30 | 2003

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 10
  • Article
    Defining a Tubmud Ludology
    Tronstad, Ragnhild (2003)
    The adventure oriented Multi-User Dungeon Tubmud is in this article examined in the light of various theories on play and games, in order to define a methodology suitable to capture the specific game-like aspects of the MUD. By subjecting Tubmud to two models that were originally developed to analyse elements of traditional games, a complex of overlapping games is disclosed in the MUD, suggesting that the MUD is too diverse a phenomenon to be conceptualised as one kind of game. Instead it could be approached as a game environment comprising several different kinds of games. For the sake of analytical clarity, we may choose to examine each of these separately. Nevertheless, in actual play more than one of them will in fact often occur to be performed simultaneously.
  • Article
    Eskelinen, Markku (2003)
  • Article
    Enter the Cut-up Matrix: Some notes on Man and machines in the (Swedish) 1960’s
    Ingvarsson, Jonas (2003)
    This essay, focusing on a slice of Swedish prose fiction from the 1960-70's, raises some questions concerning the artificial subject, along with discussions of game theory and automation. Torsten Ekbom's "strategic model theatre" Spelmatriser för Operation Albatross [1966; Game Matrices for Operation Albatross] is the main object of study. The (often very bizarre) text fragments in this book are, fictionally, generated by a number of computers. The figures acting in this game are devoid of skeletons; they are merely bodies of information, produced by machines. In dialogue with (among others) Norbert Wiener, Lewis Mumford, John von Neumann and Marshall McLuhan, Ekbom's text is found to illustrate a broader context of cybernetics and subjectivity in the 1960's. Finally, by using the shift of epistemological dominant (described by N. Katherine Hayles) from "presence-absence" to "pattern-randomness", Ekbom's Game Matrices for Operation Albatross finds itself in an historically interesting intersection of subjectivity: the life of Man in the 1960's is becoming increasingly "coded" and "randomized", while the computer is still that huge Machine, not yet, as today, the subconscious of everyday life.
  • Article
    Four Axes of Rhetorical Convergence
    Fagerjord, Anders (2003)
    This essay presents a theoretical model of genre relations in multimedia. Any text may be described according to the four axes Mode of Distribution (the balance of amount of material and time between authoring and reading); Mode of Restrictions (range and detail in space and time); Mode of Acquisition (the reading process required of the reader); and Mode of Signification (the particular combination of sign systems). Rhetorical convergence is when a text is similar to one genre on one axis and another genre on another axis. However, the model implies that rhetorical divergence may be a better description.
  • Article
    Is There a Place for Digital Literature in the Information Society?
    Koskimaa, Raine (2003)
    Finland and other Nordic countries in many ways belong to the forerunners in the development of the so-called information society. For the time being, the level of development towards the information society has mainly been measured by technological and infrastructural qualities - the amount of computers available, the coverage of wide band connections etc. It looks like the substance side of the equation has been largely forgotten. Information still is, to a large extent, published and distributed as books. Libraries, as well organized archives of literature with well educated personnel, can be even seen as one of the corner stones of the information society. Especially so in the Nordic countries, where the public library system has traditionally been widely acknowledged and respected. Currently, there is a serious discussion going on about the future role, strategies, and foci of public libraries: should they stick to their traditional role, or should they remodel their services toward portal-like gateways to virtual archives. One more characteristic of Nordic culture should be mentioned here, which is the high appreciation of literary knowledge, accompanied with literacy rates reaching towards 100 percent. All this put together creates an interesting test bed for the case of digital literature. The infrastructure is there, the literary culture and literacy is there, and public access to literature, both print and digital, is well organized. Only one thing lacks, which is the digital literature itself. The central question in this paper is, why is it so -- does the (almost) non-existence of digital literature in countries where the circumstances seem to be as close to the ideal as one can imagine seriously undermine the belief in the digital literature in general? Or is it rather, that too strong a literary culture is foremost an obstacle for the development of digital literature? I will take a closer look at projects carried on in Finland, in order to promote digital literature (such as lending ebook devices out from public libraries; providing pupils with 'e-bags', publishing national bestsellers in ebook format, establishing literary fora in the Internet, etc.), and seek out what has been learned from these experiments. Also, I will take a look at similar projects in Sweden, Denmark and Norway, which all share, by and large, the same qualities of well-developed information society and strong belief in literary knowledge. Through this survey I'll try to find some tentative answers to the questions if there is, indeed, a place for literature in the information society, and if there is, where is it, and how would that literature look like.
