Design a site like this with
Get started

Far Less Linear

A kinda shitty quality screenprint of the map of Patchwork Girl taken from this video

Maps of Victory Garden from the Pathfinders Traversals

Here is a map of Luminous Airplanes

For comparison, see the Bandersnatch map

J. Yellowlees Douglas – The End of Books, Or Books Without End: Reading Interactive Narratives

While many digital narratives begin with a scene or sequence that establishes both the identity of the user as part of an intrigue or quest and the parameters for the plot, most hypertext narratives have no single beginning. In Stuart Moulthrop’s Victory Garden, readers are confronted with, among a multitude of possible ways of entering the hypertext, three lists that seem to represent a sort of table of contents: “Places to Be,” “Paths to Explore,” and “Paths to Deplore.” Unlike a table of contents, however, these lists do not represent a hierarchical map of the narrative, providing readers with a preview of the topics they will explore during their reading and the order in which they will experience them.10 The first place or path in the list has no priority over any of the others—readers will not necessarily encounter it first in the course of their reading, and need not encounter it at all. Each of the words or phrases, instead, acts as a contact point for readers entering the narrative. By choosing an intriguing word or particularly interesting phrase, even constructing a sentence out of a set of choices Moulthrop supplies, readers find themselves launched on one of the many paths through the text. In print narratives, reading the table of contents—if there is one—is generally irrelevant to our experience of the narrative itself: our reading experience begins with the first words of the narrative and is completed by the last words on the last page. In Victory Garden and most hypertext fiction, however, readers have to begin making choices about their interests and the directions in which they wish to pursue them right from square 1.

‘Rapture of the Rhizome’ from Janet Murray’s Hamlet on the Holodeck
The second kind of digital labyrinth, which has arisen from the academic literary
community, is the postmodern hypertext narrative described in chapter 2. Full of
wordplay and indeterminate events, these labyrinths derive not from Greek
rationalism but from poststructuralist literary theory and are unheroic and solutionless. Like a set of index cards that have been scattered on the floor and
then connected with multiple segments of tangled twine, they offer no end point
and no way out. Their aesthetic vision is often identified with philosopher Gilles
Deleuze’s “rhizome,” a tuber root system in which any point may be connected
to any other point.1 Deleuze used the rhizome root system as a model of
connectivity in systems of ideas; critics have applied this notion to allusive text
systems that are not linear like a book but boundaryless and without closure.
Stuart Moulthrop, a theorist and electronic fiction writer, states it this way:

Seen from the viewpoint of textual theory, hypertext systems appear as the practical implementation of a conceptual movement that … rejects authoritarian, “logocentric” (i.e., truth-affirming) hierarchies of language, whose modes of operation are linear and deductive, and seeks instead systems of discourse that admit a plurality of meanings where the operative modes are hypothesis and interpretive play.2

Snyder – Hypertext: The Electronic Labyrinth


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: