DATT 1939
Making Interactive New Media Art
Week 5

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// Skip down to: W5 Lecture Agenda / In Week 5 Lab/Tutorial / To do after week 5 lab... //


   Labs 3-4: w5 labs are on Thurs., Oct. 5
   ** Week 5 Lecture is Wed., Oct. 11 **
   Labs 1-2: w5 labs are on Wed., Oct. 11

In Lecture: Spatial Structures, Play and Playfulness

W5 Announcements:

  • We will not be able to mark your A1 if you have a NONE beside your name on the Student Work page for your lab.

    We literally will not know where to look for your A1.

    Please check the appropriate Student Work page for your name, if you haven't already.
    If you have a NONE beside your name on that page, email me (Nadine) ASAP with your name and lab number to tell me your yorku.ca email address. My email address is nmw [at] yorku.ca

    We need you to check the Student Work page, because, due to some kind of error in York's system this year, we are not receiving notice of every student's activated yorkID and york email address. We are only receiving notice of some of them.

  • The A1 deadline is extended 7 days. The A1 must be submitted to the server (by midnight) the day after your lab in week 6.

  • While you are in the ATLL, you can fix permissions problems with A1 files (.html pages, images, .css files) you've put onto the DM server.

    See what permissions problems are, how they can show up, and how to fix them while in the ATLL by looking at the week 5 section of the Resources page

  • The Learning Critique of in-progress A1 work is scheduled for lab this week (week 5)! Attending and participating in critiques makes up your Learning Critique Participation mark, so make sure you bring some work (in progress, or finished) to show!

    Please bring a nametag to your week 5 lab for the learning critique. This way your lab leader can ensure that they aren't mixing people up when giving credit for participation...

    See what is important for the Learning Critique Participation mark in the description on the Evaluation page

    Learning Critique tips on the week 5 section of the Resources page.

    Each student will have approximately 3 minutes to show and state their A1's main topic and approach. There will then be approximately 2 minutes for questions and feedback. This makes approximately 5 minutes per student.

  • READING: excerpts from Sicart's book Play Matters, should be done this week, and will be briefly discussed during the Week 5 lecture on Wed., Oct. 11.

    Check on the week 5 Moodle page, where you can find the reading in .doc format.

    These excerpts from Sicart's Play Matters are the focus of part of the quiz in week 7.

  • In week 6, we will be introducing Assignment 2.
    Please attend lecture AND your labs, or you may be randomly assigned an A2 group/individual designation !

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W5 Lecture Agenda:

  • Structure in an Interactive Space: Screen to Screen / Document to Document
    (One useful way to be able to conceive of different screens/documents and their relationships.)

  • Introduction to Play and Playfulness, with excerpts from Miguel Sicart's book Play Matters.
    This reading is available in the DATT 1939 course Moodle --just follow the week 5 link.

    The discussed excerpts, and comments about them in lecture, are fair game for the quiz in week 7.

  • Brief Introduction to Assignment 2.

    (to be displayed in lecture)




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In Week 5 Lab/Tutorial

  • Review the learning critique tips again right at the beginning of lab.

  • A1 Learning Critique in Lab

    Learning Critique of in-progress / roughly finished A1 work. Make sure you bring some work to show!

    Each student will have approximately 3 minutes to show and state their A1's main topic and approach. There will then be approximately 2 minutes for questions and feedback. This makes approximately 5 minutes per student.

    Participating in critiques makes up your Learning Critique Participation mark. Your A1 Learning Critique Participation mark is based on the following components:

    1. Attending the entire learning critique this week in lab.
    2. Paying attention to students who are showing and talking about their in-progress A1 work.
    3. Making some constructive comments about some others' work.
    4. Showing and explaining your in-progress A1 work (the more complete your work is, the better the mark, but bring and show what you have!)

  • If there is time left over at the end of lab (probably not), work on your A1, and get help, if needed, from your TA with issues like sizing your A1 to the correct browser size, posting your pages to the DM server, checking that your A1 is showing up through the Student Work page for your lab, or any code you are trying to make work.



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To do after week 5 lab...

  • Revise or complete your A1, taking into account feedback you received during the A1 Learning Critique. Upload your Assignment 1 by your deadline.

  • We will not be able to mark your A1 if you have a NONE beside your name on the Student Work page for your lab.

    We literally will not know where to look for your A1.

    Please check the appropriate Student Work page for your name, if you haven't already.
    If you have a NONE beside your name on that page, email me (Nadine) ASAP with your name and lab number to tell me your yorku.ca email address. My email address is nmw [at] yorku.ca

    We need you to check the Student Work page, because, due to some kind of error in York's system this year, we are not receiving notice of every student's activated yorkID and york email address. We are only receiving notice of some of them.

