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ADH project update

In this video, we talked about the various ideas and next steps that we would be taking. We summarized some of it into a few main points. It was great to be able to all contribute to this document throughout the semester, and it will definitely serve us well since we will be able to go back here for inspiration and to post any other ideas that we may have.

As for video, we are not too sure if it will be needed for this project since we feel like the focus should be on the pictures themselves. The inclusion of other forms of media will only blur our goals and take attention away from the “big picture”.


ADH Post #3

For this review, I decided to look at sites that have similar goals as my group does!

From the first list, I looked at created in 2014

My first impressions of this site are that I like the blend of colors. The red and blue are dark which contrast the white lettering on it. I realized that the colors are those that make up the American flag which fits the overall theme of this website. Another aspect that I found useful was the mission and vision statements. I feel like they were very clear and that I was able to measure if they succeeded in their goals based on those statements.

I then went to the timeline and saw that it has some neat features such as filters, embedded links, and additional snippets of information if you click on them. I then looked at the maps section and found that it was very similar to that timeline as it has a filter and embedded links that will take you to other pages on the site. The lesson plans section was also neat, although this is probably something that we will not pursue.

It is very organized and uses a multitude of primary and secondary sources including images, scholarly essays with each having its tab on the menu on the home page. Most, if not, all of the site is functional and I did not see any signs of “wear and tear” on the site page.

The first site from the second list is

I chose this one since it was relatively similar to what our project entails. At a first glance, this site does look a bit older than the previous one and it is in fact from 2012. A few things that I liked were the keywords at the bottom with the bigger ones appearing more. The color choices also coincided with the main primary source, the diary, and its page color which added to a rustic atmosphere. While I think that they did a great job of transcribing every single diary entry, the site does not seem too user-friendly. I find the top menu which just includes numbers to be a bit daunting and every time I clicked the button to go to the next entry it would show what looks like to be some things that were meant to be kept behind the scenes. The thing that threw me the most off is the top menu which has options to go to other sites. It is odd since they take you directly to Villanova University’s library page which is extremely different from the Davis diaries page.

The second site from this list I chose is

I remember hearing this reference during last class so I thought that I should give it a read. It seems like support for the site ended around 2007, and I can see how some of this site may seem antiquated. Some portions lead to nowhere and even some of the primary sources are not very accessible at all. I found some of their maps a bit hard to read and would require some additional explanation or just for them to be a bit bigger. Other than that, there is a plethora of information coming from different types of primary sources ranging from maps, pictures, government records, and newspapers. The display can be a bit scary since the ain page has links that are organized into what seems to be an overhead view of a building. These links then lead to very barebone search pages which were still mostly functional. I feel like there is a lot of information here which is something that I want to have on my site, but I also see how there needs to be an effort to keep things functional and accessible to others. I also hope to avoid having this barebones look, since I want our site to feel alive!

The last site I chose was

This last site is different than the others since it served as a proposal for the UVA slavery memorial project. This site was created back in 2013 and I checked and the memorial is standing there right now. What was most surprising was how the site was still well maintained and regularly updated! Many links included more information on the broader aspects of the importance of this project. The site was relatively simple yet it carried much historical value through the use of images and videos to understand the importance of recognizing slavery in their college’s history. Overall I like the amount of space dedicated to ways that the audience can find more information. The site itself also emitted this aura of importance since it included many other links to key institutions which helped and are a part of their effort.


ADH Post #2

The first site that I chose to explore was

What I found most attractive about this site was how it could be instantly translated into Spanish. Not only does this benefit many Spanish-speaking scholars, but it also helps a large portion of Hispanic people who either cannot read in English or lack the digital literacy to use other services to translate the page. Instead, there is a giant button in the middle of the page that translates the page fully. After reading the selected chapters from the digital history book and from my experience online, I have come to appreciate the value of accessibility of websites. Apart from that it is very well organized, it has many qualities that are mentioned in the book such as XML search, good fonts, a good mixture of colors, and a plethora of different types of media including videos and audio recordings that span from 10 minutes to over an hour. I found that I had an easy time navigating the site and it made me interested in the material that was there.

