Schafer and Gendolla talk about the theory of human-computer interaction in their essay “Reading (in) the Net.” They start by discussing the three original ideas of communication, Human-Human, Human-Computer, and Human-Computer-Human-Computer. The first was imply the idea of humans talking to each other over computers and working together to create works or art. The second involves a human giving some creative control to the computer and having a program create some part of the work. The third is an example of a potentially endless collaboration of writers and programs can create something ephemeral. The works created using the third method would always change after each reading. This calls into question terms like “author,” “work of art,” and “reader.” Since the work would always be changing, a single person would not be able to claim it as his own because people are always adding and contributing to the work. Thus, they said, a new writing theory should be created with four considerations taken in its wording: attraction to networks (a series of points in which each point can connect to every other point), synchronizations by resonances, narratives as means of creating meaning from coincidental actions and occurrences, and connections of texts, images and sounds as multimodal operations between the central nervous system, physical-sensual interfaces and computers.

The main point they seem to be making is that the traditional idea of author and reader do not really apply to these new kinds of works since they are not concrete pieces. The fact that they can change leads to the idea that the reader has some control over the piece, which leads to the notion that there is no reader, only authors viewing their own pieces of work. I believe that each piece still has an author that is not the reader. The reader is the person that interacts with the piece; they may change it and that may lead to a different experience for the next person, but the author is the one that created the rules governing why the piece changed and how it might change again. There is a new video game coming out soon, FireFall, that is going to change the world and have events generated based on what the players have been doing. The community will be, in a sense, controlling the direction of the narrative which is the FireFall world. However, the author of that story is not the community, it is the creators of the game. The players may make decisions on what actions they take to affect the world, but the game designers are still the ones that determine the effects of their actions. So while sometimes it may seem like these new forms of work are blurring the lines between author and reader, I believe there are still some clear ways to define each.

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