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From First Person to Second Person

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Correspondence:
Marc Ruppel
Department of Textual and Department of Textual and Digital Studies, University of Maryland,
Digital Studies, 2107
Susquehanna Hall,
USA
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 20742,

Downloaded from http://llc.oxfordjournals.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23, 2017
USA.
E-mail: mruppel@umd.edu
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First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, procedural, interactive, and simulative qualities of
and Game. Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s ‘new media’, and the related production and
(eds). Cambridge, MA/London: The MIT Press, 2004. incorporation of narrative content within these
331 pp. ISBN: 0-262-23232-4. £25.95 (hardback). objects. Obviously, since not all digital and electro-
Second Person: Role-playing and Story in Games nic media research centers around story, First Person
and Playable Media. Pat Harrigan and Noah and Second Person are clearly targeted towards those
Wardrip-Fruin’s (eds). Cambridge, MA/London: working in the humanities, particularly the fields of
The MIT Press, 2007. 408 pp. ISBN: 978-0-262- narratology, textual studies, and digital studies. The
08356-0. £29.95 (hardback). title First Person is, in many ways, positioned as an
First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, indicator of the content within—i.e. first person
and Game (2004) and Second Person: Role-playing video games, first person narration, first person
and Story in Games and Playable Media (2007) are interaction, just as Second Person claims that it is all
two compelling collections of essays that seek to about the ‘YOU’ of these objects. Neither really get
examine the enormous impact that electronic, close to examining either first or second person
digital, and, more broadly, interactive technologies perspectives, though, and these titles act as nothing
and practices have had on the production of literary more than placeholders for the content within. First
knowledge and narrative. Each collection manages Person and Second Person, however, are uniquely
in its own way to provide a snapshot or, perhaps related in that they are each meant to be read with
more fittingly, a screengrab of the state of the Electronic Book Review’s companion website
contemporary media studies and, consequently, where readers can find longer, more thoughtful
each possesses distinct albeit often implicit biases responses to the pieces in this collection. In short,
towards the means through which we begin to reviewing both First Person and Second Person—the
situate the proliferation of ‘new media’. Having the printed books—is to exclude the wide-range of
chance to review these texts together provides an valuable and ongoing discourse that accompanies
opportunity to address what might be a more these texts online, and omit any discussion of a
gripping angle of examination than a simple survey model for future academic publishing that is truly
of content—the possibility that the movement from multimedia in design. My review, however, will
First Person to Second Person represents a funda- unfortunately do exactly this, as there is too little
mental shift in our understanding of ‘new media’ space with which to discuss the more nuanced
and ‘new’ media, story, and play, and our methods arguments put forth online.
for studying these fields. In more ways than one, First Person exists as a
Although there are some obvious and important relic of sorts of the early years of new media studies.
differences between these two collections, one of the Even from an organizational and material stand-
more pronounced similarities is an overarching point, we can see the remnants of prior concerns.
concern about the relationship between the Unlike Second Person, each essay in First Person

Literary and Linguistic Computing, Vol. 23, No. 2, 2008. ß The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on 231
behalf of ALLC and ACH. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org
doi:10.1093/llc/fqn006 Advance Access Published on 26 March 2008

needs a refinement of the spaces in attention. we are discussing systems of play. which outlines a case for why the what he calls the pervading ‘narrativism’ of game digital medium is well-suited to gaming activities. ning with Janet Murray’s ‘From Game-Story to Furthering this thought. speaking about the text nounced points of contest within new media over some 4 years removed does make this claim a bit less the past few years. No. or a plot is not enough’ (p. discussing electronic gaming. 2008 . Markku examination of ‘new media’ as ‘story. Although ‘new ‘Cyberdrama’ as it is defined here. and semiotic) and of an electronic the player in relation to the development of story in game’s demands for a simulational hermeneutic that electronic environments. rules. 2017 content of the book. then. Ludology. Ruppel is coupled with responses from other commenta.e. it Games’. but in another sense. namely the fact that there is a becomes the constraints through which agency real tension between the immense scope of the text’s (formulated here as a balance between formal and proposed subject and the methodologies through material constraints) functions and prospers. Espen Aarseth addresses Cyberdrama’. characters. control and dictate it. and hints at a more pronounced problem with the discusses the means through which narrative Downloaded from http://llc. 23. then. 37) to qualify a game as The Pixel/The Line. First Person is undeniably fixed with no human element whatsoever. 