Rebuild the Internet!

First of all, forgive my artistic skills…. Anyways I had a bit of trouble deciding how I wanted to express my view of the Internet. It was not until yesterday where I decided I would try my best to write a comic. I have always loved to read comics since they usually include deeper themes than what meets the eye. The meaning of the internet that I decided to go with is the idea of our own “personal internet”.

The comic I wrote starts off with a boy who just had his first class of DGST101 and was struggling to answer the question of. What is the internet? He asks his father who gives him a very complex answer, and then his sister who gives him a much more simple yet interesting answer too. Despite having this information, he feels that both their answers do not apply to him. So what better to do than sleep on it!! In has deep sleep, he find the creator of the internet, and repeats the same question to him. The stranger gives him a 5 word response, IDK what’s it to you? Before the protagonist could respond, he is abruptly awakened by his alarm. He sits on it, and reflects in the answer until he finally understood what the response meant. He was so caught up in getting others’ answers that he never looked inside himself for his own. Looking at it now, he uses the internet for very different reasons while using very different “parts” of the internet, when compared to those he asked. As a result we each have a very different interpretation of what the internet is, causing us to have different answers to the same question!

The internet is vast and contains an immense amount of knowledge that useful to some but useless to others. To think that one day someone could explore its entirety is highly improbable. That is why we have our own personal internet. Each of us uses the internet for various different things. Some use it for their job to attend meetings and work from home. Others like me, use it for school and for entertainment. Furthermore, if I were to ask you, what the internet means to you, you would give me a different answer than I would give. Therefore, this is how we create our own personal internet. It is like a room in our mind, where we store all of the information that is meaningful to us that we find on the internet. I may find a forum here I can talk to other people that have similar interests to me, so I would store that in my personalized room. It is this idea, that prompts the “creator of the internet” to answer the protagonist’s question by saying “IDK what’s it to you”. We have to ask ourselves that question in order to find what the internet means to each of us, and the injects of our “room” is based on what we value from the internet, not on what others do.


FireWatch #3

I finished the game… I honestly did not think that it would be this short, but here we are! I have mixed feelings about the ending, since some things did not happen the way I would have wanted them to, and I wonder if that is due to my choices or not. The ambiguity of the ending is not what left me empty, it is the abrupt ending to the friendship between me and Delilah. In the end we talk about how we might see each other agin but it does not feel very impactful, I feel like if we would have known a little more about her, then us leaving without her would have had more meaning. I also saw the twist from a mile away, ever since we talked about Ned and how he was a bit sketchy, I knew that he was probably an antagonist in some sort of way. What I did not expect was for Brian to be dead in the cave. But at the same time I did not feel too impactful since we did not talk about them that much. I just feel like there should be some cutscene or more dialogue to create give us a better idea of who these characters are. I read online that most people were upset that there was not some grand conspiracy, but I am ok with the absence of one. The game already dealt with themes of letting go and moving on, which are both ever present, especially in the dialogue. After I finished the game I went to go look at the Playstation trophies and I saw that I am missing a few, not including the main storyline ones. These are mainly some extra things I have to discover so I will go back in the weekend to see if I can find them. The completionist in me cannot let that go! Overall, it is a very thought provoking game, although I feel like it needs a little more backstory to make the certain events and characters feel more meaningful. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my playthrough and would recommend it to anyone who wants to play a relaxing, yet powerful game


Brandon Rojas


9/21 Reflection: Arcade visit

I have not been to an arcade in years, so this visit brought back nostalgia from my childhood. Despite not visiting one in a long time, I have always loved arcade games such as Pacman, Mappy, Dig-dug, and Bosconian; so I was very happy to see some of those there. It as very cool to walk through the VHS rental entrance and to see the living room. I have never seen a VHS rental store, but I will probably return since I still have a VHS player at my house. The basic features of an arcade was there, the dim lighting and the multitude of games with their distinguishable sound effects. A very nice addition was the music playing in the background, their choice of music was also adequate since they played hits from the 70s and 80s. One of they key differences was that all of the games were free. This is a liberty that many people who played in arcades back in the day did not enjoy. I was really glad that it was free since I would not have been able to have so many attempts at some of the games.

