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One theme that Elsaesse and Hagener missed the boat on was the “skin” of physical non-living objects in cinema, and the producers ability to create emotional attachment to these objects to the audience. The first non-living object that comes to mind is car, however this skin-audience attachment relates with many other things. In fact, as I put my mind to it, I can’t think of anything that completely and wholly does not have some sort of skin. It’s the interactions with these objects that creates meaning, not the physical skin itself.

If a car crashes, the first things that goes is it’s skin. Then liquids spew from its under happenings, before it is towed away. How is this much different from a human body? I could make this metaphor for just about anything, just like I can relate everything to having a skin.

How does the producer make this emotional attachment? In the movie Gone in Sixty Seconds, the audience ultimately develops an attachment to a 1967 Shelby GT500 . As the scenes progress, many other cars get trashed in which the audience has no attachment to, yet the GT500 is clearly invested.

Looking at a very similar situation, the new movie Django has multiple scenes where many non-emotionally attached people die in which the audience has very little emotional remorse, yet when people actually matter, the audience feels pain. Very similar to the GT500 situation.

Maybe this subject comes up later in their writings, but I feel the relationship of human emotions, and “skin” in cinema is far deeper than one that only applies to living organisms.


Murch claims that film is like thought and is the closest to thought process of any art. I am at odds with this statement. I suppose we need to define art. Is Design art? Is Experience Design art? This has been heavily debated, and I’m not ready to join the discourse, yet. However, as Experience Designers or Interaction Designers, we are required to understand reactions, interactions and the human experience as a whole. Therefore, what we do necessarily requires a near identical mapping to expectations and thoughts of people.

This idea of leaving out, or cutting away information to create an experience, sentiment, affect, what have you, is the most important aspect of storytelling. Whether it be with data, film, or just within conversation, we simply cannot express or share everything. If we did, the details would be lost and become meaningless. Of course what is revealed or hidden is contingent, and therefore, I will call this contextual selection.

Consider this interactive visualization of the evolution of the world wide web.

It doesn’t include a pre-history to computing, specific people involved, nor does it include information about hardware or other programming languages. The context is quite clear; this is about the web.  Here we have a layout of browsers & markup languages, when they were introduced, and how each technology and development interacted with one another over time. What I want to bring attention to is the amount of information presented. The visualization invites the user to explore and decide what information to bring to his or her own attention. Even with this free-form set-up, the intent seems to invoke amazement at the growth and evolution of the internet as well as provide a more comprehensive understanding of said evolution. This information was designed in this way. It was curated and presented for this specific context and purpose. This is what we do as designers. We mimic and create thought and interactions. It may be called art, but it is definitely a form of manipulation.

Today’s class and readings focused on cinematic editing and the directorial voice. I thought this tied into some up-and-coming social media tools.

Vine is an app that allows users to create 6 second videos. The launch post from the company introduces their product as:


Posts on Vine are about abbreviation — the shortened form of something larger. They’re little windows into the people, settings, ideas and objects that make up your life. They’re quirky, and we think that’s part of what makes them so special.

We’re also happy to share the news that Vine has been acquired by Twitter. Our companies share similar values and goals; like Twitter, we want to make it easier for people to come together to share and discover what’s happening in the world. We also believe constraint inspires creativity, whether it’s through a 140-character Tweet or a six-second video.

Other sites such as VinePeek (site disclaimer: This stream is coming straight from Vine and is unmoderated. You have been warned”. I have only seen one inappropriate video pop up). Create a stream of these 6-second videos.

With the constraint of only 6 seconds, how do themes and concepts for this weeks reading map to this app and the videos produced? Does the fact that it’s perpetuated by social media change any of that? Have you used this before? How and why did you edit videos the ways you did? I want to hear all about your thoughts on vine!

Seriously, I wasted way too much time on VinePeek the other day. It’s pretty cool.

I recently watched Moleman 2, a free movie about Demoscene. Demoscene is a form of competitive extreme programming which tries to fit complex animations and music–visual demos–into incredibly small amounts of space, typically 4-64kb (up to 256kb).


Demoscene is actually the source of a few notable elements of pop culture today. Major game developers DICE (of Battlefield fame) and Remedy (creators of Max Payne and Alan Wake) were born of Demoscene. Demoscene is also widely debated as the creator and source of what is now known as dubstep (which can be said to have emerged from downtempo but not refined until  demoscene).

