There’s a new issue of The New River: A Journal of Digital Writing & Art just out. It includes works by Andy Campbell, Jason Nelson & David Heckman, Angela Ferraiolo, Michael Maguire, and your own Nick Montfort. My (completely non-computational) piece is called “Ten Mobile Texts.” In introducing the issue, Nick Kocz and Manisha Sharma respond to Andrew Gallix’s essay on e-literature, in which he wonders if the form is dead, or just “one big anti-climax.” (I offered my own brief reply here, and the essay was further discussed in comments by several people, including Gallix.) Needless to say, those who put together this issue found the rumors (or oblique suggestions) of e-lit’s death to be quite exaggerated. In addition to effectively quoting Robert Coover’s keynote address at Scott’s September conference, they offer this data point: “we received more submissions for this New River Journal issue than any previous issue.”
January 30, 2009
January 29, 2009
Those of you who finished blueful know, but for others: Aaron Reed’s new full-scale, wayfaring interactive fiction piece is now available for download. It’s called Blue Lacuna: An Interactive Novel.
The online manifestation of the exhibit Search for a New(er) Digital Literature offers work by Jim Andrews, Marvin Bell & Ernesto Lavandera, Sommer Browning & Mark Lomond & Johanne Ste-Marie, Andy Campbell, J.R. Carpenter, Chris Joseph & Kate Pullinger, Tammy McGovern, Stuart Moulthrop, Alexander Mouton, Jason Nelson, Victoria Welby, and Jody Zellen. The exhibit also is up now in the Terminal space at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee, USA – but hurry if you’re planning to go see it. The last day of the meatspace exhibit is tomorrow, January 30.
January 27, 2009
Let me tell you about two curious collections of words that engage digital media in intriguing, different ways: “Love Poem for Natalie ‘Tusja’ Beridze” and Hollis Frampton Comes Alive.
Textfyre, headed by David Cornelson, is planning to market three games in coming months, each the first of a new series:
- Jack Toresal and The Secret Letter, Miradania Series, January 2009
- The Shadow in the Cathedral, Klockwerk Series, February 2009
- A Gift of Empathy, Giant Leaps Series, March 2009
Cornelson has a blog about Textfyre. His latest entry discusses how the ESRB ratings of Everyone or Everyone 10+ with Mild Violent References, which Textfyre was originally seeking for all of its games, wouldn’t allow for the meaningful reading (e.g. The Catcher in the Rye) that Cornelson and many other were doing in middle school. So, the company will be enlarging the scope of its publications.
January 26, 2009
Namely, a list of just-published Game Studies articles, of free 3D game download links, and of IF that has been reviewed and is available for play on the Web.
Game Studies 8:2 has been published, with articles on audio, torture, and game mechanics and ones that look at games from pedagogical and McLuhanesque perspectives.
Aaron Reed, author of Whom the Telling Changed, has distributed his new story, blueful, in a fascinating way. I could say more, but you’ll see how it works formally after a few seconds, and the story only takes a few minutes to read. Also, the story leads on to something else, something very intriguing. So why not fare your way over and see for yourself?
January 23, 2009
Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System by Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost, mentioned here previously, is now available from online and bricks-and-mortar booksellsers, including Amazon and Powells. The book is a detailed and accessible study of this influential videogame console from both computational and cultural perspectives, and is the first in the MIT Press platform studies series.
It’s a pleasure to read even one article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that discusses the confluence of computation and programming with cultural and humanistic studies. Matt Kirschenbaum has written two, which are just out and well worth reading – and would be even if one didn’t offer us lavish praise, calling Grand Text Auto “the single must-read blog for the field.”
The longer article, “Hello Worlds,” makes the clear and powerful argument that humanities students should learn to program and to understand computation. While singing the praises of Adventure as the first virtual world and of modeling as a special ability of the compter, the article also sketches the idea of procedural rhetoric. This isn’t the first position paper on the subject – there is one from Michael Mateas for instance, and educators at Dartmouth were taking this position decades ago, and teaching the students as well. But this article is a well-developed and well-stated case for educating humanists to compute and to understand computing, and it comes at the right time and in the right context.
“When Computer Science and Cultural Studies Collide” surveys the many ways that CS and CS (or disciplines and fields like them) are being brought together to address new questions in new ways: “Game studies, software studies, critical-code studies, even platform studies …” Check out the full glowing review of our blog, too:
January 22, 2009
Warren Sack — the software artist and theorist behind projects like Agonistics and Conversation Map — is leading up a new MFA for “artists working with software art, software design, and software studies.” Michael and I plan to lend a hand. Application deadline is Feb 15th, and there’s more information after the jump.
January 21, 2009
After many hold-ups at security, Jetset: A Game for Airports is out for the iPhone. The game, which revamps Airport Insecurity and offers special digital treats for those who play in particular airports, is by Ian Bogost’s joint Persuasive Games. While the game itself makes an argument, Bogost also offers an argument in old-fashioned format about how we might discern a proceduralist style emerging in games, even as the “games as art” discussion keeps on growing without fruit.
January 18, 2009
For a few months now my electronic life has been all iPhone all the time, whether it’s reading news and blogs, developing a game, even the occasional phone call. If I had time to play games though, I’m not sure the iPhone would fit the bill just yet. There may be 4000 game apps currently available, but I’m still waiting for that breakthrough app that appeals to me, top-selling fart simulators notwithstanding.
January 17, 2009
Legends of Zork, a browser-based game now in development by Jolt Online Gaming of Dublin, promises to bring the Zork product and process back to the Web. The press release explains how the new game will connect this venerable interactive fiction property, from more than 30 years ago, to current events:
The Great Underground Empire has recently fallen and the land is in disarray. The Royal Treasury has been sacked. The stock market has collapsed, leading even mighty FrobozzCo International to fire employees from throughout its subsidiaries. A craze of treasure-hunting has swept through the remnants of the Great Underground Empire.
From Jan 17-20, Post-Moot, A Radically Inclusive Online Anthology of Responses to the Inauguration of the President-Elect Barack Obama, presents a monument to tolerance and an experiment in radical democracy:
Everyone is encouraged to send ANY and ALL responses to this historic event (no matter what your point of view). . . in TEXT, POEM, PHOTO, SOUND-FILE, SPEECH, SONG, TWEET and SHORT VIDEO forms.
January 16, 2009
All AAAI conference proceedings are now available to the public at no cost. This is the first step in the AAAI (Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) initiative to make all the content in its digital library freely available. Yay!
Yoot Saito, the developer of SimTower and the deeply uncanny Seaman (you remember, the Dreamcast game with the microphone interface and the fishlike creature with the head of a man and the voice of, specifically, Leonard Nimoy) has developed an amusing and odd caveman simulator called Gabo. It runs on the iPhone, but you won’t be able to get it because Apple has nixed the game. I suppose people didn’t want to lick their iPhones anymore after interacting with Gabo.
January 15, 2009
January 13, 2009
Currently up at The Big Jewel is a rendition of a famous Robert Frost poem as a BASIC program. Thanks for the link, Jason.
January 8, 2009
Come one, come all to the variable_d public lecture series on Digital Arts and Humanities this Winter and Spring at Dartmouth College, Hanover NH. Jesper Juul, Celia Pearce, our own Nick Montfort, Tracy Fullerton, Eric Zimmerman, Katherine Isbister, Luis von Ahn, Ros Picard, and Doris Rusch will be visiting from January 2009 – June 2009.
We are very pleased to bring these fine scholars, artists, and designers to campus.