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By Topic

Expressive Processing:Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2009
Author(s): Noah Wardrip-Fruin
Publisher: MIT Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Computing & Processing
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Abstract

What matters in understanding digital media? Is looking at the external appearance and audience experience of software enough--or should we look further? In Expressive Processing, Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that understanding what goes on beneath the surface, the computational processes that make digital media function, is essential. Wardrip-Fruin looks at "expressive processing" by examining specific works of digital media ranging from the simulated therapist Eliza to the complex city-planning game SimCity. Digital media, he contends, offer particularly intelligible examples of things we need to understand about software in general; if we understand, for instance, the capabilities and histories of artificial intelligence techniques in the context of a computer game, we can use that understanding to judge the use of similar techniques in such higher-stakes social contexts as surveillance.

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      Front Matter

      Page(s): i - xv
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Half Title, Software Studies, Title, Copyright, Dedications, Contents, Series Foreword, Preface View full abstract»

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      Introduction

      Page(s): 1 - 21
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Media Machines, Expressive Processing, A View of Digital Media, Operational Logics, Three Effects, Looking Forward, Notes View full abstract»

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      The Eliza Effect

      Page(s): 23 - 40
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Meeting Eliza, The Eliza Effect, Revisiting the Eliza Effect, Notes View full abstract»

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      Computer Game Fictions

      Page(s): 41 - 80
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Digital Fictions and the Eliza Effect, Role-Playing Games, An Example: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, An Alternative: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Game Fiction Dilemma, Notes View full abstract»

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      Making Models

      Page(s): 81 - 114
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Implemental Models, Eliza and the Turing Test, Abelson's Ideology Machine, Denial and Rationalization, Eliza, the Ideology Machine, and the Evaluation of Models, Al, Neat and Scruffy, Ideology Revisited, Authoring Processes, Process Intensity, Expressive Al, Notes View full abstract»

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      The Tale-Spin Effect

      Page(s): 115 - 168
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: The “Metanovel”, Basis for the Model, A Tale-Spin Story, Tale-Spin's Fiction, Possible Worlds, Digital Fictions, The Tale-Spin Effect, Tale-Spin as Simulation, Rereading Tale-Spin, Interpreting Processes, Traversal Functions, Software Studies, Notes View full abstract»

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      The Tale-Spin Effect

      Page(s): 169 - 229
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: After Tale-Spin, Beyond Compartmentalized Actions, Modeling Human Creativity, Statistical Al, Politics ad Processes, Beyond Anthropomorphic Intelligence, Notes View full abstract»

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      Authoring Systems

      Page(s): 231 - 297
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Writing Software, Universe, Brutus, Terminal Time, Expressive Language Generation, Notes View full abstract»

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      The SimCity Effect

      Page(s): 299 - 352
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Eliza and SimCity, Understanding Simulations, The Sims, Oz, Façcade, Façcade's Procedural Script, Learning from Façcade, Notes View full abstract»

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      Playable Language and Nonsimulative Processes

      Page(s): 353 - 409
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Opaque Processes, Legible Data, Textual Instruments, Playing Text in Virtual Reality, Spatial Logics, Two N-gram Instruments, Simulation, Language, and Fiction, Notes View full abstract»

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      Conclusion

      Page(s): 411 - 425
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: Authors, Critics, Citizens, Notes View full abstract»

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      Afterword

      Page(s): 427 - 440
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      This chapter contains sections titled: An Experiment in Peer Review, Four Surprises, Comparison with Press-Solicited Reviews, Note View full abstract»

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      References

      Page(s): 443 - 454
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      What matters in understanding digital media? Is looking at the external appearance and audience experience of software enough--or should we look further? In Expressive Processing, Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that understanding what goes on beneath the surface, the computational processes that make digital media function, is essential. Wardrip-Fruin looks at "expressive processing" by examining specific works of digital media ranging from the simulated therapist Eliza to the complex city-planning game SimCity. Digital media, he contends, offer particularly intelligible examples of things we need to understand about software in general; if we understand, for instance, the capabilities and histories of artificial intelligence techniques in the context of a computer game, we can use that understanding to judge the use of similar techniques in such higher-stakes social contexts as surveillance. View full abstract»

    • Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

      Index

      Page(s): 455 - 482
      Copyright Year: 2009

      MIT Press eBook Chapters

      What matters in understanding digital media? Is looking at the external appearance and audience experience of software enough--or should we look further? In Expressive Processing, Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that understanding what goes on beneath the surface, the computational processes that make digital media function, is essential. Wardrip-Fruin looks at "expressive processing" by examining specific works of digital media ranging from the simulated therapist Eliza to the complex city-planning game SimCity. Digital media, he contends, offer particularly intelligible examples of things we need to understand about software in general; if we understand, for instance, the capabilities and histories of artificial intelligence techniques in the context of a computer game, we can use that understanding to judge the use of similar techniques in such higher-stakes social contexts as surveillance. View full abstract»