This is your first Arganee mission, to make your alchemy character that will operate in this mirror world. It is the only way to move forward, and once forward, you are forever changed. Will you take this gamble?
As a “character” you should consider this only partly a projection of your current selves, but also include augmented by powers, capabilities you may think you lack or ones you wish to explore. Your Arganee Alchemist is not you, but is connected to you. Think of its own self, but you shall know it the most.
In this mission you will create your name, a new twitter account, a set of attributes/skills and avatar, and decide upon which class of alchemist you will play in this world.
Do not reveal your character back in the human world. You can talk about them as if you are interacting, and you can use your own “blog” to talk about what this alchemist is communicating with you– essentially you are to juggle being two characters who may even communicate with each other in public.
This set of instructions is, as your instructor Alan Levine describes, a “long scroller” (he has such strange vocabulary we are still learning).
But by the time you finish this you will be a functioning Arganee Alchemist.
Your Alchemist Name
If you have not done so already, create your Alchemist’s name following the suggestions in DDA92 (complete this as a DDA, ok?). If your name is long, fine, but consider as well a shorter “handle” version that will work as a twitter name.
For example, I am Rebeg Abu Mūsā Jābir ibn Hayyān Maestro more simply in twitter as @rebegmaestro, in this blog and hypothes.is as rebeg. So make a name for yourself. Now, ok? Go to it. This is the easy part. Much more awaits.
Your Alchemist Avatar
Yes, we are asking that everyone create a visual representation; to make it less laborious, yet offering flexibility, and visually consistent we are asking that you use RinmaruGames Avatar Creator. Do not fret over this, but at least create a starter avatar. Make sure you save it as a file on your computing device.
Your Digital Alchemist Skills
Your digital alchemist will be defined as having skills in four media areas detailed below. In your entrance to the Mirror world, you will distribute 20 Skill Points to each skill. You should consider 2 of them as extensions of your own abilities as strengths (S) and 2 of them as ones where you can use growth (G). This is part of defining a character who is like you and unlike you.
The four Arganee Media Skill areas are:
- Visual (photography, memes, drawing, finding images, gif editing images, combining imagery)
- Writing (poetry, argument, reflection, narrative, chatm blogging)
- Social (twitter, comments, encouraging, performing, connecting)
- Audio (spoken, recording, editing, finding)
Once more, this need not reflect your own strengths, these are for a character you will inhabit.
Your Digital Alchemist Class
There are four “types” of Arganee Digital alchemists; they may have different media strengths, but these are more like meta level roles. Your “class” may define clans / guilds or ways to combine to work better together.
Now here is the trick. Because Arganee is powered by a ecosystem of balance, the Kean University students will be asked to choose a class such that there are a minimum of 3 alchemists in each class. Again, remember this is not you per se, but your character. (Open participants can choose any of their liking; the Kean group’s distribution is sufficient to create foundational balance).
These are the “classes” of Arganee alchemists:
- Artist The artist creates works that capture attention, provide commentary, expression provoke emotion (often negative) about the world around them, using all forms of physical and digital media. The seek out ways to communicate differently. Arts are both creations novel, strange, familiar, and extraordinary. While sometimes successful, often they labor in despair and self questioning, and frequently feel undervalued, misunderstood. The artist is often outside the bounds of society and norms. Often they are misunderstood, and parents may warn their children to avoid them.
- Remixer creates as well, but not from raw materials, but by cleverly combining elements, media that are in existence, but in new ways. The remixer works in both media and ideas. What they create may come off as confusion, noise not some while others fine serene beauty in a remix. A remixer battles the perception that because they do not create from raw, like the Artist, that perhaps they are less of a creator. But deep down they know that there is creativity in combination, for what they produce is more than the addition of parts. Remixers believe all works in the world are open to their efforts; thus they often find themselves at odds with property owners.
- Imagineer A visionary, a futurist, but also someone keenly aware and informed of the past. The Imagineer visualizes and devises ideas outside what exists or has been done, and sees possibility where others see limits. More than just technology or materials, the imagineer also sees possibilities in culture, society, behavior. Often ridiculed as idealistic sky gazers, the best imagineers straddle the worlds of known and potential. They can get so caught up in dreaming ideas that they may forget to eat or sleep.
