Week 2

‘Digital literacy’ is a form of language that utilises various forms of technology to shape and express a unique form of digital communication.

As discussed in week one, ‘Digital literacy’ is a form of language that utilises various forms of technology to shape and express a unique form of digital communication. Skills and knowledge of this network are assumed, thus developing a sense of ‘inclusion’ or ‘exclusion’ within a variety of social, cultural and political spheres. It is this type of interaction that enables society to evolve, particularly focussing on ‘who’ or ‘what’ individuals give value, meaning and power to.

To elaborate, diverse systems of interactivity are generated through various mediums, such as video games. Augmented realities become prominent in this sense, therefore contributing to the complexity of digital storytelling. Halo 2 is a prime example of this as there must be a fine balance between the level of interaction within the music and the action. Abraham (2011) reiterates this notion and explains that individuals must be prepared to open their minds to new experiences and possibilities that differ from the music itself (p. 65). As such, digital literacy can be multifaceted and have different meanings for different sectors of people.

Week two’s tutorial encapsulated Abraham’s sentiments in the form of an interactive narrative. ‘Twine’ was the program of choice, which allowed us to simulate a first person digital story. Although quite simple in its execution, Twine is both seamless and complex in terms of its user interface. When used in conjunction with various forms of technology, Twine is a perfect example to elucidate the link between interaction and synchronicity.

Moreover, the ‘shower scene’ in Hitchcock’s film, Psycho succinctly encapsulates this notion as there must be certain level of synchronicity between the ‘player’ and the music. To perfectly execute this sequence, all constituents must directly correlate, thus highlighting its digital power and effectiveness within the film (Abraham 2011, p. 62).

Subsequently, this brings it back to the idea that music in games can foster a shared experience that may enhance specific social variables such as race, class and gender (Abraham 2011, p. 66). It is evident that linear experiences of games articulate a form of digital literacy that creates meaning and value to one’s “emotional journey” (Abraham 2011, p. 67). This emotional journey is what establishes a response and enhances the individual’s interaction with their digital environment. For example, the user journey is paramount in explaining this notion and is particularly evident in games such as Halo 2. First person narrative is common in this type of gameplay, which reinforces Marshall McLuhan’s ideology that digital media is an extension of the human body. The musicality of sound effects is a supplement to the game’s design and mechanics, therefore illustrating a form of digital expression (Abraham 2011, p. 70). Consequently, an interactive dialogue is brought to the fore and is encapsulated through a shared appreciation of a digitally literate society.

(466 words)

Reference List:

Abraham, B., 2011, ‘Halo and Music’ in Cuddy, L. (eds.), Halo and Philosophy, Open Court, Chicago and La Salle.