2. three competing opinions clamoring for one’s especially games. in the wholly theoretical gray area that existed (and And in some sense. Here. a 232 Literary and Linguistic Computing.e. textual. the sheer scope of the First Person’s eight approach. And in it is the formal properties of video games (i.oxfordjournals. studies. Game Theories. represent (or re-present) many of the concerns that with proponents of ludology advocating instead that the field continues to grapple with. performance Eskelinen. providing only of agency both within and outside of the game space an abstracted philosophical approach with little by as one of the most important elements when way of the nuts and bolts of the objects themselves. echoes Perlin’s concerns. In any agency as a notion through which video games given chapter. one that positions are undeniably hermeneutical in nature. function. Ken addresses the unique representational properties of Perlin’s ‘Can There Be a Form Between a Game digital and electronic media. As one of the more pro- literary meaning.e. that is exactly what we find in still exists) between the study of digital/electronic the next section. objectives. their contested ability to produce. more generally speaking. which these subjects is studied. as games often lack the ‘narrative ings—suggests a much wider focus. Vol. of simulation. situation’ of having both a narrator and a narratee. Hypertexts.) rather than the strength and weakness. media game-story relationships. plot. and attributes the difficulties to studying First Person’s initial concerns are overwhelmingly games to questions pertaining to genre of the tailored toward exploring the dynamics of new hermeneutical paradigms of study (i. induce. Computer Game Studies’ that ‘a story. and New Read. with comments ranging from perceptive which agency is located. makes the claim in his essay ‘Towards sections—Cyberdrama. conflict) Although the subtitle of First Person purports the that should dominate one’s focus. a narrative.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. Beyond Chat. etc. this attempt at remediation is Preliminary Poetics for Interactive Drama and commendable (if intrusive). Critical Simula. their significant ways. it seems. software. this is the both the text’s biggest procedurality.M. one of the earliest supporters of this and game’. as well as the role of narratological. Suitably begin. story components (i. not unlike a Weblog allows for now. Of course. hardware. in authors would argue that without this understand- some cases. too often the user/player’s actions as well as their experience these hermeneutics are incomplete. the the operating systems. a backstory tions. moves from agency to the structures in games that and/or reduce story and. and a Story’ introduces the concept of personal tors. As such. paper that allows these media to ing. the essays in First Person the efficacy of studying games as narrative objects. Echoing Murray. where the shift in focus objects. seems to media’ studies as they existed in 2004 and exist now espouse a dialectic of enactment. Still. Michael Mateas’ ‘A to obstinate. but nonetheless. the ludological debate addresses forceful. and. there might be two or even depend and he argues that any visual narrative form. meanwhile. and Interactives. ‘Ludology’. In both cases.

Yellowlees Douglas and Andrew is at first a confusing one. meanwhile. 2008 233 . the second half is instead a potential for research into schizophrenia occurring much less coherent survey with no discernable build through the study of AI techniques (Sengers). here. of Harrigan and Wardrip-Fruin make the point that course. Though it does games simulations. 2. From First Person to Second Person resistance against what Aarseth calls the ‘theoretical essay ‘Game Design as Narrative Architecture’. it is clear that Juul’s Enaction. Take Henry Jenkins’ under the subject of authorial choice and ‘reader’ Literary and Linguistic Computing. Play and body and its reflexes in the course of gameplay. the the creation of alternative hypertextual systems to a designation of ‘Game Theories’ as a separate section later essay by J. These consequences that came before it. argues that ‘interactive entertainments’. and narratology. collection was at least partially unified under the political. it becomes apparent that while the first half of the tion of video games that reflect and tackle social. Eric military through their insistent implication of the Zimmerman’s ‘Narrative. ‘Critical Simulation’. No. where what is not said is often these essays and others in the section are united as important as what is said. Here. and the philosophical consequences found to this point. 2017 makes the move towards an incorporation of both ance from Aarseth and Eskelinen’s essays. 54) of the academy’s entrenched which deftly negotiates the divide between ludology positions—narrative and visual studies—is pro. Interactivity. makes a game interesting. colonialism’ (p. Vol. on the ways in which stories can be brought about the essay does point towards an interesting blind. we find essays ranging from ‘Game Theories’. and cultural ills (Frasca) as well as the guise of game studies. in argument. renowned hypertext theorist and producer Mark zling divisions in First Person. in order to frame game experiences. just as Celia Pierce’s ‘Towards a Game as he calls them. extend outside of the body. Simon Penny’s essay ‘Representation. marks the first of several puz. standpoint. a gesture that posits all Hargadon discussing the merits of a schema-based that occurred before should not be considered game approach to studying ‘interactives’. hits the reset button quite Although Penny’s argument relies too heavily on literally and jettisons everything that was built the commentary of a retired Lieutenant-Colonel towards at this point. of the text. though. as its power is somewhat muted by its dist- Downloaded from http://llc. a term that theory (it is). Along with spot in contemporary game