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Comments on: Coover and the Purloined Tarts http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/ a blog and podcast dedicated to discussing text arts forms Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:00:54 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.0.2 en Writer Response Theory 2004-2005 wrt@writerresponsetheory.org (Writer Response Theory) wrt@writerresponsetheory.org Talk Radio Comment-cast: Coover and the Purloined Tarts Comment-cast: Coover and the Purloined Tarts Writer Response Theory Writer Response Theory wrt@writerresponsetheory.org http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/iTWRT.JPG WRT: Writer Response Theory http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress 144 144 by: Tim Ramick http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-727 Fri, 09 Dec 2005 19:52:15 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-727 I wrote a structure a couple years ago, called Foursquare, after the playground game, in which the page is divided into quadrants and the reader can begin in any square and move to any other square on the page (or any on the next page). The last page wraps around to the first page (or one can backtrack through the pages). This, as well as other structured works (some more successfully attempted than others) can be found here in .pdf format: http://www.timramick.net Not one of them, I confess, is quite as provocative as Coover's, and it is unlikely any of them could be made into games (or at least games that would be fun to play). Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

I wrote a structure a couple years ago, called Foursquare, after the playground game, in which the page is divided into quadrants and the reader can begin in any square and move to any other square on the page (or any on the next page). The last page wraps around to the first page (or one can backtrack through the pages). This, as well as other structured works (some more successfully attempted than others) can be found here in .pdf format: http://www.timramick.net

Not one of them, I confess, is quite as provocative as Coover’s, and it is unlikely any of them could be made into games (or at least games that would be fun to play).

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Tim Ramick I wrote a structure a couple years ago, called Foursquare, after the playground game, in which the page is divided ... I wrote a structure a couple years ago, called Foursquare, after the playground game, in which the page is divided ...
by: Mark Marino http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-240 Thu, 23 Jun 2005 18:57:33 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-240 Yes, I wonder if Mark Bernstein and Diane Greco's proposals for <a href="http://www.markbernstein.org/talks/HT01.html" rel="nofollow">Card Sharks and Thespis</a> don't better fit what I'm discussing. They even mention the possibility of assigning cards point values. I guess this comes to a question of combinatorics in random-access hypertexts: at what point is the user negated by the system's structural fungibility, where choice is replaced by chance and where the some of the pieces is always the same. Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Yes, I wonder if Mark Bernstein and Diane Greco’s proposals for Card Sharks and Thespis don’t better fit what I’m discussing. They even mention the possibility of assigning cards point values.

I guess this comes to a question of combinatorics in random-access hypertexts: at what point is the user negated by the system’s structural fungibility, where choice is replaced by chance and where the some of the pieces is always the same.

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Mark Marino Yes, I wonder if Mark Bernstein and Diane Greco's proposals for Card Sharks and Thespis don't better fit what I'm ... Yes, I wonder if Mark Bernstein and Diane Greco's proposals for Card Sharks and Thespis don't better fit what I'm ...
by: Jeremy Douglass http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-236 Wed, 22 Jun 2005 21:06:59 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-236 Mark, I've only played <a href="http://www.eldrbarry.net/roos/books/stgam.htm" rel="nofollow">Once Upon a Time</a> a few times, but I enjoyed it. It seems to me that what you are getting it is that fine line between top down and bottom up story generation - inductive and deductive plot, if you will. Once Upon a Time is very much inductive, allowing for a kind of freeform Russian Formalist Mad Libs. If the process fails, incoherency results. By contrast, much of hypertext / IF / etc. is deductive - if the process fails, progress stops. If we agree with the formalist proposition that there are kinds of moves (say the Fall or the Ascension) which are abstractly significant apart from their implementation in a concrete example (ending a relationship, being crowned king) then much of our back-and-forth over interactivity has to do with which half of the equation is being provided by the interactor - the kind of move, or the way the move is done? Do you get to CYOA, in which Hamlet rises or falls, but not the specifics? Or do you rather choose the precise way in which he falls, within a predefined structure of failure? In Once Upon a Time, you get to do both. In Coover's cards, it seems a bit of both and a bit of neither - every sequencing action is a choice from a limited set of choices, but because identities shift across the gap, resequencing is less a question of what story happens, or how, and more a question of "to whom?" Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Mark,

I’ve only played Once Upon a Time a few times, but I enjoyed it.

It seems to me that what you are getting it is that fine line between top down and bottom up story generation - inductive and deductive plot, if you will. Once Upon a Time is very much inductive, allowing for a kind of freeform Russian Formalist Mad Libs. If the process fails, incoherency results. By contrast, much of hypertext / IF / etc. is deductive - if the process fails, progress stops.

