Envisioning the Future of Computational Media

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Envisioning the Future of Computational Media

The Final Report of the Media Systems Project

Authored by Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Michael Mateas

Computational media have transformed how we develop and communicate our ideas, knowledge, and values — and the transformation continues. From the World Wide Web to computer animation, from video games to social media, computation now defines much of our experience and creation of media.

As a society, we are exploring the possibilities of new media forms, in a wide variety of contexts, such as smartphone apps and public interactive displays. We are reinventing long-standing media forms, in many parts of our lives, such as family albums and scholarly monographs. We are inventing new tools, and new ways of working, that are transforming practices such as film production and book publishing. This comes as a result of research and experimentation across universities and industry.

Envisioning the Future of Computational Media begins by describing the rapidly-growing interdisciplinary research field that is at the forefront of this: computational media. This field brings together people knowledgeable about the arts, the humanities, and the sciences — particularly computer science, but also the social sciences — to pursue questions that could only arise, and only be answered, through interdisciplinary research.

Envisioning the Future of Computational Media then goes on to describe some of the remarkable opportunities and persistent challenges that face the field. The opportunities include ongoing growth of economic and cultural impact, powerful approaches for addressing national priorities, and the potential for establishing new centers for education and research. The challenges include the need for basic and applied interdisciplinary research, the need for more interdisciplinary practitioners and greater diversity, the need for deeper, more accessible collections of computational media artifacts, and others.

In order to seize the opportunities, and address the accompanying challenges, Envisioning the Future of Computational Media describes 12 field-shaping recommendations, with concrete examples of potential interventions. These recommendations — along with the field description, opportunities, and challenges — are synthesized from a national convening of diverse field experts, along with more than a year of follow-up conversation and research (made possible by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, Microsoft Studios, and Microsoft Research).

Publication Date:
150250765X / 9781502507655
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Full Color with Bleed
Related Categories:
Computers / Interactive & Multimedia

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