Hypermedia Fiction: A Medium of Forking Paths

Frank Tillman

– Hyper-fictional narrative is given to the audience, the viewer/participant to make choices and get on with the story.

– Allowing the audience a alternative, an additional choice, there are obviously limitations due to the text being created by an author.

2. ‘”Why have current incarnations of hyperfiction in the form of gaming environments failed to realize the potential of interactive narratives?” (Tillman, 1997.p.388)

This piece was written in 1997, but i believe games are only going to get more interactive, not only within the game space, but outside it too. Many modern games allow the gamer to make important decisions within the sphere which effects their avatar in terms of progression. Players can now form their own path and narrative within a game space. An example of this is Skyrim, where players can almost forge their own path in the game. Yes, there are limitations, there will always will be limitations in a game, however, Skyrim is so vast, with so much to explore. Players are not bound by one ‘main storyline’ Players are recommended to explore and create their own narrative path.

– Convergence, through digitisation separate mediums merge and become one single nonlinear interactive medium.

– Due to the interaction by the viewer with hyper-textual fiction they are no longer a “abstract reader”, but a maker of it. (Tillman,1997.p.388)

“In the command mode of interactive fiction, the reader/viewer is put into the role in  which critical awareness would seem to be part of the exercise of making choices. Every choice could be described as being self-culpable within the limits of the episode and links which are given to us as we take ownership of choices and actions.” (Tillman, 1997. p.397)

Tillman, F. (1997) Hypermedia Fiction: A Medium of Forking Paths. Computer Assisted Language Learning. 10 (4), pp. 387-397.


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