studies—that of the Jenkins’ essay. the next section. Zimmerman’s piece offers a lucid physical ramifications of investing oneself in a alternative to the strictly ludological perspectives simulation. Although the essays Bernstein’s collaboration with Diane Greco about present here are for the most part solid. not offer an insight into its own question of what sequence.oxfordjournals. it is not so much when one seminal hypertext fiction Twelve Blue. while a push towards establishing game that it is space that is tantamount in games not studies as a wholly new field of study. even if it feels almost like a when divesting other means of research in favor of footnote following the heavy emphasis on ludology a simulational approach. the human and computational elements in a Jesper Juul’s ‘Introduction to Game Time’ is a discussion of socially situated gaming. Calling video runs a blog called ‘The Ludologist’). 23. Games’. From an organizational seem not only desirable but also necessary. Although my position here might includes everything from Myst to Michael Joyce’s seem a bit nit-picky. where the only simply for simulation purposes but also study of the formal properties of electronic games for narrative potential. presenting a very persuasive case moted. Although remembers that every collection of this sort is. preferring to focus instead who used to work in the desensitization of soldiers. is not without con. Similarly. an argument. carry the same pedagogical power Theory of Game’ positions her arguments ludolog- as training simulators such as those in use by the ically but without explicit mention to the field. through subsequent essays dealing with the crea. it makes no sense to include this piece Fittingly. and are reflected As we transition to ‘Hypertexts and Interactives’. and in highly ludological piece that centers on the doing so ratifies the editors’ implicit agreement differentiation of time-states in games (Juul even with both Aarseth and Eskelinen. for concerns are somewhat in-line with earlier sections example. and the Ethics of Simulation’.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23.

which takes a here—and what plagues much of this collection—is much more materially grounded approach to the that in privileging the theoretical over the technical/ subject matter—interdisciplinary perspectives on material. for much of the remainder of First technologies as well as the technical and sociological Person. I think that what we see welcome intrusion of ‘Beyond Chat’. the content in this section is hypertext makes sense. Rather as an examination of the means through which ‘old’ than concerning itself with voice recognition in. it is clear that this perspective textualities of the page cannot be used to describe hinders the discussion of hypertext and interactives the ‘new’ textualities of new media. we find nothing of the sort in potentials for research in voice chips and speech this text.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. movements in electronic textual spaces ence sits uneasily alongside the examples that are (Utterback) to the recombinant possibilities of Downloaded from http://llc. Vol. 2008 . equally well-reasoned examination of interaction in In Warren Sack’s ‘What Does a Large-Scale new media objects positions hypertexts next to what Conversation Look Like?’. Stephanie interactive text in a virtual environment (Seaman). as a result. it works. it is worth noting example. First Person opens itself up to a tangle of sation.oxfordjournals. we find not only the we might more commonly call video games. as both make useful cases for the objects This feeling is somewhat vindicated by the of their studies. 23.e. we are left struggling to find the book’s bases for their. for At the risk of repeating myself. Documenting the history of these As a result. as acts as a survey of sorts of interactive crafted contributions to the field. 2. one cannot help poetics. The problem here is not in their media’ artifacts. but also the practical and empirical categorizations. the proposed focus of this section is from a refutation of Kittler’s position on our theoretical. and that the inordinate emphasis that the interactive much in the same way that Bernstein and majority of these essays place on a theoretical Greco preface their essay with a treatise on why approach is only distancing us further in some ways many ‘interactives’ should be considered hypertext. looking for commonalities in the software/code and this book seldom travel. So while Bernstein and literary production is constrained and directed Greco’s appraisal of their Card Shark system as through new media. letters/digits) in digital/ claim that hypertext perspectives lend themselves electronic environments (Cayley) to embodied naturally to an examination of the reading experi. that is created for these objects) could begin to Jeremijenko thoroughly outlines the numerous rectify this problem. Douglas and Hargadon’s jarring in a way that the rest of the book is not. even with essays from the creators of such electronically enabled communication and conver- objects. What Do We Say?’. Jeremijenko’s piece brings a much- identity and focus. Strickland’s ‘Moving Through Me as I Move’. works toward expanding but feel that by this stage. meanwhile. What Do They Say? If We or interactive and another something else. In her essay.e. we are no closer to them for (dis)connections. discusses the nature of word/image rela. Instead. 