New Media

Hypertext Fiction

In class today, my group first discussed hypertext fiction and literature. We discussed how it is an interesting source of literature. Why it has disappeared over the years and why it is not horrible as everyone thinks.

Wikipedia defines Hypertext fiction as: “similar term cybertext is often used interchangeably with hypertext.[2] In hypertext fiction, the reader assumes a significant role in the creation of the narrative. Each user obtains a different outcome based on the choices they make. Cybertexts may be equated to the transition between a linear piece of literature, such as a novel, and a game. In a novel the reader has no choice, the plot and the characters are all chosen by the author, there is no ‘user,’ just a ‘reader,’ this is important because it entails that the person working their way through the novel is not an active participant. In a game, the person makes decisions and decides what to do, what punches to punch, or when to jump.”

What I take from the long definition is that; hypertext fiction is fiction or literature that is created so the reader can become the narrator of the story. The reader is able to take the character’s choices in their hands. This gives the reader a sense of control in the fact that they are able to chose A instead of B.

These texts remind me of books that I read while in middle school. As I read the story, I was able to pick and chose what my character did, how they reacted to certain situations, and how they felt emotionally as a response to stimuli. These texts were always a favorite of mine, because instead of watching the character go through and do something that is stupid and/or embarrassing, I as the reader, got to choose their fate.

The reason most of these texts are obsolete is the fact that many people do not read actual books. They prefer everything to be online at their fingertips. It gives them easy and unlimited access to their daily needs.

Hypertext fiction is not a bad thing. It stimulates the mind. Which choices will have the greatest consequences? Which have the lest? Will this cause embarrassment? Hypertext fiction is able to explore these questions without the reader having to commit to a certain path.


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