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10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10
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10 Print is a creative adventure in reading source code as a technical object and cultural icon, as well as a window onto the ways in which technical and artistic practices mingle. Wildly imaginative and boldly collaborative, it sets a high bar for the emerging field of critical code studies. It celebrates the 'Maker' philosophy and the DIY spirit of home computing at its best. A romp, a scholarly exposition, and an experiment in writing in a collaborative authorial voice, it is a delight not to be missed. -- N. Katherine Hayles, author of How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis; Professor of Literature, Duke University To see the world in a grain of sand -- or a slice of silicon -- has always been the great hermeneutical project. Here we find that project disassembled and recompiled by Nick Montfort and his collaborators, who focus their diverse training and intellects on a single eponymous line of vintage computer code. The result, 10 PRINT, is an executable that is also an open source for a powerful new mode of collective and cooperative scholarship. -- Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, University of Maryland; author of Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination Well before the Web browser and even the desktop metaphor came to be, there was the blinking cursor of the command line. It sat in silence, submissively waiting for the incantations of the programmer. Until the C64--a VW Beetle equivalent in its affordability, reliability, and simplicity--only a precious few had access to the command line and the order and chaos it could produce. Through an investigation of one line of code, this book reveals what happened when the C64 opened coding up to 'test driving' hobbyists and began to reveal itself as a platform for true creativity. -- John Maeda, President, Rhode Island School of Design This microscopically close reading of a one-line BASIC program opens to reveal, fractal-like, the breadth and depth of critical code studies. Taking what the authors refer to as a 'variorum approach' allows 10 PRINT to explore not just the multiple forms in which this line of code circulated, but the rich array of its cultural resonances and technological offspring. Blending ten scholarly voices in one coherent, collaborative text, 10 PRINT itself produces a new kind of code, a working system that points the way to one viable future for scholarship. -- Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Scholarly Communication, Modern Language Association

About the Author

Nick Montfort is Professor of Digital Media at MIT. He is the author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction and Exploratory Programming for the Arts and Humanities; the coauthor of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System and 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10; and the coeditor of The New Media Reader (all published by the MIT Press). Patsy Baudoin is Digital Humanities, Media and Film Studies, and Women's & Gender Studies Librarian at MIT. John Bell is Director of the Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, where he is also Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts. Ian Bogost is Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies and Professor of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC, and the coauthor of Newsgames: Journalism at Play (MIT Press, 2010). Jeremy Douglass is a postdoctoral researcher in software studies at the University of California, San Diego, in affiliation with Calit2. Mark C. Marino is Associate Professor (Teaching) and directs the Humanities and Critical Code Studies (HaCCS) Lab at the University of Southern California. Michael Mateas is Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz Casey Reas is Professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA and coauthor of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (MIT Press, 2007). Mark Sample is Associate Professor of English at George Mason University. Noah Vawter is a sound artist. Matthew Fuller is Professor of Cultural Studies at the Digital Culture Unit, Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Media Ecologies: Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture (MIT Press), Software Studies (MIT Press), and, with Andrew Goffey, of Evil Media (MIT Press) as well as Behind the Blip: Essays on the Culture of Software and other books. Lev Manovich is Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego. His book The Language of New Media (MIT Press, 2001) has been hailed as "the most suggestive and broad ranging media history since Marshall McLuhan." Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the coeditor of four collections published by the MIT Press: with Nick Montfort, The New Media Reader (2003); with Pat Harrigan, First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game (2004),Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (2007), and Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives (2009).

Reviews

10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10, a new book collaboratively written by 10 authors, takes a single line of code-inscribed in the book's mouthful of a title-and explodes it. That one line, a seemingly clumsy scrap of BASIC, generates a fascinatingly complicated maze on a Commodore 64.... Though 10 PRINT CHR$ (205.5 + RND (1)); : GOTO 10 is occasionally whiplash-inducing in its headlong rush through history, the connections it makes over 294 pages are inspired. One of the most compelling sections of the book discusses the cultural history of mazes, relating 10 PRINT's maze back to the labyrinth of Knossos, where, according to the great Greek myth, Theseus waged battle with the terrifying Minotaur. -Geeta Dayal, Slate

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