May 2, 2005
Putting First Person online was a very positive experience. I make this declaration now that there’s a new section of the project live at electronic book review (which includes a piece by GTxA’s Nick). With this, all the book’s essays are online — along with most of its responses, and much material the book doesn’t hold.
Making all this material available in collaboration with a web-based electronic journal broadened the conversation around the project, made it possible for the conversation to continue in new ways (as it does today with a response by Matt Kirschenbaum), made the material accessible to an audience that doesn’t buy hardcover university press volumes, and apparently didn’t hurt sales of that volume in the least (it went for a second printing less than a year after it first hit the shelves).
The essays in this section (New Readings) attempt to develop, via a combination of close reading and broader theorizing, modes of engagement appropriate to particular forms of digital writing. The contents include:
- N. Katherine Hayles’s essay, Metaphoric Networks in Lexia to Perplexia (with responses from Bill Seaman and Eugene Thacker)
- Jill Walker’s How I Was Played by Online Caroline (with responses from Warren Sack and Adrianne Wortzel), and
- Nick Montfort’s Long Title Award-winning Interactive Fiction as “Story,” “Game,” “Storygame,” “Novel,” “World,” “Literature,” “Puzzle,” “Problem,” “Riddle,” and “Machine” (with responses from Janet Murray and Brenda Laurel).
Now that the book’s essays are all online, it’s time for new responses (and responses to those responses) to take things to the next level. That is, it’s time for the online version of First Person to move to the next stage as an online project. In this vein, I understand we may soon see First Person responses from such noted (and diverse in background) scholars as Torill Mortensen, TL Taylor, and GTxA’s Scott Rettberg. If you have one of your own to offer, we’d welcome it. Please send your thoughts to ebr /at/ altx.com. (And keep your eyes open for interesting upcoming developments in how ebr enables online connections between ideas.)