First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game / Edition 1

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Electronic games have established a huge international market,significantly outselling non-digital games; people spend more money on The Sims than on "Monopoly" or even on "Magic: the Gathering." Yet it is widely believed that the market for electronic literature — predicted by some to be the future of the written word — languishes. Even bestselling author Stephen King achieved disappointing results with his online publication of "Riding the Bullet" and "The Plant."Isn't it possible, though, that many hugely successful computer games — those that depend on or at least utilize storytelling conventions of narrative,character, and theme — can be seen as examples of electronic literature? And isn't it likely that the truly significant new forms of electronic literature will prove to be (like games) so deeply interactive and procedural that it would be impossible to present them as paper-like "e-books"? The editors of First Person have gathered a remarkably diverse group of new media theorists and practitioners to consider the relationship between "story" and "game," as well as the new kinds of artistic creation (literary, performative, playful) that have become possible in the digital environment.This landmark collection is organized as a series of discussions among creators and theorists; each section includes three presentations, with each presentation followed by two responses. Topics considered range from "Cyberdrama" to "Ludology" (the study of games), to "The Pixel/The Line" to "Beyond Chat." The conversational structure inspired contributors to revise, update, and expand their presentations as they prepared them for the book, and the panel discussions have overflowed into a First Person web site (created in conjunction with the online journal Electronic Book Review).

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
" First Person makes an invaluable contribution to the current discussion surrounding new media narratives, computer games, and the performative ties that bind them. The anthology brings together major players in the field who discuss their ideas in the appropriately open-ended format of statements and responses, all of which shed light on the aesthetic and social implications of our new experiences of stories." Christiane Paul , Adjunct Curator of New Media Arts, Whitney Museum of American Art

"You have entered the rotunda of a gleaming, new conference center. Above you hangs a banner: 'Welcome to First Person.' In front of you, you see doors leading into separate conference rooms, each of which is marked with a sign in large, Futura Bold letters: 'Cyberdrama,' 'Ludology,' 'Simulation,' 'Hypertext and Interactives,' and so on. You soon discover that every room in this virtual conference called First Person is filled with informed discussion and lively controversy from major figures in the emerging field of Game Studies. Some are arguing that digital games (as the heirs of the novel and of film) constitute the next great arena for storytelling; others respond that games are not narratives at all and require a different theoretical framework and a new discipline. Still others are describing their own exciting contributions to interactive fiction, poetry, or visual/verbal art. By the time you return from this virtual tour of the world of Game Studies, you realize that all of these rooms (and all these topics) are connected in an intricate and compelling architecture of ideas. You begin to understand the rich possibilities that computer games offer... as drama, narrative,and simulation. You come to appreciate the great theoretical task that lies before us in exploring both the formal properties and the cultural significance of computer games." Jay David Bolter , Wesley Professor of New Media, Georgia Institute of Technology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262731751
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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).

Pat Harrigan is a freelance writer and author of the novel Lost Clusters. He is also the co-editor, with Noah Wardrip-Fruin, of First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (2004) and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (2007),both published by the MIT Press.

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Table of Contents

From Game-Story to Cyberdrama 2
Response 2
Online Response 10
Can There Be a Form between a Game and a Story? 12
Response 12
Online Response 14
A Preliminary Poetics for Interactive Drama and Games 19
Response 19
Online Response 23
Towards Computer Game Studies 36
Response 36
Note Regarding Richard Schechner's Response 37
Genre Trouble: Narrativism and the Art of Simulation 45
Response 45
Online Response 47
From Work to Play: Molecular Culture in the Time of Deadly Games 56
Response 56
Online Response: Playing with Play 60
Representation, Enaction, and the Ethics of Simulation 73
Response 73
Online Response 75
Videogames of the Oppressed: Critical Thinking, Education, Tolerance, and Other Trivial Issues 85
Response 85
Online Response 88
Schizophrenia and Narrative in Artificial Agents 95
Response: Methods and Madness 95
Online Response 98
Game Design as Narrative Architecture 118
Response 118
Online Response 120
Introduction to Game Time 131
Response 131
Online Response 133
Towards a Game Theory of Game 143
Response 143
Online Response: "And Back Again" 145
Narrative, Interactivity, Play, and Games: Four Naughty Concepts in Need of Discipline 154
Response 154
Online Response: Unruly Games 155
Card Shark and Thespis: Exotic Tools for Hypertext Narrative 167
Response 167
Online Response 173
Moving Through Me as I Move: A Paradigm for Interaction 183
Response 183
Online Response 185
The Pleasures of Immersion and Interaction: Schemas, Scripts, and the Fifth Business 192
Response 192
Online Response 197
Literal Art: Neither Lines nor Pixels but Letters 208
Response 208
Online Response 210
Unusual Positions - Embodied Interaction with Symbolic Spaces 218
Response 218
Online Response 222
Interactive Text and Recombinant Poetics - Media-Element Field Explorations 227
Response 227
Online Response 233
What Does a Very Large-Scale Conversation Look Like? 238
Response 238
Online Response 239
Community of People with No Time: Collaboration Shifts 249
Response 249
If Things Can Talk, What Do They Say? If We Can Talk to Things, What Do We Say? Using Voice Chips and Speech Recognition Chips to Explore Structures of Participation in Sociotechnical Scripts 262
Response: Talking Things 262
Online Response 265
Metaphoric Networks in Lexia to Perplexia 291
Response 291
Online Response 293
How I Was Played by Online Caroline 302
Response 302
Online Response 305
Interactive Fiction as "Story," "Game," "Storygame," "Novel," "World," "Literature," "Puzzle," "Problem," "Riddle," and "Machine" 310
Response 310
Online Response 315
Permissions 319
Index 321
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