So how do hypertext and video games differ? After all, The Resident's Freak Show
is called a hypertext while Myst
is a video game even though both have basically the same means of displaying information; the user clicks on objects of interest, and the view on screen moves to examine them. The two works still differ significantly, though. For one, the user cannot lose while playing Freak Show
. The concept of losing in the first place is foreign to the realm of hypertext, while essential to video games. Losing disregards the user's ability to choose when to stop reading the piece. The reader reads hypertext to find more information, and losing creates a limitation.
Alternatively you can beat Myst
. Freak Show
you cannot beat because you had no set goal to achieve
. A set goal and a particular way to win the game usually end up privileging one approach
to the game above others. Thus a video game's story is still under the control of the creator.