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WRT: Concepts
 

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Course categories:


Frustration and Play
Researcher: Jeremy Douglass

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A concept for a games studies course which explores the concepts of frustration and play while introducing students to a range of traditionally researched games as well as novel genres and interfaces. How does frustration (and its twin, pleasure) create and inform gameplay experience?
Generous: Workshop in Generative Fiction
Coordinator: Jeremy Douglass

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A workshop seeking to inspire experimentation in a wide variety of basic techniques for new media writers, artists, and scholars.
Cards: Fragmented Fictions
Researcher: Jeremy Douglass

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One of the key tropes of contemporary thought is the fragmentary nature of our culture, art, and theory.

This course investigates narrative divided into discrete units - cards. Aread of investigation include:

- the Tarot tradition of narrative fortune-telling cards
- a story shuffled and dealt as a deck of cards (Coover's "Heart Suit")
- a narrative of a lost city, whose ephemera and map are encoded on the front and back of a card deck (Wright's "In Search of Oldton")
- a novel metaphorically organized into a maniscript of index cards (Nabokov's "Pale Fire")
- collaborative storytelling cardgames ("Once Upon A Time")
- card-based Alternate Reality Games / ARGs ("PerplexCity")
- books organized as individual pages ("Choose Your Own Adventure" and gamebooks)

The course builds towards an exploration of computer based hypercard, hypertext, and new media artworks that invoke the metaphor of the card even while moving beyond it.
Paratexts: Fictional Footnotes, Imagined Indexes
Researcher: Jeremy Douglass

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What happens when narrative breaks the bounds of its conventional container, and bits of the story end up where they oughtn't?

This course explores the use footnotes and indexes for storytelling. These traditionally ancillary information structures, or paratexts, have been used in imaginative ways since some of the earliest experiments with the form of the novel (e.g. Sterne's "Tristram Shandy"). Focusing on contemporary fiction and new media, we will explore texts in both texts in which the 'para' plays equal part (e.g. the footnotes and index of Nabokov's "Pale Fire") and those in which the 'para' becomes primary (e.g. Ballard's index-story "The Index" and his "Notes Towards a Mental Breakdown" comprised of footnotes to a single sentence.)

We conclude by applying our new understandings of paratextual narrative to the new media categories of hypertext fiction and interactive fiction. What happens when narrative and notation merge, blend, and become one and the same?