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Reader Interview with Amber Strother about M. D. Coverley's "Califia"
These video clips document the Reader Interview with Amber Strother about her Traversal for M. D. Coverley's Califia
This Reader Interview with Amber Strother of M. D. Coverley's Califia took place on March 14, 2016 in the Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver. Conducting the Interview is Dene Grigar, the lab's Director and co-developer (with Stuart Moulthrop) of the Pathfinders methodology.
Reader Interview with Amber Strother about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 1Following the Traversal, the cameras turn, and Grigar asks Strother about her reading experience with Califia and how it differs from reading other media-based works. Strother answers by saying that she could interact with Califia and choose her own story. She also saw Califia as more pleasure reading than research. Grigar mentions that electronic literature can offer long-form writing and asks Strother if Califia was similar to a gaming experience than a literary experience. Strother says that electronic literature has more freedom and more of a “choose-your-own-adventure” than books do. Grigar asks about what inspired her to go in the direction that she did in the work, and Strother says that she’s a completionist and wanted to click every link within the narrative to get every information to construct the characters. Next, Grigar asks if the pictorial maps gave her any idea of direction. Strother comments that the pictures were "neat" and that she liked how it brought in actual events and actual people. She added that she was however more drawn to the text and wanted to know more about the story. With Califia being a long-form writing, Grigar asks how much of it Strother thinks she may have experienced. Strother says 3% of what actually exists and that there were a lot more to click on that she didn’t get to; even though she was focused more on the characters, she notes that there’s a lot more to the story than just the three characters.
Reader Interview with Amber Strother about M. D. Coverley's Califia, Part 2In the last part of the interview with Strother, Grigar asks how her experience with reading the work on a vintage computer impacted her. Strother says that she remembers when no one had a computer and that when she graduated from high school in 1997, the Internet was a big, new thing. She also notes that her experience with using the computer was normal and that it took her back to when she used them in college. Grigar mentions Victory Garden by Stuart Moultrop and how the work was also created during the same time of the machine itself. Next, Grigar and Strother discuss the authenticity of reading Califia on a medium that it’s meant for and how different it would’ve been if it was available on other mediums. Next, Dr. Grigar asks what Strother thought of Califia being California as an island. Strother says that she didn’t process that thoroughly and how it seems like an alternative geography to her. The clip ends with Dr. Grigar noting that there are over 3,000 screens in Califia and with Strother's final thoughts on Califia.