Final Digital Project Proposal

I plan to create an interactive fiction game for my final project. The game’s narrative will either focus on the narrative of erasure. The narrative will either portray the life of person growing up with a disability, the life of a child being bullied at school, or other lives that are oppressed. The story will hopefully bring attention to the difficultly others may encounter on an everyday basis throughout their lives

The purpose of this project is to narrate a simple story using animation. The audience of this piece is everyone since everyone encounters people without knowing what they go through. This will hopefully bring awareness to the hardship of other and share the message that everyone should be treated with kindness and respect.

I can see many risks that are possible with this project. I will be coding this project in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript using the JavaScript libraries jQuery. I have coded some games before but they were written in a different language. Since I have no experience with jQuery and relatively new to JavaScript I am likely to run into issues I will not know how to resolve which will hindering progress of the game. There is also the possibility that I will run out of time and not be able to finish coding this project within the month allotted. The reward of completing this game will be bringing awareness to some forgotten people. Through this game the viewer will get to walk in another person’s shoes and by experiencing some hardship they will hopefully gain some respect for their peers.

I will be using Code Academy to get the basics of jQuery and refresh my JavaScript skills. I will also be using Photoshop to create the sprites and background frames. The schedule will be difficult and tight since I am currently working on my big software engineering project. Due to my workload I am likely to use the entire month to create this game.

The outline of the upcoming weeks will be as followed:

March 27th: Learning jQuery and refreshing JavaScript

April 3rd: Setting up website on DoOO and framework of site

April 10th: Begin coding game, testing, and create artwork

April 17th: Continue coding game and testing

April 24th: Finish coding game, testing, and final touches

The game will be considered successful if the narrative is interesting to the audience and the code works with little to no bugs. The game will be considered unsuccessful if there is zero working code.

Learning to Code HTML & CSS

I choose Code Academy to further my knowledge of HTML & CSS. I choose to use Code Academy for this task because I enjoyed using it in the past to review my knowledge of SQL. I already knew many of the basics of HTML & CSS prior to beginning my study of the platform. I believe Code Academy is a great free tool to use if someone wants to begin learning different coding languages. The learning platform goes in depth with each language and allows for many practice examples to get a new programmer use to the syntax. In each section the platform builds on the material covered, forcing a user to repeat skills to ensure that it sticks while also challenging the programmer. The repetition is extremely beneficial way to learn to code. I also thought it was a good idea that each lesson provides hints rather than providing the entire code in case a programmer gets stuck.

Coding languages is essentially learning a foreign language the more you practice the better you become. One critique I have with using Code Academy is that the sections that would be most beneficial are “Pro” features which means you must pay to access these lessons. Most of the Pro features involve the implementation of the skills learned throughout the session, they are actual project that would get a user to think critically which really helps embed the code into their minds. I believe that Code Academy covers the basics very well but users must continue to practicing after completing the course to be able to actually use the material covered. Coding isn’t like a history class where you can just memorize fact, you must practice for the skill to be relevant and usable.

Being a computer science major, I have experience different techniques to learning how to code. By far the most beneficial method to learn to code would be implementing project. When I am trying to find a solution, I tend to find out what I actually don’t know causing me to do research until I do know. I had a professor use a specialized method in which there was no due dates so that you may work at your own pace when trying to teach yourself the code. The only problem I found with this method is that students tend to procrastinate the work. There was very little lectures in this class and the majority of our time was spent practicing how to use SQL, HTML, and CSS. I felt that I learned the most from this teaching technique rather than the standard lecture class.

Another method I experienced was for my independent study, I read the iOS programming from the Big Nerd Ranch. They proudly advertised how their teaching method was different than other book. They essentially walked you through different exercises without any explanation as to why I am doing certain step. This was a huge flaw, when I went to try the methods I read about I was unable to implement them without the assistance of the book. When I finished the course in the book, I felt that I did not know the material as well as I expected to by the end of the semester. I believe this was also in part to learning to code from a book, it is hard to stay motivated and to absorb coding techniques without implementing them on your own.

As Audrey Watters stated in “Decoding ‘Everyone Should Learn to Code,'” coding is about computational thinking, it is about learning to work through problems. To learn to solve problems you rely on experiences you have already encountered, thus you must practice exercises on your own to test your knowledge and know what you don’t know. I think Code Academy does this very well, they provide you with many exercises to attempt with a variety of difficulties. All in all none of this matters if you have no desire to learn, you must be motivated to invest time and you must be patient when developing skills. You will not be a fully capable programmer on the first day you start coding, it will take hours of work to be able to do thing on your own. You should try to learn code because everyone else is learning it but because you want to, otherwise you are going to be miserable.

 

Why Learn to Code?

Learning to code is becoming very important in today society. As the use of technology is on rise the need for people who can code also rises. More and more jobs are requiring their employees to know how to code to some extent. Another reason to learn to code is that learning this new skill allows for the ability to create and be more creative in your professional or daily life. Lastly, coding is also a fun skill that can be incorporated into any field imaginable. This allows for a lot of flexibility when determining how to use code.

Why I am learning to code? I am learning because I think it is fun. It also helps that it opens more job opportunities later on. Learning this new skill allows me to continually add to my resume each time I learn a new language. I believe that learning code is important if you want to be able to create something for yourself. With code you can create new works of arts such as games and apps. I am pursuing computer science because I want to eventually be able to program complex application that can be used online. I am also fascinated by the amount of everyday procedures involving some snippet of code. Personally I like to code databases, websites, and games the most.

Disability Erasure

Disability erasure takes many forms in our daily lives. It comes from using foul language such as the “R” word rather than a more appropriate word. It comes from influential people mocking  disabled reporters. It comes from misconceptions and ignorance of different disabilities. It also comes from solely identifying people with disabilities as such. All these points are used to put down people with disabilities. They are dragged down to the bottom of the social food chain because they are easy targets to step on. Here begins the erasure of people living with disabilities.

Throughout history people with disabilities have labeled as social outcasts, they have been abuse and mistreated. It has even come to a point in which humans will try to abort a baby prior to their birth if a disability of any kind is detected, as if a life with a disability is not worth living. This paints a picture that the life of people with disabilities are valueless. Others who decide to keep their unborn babies then send their children off to institutions, this may be done for many reasons. Some parents may have good intentions sending there children away so that they can receive the proper medical care but not considering the other aspects of a child’s life they will be neglecting. Not only is this physical erasure it is mental. Consider the saying “out of sight, out of mind” when people living with disabilities are locked away from the rest of society.

Now online technology has come into play, it touches everyone’s lives one way or another. It allows people from around the world to connect and communicate. It allows people to create their own online identity regardless of who they are in the physical world. This both aids and hinders disability erasure. Online technology aids disability erasure in that it allows for an entirely new identity to be created online regardless of who the person is, they are then able to interact with other without the boundaries that may in the physical world. The problem with this is that it does not address attitudes towards people with disabilities. Even online, individuals are bullied for a known disability or for just being different. Essentially we erase disabilities in the online world to strive for a delusional equality even though it may increases empowerment within the community and allows for the spread of information in regards to the issue.

Sources:

  1. This is what disability erasure looks like
  2. Disabled people are viewed as social outcasts: Shifting the view from victim to advocate
  3. Valuing the lives of people with disability
  4. Donald Trump’s worst offense? Mocking disabled Reporter, Poll Finds
  5. Meryl Streep was right. Donald Trump did mock a disabled reporter
  6. Misconceptions about ADHD
  7. Disability in the fetus
  8. Disabled Kids Living Isolated Lives in Institutions