Scott McHead-in-the-Clouds

Saw Scott McCloud talk today about comics and technology. Granted, the man is smart and funny, and his Understanding Comics is a genuine work of genius, one of the sharpest and most accessible discussions of a lot of the stuff I stay up nights scratching my head over. All the same, he said at least two things that struck me as seriously askew. After making the reasonably useful distinction between the two chief metaphors for a computer screen -- a page and a window -- he shot his credibility in the foot by complaining that the page metaphor is unpleasant because the page is the wrong aspect ratio for a computer screen and requires unpleasant scrolling. Jeez, man, you can't blame the metaphor for crappy interpretations of it -- and any such implementation (say, for example, the Acrobat reader) that behaves this way is acting as a window onto a page. The scaling issues are just as much a technological quirk of currently available implementations as the scrolling issues (a mouse is horrible for sustained scrolling, even one with the wheel dojiggy, compared with a haptic device like a joystick) that bedevil his more Bayeux-like window-metaphor experiments. Also, he claimed that the goal of computer games is for the player to feel as though they are creating the experience. As a text-adventure gamer, I have to say, this is not it, not it at all. IF fans out there, you'll back me up on this one, right?