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Journal Articles (Humanities Computing)

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  1. Trading stories: An oral history conversation between Geoffrey Rockwell and Julianne Nyhan [Download]

    Title: Trading stories: An oral history conversation between Geoffrey Rockwell and Julianne Nyhan
    Creator: Rockwell, Geoffrey
    Description: This extended interview with Geoffrey Rockwell was carried out via Skype on the 28th April 2012. He narrates that he had been aware of computing developments when growing up in Italy but it was in college in the late 1970s that he took formal training in computing. He bought his first computer, an Apple II clone, after graduation when he was working as a teacher in the Middle East. Throughout the interview he reflects on the various computers he has used and how the mouse that he used with an early Macintosh instinctively appealed to him. By the mid-1980s he was attending graduate school in the University of Toronto and was accepted on to the Apple Research Partnership Programme, which enabled him to be embedded in the central University of Toronto Computing Services; he went on to hold a full time position there. Also taking a PhD in Philosophy, he spent many lunch times talking with John Bradley. This resulted in the building of text analysis tools and their application to Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, as well as some of the earliest, if not the earliest, conference paper on visualisation in the digital humanities community. He reflects on the wide range of influences that shaped and inspired his early work in the field, for example, the Research Computing Group at the University of Toronto and their work in visual programming environments. In 1994 he applied, and was hired at McMaster University to what he believes was the first job openly advertised as a humanities computing position in Canada. After exploring the opposition to computing that he encountered he reflects that the image of the underdog has perhaps become a foundational myth of digital humanities and questions whether it is still a useful one.
    Subjects: Digital humanities, Computing, Interview, Development of digital humanities
    Date Created: 2012
  2. The design of an international social media event: A day in the life of the digital humanities [Download]

    Title: The design of an international social media event: A day in the life of the digital humanities
    Creator: Rockwell, Geoffrey
    Description: A Day in the Life of the Digital Humanities (Day of DH) is a community documentation project that brings together digital humanists from around the world to document what they do on one day, typically March 18. The goal of the project, which has been run three times since 2009, is to bring together participants to reflect on the question, \"Just what do computing humanists really do?\" To do this, participants document their day through photographs and commentary using one of the Day of DH blogs set up for them. The collection of these journals (with links, tags, and comments) is, after editing, made available online. This paper discusses the design of this social project, from the ethical issues raised to the final web of journals and shares some of the lessons we have learned. One of the major challenges of social media is getting participation. We made participating easy by personally inviting a seed group, choosing an accessible technology, maintaining a light but constant level of communication prior to the event, and asking only for a single day of commitment. In addition, we tried to make participation at least rewarding in formal academic terms by structuring the Day of DH as a collaborative publication. In terms of improvements, we have over the iterations changed the handling ethics clearances for images and connected to other social media like Twitter.
    Subjects: Social media, Digital humanities, Twitter, Collaboration, Blogs
    Date Created: 2012
  3. The indie academy: Promoting gaming communities through university collaboration [Download]

    Title: The indie academy: Promoting gaming communities through university collaboration
    Creator: Gouglas, Sean
    Description: Introduction: Universities face significant pressures to commercialize and license intellectual property (IP). With declining or stagnant government funding, research offices and education ministries have looked to software licensing and technology transfer as possible avenues to make up these shortfalls. Governments also look to universities to be engines of innovation that create new IP and spin off companies. Such is the case with computer gaming research. There is a perception that there is tremendous potential to commercialize such research, particularly given the remarkable increase in gaming production budgets. This is a mistake. Universities need to be flexible and relinquish IP rights in order to engage the Indie development community in ways that benefit both universities and developers more directly. Aside from the fact that most university gaming IP is generally unsuitable for commercial gaming, the perception of potential misses the mark.
    Subjects: Universities, Commercialization of research, Video games, Intellectual property rights
    Date Created: 2013
  4. Campus mysteries: Serious walking around [Download]

    Title: Campus mysteries: Serious walking around
    Creator: Rockwell, Geoffrey
    Description: The Campus Mysteries project developed an augmented reality game platform called fAR-Play and a learning game called Campus Mysteries with the platform. This paper reports on the development of the platform, the development of the game, and a assessment of the playability of the game. We conclude that augmented reality games are a viable model for learning and that the process of development is itself the site of learning.
    Subjects: Collaborative Learning, Locative Learning, Serious Games, Augmented Reality
    Date Created: 2013
  5. From CRUD to CREAM: Imagining a rich scholarly repository interface [Download]

    Title: From CRUD to CREAM: Imagining a rich scholarly repository interface
    Creator: Brown, Susan
    Description: This article addresses the design of a dynamic repository interface to support numerous scholarly activities. Starting with the four fundamental functions associated with persistent storage — create, read, update, and delete (CRUD) — we tested, as an organizing rubric for the interface, the acronym CREAM: Create (represent, illustrate); Read (sample, read); Enhance (refer, annotate, process); Analyze (search, select, visualize, mine, cluster); and Manage (track, label, transform). Based on a card-sorting exercise conducted with researchers, we conclude that a slightly modified rubric of CREAMS offers a useful starting point that emphasizes the enriched functionality a scholarly repository or similarly complex digital environment requires, as well as the immense challenge of designing conceptually clear interfaces, even for a relatively homogenous community of researchers.
    Subjects: Experimental Interface Design, Human-Computer Interaction: Digital Scholarly Editions
    Date Created: 2012
  6. Interfacing the collection [Download]