If we agree with the formalist proposition that there are kinds of moves (say the Fall or the Ascension) which are abstractly significant apart from their implementation in a concrete example (ending a relationship, being crowned king) then much of our back-and-forth over interactivity has to do with which half of the equation is being provided by the interactor - the kind of move, or the way the move is done?

Do you get to CYOA, in which Hamlet rises or falls, but not the specifics? Or do you rather choose the precise way in which he falls, within a predefined structure of failure?

In Once Upon a Time, you get to do both. In Coover’s cards, it seems a bit of both and a bit of neither - every sequencing action is a choice from a limited set of choices, but because identities shift across the gap, resequencing is less a question of what story happens, or how, and more a question of “to whom?”

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Jeremy Douglass Mark, I've only played Once Upon a Time a few times, but I enjoyed it. It seems to me that what you ... Mark, I've only played Once Upon a Time a few times, but I enjoyed it. It seems to me that what you ...
by: Mark Marino http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-227 Fri, 17 Jun 2005 16:43:22 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-227 Those are interesting connections, Nick. I also felt a little pull towards <em>Invisible Cities</em> with its interchangeable or variously re-imagined cities. It's funny because I realize now that I was inspired by: <a href="http://www.eldrbarry.net/roos/books/stgam.htm" rel="nofollow">Once Upon a Time</a> This page also links to some notes on improvisational story telling, an oral interactive art form that seems to contradict Chris Crawford's assertion that never before computers did "interactivity" play such a vital role in storytelling. Part of the insanity of my proposed games comes from the fact that I wanted to be able to play Coover's story in addition to being played by it. There's something about the fact that it always ends with the same card that seems to leave all my ergodic movements on the "trivial" side of meaning making. Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Those are interesting connections, Nick. I also felt a little pull towards Invisible Cities with its interchangeable or variously re-imagined cities.

It’s funny because I realize now that I was inspired by:
Once Upon a Time

This page also links to some notes on improvisational story telling, an oral interactive art form that seems to contradict Chris Crawford’s assertion that never before computers did “interactivity” play such a vital role in storytelling.

Part of the insanity of my proposed games comes from the fact that I wanted to be able to play Coover’s story in addition to being played by it. There’s something about the fact that it always ends with the same card that seems to leave all my ergodic movements on the “trivial” side of meaning making.

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Mark Marino Those are interesting connections, Nick. I also felt a little pull towards Invisible Cities with its interchangeable or variously re-imagined ... Those are interesting connections, Nick. I also felt a little pull towards Invisible Cities with its interchangeable or variously re-imagined ...
by: nick http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-226 Fri, 17 Jun 2005 04:24:15 +0000 http://writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/2005/06/16/coover-and-the-purloined-tarts/#comment-226 Mark, Excellent! Something has finally lured me to go buy another <i>McSweeney's.</i> I greatly appreciate the link and would be glad to deal you a hand of stickers in return for it, but, without having seen Coover's story, I wanted to mention two books that seem quite clearly connected to it thematically, perhaps moreso than <i>Implementation</i> or <i>Composition No. 1</i>: One of these is Italo Calvino's <i>The Castle of Crossed Destinies,</i> in which silent travelers staying at an inn deal cards to mutely tell their stories; the other is Coover's ludic-narrative <i>The Universal Baseball Association, Inc.: J. Henry Waugh, Prop.,</i> which is based on tabletop baseball. Formally, of course, the connection to shufflable or adhesive literature is much stronger, but the link between cards and literature, and between gaming and literature, is explored pretty richly in those two books. The <a href="http://thehouseofcards.com/kids/authors.html" rel="nofollow">Authors Card Game</a> comes to mind, too... Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/writerresponse/writerresponsetheory.org/wordpress/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76

Mark, Excellent! Something has finally lured me to go buy another McSweeney’s.

I greatly appreciate the link and would be glad to deal you a hand of stickers in return for it, but, without having seen Coover’s story, I wanted to mention two books that seem quite clearly connected to it thematically, perhaps moreso than Implementation or Composition No. 1: One of these is Italo Calvino’s The Castle of Crossed Destinies, in which silent travelers staying at an inn deal cards to mutely tell their stories; the other is Coover’s ludic-narrative The Universal Baseball Association, Inc.: J. Henry Waugh, Prop., which is based on tabletop baseball. Formally, of course, the connection to shufflable or adhesive literature is much stronger, but the link between cards and literature, and between gaming and literature, is explored pretty richly in those two books.

The Authors Card Game comes to mind, too…

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nick Mark, Excellent! Something has finally lured me to go buy another McSweeney's. I greatly appreciate the link and would be glad ... Mark, Excellent! Something has finally lured me to go buy another McSweeney's. I greatly appreciate the link and would be glad ...