Map > Random words…definitely

To be honest, before the beginning of this class I had never once heard of hypertext, text adventure, or even half of the compute terms Dr.Whalen uses on a daily basis but I feel like I’ve been missing out. It’s one thing to read a novel.. page three.. in order, as it was intended to be read, but to be able to create your own unique story from one composed by someone else is exciting. It is so easy for your mind to wander when reading a less than thrilling novel just flipping pages, skimming words, retaining nearly nothing, but when you yourself are the push behind the advancement of the story and the one that must keep it moving forward, or backward, or however you wish, is captivating and hard to get away from.

In Sonatas of Saint Francis (, by Michael Joyce, Matthew Hanlon, Andrea Morris, and Carolyn Guyer, the story text written in hypertext keeps your interest going and makes you want to read more so you can see where the story goes — thanks to your selective clicking. Unlike some of the other works we have looked at though, instead of clicking on a key word or phrase, there is a map of an island and one navigates the story by clicking on various locations on the island. Clicking of the places either brings up a short excerpt or in some cases a picture of that place. In my opinion, this technique gives the (I don’t want to say reader because it’s not simply reading) ‘experience-er’ a true feeling that they are controlling the directions of ‘travel’ around the island. In addition, the island seems so much more real because one is looking at a map of a place that could very well be a geographical location rather than just text about such a place.

Although some of the actual text that the map takes you to didn’t exactly make sense, I found the way in which the text utilizes hypertext to be original (compared to the few works I have seen so far) and I appreciated the variety because though hypertext is more interesting than a plain old novel, for me at least, working my way around a map is much more entertaining than clicking random words that I have no idea what they are referring to.


Here is the map where you can click on the various places around the island to be ‘taken’ there. (The black spot is the current location)

One of the pictures that came up at one of the various locations.


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