I did not have much time to be there, since I had class in an hour so I only got to play a few games. The game that I chose to focus onwas Centipede, developed by Atari and designed by Donna Bailey and Ed Long. Something interesting that I found afterwards is that this game was aimed for female gamers since one of the designers was a woman. The cabinet has that standard arcade cabinet shape similar to many others in the arcade. The design on the cabinet is really comic-like, with a giant centipede on the side being shot at by the ship (us) from the bottom. There are three buttons and a ball like roller on the game. Two red buttons are dedicated to either choosing one or two players, with the last being the button pressed to shoot the gun on the spaceship. The interesting control is the roller, which is one that I have not seen before, that was used to control the ship. The cost is 25 cents per play, which is the norm for many arcade games. The game uses raster graphics and the game’s attract mode is just the game being played.

The game’s graphics are similar to that of other games at that time. It has 8-bit graphics, and the enemies are insects which have basic shapes. The centipede is comprised of circles with two small moving dots as legs and small red dots for eyes. The other insects form representations of what we think about them in real life. The spider looks like an 8-bit arachnid and is very pesky since it moves around very quickly. The lizard appears every once in a while going across the screen and it slithers at slowish speed, while the fly looks like another circle with some smaller circles for details, the same goes for the mushrooms riddled through the area.

This game’s genre can be best described as sci-fi similar to Galaga since you have to presumably destroy aliens using guns from your ship. It has a high score list and I was able to take the bottom five scores out of the eight in total. The highest score that I got was 25,355, while the high score was 57,397. I probably would not have been able to reach that even if I stayed all day! The objective of the game is to destroy the centipede by shooting out each segment. There are many things that awards points in this game, shooting the centipede, shooting the mushrooms all around you, killing the spider and the fly, and killing the lizard, which can also give you a life, that moves across the screen periodically. Interestingly, after every level the spider gets faster, but it maintains the same pattern. The lizard randomly rewards a life when you kill it, otherwise it just gives points. It is also ideal to kill the fly since it falls creating more mushrooms in a vertical line. Lastly, there is not really any specific design intended to keep you playing other than it keeps getting more difficult. The perspective of the player is looking from above to give a birds eye view of all of the arena.

The game is about killing the centipede and other insects and amphibians in order to defend what I assume is Earth. Although I do not believe we are on Earth since some game art shows the setting which look to be an alien planet, perhaps the centipede’s planet. This makes me think that perhaps this game is about us invading their planet, while the enemy is simply trying to defend it.


Brandon R


FireWatch #2

I continued off from my last entry, and I played for about 1 hour. I started the day off by fixing the window which was shattered the last time I played. Surprisingly, after that and some quick dialogue with Delilah, I skipped a few days, and ended up in the night. Then I witnessed quite a sight, a forest fire at night. I have not seen one of these in person, but even in the video game it was a horrid yet intruiging sight. It is a very sad sight since it displaces animals and destroys nature, but it something that must be rare to witness, not that I would want to!! After that there was an even bigger leap in days, I honestly was not expecting such a leap but at the same time we need to get through the summer, and I do not think that the game would be THAT long.

There was a sequence that caught me off guard, when I talked to Julia. I can’t tell if that was a dream or not, but I was definitely not expecting to talk to her. I didn’t really like any of the choices of dialogue that I had, and even I did not know what to say. I wasn’t sure whether I should be serious or let my guard down, andI felt like it was such an awkward conversation. I low-key think that they might pull a Joker and say that either Julia or Delilah doesn’t exist, I would not be surprised if something like ether were to happen since this game seems to have some darker aspects at play. After that there was a long and kind of uninteresting hike where I was supposed to get supplies, and was pretty uneventful.

The next instance that caught me off guard was at the lake. I was told to look for prints around the shore, but after 6 minutes of looking and scouring the internet for an answer, it turned out that I did not even need to look for tracks, and insteadI I needed to inspect a clipboard that I blatantly ignored in top of a rock. That is when things started to speed up, since the paper had transcripts of our conversation, and soon after I found a walkie talkie that looks like mine but red. Immediately right after that I got hit over the head by someone, and fell unconscious. I got startled because I was sitting in the dark alone, I was thinking that I made a wrong decision but I woke up and started telling my boss what happened.

Based on what I told her she informed me to go to a new area called Wapiti meadow, which was where the gate I found last time. I assumed that I wasn’t going to get it open, and therefore radioed in anticipation. After some talk about how I’m not RIPPED, she told me to go down to a firefighter camp down in the bottom right corner in the map. There was another long hike, where I took my time to see if I can find any secrets, which I sadly did not. There was a bridge leading to the campsite but it was broken, and after looking at the time I realized I had to leave real soon.

I decided to torture myself and stopped playing right there, I will probably play more this upcoming week since I did not have much time this weekend. I am really anxious to see what will happen next!!

-Brandon Rojad



What is the internet?