- Performer Is not strictly an entertainer, thought they are popular– the Performer brings ideas, stories to life in a way everyone can appreciate and understand. They deeply understand what moves people, what makes them react. The performer extends immense amounts of energy on communicating, so much that they may have trouble relaxing. In fact, there are no reports of relaxing performers. What the do takes place not only in public performance spaces, but also online, in small groups, in writing. Performing is very effusive communicating. They often struggle with their own existence when they deeply take on other characters.
Complete Your Alchemist Character Card
For the Arganee experience you will maintain a “card” representing you character, both as an identifier, but also a reminder you yourself. And it is something you will update as you progress. These are also public records all managed as a Google Doc.
Here are ones for myself and M Prophetissima:
Now it is time to make one for yourself! Get a copy of the template (this will save as a file in your own Google Drive so only you can edit) and start modifying.
- Control or right click on the avatar icon and select Replace Image to upload your own avatar
- For the skill points, double click the empty bubble, you can then double click it in the drawing editor to enter a number.
- For the S and G indicators the easist way to show your selection is to turn the text of the other value white (hide it).
- To enable others in Arganee (and beyond) to see your card, click the Share button in the top right, then click Get Sharable Link. Copy the URL it provides.
- Try to get screen shot of your entire card (you will need it later) by zooming out on your screen.
Also note that we will tweet to each other using a #arganee hash tag to talk each other. We are practicing speaking about our work in somewhat of a public space, so be careful not to share any direct links to this site. Only those who can find their way here the way you did should be here. It is for the good of us all.
As a suggestion for managing multiple accounts and hashtags, we strongly suggest using Tweetdeck on your computer. It is the best way to manage the flow of twitter.
Your Alchemist Twitter Account
Your alchemy character now needs to communicate to others; we are going to ask you to create a second (or maybe 9th for some of you) twitter account. You can do this by (a) logging out of your current account; (b) using a second web browser or device where you are not logged into twitter; or (c) in Chrome try File — New Incognito Window.
If you need a reminder of the steps, we have that place for you in the Labyrinthus. Note that you will have to use an email address that is different from what is used in other twitter accounts. You can consider (a) creating a Yahoo mail account (b) creating a new gmail account in a browser where you are not logged into your regular account; (c) If you have a gmail.com account you actually have an “infinite” number of other email addresses — if you add a string after your user name separated by a plus sign, other web sites consider it a unique address, but all email goes to your main account… for example if I am firstname.lastname@example.org I can use as a unique new address something like email@example.com.
Create an account for your alchemy character. Use the avatar you created. And in the bio, list your skills and class… then announce yourself to us all! Like I did as a demonstration:
Check out my profile, snazzy eh?
Now you should get your alchemis talking, finding / following others in #arganee. Use your twitter to create a new “voice” for your alchemist. Heck, you can have it converse your main twitter account.
Plug Your Alchemist into the Arganee System
This is all the set up! The success of Arganee relies on everyone in there being “connected” so we have an entry form where you will provide us some details on your Alchemist. Register your alchemist now with our sign in form. All of the activity in Arganee over the next month will be linked to this “heart” and you will have soon a Health Board for the entire community that shows our progress as well as your individual status. The Board will show how much progress everyone needs to make to boost the energy levels back into the positive zone.
In addition, when we get your information we will create an account for you on this blog so you can file notes and reports on your activity. We will ask for your first post to submit a greeting that includes a screenshot of your card, a link to its Google Doc public URL, and anything else your Alchemist wants to share (if this was a class announcement it would be one of those nasty lists of things to do; we don’t do that here). You are a digital alchemist now and can make your own writing decisions.
Additional Activities This Week
We mainly want you to start inhabiting your Alchemist character and breathing life into them through twitter and this blog. You might want to do some Daily Digital Alchemies from your new account.
There are two more things you can explore this week. These are not “assigned” (because we do not do assignments in Arganee) but efforts on them will contribute to boosting score and health levels for yourself and the community as a whole. Let us know what you did on these by writing a blog post on this site.
The Shared Alchemy Lab Shelf
The Networked Narratives course experience so far as thrown a lot of web tools at you. Do you remember them all? Let’s put together a shared resource of all tools we have encountered and what novel ways they might work for us in Arganee.
Giving Voice to your New Twitter Account: Make a Bot
Many of you seemed interested in twitter bots, maybe its time to put one to work to give your new Alchemist a regular amount of “character”.
Try out the one Zach Whalen created that generates tweets from a Google Spreadsheet. There are a few steps to get authentication keys for your new account (you do not have to create another account as his directions indicate).
Giving your twitter a bot voice will certainly boost Arganee scores.