Rebooting Electronic Literature Volume 3: Documenting Pre-Web Born Digital Media

Reader Traversal of M. D. Coverley's "Califia," by Amber Strother

This Reader Traversal of M. D. Coverley's Califia by Amber Strother, a PhD Candidate in English, took place on Tuesday, March 14, 2016 in the Electronic Literature Lab at Washington State University Vancouver. She performed the work published on CD-ROM in 2000 by Eastgate Systems, Inc. using a Compaq PC running Windows 98.

Reader Traversal of M. D. Coverley's Califia, by Amber Strother, Part 1

Amber Strother begins her Traversal through M.D. Coverley’s Califia with the ocean scene with footprints. She clicks on the footprints and reads the poem on the screen, which invites her to join the character, Augusta, on her journey to find the treasure of Califia. Next, the four different journeys of north, south, east, and west are revealed, and Strother picks the journey south. Strother looks through the kitbag, and it tells her about each of the three characters––Augusta, Kaye, and Calvin––and their roles are during the journey. In Calvin’s kitbag, Strother can decide what to use and what to leave behind. She also gets the choice of either getting a full tour or going directly to the story. Strother picks the story, and among the three character’s paths, she chooses Kaye’s path.

Reader Traversal of M. D. Coverley's Califia, by Amber Strother, Part 2

In the second part of the Traversal, Strother continues on Kaye’s path in the journey south. As she reads through, she clicks on “movie stars,” and an animated picture of a movie star appears. Strother notes the music being played in the background.

Reader Traversal of M. D. Coverley's Califia, by Amber Strother, Part 3

In the last part of Strother’s Traversal of Coverley’s Califia, she clicks on “timeline,” which brings up a starry screen with a cosmic timeline. In 1492 C.E., the western land was invaded by tribes from the east. In 1822, the control of California passed from Spain to Mexico. In 1917, there was a fire in Chinatown. It ends with 1997 when Augusta, Kaye, and Calvin take up the trail and the population of Los Angeles is 32 million. The video ends with a map of the constellations.

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