Vook Reviewed

Wade Roush writes an in-depth review of Vooks, the video-book hybrids (see here and here). The review is notable for the fact that it acknowledges the history of interactive media. It’s neither prejudiced against new reading methods and technologies or impressed by the haphazard combination of opposed media. Roush sets forward reasonable criteria for how he rates the work:

First, it must be relevant to, but different from, the text itself—providing information in a way that truly exploits the capabilities of the additional medium. Second, it should have high production values. I’m not asking for Emmy-winning quality here, but at least show me where you’ve put as much thought and work into your video as the author put into his words. Third, the added material should be both balanced with the text (I’m talking about volume—neither too little nor too much; let the main text do the driving) and smoothly integrated into it (meaning, for example, that it should be easy to switch back and forth between the text and the added media).

At the Futures of Digital Studies Conference, Mark Bernstein called for more and better criticism of electronic literature. Roush's thoughtful approach to new technology, might be a step in this direction.