Myst and the Textness of Text
What happens when simple text becomes only one of the many instruments of
Well, what happens in Myst?
A few things happen. For one, one might suddenly pay attention to the textness
of the text and its inherent properties. In Myst, for example, information
is accessed through both note and spoken form.
Why isn't all the information, say, in spoken form?
Or more importantly, why are notes in note form?
For one thing, simple text calls attention to its own archaic and primitive
nature. After all, in this world (the world of Myst) in which information
is found in sounds, talking books, and images,
why would you ever need to actually write words again?
At the same time, the use of simple text in Myst is not accidental (and
this is just one of the many reasons Myst is so brilliant). The texts, or
rather, the various notes and conventional books found throughout the world
of Myst, are traditional forms of expression. Most significantly, they are
trustworthy. Conventional text becomes the only form of information that
is stable and concrete within Myst.