First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game

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Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of California Santa Cruz Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Pat Harrigan, Freelance Writer and Editor Pat Harrigan
MIT Press, 2004 - Games & Activities - 331 pages
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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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Dedication and Acknowledgments xi Introduction
Can There Be a Form between a Game and a Story?
A Preliminary Poetics for Interactive Drama and Games
Genre Trouble Narrativism and the Art of Simulation
From Work to Play Molecular Culture in the Time
Narrative Interactivity Play and Games Four Naughty
Hypertexts Interactives
Moving Through Me as I Move A Paradigm
The Pleasures
The PixelThe Line
Unusual Positions Embodied Interaction with
Interactive Text and Recombinant Poetics
Beyond Chat

Critical Simulation
Videogames of the Oppressed Critical Thinking Education
Schizophrenia and Narrative in Artificial Agents
Game Theories
Response by Jon McKenzie
Introduction to Game Time
U3 Response by Mary Flanagan
Community of People with No Time Collaboration Shifts
If Things Can Talk What Do They Say? If
New Readings
How I Was Played by Online Caroline
Interactive Fiction as Story Game Storygame

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About the author (2004)

published by the MIT Press in 2009.

(2007), both published by the MIT Press.

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