The digital absurd
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I believe that the concept of the absurd, as described in philosophy and reflected in works of drama and literature, provides an unusual and helpful perspective from which to view the emerging field of digital media. In my opinion, absurd principles can help us understand the mixed feelings we may have when engaging with digital media: joy and frustration, play and despair, significance and nonsense. I intend to explore the concept of the absurd through a handful of authors and works, including the philosophy of Camus and the literature and drama of Pinter, Beckett, Roussel, and the Oulipo. I will use these works to analyze characteristics of absurdist works and then extend this analysis to characteristics and theory of digital media. I believe an absurdist analysis may bring a new vantage point to the study of digital media, from which we can see not only the advantages and liberation it offers but also the ever-present threat of nonsense it entails.