June 8, 2003

Moulthrop Feature at TIR Web

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 11:59 pm

The Iowa Review Web this month features Stuart Moulthrop. In addition to the official publication of Pax (mentioned in this space earlier) the feature includes an interview with Stuart conducted by yours truly. It was this conversation with Stuart that really got me thinking about the notion of “instrumental texts” and I suspect it’ll prove similarly thought-provoking for many. Here’s an excerpt to get you started…

Noah Wardrip-Fruin: Talk with me about the idea of an “instrumental text”…

Stuart Moulthrop: It’s an idea I first heard mentioned by John Cayley at the 2000 Digital Arts and Culture conference, when I think it was relatively new for him. What I’m particularly taken with is the notion of a middle space between literary texts and ludic texts—between interactive fiction, or hypertext fiction, and games. You have, with instruments, a text with behavior and temporal dimensions that in some ways maps onto the temporal experience and interactive possibilities in game design. The idea of an instrumental text is part of my continuing movement away from node-link and disjunctive hypertext. [keep reading]

Also, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that anyone who hasn’t already should read last month’s excellent TIR Web Joe Tabbi feature. The “Overwriting” essay it includes is — among its many virtues — perhaps the most thoughtful consideration of The Impermanence Agent that I’ve ever seen.

One Response to “Moulthrop Feature at TIR Web”

  1. andrew Says:

    Torill Mortensen also recently writes about her personal experience with The Impermanence Agent.

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