Grades are posted!

Hi folks — the grades are posted (Sat. 12/15). Thanks for a wonderful semester!


Last Day of Class . . .

Ok, folks, it’s almost over! Be sure to bring your final essay with you to turn in (please do not email me with it, and make sure that it’s double-spaced, Times New Roman font #12, etc., etc.). Email me if you have any last minute questions.

We’ll finish watching Paprika in class (thanks Mindy!).

Response Assignment # 11

I just found two interactive narrative sites well worth visiting:

Ripples of Genocide and About Life After the Holocaust

For next week, please read:kitchen_panorama_1.jpg

Interact as much as you can with the Online Caroline site and respond to both the site and article in this response assignment, considering (and discussing) the effect and/or possible effects of this type of interactive narrative.

  • What are the drawbacks and potential benefits?
  • What about this type of interactive narrative seems to work well or not? Why or why not?
  • How does this type of narrative reflect or seem to help inform our understanding of some of the larger cyberculture concepts we’ve discussed in class?

ALSO: for extra credit, write about whatever most took your attention (and why) within the film Deja Vu. In order to receive the extra credit, your response to Deja Vu MUST be in addition to (not instead of) the above post requirement.

Reading Assignment for November 27th

REMINDER: No class 11/20!

You all have until the last class (December 11th) to turn in your final version. Since you are all doing a revision of this paper instead of a second essay, behomework5.jpg aware that this version will count as 60% of your final grade! So do the best job you can! I am happy to take a second look at your essay before you turn in your final one, but I MUST receive these second drafts by SUNDAY, December 2nd (so I have time to respond with comments and give back to you the next class). A second draft is not required, but highly recommended for those who did not receive a passing grade on the first draft.

For next week, please read (handout given in class):

* Wardrip-Fruin, N. and Harrigan, P. (2004) First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Cyberdrama, p. 1

Murray, Janet. From Game-Story to Cyberdrama, 1-10.

Response by Bryan Loyall, p. 1-9 (not available online).

Optional: Aarseth, Espen. A Riposte to Janet Murray and Janet Murray Responds.

* be prepared to discuss in class; no blog response necessary for this reading (above), but if you are seeking some extra credit, then feel free to blog.

Response Assignment # 10

For next week, please read the handout I gave you all in class:powerbook.jpg

  • Winterson, Jeanette. (2001) The Powerbook. Vintage: London. Read pages 1-97.

Write about whatever most takes your attention in this narrative OR what most took your attention within the film we saw in class: Natural City.

Also, be sure to bring your copy of Winterson’s The Powerbook to class next week, as we’ll be doing some close-reading of her narrative.

Response Assignment #9

For next week, please read the following:

  • Murray, Janet H. (1997) Hamlet and the Holodeck: The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. (HANDOUT)

Chapter 1: Lord Burleigh’s Kiss (p. 13-26)

Chapter 3: From Additive to Expressive Form (p. 65-94).pax.jpg


  • Moulthrop, Stuart. Pax. (Read about Pax, then play it by clicking on either of the two faces on the page.)

In Murray’s text, she asks the following questions :

1. “Do we believe that kissing a hologram (or engaging in cybersex) is an act of infidelity to a flash-and-blood partner?

2. “If we could someday make holographic adventures as compelling as Lucy Davenport, would the power of such a vividly realized fantasy world destroy our grip on the actual world?”

3. “Will the increasingly alluring narratives spun out for us by the new digital technologies be as benign and responsible as a nineteenth-century novel or as dangerous and debilitating as a hallucinogenic drug?”

Considering what you’ve already read, what you know about cyberspace narratives, and what Murray discusses in the handout that I provided, write an informed and thoughtful response to one of the above questions. Consider the power of traditional narratives and consider whether cyberspace narratives hold the possibility of even more power or less. Why or why not? What, if any, factors would be necessary in cyberspace narratives to have such potential impact as Murray seems to suggest by even posing such questions?

Take notes on what takes your attention most in Pax and be prepared to discuss this narrative in class.

If you weren’t in class, I’ve placed the remaining handouts in my box in the English Dept office (on same floor as our class).

Response Assignment #8

For next week, please read the following (handout):always_pb.jpg

 * LeGuin, Ursula. (1985) Always Coming Home. Berkeley: University of California Press. 

“Towards an Archeology of the Future,” p. 3-5. 

“Time and the City,” p. 149-172.

“Newton Did Not Sleep Here,” (poem) p. 487

If you weren’t in class, I’ve placed the remaining handouts in my box in the English Dept office (on same floor as our class). You do not have to blog on these this week, since the first essay is due, but I do expect you all to be prepared to discuss the reading.