Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature
Can computer games be great literature? Do the rapidly evolving and culturally expanding genres of digital literature mean that the narrative mode of discourse—novels, films, television series—is losing its dominant position in our culture? Is it necessary to define a new aesthetics of cyborg textuality?
In Cybertext, Espen Aarseth explores the aesthetics and textual dynamics of digital literature and its diverse genres, including hypertext fiction, computer games, computer-generated poetry and prose, and collaborative Internet texts such as MUDs. Instead of insisting on the uniqueness and newness of electronic writing and interactive fiction, however, Aarseth situates these literary forms within the tradition of "ergodic" literature—a term borrowed from physics to describe open, dynamic texts such as the I Ching or Apollinaire's calligrams, with which the reader must perform specific actions to generate a literary sequence.
Constructing a theoretical model that describes how new electronic forms build on this tradition, Aarseth bridges the widely assumed divide between paper texts and electronic texts. He then uses the perspective of ergodic aesthetics to reexamine literary theories of narrative, semiotics, and rhetoric and to explore the implications of applying these theories to materials for which they were not intended.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - breadhat - LibraryThing
A little bit dry, a little bit dated, and I wish it covered a broader range of material. It is, however, rich in meaningful theoretical content; recommended to anyone interested in video games from a literary/semiotic standpoint. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Meredy - LibraryThing
Six-word review: Alternative textual structures explicated as literature. Extended review: "Choose Your Own Adventure" books came along when my children were young readers. They reminded me of ... Read full review
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