  • Article
    Moving text in avant-garde poetry: Towards a poetics of textual motion
    Ikonen, Teemu (2003)
    Recent innovations in digital environments may suggest that the possibility to manipulate the literal movement of the text could be one of the essential variables separating digital literature from printed literature. This bipolar distinction between digital and print media hides, however, a complex historical background. A fuller comprehension of movement as a variable in literature calls for the clarification of the historical development from the "analogies of movement" in printed literature to the innovations in video art, experimental film and multimedia poetry. In classifying types of textual movement at least the following questions are relevant: What can be kinetic in the poetic text? How does the movement take place? Where does it take place? What is the result of the movement? And finally, what (or who) makes the text move? The article develops conceptual divisions that make answering these questions possible and thus helps to make the question of the specificity of digitally manipulated movement more precise.
  • Article
    Paradigms of interaction: Conceptions and misconceptions of the field today
    Klastrup, Lisbeth (2003)
    This article gives a selective overview of the use of interaction as a concept in computer game and literary theory in the last decades. It uses this overview as a sounding board for a (re)definition and refinement of the concept, arguing that for analytical purposes we need to approach from a more stringent perspective how interaction concretely functions in both single-user and multi-user "text" forms. Following, it discusses primarily the scope of interaction in various genres, outlining three basic interactive" text" types: static, pseudo-dynamic and dynamic.
  • Article
    The Elements of Simulation in Digital Games: System, representation and interface in GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY
    Järvinen, Aki (2003)
    The article focuses on one genre of simulations: computer and video games. The author presents a generic model of the elements that co-operate in producing a simulation that is also a game. The model is applied into practice with a case study that focuses on one particularly interesting game: GRAND THEFT AUTO: VICE CITY (Rockstar Games, 2002), a game that frames its gameplay by simulating certain traits of popular culture in the 1980s.
  • Article
    The Geography of a Non-place
    Mortensen, Torill (2003)
    In role-playing MUDs, the arena is defined by the program and the builders, and mapping it is complicated and occasionally made even more so by those who create the arena. Still the metaphor of space is powerful and enduring, and players speak of the different little bits of text describing different settings in the MUD as rooms. They talk of movement and speed, of roads and paths, when what is really happening when the character moves from Haven or Azur is that the program lets you sort through its stored information in a certain manner. Only the administrators have power to access the information directly, all others need to follow some path, which creates an illusion of space and particularly of place. This illusion of place is not restricted to MUDs though: the metaphors of physical movement are powerful and enduring, to the point that Sherry Turkle’s interviewee suggests that online is its own place (Turkle 1995:231). But is the “place” I am accessing when I log on to the net comparable to physical places? I will discuss this on the background of Mark Auge’s concept of a non-place (1995).
  • Article
    Writing Through the Data Banks: A Note on Poetry and Technology in the Swedish 1960s
    Olsson, Jesper (2003)
    This essay deals with literary experiments from the Swedish 1960s - by artists and writers such as Öyvind Fahlström, Åke Hodell, and others - that elaborate and differentiate the interface of poetry through the use of various media (book, performance, gramophone, etc). Apart from presenting a challenge to the traditionally assigned roles of writers and readers, these texts can be seen as articulating a threshold between a 'culture of expression' and a 'culture of information', where the forms of poetry are shaped, not by the search for the perfect expression of an experience as much as by an attempt to write through the databanks that inform and form (ideological) ensembles of knowledge at a certain historical juncture. The main example in the essay is Åke Hodell's book, performance, record, TV-film, etc. Lågsniff, from 1966, which, through its use of technical codes and data, connects literature to the discourse of information theory, technology, and war. A problematic question to be raised is also, if, and in what way, one can relate these poetic forms to a digital poetics today.