” He describes different kinds of early online communities, how they used anonymity to their advantage to create a safe and intimate space to interact and play with identity.

“When it first got popular, Facebook was like the back room at a club: A cozy space filled with just your friends, everyone clearly connected to everyone else. Now, it’s more like a stadium, with thousands of voices competing to be heard on every activity feed. Brands and strangers clamor for attention alongside people you might actually know, and it’s getting harder to connect with the people you really want to reach. But the web doesn’t have to be so big.”

In today’s Web, he writes, online communities can feel too large, overwhelming, and too vulnerable to outsiders. There’s a new batch of online communities that are modeling some of their core design features after early Web communities in an effort to create more intimate communities.

#GamerGate links from class




Deadspin, The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It’s Gamergate

a fairly comprehensive history and critique of the whole #Gamergate story from it’s beginning to the events of 14/15 October.


HuffPost Live, Female Gamers React To #GamerGate

A video interview with female gamers who support #GamerGate.

NYTimes, Anita Sarkeesian, A Video Game Critic, Cancels Speech After Threats Of Massacre

A brief report on the canceling of the USU event cancellation.


Washington Post, The Only Guide To Gamergate You Will Ever Need To Read

…but you will read others because trusting ONE version of such a complex situation is irresponsible, and you are smarter than that so will look up multiple sources to understand multiple angles on not only the events of 14/15 October, but the #Gamergate hashtag, the reddit thread, live-streamed and archived audio debates from the recent Digital Games Researchers Association Meeting (DiGRA) where Jenni Goodchild, a scholar and gamer, debated “representatives” from #Gamergate…

Other Voices on Games and/or Feminism

Washington Post, Allison Bechdel Just Won A McArthur Foundation Genius Grant. She’s Already Changed The Way We Talk About Film

Allison Bechdel’s website , Dykes To Watch Out For, has more.


TED Talks, Jane McGonigal, The Game That Can Add Ten Years To Your Life

Designed Distractions


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Image courtesy NPR’s Planet Money.

After our discussion in class yesterday about designed distractions, digital duality, and how to live a life lived in media, this piece from NPR’s Planet Money is particularly interesting. In her report, You Can Create A Hit Video Game About Anything. Even Making Toast, Stacey Vanek Smith explores the lengths game designers go to design elements that bring you back, keep you distracted, and stoke your need for more.