Digital Story Critique 2: Soldier Brother

For my second digital story critique, I chose Soldier Brother. This story comes to us from artist Kaitlin Jones, whose purpose was to examine sibling relationships. I chose this story for a couple of reasons. First, I have several brothers and was interested to see how she told the story of her relationship with hers. Second, I also did some time in the military and related to that component of the story.

The story opens with a short intro by the author where she retells a story about her brother begging for a BB gun and her parents finally relented. He took the BB gun with him up to the family cabin and ended up shooting a squirrel with it, but only managed to injure the squirrel and the dad had to go out and take care of it.

As the intro is playing, the various images seen below are slowly loading onto the screen. Once the intro is over, the images are all available and become interactive. As you click on each image and experience the story behind it, the image then disappears. As you hear the story between each item of memorabilia, there is also a side message. On the left side of the screen, text messages between the author and her brother appear. This adds to the story. The memorabilia items tell something about his past and the text messages clue you in to what is going on while he is deployed to Afghanistan.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 17.07.12.png

I have chosen the following criteria: originality, voice, & creativity, economy, and craftsman. These criteria were adapted from Jason Ohler’s Digital Story Assessment Traits. Each trait is assigned a value from 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the best. I chose these thre traits because I believe the creator of this digital story did a wonderful job on all three with only a small window for improvement.

Digital Story Evaluation Criteria
Originality, voice, creativity How creative was the production? Did the author exhibit an original sense of voice and a fresh perspective? 10
Economy Was the information presented through the story sifted, prioritized and told without bird walking or detours? 10
Craftsmanship Was the story neat, clean and complete? Was it crafted with care? 9
Total 29

Originality, voice, creativity
I found this story to be extremely creative and original in its presentation. By giving tidbits of her brother’s life, the author was able to provide a pretty good picture of both who where brother is and of the relationship they had growing up and as adults. And she also shares her text exchanges with him while is is deployed to Afghanistan which adds a whole different dimension to their relationship. Over all, I felt that the author did an incredible job presenting her story in a creative and original way. Overall, I did not see any need for improvement, so I gave it a 10.

Economy
The author did an great job conveying a lot of information in a very economical way. She also gives the reader the ability to navigate through each of the story parts in whatever order they choose. This works out well, because this is not a story that needs to be told in a chronological order. Overall, I did not see any need for improvement, so I gave it a 10.

Craftsmanship
This story was definitely neat and clean. It had a consistent navigation, and it wasn’t cluttered with unnecessary imagery or texts. As for complete, yes, it seemed draw a pretty good picture of the relationship between the author and her brother. However, it left me wanting to know more, and that’s the only reason I gave it a 9.

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