15.030 interactive content

From: by way of Willard McCarty (willard@lists.village.Virginia.EDU)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 01:35:23 EDT

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                    Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 30.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London

             Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 06:27:12 +0100
             From: lachance@chass.utoronto.ca (Francois Lachance)
             Subject: play game program


    Goldfarb, Pepper and Ensign write in their introduction to the _SGML
    Buyer's Guide_ (1998) suggest that, in the emerging publishing context,
    "content is becoming increasingly interactive" and that people "expect
    electronic documents to be part reference, part expert system, part
    computer game" (xxxi). This reminds me of Peter Shillingsburg who in his
    contribution to _The Literary Text in the Digital Age_ writes:

    <cite> The software design [of an electronic edition] should incorporate
    the ideal that interaction with the material is desirable. Display of
    materials to a passive observer is not the only goal. The user must have
    liberty to navigate the materials at will. The user should have the option
    of entering parts of the program that are "tutorial" and that promote the
    user to react to challenges and suggestions. (p. 33) </cite>

    Two questions, one of corpra, the other of curricula:

    Are there any Humanities Computing projects that incorporate game
    elements? If so, is there a listing of such projects?

    Does the anthropology of games feature in any of the MA programs currently
    offered or being developed in the field of Humanities Computing?

    Of course, one can think of Computer-Assisted Language Learning and other
    pedagogical software making great use of games to make drill engaging. One
    can think of popular commercial offerings such as Mavis Beacon Teaches
    Typing. In terms of curricula addressing this area, one can think of the
    training that pedagogues receive in faculties of education. I may have the
    mistaken impression, that given the disciplinary boundaries of many an
    academic institution and given reward systems that differentially value
    teaching and research, such considerations have not been duly examined by
    the practitioners and planners of Humanities Computing. It seems to me
    that the skills relating to programming and to multimedia authoring
    dovetail nicely with formal aspects of games (rule following and

    My perception of the status quo may no doubt be influenced by the position
    occupied by composition and rhetoric as well as language learning in North
    American colleges and universities and therefore myopic or tone deaf.

    Francois Lachance, Scholar-at-large

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