Second Person at USC…
This coming Wednesday, Jordan Mechner, Mark Marino, Jeremy Douglass, and yours truly will be at USC for an evening of discussion around “writing and gameplay” — in part as a celebration of the publication of Second Person. As Mark di…]]>
Of course it was self-deprecation. The Wallis is British, after all. The paper I dismissed as ‘guff’ is my paper.]]>
Also, on second look, I agree with you on the Wallis and have since amended to discuss his comments on the alienating language of academia.]]>
Emily, thank you for your note.
I did not mean to suggest you were abstaining because of rivalries. You were part of the “distance” example, and your “aiming it primarily at…” speaks very much to what I am noting, a fragmentation of scholarship (one that Second Person seems to try to redress). This fragmentation may be necessary for any depth of discussion, but it also seems to separate new media researchers.
However, Second person does draw upon an array of mainstream forms and various new media — perhaps not the best word but — subcultures.
As a result, authors may focus on (or favorite) different slices of the book. That may be the case for many anthologies, but it seems particularly the case in a book whose objects of study have such dedicated and often-disconnected bodies of scholars.
Whether Second Person will allow our discussions to cross-fertilize or even coalesce into some aggregate study area remains to be seen.]]>
To be fair, I wasn’t abstaining from comment out of rivalry or sense of distance. In some cases, though, I felt unqualified to offer a critical response (some of the articles on RPG design, e.g.), or had less to say because the articles in question were more narrative than theoretical (as in the case of Martin’s contribution). I did think the anthology an exceptionally good mix — I don’t *think* I implied that there was anything “uneasy” about it. But I was already writing a pretty long review, and I was aiming it primarily at members of the interactive fiction community, so I made a conscious decision to highlight the aspects of the book I thought would be most valuable to them.
(For that matter, I also read Wallis’ comment as self-deprecation.)
In any case, it sounds like a neat talk! And I do agree with you about the shape of the book overall; I’m just not sure the contributors were as unwilling to mix as you suggest…]]>