September 18, 2014

Tiltfactor at Boston Festival of Indie Games

from tiltfactor
by @ 2:07 pm

This past weekend Tiltfactor brought a bunch of our upcoming tabletop games to the Boston Festival of Indie Games at MIT! Among the 50 tables, the lab was represented at five!

BostonFIG-games-composite

We brought Bill of Health and Gut Check, two strategy games about the state of the U.S. health care system. Luminaries and Skyline are part of our BIAS project combat gender bias in science. Monarch is our crowd favorite – players play the daughters of the dying queen, vying for the throne.

September 17, 2014

10 PRINT in Paperback

from Post Position
by @ 9:33 pm

Hey, lookit here. Not only is 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 (by Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter, MIT Press, 2013) available for free online as a Creative Commons PDF, and available in the original harback edition that MIT Press published, it’s also now in paperback.

10 PRINT paperback

The paperback looks beautiful, by the way, thanks to the design work and attention of our co-author Casey Reas.

Here’s the MIT Press page with both the hardcover and the paperback.

September 16, 2014

A Platform Studies Book: Flash

from Post Position
by @ 7:03 pm

I’m delighted that Flash: Building the Interactive Web by Anastasia Salter and John Murray has just been published by the MIT Press.

Flash: Building the Interactive Web

This is an excellent study of an influential software platform – our first such study in the Platform Studies series – and it both traces the history of the platform, its development and the contexts in which it arose, as it also covers many famous and representative Flash productions.

Mark Sample writes of it, “Combining historical research, software studies, and a deep appreciate for digital creativity, Salter and Murray dramatically explore Flash—whose very ubiquity has heretofore made it transparent to media scholars—as the defining technology for a generation of artists, storytellers, game designers, and Web 2.0 companies.”

September 15, 2014

This Thursday! In Stereo!

from Post Position
by @ 8:52 pm

I will be reading from and discussing three recent books this Thursday at 7pm the Harvard Book Store here in sunny Cambridge, Massachusetts. These are:

#!
Counterpath Press, Denver
a book of programs & poems (pronounced “shebang”)

World Clock
Bad Quarto, Cambridge
a computer-generated novel

10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
MIT Press, Cambridge
a collaboration with nine others that I organized, now out in paperback

These all express how programming can be used for poetic purposes, and how
new aesthetic possibilities can arise with the help of computing. Also,
some portions of these (which I’ll read from) are quite pleasing to read
aloud and to hear.

Patently Absurd

from Post Position
by @ 8:50 pm

Sam Lavigne has an excellent text-generating, or at least -transforming, system that produces patent applications based on source texts. See, for instance, the one generated using Kafka’s “The Hunger Artist.” A full explanation of the code is provided on the page.

September 12, 2014

My Boston-Area Events This Fall

from Post Position
by @ 12:19 pm

Yes, the first event is today, the date of this post…

September 12, Friday, 6pm-8pm

Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
“Collision21: More Human” exhibit opens – it’s up through October 26.
“From the Tables of My Memorie” by Montfort, an interactive video installation, is included.


September 18, Thursday, 7pm-8pm

Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA
Montfort reads from #!, World Clock, and the new paperback 10 PRINT
http://www.harvard.com/event/nick_montfort/


September 24, Wednesday, 7:30pm

Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
Montfort joins a panel of artists in “Collision21: More Human” for this Art Technology New England discussion.
http://atne.org/events/sept-24th-collision21-more-human/

September 11, 2014

Reading of #! etc. September 18, Harvard Book Store

from Post Position
by @ 6:13 am

I’m reading at the Harvard Book Store on September 18 – a week from now, on Thursday. The reading is at 7pm.

I’ll be presenting and reading from my latest book, #! (pronounced “shebang”), which is a book of programs and poems, published by Counterpath Press in Denver.

I’ll also discuss my previous two books, one of which is World Clock. I developed this for National Novel Generation Month last November; it’s a computer-generated novel. Cleverly enough, it’s been translated into Polish via translation of the underlying program.