The second site I chose was

I chose this one because it was an archive of digitalized images which is similar to what I and my group will be doing over the course of the semester.

The most interesting aspect of this site was the organization. It has much information not only on the content of the artifact but where it came from, its source type, its citation, etc. The site was also remarkably simple, it had a menu bar and an XML search box, but apart from that, there was not too much else on it which made it less cluttered than many other sites. The menu leads to all of the relevant sections that one would want to go to, which helped in the navigation of the site overall.

I feel like both sites have certain aspects that I like and that I found in the book too. I hope to continue doing some research on ways that I can contribute to the brainstorming for our scrapbook site!


Adventures in History Intro Post!

I am taking this class because it really caught my eye last semester. I have always been interested in history so the opportunity to work on projects where can digitize them and make them more accessible and interactive for others really pulled me in.

Digital History is the use of digital tools to further interactivity with an ever-growing audience, essentially it is rejuvenating history that has been previously recorded in a static medium.

Digital Humanities is what the previous term falls under. It follows the same definition as DIgital History but it encapsulates more areas of the humanities.

They are different because the former is a bit more constrained to areas of history, while the latter has more freedom in where the information can go.


My word cloud

The text I chose is from the 52 lore entries from a video game called Destiny. These lore entries are rewarded one-by-one from collecting secret items scattered around the game called Calfcified Fragments. In video games, lore is used to explain the backstory, and if used properly, can provide essential backstory to characters in the game. Essentially, the lore here provides us with an understanding of one of the villain’s back story to understand how far they have come.

While some of the entries follow a close narrative, others make time jumps, but all follows similar themes and show the journey of loss and gaining of unbelievable power. The story follows “Oryx” and his two sisters who go from being extremely vulnerable and weak to obtaining god-like power through making a pact with the “deep”. Those words are some of the biggest ones here. I remember reading this when I was a kid and I was so amazed at the capability of world building that this game could do. To me, it it peak storytelling through lore.

I chose to use a scroll for my page since some of the text uses antiquated words and can read like an ancient scripture. Some words give the idea of obtaining influence such as “king” and “power”, but other words are specific to the game, and do not exist outside of it, so it definitely conveys a sense of mystery. The font I chose also reflect an old looking font, while at the same time, the colors are also the same colors of the items in the game. Overall, I feel like I did a good job of representing the mysterious and powerful theme of these lore entries. Now, the next question is how I could represent other significant lore entries in the game, especially those longer than this one.


Inside #2

After a break, I realized that I was wrong. The puzzles are indeed both creative and a bit complex. The ability to take control of someone else, who then takes control of someone else makes for a very satisfying reaction when you overcome the obstacle.

This game makes me more anxious than the previous one I played since I constantly must keep running away from things and avoid being spotted. However, there are some portions that make me feel at peace. One of these instances is when I take the submarine and plunge deep into the water for the first time. The music here is key. It reminded me of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy and how the music plays an important role in the nostalgia for replaying those games. More specifically, the music during this part of the game reminded me of the aquatic ambiance music from DKC. 

I swear this game is catching me off guard sometimes since my deaths are mostly because it tends to hurl obstacles at you and my reactions are a bit late. 

As I progressed through the game, I found that I needed to take control of the figures more and more. It seems like it is quite the opposite of Limbo, where you are the one being controlled for some areas of the game.

I continued, but there are two parts that stuck out to me. The first was the seismic wave which blew me apart a few times, and then the mermaid. The mermaid was very interesting because I felt like I was being trained to avoid her since she was aggressively chasing me, however, once she inevitably got ahold of me, I felt that the game was over. I would not have been surprised since I feel like the developers tend to make ambiguous endings like that. Surprisingly though, I was still alive and continued my journey.

