Category Archives: CLMOOC

Games as Gateways to the Adjacent Possible


Wise words from wise fellows.  Much of my work during Games Week on #CLMOOC has been trying to make sense of the kinds of games I like to play.  Not board games, not online games, but idea games.  I love idea machines.

I think I created a game that is a machine for seeing.  Here are the breadcrumbs:

#CLMOOC Make Cycle Three newsletter –>Diigo highlighting and extraction–> transfer to Hackpad–>transformation in Hackpad–>game rules devised–>game played (and playing) by applying rules to Susan Watson’s cooler than cool Obscure Sorrows and Joys Museum Game

So…to sum up.  The folks at GlassLab Games who are facilitating this Make Cycle asked us to do an awful lot of stuff for a week.  I tried to make sense of it by creating a game called “The Thoreau Game: Simplify” where I tried to translate their 36 verbal imperatives into a manageble number of commands. I got it down to twelve.  I then did what they asked, “For this Make Cycle, “We invite you to use game design to analyze, remediate, and reflect on complex systems.”

That is what I did.  I did the same thing in the last make cycle, I remediated the cycle newsletter to define remediation.  I think this process can be considered to be an idea machine because you can start with any text as source for game rules and you can make them your own by simplifying and translating.  And then you can play the game by applying them.

In the end, the game functions as a key to open up doors to the adjacent possible.  For me this is ongoing because I keep coming back to Susan’s museum game and applying the principles I cadged and remade from the newsletter.

Like I said, I love idea games and ideation machines and playing the games they can generate.  I am not any good at all coding in any language except this written one.  It is the oldest and I think best code of all.  Flexible, enduring, and sustainable.  That’s more than can be said for the stuff that dies when the electrons stop flowing, but I am super happy that GlassLabs is here to help.

Game the Game: Unflattening and Leveling Up 4 Make Cycle 3


In modern literary criticism, stance is all. The beauty of that ‘stance’ is that it encourages us to do what Nick Sousanis calls ‘unflattening’. Sousanis in his unparalleled graphic comic of the same name defines this term thus,

Unflattening is a simultaneous engagement of multiple vantage points from which to engender new ways of seeing.(32)

In other words unflattening is a seeing machine, a way of generating a new way of seeing.

This week we are looking at a new way of seeing in #CLMOOC ‘s third week.  It’s called gaming.  When you unflatten you have to take one view and add another in order to the get the ‘parallax’ so essential to seeing something anew and with depth. Sousanis devotes a whole chapter to this so I devoutly hope you go buy his book and read more there. Suffice to say, whatever your vantage point you can combine it with ‘gaming’ to “level up”.

I have been trying to figure out how our Make Cycle compadres want us to do this.  There were so many calls to action in the newsletter I felt compelled to tease them all out in order to see with this gaming eye. In fact,  I am making a game of it.  In fact, I am inviting everyone to make a game of it. The Hackpad below has all the particulars which is to say few rules, few boundaries, much openness and an invitation to use the Creative Commons Piratical License (well, not so much a license as a guideline–do what thou wilt.)

I wonder if our facilitators realize that they created a proto-crypto-pseudogame in their own newsletter.  Now that would be a great game:  discover the game within the newsletter about the game.

“Come Watson, come! The game is afoot! Not a word! Into your clothes and come!”

New Canva Treats: a Remediating Machine

One of my favorite cloud image tools is Canva. Along with Pixlr I don’t really feel the need to be a Photoshop King (although I would love to learn that, too.) I was clicking around the other day among the design templates in Canva and discovered that, once again, they had added lots of new stuff.

The first template that surprised me was the stationary. I had never considered this as a next step in the evolution of Canva. I guess I should never be a product developer. This is so useful to me. I do letters of recommendation quite regularly. I hate the templates in MSWord and in Pages. Not sure why, not their fault. I am just really drawn to the ease of Canva. With its capacity to save a file as a pdf, this letter template makes perfect sense.