September 8, 2014

Updated 10:01 — Time Still Ticks

from Post Position
by @ 10:15 pm

Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie have updated their classic and palindromically-titled electronic literature work, 10:01.

This piece was included in the first Electronic Literature Collection and the first edition can still be seen there. Since it offers links out to the Web, and some of these became stale since the piece was first published in 2005, the prolific and edgy experimental writer Olsen and developer Guthrie have revised the piece for the Web for 2014, also reworking a few other elements. One is still able to select among movie patrons to read their perspectives. The piece is a companion to the print-novel version of 10:01, published by Chiasmus in 2005.

More Human to Open September 12

from Post Position
by @ 9:54 pm

An upcoming exhibit, a group show here in town, features a work of mine…


Collision21: More Human

The exhibition Collision21: More Human will be at the Boston Cyberarts
Gallery September 13-October 26, 2014, with an opening on Friday, September
12th from 6 to 9pm. This is a group show dealing with two closely-related
concepts: human self-modification and the human modification of our
environment. Formed by artists and technologists, the COLLISIONcollective is
premised on the sometimes abrupt intersection between art and technology.   

September 5, 2014

The Open Book Project

from Post Position
by @ 4:29 pm

Two professors page through, scroll through, search through the history and contemporary existence of the book to disrupt the opposition between computing and print-based, codexical practice.

NYPL Builds Book Covers from PETSCII

from Post Position
by @ 8:52 am

GOTO80 tipped me off that the NYPL is experimenting with using PETSCII (the character set used on the Commodore 64 and other Commodore computers) to generate covers for e-books that don’t have them. There is also a cover generator under development that uses illustrations.

Generated covers (from the New York Public Library Labs)

The PETSCII generator is specificaly inspired by 10 PRINT, and of course, it leads leads me to ask … will they use this system to generate a cover for the e-book version of 10 PRINT?

September 4, 2014

A Koan

from Post Position
by @ 8:55 pm

The disciple went to Minsky.

The disciple told him of his project, to develop a story generator with different components, a collaborative system that collaborated.

Minsky asked if a specific author was to be imitated.

No, the disciple said, the project seeks to do what only computers can do, to use computational power in new ways. And yet, the disciple admitted, the system models human creativity, techniques and processes that people use. Hesitantly, the disciple said, “it does seem contradictory…”

“You can do both,” said Minsky.

At that moment, the disciple was enlightened.

Full/Assoc Positions at NUS (Singapore)

from Post Position
by @ 7:30 pm

I was asked to pass along word of the full/associate professor position in HCI and interactive media design at NUS. Checking the link, I found that there are also openings for full/associate professors in media studies and in new media studies and development. So: the details on these faculty positions in Singapore.

#! Bops Up to #4 … Shebang, Shebang …

from Post Position
by @ 9:51 am

My recent book #! (pronounced Shebang) made it to #4 on the August 2014 SPD Poetry Bestseller List.

September 3, 2014

Call for “Textual Machines” Papers

from Post Position
by @ 9:13 pm

Here’s a conference coming up in April, with a January 1 deadline:


International Symposium

“Textual Machines”

April 18, 2015

The University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Keynote speakers

  • Janet MURRAY, Professor at the School of Literature, Media and Communication
    at the Georgia Institute of Technology and interaction designer.

  • Serge BOUCHARDON, Professor at the University of Technology of Compiegne and
    author of interactive fictions.

Themes and topics

Another Nod to BASIC

from Post Position
by @ 9:09 pm

Doug Orleans pointed me to “Lost Lessons from 8-Bit BASIC,” a blog post that makes the case that there were real, practical advantages to the much-maligned BASIC programming langauge, at least in the context of the home computer era.

Texto Digital Seeks Papers (in Many Languages)

from Post Position
by @ 5:41 pm

A correspondent in Brazil sends news of a new call for papers in the journal Texto Digital. The recent issues have been almost entirely in Portuguese, but the journal is reaching out and seeking submissions in several languages. I think you can tell from the title (even if your Portuguese is a bit rusty) that this publication focuses on some very Post Position (and Grand Texto Auto) sorts of topics. Here’s the call:

August 28, 2014

“Driverless” or “Self-Driving” Cars

from Post Position
by @ 8:04 am

So, I’m not saying they’re a bad idea, but why do these things get called “driverless” or “self-driving”? They are being driven by an immense corporation with the most massive store of data on Earth. They can’t function without this corporation or this store of data. They can’t drive themselves.

