Saturday 23rd August 2014

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Don’t Be A Hero – 80 Days the Game

Meg Jayanth


Transforming Around the World in Eighty Days into an interactive story

Meg Jayanth  is the writer of 80 Days – a steampunk interactive narrative adventure game based on Jules Verne’s ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. 80 Days is published by inkle studios in partnership with Profile Books, released for iPhone and iPad this month.

Here is a confession to start you off: I loathe Aouda. For those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of reading Jules Verne’s seminal adventure novel Around the World in 80 Days, Aouda is the Indian princess that the gentleman protagonist Phileas Fogg rescues from being burned alive. She is fair-skinned and soft-spoken and English-speaking and — of course — falls desperately, gratefully in love with Fogg. In short, she is less a person than a trophy.

Aouda is not just Indian, she is an imperialist’s vision of India: rescued from savagery and ignorance by the cool-headed rationality of an Englishman; a grateful bounty that delivers itself willingly into the hands of the benign master. Read more »

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The Digital Book (R)evolution

Claudio Pires Franco

MA Media, Culture and Communication, ongoing PhD

The Digital Context

Most discourses about the survival of print, or the struggle of print against digital, derive from a simplistic view of the book – one which is typically aligned with the novel, that apogee of the literary world. There is a tendency to present change and innovation in formats and technologies as if they follow a single, linear path in which a format is replaced by the next new format in a consecutive fashion. The reality experienced by publishing practitioners is very different: a single title will often exist in a range of formats, with publishers releasing print, ebook, enhanced ebook and story app versions all based on the same source material.

I think it is more accurate, and fruitful, to  conceive of change and innovation in terms of branching paths, with older and newer formats co-existing and influencing each other. A branching model also enables us to take into account the diversity that exists within a major format or medium as well as the diversity that exists between formats or media.  The label “print book”, for example, covers a huge range – just think of the differences between novels, encyclopaedias and children’s storybooks. Read more »

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