A letterhead is the heading at the top

The next new item in the templates that struck me was the flyer. Typically, I use smore for flyers because they are flexible and able to handle embedding. Perfect tool, but this is for simple stuff. I realized looking at this that there a huge difference in feel between a flyer and a poster. The message is more focused in a flyer, tending to have a persuasive element. Elegant and beautiful designs on tap, too.


Here is one of the new templates I have already taken advantage of, the gift certificate:

oops credits

The last item is the infographic which I use below to discuss the faux outrage of those who are unable to view words in context, who have a glaring blindspot of their own. There is a story behind this one that I might tell some other time.


Go take Canva for a spin. Use it to remediate something or use it remedy something else.

Re’media’atate’: Why?

I found myself on Kevin’s website this morning at a loss to comment.  All I could say was, “I am feeling stuck in this week’s make: everything I do is remediation. Everything.”

Let’s take the original newsletter and its translation into a youtube video

Now let’s remediate that with Vialogues just in case someone wants to annotate our happy crew from Uof I Writing Project.

Or perhaps you are trying to close a blindspot about accessibility and tech equity especially for the visually impaired so you translate into audio


Then you think you might want to make this sound file annotatable so you upload it to Soundcloud.


Perhaps you decide that you want to use a multimodal tool to share your take on matters.  That would be PopcornMaker which is being (as the software folk delicately refer to) ‘deprecated’.  Since it is dying a slow death the YouTube mashup part of PopcornMaker no longer works so you have to use Soundcloud for your musical soundtrack. Roll with it, but save often.

Or maybe a gallery of animated gifs of the UIWP team

Or perhaps you want others to collaborate in your remediation with a Hackpad.

View Re’media’tion on Hackpad.

Or perhaps a Diigo annotation page full of remediation itself.

There are limits to this because it already looks like I am just gilding the lily here, but there are also some observations I can bear witness to.

Why remediate?

Remediation is a way to translate for yourself and to even internalize a learning object that speaks true to you.
Remediation is a way to give heavy duty reciprocation to someone who has made a difference. Likes, plusses and such are not remediation. They are kinda pusillanimous pussyfooting that I do too often instead of remediating.
Remediation is a way to understand an idea in a different way through a different medium or multimodal ways. The remediation here is not so much to create a product as it is to undergo a process. Even reading something outloud is a way to remediate a text’s power through the animating genius of your own breath.
Close reading of text is remediation.

I just call this ‘translation’. Do we need any more jargon? Is the term just a plea for attention when a simpler word would do? And is the new slant on the word just confusing? Does it get in the way? Perhaps it should more aptly be spelled re-media-ate. Yeah, that’s not going to work.


Convince me, UIWP. If you do, I will add it as a category in my blog here. That is quite a prize, a pearl without price.incredibledancehappy






I might even do a happy dance.




AdHocVoices Map

We put pins in Google Maps, I thought we could just as easily pin our voices.

Kevin’s comic via Twitter:




Plus our voices via Soundcloud:


Plus our map on Thinglink:


You can add your own pin to this thinglink above. It is editable.

I love the voices here, but I would love to hear more voices from everywhere else.  How about someone from Korea or Mexico or Greenland or Easter Island or Yemen or Tasmania?

Bueller? Bueller?


What follows is actually a third draft of a collaborative poem compelled by the Charleston murders at Emanuel AME Church. We drafted the text here. We will have a collection of sound files here soon if you feel the need to remix it your own way and add to it.

The principles involved in writing:

Susan Watson: @EatcherVeggies
Fred Mindlin: @fmindlin
Aldon Hynes: @ahynes1
Kevin Hodgson: @dogtrax
Autumm Caines: @Autumm
Sarah Honeychurch: @NomadWarMachine

Sound files provided by Susan, Kevin, Autumm, Sarah and myself.

Garageband loop provided by Kevin.

Editing by myself using iPad app Bossjock and saved to Soundcloud.

Here it is. I think collaboration is going to be the theme of this summer’s MOOC for me. I hope we can get together.