11 Jan 2010 [ Prev | Next ]

Montfort, "Continuous Paper"

Hardware is closely related to code. This short article reminds us that computer programs in the 60s and 70s were actually designed to display their output on paper.




I'm glad several of you have mentioned the historical perspective that Montfort's essay brings to our study of the technology behind the games we study. Our experiences with the games of today will likely seem quaint and weak by people of the future, but their future indifference to our experiences does not nullify or weaken the significance that those experiences have in our lives. Using rolls of paper, our culture had generated years of significant interactions with computers, and the shift to inexpensive CRT and then LCD flatscreens has distances ourselves from that experience with paper, but if you look at our computers you still see "scroll" and "page" and "cut" and "paste" -- all echoes of the tasks we used to carry out on paper.

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