London’s Dali Museum has put on a show of the art of Myst, focused on the new Myst IV Revelation (185 MB demo available at that site). When even the Just Adventure review of the show refers to it as “a reasonably enlightening, if more than slightly blatant, piece of marketing fun,” it doesn’t cause me to wax too enthusiasic. The marketing (and perhaps art) must have been effective, though, since the reviewer also noted that the fourth Myst “goes way beyond Exile in terms of presenting a living, atmospheric world.” The new installment should have just been released, but I haven’t found a review yet. Thanks to Martin Hadis of Internetaleph for the news.
October 6, 2004
October 5, 2004
News Reader, by Noah, David Durand, Brian Moss, and Elaine Froehlich, is now available for download from the Turbulence site. This is the second of two news-eating textual instruments (Regime Change, discussed earlier, being the other) for Mac OS X and Windows, and this one plays on (initially) mainstream stories loaded live from Yahoo! News. “Playing these stories brings forth texts generated from alternative press stories,” the artists explain, “portions of which are introduced (through interaction) into the starting texts.”
October 4, 2004
I’m in So Cal for Alt+Ctrl (where I’m giving a lunchtime talk tomorrow, and attending the opening on Thursday evening) which gave me a chance to attend the first talk in UC Riverside’s “Global Interface” series. N. Katherine Hayles gave the opening talk: “Living in Computational Spaces: Means and Metaphors.” The alternative title, drawn from her forthcoming book, was My Mother was a Computer. Below are my notes.
October 1, 2004
The games begin: you can now download entries in the 2004 Interactive Fiction Competition. Thanks to Stephen Granade for organizing the Comp yet again this year. There are 38 entries: 9 TADS 2, 20 Inform/Z-code, 1 Hugo, 2 TADS 3, 1 Hugo, 1 Inform/Glulx, 1 Adrift, 1 Alan, and 2 Windows games. The rules specify that over the next six weeks, the judges (that’s you, unless you’re an author of a game or not interested) can play each for at most two hours before voting. Anyone who has played five or more can vote, although judges are ask to play as many as they can. More about how to judge is online, as are the rules the authors have to abide by and information on the history of The Comp. There are prizes, including US $500.
The discussions were lengthy and inspiring at code and creativity 3.0 (participants included John Klima, Anne-Marie Schleiner, Alex Galloway, Ruth Catlow, and yours truly Mary Flanagan), hosted by Jon Ippolito and Joline Blais at the University of Maine. Conversations hovered around the idea of computer gaming and how gaming interfaces with / against larger political and cultural issues.