It all started with this Retweet by Melanie McBride this morning:
It just so happens that I caught this in the stream and my interrest was piqued when I saw Google Street View mentioned because right now the ds106 internauts are using Google Street View to create a narrative about their childhood home, a particular trip, etc. using Google Street View. And when I saw this link to the “seedy side” of Google Street View I couldn’t resist. Jon Rafman’s Tumblr blog that collects all these images is extremely provocative, and whether or not all the images are real—that aquarium seems like a hard sell as Garrett Bush mentioned in class tonight—a vision of the seemingly invisible realities of the police state, prostitution, public sex, and other random acts of craziness is fascinating.
All this to say I spent part of tonight’s class talking about this site, and sharing the examples. And what quickly became apparent to me is that everyone of these images is a prompt for a story. We all were taken in by them, but also we were let with a million questions, and the idea of stitching the story back together became an almost natural urge. I’d love to do a forensic/detective narrative using Google Street View, or a scavenger hunt on Google Earth, but that will have to wait until I actually have a plan. What did happen tonight, however, was kinda fun nonetheless. After looking at the images, I spontaneously asked the class broke up into groups and tasked them with captioning as many of these crazy pictures as possible in the time left of class. And they did. Not only that, what they did was very, very fun. I really can’t defend the “learning objective” (vomit) of this in-class assignment though, I had no other reason for making them do it other than I had an idea it might be fun, and oh was it ever. Look at the fruits of their sardonic joy.
You can’t see me… I am a Ninja!
“Is this how the squirrels do it?”
“Jinkeys, looks like Scooby found the Fire Sauce.”
“I better get out of here before her husband catches me.”
The Pink Portal to the Great Beyond
Welcome to STARK industries…..building the future!
Father time was not nice to you, Skeletor!
Pluto you've got you lay off the acid
Coming soon…..Google Inception!
Even heroes have the right to dream.
"Mom! There's a spaceship outside!"
Flowers do not equal happiness.
I told you not to text and walk at the same time!
Police Officer “This is how you make the Y! Again from the top!”
Hey Maverick, lets go play volleyball
Hey, HEY WAIT! I’ll take another box of the Thin Mints!
That’s so e great stuff, kind of LOLStreetVus. Maybe they could have done them up graphically LOLCat style.
Oh one more, “Paul’s Segway is Dead”
On the other hand, perhaps the assignment could be flipped to show how the same I ages could be used to create a powerful social message- these images are as real as real gets.
But I agree, there is a goldmine of media there to tap into, remix… Looking forward to the neighborhood stories. Last time my Mom was here we Streetviewed the area in Baltimore she grew up in during the Depression; most everything was gone, but it was neat to hear her describe what was there before and what stories happened where.
It might be fun to create a blog based roulette wheel story with those images as prompts. Make an individual post with one of those pictures for each student in the class. They post the opening line for the story on their post and then rotate through. Owner of post 1 writes comment #2 on post #2, and comment #3 on post 3 etc.