Response to Chris Crawford

Reading Response: The Art of Interactive Design by Chris Crawford

In reading this chapter, I discovered that I often committed the crime that Mr. Crawford most frowned upon: mistaking reactionary things for interactive things. However, Mr. Crawford can rest easy in his office in Ohio, as he cleared up the difference for me. As well as this great service, it was also helpful to hear his little metaphors he presented, such as comparing input, process, and output to listening, thinking, and speaking.  However, as a theater student, I am inclined to disagree with his commentary on how theater is not interactive. In contrast, I would argue that some genres rely most on interactions with the audience. In commedia dell’arte, for example, the actors must read the audience energy, process it, and decide how best to modify the performance. And the audience must do the same: absorb what the actors are giving, process it, and react whether it is with laughter or silence or walking out the door. As much as I argue for this, though, I also recognize that this isn’t all types of theater, so I can get over this little injustice. Overall, I enjoyed Mr. Crawford’s snark throughout the reading and especially in the review questions. Amongst the pleasant sarcasm, though, he approached the topic of interactivity with clarity and confidence. And for that, I thank him. And to answer his question: no. Rugs are not interactive.


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