 I found that once I entered the factory again, the puzzles got a bit harder. Many of them now required me to avoid and time things closely at the same time. It reminded me of the Limbo factory obstacles, although these were on another level. I had more trouble here and I got stuck on certain parts, like the section where I had to stack boxes that would propel me upwards. 

I have noticed that the game is both unsettling and calming. It is unsettling since there are a ton of dead or zombie-like people but is also calming since the scenery feels like it would be something straight out of a dream. 

I felt like throughout the game everything was working against me, from nature to the people chasing me. I worked through situations where I was against the current, but here it was different. Once I began to break into the facility, everything was different. There were many people there, but I was not faced with any resistance. It was odd to the point that I did not know what to do or where to go. Eventually, I consulted a guide where I found that I had to move things around to get inside the water tank in front of me. 

Nothing could prepare me for what I saw once I got in… I did not even know what I was looking at or how to feel about it. I approached it and took off the mind control caps and then I was consumed. I had a feeling that I knew where this was going, and I began to control the thing. It was a mess of bodies stuck together. I felt like I was controlling a wild animal, and then I burst out going on a rampage! 

This portion of the game is the most unnerving, the sounds of the groans emanating from the player, the screams from the other people, and the change in movement really took me by surprise. It was the first time in this game that I felt like I had power, specifically, the power to destroy, kill, and make my own fate. Another surprising aspect is that the other normal people, who I thought were against me, began to help me escape which made me a little better.

This leads me to the ending. The ending results in our escape but inevitable death. I see this as a fitting end since our character was clearly in pain and confused. The good nature of the ending is also symbolized by the beam of light shining down on the dead corpses. Of the two endings, I feel like this is the more solidified since we are now dead. Unlike Limbo, we do not have any other reasons to hypothesize what will happen next. The overall story here became clearer since I concluded that I became a part of the experiment and was trying to escape from what were most likely government forces. 

Overall, I feel like while this was more stressful than Limbo, it was a great game nonetheless, the scenery and the gameplay made it very interesting to play and hard to put down the controller. 


Inside #1

Published by the same studio, you can really see the similarities in the gameplay and even the way you start the game.

Like Limbo, I knew about this game a little bit since I had watched a part of a playthrough when it came out a while ago but that is it. I did not watch all of it, so I can say that I am still going in blind to this game.

The most distinguishing difference in this game, so far, is the choice to make the game in color. 

So, I tried to be as sneaky as possible, but there came a point where I was eventually spotted by the dog. One thing I like about this game so far is the sound effects. An important note here is that you can even hear the boy whimpering, which I find helps the game feel more realistic and relatable. 

I just wanted to give a shoutout to the WHOLESOME CHICKS, they are the cutest and I was able to use them to complete my first puzzle-type obstacle. 

For the most part, I had gotten used to the need to think on my feet and be ready to run because of Limbo; but I was not prepared for the hog. Not going to lie, that was my first death, but I did get over it after a few tries. 

Here is where things got interesting, so for one of the puzzles I had to assume control of what looked like to be some mannequins so that I can make progress. My idea is that these probably have to do with the story, I just do not know how yet. 

After some more obstacles, I eventually get to the ruins of a city, with a bunch of people marching, which reminded me of the Pink Floyd song “Another Brick in the Wall”. So far, I feel like this game devotes more to telling a story, than it does in making the player overcome numerous challenges.


The death of analog tech?

First of all, I want to address my experience with analog technology. Sadly, I have not had too much experience with this form of technology, but my love for old-school techniques has always been there. This is evident in how I prefer to have physical books. In his book, Mod addresses how much of what an average person reads is formless, meaning it can be transitioned to other mediums. While I agree with that assertion, I also see how the digital medium is less comfortable than the traditional printed type. While I have read books online, especially during the pandemic, I find often find it to hurt my eyes after a while. To me, nothing beats a printed book since I can comfortably hold it in my hands, and not have to go through many hurdles to access it. Maybe it is because of how I was raised with print books and I have gotten used to and feel nostalgic when I use them, but I do not think that current digital technology can outdo the print medium.

