Coding in Video Games

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Code is a huge part of everyday life to do both simple and complicated activities, most technology we use is made up of code. Video games, as we have read, are no exception. To play a video game, everything in the realm of the game must be hard coded and modified to change as the player chooses, and how the games objectives flow. However, with this being said, there are ways to modify games and alter the code of particular games to create a different user experience then the producers or coders intended.

One example of this it the famous game, Super Smash Bros. The third version of the game, Super Smash Bros Brawl, came out in 2008, but this version in particular, has been modified more than any other version. More specifically, programmers created an alternate version to the game that is called Project M. This version of the game has all the same characters, music, and overall setup as the original Brawl, however is different in some very key ways. Programmers made a way for there to be customization in choosing a costume for your character. For example, a character in Brawl is Samus. The Project M programmers programmed Samus to have costumes that resemble iron man, and the terminator, so users can use these costumes while they play Brawl.

Project M programmers used code in this case to enhance the user experience of brawl, however this is not always the case. Some hackers or programmers hack games to exploit their shortcomings and take advantage of it, and make the game either unfair or not enjoyable. An example of this is a hack in Call of Duty. One Call of Duty hack, ”  Our Call of Duty Black Ops Hack allows you to win every round, unlock all your weapons and shred the competition with our instant kill aimbot.” As we can see these hackers completely destroyed the game and took away from the overall user experience.

As we have seen, code is the backbone of a video game, however, it’s how programmers and hackers use this code that can either contribute or undermine the user experience of the game.



Posted from Nile's Blog Dig 101 by Nile

How PageRank Prevents Racism

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(PageRank description)

As we have read in the article, The 10 Algorithms That Dominate Our World by George Dvorsky, we see that Google searching is by far the top platform to use when searching for something. We also see that Google uses a form of searching called PageRank. Pagerank is one of the best search algorithms in today’s society and it has been that was for a long time for a variety of reasons.

PageRank removes all the overflow websites that aren’t credible and focuses on the more popular and approved websites that are more focused on your search. PageRank does this by assigning values to a website, and when a website alludes to another website, they get validation. The higher the value of a website, the more validation they send if they link to another website.

This style of searching and ranking prevents major issues and controversial websites because they don’t have the validation and support that credible websites have. Thus PageRank filters out racist, homophobic, or even terrorist websites because they don’t get validation, and the websites don’t receive as much traffic as known credible sources.

As we have talked about a lot in class, of course this method isn’t fool proof and there are always ways to get around this algorithm. For instance, if you Google a racist comment or phrase, you are sure to get what you Googled. Rand Fishkin, the CEO and co-founder of SEOmoz comments on PageRank, ” If you’ve been building links without thought to whether a search engineer would ideally want to count that link’s value, you’re likely in for a nasty surprise at some point”.


Posted from Nile's Blog Dig 101 by Nile


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Reaction GIF:

Example of a reaction GIF: 


My counter GIF:

This GIF I made is a counter GIF because it challenges the stereotypical reaction GIF. Most reaction GIF’s match what the GIF is portraying with the text, however, in my GIF, the excited little girl has the text “FML” on it. This is clearly not what is happening in the small snippet of video however, it does challenge what the viewer to really decide what is going on in the GIF instead of accepting it mindlessly.


Sports GIF:

Example of a Sports GIF:


My counter Sports GIF:

This GIF challenges all other sports GIF in the fact that it doesn’t actually show anything. Most sports GIF’s are either epic fails, or great successes. For example the sports GIF I showed above. It is a very impressive play by one team and it really gets the viewers of the GIF excited and pumped. However, my GIF challenges this idea because I showed the process of a great play, but not actually the great play. The viewers are then either frustrated that the GIF “didn’t work” or they have to imagine what happened because the end isn’t shown.



Fandom GIF:

Example of Fandom GIF:

My counter of Fandom GIF:

The scene I chose for my counter GIF was the Titanic. Most people in modern society has seen the Titanic and know the movie pretty well, however, to create a counter GIF, I changed the text to a quote not from that movie. The quote is actually from the movie Shawshank Redemption, and I though the quote was clever because it more or less foreshadows the ending Titanic (spoiler alert). This tactic really challenges the viewer’s breadth of cultural knowledge, else if they don’t know the movie the Titanic, then the counter GIF loses its power.

