Take That Lollipop (I Dare You!)


When posed with the statement: “Take This Lollipop, I Dare You” on a website, of course my initial instinct is to take it! Not only did it dare me to, but I am one of those people with a seriously sweet tooth who could always do with a lollipop! But this interactive digital story is not exactly of the sweet variety, check it out here… if you dare!

“Take This Lollipop” is a personalised digital story which will inevitably creep you out, so it was probably not the best idea to view it at 11:28 at night in my bedroom alone with the doors closed and the lights all turned off… (or conversely maybe this was the perfect setup!)  The power of the story lies in the personalisation of the piece, so to get the true experience you have to sign into your Facebook account and grant it access. And this is the way in which the story then proceeds to freak you out! Eerie music building up tension, amazing 3D graphics lead you down a dingy hallway to a room where an excessively creepy man sits at a computer, as the visuals turn to display the computer screen you watch as this creepy man logs into Facebook and accesses your very own Facebook account!! Your exact news feed on display post for post, before he clicks onto your profile and ever so creepily stalks through photo after photo, progressing through them as he begins stroking the screen with his fingers. The epitome of the creepiness when the stalker opens up google maps and types in your location, before proceeding to get into his van, a photo of you taped to his dashboard!

The true strengths of the digital story are not only in the graphics and the way it is interactive without too much involvement, but also the way in which it emotes and sets a mood without the use of dialogue but rather,through the use of colouring, excessively creepy musical score and sound effects, the various angles within the animation and the expressions of the stalker character. The viewer becoming well and truly immersed in the story. The only weakness in the piece, I am finding it increasingly difficult to even think of one, it was that well done, would probably be the ambiguity of the piece, if you have no idea what the story is before you ‘take that lollipop” (like me) you have no clue what you are getting yourself into. However, this could aso be quite intentional on the part of the creators. As far as horror stories go, the plot is not overly twisting or complex at all; but it is the whole seeing yourself cast as the victim that really draws you in.

This video whilst extremely creepy, truly for me just shows how far the world of digital story telling  has come and is indicative of all the possibilities for future stories, especially with the increasing progression of technology these days. The way the story becomes personalised for you the viewer, the overall construction and its ability to access your information a truly signifcant development for storytelling online and in general.

Many people in the world having a tendency to underestimate the power of social networks. Short and succinct this viral video also teaches an important lesson about the potential dangers of  online networking, sending a warning about being very careful with privacy, making you think twice about what you share on the internet and how you safe guard this information.

One final quick note for the future: don’t take candy from strangers, online or otherwise!

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APP HAPPY!


Apps (short for applications… just in case you were wondering) seem to be taking the world by storm! Almost everyone these days seeming to be in possession of a smart phone.

But what is the big deal with these apps? Are they really that important to our contemporary media landscape? I think its time for some investigative research to assess this once and for all!


Research by Google suggests that we’re one of seven countries in the world where more than 50 per cent of the population uses smartphones, the numbers increasing everyday. And with smartphones taking the world by storm, it only makes sense that apps, the function that separates them from ordinary, non-smart phones, are historicizing media technology as we know it.

so what are apps exactly?

Apps are programs that can allow your smartphone or tablet to do anything the programmer can imagine… within the devices technical competencies of course! And with technology developing ever so rapidly, the functionality of them are increasing. With a great variety of apps ranging from banking, to social media, to games and between free and paid; the functionality of apps is making tasks that would be time consuming or involve a computer to be done on the go, conveniently through their mobile devices.

so lets take a look at some apps!

Melbourne Train Trapper

This app allows you to check the train timetable on the go, it detects your location and allows you to display train times for any metro service, even letting you know when there are delays! It uses small coloured dots near station names and in certain list, which pulls information from Metro’s website and displays green for good service, orange for disruptions and red for a suspended line. As someone who catches the train daily, I found this app to be very useful and easy to use. Displaying the information I needed quickly as I needed it.

Screen Grab of Train Trapper

Facebook

Probably the most  common and used Apps across both android and apple, the Facebook app allows you to access your Facebook account from your mobile phone. Having all the functions the internet site has, you can keep up with your friends where ever you are. This app is definitely  a good way to be constantly updated with what’s going on in your social world, and also can be a good way to kill time or procrastinate… either or!

Screen Grab from the App

MY RMIT

This app is the official app of RMIT university, it allows you to stay connected to RMIT while on the go. With access to your student emails, announcements, your timetable, campus maps and results, this app is compact and ever so convenient especially when its almost the end of semester and you are still struggling to remember which level your class is on! Exceptionally handy that’s for sure.

Screen Shot From the App

BUBBLE SHOOTER

Of course, one of the most popular types of apps available these days are in fact games! This game Bubble Shooter is a fun and addictive bubble shooting game (not that the name suggests that or anything…) Complete with a puzzle mode, 300 different levels and beautiful scenes and graphics; this game will keep you amused when there is nothing else or plenty else to be doing.

Screen Shot from Level 11 of Bubble Shooter

 

so what are the pros apps?

  • With such a diverse range of apps available, there is something to fulfil almost any need
  • They provide functions that make life so convenient when on the run, for instant google maps or gps’s giving you directions as you go
  • They are so easy to download
  • Many of them are inexpensive or even free

…. and the cons?

  • People can become too heavily reliant on them
  • They can increase procrastination
  • It can encourage the entrapment in the virtual world, many people having a tendency to sit on their phones during social situations

overall

I think apps are a fantastic invention which truly are  historicizing mobile media technology as we know it. I love having the ability to check the weather or when my train is coming or even my uni timetable on the go. Having my phone with me at all times I have  access to the them 24/7! They have helped me many a time to navigate my way from being lost or get in contact with friends via facebook who I would have been unable to contact otherwise. With the ability to do all this already, the possibilities for future apps are endless.