Final Project Ideas

For my final project like Aneta and Stephanie am going to continue with XML coding. I am looking at a Japanese card game called Karuta. The game contains 2 decks of cards: one for reading, and one for collecting. The cards contain 100 poems that are memorized by the participants.

Collecting Card on Left. Reading Card on the Right.

The collecting deck is laid out in front of the participants and another person reads out key phrases from the poems. Those collecting try to locate the corresponding card as quickly as possible usually by swiping it out of the deck. In Japan there is even a competitive league for Karuta.

Competitive Karuta – Image Copyright All Japan Karuta Association

My final project will consist of XML coding one of the children’s games that teaches the basics of the Japanese alphabet, Hiragana. I would like to look at the complexities of trying to code a physical card game from another language using XML and a short paper on some issues with digitization. With the rush of attempting to digitize materials, we forget that books are not the only forms of knowledge. I will examine how non-linear narratives are encoded when using TEI Guidelines and whether this is suited for this task. In addition, I will discuss what is lost in the process of digitization. For example, the socialization aspect of the game is lost if you digitize it and make a game interface where there is little to no interaction.

What do you guys think about this? Any suggestions on directions I can go or that I haven’t thought of?

If this topic does not work out, my backup plan is to do a paper on the future of creativity and innovation in a world where we have increasingly stricter copyright laws and digital rights management.

Essay workshopping
Source: Illustration by Dave Simonds. “Open Sesame” in The Economist.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a pretty edgy journal, New Criticals. What really struck me about this journal is the way it abandoned the format of a traditional, academic journal. Although it is not peer-reviewed (there’s very little information about the selection process), it is run by qualified people and has contributions from well-regarded academics.

What New Criticals got me thinking about is the impact of design on sense of rigor in academia. Most open access journals conform to the format and design of paid academic journals. I am interested in looking into some journals out in the left field to see how the choice of design impacts their use and the contributors and readers who engage with it.

I don’t know if this is a feasible project; however, as more and more scholarly communication moves online (and even onto social networks), it would be interesting to look at how various journals are adapting to new forms of reading and new expectations of aesthetics.

Some journals that I’ve been looking at are:

Hybrid pedagogy: A digital journal of learning, teaching, and technology

First Monday

New Criticals

Ada: Gender, new media, & technology

Third space: A journal of feminist theory & culture