Posted from My blog by Nile

Modern Moderators vs. previous Moderators

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In this blog post I will be discussing the difference, similarities as well as concerns between moderators throughout history, particularly the CCM, as in this week’s reading, and magazine moderators back when magazine’s were popular.

Both of these jobs had to deal with troubling content, whether that be racist comments, nudity, or offensive language, however in different situations and media platforms. We know CMM’s work with online media such as facebook posts and or instagram posts, but the magazine moderators back when people use to read magazines had to be weary of ads or possibly racists comics that could potentially be published in their magazine.

Although both of these mediators throughout time have similar job content and necessary actions, the modern day moderator, CCM’s work is much harder. In today’s society, everything goes through the internet. Especially with the strong presence of social media and how it is so highly valued in the world we live in. CMM’s must go through hundreds of thousands of photos and videos to keep the their particular platform, clean and used how its suppose to be used. And being a moderator is no easy feat. According to Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes, in their book The intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and culture Online,

“… there are real monetary and other kinds of value that can be assigned to content that is sensationalistic, often on the grounds of being prurient, disturbing, or distasteful… For this reason, CCM workers find themselves in a paradoxical role, n which they must balance the site’s desire to attract user and participation to its platform-the company’s profit motive- with demands for brand protection, the limits of user tolerance for disturbing material, and the site rules and guidelines.”

With CMM’s having such a crucial and important job, a major concern I have about the difficulty of not only their job but keeping a moral compass, would be that they are so use to seeing such terrible content on their platform, that they get numb to this terrible content. I feel often times a CMM could get use the content and let things slide which would only increase the tension online throughout the social media platforms. This is a very important job ,and Spiderman said it best,” With great power comes great responsibility”.



What is content moderation? – video by OpenAccessBPO

The Intersectional Internet: Race, Sex, Class, and Culture Online, edited by Safiya Umoja Noble and Brendesha M. Tynes.

Posted from My blog by Nile

Why are GIF “inventors” unknown?

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As we have read in the reading’s GIF’s or Graphic Interchange Format are taking the world by storm and seem to be everywhere. What I found particularly interesting in the reading was the fact that the creator of the GIF itself is unknown or deemphasized.

Considering today’s culture with celebrities and the American dream being obsessed with become rich and famous, the fact the GIF, “inventors”, if you will, don’t take credit for their GIF’s and aren’t recognized for their art is a curious matter. I have a couple theories that may explain this strange phenomenon.

First Theory: The “inventors” of GIF’s deliberately don’t take credit for their GIF’s because they don’t want to appear nerdy. In today’s day and age we idolize famous people as I’ve stated, however, by doing this, we also look down upon the hidden video gamer/ meme maker/ Gif maker/ basement dweller. When we picture the inventors of GIF’s we don’t immediately think of wealthy people who are doing this for the good of humanity, instead we think of a 37 year old, living in his parents basement, making GIF’s and memes because he/she thinks they are funny and they are bored out of their minds. We don’t want to be like the second obviously, and that’s why I don’t think some GIF inventors take credit for their GIF’s.

Second Theory: Anyone and everyone can make a GIF so it isn’t that impressive to “invent” one. This theory is probably more likely. According to the article we read, Never Gonna GIF You Up: Analyzing the Cultural Significance of The Animated GIF, written by Kate M. Miltner and Tim Highfield,” In October 2016, Giphy announced it was serving more than 1 billion GIFs to over 100 million active users every day”. As we see through this absurd statistic, GIF’s are super popular and billions of GIF’s are used, which leads back to my hypothesis, that anyone and everyone can make one, thus the inventors don’t take credit for the GIF’s they create.

Above is a video about the inventor of the GIF and some hilarious examples.



GIF inventor video:

Never Gonna GIF You Up: Analyzing the Cultural Significance of the Animated GIF, written by Kate M miltner and Tim Highfield

A brief History of the GIF (so far), written by Jason Eppink

Posted from My blog by Nile

The Mysterious “cloud”

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The mysterious cloud

We’ve all heard about the “cloud” and how we are able to store stuff somewhere up there, but not too many people truly understand how it actually works. The cloud is an enigma, meant to be seen as a type of technology that is “above” us. We trust it to save our digital footprints and really our identities, without even knowing how it operates or works.

