The Interactive Onion: Layers of User Participation in Digital Narrative Texts

Critical Writing
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Abstract (in English): 

interface, discoure, 

Abstract (in original language): 

Using the metaphor an onion, Ryan provides a formalist analysis of four different levels of interactivity, plus a fifth meta-level, in digital narratives. 

Pull Quotes: 

If we regard communiation between intelligent agents as the prototypical form of interactivity, then neither ergodism nor agency will express its fundamentally dialogical nature.

There is a tendency in digital culture to evaluate a work as a feat of programming virtuosity. I call this the anti-WYSIWYG aesthetics, because you have to imagine the code that lies behind the screen to appreciate the text... If we applied this aesthetics of difficulty to print literature, a palindrome story or a novel written without the letter 'e' (such as George Perec's La disparition) would automatically represent a greater artwork than a novel like Marcel Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu...

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Eric Dean Rasmussen