February 11, 2008

EP Meta: Chapter Three

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 6:12 am

Last week, chapter three looked at the specific case of “Computer Game Fictions.” This week, chapter four — “Making Models” — broadens the frame again, wrapping up Expressive Processing‘s section on the Eliza effect and setting up issues that will thread through the rest of the book.

As before, particular aspects of the conversation stand out in my memory.

Barry Atkins, Chris Lewis, Jason Rhody, Drew Davidson, Brad, and others helped me with ideas, references, and text suggestions for my sections on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, and the game fiction dilemma.

With Dennis Jerz I had a good exchange about parallel digital developments during the time that tabletop RPGs emerged — such as Hunt the Wumpus. Dennis was also a primary participant in a spirited conversation about citation practices (can you believe it?) that also involved Josh Giesbrecht, Paul B, and GTxA’s own Nick.

My discussion with Bryan Behrenshausen coalesced into a draft of what I think is an important clarification of what I mean by “the relationship between the audience’s experience and the system’s internal operations.”

There were also useful observations from folks like Jose Zagal, Sarah Toton, Benjamin Grandis, Dominic Arsenault, and others about RPGs. And a good meta-question from Christian McCrea.

Overall, there are now more than 200 comments, most of them quite thoughtful. I’m pleased we’ve continued to have both active conversation about the current week’s chapter and ongoing consideration of what went before. CommentPress seems to be working nicely — though there are some further developments I’m hoping we’ll be able to complete, and try out here, before too long.

Speaking of CommentPress, if you’re in NYC for the O’Reilly Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC) Conference today, don’t miss Ben Vershbow’s presentation about Gamer Theory, CommentPress, Expressive Processing, and other juicy topics. I’ll also post an update here if a video of his talk is made available.

Finally, as Jason Rhody did on the meta post for chapter one, this can be a place for talking about chapter three and/or talking about the discussions of it noted above. I’m happy to hear any “meta” thoughts.