Interactivity

Gilberto Manjarrez Vega

Living in an age where most of the media we consume is digital, it is no surprise that even literature and narrative have gone digital. Many people prefer to read the conventional printed book, newspaper or magazine; other people prefer instead to read e-books, play games or interact with texts. Interactivity seems to be an effective way to invest the reader in the text. It could create a personal story; however, it could also affect the way the reader perceives the story. The reader might get a different understanding of the story if the text does not guide the reader in the right way. Interactive stories could be effective depending on how well design they are.
Before getting into the debate of whether interactivity in narrative is effective or not, it is essential to understand the concept of interactivity. The author Chris Crawford describes interactivity as: “A cyclic process between two or more active agents in which each agent alternately listens, thinks, and speaks- a conversations of sorts” (Crawford, chapter 2). This means that to have an interactive narrative, it needs to have a sender and a receiver. The sender will send the message that needs to be decoded, and the reader will decode the message sent by the sender. An interactive story takes the reader into a world where they have the opportunity to choose their own adventure. Interactive works can be presented in different ways; it could be presented as a text, or a video game. Montfort states that “While some Interactive Fiction uses graphics, and less often, sound or animation, the basis of the form is textual input and textual output” (Montfort). This means that no matter how the story is presented, at the end, the actual story is the important part of interactivity.
Differences between linear and interactive stories
Problems with Interactivity