However, it would be wrong to admit that there are clear advantages to digital books. The biggest advantage is more about its ecological footprint than about aesthetics. Print books are taxing towards trees and are a big reason why I will switch to digital options eventually. Nostalgia, however, will be the death of us…

Nostalgia plays a key role in why we will never exist in a purely digital society. What I mean by this arbitrary term is completely relying on digital technologies as a medium for expression. We see this now with the resurgence in analog technology in areas such as film. I find the argument of nostalgia used in the context of humans always looking back at “simpler times”, and wanting to travel back in time. It is also important to make sure we remember how these older technologies work in order to appreciate how far we have come. While looking back may seem redundant, it is important to see the evolution of a field and nostalgia is important here since, with it, we can use these older technologies to create new products or expressions of art.

Lastly, this debate reminds me of how my mom always has a paper copy of everything, just in case if digital technology fails her, a practice that I have also adopted recently!


Limbo Journal #2

I took a break to go eat and do some other things, so I find it fitting to label this as the second and last part of my journal. The puzzles so far were not that hard, they were creative but not to the point of frustration. Many of the creative ones involved a bit of timing, while the majority require pushing and pulling objects. 

A good portion of the game is dedicated to parkour and puzzles, so I thought I should sprinkle in some of my theories here. 

By definition, Limbo is a hellish place where lost souls, most of the time children, are in for who knows how long. Using this definition, and the information that I obtained playing so far, I believe that we are in that place. I say this because a lot of the bodies look to be the size of children. I also believe that this game shows the main character’s quest to escape this “hell” and reach heaven or someplace better.  

Soon enough the environment starts to change, it goes from a forest to a factory. The two could not be any more different. While the forest gave me more creepy vibes, the factory gave me more anxiety since I felt like there were more dangers in this area. 

This is where the puzzles started to ramp up a bit more in complexity since they involve more precise timing and add more elements, including water and electricity hazards.

Once again, a megalophobia trigger warning should be in place because of the HOTEL sign! This is one of the sections that has stuck with me, although I am not sure why. Going back to my theory, I think that the major events and settings in the game are things from when the main character was alive. In a sense, this game is a story of his journey while also giving us insight into his life, specifically his fears.

The factory is the most “mechanically” pleasing section of this game since the puzzles here contain different objects, you would find in a factory setting and use them to create interesting obstacles. There are buttons, conveyor belts, elevators, etc. 

Another memorable part is when you get to the gear section. Once again, the objects here are giant, and at some points, you spin the environment around you completely. This reminds me of the megalophobia idea since this gameplay mechanic serves to remind the player that he is tiny, and he is not significant in the face of enormous dangers. 

ONE OF THE HARDEST PARTS was right before the minecart cave section. The timing required me to be almost perfect to avoid dying, which I did a lot. It is after this where I see a contrast in gameplay. 

Here we get music that sounds like a church choir, and we get more fantastical puzzles that include odder components such as laser detection guns and anti-gravity switches. To me, this is where I picture the main character getting closer to heaven, or whatever end he may be searching for. Here too is where the puzzles get a bit harder. I would be lying if I say that I did not consult a guide on how to do the final few. I was stuck for a while, and would have been stuck a lot more, had it not been for them.

As soon as I saw the scene where I break through the glass, I knew that this was going to be the topic of my Close Playing assignment. In my opinion, the ending is perfect. It’s an ambiguous ending to an ambiguous game. There is no resolution, we learn nothing, we are just left to imagine what will happen next. 

In the end, I feel like my theory was partially correct. However, the end goal here is different, since he made this journey through his hell to reunite with, I guess to be his sister. 

Overall, I enjoyed this game because of many reasons. The aesthetics gave me a creepy vibe, but it was not overly scary. Although Limbo only utilizes a few buttons on the controller, the gameplay is very intriguing since I had a tough time doing some puzzles. I am excited to play Inside and see what is had to offer!