To me the internet is a “place” where you can roam forever and find an infinite amount of information, useful or useless. The term place is in parentheses, since the Internet has no control center, no on/off switch, and is in constant flux. The nature of the internet never in a set or fixed position which provides us the freedom to contribute from any access point, mainly our phones and computers.

Nominally there is only only one internet, although one can argue that there are other internets consisting of the dark web. However, to me there are multiple internest, or should I say multiple realms of the internet, and they can be accessed instantaneously. Even if they can be access in mere seconds, it would be nearly impossible to not only visit every site on the internet, but It would definitely be impossible to truly experience each area. There are simply too many places on the internet to fully immerse yourself and feel like it was worth being on there for each one, therefore I believe that each one of us have varying definitions of the internet, based on what we access and how we consume such information we see.

This leads into my next point: the analysis of the readings. I too resonate with Carr’s belief that taking in information from the web, changes our ability to take consume information in more traditional ways through books and articles. While I do not agree that the internet is making us dumber, it certainly may have damaging effects in other aspersions of our lives. For me, sometimes I find it difficult to read long passages of texts, more often that before. While I feel like it may have to do with the difference in the way I read online, I also feel like it has to do with the topic too. This phenomenon, to me at least, is only tied to reading, but to others may also affects the way they listen to music or podcasts, or how they watch movies. I feel like only time will tell the extent of the effects of the consumption of information via online resources. Instead of making us dumber, it is just changing how we think, while at the same time exposing us to many more sources of information.

The other article by Shirky to me shows how the introduction of such a large amount of resources, will only result in a change and development of institutions needed to support it. I think that is one of the foremost reasons why I am taking this class and why it exists. We are acquiring knowledge in digital literacy, interpreting our digital footprint, all while learning to navigate and make the most out of our experience. That is why I love the internet, I can never stop acquiring more knowledge in it and about it. It is ever changing which means that ethics and definition will always be changing which encourages me to look back and see how things have changed, and learn new things.

Brandon Rojas




Game Review 9/7

Today I am going to review a game called Super Mario World. It is another game for the SNES, which as you can tell is one of my favorite consoles ever! SMW is a side scrolling Mario game that released in 1990 and is a very long yet entertaining game. It contains a variety of worlds ranging from forest to desert settings (that have food-related names), and provides challenges of varying difficulties. One of my favorite aspects of this game is the high amount of secrets in it. In every world there is a hidden keyhole and an exit that leads to a switch tower or secret area which can help you to get other secrets in the later worlds. I remember having such a fun time discovering the secrets and beating that levels as they got more complicated. The forest world is especially interesting because there are multiple exits in each level which you need to progress and access the secret areas. The story is the same Mario plot where you need to save the princess, and where the final boss is Bowser. However, the game does not end there, siren there are two secret world filled with other less traditional levels. The castles and ghost houses feel a little spooky since the music is a bit unsettling, but for the most part it is a very cheerful game with a vibe similar to that of others in the franchise, I would definitely recommend this game to anyone who wants a chill yet challenging at time Mario game, since it is one of the great installations in this franchise. There is also a two player option where you can play with a friend if you want! It is a 9/10!!


Firewatch #1

This is my first entry for my journal, I got home today and played Firewatch for a little more than 1 hour and got the first 2 days done. First impressions of this game are that it is very relaxing. Usually for the games that I play, I am sitting up because they are very fast paced. I did not expect the first section to contain choices, and I assumes there will be implications that are yet to be seen. I found it funny how my choice of the drawing appeared later on, which was a nude drawing:(). Just like the trailer, the game is very beautiful, an eerie aspect of it is that there is little to no music! Most of the only sounds are just nature!!! After the choices and exposition in the beginning, we are introduced to the two main characters, Henry (me) and Delilah (my supervisor), based on the trailer our relationship looks like it’s become complex and perhaps romantic in the future.The storyline so far is interesting, and it seems like a very relatable story, since sometimes you need a break in life and people may find themselves in this situation, where they need an escape. While things may seem innocent, I still have that feeling deep inside of me that there is gonna be a twist at the end. There are certain things to confirm my suspicions such as the gated fields and cave, and the fact that we cannot go see Delilah. The conversations between my character and Delilah’s is is pretty much small talk with a little bit of information sprinkled here and there. I’m not gonna lie, I went exploring for a bit, and I felt a little but like a kid because I wanted to explore all of the park at once. I stopped right when I started Day 3 since I did not want to get too ahead of myself, and I want to take things slow. I can see why people call this the “walking simulator”, but it is still playable, due to the chill atmosphere and intriguing storyline! I hope to play more soon!!