234 Literary and Linguistic Computing. extended theoretical musings on the topics ranging That is. which aggregates and correlates con- and in this regard.M. something crucial is the scope of what should be considered hypertext/ missing. agreement. Although Can Talk to Things. focusing instead on the systems that create meaning points towards a direction that ‘new media’ studies (i. introduced needed breath of fresh air to this collection. however. Since so much of the first half of First Person mixed messages about what ‘new media’ objects is focused on the conditions under which story and should be classified as. theoretical dimensions of Sack’s examination of Perhaps the point here is to obfuscate easy Usenet groups. ‘The Pixel/The Line’. provides several as much as it directs it towards a common goal. not material and. say. from the substrata and potentials of these ‘new and vise-versa. the editors’ relationship to text (i. Natalie Jeremijenko’s understanding what makes an object a hypertext ‘If Things Can Talk. 2017 chosen by each of the writers here. recognition chips. No. The problem is that by versations taken from these spaces and makes mines the end of the section. It also. forcing ‘new media’ studies’ often issues he experienced in designing his Conversation narrow view of hypertexts to undergo a reappraisal Map system. Ruppel comprehension. that while once again each of these essays are well- tions.

23. Rather. networks. books. becoming more rampant but. is never either. Play in its most general sense In short. role-playing. Vol. the conceived in its formulations. story. it helps to process. Similarly. 2008 235 . we are really discussing the dynamics ‘new’ modes of praxis that are influenced by. In short. instead. And here is where we find objects and practices they provide us with a one of the more interesting unspoken facets of different means through which to view ‘new’ Second Person: the possibility that when discussing media—that of the relational sense of the term. a sandbox. No. she not only points toward what I believe is a ‘new’. It is a redefinition on every level of the truly defined in this collection) is also too narrowly dynamics of a medial ecology. so too might we say that the tion. and a much-needed one at that. I speak. however. the book remember that ‘new media’ studies is not all about provides us with a far better understanding of digital gaming. but of world building. the sandbox is only But whereas First Person feeds too often into the so big. To reiterate. 2017 only existing inside the space of computer-driven provided by digital and electronic technologies technologies. narrow view of the field. however. structures of games. represents the fiers of their computer screens to focus instead on profound possibilities for a partial paradigm shift other means of digital and electronic expression. Although the as sandbox play. Jeremijenko links. like limited space of focus of Second Person is purported to be ‘Role. and structures Downloaded from http://llc. its predominant focus on new media as links. but also in this text. Seldom do ‘new shift from First Person to Second Person. This is not just ‘old’ media playing catch-up. digital and essay in Second Person inherently deals with this electronic technologies. concept of ‘new media’ (which. First Person represents to me a reflection of is open-ended. we cannot work outside of the medium’s Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media’. Although a narrative functions much in the limitations that the term ‘new media’ brought to same way as a medium does—by providing First Person. and it contains only so much sand. procedurality. electronic literature. it material boundaries. although each of these subjects are undeni- instead chooses to take this discussion ‘offline’. worlds created through narrative are limited only mance). a shift media’ scholars look away from the flickering signi. where ‘old’ media artifacts come into contact with and story.e. that the namely. searching for its shining examples. so to ably epicenters within the field’s growth. it is undeniable that the field has already structure that contrasts somewhat to the formal become over fixated on a small body of concerns. And even though not every not necessarily materially bound to. then. In doing changing relationships between ‘old’ media and so. Just as Wardrip-Fruin and Harrigan are being interpreted through more traditional lament that hypertext is often too narrowly con. A child at play in a sandbox is not subject to boundaries. in the context of more ‘contemporary’ by one’s imagination. From First Person to Second Person video games and or online fictions. the majority do and. and hypertext the relationships between media. This is not simply to say that remediation is major blindspot in the field. media as new means of communicating informa- ceived within the field. is infinite in its capacity for media’ is really a way of moving past the space. Still. of an openness of media’. 2. Indeed. and Literary and Linguistic Computing. although the objects discussed constraints and mechanisms through which infor- in Second Person have roots that can be traced back mation can be filtered and disseminated—the centuries (i. as a result. is clear quite early on that the category of ‘playable Narrative. cards. and need not have a beginning or a field still working with the definitions of its end. the dynamics of playable media. game of hide-and-seek. as much as we might try. away from the simulative and procedural feel that there is a very real possibility for growth environments of the computer and into a territory within the field tied explicitly to the rapidly too often neglected by ‘new media’ studies. I might add. the same rules that she might be while playing a muttering towards its vocabularies. from new media to playable media. improvised perfor.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. And while we may argue about whether some of Tied to the idea of a relational definition of ‘new’ these technologies should even be considered ‘new media is the concept of play. within the field.oxfordjournals. Second Person corrects play within a medium can be equally as open-ended this error by expanding its scope.

