There is a story on the website of the Chronicle of Higher Education today about
Emily Dickinson MSS at Houghton Library: Wild Nights!—Wild Nights! Autograph manuscript, in fascicle 11, ca. 1861. MS Am 1118.3 (38b). Gift, Gilbert H. Montague, 1950.© President and Fellows of Harvard College.
the “acrimony” between Harvard and Amherst College which is disrupting efforts to create a comprehensive open access on-line archive for the manuscript papers of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson. For over a century, efforts to aggregate these papers have been stymied by the fruits of a bitter rivalry between Susan Dickinson, the wife of Emily’s brother, Austin Dickinson, and Mabel Todd, who was the first editor of the poems, and who had a long doubly adulterous love affair with Austin. Mabel’s stash of papers wound up at Amherst College while Susan’s heirs sent their holdings to Harvard, where it is considered the jewel in the crown of Harvard’s 19th century manuscript collection at Houghton Library. Now that Houghton is preparing to launch the online archive and Amherst, which is listed as one among several collaborators, feels slighted, accusing Harvard of appropriating their assets without sharing the design decisions or access to their own collection. What can we learn from this? Continue reading
Here are the slides from my recent DiGRA’13 keynote, The Ambiguity of Game Studies: Observations on the Collective Process of Inventing a New Discipline, reminding folks of the intersection of Huizinga’s concept of the magic circle and Victor Turner’s concept of liminality.
With DiGRA ’13 coming up in 2 weeks, I went searching for an accessible version of my keynote at DiGRA ’05, for which the short piece “The Last Word on Ludology/Narratology,” which I posted a few weeks ago in text and slides, was just the preface. The text of the keynote itself, “Games as Joint Attentional Scenes” can be found on the Google Books site, since it was published as a chapter in Words in Play edited by Suzanne De Castell and Jennifer Jenson. Continue reading
Here are the slides from the oral version of the DiGRA 2005 Preface to my keynote talk, which was introduced by Espen which made it more fun for both of us. Continue reading
Ian Bogost’s rendering of the great critical struggle.
Recently this image has resurfaced in a talk by Espen Aarseth. I believe that the Ludology/Narratology discussion has moved on. My favorite sign of the discussion changing occurred a few years back when Espen announced that he was studying narrative elements in games. But only last month I had a request for the content of my “preamble” to my DIGRA 2005 talk which I think was published in the Proceedings but may be hard to track down. So I am posting it here, along with a movie version of the slides. Espen introduced me for a keynote speech, and the body of my talk focused on other issues. But I felt a need to begin by offering the “Last Word on Ludology v Narratology”.
The slides are here and the essay is below:
Now that game auteur Peter Molyneux‘s massively mobile cube clicking game, Curiosity -What’s Inside the Cube?, is over we are left to puzzle over its odd success. The gameplay was so mindlessly repetitive that it could be performed by a simple robot. And yet millions of people downloaded it to their iPhones and iPads and clicked away at billions of pixelated squares, and 30,000 of them were still at it almost six months after the release date when the game came to an end last Sunday. What would make a human do it? I think there were 4 main motivators. Continue reading
Serial TV dramas (daytime soap operas, prime time drama) have long used the convention of the Major Meet-Up — a party, holiday gathering, public announcement, wedding, funeral, or some other staged event with a set time and place — to bring together multiple characters and multiple story threads for some heightened dramatic encounters.
The Netflix-based Season 4 of the dysfunctional family sitcom Arrested Development, which I have already described as an example of a Multiple Point of View Replay Story makes significant use of this technique with such classic dramatic Meet-Up situations such as Continue reading