Spatial vs. Temporal Storytelling (October 3)

Bembeneck’s post on spatial storytelling generated an interesting discussions in the comments about the differences between, and utility of, time and space/place to storytelling.  Today we’re going to explore the ways time and space interact in public history projects in the digital realm, and we’re going to dip our toes into the waters of gaming.

Your mission for today is to propose, and then describe in a blog post, a digital game through which people learn about the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906. In keeping with the reading for today, think about whether space or time might be a better organizing principle or driving force for a game about the earthquake and fire (and their aftermath).

In your blog post, consider the roles of space/place and time in your game.  In what ways did you consider space and time in your game planning?  Which is more important to the gameplay, and why?

Some resources on the twin disasters and their effects:


Digital Storytelling, Part II (September 26)


“Patient Zero” from Radiolab

Michael Widner’s visualization and analysis of your digital humanist interviews

Shawn Graham continues the conversation with the ur-text from his interview with HannaLore

A screenshot from Twitter:

Questions for discussion

1. How do the first 10 minutes of the Radiolab episode use the elements of storytelling described by Alexander?  What makes this particular “Patient Zero” story compelling?  What, if anything, do you find distracting?

2. Revisit Alexander’s description of the quintet of images “Farm to Food.”  He notes the skills necessary to assemble the series: visual literacy, remixing, archival competence.  What skills are necessary to interpret the series?  What skills can historians assume their various audiences will bring to such an assemblage?

3. How much, and in what circumstances, should historians let viewers construct their own narratives from a collection of primary sources?  What are the advantages and liabilities of allowing (or encouraging) viewers to craft their own narratives or interpretations of sources?  And how might digital tools allow historians to offer a spectrum of (easier through more challenging) interpretive options to viewers of a single project?

The United Territories of the Western Hemisphere

Five Card Story: How Alaska and Hawaii became An Independent Nation

a Five Card Flickr story created by Coutney and Nicole

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by Rachel Smith

flickr photo by Serenae

Deep in the bayou of Louisiana a young boy, Sam-Tom-Bill (named so because his three grandfathers threatened to feed him to the gators unless he shared each of their names) fished for guppies in the village swamp. He wanted to add some flavor to his mama’s fermented gumbo pizza. Little did he know, the swamp guppies fed on the by-product of PollutionEx Oil’s crude waste, transforming them into mutant zombie guppies. Nonetheless, Sam-Tom-Bill ate his guppie side dish and delighted in every bite. As the mutant guppies made a stew in his stomach the disease quickly spread through his veins, mutating his blood cells and transforming him into a flesh acting human zombie. It took only a matter of weeks for the entire village to become infected and only three months for the state of Louisiana to be populated by the living dead. In an attempt to save themselves, the western United States dammed the Mississippi river, causing a great sea to divide east and west. But because of the unique guppie-human zombie mutation, the zombies easily swam the divide. By the end of the year the entire lower forty-eight became a wasteland of fermenting guppie-human zombies and Alaska and Hawaii began anew as the United, yet separated by thousands of miles of ocean, Territories of the Western Hemisphere.

Army of One and the NW Apocalypse

Five Card Story: Professor takes on the US Guard as an Army of One!

a Five Card Flickr story created by Anna and Stephen

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by jentropy

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

HEADLINE: Professor takes on the US Guard as an Army of One!

June 22, 2050 the world was decimated by the nuclear implosion of the Idaho Nuclear Waste site. Society believed the nuclear waste was no longer reactive, they were wrong. As the implosion occurred, Mountain Home, Glenns Ferry, and even the capital of Idaho, Boise, were demolished. The entire Northwest was gone in a matter of seconds, and the lone survivor was a woman with little knowledge of survival, but she would become the army of one!

As the United States Guard traveled into the Northwest to attempt restoration, they did not know that the site was still radioactive. Leslie knew. She was infected and she was on a mission to ensure no one else endured the horrible pain and symptoms. Her mission was to stop the US Guard from entering into the Northwest. She was going to stop the spread of what is now known as the Madsen-Brooks Virus. Fighting for survival in the extremist of conditions, Leslie made her way to the Montana-Wyoming border. There were mobile tanks full of soldiers, blockading all those from entering, but she knew they were entering the wrong area. Here were all the trees faded into nothing she put up a last stand.

Pulling a mini-gun from her shoulder bag, she stayed her ground, proclaiming the areas infection and impending doom. The US Guard did not listen. She began to fire upon the soldiers, but there were too many and over powered her easily. As she lay on the ground, bleeding, she once again screamed the conditions of land, screamed for their safety, knowing the entire time she was about to die….

Error….Error….this is the last transcription known to exist for the survivor of the NW region Leslie Madsen-Brooks. Any relevant information pertaining to this incident would greatly enhance the historical significance of this world wide outbreak…Error….Error

The Adventures of Bobby the Horseman and Mothra Jr. the…moth

Five Card Story: Amazing Bobby and The Great Gorilla Excape

a Five Card Flickr story created by Ryan and April

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by Serenae

The great superhero Bobby the Horseman was patrolling the local city zoo one day until suddenly his nemesis Silky Spider took a momma gorilla and her baby captive. Silky held both the gorillas in her sicky web as her prisoners. Bobby knew of the spider’s great knowledge in the art of web-making but sprung into action with great haste anyway. Being stuck into Silky’s web be calls upon his side-kick Mothra Jr to come to his aid. Mortha Jr. used his powerful wings to conjure up a gust to cut through the web setting the gorilla and Bobby free. Silky fled in defeat. With the sun setting over the mountains, the rain sprinkled down washing the web away. Momma gorilla left into the forest in gratitude. As the gorilla family left, Bobby rode his steed into the sunset and Mothra Jr. flew back to his how with a rainbow aiding his way home.

