Queerskins

This might be my favorite piece of e-lit so far. This might be the most intriguing piece of e-lit I’ve seen so far. At the ‘work website’-webpage I barely glanced over the work “transmedia”. I know I’d read / heard it before, but couldn’t quite place its meaning at that moment — but, oh boy, did I get a nice reminder of its definition.

Going through Queerskins: a novel, I was introduced to a means of presentation which I hadn’t considered as an option so far in our classes. Each division of chapters hold their own number of medias used to present the story. These options are either, short snippets of videos, excerpts of written diary entries, or — sometimes even — a few still photography. These different medias are all combined in to a single piece in an effort to instill atmosphere and presenting a story through the reader placing themselves in the character’s place — instead of simply presenting it as one would in a strictly written piece of media. And as far as I’m concerned, it worked. It seems to me that video clips is the most frequently used form of presentation in this piece, but the choice to make them short and narrated gives the illusion that they’re just as much diary entries as the physically written parts of the piece. This is sort of ingenious, because the author is basically feeding the reader the same story with two different medias which is made so similar and intertwined between each other that the reader is offered various choices that still are very similar to one another. The diary entries are a nice break from the more frequently used video clips while people usually think of video as a welcomed break from reading, only here it’s reversed.

The content of Queerskins, at its face value, seemed to me to be limited in its nature — but once I got past the Missouri chapter I started to realize how big the picture actually was. I was drawn to the story of Sebastian and the way in which it was presented. It got my brain going and I was able to pour some of the inspiration I gathered from this piece into my own project for the class. Although I didn’t finish Queerskins, I did bookmark it so that I could come back to it at a later time, after all, I think I could learn a few thinks from the execution of the presentation in this piece. There’s certainly a great deal of things I would like to add to my “wish list” regarding my own project.

My own project:

Mia proposed that I consider a hypertext tool named “Inklewriter” to see whether or not that’s a media that I can use for me project. Although I’m not entirely satisfied with its “somewhat” limited functions, I’m thinking it’s at least a safe choice for me to be able to use to flesh out the content. I’ll more than likely feel like the visual and atmosphere aspect of the piece would be lost — unless I did some severe changes to the setting altogether.

The way I look at it now is I have to focus on the complicated design of the pathing system to the piece. There’s a red line through the content that the reader is supposed to follow, and then there’s the multiple diverging paths that lead to extra information and extra choices. I need to find a way to make all of that intricate content flow naturally while it’s also manageable for someone like me who’s never tried to work with either Inklewriter or Twine before. I’ve done some research into Twine and I’m starting to think that Twine might be the right option for me, but I need to play around with it more before I can tell.

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