Halt! Haus Internet Pass!



Castle Wolfenstein was a stealth based action adventure shooter game from the 80s I used to play as a kid. You were a spy trying to steal war plans from the Nazis in their secret command center inside Castle Wolfenstein. As you moved through the castle, guards would notice you and in an 8 bit voice yell, ‘Halt! Haus Pass.” At this point you had three options: shoot, run, or produce a forged pass. You also had the opportunity to disguise yourself as a guard for periods of time and run amok unnoticed.

I want to use Castle Wolfenstein as metaphor for the internet you’re exploring and in which you’re trying to find the secret plans for your digital identity, that will help you win…the war? No not the war, but the battle for ownership and control over your digital self. Think of the guard that asks for you credentials as one of many, many sites and social networks that demand information about yourself. Some of them require real names, some allow you to use pseudonyms. They gather enormous amounts of information about you, database it and hope to glean from it a better understanding of you than yourself. Think of it as the guard becoming interrogator.

I’d like you to become the interrogator now, not of others, but the web itself and your presence in it. How are you online and what is your ‘online pass’ that’s being presented. Are you in control of it? Do you want to be?

Consider your work here at York College and how early on you were asked to get a domain name and create a blog. Did you keep it? Why/why not? Why a domain of one’s own? Why social network profiles? Why craft a digital identity with a professional/academic purpose compared to a social one?

Look at the list of resources in both of the linked bookmark collections here and here. Chose one that speaks to your interests and concerns about crafting your digital identity. If there is not a resource in either of those two bookmark libraries, find one that does.

Use that resource to justify your digital identity plan. Will you intentionally craft one in support of your academic and professional goals? What will it look like? Use a piece of research as part of your justification.