Blog Post

Introduction

My name is Jon Johnson and I'm a graduate student in English at The University of Victoria. While my thesis work concerns Indigenous literatures in Canada and ecocriticisms, I've been interested in the digital humanities ever since enrolling in a DH grad seminar with Dr Jentery Sayers in 2013. Since then, I have been particularly interested in game studies, hacking, circuit bending, and physical computing. In 2013 I developed a prototype for HyperLit--a satirical e-reader app for Joyce's "Ulysses"--and in the summer of this year I developed a strategic "glitch controller" for a modified Super Nintendo System. You can check out both of these projects respectively here: https://github.com/uvicmakerlab/LongNowOfUlysses/blob/master/English507/... and http://maker.uvic.ca/snes/

I'm currently working in The Maker Lab here at UVic with Jentery Sayers and a variety of Hastac Scholars. Specifically, I am working on the "Kits for Cultural History" project: a media archaeology project exploring experimental haptic approaches to media archaeology and technologies of the past. In particular, I'm working on developing a "kit" prototype for--arguably--the first videogame, the 1958 "Tennis for Two" game. With that said, I am particularly interested in unpacking how haptic engagement and exploration allows for better understandings of the historical and cultural contexts informing and shaping technologies and algorithmic cultural artifacts, and what histories of games and game design can teach us about games as games, as cultural objects, and as things of study. I'm excited to discuss and explore these ideas and concepts in the coming months. Looking forward! Much to come.

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