Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives

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Overview

The ever-expanding capacities of computing offer new narrative possibilities for virtual worlds. Yet vast narratives—featuring an ongoing and intricately developed storyline, many characters, and multiple settings—did not originate with, and are not limited to, MassivelyMultiplayer Online Games. Thomas Mann's Joseph and His Brothers, J. R. R. Tolkien's Lord of theRings, Marvel's Spiderman, and the complex stories of such television shows as Dr. Who, TheSopranos, and Lost all present vast fictional worlds. Third Person explores strategies of vast narrative across a variety of media, including video games, television, literature, comic books,tabletop games, and digital art. The contributors—media and television scholars, novelists, comic creators, game designers, and others—investigate such issues as continuity, canonicity,interactivity, fan fiction, technological innovation, and cross-media phenomena. Chapters examine a range of topics, including storytelling in a multiplayer environment; narrative techniques for a3,000,000-page novel; continuity (or the impossibility of it) in Doctor Who; managing multiple intertwined narratives in superhero comics; the spatial experience of the Final Fantasy role-playing games; World of Warcraft adventure texts created by designers and fans; and the serial storytelling of The Wire. Taken together, the multidisciplinary conversations in Third Person, along withHarrigan and Wardrip-Fruin's earlier collections First Person and Second Person, offer essential insights into how fictions are constructed and maintained in very different forms of media at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262232630
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/29/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

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 VastNarratives (2007), both published by the MIT Press.

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at theUniversity of California, Santa Cruz. He is the coeditor of four collections published by the MITPress: 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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