Rebooting Electronic Literature Volume 3: 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 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 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 that was very disorienting. Still the story afforded a unique experience. Grigar asks if he felt like the work was open-ended, and House answers yes. Grigar brings up her curiosity about 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, Grigar and House discuss 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 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 House continues. 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, 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, they talk about the metaphor House would use to describe Califia, and 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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