April 30, 2006

Announcing: Inform 7

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:07 pm

Inform 7

After years of work and anticipation, Graham Nelson’s new interactive fiction development system, Inform 7, is out. The new system is in many ways more different from Inform 6 than OS 10 was from System 9: Code looks like natural language (like English prose, specifically), a new and well-crafted IDE from Andrew Hunter is provided, and numerous improvements to the language and world model have been incorporated. Games still compile to z-code, however, to run on the standard interpreters that run earlier Inform games.

Two New Disks

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:37 am

Check out the World of Awe Enhanced CD and Aspect 7: Personas and Personalities.

April 29, 2006

Needed: Art-Gamers with a sense of Activism!

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 3:36 pm

I know you are out there…

Misc. Conferences

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 11:58 am

There are a number of interesting conference and workshop deadlines approaching.

The 3rd international Conference on Technologies in Interactive Digital Storytelling and Entertainment (TIDSE 2006), Darmstadt, Germany, December 4-6, 2006. Papers are due July 15, 2006.

Workshop on adaptive approaches to optimizing player satisfaction in games, held in conjunction Simulation of Adaptive Behavior 2006, Rome, Italy, September 25-29, 2006. Papers due May 21, 2006.

Sandbox: ACM SIGGRAPH Video Game Symposium, Boston, MA, USA, July 29-30, 2006. Papers due May 15, 2006 (Extended deadline!)

Game-On 2006, Braunschweig, Germany, November 29-December 1, 2006. Early submissions due July 31, 2006 (there’s a later deadline of September 15th).

hej! jag aer i sverige!

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:03 am

Greetings from Karlskrona, Sweden, where I’m a visiting distinguished scholar at the Blekinge Institute of Technology. While my students at Hunter College NYC are busy prepping for their graduate reviews (crits) mid-May, I’ve been making the rounds with folks here in the Literature, Culture and Digital Media program. Past scholar visitors to the program have included Kate Hayles, Jesper Juul, and Jay Bolter.

(large scale chess demo derby, Stockholm)

April 28, 2006


from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:14 pm

Kluge, by Brian Kim Stefans

Brian Kim Stefans has just deployed Web-works aplenty in the container format of his Brown Masters of Fine Arts thesis, “Kluge: A Meditation, and Other Works.”

Upcoming Talks in Brazil

I don’t know how many Brazilian GTxA readers we have, but I’ll be giving a few lectures in Brazil during the third week of May (the 17th, 18th, and 20th). It’d be great to meet folks down there.

April 24, 2006

Northwest Games Festival

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 6:24 pm

Some enterprising folks in my hometown of Portland, Oregon are organizing a free, one-day games festival on Saturday June 3rd, called the Northwest Games Festival. Register on-line to come show off your game, attend sessions, awards, etc. Everyone is invited, including all you up in Seattle and Vancouver, you out there in Boise, come on Eureka, hey you up in Anchorage…

I hope to do a session on getting into game programming, participate on a panel with local indie studio folks, and make Façade available to play.

Procedural Arts is proud to be a sponsor of the festival.

Mary at Furtherfield

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:54 pm

Check out a new interview I discovered at furtherfield.org with GTxA’s Mary Flanagan on net art, cyberfeminism and authorship.

Moby IF Story

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 10:58 am

Moby Games (wonder where they got that adjective?) is running Terrence Bosky’s story “Something about Interactive Fiction.”

There’s some of the standard article-about-IF fare there, yes, along with some nice touches such as quotes from Don Woods and a write-up of the Mystery House Taken Over project. Since the piece was written up on Slashdot, you can even read the rereshingly unselfconcious comments available there. Slashdot rule #1: All jokes about IF must begin with “>”.

April 21, 2006


from Grand Text Auto
by @ 2:10 pm

While I appreciate the “rah-rah, boo-hoo, emotion in games!” cheerleading in this week’s The Escapist — I too am all for creating more affective interactive experiences — let’s get real about the status quo of gaming’s expressiveness, please?

April 20, 2006

Notes from Massive

I’m at UCI’s Massive gathering today, although I had to arrive a little late.

One of the more intriguing things I’ve heard so far is about some developments in Second Life. They’re building an API into the system. It sounds like it might just be for pulling live data out of Second Life for use elsewhere, but my hope is that it will be possible to structure and control elements of Second Life via external processes (e.g., characters controlled by AI running outside Second Life‘s scripting system). Similarly, they’re working toward an open source viewer that they imagine being customized by different communities. These might both open up interesting possibilities for researchers and artists.

April 17, 2006

Writers House & Victory Garden: Moulthrop this Wednesday

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:27 pm

Stuart Moulthrop, author of Victory Garden, Hegirascope, Reagan Library, and Pax, will discuss his more than 15 years of work in digital writing and will read from new work.

Wednesday – April 19, 2006 – 5:30pm

The reading and discussion will take place at the Kelly Writers House, on the University of Pennsylvania campus, 3805 Locust Walk.

The event is free and open to the public, and is part of the MACHINE series at the Kelly Writers House, which is co-sponsored by the Electronic Literature Organization.

April 14, 2006

ETC Has a Blog

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 4:43 pm

Jim Carpenter and his prosthetic imagination now have a blog. Jim’s Electronic Text Composition project website just went up less than a month ago, as we announced here. At this rate we’ll have the Usenet newsgroup rec.arts.poetry.etc before the end of May.

