How can Electronic literature be used to express your ideas, worries, forecasts for what it means to experience the theme of this course– This Digital Life?

Video Interlude (it has some bearing on E-Lit)

The NetNarr Project

Last week we explored examples of the genres Electronic Literature. For the final project of this class you are asked to conceptualize a possible E-literature piece about Digital Life, develop the character(s) that might be part of it, outline the setting/environment, research and described what it might do, perhaps create or find media it might use, explore the experience might look like (in words, diagrams, sketched), speculate how it might be produced, and create an example if possible demonstrating a part of the experience.

Developing an Idea for Electronic Literature

Consider this project as a unit plan or a concept design for an E-literature piece; two weeks is hardly enough time to fully produce it. So in your idea development, aim to keep the scale reasonable.

You will want to select one of the topics we have discussed experience thus far in this class:

  • The place of digital art
  • Digital Tracking and surveillance
  • The potential, good or bad, for sharing memes and GIFs
  • Empathy games
  • The effect of games on behavior
  • The presence and impact of digital redlining
  • Bots and automated systems
  • or something else that interests you.

You will want to include descriptions of the characters (if there are any) that might be part of an E-literature creation. Where might it take place? What is an incident that might affect the characters, or the world? What impact might it have to society at large?

The bigger questions to ponder are how E-literature night be effective at portraying and increasing understanding of the role digital technologies play in our lives.

Then, from your exploration of e_literatire, develop a rationale why hypertext fiction, kinetic poetry, generative content, interactive fiction, etc might be effective to express your ideas.

Developing a Prototype

Use your media skills to create a schematic representation of how your e-literature idea might be created, perhaps do storyboards or map outlines for the experience.

If you can, explore some different tools to create examples of how it might work, showing a preview of what might be fully published with more time. Some, but certainly all possibilities might be:

  • Combining/remixng memes/GIFs in non-linear or unexpected ways
  • Use to create a conversational or hypertext annotation story layer on the “ordinary” web
  • Use tweets from different twitter bots to create a storyline or conversational part of a story.
  • Try the other means of generating stories from the Twitter bot spreadsheet we used in week 12
  • Create a story that takes place somehow in a game.
  • Explore Twine or Inklewriter (a bit easier, see more similar tools) as an interactive story making tool.
  • Can e-literature exist in existing spaces of the web like blog comments or Amazon product reviews?
  • Explore what students did last year to communicate in coded language using tools like rot13

The Timeline

You have two weeks to work on this project, no blog posts required. This is due end of the day May 9. If you are stuck on the ideas, reach out to me and schedule a time we can talk through some possibilities.

Your project should be written up ideally as a Google or Word document; use basic formatting and hyperlinks as appropriate. Create or capture images you can use in the final report.

When you are ready to submit your work, you will publish it on our Arganee Journal via the submission form at (the access code will be shared in class).

Again, your write up should explain and outline your idea for an E-literature piece, not having to fully create it.

Featured Image: Prehistoric granaries along the Colorado River, National Park Service photo by Mark Lellouch shared into the public domain as a product of a US Government agency

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Alan Levine feels weird writing about himself in the third person. A 1990s pioneer on the web and early proponent of blogging, he shares his ideas at His interests include web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), mocking MOOCs, daily photography, bending WordPress, and randomly dipping into the infinite river of the internet.


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