"This trajectory [of the term _interactive_] is typical of industrial terms appropriated by analysts of technoculture... and shows how commercial rhetoric is accepted uncritically by academics.... The word _interactive_ operates textually rather than analytically, as it connotes various vague ideas of computer screens, user freedom, and personalized media, while denoting nothing. [...] To declare a system interactive is to endorse it with magic power" (Aarseth, Cybertext, p. 48)


@aparrish I'm... pretty sure I have a really clear idea of what "interactive" and "interactivity" are, which applies to everyday praxis in my work, so this is a very odd paragraph to me.

@bruno he does go on in the next few paragraphs to give his own definition for what "interactive" means, so I don't think he's necessarily arguing that the term is useless. but it's an interesting paragraph for me because I personally had never made the connection in my mind that "interactive" in this context could be seen as something appropriated from industry into academia, along the lines of terms like "augmented reality" and "cryptocurrency" etc

@bruno another part of Aarseth's point was that there was at some point a maybe mindless gold rush to make things "interactive" (like making things "VR" today). I think even now there's this residual sense that, when it comes to digital media, "interactive" things are better than "not-interactive" things (a personal source of tension for me, an artist who works primarily with batch-oriented offline techniques, who also teaches at a program called "Interactive Telecommuncations Program")

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