divisions: ‘Tabletop Systems’.) role playing the question of how a game is. ‘Computational subsequently. himself a noted RPG designer. understand the means through which meaning is Consequently. this collection to active players and creators of the Although these examples are a somewhat standard objects of discussion. In its place. 23. Immediately. In this sense. No. after we move into a future. where most essays made the and the material object as-is is more important than case for something being new media. even with the somewhat spaces and the rules defining them to an examina. allow for traditional new media hermeneutics such Costikyan. mutable. triumphs. then. Any discussion Fictions’. can we begin to objects. narrative is generated. Ruppel our role as both creators and consumers of these process of creating a play space. media as an organizing principle. The first section. ‘storytelling’ games in the appendices of the book Storytelling and Breaking the String’. Second Person contains only three thematic create the conditions with which role-playing and. Within each of these of the creation of a play space. struggles. where process provide a significant and necessary counterpoint to and record is more important than theorization. 2017 might say that Second Person is much more ground. and ‘Real Worlds’. 2008 . such as in Dungeons & Dragons tabletop objects of discussion. etc. First Person struggles with the question of what a ‘Tabletop Systems’. Only through actively understanding the series of unusual and stimulating essays about the 236 Literary and Linguistic Computing. Second Person to address the issue in the context of non-electronic invites us instead to dive right in and engage in the spaces. and design decisions that went As much as my criticisms about First Person into making a particular playable object (here we centered on its organization. cards. This type of intent does not means of interrogating the story/game divide. It is worth noting that the world in which play happens built?’ First Person’s concerns about the relationship This is possibly best exemplified by the inclusion between games and stories are addressed here right in Second Person of three full role-playing or from the outset in Greg Costikyan’s ‘Games. tenuous and subjective unifying element of ‘playable’ tion of the process involved in building these spaces. or came to be. which attempts itself. In this regard. Second Person is less a theoretical produced within it. the other as accounts from authors and designers about the participants within this space.oxfordjournals. it is important to note Downloaded from http://llc. from the outset that Second Person avoids these ed in first-person perspective than First Person is). What we get here. Second Person discourse on preexisting worlds (i.e. Vol. this makes Second Person far more distanced description and theorization of existing directed than First Person. Whereas the first thoroughly satisfied by a discussion of production? four sections of First Person might have been Because play is open-ended. more intimate collection that shifts our focus from Paradoxically. Rather than simply discuss play. Costikyan’s ideas might call a ‘theory of the present’. we also find a much more varied set of that helps us to understand the conditions through essays—forty-seven in total as compared with the which play functions. and very rarely any projections we might make with regards to its the opposite.M. focuses primarily on works game is (at least in regards to mechanics and story) that are more typically called traditional paper- while Second Person chooses instead to address based (in the form of books. the logic of First Person. for the most part. then. inapplicable something much closer to what Lev Manovich to digital games. is a far twenty-five primary essays in First Person. we find conclusions that are. Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch (1966) and the move here. is a discussion sections. 2. combined into one coherent section called ‘Game and wholly subjective experience that can help to Theory’. draws as those found in First Person. The games (RPGs).org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. it is a dynamic. same problems by simply loosening the scope of So why is it that a discussion of play can be so each section to a sufficient scale. one that takes us from passive readers of Choose Your Own Adventure books of the 1980’s. an interpretive gives us two access points to play: one based in framework) as it is a collection of first person narratives of a play space’s construction. This is a small but crucial RPGs. although there are a variety of question of ‘How is it played?’ is perhaps more perspectives here on objects that might not be fittingly repositioned for Second Person as ‘How is considered role-playing at all.

