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Your last journal entry is fine, though it seems to be primarily a repetition of certain aspects of class discussion without the benefit of certain pieces of knowledge that would help to explain what we talked about in class. The words in parentheses, for instance, are designed not for the benefit of the player, but the benefit of Wendy, to whom Alley is telling the story. All of what you say here seems to be technically correct, though paying closer attention to the story itself might have helped you to resolve some of these issues. Check.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:58

I think you're right in noting the similarity between Photopia and the Borges story, and that the connections between these two pieces are fairly strong. Your reason for disliking the former work, though, seems largely predicated on the notion that it forces you to think; rather than simply tell you outright exactly what happens, it conceals information from you and requires you to work through it on your own. There are other, more valid reasons to dislike Photopia, but simply resenting it for requiring effort on your part seems to me a decidedly unsophisticated view of the subject. Check.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:55
professorspothprofessorspoth 07 Dec 2009 15:52
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » will's journal

Some good thoughts about Photopia here. It clearly shares some common ground with The Garden of Forking Paths; both of them seem to encourage the movement of the story in varying directions, the introduction of possible alternative outcomes, the notion that the reader (or hearer) can influence how it turns out. However, it's significant to note that both of them end the same way no matter what you do; they have distinct beginnings, middles, and ends. The metaphorical significances of this system I'll leave to the imagination. Check-plus.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:52
professorspothprofessorspoth 07 Dec 2009 15:49
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Mike's Journal

Part of what this game is doing, I think, is toying with our notion of it as BEING a game; while in your typical video game, playing badly has direct consequences (usually the death of your character), in Photopia the story will nudge you in the right direction no matter how badly you screw up. As I mentioned in class today, I think that it certainly frames itself as a story, a story that has to have a conclusion no matter how reticent or obtuse the listener seems to be. Check-plus.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:49
professorspothprofessorspoth 07 Dec 2009 15:45
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Journal 10.2

Well, Photopia came out in 1998, before the age of Madden, but, as I mentioned in class on Friday, certainly not before the age of graphical games;the XBox and the PS2 were extremely popular at its time of publication. Disliking or finding the game difficult is a perfectly valid response, but simply dismissing it because it doesn't have shiny graphics and sophisticated technology behind it probably isn't—it's pretty pointless to attack a book, for instance, for having worse "graphics" than a TV show. Check.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:45

A fine journal, though it hints more at interesting possible outcomes / interpretations of the piece than it actually pursues those lines of inquiry. The author no doubt understands what effect the difference of this game from more "traditional" forms of entertainment has; the question becomes less why and how it's different and why and how the author chooses to engage with this notion of atypicality. Check.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:41
professorspothprofessorspoth 07 Dec 2009 15:39
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Tina's journal

As I mentioned in class today, this does bill itself as a piece of interactive fiction, but the level of interactivity encouraged by the story is only expansive in a certain sense; no matter what you do, it's all going to turn out the same way. In this sense, I think, the author is making a statement about "traditional" literature—no matter how many times you read the same book, the plot tends to remain static. Check-plus.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:39
professorspothprofessorspoth 07 Dec 2009 15:37
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Regan's Journal

A fine journal, though I would've appreciated you talking more about the content of the game itself rather than the concept behind it… the concept is indeed interesting, but it seems that the issues and themes of the story that Photopia presents deserves some attention. Check.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 07 Dec 2009 15:37

Journal 10: Yes, the form of this reading is very… unusual, and it did in fact take much longer than I anticipated. However, what should be clear is that this "video game" takes a lot of mental effort to decode—probably more than you would expect from the genre. Expecting it to be "easy" (and, indeed, it IS easy to determine what's going on in a "typical" game) creates a distinct gap between the intent of the game and the expectations of the reader, which is maybe where some of your difficulty is coming from. Check-plus.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 04 Dec 2009 15:37
professorspothprofessorspoth 04 Dec 2009 15:35
in discussion Hidden / Per page discussions » Aric's Journal

Well, to say that interactive fiction has niche appeal is probably to overstate the matter somewhat; judged as a game by today's standards, it's unconventional at best and deathly boring at worst. However, what you might want to take into account is the idea that the author distinctly isn't trying to conform to the standard set by modern video games (and this *is* actually a modern video game—though text adventures have been around for a long time, Photopia is very recent). If this still doesn't make you like it any more; that's fine. Can't please everyone, I suppose. Check-plus.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 04 Dec 2009 15:35

Journal 10 is a good one; though you do seem to have encountered some confusion, I think that's a reasonable reaction given the highly unusual flow of the narrative. You've also put your finger on some of the common arguments made in favor of this kind of storytelling: the interactivity and the feeling that you're somehow in command of the story. Whether or not you ARE in fact in control in this particular instance, though, is up for debate… Check-plus.

by professorspothprofessorspoth, 04 Dec 2009 15:32

-How did you organize your thoughts?
-How did you construct your thesis?
-Do you have any quotes in mind that relate to your argument?

by gonzalezngonzalezn, 30 Nov 2009 08:25

-How did you organize your ideas? (What type of outline did you do?)
-What did you mean by, "should be original and has element filled with humanity"?
-Is there an example of how history has helped you with your future that can relate to your writing?

by gonzalezngonzalezn, 30 Nov 2009 08:09

You have some good ideas in your paper but there are a few things that you could do to make this much better. The main thing that i noticed is how short most of your quotes are. For me I needed to go back and look up the quotes because I did not remember what they were from. This is a hastle for the reader even if they have read the book because they need to look up the quote to try and connect it to what you are saying in your paper. The other part of this paper that could use some strong help is your conclusion. It is very short and needs to get across a stronger point. This is supposed to be your best paragraph and you need to fix it so it will be the best one and will really improve your paper.

