World-making, as a form of authorship, is increasingly procedural and collective in character. As complex media-authoring packages are developed that support new techniques for virtual camerawork, nondestructive editing, digital compositing, 3D modeling and animation, and interactions with and between non-human intelligent agents, fundamental notions about media authorship are changing. Furthermore, real-time massively multi-user participation may involve mobile and ubiquitous computing technologies around the globe. No longer are worlds built by one person using one media technology to create one user experience, as novelists J. R. R. Tolkien and L. Frank Baum may have done with Middle Earth and Oz. Now story spaces constituted by computational media, distributed networks, and global workfl ows may exceed the capabilities of even the most ambitious and well-equipped polymath laboring alone. “Authoring” has replaced “authorship” in the lexicon of new media criticism. 1 With the rise of “authoring tools,” “authoring systems,” and “authoring languages,” traditional modes of authorship have taken a

el iz

ab et

h lo


profoundly computational turn that both empowers and disempowers software users.