I was impressed with some of the thoughts of Walter J Ong in his Orality and Literacy: The technologizing of the word (Methuen, 1982).
Ong suggests that writing has changed the way we think, argue and communicate. That there are sharp differences between oral cultures and literate cultures, though these are often not clear because most of our knowledge of pre-literate cultures has been captured in writing, and we view them in a literate manner. It raises an obvious question as to whether an electronic culture will also change the way we think, argue and communicate.
Note this article was written in 1996 - it was only lightly and cosmetically updated in mid 2002
Mark Morisson designed and co-scripted The Dame was Loaded for Beam Software Australia, a foray into interactive scriptwriting with similarities to Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled detective world. At an Australian Film Commission conference (1995) on the theme Narrative and Interactivity and starting with Chandler's classic description of a detective, Morrison provided a superb description of an interactive scriptwriter:
- Electronic poetry
- Interactive fiction of the "text adventure" kind
- Plot-based tree fictions
- Collaborative or multi-author tree fictions
- MUDs, MOOs & MUSHes
- Converging exploration hypertexts
- Conditional branching works
- Revelation and reflection hypertexts
- Computer/video games
- Interactive multimedia art
- Interactive film/video
- Status of the creative interactive art-form
An increasing amount of writing is interactive - even print-based writing, but especially works constructed for multimedia, training and the web. In a high stimulation, time-stressed environment readers increasingly need to be be engaged, literally, whether in training, advertising, information gathering or entertainment. Interactivity is one of the key components in this engagement.
Note this article was written in 1996 - it was lightly and cosmetically updated in mid 2002
This is a speculative article, devoted to trying to ascertain and articulate the fundamentals that writers and other creative artists are endeavouring to achieve in their creative process. I take it as a foundation that the such creators are trying to have an impact on their intended audience and that they are trying to do more than just provide description.
Note this article was written in 1996 - I have kept it as an interesting view on how technology has changed...
So if you are interested in trying your hand at some form of interactive writing, where do you start?
The easiest and most interesting platform to use for both reading and publishing interactive writing is the World Wide Web. Probably by reading this you already have access to the web licked. But in case you don't then for this, as well as a reasonable computer, you need a fast modem (at least 9600bps and preferably 28.8kbps), a web browser and an account with an Internet Service Provider. If you are starting from scratch, find a friend who knows what they are doing and follow his or her advice.