At it’s core, demoscene is an insular group with purely competitive intentions. It’s not about the money (which is nonexistent), but rather about thrill of the hunt, and the pursuit of fame and glory in a small cultural subgroup. I would say that it also embodies a sense of the aesthetic. Our early reading of Eaton would likely classify it as such through the four forms of theory. The scene is deemed as aesthetic creation by its artists, the demo writers. Viewers can appreciate the output as visually pleasing in some sense, even if it appears chaotic and confusing. The object, the demos themselves, are the focus and the output of the demoscene group, which can only be fully grasped by members of that group. Finally, the context brings it meaning. The same videos would not be impressive were they created with 3D modelling tools, it’s the fact that they are forms of extreme limitation. Like Eaton claims, the art isn’t the thing, it’s the perception of the thing.

So I wanted to share with you all my writing topic and get your feedback. It is rough around the edges; and I have two directions I have been thinking of. Luckily this is a writing assignment that will never be written :).

I began with Collingwoods article on Craft vs Art. When I first read it my mind jumped to Six Sense and I attempted to situate the interaction (and I am using this film as an interaction) within this article.

So I have been thinking of tying these two thoughts:

1. How the Director of the film is Directing the  audience (110) through a myriad of stimulus “to produce desired reaction” (111) and

2. How the film is a craft but embedded within it is a work of art–‘expressed emotion’ (111).

However while I was thinking about this Art within a Craft I began to think about Video Diaries–as a separate interaction/paper idea. For this interaction I have been considering the direction of  Crafted Expression: Emergent emotion within a structured medium. The mixing of manipulation and emotional discovery. I don’t even know if this is clear or just rambling so I will also include rant in my categories.

Feedback desired!!!

Some Like It Hot: Friction in Interaction Design

Abstract: In the field of Human-Computer Interaction, onscreen digital interfaces continue to evolve as a primary means of interacting with digital artifacts. In many ways, however, the development of meaningful and compelling onscreen interactions has been sparse. In this paper, formal qualities of interactions in video games, referred to as “frictions” by Tim Rogers, will first be examined through the lens aesthetic theory for their potential to create a compelling and meaningful interaction. Afterwards, friction’s usefulness outside of the arena of video games will be considered.


Thanks for your help, everyone!


if anyone who was linked here from kotaku wants to see my other work, feel free to check it out and comment!


My friend is throwing a pastabilities dinner party. The concept? Come over and eat a variety of pastas. She joked that the front door sign would be written in linguine noodles. I hope everyone here is thinking about macaroni art. That’s the stuff kids do in kindergarten, that parents put up on the refrigerator, even though it’s very low form craft and not so much art unless you love your kid unconditionally, then it’s a masterpiece, I guess.

the perfect pile of macaroni

If I were a great artist, I would do an entire series protesting the feminine and masculine kinds of design up on the board yesterday. I would make beautiful illustrations with puffy paint. I would make breathtaking impressionist style designs on denim using a bejewling bedeazzler. I would sculpt stunning forms of the human body with dry crumbly play-doh. You know what my mudpies would taste like? Black Forrest Cake! I will make couture dresses from needleloft  and runway friendly footware with painted Ked’s canvas shoes. You would fall off your chair in astonishment when you saw my beautifully lit studio that only uses holiday lights. The only way Ansel Adams photos could look better is if they were redesigned with stick on googley eyes.

Listen folks. I would do this if I were more invested in being a great artist. Why? Because I reject lists that say certain kinds of work belong in certain categories (masculine, feminine, high or low). Art, design and interpretation is much more fluid than that. Come on.

Credits to my dear friend Sona for the idea to bedazzle Monet on denim and always for design inspiration.

*ChickpeaIn 2007, I went to Stone Henge. It was designed.

Dylan Tweney, Senior Editor, at Wired Magazine probably never took an interaction design course with Jeff Bardzell or Erik Stolterman. In an Atlantic magazine article yesterday, her wrote about the “undesigned web.” Yesterday, in class, Jeff had a conversation with our class about how everyone is a designer. Everything is designed, we all make assumptions and decisions with our goals in mind at many points during our days and lives.

Tweney says:

Message and presentation were inextricably intertwined, with the latter lending power, impact and even meaning to the former. Not for nothing was Marshall McLuhan able to say, with gnomic brevity but not a little insight, “the medium is the message.”

But in the 21st century, Internet standards have successfully separated design and content. The two live more interdependent lives, sometimes tightly tied and sometimes completely separated from one another.

The message is now free from the medium.

It’s that separability of design and text that has led to the third wave of the web, in which readers (or what some would call end-users) are in control of how the content they are reading looks. And, as it turns out, many of those readers like their designs to be as minimal as possible.

Call this wave The Undesigned Web.

This wave has two faces. One is the trend towards more minimal, readable designs. The other is the imperative to make content as easily reformattable as possible, separating content from the designs in which it’s initially clothed.

