Writing for Playable Media

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

As a new media author, I write the visible, readable text (texte-à-voir *) and the underlying source code, the program (texte-auteur *). As a new media artist, I also design and create the user interface and the multimodal elements - the whole thing.

Since starting to write and create in new media, I have felt compelled, by the digital medium itself, to attempt to fully exploit the affordances of programmable media for expressivity by employing non-linear narrative methods, non-trivial interactivity and random programming in poetically and/or narratively meaningful ways. This has led me to create, what Noah Wardrip-Fruin calls, playable media works.

Writing creatively for algorithmically-driven media, working with others’ code frameworks and writing my own programs has led me to consider the expressivity of game processes and, consequently, my work has taken on more game-like characteristics. I’d like to trace this development by presenting a selection of extracts from key works (listed below) which demonstrate this move towards writing for playability.

The key Electronic Literature works:

Fitting the Pattern ( http://www.crissxross.net/elit/fitting_the_pattern.html )
Underbelly ( http://www.crissxross.net/elit/underbelly.html )
Out of Touch, an ongoing series ( http://www.crissxross.net/oot/indexoot.html )
Rememori ( http://www.crissxross.net/elit/rememori.html )

*Philippe Bootz, Towards an ontology of the field of digital poetry

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Christine Wilks