April 14, 2000: I had a nice birthday yesterday, thanks for asking! I didn't touch a computer, but I did think a bit about Brenda Laurel's Computers as Theater. I've been finding it incredibly valuable to read stuff that approaches interface outside of a straight-up HCI context. Whether it's architecture, gaming, comics, or theater, it forces me to step back from the mundane design decisions that I'm making (should the "Cancel" button go on the left or right of the "Continue" button) and think in a different and larger way about what I'm doing.

Anyhoo, I was reading the book, thinking about human-computer interaction in terms of narrative pleasure and I started seeing the interaction differently, with different sub-tasks as little scenes, with beginnings, middles, and ends, and with a need for the interface to move the action from scene to scene: "Congratulations, you're now registered. Now you can do the following..." Cool.

So, now I'm wondering: is there a place for comedy in human-computer interaction? What about tragedy?