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Dylan Lederle-Ensign

Graduate Student at UC Santa Cruz. Studying games, software and ultimate frisbee

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This recent interview with Ian Bogost has me thinking about games as poetry. One of the things I came away with after a semester studying games as narrative and narratology was the existence of other artistic models for thinking about video games. In fact, despite reading all the narratologist literature on the subject, I came away thinking that maybe these alternate models were more compelling. ~

This semester in my senior seminar, we discussed the Oulipo, and their procedural poetry. Another interview from the same journal (I had never seen it before, but there are some other interesting articles in there) with Nick Montfort in which the interview opens with Montfort’s perl poem ppg256:

  perl -le 'sub b{@_=unpack"(A2)*",pop;$_[rand@_]}sub w{
  " ".b("cococacamamadebapabohamolaburatamihopodito").b(
  $_="\n\nthe".w."\n";$_=w." ".b("attoonnoof").w if$l;s/
  [au][ae]/a/;print;$l=0if$l++>rand 9;sleep 1;redo}'

Watching it run on my screen was bizarre, and mesmerising at a non-linguistic level, similar to watching the 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10

line of code. I can’t wait to read that book, and hope it comes out soon. Among other things, I wonder how they talk about the experience of watching the lines crawl around your screen, endlessly.

Anyway, I want to explore the relationship between games and poetry further, possibly starting with Bogost’s Slow Year, althought I don’t even know how to play it. But that’s why this is just a stub.