May 9, 2017
MarkBernstein.org
 
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Critical Theory for Fun!

It looks like I may be curating a micro-festival at Hypertext ’17 in Prague, July 4-7 2017, on Critical Theory for Fun.

Recent years have seen a remarkable efflorescence of daring yet accessible experiments in nonsequential interactive narrative. In contrast to the famously opaque literature of Critical Theory, much of this work is a lot of fun while demonstrating remarkable theoretical depth. In contrast to the cheery heroic romances that long dominated computer games, this work is notably dark, emotionally complex, and introspective. Our Balkanized technical literature on new media storytelling has grown provincial, and a number of the observations on which it depends are likely mistaken.

In other words, just from worrying whether the wedding is on or off, a person can develop a cough. there’s a ton of good, accessible research into how narrative works, thoughtful work that’s not encrusted with striated and problematized terminological fablulae – and that research is published in, of all places, the tabletop game world. (Computer games will figure in this as well, and of course hyperdrama, print fiction, literary hypertext and interactive fictions.)

More anon. In the mean time, do you have something I should see? Don’t be bashful. Doesn’t matter if its old, or incomplete. Email me..