I must admit this weeks electronic literature picks were harder for me to analyze and interpret. I decided to focus my attention and energies on BOTS. I remember learning and hearing a bit about this concept last spring in Net Mirror. I was like: Yay bonus! I actually know a concept, phew! So lets stick to what we know Nives, or at least what we think we know, shall we? I found the home page interface to be easy to navigate. It was just a lot of information all at once. I found my eyes darting from one small square of images to the next. But the description of the piece was helpful on the opening page. I read the editorial comments, line for line and word for word. I must admit however, that I had to do a little more research on this BOT revolution because I still felt unsure of what it was I was looking at. Here is a brief description of what I learned. The first chatterbox, ELIZA was developed by Joseph Weizenbaum from 1964 to 1966 at MIT. Fascinating! Never thought anyone would develop this type of technology or electronic lit back in that era. The second bot PARRY was made at Stanford in 1972. These early bots were not easy to interact with. You had to make appointments and take a trip to MIT in order to have a in person bot experience. During the second generation, many of the first generation bots were implemented on the Web, providing widespread access to them. Bots have become much more sophisticated over the last few decades. They serve as characters in interactive fiction and video games. The third generation of bots have become much more artistic and literary due to the influx of the world wide web and social media platforms. This brings us to the current electronic literature piece we see in BOTS.
The picture above is from Facade. I became enthralled with this interactive elit piece when we were introduced to it in the first reading assignment we had about navigating through electronic literature. Plus as I’ve admitted to in the past, I’m a total video game geek, so for me this type of interactive lit is my favorite to explore. When I first began to navigate my way through BOTS I could see how far the bot innovations have come. These characters are now more advanced and have gone far past the chatbox subgenre. Now they are presented as humans that publish their own works on Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks. While exploring and clicking my little heart away from one square box to the next, I realized what was happening to me. I was interacting with bots on Twitter, who knew!? Totally rad! These bots are now leveraging social media networks as contexts and spaces to develop their own audiences! You can follow these bots and they also pick up on key words and phrases you may tweet out. They can even create haikus from you tweets, which is highlighted in of one of my favorites: poem.exe. Some other personal favorites of mine were: how 2 sext, tiny star fields, and everyword. I found each of them to be thought provoking and innovative! It was also interesting to see some of my own followers following these bots back on Twitter! I’ll sum up my experience with this particular piece of electronic literature by saying it was interesting, easier to navigate and I found myself wanting to explore more. I also begin to question what bots has to do with literature exactly? I guess there is coding involved and a sure method to the madness. I’m also glad that I decided to take the time to do some research on this piece before hand. It gave me a map or a compass to follow. Which is extremely helpful when your a novice in this trippy world of e lit. I also appreciate the fact that the inter face and experience was user friendly, yet a kind of felt like a bystander this time, not like I was fully immersed as a part of the experience. Lastly, I’ll say it blows my mind to think how far technology has come today, and this creation of bots in particular is kind of scary, but like the good kind of scary. I’m looking forward to seeing Kevin’s interpretation of this on Wednesday! Ciao, ciao!