by Mike Y 18Mike Y 18, 30 Nov 2009 07:53

I feel that you have a very strong paper here Natalie. You make it clear what you want to write about and when you write about it, it is strong and very clear. Your points make complete sense as well. They are broad enough for the reader to understand but they also provide enough detail to show that you really know what you are talking about. Even though this paper is very strong there is room for you to make it even better. I agree with what Cathy says when she states you need a little bit more information of the identity and globalization. It seems as though the paper is a little bit lob sided with these two subjects. Other than that your quotes are strong and fit in with your topic very well and I think that there are some small adjustments to be made and you will have an A+ paper.

by Mike Y 18Mike Y 18, 30 Nov 2009 07:28


You have a good start on your paper which contains some unique ideas, though you need put some efforts to make it to be stronger. As you mentioned, the paper need to have a clear thesis. Instead of summary, you may relate thesis to a controversial or “ambiguous”globalization world. Besides, you can combine the two paragraphs about 9.11 together. Also, add transaction between each paragraph will help the paper a lot.

Concerning of evidence, I think you fit some very well on third and fifth paragraph. But be sure to have at least one quote on each paragraph. For forth paragraph, you can find examples about how industries become interdependence in the globalization world like the coffee shops and the brand stores all around the world. Also, you may add a personal example toward it to bolster argument.

Some of the arguments can be made clearer and stronger. For example, in your third paragraph, you can talk more about in which way did Win influence Cayce and how does this make Cayce’s life change after 9.11. In the fifth paragraph, you can make argument about not only the authentic of the logo, but also the authentic of the footage. And the connection between the reason she search the footage and her job as a consultant. Besides authenticity, you can also discuss about the originality in both logos and footages, even Cayce’s personality itself.

In one word, after you expand the content into more details, your paper will turn out to be great!

by tinahetinahe, 30 Nov 2009 05:06

I really like the way you care about all the details and you provide each word-to-word analysis for the point that Gibson makes. But I was confused while reading your paper. I know it is a very rough draft as you mentioned, and you are still working on this paper. So, I think it will be better to state your thesis and topic sentences clearer. I can’t really say what exactly you are trying to say. However, your paragraphs are flowing in time order of the book and how does Cayce changed throughout the book. I liked that. However, my suggestion is to break each paragraph’s idea more evidently, because it is kind of all connected, so that I was kind of confused in which place the paragraph breaks.

Also for the evidences, the conversation part—between Bigend and Boone Chu, what this conversation mean to be? I was kind of confused. Is it about her life being impersonal? Is necessarily relates Cayce not living her own life? It would be better to have more explanation that links this conversation necessarily leads to the evidence of Cayce not living her own life—or might be better to use another more proper quote.

But I like your ideas and evidences that you’ve picked. Keep working on! It would be a really good paper if you organize your thought 

Mariela, by heoajheoaj, 30 Nov 2009 05:04

Natalie, this is a great analytical paper. I like your opening the most. It is eye-catching by illustrating a scene of seeing 9/11 attack on TV. This is essential because you talked about 9/11 attack and its significance on Cayce afterwards. Your quotes are strong and persuasive but you might have to elaborate more on the longer quotes and how it fits to your thesis. For example, you quoted “simulacra of simulacra of simulacra of simulacra. A diluted tincture of Ralph Lauren, who had himself diluted the glory days of Brooks Brothers, who themselves had stepped on the product of Jermyn Street and Savile Row, flavoring their ready-to-wear with liberal lashings of polo kit and regimental stripes. But Tommy surely is the null point, the black hole. There must be some Tommy Hilfiger event horizon, beyond which it is impossible to be more derivative, more removed from the source, more devoid of soul.” from the book to support that Cayce’s allergy toward logos is implying the lack of authenticity in today’s world. Firstly, I think providing this entire quote is unnecessary. You can just quote some key words to present Cayce’s allergy. Secondly, I think you can elaborate more on identity and globalization. You can compare Tommy with the Rickson’s jacket. Overall, your paper is very good. It is structurally organized and supported with strong evidence.

by CathyTCathyT, 30 Nov 2009 04:30


The style of your paper is good. I like that you ended your paper similar to the way you began it. One suggestion, you could try rearranging your paragraphs about the Rickson's so that the parargraphs are together. The evidence you used to support your claims is really good. All of your quotes seem relevant to the points you make. Your arguments are clear and logical. You could try connecting how Cayce's quest for humanity is important in such a globalized society and why people still need to have some individuality. Overall I thought your paper was good.

by nataliewilliamsnataliewilliams, 30 Nov 2009 02:51


For the paper as a whole, there need to have more transactions between each paragraphs instead of simply answering question. Also, it seems you are using globalization as thesis, but the construction is not clear. You may try to change the order of paragraphs, like state the definition of globalization first and then write about what Cayce’s view towards it.

Throughout the paper, I can barely see the quotes from book. For example, you write “Cayce near the end of the book has a conversation with Peter trying to figure out each other is really who they say they are.” This is a part you can find the page number in the book and quote it. For your third paragraph, it is good to make Coke as a comparison. And besides that, you may want to link it to the book like showing Cayce’s travelling around the world.

Concerning of your arguments, I find you made a strong focus at globalization, but some of it is a little bit unclear. For your forth paragraph, you might want to break it into two parts: one talks about the meaning of clothing towards Cayce, while another talks about the personality of different characters in the book regarding homogeneous. You could mention Cayce’s father’s influence on her at second paragraph when talking about the world has “gone in such a different direction.”

Overall, it has much potential turns out to be a great paper as you add some evidences and make stronger arguments.

by tinahetinahe, 30 Nov 2009 02:38
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