Webkinz Assignment #2: Symbol-Using Animals

This week I’d like you to think about the use of symbols in the Webkinz world.

Due Date: Monday, September 14 at start of class
Posting Instructions: Post to your LiveJournal account; make sure you select “Friends” when you post your response.

In your post, I’d like you to first develop your own definition of symbol as you see Burke using the term in the section of “Definition of Man” that we discussed this week.

Next, login to the Webkinz site. You should be at the Kinzville Times screen. the following:

  1. Consider the various elements of the Kinzville Times screen as potential symbols according to your definition. What symbols do you see? What do they represent and/or suggest?
  2. Review the elements on the Dock at the bottom of the page. What symbols appear there? What do they represent/suggest?
  3. Consider your definition again. Are there elements on the page that don’t seem to fit the definition, but might be symbols? How would you incorporate them if they are? What makes them not symbols if you feel they aren’t?
  4. Look ahead to next week: What forms from print culture are evoked/translated to the web world on display in this screen? Which forms are indigenous to the web/video games?

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