From hypertext to narrative fiction video games

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Hypertext is not shown only in the form of textual and visual hyperlinks or web cinema. The development of interactive Web saw the birth of Video games that are now widespread both online and in the computer video games widley available for digital carriers. The structure of Video game may be associated with hypertext because it technically comes from its structure of interactive links.

Here are five similiarities of hypertext and Video game from the book by George P. Landow: ”First, the player`s actions – clicking a mouse o manipulating a similar device, such as joystick – determines what the player encounters next. Second, like hypertext, games rely on braching structure and decision points. Since the places in the video game where the player acts produce potentially different results, they appear structuraly identical to hypertext`s branching links. If one defines the production of different results by user`s choice (whether alphanumeric texts or actions), then hypertext becomes , as Aarseth claims, a subset of ergodic text. Third, games, like hypertext fictions (but unlike print narrative), are meant to be performed, and fourth, they are meant to be performed multiple times. Fifth (and this may only be a trivial point of convergence), the record of a game player`s actions, like the experience of reading a hypertext, appears linear since both the players of games and readers of texts make their way through a series of choices in linear time; of course, the range of possible actions, of roads not taken, themselves constitute a branching or multilinear structure but one that is not immediately available to players and readers.”

Video game art is an example of hypertext based art and also, as Landow says, it bears a similarity to traditional hypertext. The content is much deeper than a traditional Video game. Another important factor is the aesthetic that distinguishes these artworks from popular games. Processed images, refined and unique interfaces with original and appealing graphics give the effect of a true work of art. The traditional Video game doesn`t have these characteristics and its plot does not make us think that much. They are created with the intention to offer players fun and amusement.

In his book about web cinema, Luca Barbeni defines all the works of Tale of Tales as the author Video game, which differs from the traditional Videogame. Artworks by these artists are personalized thanks to the stories they tell and modes of interaction that are the structural point of view, more advanced and innovative than Video game products for the mass audience. Video games today have modified our habits and replaced classic and modern mediums: fairy tales for children, television, cinema, and, very often, the contact with other people. The interactive language with visual content of images, video and 3D space is a total artwork that combines audio, video, image and more. It is open to perticipation to those who are no longer visitors but active users.

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