You can see it at work in tools like Instapaper and Readability. You can see it in applications like Flipboard, which filter and reformat news through the lens of your social network. And you can see it in news readers like Google News, which present every website’s latest articles in a consistent, quickly-scannable and easily searchable format.

In fact, it’s possible not just for publishers, but for readers and viewers to recast the message into new media, stripping it of its former context and reformatting, republishing, and reframing it at will.

I challenge you Tweney, is this system not design itself?

A minmal, readable design is absolutely still a design. When has minimalism ever been the absence of design? The absence of design is not possible. is minimal. Craigslist is minimal. Even the Vuvuzela app, which is basically a button that plays one magical sound, is minimal. But those have all certainly been designed. Even if someone creates a website and knows nothing of design like a professional does, the decisions they make or do not make, are still design.

What he means here is a fixed, formal layout. A person has not physically hand coded or crafted a layout specific to the medium. TechCrunch probably reads best on and the New York Times probably reads the best on I write my posts such that they fit the widths and paragraph styles of this blog!

But, are these content producers, developers and designers not  not also considering feed readers and services like Instapaper? The good ones are. They should be. They might be doing it without even thinking about it. That being said, does it not then make the content still designed? It does.


*Upon user research with 3 HCI students, there was a unanimous decision to include Stone Henge with chicken versus without.

Csicsery-Ronay talks about the concept of science-fictionality:

“This widespread normalization of what is essentially a style of estrangement and dislocation has stimulated the development of science-fictional habits of mind, so that we no longer treat sf as purely a genre engine producing formulaic events, rather as a kind of awareness we might call science-fictionality, a mode of response that frames and tests experiences as if they were aspects of a work of science fiction.”

I tried to think of a few places in interaction design where the user is called upon to use science-fictionality in their experience with a design. Many video games that require problem solving skills do this, by setting up a set of rules in a reality that doesn’t necessarily mirror ours precisely, and asking us to solve problems by following the alternate reality’s rules. I know there must be other examples, maybe in our day to day life.

After discussing realism in Machinima, I thought it would be helpful to find four examples that correspond to the four styles of Machinimatic realism, other than those presented in the paper.  I’ll also mention that I have no background with Machinima, and little background of the actual games many of the Machinima videos are created in.  I will be using Halo for the examples in this post, as that is what I have most experience in.

I’ll start with the first style:

[1a] Simply recording game play, using screen capture software, a practice that may or may not include the UI (depending on whether diegetic vs non-diegetic aspects of the game play are important)

Although I feel this style seems the most straightforward, I wonder if it is being naive to assume this is the reality of gameplay.  This goes back to the idea that once a camera (or screen capture software) is introduced, does this change how players interact with others, as well as the game?  I would have to assume it does, unless it is not known that the gameplay is being captured.

So below is the first example.  It is simply a multi-player battle between a red, blue, and green team.  There is no communication that can be seen in the video, and is simply following a member of the red team as he plays.  As I mentioned before, very straightforward.

Now lets move on to the second style:

[2a] Stylizing the presentation of the game world to express internal psychological phenomena or fantasies, that is, events that have no literal place in the diegetic world of the game or in the typical experience of playing it.

The example I have provided below is once again created using the game world of Halo, and is a troubling story simply about a man (a soldier because of the constraints of Halo) that is walking the desert alone, after somehow losing somebody that they have loved.  This story ends with the soldier raising his gun towards his head, implying suicide.  This also is contradicting in Halo, because you simply ‘re-spawn’ and little damage is done, but an emotional connection is created through the video.  I believe this would fit in this category, but I am not quite sure.  Video is below.

Next the third style:

[3a] Presenting the game’s reality in a truthful and clarifying way, whether it is some aspect of the diegetic game lore and/or an aspect of non-diegetic game play.

For this style, if I am understanding it correctly, is presenting ‘real’ gameplay, but it can have been edited or planned, as long as it is bringing to the forefront actual characteristics of the game/gameplay.  So for this example, the video shows a battle paused in time, with a dramatic soundtrack playing in the background.  It eventually turns into a slow motion battle scene, specifically showing teams in battle, and soldiers falling in defeat.  I feel this could also have some aspects of style [2a], but fell more into this category.  It visualizes to the viewer how hectic the gameplay is, even though they would not experience this scene in normal gameplay.

Now to move on to the final style:

[4a] Presenting game reality in a way that corresponds to our experience, regardless of the means by which the finished video is actually constructed.

I’ll be honest, this is the style that I find confusing when looking for examples.  I understand the example that is presented in the paper, but have a hard time actually applying that style and finding other examples.  Maybe if somebody knows of a good one, they could leave it in the comments.