Brandon Rojas



The “Antiquated” Internet

This week’s reading provides a look into what one person thought of the web in its early stages in the early 2000s. It comes off as very relatable, since the prologue consists of a person being shown something new, which is told in a narrative style. The article itself, isn’t over analytical, and instead uses examples of stories and explanations that are explained in lay terms, which also comes off as funny at times. The first chapter explores the web as an unexplored land, in which every user is using it in a different way with different expectations, and outcomes. He provides stories of his own adventures on the web consisting of looking for a quilt on e-bay, looking at another person’s quirky profile, and recounting another young man’s actions which landed him in trouble. Weinburger, uses these examples to illustrate his point of everyone creating a “new” identity online by meeting others, using different services, using such a variety of tools, and meeting different people from various areas of the globe. Thus, fulfilling the title of his work, a variety of loosely connected different interactions, transactions, and experiences that occur on the web that come to form our web persona and change the way we socialize.

The second chapter serves to paint the picture of what the web actually is. There are two examples of what the web is, the first one consists of looking down on multiple layers that show the connections between technical portions of the web. On the other hand, the second description provides a more spatial comparison to that of a map of the world. It joins together areas that share similarities and demonstrates online searches, which he emphasizes. He later draws comparison between searches in person and online. He states the idea that the web is spatial, which forms the mental image of us navigating through a sort of “shopping mall” of products and ideas so that we can get information. He also really emphasizes the notion of “visiting” places on the web, even if we are not actually moving to those places. The web, in his eyes, also allows us to participate act in ways that we would not be able to in a traditional sense. Moreover, the web allows us to visit a multitude of other sites that we may like through hyperlinks which ties back to the notion of the web being lonely connected pieces. All in all, this was a very neat way to look back on the web before some of us were even born, which also allows us to see how far we’ve come and how some norms and functions of the internet were viewed upon on in their infancy.

Logo of the famous video platform: Youtube.

I believe that my artifact, Youtube, relates to the reading in the sense that we can create a new identity for ourselves, while also reffering to the author’s method of explaining the web where it is a place that is spatial where we can see items that we like close to us. Moreover, by interacting with them, we are recommended other things that may suite our taste. It relates to my first point since. this video streaming platform took a step forward by allowing a higher degree of interactivity than just a profile online. Users can create channel and look for videos that they may enjoy or even create content, thus reinventing themselves into a new identity which may not be accepted by their in-person peers. Furthermore, anyone could make comments on these videos which could lead to meeting new like-minded people. The second point relates to the book in that Youtube recommends many other videos that we may like, ultimately putting us “closer” to creators we like, and giving us a chance to discover other content creators that have similar interests. This artifact reveals that people during this time wanted to do more than share short videos, or pictures on the net. Instead, they sought to create bigger content whether it be a vlog or a play though. Those who create this form of content also desired to provide services and entertainment, while at the same time the users wanted an escape or a simple pastime when things get slow in their daily lives. As an avid user of this platform (I am currently listing to music on it right now!!), I look back at the beginnings, such as the first Youtube video, and think how far the site has come. The small idea of a website where people could make and share videos, has branched off to so many genres, where you can look at videos ranging from DIY’s to horror game walkthroughs to sponsored advertisements. It has become a platform of entertainment for some, an outlet to express oneself, and a source of news which to others may be hard to come by. I use Youtube, mainly for entertainment, but writing about it as my artifact and reflecting on all of the other uses has really made me realize the values that this website holds. Overall, I think that Youtube has helped us from curing boredom to assisting us in an foreign tasks; and therefore we should be grateful on how it has developed in less than two decades it has been alive.

By Brandon Rojas

Blog Post 2 9/2/21



Firewatch journal.

This is the unofficial beginning for my Firewatch journal documenting my play through of the game Firewatch. I watched two trailers for the game, and so far it looks really great. The visuals look stunning, and it looks like an escape from our stressful world, into a world of relaxation, at least in the start. The two trailer seemed different siren in the 2015 version, the characters seemed to already know each other, and established a relationship, while in the 2016 version the characters just met and over problems seemed to be arising with a possible antagonist being revealed. The storyline looks to be rich and I can tell that once things hit the fan, its going to be a very bumpy ride.

Apart from that, I have never played a game like Firewatch, since I do not normally play story driven games with what it seems like little action. I had also been focused on multiplayer games. therefore,I hope that playing this game will open a new door for me!.

-Brandon 9/2/2021:)