What makes an effective hypertext literature?

26 09 2007

I think that Vniverse and Firefly were the most effective hypertext work. In Firefly, you were able to change things around until you found something that spoke to you, but it wasn’t completely random. She had still written all of the words, chosen which line they would be available in, and made sure they would all work together. It felt like something you could explore for a long time and still be satisfied. Vniverse was similar with the interactions, but it spoke more to me with the constellations. You could run your mouse over random stars, go through a constellation at a time, or enter a number in the upper right corner between 1-232 and see where it takes you. They had the necessary options of choice of where to go, and a strong feeling of interactivity.

Hejirascope was the second best to me. It was so massive, and has so many possible routes, that you can be pretty sure that the order you go in hasn’t been tried before. It also makes use of hypertext in a way a print book couldn’t, with the automatic page changes and the pages like the all black one with multiple links you had to highlight to see, or the more tongue-in-cheek one which simply said ‘ –click- ‘ in the middle, which wasn’t actually a link. It challenges you, and makes you really consider where to classify it – it has multiple storylines, but you are not allowed to follow them through.

Stained word window was the least effective use of the hypertext medium for me. I felt like I was just skimming through a book of poetry. I must admit, poetry is not my strongest point, so I tend to look at the form more than the content on pages like this. The two methods of moving around – through the window or by selecting chosen words in the poem, didn’t work together and weren’t well matched. The form wasn’t effective for the work either – it did not encourage people to linger until they had read the whole poem and digested it, because a slip of the mouse and another work comes up. However, it didn’t have enough to make it feel like the exploration of the wild that hejirascope results in.

I think that out of all of these, the hypertext literature that combined creative and interesting presentation with interactivity that had choice and many permutations without being completely random were the best. It is important that they make the medium feel necessary, as though it could not have been done in another form. To me, some of the texts we looked at were more effective than others.

 –Amy Goodwin (<–almost forgot that part again)



One response

30 09 2007

Stained window and hegirascope were the least favorite of mine, mostly because it was hard for me to follow what was going on. Firefly was my most favorite. This hypertext allowed you to read the poem all the way through, or different parts at a time. It had the most order to me.


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