Since I get this question more and more these days, I’ve lately worked my way around to a short-hand response:
Poetry, fiction, or other literary work that depends on the distinctive behavioral, visual, or material properties of computers, computer networks, and code for its composition, execution, and reception.
What I like about this tripartite definition, I suppose, is that I think it manages to capture the mutual role of author, reader, and machine, as well as aspects of computers themselves as platform, display, and medium. (Of course it begs other questions, such as what is literature and what is a computer.)
Better answers are no doubt going to be found at the upcoming MITH/ELO symposium on the Future of Electronic Literature, here at Maryland in May. Have you registered yet?Posted by mgk at February 14, 2007 06:35 PM