In this weekend’s readings Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructures, written by Lisa Parks and Nicole Starosielski, we read about the cloud and how it is actually based on the ground, and its truly not what you may think. The cloud is composed of hundreds of thousands of super computers that can store a ton of data. These super computers and gathered together in a physical infrastructure and kept maintained by a select few. I find it very interesting how we as users see the cloud to be a mysterious being that can save everything we throw in it, however, in reality, it is man-made, maintained by man, and hidden away by man.

In the readings Parks and Starosielski described these physical infrastructures as,” …the physical presence of this imaginary space, and yet they strive to remain invisible in many ways.” But why do they keep the cloud hidden? The reading then goes on to say, “…concealment strategies keep citizens naive and uninformed about the network technologies they subsidize and use each day.”

We see that the cloud is meant to be hidden to keep the users distant, and unaware of what companies are using them for. These companies could be using our data from good or for bad, we don’t know, all we can say for certain is that the “cloud” is more than meets the eye.


The meme:

Signal Traffic: Critical Studies of Media Infrastructure, edited by Lisa Parks and
Nicole Starosielski, published in 2015.

Posted from My blog by Nile

Same Fears, Different Technology

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The world is constantly in fear in the future, weather that be in today’s world where we are terrified of the possibilities of AI or virtual reality, back to the early 1900’s when phones were first developing, there are many instances throughout time where we are scared of the potential future. In both of this week’s readings, the technology that was being developed posed a “threat” towards society. The first of the week’s readings being the Kaleidoscope reading called The Forgotten Kaleidoscopes Craze in Victorian England , written by Jason Farman. In this reading, Jason states how Kaleidoscopes use to be some crazy form of technology in which literally everybody was doing it. And it wasn’t like they were doing it secretly in their rooms or houses, no, they were wondering around the street with these metal/plastic toys fixed to their eyes. As you can probably predict, this could cause some problems and I’m sure a lot of fear for the future of this piece of technology.

In the second reading for this week, When Old Technologies Were New: Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late nineteenth Century, written by Marvin Carolyn, we see that the new technology to be feared are telephones. In the article Carolyn states, ” In their (electricians) journals, which monitored the official and unofficial worlds of electricity, and wherever they spoke to one another about what they observed in both realms, electricians gave anxious voice to the possible loss of the world they idealized, a world threatened by new modes of electrical communication and put at risk in the very act of their aspiring to it.” (65). As we can clearly see, this upcoming form of telephones had an appeal, however, there are always some who fear how it will change the world as we know it.

(An overview of all the technology over the ages that could have led to fear.)



The Forgotten Kaleidoscope Craze in Victorian England, written by Jason Farman, November 9th 2015

When Old Technologies Were New : Thinking About Electric Communication in the Late Nineteenth Century, written by Marvin Carolyn, December 1988

Posted from My blog by Nile

Artificial Intelligence

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Artificial Intelligence

Already in class, in the reading, and also in the book we are reading, “Neuromancer”, we have seen many instances of an AI or Artificial Intelligence. However, in all instances the mood and tone of AI seems to be different. In class we described SIRI and how it was developed by Steve Jobs and many other dedicated scientists. In my group of four we discussed how SIRI in it of itself isn’t threatening or dangerous. In fact, SIRI is meant to help us “humans” to complete everyday life quicker and in an easier manner. The article we had to read also held this opinion. It described how SIRI or CALO was based off and inspired by the Latin calonis, meaning soldier’s servant giving off a different cultural role than the expected personal assistant. Although SIRI was initially designed to be a different way, we see that the cultural roles of humanity and the preferences that are needed truly determine what this particular AI will be used for.

Which leads to the final section we talk about AI in, the “Neuromancer”. In this book we see that the AI is a very dark entity that we really don’t have a way of describing. So far in the book the AI has yet to reveal itself, and as far as we know, it seems to be the bad guy. From my experience, this is the way most Artificial Intelligence sci-fi novels or movie are displayed, for example iRobot or Bladerunner. This evil display of AI causes us viewers to be weary of the future and the possibility of Artificial Intelligence.

Posted from My blog by Nile