    Title: Interfacing the collection
    Creator: Sondheim, Daniel
    Description: The digital age has led to the advent of electronic collections with millions or even billions of items. This paper examines the types of interfaces that are emerging for large-scale collections, specifically addressing what a large collection looks like online, and how it can be managed by users. In examining these questions, we propose some features that we feel are universally desirable in interfaces to collections. Overall, there appear to be two sets of features that help users effectively use and sort online content: tools to view, organize and navigate collections; and tools to customize and manage user-created sub-collections.
    Subjects: Editable Collections, User-Managed Collections, Interface, Electronic Collections, Large-Scale Collections
    Date Created: 2012
  7. The leisure of serious games: A dialogue [Download]

    Title: The leisure of serious games: A dialogue
    Creator: Rockwell, Geoffrey
    Description: This dialogue was performed by Dr. Geoffrey Rockwell and Dr. Kevin Kee as a plenary presentation to the 2009 Interacting with Immersive Worlds Conference at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada. Kevin introduced Geoffrey as a keynote speaker prepared to present on serious games. Instead of following convention, Geoffrey invited Kevin to engage in a dialogue testing the claim that \"games can be educational\". Animated by a spirit of Socratic play, they examined serious gaming in the light of the insights of ancient philosophers including Socrates, Plato and Aesop, twentieth-century theorists such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Bernard Suits, Johan Huizinga, and Roger Callois, and contemporaries such as Espen Aarseth, Bernard Suits and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Their dialogue touched on topics ranging from definitions of play and games, to existing examples of “serious games”, to divisions between games and simulations, and the historical trajectories of comparable media. Their goal was to provide an introduction to these topics, and provoke discussion among their listeners during the conference that followed. In the end, they agreed that the lines of separation between \"games\" and \"learning\" may not be as clear as sometimes assumed, and that in game design we may find the seeds of serious play.
    Subjects: Theory, Socratic Dialogues, Education, Serious Games, Play
    Date Created: 2011
  8. Serious play at hand: Is gaming serious research in the humanities? [Download]

    Title: Serious play at hand: Is gaming serious research in the humanities?
    Creator: Rockwell, Geoffrey
    Description: Games are used to teach the humanities not for research. We are not even comfortable studying games seriously, let alone proposing that games could be a form of research. It is only recently that computer games have become the subject of serious humanities inquiry. At the same time there is a tradition that proposes that what we do in the humanities is a form of play, even if it is serious play. In theorists like Huizinga, Bakhtin, and Gadamer play is presented as a component of humanities practice. The playful dimension of the dialogue of the humanities is that which distinguishes our (hermeneutical) methods from those in the social and natural sciences. If we want to resist becoming a (human) science we need to reassert the playfulness of representation and interpretation. That means acknowledging the place of games and game theory in our practice. In this component of the panel Geoffrey Rockwell will make the case for building games and playing them as a way of modeling and then reflecting on our activities that is in the spirit of the humanities. Geoffrey Rockwell was invited to sit in on the design of the Game and will provide a concluding presentation that reflects on the witnessed process of developing Ivanhoe as itself a recognizable form of research that combines the play of the symposium with the implementation demands of digital practice.
    Subjects: Game Theory, Relationship to Computer Games
    Date Created: 2003
  9. Interrupting digitization and thinking about text or digitization and the form of digital text [Download]

    Title: Interrupting digitization and thinking about text or digitization and the form of digital text
    Creator: Rockwell, Geoffrey
    Description: Enthusiasm for digitization hides the complexity of processes involved and the significance of the cultural changes achieved in our time. Itʹs worth examining again the ways in which we usually see the digital, often considered as an interruption of the continuous flow into discrete intervals. Equally important is to make clear how one can use digital documents and what is lost when digitizing the analog representation. Thinking about the way we conceive the difference between these two types of representation leads us to understand that in the digital world there is information encoded in the medium we use to codify and to represent content. When we consider the abstract concept of digitization we actually learn much more about our media and culture than about the files of which we believe we are speaking. Therefore the interruption of the computer can help us understand the machine as machine
    Subjects: Content mediums, Digitization, Analog records
    Date Created: 2009
  10. Scholarly editions in print and on the screen: A theoretical comparison [Download]

    Title: Scholarly editions in print and on the screen: A theoretical comparison
    Creator: Sondheim, Daniel
    Description: Since the advent of digital scholarly editions, there have been many arguments to the effect that digital versions are able to offer more to humanities scholars than printed ones. Though this opinion is shared by most scholars producing digital editions, a number have also published printed versions alongside or even after launching digital ones. To address the apparent contradiction between theoretical discourse and actual practice, this chapter will analyze two scholarly editions that have been implemented in both digital and printed environments by the same editor(s). Scholarly editions that we intend to focus on include the British Library, National Library of Russia, St. Catherine's Monastery, and Leipzig University Library's edition of the Codex Sinaiticus, and Daniel Paul O'Donnell's edition of Cædmon's hymn. By comparing statements of purpose, interface features, and content, we will identify the structures and characteristics that are either shared or unique in each edition. Having conducted a detailed analysis of each edition, we will then evaluate each scholarly edition by applying to it a relevant theory of new media. Theories that we will use include Lev Manovich's The language of new media, and Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin's Remediation: Understanding new media. A view of the scholarly edition as a particular instance within the broader context of current media theory will thereby be developed. The vantage point thus obtained will allow for a more moderate evaluation of the relative advantages and disadvantages of printed and digital scholarly editions than has been available thus far.
    Subjects: Digital Humanities, Interface Design, Media Studies, Scholarly Editions
    Date Created: 2015