As We May Read (the Transmedia and Interactive editions)

In my spare moments away fromTransmedia Indiana, I’m working on a second Masters at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) in Media Arts & Science with a certfificate in Human-Computer Interaction. It’s an intriguing program particularly with my background. I’m one of those dangerous students: just enough knowledge to get me into trouble.

For my thesis, I’ll be exploring how we read and how that process is changing now that we have interactive environments such as touch-screen tablets and mobile phones. I’ve been working on a series of research studies on what we know about reading in these environments, and this is the latest version of my thinking: a 25-page rumination on reading, authorship, and design in interactive and transmedia environments.

It is neither peer reviewed as of yet nor submitted anywhere. There are a few studies I need to include in this; however, it’s my thinking on what authorship means today.

Thesis: We read differently in interactive environments, but we haven’t explored the idea of what interactivity means in a meaningful way.

Abstract: Digital, interactive environments have created a different “expectation literacy”from users. Unlike printed books, for instance, which have a very linear, author-driven format, interactive computer games have ceded much of the decision making to users. This idea of ceded-control and expectation literacy becomes important as society begins the transition from the printed book to the digital, interactive reading environment. This switch is making us consider three basic components of the reading experience: understanding how we read within interactive environments, determining exactly what it means to author a text in an interactive environment, and figuring out how design fits into the authorship process. Once we have answers (or at least once we are moving towards those answers), we can begin to understand how to make indigenous, interactive stories.

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