10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10

By Nick Montfort, Patsy Baudoin, John Bell, Ian Bogost, Jeremy Douglass, Mark C. Marino, Michael Mateas, Casey Reas, Mark Sample, and Noah Vawter

10 PRINT is a book about a one-line Commodore 64 BASIC program, published in November 2012. Book purchases support the nonprofit organizations Electronic Literature Organization (to which all royalties are being donated) and The MIT Press, the book’s publisher.

This book takes a single line of code—the extremely concise BASIC program for the Commodore 64 inscribed in the title—and uses it as a lens through which to consider the phenomenon of creative computing and the way computer programs exist in culture. The authors of this collaboratively written book treat code not as merely functional but as a text—in the case of 10 PRINT, a text that appeared in many different printed sources—that yields a story about its making, its purpose, its assumptions, and more. They consider randomness and regularity in computing and art, the maze in culture, the popular BASIC programming language, and the highly influential Commodore 64 computer.

Commentary on 10 PRINT can be found in many places on the web, ranging from the Slate Book Review to Hacker News. In addition to hard copies available for purchase from a variety of book sellers, the complete text is available as a Creative Commons licensed PDF at 10print.org.

All images of the book used on this page and the design of the book itself by Casey Reas.