Writing Machines is the course website for English 170L at Pomona College in Claremont, California.
While I've never played an MMORPG, I have heard my fair share about how they work, and one of the common threads is a general hostility to "newbies," (or Noobs, or newbs, or N00bs, or whatever). Many more experienced players will prey on, mock, or otherwise act in a generally unwelcoming manner toward new players. This is not to say that there aren't just as many experienced players who are happy to lend a hand to someone just starting out, but the phenomenon of hostility is prevalent enough to be consistently mentioned in a generous proportion of anything you might read about these games.
Writing about 2Advanced, I find myself intrigued by the idea of temporality and why I find it so threatening. That is, why do I find myself threatened/annoyed by the idea that content can disappear or only be available during certain points in time? (as a brief note, this was brought up in class at one point where we talked about the difference in having information online vs. in a book, and how digital information is at once more ethereal and more permanent than printed works).
Aside from the annoyances with illusionary temporality I already discussed (nothing annoys me more than a pretense to temporality that I can easily bypass), I wonder at my need to have things on my hard drive. That is, even though the video is on YouTube, why do I still feel the need to download it to my hard drive? Hard drives fail, as do other forms of media storage, so in some way the video is safer on YouTube than it is on my hard drive.
Deciding what is good innovation and what is bad innovation on the web is always a challenge. After all, if web designers ignore accessibility (the ability of search engines to interpret pages, users to bookmark them, different web browsers to interpret them the same way, etc.), some very cool effects can be achieved (see many of the projects this semester). In contrast to these projects, however, I would like present a web design company that innovates in form while retaining a fair amount of convention.
Enter 2Advanced Studios. Beloved and hated all over the net (but known everywhere), 2Advanced are undisputed magicians of Flash (if you want to know more about flash). They have produced some of the most dynamic and interactive sites on the net, integrating animation, audio, and video (hypermedia anyone?) at an unprecedented level. So why are they hated?