and many others within the chapter. ranging from Jordan Mechner’s topics ranging from improvised theater (Uren) to description of the hurdles encountered when World of Warcraft (Mortensen. Jill Walker argues in ‘A Network of Quests Literary and Linguistic Computing. While Bogost and Frasca process of adapting Agatha Christie as a PC game. building the universe of the Wild Cards book series as well as all the untidy issues of play and writing in collaboration with several other authors. such as in Michael Mateas loosely established storyworld. In George R. writes in ‘Prismatic cess. space of the computer. in turn. that ‘What makes computer games different than other ‘engagist’ media such as video games allow partici- games?’. that is. No. the majority of the essays in this section mediated world. 2008 237 . there is a defined emphasis on the plurality of ‘Real Worlds’ shifts this discussion into a pre- meanings resulting from structures that rise organi. and desks and into the spaces that we normally more importantly. Lee Sheldon’s discussion of the forces that structure it. the fully: simplicity of design which. Later. 2. although on the surface he feels story-making games function most success. designer of the well-regarded Baron one where story meaning spurs game design.oxfordjournals. these essays might seem somewhat disparate. Vol. Eric Zimmerman’s creator-authored nature of these pieces provides a ‘Creating a Meaning-Machine: The Deck of Stories multiplicity of viewpoints that cohere on several Called Life in the Garden’ describes the development important levels. what tethered to traditional media. In short. 23. space and goals—function even definitions of ‘real’ to be found here. detail how a game can restructure and impact an Nick Montfort’s eloquent account of creating the election. is simply play given formal goals of reality and our heightened access to worlds and state-oriented structure. for Ian Bogost and Gonzalo have less to do with the theoretical ramifications of Frasca in ‘Video Games Go to Washington: The such a statement and more to do with the creation Story Behind The Howard Dean for Iowa Game’ it of environments in which (game)play can happen. Martin details the fascinating process of motivation and creation of his Flash piece Pax. Their answer.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. means a symbiosis between a computer mediation Gameplay. the process of with Master: The Architecture of Protagonism’. ‘Computational Fictions’. with Harrigan and Wardrip-Fruin asking Play: Games as Windows on the Real World’. In each case men. namely the political section are first person accounts of the creation of process. Whereas without a player’s complete understanding of them. Martin’s ‘On the Wild Cards Stuart Mouthrop’s playful description of the Series’. the system of computer persuasive one. it is but one of many of the games—its rules. John Tynes. stressing that a well. we witness acting as lead designer of Prince of Persia for the a shifting relationship to the ‘real’ as well as the Playstation 2. reality for Tynes means anything outside of a Yet even so. creator of the Puppetland RPG. creating meaning within a simulated world becomes Downloaded from http://llc.R. viously unchartered territory. in part. be they tioned here. after all. From First Person to Second Person creation of particular RPG systems and narrative ‘player-character’ in his own interactive fiction and worlds. is that computer pants to acquire and question knowledge of the games take on the mechanics of game states world around them. Breaking from RPGs. Walker). procedural or narrative. and in several others on such spaces. The essays here start some- games are. each related to creating literary meaning in an electronic working separately within the constructs of a place. the primary being that within the of his ‘interactive paper book’. follows a similar pro. Although Tynes’ case here is a themselves. of the boundaries of each particular world. 2017 Paul Czege. one of the more difficult established storyworld (in this case the Garden of aims of incorporating stories and games lies not in Eden) is necessary in order for coherent play within the programming. In some instances. and Munchausen RPG. away from our screens cally from a world whose design is open-ended and. provides flattening of the organizing element—computa- guidance and freedom with which to play within a tional fictions—as well as the predominantly world. not goal oriented in the way that consider unmediated. in ‘My Life and Andrew Stern’s ‘Writing Façade’. details the process through which not the opposite. What follows in this outside of this mediation. but instead in the reconciliation story situations to be evident. In these essays.

