October 17, 2004

Book, Reader and More

by Nick Montfort · , 10:13 pm

Jill got the scoop already: At the second event in the Digital Arts and Electronic Literature Series, on Friday, Noah and I gave readings and talked about new media history.

Nick and Noah
Montfort and Wardrip-Fruin determine the order in which they will deliver their serious literary addresses.

Noah discussed the history of hypertext (and the meaning of “hypertext”), described the concept of instrumental text and the more general notion of the textual instrument that can “play” upon several different texts, and read from Regime Change and News Reader. I showed my in-progress interactive fiction Book and Volume, using that as a framework for a discussion of four influential electronic literature pieces and as an excuse for making a few comments about the history of the Z-machine and Inform. (I have a good bit more development work to do … I’ll do the first proper reading of Book and Volume on Wednesday Oct 27, at the Kelly Writers House, where three other authors will read from two other recent, and award-winning, IF pieces.) Thanks to the many who turned out on that Friday night, despite the nearby lure of Atlantic City, and thanks to Scott for having us out to speak. It was a great event.

3 Responses to “Book, Reader and More”

  1. andrew Says:

    Nick, did you whup Noah at Ms. PacMan as bad as I did?

  2. Scott Says:

    And you scooped me — here I am at Intermezzo getting ready to prepare this post, using the very same image you posted. I guess I’d just also note that the two of you did a very good job of contextualizing your own work within the history of the forms you discussed. I think that format worked very well. I also felt like I walked away with a better understanding of what exactly “n-grams” are, and a better context for understanding the type of writing decisions you make when constructing a work of interactive fiction. Thanks for coming out to South Jersey (and for putting up with the spooky-but-wet Haunted Hay Ride rather than the visit to Chuck E. Cheese you so vehemently desired). The chainsaw-wielding Killer Klowns haunt me still.

  3. nick Says:

    Ha, Andrew, that’s great. I did defeat Noah and got to the pretzel, as the picture shows that you did, but it wasn’t my greatest Ms. Pac-Man game. Ah well, there will be another chance – and we had to get to the reading, anyway.

    Scott, the event was great fun, and the rainy hayride was a hoot despite the weather. Now I’d better get to work on Book and Volume so you’ll have something to interact with at the Kelly Writers House…

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