I kind of had thoughts about McGann and Hayles as I read the article that was assigned for this week along with the Hayles reading… Nevertheless, it all culminates on a Hayles moment………. 


“The cultural history of our world is wrapped up in digital worlds, and in the future, if people want to understand our culture, they’re going to need documents and information,” says Henry Lowood, who leads the preservation effort at Stanford. “We’re in a position to do something about that for these synthetic worlds.”

by Clay Risen

This is crying out for the universal creation of the databases that McGann spoke of in Radiant Texuality…In other words, the documents and information that will be provided are synthetic…AKA, NOT REAL!!! Therefore, it is stupid of us to think that we would ever be able to FULLY Capture the essence of the video game. We can simulate it, but not FULLY replace it. But I think that is ok. The beauty of evolving technologies is to continually find ways to remix and reuse the old in a new way….

Video-game preservation is tricky. First, a definitional question: Is a video game just lines of code, or does it include the disk, box, and console? “To preserve an Atari 2600, do you need a piece of shag carpet?” asks Kirschenbaum. He’s only half joking: this year a team at Georgia Tech made an emulator that lets old games be played on today’s computers, but makes them look fuzzy, as if they were on a TV circa 1977.

Of course a video game is much more than just code: the true experience goes beyond…..It may lead to a situation where we end up having a Simulation of the Simulated. Most video games/some video games actually simulate real life situations. Well, if we need to or intend to archive these games, then we would end up Simulating the [already… formerly] Simulated….

This simulating the simulated is a very interested concept; I am wondering if it parallels with Hayles thought about the (IF) or interactive fiction. She, herself, says that it is sometimes very difficult to differentiate between what is narrative and what is a game when one begins to add electronic elements to narrative (8). She goes on to say that the difference rests in the configuration that happens in a game versus the interpretation that happens in a narrative. To clarify, I believe she is saying that in a game there are more definitive, structural, and objective elements involved whereas a narrative should foster a less linear and more subjective perspective based on the reader. In other words, there may be several outcomes in a games, but if two completely different individuals played that game, they are limited by the preset outcomes. While a “true” electronic narrative could produce multiple interpretations that are not preset or prescribed.  

            Now, to totally turn this argument on its backside – the Ivanhoe Game developed by McGann and his scholars seems to press against the Hayles distinctions that are mentioned above.

The Ivanhoe Game invites participants to use textual evidence from a given literary text to imagine creative interpolations and extrapolations……(36)

So, if the above mentioned is actually occurring, we are forever shifted to a new place where narrative will never be the same. That delineation will forever be muffled and confused as those of us who care to push against the grain do so fearlessly.