Welcome to Literary Gaming, my research blog. It'll accompany the journey of my research into games we can read and literature (novels, poems etc.) we can play. I'm currently working on a book for MIT Press called Literary Gaming, which connects the burgeoning fields of digital-born literature and indie/art game research. It explores a body of digital artefacts situated on a spectrum between ludic e-literature and literary art games and engages with hybrid receptive and interactive processes that combine reading and gaming. The analyses are informed by avant-garde modernist and postmodernist theories, such as Situationist détournement and deconstruction, and ludological concepts of chance, choice, rules, fun, forms of play, (illusory) agency and procedural rhetoric. I offer close readings and "playings" of texts that inhabit different places on the literary-ludic spectrum. The analyses follow the broad trajectory of functional ludo-narrativism (Ryan 2006), which aims to examine how elements of game design, gameplay, narrative and (poetic) textuality concur to evoke distinctive receptive and interactive experiences.
In a next step, I'm interested in how these literary games and ludic novels/poems are consumed by reader-players - especially from younger (< 25 years) age groups. Can the clash between hyperattention (typically observed in game players) and deep attention (typical of close reading) be reconciled? Can we do both gaming and close reading effectively at the same time? How can this research inform notions of digital/media literacy and methods of learning and teaching? Might it even help especially young players form a more self-critical attitude towards their gaming habits and help them (and their parents) tackle the addictive effects of commercial videogames?
If you'd like to get in touch, visit my homepage at Bangor University.