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Computers as Theatre

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  120 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Featuring a new chapter that takes the student through virtual reality and beyond, this book presents a new theory of human-computer activity. It shows how similar principles can help students understand what people experience when interacting with computers. The book also describes how the user's enjoyment of a computer system should be the biggest design consideration. ...more
Paperback, 227 pages
Published September 10th 1993 by Addison-Wesley Professional (first published 1991)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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Joe White
Jan 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pdf_version, design
notes: Computers as Theatre second edition, 2014
Brenda Laurel
Goodreads 5 stars finished Tue Jan. 7/2014

Very fluent syntax throughout - this is not a programming reference manual,
and is so articulately written that you might have to shift thought patterns
for absorption. There is no code or intro to UI programming topics.

This was originally published in 1991 as a result of a thesis, and has obviously been updated to reflect growth in the computational industry since then.

Take a look at the tab
Jul 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phd-studies
It feels like there was a trade-off in going for the second edition, which at least makes mention of newer and more readily available technology like smartphone and apps, but each mention of the earlier edition, or indeed earlier technologies (like all computers and gaming consoles prior to tablets and Nintendo Wii, feels like I am missing out on discoveries that might have changed the world. Now it seems like mostly backhanded compliments to current design. Much of the praise goes to herself, o ...more
Michael Lew
Feb 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: partially-read
Brenda is a pioneer in human-computer interfaces. I think this book comes from her PhD thesis which envisioned the computer as a virtual place to dream, to laugh, to cry and to play video games !
Julia Kulgavchuk
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: design
tl;dr: The essentials of contemporary digital product design were laid out by Aristotle.

We've known for a long time what makes a good theatre piece: Aristotle and other bright people after him articulated dramatic principles well. Turns out, these dramatic principles can help us create digital products that are both effective and enjoyable. Brenda Laurel’s book explains how a designer can use Aristotle to get there.

Laurel introduces Aristotle’s six structural elements of drama and applies them t
So much fun to read, so good and so...glib about the future.
Not that I mind the optimism, God knows I need it given the gutting of higher education, the money we're not putting in to K-12, the devaluing of both science and the humanities...but Laurel ends on this note that idolizes future possibilities that are, inherently, problematic.

Yes, there's so much cool stuff left to do and all is nowhere near lost. But she lacked the nuance that lets one speak well of good, but problematic things.
Yates Buckley
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: technical
Academic framework for Human Computer Interaction that works its way out from theories of theatre. Not an easy read but a useful framework for anyone working in theory of HCI.

I feel the grounding in theatre ia one of the strongest for HCI and allows reaching back as far as Aristotle.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Introduction to techno-utopianism, by Brenda Laurel.
Nov 29, 2015 added it
the theme of catarsis Is quite interesting, itS precise and entertaining!
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