TOASTER GAMES

Jacob Fisher

Hi there! My name's Jacob, and I'm currently a student at Bard College studying Japanese Language and Literature along side computer science. Born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey, I spent most of my time coming up with imaginary games, and making comics. I went to George School for high school, and was most excited by social studies, visual arts, and music. After graduation I took a year to save up money, working for a carpenter, and make an album (which I will not reveal the link to). Upon my arrival at Bard I had found a lot of joy in learning the Japanese Language, and later found an even deeper infatuation with Japanese culture and literature. It was not until the fall semester of my sophomore year that I found my love for programming, and my deep interest in computer programming's relation to all other fields of study.
The class I had taken that year was Games at Work. A class that revolved around the use of games, and history of games in society (primarily in the west). In the course I got my first taste of programming. In this case, programming games and making websites. I found that programming games synthesized my interest in the arts, and kindled a love for science and mathematics. Through learning about the impact and history of video games in culture I also found that my eyes were opened to the exciting possibilities of video games as narrative tools, or as a medium for telling a story.
This course raised many questions for me. The main ones I'm asking in the interest of my current project are: "Can video games offer a deeper immersion into a story? If so, can this medium be used productively develop empathy and interest in the characters?" These are the questions that have fueled a lot of my programming work to date. Some examples of which would be a game based on the Lumiere Brother's film Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory, as well as a Haiku Generator I developed for the course Literature in the Digital Age.

Outside interests/hobbies: The Games at Work course mentioned above spawned a lot of my current interests and hobbies. For one of our weekly assignments we were told to play a couple games on the Commodore 64. Since then I've really enjoyed the idea of, and working with, earlier (gaming) technologies. I find that the limitations of these machines offer a great opportunity for being reinventive in the 21st century. Furthermore, I enjoy that these simplicity of these computers and consoles offer smaller more understandable systems. This leads to another interst of mine, SYSTEMS.:) I am not completely sure what it is, but I really just love learning about Operating Systems. I lie. I know what it is. I felt, and have found, that through learning about the Operating System the "Black Box" that is computer programming is heavily demystified. It also opens a world of chance for exploration, personalization, and command of one's machine in a way that I could have never imagined (yes I am a lover and user of Linux). Recently through the development of this website I've also found my infatuation with networking and web design to be burgeoning. I've aways been interested in learning about the ways in which the internet functions, but having never taken a Networking class I've been mostly in the dark. I've been currently educating myself on TCP/IP through the use of W. Richard Stevens' book, TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols, as well as looking further into the PHP programming language, through the use of Leon Atkinson's book, core PHP programming, which I conveniently found at my school library.
My contact information, a link to my github, and a picture of my cat can be found below. The repository for my current project can be found at the bottom of the Home page.

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