Following up on the recent discussion of IF news, here is a grab-bag of digital text art news items. Our general practice at WRT is to add interesting articles to our bookmark feed as we find them (del.icio.us/wrt), but only blog on when we have substantial commentary. We may experiment with writing a monthly or quarterly news roundup, however anyone interested in what we are reading can simply subscribe to our bookmark feed. These fun tidbits were primarily culled using various Google News filters:

IF news: Curmudgeon Gamer’s jvm recently caught a Colossal Cave reference on NPR made by David Kestenbaum: “Sisk admits that he lives in a complicated part of the city, a maze of twisty little roads, all alike.” jvm wonders if the phrase predates the game - an interesting question. Meanwhile, on Slashdot, a discussion playfully suggests using interactive fiction for weening game addicts off of venerable text-era dungeon explorer Nethack.

ASCII news: a newspaper article on ASCII art and mosiacs by Andrew Kleske includes a good short roundup of ASCII webservices: text-image.com, typorganism asciiomatic, and Lon Koenig’s Figlet Server.

Hypertext news: ‘Remainder’ author Tom McCarthy is unimpressed by hypertext fiction:

MT: Has the internet changed the way that you read and write?

TM: No. These people who do online ‘hypertext fiction’ are completely missing the point. Literature was hypertexted up way before HTML came along. They’d realise that if they bothered to read Chaucer, let alone Raymond Roussel.

Chatbot news: iTherapy released a press release in November 2005 declaring “T.A.R.A. Becomes The World’s Busiest Therapist.”

Finally: it isn’t text, but I couldn’t resist:

eBook news: Multiple copies of a new interactive book for toddlers “Potty Time with Elmo” (pictured above) had a button message “Who wants to try to go potty?” replaced, according to WKMG Local 6 report “Toddler’s Talking Elmo Book Asks ‘Who Wants To Die?’“. Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz comments that the hacked/vandalized talking toy recalls the Barbie Liberation Organization, who swapped speech units with Ken dolls in 1993.



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