Nick Montfort and I were thinking about the Platform Studies series today, as we are wont to do. There are two books in the series that are nearing completion now, which we are delighted about, but there are many more to be written. We were talking about some platforms that we thought were large and low-hanging fruit for any interested authors – ones that would be great to write about. These are a few platforms or families of platforms that seem to us to have interesting technical aspects, diverse and important historical connections, a good amount of worthwhile cultural production, and a number of adherents:
- Apple II
- Commodore 64
- Game Boy and/or Game Boy Advance
- iPhone and iPad
- Unix and Linux
- Windows (“Wintel”)
In case there’s anything that seems puzzling about this list: A platform, as far as the Platform Studies series is concerned, is something that supports programming and programs, the creation and execution of computational media. (This is pretty much what Wikipedia defines as a computing platform, too.) So BASIC, Java, and Flash are as much platforms as the mainly-hardware consoles and computers that are listed, as are the operating systems on the list.
If any of these interest you enough that you’d consider writing a book about them, please contact me and/or Nick. If you have a favorite platform that we haven’t mentioned and want to suggest that someone write about it, please leave us (and any potential authors who are reading) a comment. You can also do so at Nick’s blog, where a startlingly similar post offers a startlingly similar invitation.
* Results not typical.