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.

Digital-Environmental Impact

Planned Obsolescence.


Image from

It’s the thing that causes people to camp our overnight in front of the Apple store to buy the newest iPhone. It also has  a devastating impact on the environment. The utopian global community we dream about when we tell stories of the ideal digital culture can look very different when we step away from the screens on our devices and look at the earth we stand on, and the people with whom we share it.

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Adapted from V. Ryan,


In week six, we’ll discuss WHAT IS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE, environmental impact of the digital world, the handling of e-waste, and what we can do to make a change.

Media Diet Proposal COMMENTS

Friday 26 September: I am looking at your Media Diet Project proposals. Check Sakai for comments on your proposals. If by tomorrow morning you have received no comments in Sakai regarding your proposal, assume I think it is fine, and proceed with your project as planned.



If you earned a 0/1 for the Media Diet Tracking assignment listed on Sakai’s gradebook, check your link on the class website!  Make sure your link is to the front facing page of your site, and not your dashboard! I can’t get to your site from your personal login dashboard! A failure to link your site properly is the equivalent of the dog eating your homework.



If your link is correct, but you still earned a 0/1 for the Media Diet Tracking assignment listed on Sakai’s gradebook, you are about to fall seriously behind in this assignment that is worth a good portion of your final grade for the class. Catch up immediately and email me as soon as you do. Your grade will reflect the lateness of your work. If you do not hand in the first step of the assignment before the next portion is due on Oct 3, you may not earn credit for this project, and you should consider dropping the course before Oct 31 (when your transcript will show “Withdrawn-Failing”). You cannot pass this class without completing this project.


Grades are now available on Sakai. Go to Sakai, click on Comm 200, and find the Gradebook in the left hand menu. Grades on Sakai are only meant as a way for me to give you feedback. It is not a total reflection of your overall grade. If you have questions about your overall grade, please contact me.

Blog Posts earn up to 10 points each. You can find a complete rubric on the Blogging Assignment Page.

If you earned a Zero for this post and are confused by that, it’s probably because you did not categorize your post properly, and so I couldn’t find it, and so I considered it not handed in.

This may seem harsh, but I explained in class that I would search for your posts on the class blog by sorting with the Blog Post #X category. I even left a few comments on posts reminding you to update your categories! I explained that this is an essential step in this assignment. You MUST categorize your posts correctly, or else they fall into a black hole where all uncategorized content goes on the web. If you do not use tags and categories appropriately, your content gets lost, cannot be easily found, and as a result may as well not exist. It is a reasonable expectation that if you were reading a blog, and looking for posts on a certain topic, you’d use categories to sort rather than scroll through and skim every single post. Is it a surprise that I do the same?

To learn more about how people seek out information, and how content creators like you keep their work findable, check out Peter Morville’s books Ambient Findability and Interwingled where he describes the importance of keeping found things found, and the interconnectedness of content online. You can also read his blog, Findability.


One-Time Deal

For Blog Post #1, I will cut you some slack. If your earned a zero despite actually posting your assignment on time, go update your categories, and email me the permalink to your post, and I will grade your work. This offer is made on the honor system.