Wednesday, 19 March 2014

follow-up to today & final blogging question

Thanks, everyone, for a great discussion today with our guest lecturer, U of T's Copyright and Scholarly Communications Librarian, Bobby Glushko. Bobby has kindly sent his slides, which are posted in the usual place on BB. I was glad to hear that today's class has given a few of you new ideas for your final project.

We also spent some time setting up next week's class topic. I've just updated the schedule of readings to include some links connected with our main case study, the video game Portal. Spoiler warning: I will be giving away the ending of the first Portal game, but will refrain from spoilers for the related games Portal 2 and The Stanley Parable. (Actually I'm not sure how to spoil The Stanley Parable even if I tried -- if you've played it, you know what I mean.) However, with all this tempting video game arcana to distract us, let's not neglect our main readings, especially as they're two of the most important readings of the course, Matthew Kirschenbuam's article "Editing the Interface" and Steven Jones's introduction to The Meaning of Video Games. Both are important recent examples of scholars taking the perspectives of textual scholarship and bibliography into new digital territory.

I'll be away at a conference this week, so I've posted the course's final blogging question a bit early. It's deceptively simple: if you could go back in time to whatever year you choose (by whatever means you choose, which doesn't really enter into the question, so don't get distracted by that aspect...), and if you could tell people in that era one really important thing to understand about the future of books and reading (without, let's assume, needing to worry about polluting the timeline), what would you tell them -- and why?

As I mentioned, this will be our final assigned blog question for the course, though you're welcome to keep on using your group blogs however you like -- they are, after all, your blogs. My hope is that this final question will also help set up our final time-travel-themed class on Books of Futures Past (the title of which shouldn't be mistaken as trademark infringement on any upcoming Marvel/Fox films...).

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