April 12, 2006

Blog/Forum Posts of Note

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 2:49 pm

April 10, 2006

Logoz in the Hood

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 3:21 pm

A logozoan at Brown Robert Kendall has just launched the site for his new generator-backed, photo-enabled sticker literature project, Logozoa. Photos provide the logozoo – more exhibits are sought from contributors – while texts are downloadable and sticker-printable from the adopt-a-zoa section of the site. This project is aphoristic rather than novelistic or completely open and blank. It’s is based on Rob’s earlier Soothcircuit system, emplying some of the sayings that system can diagram.

Head, Playlist, A Splode

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:16 am

Some of this, some of this, and even a touch of this to help you get fully iPoemd up during our noble country’s National Poetry Month. It’s the cruelest month, and sometimes it snows in April; but celebrate it or oppose it, it is indeed here.

April 9, 2006

California Dreamin’

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:56 pm

Quickly on the heels of my previous personal announcement, I have another one. This summer will be my last summer at Georgia Tech. Starting this fall I will be joining UC Santa Cruz, where I will help in building up their new, technically-focused undergraduate degree program in computer game design (here are some working papers describing the degree program), as well as help in building up a new game research lab. The last few years at Georgia Tech have been good ones; I will certainly miss my friends and colleagues here, though I’m sure we’ll continue to actively collaborate and will see each other on a regular basis.


from Grand Text Auto
by @ 1:24 pm

I was delighted to see that someone at my alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin – to wit, Jeffrey Lamar Howard – wrote a dissertation engaging interactive fiction and contemporary literature, and ways that IF can inform the teaching of postmodern writing. Jeffrey Howard’s dissertation is “Heretical Reading: Freedom as Question and Process in Postmodern American Novel and Technological Pedagogy.” Update, May 9: It’s now online.

I will just quote a few passages from it and mention one point that it makes. This won’t provide anything like a summary of Howard’s work, of course, but hopefully it will show something about the very novel approach to interactive fiction and postmodern literature that he has taken.

Literary pedagogy can be thought of as a form of game design, in which the teacher transforms a printed text into an interactive fiction by locating and devising “puzzles” in the form of interpretative challenges for the student to solve. By applying the principles of game design while teaching postmodern novels, instructors can draw upon the theories and examples of interactivity already associated with interactive fiction to enhance their own pedagogical imaginations.

April 7, 2006

Casey Reas, code>conf

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 3:49 pm

[reas’ process-ed work “Path 14”]

Some observations drawn from Friday’s keynote lecture at the 2006 iDMAa + IMS Conference- HumanSystems | DigitalBodies follows!
For the last two years, Casey Reas has been writing software utilizing the principles of emergence and simple machines and ‘vehicles’ which develop neural systems. His work is created these days primarily using Processing (surely blogged about before on gtxa)…

More Poetic Strangeness: Fourier Electronique and Fib

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:43 pm

It must be national poetry month. In addition to Nick Montfort’s foray into deforestation this morning my email included note of two other strange poetic projects. William Gillespie at Spineless Books announced that to celebrate Charles Fourier’s 234th birthday and the first birthday of Joshua Corey’s Fourier Series, the winner of the Fitzpatrick-O’Dinn Award For Best Book Length Work of Constrained English Literature (2005), there has been an update to the Fourier Series web suite to include recordings of the author reading (recorded in the offices of Burning Deck Press), a PDF excerpt of the book’s inventive layout, and Fourier Electronique, a ten-minute MP3 poetry remix. The MP3 is haunting, western, and linguistically interesting, well worth a listen. Ken Tompkins also passed along a link to The Fib, a poetic form based on the Fibonacci sequence: a 20 syllable poem with a syllable count by line of 1/1/2/3/5/8. Although others, including Paul Braffort, have experiemented with the famous pattern before, this seems like a fun form to try on a plane, shortly before bed, or to inflict on one’s students in an Art, Games and Narrative course.

April 6, 2006

Notes on Ream

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 10:00 pm

I write a lot of things intended for the computer. I decided, for a change, to write a poem that was fit for print and paper. Here are a few notes about the project:

  1. Ream is a 500 page poem.
  2. The writing of Ream was entirely imagined and executed on one day: April 5, 2006.
  3. On each page of Ream a single, one-syllable word appears, centered, in ordinary, 14-point type.
  4. Page numbers do not appear on any of the pages and are unnecessary, since the words are in alphabetical order.
  5. Pages 1-51 recapitulate Poe’s “The Raven.”

Control and Freedom Booksite

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 12:03 am
Control and Freedom

I haven’t had a chance to read Wendy Chun’s Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (I need to get past a couple looming deadlines first). But I was just looking at the website, which is definitely one of the more interesting book-related sites I’ve ever seen. For starters, there’s an End-User License Agreement, a simulated packet sniffer and webcams, and some rather suggestive imagery. In terms of the book itself, if her ISEA keynote (pdf) is any indicator, it’s going to be a very thought provoking read.

April 5, 2006

Indie Indeed

from Grand Text Auto
by @ 9:30 pm

As easily predicted Darwinia swept the GDC’s Independent Games Festival, and also predictably there is a bit of controversy over whether Darwinia deserved to compete, since it’s now distributed by Steam and has had some moderate commercial success. I think the answer is an obvious “yes” — Darwinia was created in true indie style, and just because the game is now moderately successful, by no means disqualifies it as indie.

Get Massive April 20th


On April 20th UC Irvine will host “Massive” — a one-day event about the present and future of MMO games. There’s an early registration discount, but the deadline is tomorrow (April 6th). From the site: MASSIVE will engage 25 speakers and approximately 80 registrants from industry and academia in a dialog about the future design, technical and cultural challenges presented by massively multiplayer games, current and future research agendas from both industry and academia, and case studies and future models for industry academia collaboration.

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