To me it seems that video games, namely RPGs
, allow the player to actively change the story. They store the decisions of the player, allowing for past decisions to actively effect future ones. Past changes need to be stored because video games tend to follow a linear flow that I have not seen displayed in hypertext fiction. Also, in order to preserve the simulation of shared
experience with a character, of playing the role of a character, temporarily in video games must be conserved.
On the other hand the hypertext medium is not a medium of literal alteration, but rather of selective exploration. Part of the interactivity of the video game is that the choices you make have meaning, sometimes a simple as a right choice and a wrong choice
. The choices one makes while reading hypertext give meaning
. The difference is subtle but profound.
Since the run of the mill HTML link cannot modify itself based on what the player has done the hypertext is a medium firmly based in the present. The browser's back button is a reassurance that any path can be changed.