Computers As Theatre, 2nd Edition

October 7, 2013

computer theatre

Brenda Laurel’s Computers as Theatre revolutionized the field of human-computer interaction, offering ideas that inspired generations of interface and interaction designers — and continue to inspire them. Laurel’s insight was that effective interface design, like effective drama, must engage the user directly in an experience involving both thought and emotion. Her practical conclusion was that a user’s enjoyment must be a paramount design consideration, and this demands a deep awareness of dramatic theory and technique, both ancient and modern. Now, two decades later, Laurel has revised and revamped her classic, reflecting all that’s happened, all she’s learned, and emerging technologies that will transform human-computer interaction yet again. Beginning with a clear analysis of classical drama theory, Laurel explores new territory through the lens of dramatic structure and purpose.

This new edition, directed to a far wider audience, is written more simply and elegantly, packed with new examples, and replete with exciting and important new ideas. Utterly unique among books on interface/interaction design, Computers as Theatre, Second Edition: * Draws lessons from sources ranging from massively multiplayer online games and systems, social networks, and mobile devices with embedded sensors * Analyzes the most relevant vectors in the historical development of computer technology and interaction design since the late 20th Century * Integrates values-driven design as a key principle (linking the “sacred civic duty” of ancient Greek theatre to the modern civic function of design) * Integrates key ideas about virtual reality * Reflects important work by other pioneers such as Michael Mateas, Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Mary Flanagan and Henry Jenkins * Covers new frontiers including augmented reality, distributed and participatory sensing, interactive public installations and venues, and design for emergence Once more, Brenda Laurel will help you see the connection between humans and computers.

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