Rose Bender
Building community through meaningful digital experiences


Throughout 2019 I will be working on my graduate thesis for a Master of Science in Integrated Digital Media at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering. Sounds pretty intense right? Below I'll chronicle the ideation, iteration, failures, and triumphs. Join me, won't you?

A Meeting with Gwen

I was honestly really nervous for my meeting with Gwen! I felt like I didn't know what I was going to need to say, but as we chatted I realized how much about my paper already lives inside of my head and just needs to be articulated.


The meeting felt like when Dumbledore pulls memories out of his brain and puts them in the pensieve. Except Gwen was Dumbledore, my ideas were the memories, and the whiteboard was the pensieve.

As Gwen parsed out my thoughts, I realized that I am not really focusing on the impact of children's gothic/horror media at all. I think that it is an interesting trend and can help to establish the framework and narrative of my project, but will make the research too extensive and unfocused to complete. 

At the end of our meeting, I had an order to my narrative that will act as an outline to my paper and help me to begin organizing my research.


  1. Conspiracy Theories
    1. Proliferation Online
    2. Harmful vs. Innocent
      is there a difference? is it the same line for everyone or personal? what is the harm of some conspiracies (9/11, sandy hook, jfk assassination). focus on "innocent" conspiracies: lunar landing, cryptids, chemtrails, hollow moon/earth, MKULTRA.
    3. As Entertainment
    4. Subversion
      adventure, exploration, self-discovery. the idea that things are not always as they seem or as you are told. survey of website mockups. reception, listening only, visuals, production quality, sonic branding, manor of delivery, factual vs. screaming.
    5. Online Communities
  2. Rise in Conspiracy Theories
    1. Production Quality
      what is the impact of how a conspiracy theory is delivered?
    2. As Entertainment
    3. "We are in on it"
      by using conspiracies an entertainment, there is almost a feeling of being a part of an "in" crowd. we feel that we "get it" more than those who truly believe the conspiracies.
    4. Why do others believe?
  3. Impact of Conspiracy as Entertainment
    1. What is the social impact?
    2. Do we stop listening to others?
    3. How can interacting with conspiracy theories in a tactile way help us to understand?


I will create an interactive installation that encourages tactile exploration of claims that support conspiracy theories. People are encouraged to play with the scientific concepts in an attempt to support the conspiracy theory or break it. By taking action, individuals are able to experiment and reach their own conclusions, resulting in a greater feeling of ownership of ideas. 

Rose Bender