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my body – a Wunderkammer – in this piece by Shelley Jackson, she seems to have left behind regular structure and form entirely, instead constructing connections formed to the graphic structure of her body, with links often hidden within each set of words within each graphical component. The structure destroys the drive within the piece, leaving anyone not wholly motivated by the principles of investigation un-driven to continue through the piece. Electronic Literature does not free the author from the need for a story, my body may be a narrative, but it is just barely so. Other pieces may have the strength to exist divorced from form and unified only by an idea, but in my opinion this piece lacks that. The result is that I, as the reader, did not feel motivated to follow through and click all the links in the piece.

Twelve Blue was an interesting concept, but beleaguered by a confusing a non-intuitive interface that both made navigation confusing and then sometimes obscured the very storytelling. The graphic navigation can sometimes skip both in time and storyline, making following the story very confusing. I believe that if I could decode the story, it would be something quite interesting, however it is very difficult to follow when the navigation is confusing.

Reagan Library is very interesting, the interface reminds me strongly of Myst. Unfortunately I lost out on the full experience, as the ability to click objects within the panorama did not work for me. However, I thought it was a remarkable and intriguing re-tasking of the QuickTimeVR panorama technology. I just wish it could have worked better.

Note, for some reason I was completely unable to get the links to download the z-machine based IFs to work in IE7. I had to use Opera instead.

Galatea is a z-code Interactive Fiction, it was fascinating. The interaction with the NPC as a I slowly was able to reveal parts of her background and her beliefs. It was even more interesting because you were able to reveal parts of your own character through talking with the NPC. The real shame is that just as elements were beginning to reveal themselves my iteration of the story ended.

Savoir-Faire is another z-code Interactive Fiction, this one is a bit more typical in that it is based around item use and puzzle solving. The unusual component comes in two non-standard commands, ‘Remember’ and ‘Link.’ These two commands allow a certain element into the narrative, the ability to more around in time without leaving the location you are in and the ability to create an extra reaction to your actions. In more conventional terminology, this means that you can now flashback, if you use the command correctly. The result is pretty interesting, I’ve been unable to complete the story yet, but thus far it has been fun.

  1. Hyperbole Girl on Saturday 15, 2008

    I absolutely promise to actually go through your links on this post at some point, but right now, I’m just skimming.
    143 : )