CFP: Digital Contexts: Studies of Online Research and Citation

The editors of a new collection entitled Digital Contexts: Studies of Online Research and Citation invite proposals for 15-25 page papers that “consider the multiple ways that digital technologies are shaping the practices of research and citation.” Proposal abstracts are due September 15, 2005; accepted manuscripts will be due January 15, 2006. For the complete call, contact Joyce R. Walker.

Review of The New Media Reader

The New Media Reader (MIT Press, 2003), edited by Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Nick Montfort, is reviewed by Ravi Srinivas Krishna in the current issue of Information, Communication and Society (iCS). iCS 8.2 also includes articles by Caroline Haythornthwaite on “Social Networks and Internet Connectivity Effects,” Denise Carter on “Living in Virtual Communities: An Ethnography of Human Relationships in Cyberspace,” and more.

CFP: Interfaces–English Studies and the Computer

This two-day conference at the University of Newcastle will focus on the debate about best practice methods for enabling students and lecturers to gain interest and skills in using learning technology in the classroom, while creating a “snapshot” of what is currently happening with computers in English Studies.

The organizers invite short (15-minute maximum) presentations on good and bad experiences with learning technology in the classroom. Also sought are individuals to lead short discussions on a specific topic related to using technology to teach English Studies. Innovative proposals for discussion formats that avoid the three-paper panel are welcome. The deadline for submission of abstracts is July 31, 2005. For more information, contact Brett Lucas and Stacy Gillis.

The conference will take place November 2-4, 2005. For more information, visit the University of Newcastle English Subject Centre website.

Interactive Drama Façade Released

After more than six years of work, Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern have released their long-awaited one-act interactive drama Façade for free download. The system features a 3D environment and voice-acted, AI-driven characters, and has been a testbed for research in and development of natural language processing, drama management, and control of character behaviors. Research that went into the system has been documented in more than a dozen academic publications by Michael and Andrew, as well as in Michael’s Carnegie Mellon University Ph.D. dissertation. A pre-release version of Façade made the finals in the 2004 Independent Games Festival, and one was also exhibited at ISEA 2004. The New York Times has called the system “the future of video games.”

More information and discussion about the release can be found at Grand Text Auto. Mateas and Stern’s press release about the system has more information. The initial version runs on Windows computers with processors of at least 1.6 GHz, and is available on CDs (sold at cost) or via BitTorrent download.

Auto Mata: A New Label for Computer Lit, Art, and Games

Auto Mata, an independent label for extraordinary e-lit, digital art, and computer games, has just been launched by the six “drivers” of the blog Grand Text Auto: Mary Flanagan, Michael Mateas, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, Andrew Stern, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.

Façade, the long-awaited one-act interactive drama by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, is the first Auto Mata release. The interactive fiction Book and Volume is in the works now and will be coming from Auto Mata soon.


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