Part 1: Creation Section
Ergodic literature, mentioned by Espen J. Aarseth in Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, takes more than the irrelevant actions of moving one’s eyes over a page or turning to the next page to continue through the text. Aarseth also explains his thinking on what ergodic actually is in his passage. He goes on about how ergodic is easily seen in a cybertextual process. This process of when traveling through a text, the medium that which the user is traversing through is part of the literary exchange. He also speaks on how when he presents this material to literary critics and theorists that the texts that he mentions; those being hypertexts, adventure games, etc. they all bring up the same points. The critics and theorists come back saying that these are not any different than any literary text.
When these critics say the games that are played are no different than those of a literary text because; literature itself is also different for every reading and the readers of literature have to make decisions on what portions of text mean to have the reading make sense. This leads to what David Golumbia talks on in his Games Without Play. Golumbia speaks on how Jacques Derrida touches on jeu, which when translated comes out as “freeplay’. Derrida uses jeu as play and not freeplay in his writings. Derrida’s main ideas of play are that there must be rules and looseness in the game.
Ergodic literature spoken about by Aarseth and how cybertext used as a medium for literature can mean playing a video game. The more than trivial actions needed to play a video game that require more than moving one’s eyes and turning pages of a book are what make it ergodic. The playing of a video game though would not be considered play in the words of Derrida. The rules that reside within the video games achieve only half of what Derrida’s ideas of play must contain. The looseness in a video game does not extend to what he sees play having. The rules that are embedded within the video games cannot be changed and do not have a looseness to them. The debate whether a game can be in both senses ergodic and play still continues.
Part 2: Revised Section
Digital Literature, also known as electronic literature, is works that are created to be viewed through a digital setting. Katherine Hayles mentions, in her Electronic Literature: What is it?, that electronic literature is not print. The digital literature scene continues to change prints conventions. Due to the digital setting that the electronic literature takes place within, the text that is explored happens to take many different forms. As Espen J. Aarseth mentions from one of his chapters in Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature, typical literature is not what he would call ergodic. This being due to the process of reading print literature, where one must only move one’s eyes over the pages and the occasional turning of pages. That of digital literature tends to cause a user to traverse through the literature through the digital setting making the use of the medium part of the literary exchange.
Part 3: References
Aarseth, Espen J. “Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature.” The Johns Hopkins University Press (1997): n. pag. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Johns Hopkins University, 28 Nov. 2008. Web. 9 Mar. 2015.
Games Without Play. Http://www.press.jhu.edu/. The John Hopkins University Press, Winter 2009. Web.
Hayles, Katherine. “Electronic Literature: What Is It?” Electronic Literature: What Is It? Katherine Hayles, 2 Jan. 2007. Web. 10 Mar. 2015.
Part 4: Reflection
In my revision I chose to revise the very first portion of the Wikipedia page for electronic literature. This at first happened to be the first description of what electronic literature would be defined as. I chose to revise this section because when going to Wikipedia pages for myself, is usually to discover the main idea or point of a topic which I usually can get the gist of in the first paragraph that is displayed on most wiki pages. The choice of revising this section was what I believe would have the most impact on a person who was interested in learning more about digital literature. Although digital literature will most likely change as time goes on, this means that what I have written will most likely need to be changed and revised itself as time progress and as what digital literature is progresses. The rhetorical situation of this assignment does not change the situation that I put myself in when thinking on the topic of writing and revising for a Wikipedia page. I wrote as though my words would be put into the Wikipedia and not as an English assignment.