This is here


information, design, architecture; information design + architecture

Text – user experiences

Ian Bogost’s post about Noah Wardrip-Fruin’s Expressive Processing, the my-peers-are-bloggers,-my-publisher’s-peers-are-academics,-let’s-get-a-bite-to-eat love-in, reminded me of a previous working running on the Institute for the Future of the Book‘s CommentPress; McKenzie Wark’s Gamer Theory.

As a bloggy form, GAM3R 7H30RY showcased the paragraph-by-paragraph reader’s commentary offered by CommentPress by pulling separate paragraphs out and making them note-card-like, but these were a labour to navigate linearly. Yet the book’s structure clearly intended them to be — otherwise why group them under chapters that deal both with one theme and one game apiece? I’ve skimmed it, sure, but I couldn’t say I’ve skimmed it very well.

It’s treey counterpart, Gamer Theory, however, doesn’t help much. Certainly vs. my laptop, I fell asleep once with it in my bed, woke to find it on the floor, and didn’t burst in to tears. But where I couldn’t get in to the linear passage of argument in G7, I couldn’t get in to the non-linear passage of discussion in GT, whose publisher, Harvard University Press, had selected choice comments and included them as endnotes, along with Wark’s own, more traditional, quasi-paranthetical bibliographical commentary on his own thought processes.

Endnotes kill arguments dead, not because balance and counterpoint don’t have a roll to play in argumentative and discursive text, but because those texts’ rhetoric go from top to bottom, while endnotes go sideways, fowards and backwards, through that text and others. Digital media isn’t going to kill the book; in many ways, like this one, it will create books that are more book than book. But as Bogost notes, current networked text continues to strain against it’s own limits in ways that don’t yet (convincingly) demonstrate it’s possibilities.


Filed under: e-text, User experiences

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: