Dennis Jerz

Dennis G. Jerz, associate professor of English -- New Media Journalism at Seton Hill University in southwestern Pennsylvania, holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, where his dissertation was on technology in American drama 1920-1950. He has worked as a writer and editor for the Virginia Engineering Foundation, and instructor and web designer for Toronto's Engineering Communications Centre.  Since 1999, he has maintained Jerz's Literacy Weblog, which has been called the first weblog devoted to the field of English.  His interest in the relationship between humans and the things they create guides his teaching and research on instructional technology, web page usability, social media, video games, literature, writing, and stagecraft. He has introduced students to literature from Greek drama to command-line interactive fiction. He has mentored his son's FIRST Robotics Competition team, and serves on the board of directors of Stage Right! Greensburg (professional theatre company).  His academic publications include a computer simulation of the motions of Corpus Christi pageant wagons in the medieval city of York and a detailed analysis of the previously unpublished source code to Will Crowther's original "Colossal Cave" text-adventure game. He has published a video course with Packt Publications, "Building Games with Scratch 2.0."

Cave Gave Game: Subterranean Space as Videogame Place


Thomas and Jerz identify our fascination with natural cave spaces, and then chart that fascination as it descends into digital realms, all in order to illustrate the importance of “the cave” as a metaphor for how we interact with our environment.

Critical Code Studies Conference - Week Three Discussion


In Week 3 of a six-part series, Critical Code Studies contributors spelunk the mysteries of Colossal Cave Adventure, a seminal text adventure game. Delving into close readings of the original FORTRAN code, the group plots the twisty passages linking media theory, deconstruction and philosophies of programming.