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Continuing a series of posts on Saturday sessions at the Transliteracies 2005 Conference:
Christiane Paul began with Ted Nelson’s vision of hypertext and then went on a high-speed tour of recent text art, including wikis (criticalware.net), SMS literature (textually.org), book visualization (TextArc), communication visualization (Agonistics), online multimedia narrative (World of Awe), immersive media environments (Energie Passagen) and more. It was a provocative survey, including pieces I was familiar with (such as Screen by Noah Wardrip-Fruin) and many I was not.
Her final observation was that “the game engine as a narrative device is relatively unexplored.” This is interesting for a number of reasons - including the willingness to formulate a question with the words game and narrative in the same sentence. The Ludologist reports from DIAGRA 2005 that the Narrative v. Ludology debate is fading, to the relief of most involved. Leaving that argument aside, I’ll just say that the exploration of using a game engine for narrative sounds like a remarkable description of much of recent interactive fiction… for some definitions of “game engine”… and “narrative”….