Ryan and April Production

HannaLore and Lucas: Epic Flickr Story

Five Card Story: What an epic date!

a Five Card Flickr story created by HL and LS

flickr photo by bgblogging

flickr photo by Intrepidteacher

flickr photo by DavidDMuir

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by cogdogblog

Jane was beyond excited to go out with Bill. She knew that he had planned an unforgettable afternoon. What she didn’t know was that her life was hanging in the balance.

Bill decided to take Jane to the carnival where they only rode the creepy looking carousel. As the ride began to spin, their landscape changed around them. By the time they got off of the carousel, they were in a different realm altogether. The only familiar scenery was the historic movie theater. However, the movie theater looked like it was in its heyday, airing seemingly new movies they knew to be decades old.

In an attempt to find out where they had traveled to, they decided to enter the only familiar site, the historic movie theater. The image they saw on the screen only served to give them further questions about what had happened. They saw tourists running around town square wearing wetsuits and flippers on land! As they are questioning their surroundings, the theater starts to spin and they immediately run out of the theater.

After literally spinning out of the theater, they find that they are being chased by terrifying, monstrous shadows with gigantic weapons. They run for their lives, dashing through the forest where she could have sworn their houses used to be. Jane feels as if they have been running for miles when Bill trips over a tree branch and stumbles into her. She feels the hard smack of the forest ground and shrieks frantically as the shadowed figures come upon them. Just as the shadowed figure lifts his weapon, she wakes up from her nightmare.

She wakes to find Bill sleeping soundly on the picnic blanket in the park, it was a bad dream, but what a date!

Apples for Esmeralda: Five Card Flickr Story

Five Card Story: Apples for Esmeralda

a Five Card Flickr story created by Molly May, Ellie Couchum, Jim Duran

flickr photo by shareski

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by hummingcrow

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by ARckls

At the Chicago Zoo, the zoo keeper had a meeting with the media about feeding the animals. Meanwhile, the visitors at the zoo picked apples to feed to Esmeralda the gorilla and her baby, Izzy, for everyone knows the two gorillas love apples. The zoo keeper was so mad, he went into the gorillas area to get the apples but did not close the gate! Esmeralda saw the gate open and took off in search of more apples. The zoo keeper called the cops, but they were too busy being in the parade. Esmeralda left the zoo in midst of the chaos and ended up in the middle of Chicago where the parade was held. Moving slowly through the parade, the police saw the gorilla and her baby running throughout the parade. Not knowing they were looking for apples, the police chased them into a grocery store, where the gorillas found apples and more fruit.

Maria’s Adventure (Michael Winters & Jon Agnew)

Five Card Story: Maria’s Journey

a Five Card Flickr story created by Michael Winters and Jon Agnew

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by cogdogblog

flickr photo by dwtno

flickr photo by Larry Johnson

flickr photo by bionicteaching

Maria was a happy girl. Loved to eat her fruit and veggies. Always respected her mother’s will. One day Maria wandered off into the park. She stumbled onto a Mormon family who was in the middle of Family Home Evening. The family was bobbing for apples and having a jolly – and holy – good time. The family soon departs as the festivities die down. And Maria starts to wander home. Then out of the bushes… a creeper pops out – not to be mistaken with Minecraft creepers. The creepy man was wearing socks and flip flops, a white shirt too small to wear, and had some black object protruding from his belt line. The creeper took Maria. Meanwhile, her mom called the police, to file a missing persons report. The mother described Maria’s stature and her last known location. That night, Maria’s mother scared that she would never see her daughter – was mortified by a horrible treacherous thunderstorm. Maria’s mother didn’t know what to do. Later the next day, in the large city surrounding Maria’s neighborhood – a tip was called into the police regarding the whereabouts of the missing Maria. Low and behold Maria was found the next day, unscathed and unharmed. The treacherous thunderstorm grounded all flights out of the city which resulted in the finding of the Maria. Lucky for Maria and her mother, pedophiles can’t escape on airplanes in the middle of a thunderstorm.

The Errant Son?

Five Card Story: The Errant Son

a Five Card Flickr story created by Katie

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by bionicteaching

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by lesliemb

flickr photo by Serenae

The Crow warrior, Little Bird, was dancing around the campfire one night. When he had a vision! A powerful phrase given to him from his quest guide: “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.”

The drums of his dance tune echoed through the valley as the voice of his guide echoed through his heart. His mother, Medicine Top, listened to his tale with scepticism. “Our land is free,” said she, “and for it to remain free, we must not cause problems.”

Little bird, however, stuck his tongue out at his mother in an age old sign of defiance. He knew he had to leave his home to find the path to liberty his guide showed him. The guide spoke to him again, “Knowledge is freedom, Little Bird” and showed him his path to the mighty land of the Card Catalogue System.

Little Bird found his new tribe of Librarians. These were people who believed in knowledge and liberty. His guide raised him told him his destiny to become the Head Librarian. As the Head he was to go forth to all the tribes and share his knowledge. And he did. And he did it well.

Katie and Corey

Uncle Cletis and his mouse

Five Card Story: The man and his mouse

a Five Card Flickr story created by Leslie’s digital history class

flickr photo by cogdogblog

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by hummingcrow

flickr photo by Serenae

flickr photo by Intrepid Flame

Uncle Cletis was sitting around playing his banjo, when the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Modest Mouse showed up. They warned him of the impending alien invasion and apocalypse, so they took shelter in the tunnel. Alas, they all died anyway, there in Meteor City.