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hyperfic archive at WRT: Writer Response Theory

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The Electronic Literature Organization will be holding a conference called its “The Future of Electronic Literature,” a title which may seem to express the organization’s mission; however, recent initiatives, such as the Preservation, Archiving, Dissemination (PAD) project, have focused more on the preservation (ostensibly “the past”) of electronic literature. Surely “The Future of […]


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As a practice, we don’t announce talks at WRT, but this one presents an interesting convergence, a kind of crossover episode where the IF League meets the X-Bots meets the Game Squad in one of those moments of academic alliance: But who are we fighting against?

Second Person: An evening on writing and gameplay

6-8pm, April 4, 2007,
as part of Scott Fisher’s CTIN 511
USC’s Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts (RZC),
Room 201 Zemeckis Media Lab (ZML)

[This talk is not open to the public, but we will blog about it afterwards. The hosts can answer inquiries about access.]

As part of the LA book launch for Second Person, Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (MIT Press 2007) several of the contributors and one of the editors will be speaking at USC to one of the Masters classes in interactive media. Editor, artist, and scholar Noah Wardrip-Fruin will present the collection joined by WRT’s Jeremy Douglass and Mark Marino and renown video-game creator Jordan Mechner.

The talk marks one of the first public launch stops for Second Person on the West Coast but more importantly marks an important presentation of a few of the many topics in the collection, namely mainstream video games, interactive fiction, and conversational agents. Of course, these topics leave out the table top games, the interactive dramas, et cetera. What you realize from considering this list is just how varied the objects of study in Second Person are, though the menagerie does make a coherent zoological exhibition.


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[This post offers context for a work-in-progress entitled “Marginalia in the Library of Babel.” alpha release.]

Let us write stories in the margins of the Web:

The web is becoming ours to write with. Whether supplying, ranking, or reviewing its contents or reordering the web with our folksonomic tagclouds, we are becoming the owners of more than just our Craig’s list and Ebay possessions. We are orchestrating this web and making of it what we will. Jeremy and Matt Kirschenbaum have reported on the moments when the tagclouds become art (see inset image made via TagCrowd.com). And now the web pages themselves have become our surfaces, our building blocks. Here’s


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Literary hypertext is experiencing a renaissance. As part of a year-long series on this renaissance, I would like to offer several posts about recent works in the form. Part of the renaissance comes from time travel. Note: This post builds on the ideas introduced in Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan’s new collection Second Person.

Time travel is a favorite topic for science fiction lovers and loveable losers, the Marty McFly in all of us. (see this U Michigan course onThe Drs. Phebson time travel lit.) The topic seems particularly popular in time-based and time-fixed media such as film (see this film list, for example. However, time travel becomes more than just a plotline of regret in the world of hypertext because through this narrative device moving from time period to time period becomes a metaphor for moving from page to page on the web. Or perhaps, another way to say it, drawing from N. Katherine Hayles’ terminology, the internet becomes a material metaphor for time travel.


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From the 3rd Congress of the Cybersociety comes: The wikinovela

If wikis are a definitive collaborative technology, what happens when a group tries to write a multilingual novel using the form?

[What follows is a commentary on the project involving a bit of translating and paraphrasing of the conference essay “Wikinovela: a project of hypertextual, collaborative, and multilingual creation on the Internet” by Patricia Fernandez Carrelo and Santiago Perez Isasi.]

Produced by the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain) under a Creative Commons license, Wikinovela began April 24, 2006 and eneded July 24, 2006. Over the course of the three-months, the collaborators produced a work that stretches across languages: Castilian, euskara (Basque), and English. That is not to say that the work has been translated, but that distinct parts of Wikinovela appear in each language.

Participants could modify the text of others, continue any of the on-going storylines, create new plots (or “hypertextual ramifications” of a plot), or add metanarrative commentaries.






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