July 6, 2004
A new installment of First Person — Critical Simulation — is live at electronic book review. It includes essays by Simon Penny, Gonzalo Frasca, and Phoebe Sengers — as well as responses by folks like N. Katherine Hayles, Mizuko Ito, and GTxA’s own Michael Mateas. This section takes up questions of simulation which have also been of concern in essays posted earlier (such as Espen Aarseth’s) but these essays foreground ethical and political concerns. Gonzalo Frasca’s contribution, for example, is his well-known “Videogames of the Oppressed” which (as the title suggests) engages with the work of Augusto Boal.
I’m also happy to report that the ebr-specific elements of First Person are gaining momentum. There are new responses to the Cyberdrama section from Jane McGonigal (asking, “What would cyberdrama look like off the computer screen?”) and Mark Barrett (with the challenging words, “If academics are going to be helpful in solving the interactive storytelling problem, they need to be explicit about their intent, exhaustive in their historical analysis and rigorous with their language.”). Finally, the Critical Simulation section has ebr-specific responses as well — from Ian Bogost (including discussion of The Howard Dean for Iowa Game) and Jan Van Looy (focusing on Simon Penny’s discussion of game violence, and eliciting an additional response from Penny).