  • Confirm your A1 pages are in the correct place on the server using the Student Work pages.

  • In the ATLL you can fix permissions problems with any A1 files you've put on the DM server:

    See what permissions problems are and how to fix them by looking at the week 5 section of the Resources page

    Sometimes, when you are submitting work to the server (usually from home, but not exclusively) something can happen to change the permissions of who can view the files when looking at them through the web.
    When permissions get changed, it can mean that no one can see the files on the web through the URL (or that only you can see them and no one else, or that some images or pages won't load in the browser even for you).

    The above notes to help you fix your permissions settings on files in your a1 folder, and even to check the permissions of the a1 and datt1939 folders themselves.

  • Test your ability to connect to the DM server from home, if you might be submitting A1 from home:
    Notes (with images): Connect to the DM server from home - for both Mac and PC
    Though the notes say the server ID is dm.finearts.yorku.ca, you should probably use dm.ampd.yorku.ca instead!

    Connect to the DM server from home - For Apple users

  • Make a (backup) plan to submit your A1, in case you can't connect to the DM server from home. You could submit during monitor hours (when available) if you have a lab card, submit using someone else's computer, submit during business hours while Frank the ATLL technician is in the lab. Or you can plan ahead to submit your A1 during your lab time next week...

  • If needed, catch up on Assigned Reading for week 5-6:
      - The reading is a few excerpts from Sicart's book Play Matters.
      - Find the reading in .doc format on the week 5 Moodle page.
    This material will be discussed briefly during the Week 5 lecture on Wed., Oct. 11, and will be tested as part of the large Quiz in week 7.

    Consider the following questions regarding Sicart's Play Matters:

    • Fill in the blanks of these significant passages:

      a) "...reclaim play as a way of ______________, a way of ______________ with the world -not as an activity of consumption but as an activity of ______________."

      b) "Rules are _______________ that create __________________________, a __________ within which play takes place. However, rules are only one element of the context of play, and not _________________________. They are necessary but not sufficient for play to exist: _________________ and a certain ___________________ are needed to engage in play."

      c) "I see play as a portable tool for being. It is not tied to ______ but brought by people to the ______________________________ with and between things that form daily life."

      d) "I write this theory of play as a reaction to the instrumentalized, mechanistic thinking on play championed by _____________________________________. This is a theory that acts as a call to playful arms, an invocation of play as a struggle against _____________________________________ and technical determinism."

      e) "Playfulness is a way of engaging with particular contexts and objects that is similar to play but respects the ______________ and ______________ of that object or context."

    • What are games? What is play? Which is more important? Why?

    • According to Sicart, is play harmless and fun? Why or why not?

    • How does play relate to values?

    • What is required for play to exist?

    • According to Sicart, are rules sacred, are they nodes, or are they a prop?

    • What is carnivalesque play?

    • Which philosopher’s work informs Sicart’s discussion of the carnivalesque?

    • When Sicart “foolishly” tries to define play, he lists many things that play is. What are the 7 main things he lists in the CH1 excerpt?

    • What is the main difference between play and playfulness?


  • Assigned READING for week 6: part of Ian Bogost's "The Rhetoric of Video Games" (PDF)
    By your week 6 tutorial, read much of Bogost's article:
    (STOP at the heading "Ways of Using Procedural Rhetoric: Interrogating Ideology", on what your pdf reader software calls page 12, and what the printed numbers in the PDF chapter itself call page 128.)

    We are looking for how Bogost says Rhetoric works in interactive new media. His focus and example is video games, but what principles could also apply beyond video games?

    Consider the following questions for our discussion of Bogost's "The Rhetoric of Video Games" during tutorial in week 6 (next week):

    • What is Katie Salen and Eric Zimmerman's definition of the term play?

    • "...imposing rules does not suffocate play, but makes it possible in the first place." (bottom of page 120, or 4 in the PDF reader)
      What does this mean? What possibilities come to mind?

    • How does Bogost link procedurality, representation, and play?

    • What does Janet Murray define as the four essential properties of digital artifacts?

    • Building on Murray's properties, what does Bogost state fundamentally separates computers from other media?

    • What is Procedural Rhetoric?

      • Why is it significant?

      • How does it work?

    • What principles from the chapter apply not only to video games but to interactive new media more broadly?


  • Catch up on essential code/skills from past weeks, if you are behind.

  • In week 6 (next week), we will form A2 groups during your tutorials. There will also be the chance for a few A2 projects in each lab to be individual. Who might you like to be in a group with?


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Updated Oct. 11, 2017.


FA/DATT 1939 3.0 Making Interactive New Media Art Fall 2017
is a course offered through:
The Department of Computational Arts
The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD)
York University (Toronto ON, Canada)