Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies

Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin
     
 

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What matters in understanding digital media? Is looking at the external appearance and audience experience of software enough--or should we look further? In Expressive Processing, Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that understanding what goes on beneath the surface, the computational processes that make digital media function, is essential. Wardrip-Fruin looks at

Overview

What matters in understanding digital media? Is looking at the external appearance and audience experience of software enough--or should we look further? In Expressive Processing, Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that understanding what goes on beneath the surface, the computational processes that make digital media function, is essential. Wardrip-Fruin looks at "expressive processing" by examining specific works of digital media ranging from the simulated therapist Eliza to the complex city-planning game SimCity. Digital media, he contends, offer particularly intelligible examples of things we need to understand about software in general; if we understand, for instance, the capabilities and histories of artificial intelligence techniques in the context of a computer game, we can use that understanding to judge the use of similar techniques in such higher-stakes social contexts as surveillance.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I highly recommend this book to digital media — games, movies, and fiction — creators, AI students, and engineers." Irtaza Barlas Computing Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262302685
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
02/10/2012
Series:
Software Studies
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
504
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

Chris Crawford
"At last, an analysis by somebody who truly 'gets it!' We have seen plenty of first-generation books on interactive entertainment, in which an author with expertise in another field presents a bystander's perceptions on the subject.

But this is a second-generation book, written by an author whose background is entirely within the field. Wardrip-Fruin was brought up on computer games and educated in the thoughts of the first generation thinkers. Now he has integrated them into a new perspective that builds on those ideas at higher levels of abstraction. Looking back at my own ideas from Noah's new vantage point was an educational experience for me."—Chris Crawford, former head of Atari's Games Research Group, and co-founder of Storytron

Chris Crawford

"At last, an analysis by somebody who truly 'gets it!' We have seen plenty of first-generation books on interactive entertainment, in which an author with expertise in another field presents a bystander's perceptions on the subject.
But this is a second-generation book, written by an author whose background is entirely within the field. Wardrip-Fruin was brought up on computer games and educated in the thoughts of the first generation thinkers. Now he has integrated them into a new perspective that builds on those ideas at higher levels of abstraction. Looking back at my own ideas from Noah's new vantage point was an educational experience for me."--Chris Crawford, former head of Atari's Games Research Group, and co-founder of Storytron

From the Publisher
"At last, an analysis by somebody who truly 'gets it'! We have seen plenty of first-generation books on interactive entertainment, in which an author with expertise in another field presents a bystander's perceptions on the subject.

But this is a second-generation book, written by an author whose background is entirely within the field. Wardrip-Fruin was brought up on computer games and educated in the thoughts of the first generation thinkers. Now he has integrated them into a new perspective that builds on those ideas at higher levels of abstraction. Looking back at my own ideas from Noah's new vantage point was an educational experience for me." Chris Crawford , former head of Atari's Games Research Group, and cofounder of Storytron

Meet the Author

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the coeditor of four collections published by the MIT Press: with Nick Montfort, The New Media Reader (2003); with Pat Harrigan, First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (2004), Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (2007), and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (2009).

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