I dunno, maybe we should at least notice this sort of — hey! These cars are programmed to go up to 10 mph above the speed limit! Shiny!

(Prompted by Erik Stayton‘s great presentation of his thesis work on this topic yesterday. Erik works as my research assisstant in the Trope Tank.)

Forking Paths and Forest Platformer of Depression

from Post Position
by @ 7:56 am

I’ve revisited two games about depression which seem interesting to compare. One has been discussed more recently, particularly thanks to its recent release on Steam: the Twine game Depression Quest. (It’s also available on the Web.) The other, which is in Flash and on the Web, is the platformer Elude. The latter was developed at MIT, in the GAMBIT Game Lab.

Both of these games have seen plenty of discussion, but I wanted to mention an aspect that make them interesting to compare. Of course, Elude is graphical and played in real time, while Depression Quest is text-based and allows the user to select CYOA-style options. But that’s quite obvious.

August 21, 2014

A New Dave Lebling Interview

from Post Position
by @ 9:47 pm

USgamer features a new interview with Zork co-author and all-around Infocom implementor Dave Lebling. Very nice!

The opening flourish of the article, though, implies that in the days of Adventure, people used either green-on-black or amber-on-black video terminals to access computers, and players would see glowing letters and the “darkness of an empty command line.”

This is actually fantasy, not history. As I’ve written about in “Continuous Paper: Print interfaces and early computer writing,” as others have experienced and noted, and an amazing binder of print terminal output from an MIT student testified to me, a great deal of very early interactive fiction interaction was done on print terminals, including but not limited to the famous name-brand “Teletype.” A few people (including Lebling!) had access to top-notch video terminals, but lots of interaction was done on paper.

Another Thought for the Day

from Post Position
by @ 10:20 am

If I used my Twitter account the way I’m supposed to, instead of as a conceptual writing project, I would have put that last post on Twitter.

Thought for the Day

from Post Position
by @ 10:18 am

If I had a Facebook account, it would be tagged as satire.

August 20, 2014

The Mutable Stanzas

from Post Position
by @ 8:20 pm

Yesterday first-person-shooter Borges, intimate, infinite, and based on prose; today cut-up Spenser, mutable and poetic.

The Mutable Stanzas

This dynamic digital poetry piece, by Stephen Pentecost, is quite compelling. The author writes:

The Mutable Stanzas is a digital poetry installation and deformance experiment inspired by Raymond Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes, by the work by Jerome McGann et al on “Deformance and Interpretation,” and by the work of my collegues in the Humanities Digital Workshop.

The Mutable Stanzas disassembles Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene into its constituent lines, groups lines according to terminal rhyme, then randomly reassembles lines into new stanzas.

August 19, 2014

Senderos que se … Intimate, Infinite

from Post Position
by @ 7:33 pm

Intimate, Infinite by Robert Yang

Robert Yang’s latest is a first-person-shooter version of Jorge Luis Borges’s “The Garden of Forking Paths.” With a lovingly off-kilter translation (befitting its “original”) and with visuals and (quite minimal) interaction that suits the experience, this is an extraordinary set of linked mini-games, well worth the short amount of time it takes to get through them, and worth offering at least a bit for this pay-what-you-will game.

Check out Intimate, Infinite.

Intimate, Infinite by Robert Yang

August 18, 2014

American Antiquarian Society to add Political Cartoon Collection to Metadata Games

from tiltfactor
by @ 9:00 am

We are excited to announce Tiltfactor’s newest partnership with the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), which houses the largest and most accessible collection of printed materials from the United States, the West Indies, and parts of Canada pre-1876.

(political cartoon in 1836, from American Antiquarian Society collection)

(political cartoon in 1836, from American Antiquarian Society collection)

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