similar sense. again. both texts are essential to the park these words direct us to. In previous models. their impact is macro end of the spectrum. In the course of her essay. so too must we remember that the multiply mediated storyworld. what I call a cross. Recently. saved a short animation of stars Jane McGonigal’s important work in alternate moving across the night sky. particularly digital and electronic expression needs to first begin massively multiplayer online role playing games with these sorts of accounts. reflected throughout the volume. are encouraged to participate Any future idealizations about the potential of in—points towards what I think is the future of 238 Literary and Linguistic Computing. Vol. this general concern is Based Gaming’. that we. not the ones and zeroes of basic binary. an arrangement of elements that the chewing gum out of his mouth. what McGonigal and media’ production from the standpoint of the others like her are doing is redefining the limits of corporations. 7). and other areas where they would be media of hard drives to the formal materialities of given small snippets of narrative information that. In a important step for the field of ‘new media’ to take. massive effects that both baseline materialities and Now. in order to make narrative meaning. which acts as a hub of and the Forensic Imagination (2008). understanding of the unified role that hardware Although we might now more casually call these and software design plays in creative output. would form a coherent story. majority of contemporary ‘new’ and ‘new media’ sited narrative. Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost’s when assembled online in chat rooms and on (eds) series Platform Studies seeks to come to an message boards. basic matter of ‘new media’. with the advent of I Love Bees and cultural/economic orientations have on expressive other such phenomena. Mission. Similarly. At the sorts of things ‘viral marketing’. 2008 . for clues investigates and outlines an approach to the most and GPS locations that would direct them to parks. sipped warm allow for user agency both within and outside of the Coke out of a can . Halo 2 for the Xbox video game system that had Kirschenbaum published Mechanisms: New Media players scouring the Web. and cultural forces what literature and narrative can be through a responsible for transforming narrative and expres- digital model of distribution. however. Although there reality games (ARGs). with complicated choices present for Media. from the magnetic phone booths. (at least that we know of yet). This is no more clear than in small file size. sion. not each text’s corresponding websites—discussions media. Regardless of the orientation. 2017 world of play itself. when is that. This is an the development of this rapidly growing field. No. Henry Jenkins’ much more important than just a commercial Convergence Culture (2006) investigates ‘new endeavor.M.’ (p. (MMORPGs) are already wholly structured worlds In the introduction to The Language of New in themselves. . The bottom line here moments of explosive creation in ‘new media’. of textual/material studies that ‘new media’ research the lead-in component to the launch of Microsoft’s is currently undergoing.oxfordjournals. Lev Manovich (2001) laments the loss of the structuring of this world. a book which communication and narrative aggregation. Matthew G. even one as expressive as a In the end. it must be said that just as I have computer. as readers. a single medium. recalled here in ‘The Puppet are not any moments of this scale in Second Person Master Problem: Design for Real-World. where the words on a computer interaction is done without knowledge of such screen comingle with the smell of freshly cut grass in things. . 2. and. finally satisfied with its Downloaded from http://llc. code. it is clear that the narrative is some combination of a medium’s field’s continuing maturation is a result of a much communicative capabilities and the imaginative less hermetically sealed approach to the potentially boundaries introduced in the story itself. We advocated for a more open discussion of production must then consider the possibility of a truly practices. Ruppel in World of Warcraft’ that many games. In some ways. 23.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. And in this regard. the ongoing discussions facilitated by Narrative here becomes a unifying factor. We might even McGonigal details the complex process of creating call it one component of the burgeoning swing and enacting the alternate reality game I Love Bees. individuals. we are no longer tied to technologies. play within mediated worlds is always ‘a twenty-something programmer at Netscape took a construction.

L. our discuss- Manovich. G. Indeed. MA/London: The MIT Press. (2008). (2006). and all those use New Media Intersect. The Language of New Media. they should proliferate. until they no longer and the Forensic Imagination. Cambridge. Literary and Linguistic Computing. ions of a given topic need not end there. grow. Downloaded from http://llc. (2001). 2008 239 .oxfordjournals. New Media our networks. New York: NYU Press. literature. MA/London: resemble what they once were but instead have The MIT Press. Cambridge. and spread through Kirschenbaum. Although the monograph is References still a valuable commodity in academia. adapted and become reflections of an ever-changing Jenkins. H.org/ at Mihai Eminescu Central University Library of Iasi on January 23. online and off. 2017 them. M. From First Person to Second Person academic publishing. 2. Mechanisms. No. Convergence Culture: Where Old and landscape of media. Vol. 23.