News Flash!

Announcements regarding class

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.


Infographics for your Media Diet Project

Want to add some color to your Media Diet Project? Want to try your hand at telling a data-based digital story?

Infographics can be a great way to visualize data and statistics in context. They can also illustrate complex stories by stepping a read through ideas visually.

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You need to know a little about composition, color, balance, line, and other elements of design, but you do to need to be a professional designer to create your own infographics.

Piktochart is one of many free tools to automate the process.

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Log in and create a free account to access a number of different templates. Drag and drop visual elements, enter your data, and tell a visual/digital story to illustrate your main ideas. The main editing screen is similar to any other WYSIWYG web-builder site.


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.

Digital Archive: How Far ESPN Has Come

I am an avid reader of anything sports-related. Reddit threads, niche websites, analytics services, and random blogs all fuel this addiction. However, ESPN is by far the sports source I consistently go back to. Articles are well written, the user interface and appearance of the website is sleek and well-maintained, and news is as current as possible.

Looking back at from January 25, 1999 is a actually not that different. To my eyes, the appearance is dated and clunky (which is understandable, as it’s 15 years old), but the majority of the site hasn’t changed that drastically.

News is still formatted in a similar way, the writing is still high quality, and any new information looks like it would have been “breaking news” for that day in sports. ESPN is a Disney-owned subsidiary, so they have the technical might and know how of one of the largest media organizations in the world to help with web design, consumer-facing content, and marketing, and the website in 1999 reflects that quality.