Skip navigation
Hardcover | $65.00 Short | £44.95 | ISBN: 9780262232272 | 840 pp. | 8 x 9 in | 551 illus| February 2003

Essential Info

  • Table of Contents
  • Supplemental Material Website

Instructor Resources

The New Media Reader


This reader collects the texts, videos, and computer programs—many of them now almost impossible to find—that chronicle the history and form the foundation of the still-emerging field of new media. General introductions by Janet Murray and Lev Manovich, along with short introductions to each of the texts, place the works in their historical context and explain their significance. The texts were originally published between World War II—when digital computing, cybernetic feedback, and early notions of hypertext and the Internet first appeared—and the emergence of the World Wide Web—when they entered the mainstream of public life. The texts are by computer scientists, artists, architects, literary writers, interface designers, cultural critics, and individuals working across disciplines. The contributors include (chronologically) Jorge Luis Borges, Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, Ivan Sutherland, William S. Burroughs, Ted Nelson, Italo Calvino, Marshall McLuhan, Jean Baudrillard, Nicholas Negroponte, Alan Kay, Bill Viola, Sherry Turkle, Richard Stallman, Brenda Laurel, Langdon Winner, Robert Coover, and Tim Berners-Lee. The CD accompanying the book contains examples of early games, digital art, independent literary efforts, software created at universities, and home-computer commercial software. Also on the CD is digitized video, documenting new media programs and artwork for which no operational version exists. One example is a video record of Douglas Engelbart's first presentation of the mouse, word processor, hyperlink, computer-supported cooperative work, video conferencing, and the dividing up of the screen we now call non-overlapping windows; another is documentation of Lynn Hershman's Lorna, the first interactive video art installation.

About the Editors

Noah Wardrip-Fruin is Associate 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).

Nick Montfort is Associate Professor of Digital Media at MIT. He is the coauthor of 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10 and Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System, the coeditor of The New Media Reader, and the author of Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction, all published by the MIT Press.


“A stunner...”—Brian Kim Stefans , New York Fine Arts Quarterly
The New Media my if-you-can-only-take-one pick for a computer history vacation suitcase-stuffer.”—Michael Swaine , Dr. Dobb's Journal