Comedies of Separation: Toward a Theory of the Ludic Book

Abstract (in English): 

To date, small effort has been given to create a general critical vocabulary for describing the wide range of digital literary works. This paper attempts to describe a range of effects in digital literature—relating to time, power, scale, duplication, being, and the ontology of the database—and introduces a new concept, the “simple,” here understood as a node of text/algorithm interaction. Several small-scale works that operate on one or two new media principles can be grouped under these simples. Cumulative works (such as the magisterial “88 Constellations for Wittgenstein” by David Clark) here known as “ludic books,” are described as being composed of several of these simples.

Works referenced:

Titlesort descending Author Year
88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (to be Played with the Left Hand) David Clark 2009
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz (iPhone app) Jörg Piringer 2010
Ah (a shower song) K. Michel, Dirk Vis 2008
Basho's Frogger and JABBER Neil Hennessy 2000
Cent mille milliards de poèmes Raymond Queneau 1961
Cunnilingus in North Korea Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Young-Hae Chang, Marc Voge 2003
Dakota Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Young-Hae Chang, Marc Voge 2001
Family Tree Rozalie Hirs, Harm van den Dorpel 2006
Game, game, game, and again game Jason Nelson 2007
Lexia to Perplexia Talan Memmott 2000
Muds David Jhave Johnston 2009
myBALL Shawn Rider 2002
News Reader Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Brion Moss, David Durand, Elaine Froehlich 2004
oooxxxooo Juliet Ann Martin 1995
Plaintext Performance Bjørn Magnhildøen 2006
ppg256 (Perl Poetry Generator in 256 Characters) Nick Montfort 2008
Project for Tachistoscope [Bottomless Pit] William Poundstone 2005
Regime Change Noah Wardrip-Fruin, David Durand, Brion Moss, Elaine Froehlich 2004
Samsung Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Young-Hae Chang, Marc Voge 2000
Screen Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Josh Carroll, Robert Coover, Shawn Greenlee, Andrew McClain, Benjamin Shine 2003
Self Portrait(s) [as Other(s)] Talan Memmott 2003
Semantic Disturbances Andreas Maria Jacobs 2005
soundpoems Jörg Piringer 2002
Star Wars, One Letter at a Time Brian Kim Stefans 2005
Suicide in an Airplane Brian Kim Stefans 2009
Text Rain Romy Achituv, Camille Utterback 1999
The Sweet Old Etcetera Alison Clifford 2006
The Tapeworm Foundry Darren Wershler-Henry
This is how you will die Jason Nelson 2005
Unicode Jörg Piringer 2011
Wordscapes and Letterscapes Peter Cho 2002

Research Collection that references this Critical Writing:

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Jill Walker Rettberg