Ian Bogost – Media Studies and Realism

[T]he horizontal symmetry apparent in many Atari VCS games could be attributed to trends in the history of art or as a reference to the bilateral symmetry native to earthly animals. But such a response would fail to take into account the fact that the production of symmetry on the device is a convenience afforded by its hardware design, which provides memory-mapped registers capable of storing 20 bits of data for a screen-worth of low-res background graphics 40 bits wide. Doubling or mirroring the left half of the screen involves a single assembly instruction that flips a bit on another register. That convenience was further inspired by the way people conceived of videogames at the time. In this case, the relationship between design, material constraing, and individual expression is complex, irreducible to appeals to any one factor alone. The 20 bits of storage in registers PF0, PF1, and PF2 do not determine the aesthetics of a game like Combat, nor are they simple constructions of social practices.

Ian Bogost – Media Studies and Realism.

A Companion to Digital Literary Studies

It would be pointless to demystify textual worlds as constructed by language or other types of signs, if the imagination were not spontaneously inclined to pretend that these worlds are real, or, as the romantic poet Wordsworth put it, to „suspend disbelief“ in their autonomous existence.

Marie-Laure Ryan – Fictional Worlds in the Digital Age

JG Ballard summarized

Yesterday I posted a link related to the death of JG Ballard. I think this Guardian article sums up why Ballard was more than a mere science fiction writer, and it elegantly condenses my fascination with Ballard in a sole paragraph:

The young science fiction author „wasn’t interested in the far future, spaceships and all that“, he explained; rather he was interested in „the evolving world, the world of hidden persuaders, of the communications landscape developing, of mass tourism, of the vast conformist suburbs dominated by television – that was a form of science fiction, and it was already here“.

Sun, IBM, Microsoft & Cloud Computing

With their heads in the cloud, the old dogs of technology are bent on learning some new tricks

I really like the title of this article about cloud computing.