Effort & Ludic Reading

A final observation about effort in ludic reading is that response demands (replying to a question, doing a comprehension test) increase one's sense of effortfulness. Entertainment industry inputs, including leisure reading materials, have in common the absence of any response demands. Like fantasy (which is free because it is not subject to feedback control from the real world), ludic reading is also sovereign, subject to no evaluation or censure by any person other than the reader. Indeed, the moment evaluative demands intrude, as in the case of an absorbed reader suddenly told that he or she is to produce a critical review of the book, ludic reading, in obedience to a variety of mechanisms, at once becomes work reading: the response demand triggers a perceived effortfulness.

Nell, p. 75

Back to Nell Overview