Hypertext & User Control

Although it is of crucial importance that the hypertext author strive not to imitate the novel in many respects, but rather, to surpass and/or move away from his more traditional peers, there are also several traits of the conventional novel that, by definition, demonstrate the superiority of the novel over television and film, and thus, should be imitated by the hypertext author.

One of these involves user control. And Nell sums it up pretty well: "...When I lift my eyes from the page, the book ceases to exist."

Simple enough, right? Well, hypertext must be wholly user controlled as well. None of this so-called "interactive cinema" in which you pop a disc into your computer, and watch as the film plays itself out before your eyes, with little or no control by you, the alleged 'reader.' No. Sure you might be able to stop and start it when you want, as you can with any given novel, but with hypertext, you should be able to change it. Simple enough.

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