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Diana Slattery, associate director of the Academy of Electronic Media at Rensselaer, has combined electronic art, interactive computer game components, sound, and text to create a Web-based experimental project called Glide (www.academy.rpi.edu/glide/).
The project is being used around the country by universities teaching courses in electronic literature.
Slattery is a pioneer of interactive narrative that includes Web graphics, text, sound, and interactive components to storytelling. Glide was featured in a New York Times story last March.
Glide is a visual language of 27 symbols called glyphs, similar to Chinese characters that can hold more than one meaning. One means of learning to interpret Glide glyphs is by using an electronic oracle as one would consult a psychic armed with tarot cards.
Viewers enter a question in the space provided, and the oracle provides three glyphs.
Viewers create their own maze by arranging the glyphs.
The oracle then offers interpretations of the maze in words, images, and music. The initial meanings of each glyph change as the user rearranges it and as other glyphs are added.
Glide pushes the envelope of what narrative is in online contexts by incorporating sound and design elements, but even more importantly through its gaming theme, says Dene Grigar, professor of English at Texas Womans University who has used Slatterys Web site for her electronic literature classes.
The graphics and sound become the storytellers, Grigar says. Its not just text with some cool graphics and some neat music accompanying it; but images, sound, and words are contributing to the promotion of the story.
Slattery began work on Glide in 1998 with two Rensselaer colleagues, Daniel J. ONeil 99 and William Brubaker 96. The project was initially created to accompany her novel, The Maze Game.
|Rensselaer Magazine: March 2002|
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