Book-in-a-box to Xbox: materiality and the contemporary textual object

E. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Book-in-a-box to Xbox is a discussion of developments in the material form of contemporary textual objects and of the impact this has on user/reader experience. The article formulates itself as a contemporary book history, situating the texts in question within the broader sphere of digital culture, and analyses textual function, reception, form and user interaction, presenting a cultural theorising of contemporary textual objects. The article conducts these discussions via a consideration of Marc Saporta's Composition No. 1 (a key example of materially experimental literature); recent developments in e-reading and the implications of these developments; designing interactivity in massively multiplayer online gaming; and emerging forms of sociality, or shared experience, in virtual reading and playing communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-326
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Review of HIstory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2010


  • reading
  • interactivity
  • Nintendo DS
  • MMO
  • digital culture
  • Internet
  • digital media
  • text
  • e-readers
  • experimental literature
  • participation
  • gaming
  • games
  • Saporta


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