You Make the Call...

Why is hypertext unique? Why will the truly hypertextual/multimedia novel change the way we, as readers, think and react to a text? Because unlike the traditional novel, unlike dreaming, unlike going to a movie, hypertext will simultaneously re-create the reader's relationship to the text by empowering him or her with crucial decision-making, and enhance the sense of entrancement or absorption above and beyond the standard cinematic experience. The careful integration of images, sound, and text (which is currently seen most obviously in such projects as Freak Show and Myst) reinvents the reader's relationship with the text, but without calling attention to the inherent artificiality of the text.

Nell's list of other trance-inducing exercises is only a complete one if one is to disregard hypertext. But once again, one must emphasize the fact that only hypertext calls for an active participant, while the other experiences rely on the passive nature of the reader/audience in order to create a trance-like state.

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