Rebooting Electronic Literature, Volume 2: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

Reader Interview with Ryan House about M. D. Coverley's "Califia"

This Reader Interview with Ryan House of M. D. Coverley's Califia took place on xxx in the Electronic Literature Lab. [Fix this :It was performed by Nicholas Schiller, Associate Director of the lab and faculty in the Creative Media & Digital Culture program at Washington State University Vancouver. The Traversal documentation includes three video clips of the performance itself along with introductory comments and the question and answer session with the audience that followed the performance. For the performance we used a Macintosh SE (circa 1987) running System Software 6.0.7 and a copy of the work from Grigar's collection. Schiller rehearsed during the weeks leading up to the event. Handling the technical setup on YouTube was Greg Philbrook, the Creative Media & Digital Culture program's technical and instructional assistant. All four of the four research assistants––Vanessa Rhodes, Mariah Gwin, Veronica Whitney, and Katie Bowen––oversaw the social media engagement and photographed the event.]

Reader Interview with Ryan House about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 1
The interview with Ryan House starts off with House talking about his experience with Califia. He states that with Califia, he couldn’t tell where he was and it was very disorienting, but it still was a large, unique experience. Dene Grigar asks if he felt like the work was open-ended and House answers that the work was very open-ended. Dr. Grigar brings up her curiosity on what makes people click on the things they click on and what catches their eye while reading through electronic literature. House states that he used textual information by clicking on links that had the most relevance to the given path he was attempting to go on. Next, Dr. Grigar and House discuss about the pictorial metaphors in Califia and how much more there is to Califia that he didn’t get to go through. The clip ends with House noting that the sounds in the work adds characterization to the characters and the reading experience.

Reader Interview with Ryan House about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 2
The Q&A interview with Ryan House continues. Dene Grigar asks questions regarding reading Califia on a vintage computer and how it effects the experience. House states that he respects the medium and was delicate with the work. He also mentions that with current machines, we have lesser patience with it. Next, Dr. Grigar and House discuss the game-like experience and glitches in Califia. House notes that there was a lot of architecture in the work, including the Chinese theater. He also notes that he saw the beach as a dead end or a final resting place. Next, Dr. Grigar and House discuss what metaphor House would use to describe Califia and Dr. Grigar also brings up how difficult it is to use an authorial voice when writing a fictional story. The interview comes to an end with House’s final words about the work.

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