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Computers as Theatre, Second Edition by Brenda Laurel

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2. Dramatic Foundations: Part 1: Elements of Qualitative Structure

The purpose of this chapter and the next is to provide a framework of dramatic theory that can be applied to the task of designing human-computer experiences. They are structured around the fundamental precepts of dramatic form and structure and are based primarily on Aristotelean poetics.1 We will take up each basic idea and then adapt it to the human-computer context, arriving at what may be described as a poetics of interactive form (remember that we defined “human-computer interaction” as enabling and representing actions with human and technological participants). Once we have constructed a theoretical base, we will go on to explore its implications in some selected areas ...

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