Presence in Interactive Fiction

The first issue of the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, from earlier this year, sports a nice article by Alf Seegert, “Doing there’ vs. ‘being there’: performing presence in interactive fiction.” In it, Seegert sharpens the existing discussion of reader-response theory and IF to explain how IF may need to balance between boredom and overstrain and how the writerly role allows for new sorts of presence. He then conducts some good discussions of Jon Ingold’s All Roads (highlighting how the body of the player character is indicated) and Paul O’Brian’s Luminous Horizon (looking particularly at the subjective narration).

Looks like a single issue of the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds costs £18, unfortunately. (Institutional subscriptions are £150.) Too bad, particularly since there are least three peer-reviewed, open-access, no-page-fee journals in the field (Game Studies, Digital Humanities Quarterly, and eLudamos) that were up and running before this one was founded. Update: That is the advertised price, but the issue is currently available for free, as is the article.

4 Replies to “Presence in Interactive Fiction”

  1. Thanks for your comments, Nick!

    Thankfully, the first issue of the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds (which happens to contain the essay you mention on interactive fiction) is free–you should be able to access the full issue free here:

    http://www.atypon-link.com/INT/toc/jgvw/1/1?cookieSet=1

    My article on presence in interactive fiction is directly accessible here for free at their site:
    http://www.atypon-link.com/INT/doi/pdfplus/10.1386/jgvw.1.1.23_1

    Warm wishes,
    Alf

  2. Thanks very much, Alf. When I went to the site I saw that I could download the article for free, but I thought that might be due to some MIT subscription and not applicable to everyone.

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