February 7, 2007

Emily Short on Second Person and IF

by Nick Montfort · , 4:47 pm

Leading IF author Emily Short has just posted a review of Pat Harrigan & our own Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s Second Person – perhaps the first full length review of the recently-released book? At the risk of providing spoilers, I’ll mention that Short, who contributed a two-page article to the volume, gives a detailed assessment of what the book has to offer to those interested in interactive fiction, and concludes:

Second Person blew me away. I was expecting good things when I saw the contributor list, but I wasn’t expecting anything quite this good. The book explores abstract theoretical and political questions that come with the kind of work we do; it also provides thorough, detailed discussions of design problems and solutions, illustrating many articles with images, diagrams, code snippets, and even full-length sets of RPG rules. It spans the production spectrum: professional games intended for large commercial audiences, start-up games by indie designers, hobbyist and fan freeware, academic experiments, pedagogical tools, one-time art installations.

The result is both grounded and inspiring. Of all the books on game design or new media I’ve read, Second Person is the one I would most strongly recommend to IF authors seeking a deeper understanding of their own work and of the work being done in related fields.

3 Responses to “Emily Short on Second Person and IF”


  1. Aaron Reed Says:

    The buzz on this book has been great. My copy should be here any day now and I’m looking forward to it. Congrats to the editors and contributors!

  2. noah Says:

    Wow. Emily’s review is very thoughtful — and I’m glad to see she feels we accomplished so many of the goals we had for the project. Thanks for posting the link.

    I’ve also enjoyed recent comments on the project from contributors James Wallis and Kenneth Hite (even if the second speculates that MITP’s copy editor on Second Person was an orangutan — for having treated a particular word as a singular noun).

  3. Grand Text Auto » Second Person, Twice Says:

    [...] 7:30 am

    At GTxA we’ve already mentioned two reviews of Second Person (by Emily Short and Bijan Forutanpour) and recently two more have caught my [...]

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