[ accès général ]


bolter, Jay David

cotton, Bob; oliver, Richard

deleuze, Gilles; guattari, Félix

nelson, Ted

bolter États-Unis
University of North Carolina

"In its simplest form, interactive fiction requires only those two elements that we have already identified for electronic writing: episodes (topics) and decision points (links) between episodes. The episodes may be paragraphs of prose or poetry, they may include bit-mapped graphics as well, and they may be of any length. Their length will establish the rhythm of the story how long the reader remains a conventional reader before he or she is called on to participate in the selection of the next episode. At the end of each episode, the author inserts a set of links to other episodes together with a procedure for choosing which link to follow. Each link may require a different response from the reader or a different condition in the computer system. The reader may answer a question posed in the text; there will be one link for each possible reader response. The computer can also keep track of the previous episodes readers have visited, so that they may be barred from visiting one episode before they visit another. Many other tests are possible, but even with the simple matching technique and the tracking of previously visited episodes, the author can create a fictional space of great flexibility. Readers may be allowed to examine a story in chronological order, in reverse chronology, or in a complicated sequence of flashbacks and returns. They may follow one character through the story, and then return to follow another. A reader might play the role of the detective trying to solve a murder, a role familiar from the computerized adventure games. A reader might be asked to influence events in a novel by choosing episodes that promise to bring two characters together or to punish an evil character for his or her deeds; each choice would define a new course for the story. Such multiple plots, however, are only one possibility for interactive fiction. The electronic writing space can accommodate many other literary strategies. It could offer the reader several different perspectives on a fixed set of events. In this case the reader would not be able to affect the course of the story, but the reader could switch back and forth among narrators, each with his or her own point of view. An electronic text could also establish relationships among episodes that are not narrative at all: poet could define multiple reading orders for an anthology of his or her poems according to theme, image, time of the year, or other criteria under the poet's or the reader's control."


"The idea of interactive movies stems from the text-based interactive fiction That appeared on computers for the first time in the mid-1970s. Interactive fiction and fantasy grew out of role-playing games, and the first interactive computer fiction, 'Adventure', was based on the game 'Dungeons and Dragons'. The 'reader' was faced with a series of branching options, which if correctly negotiated led to the treasure trove. The interface was simple: a text statement and a range of options. This kind of branching narrative contains thousands of options and permutations. Indeed, 'Adventure' was modified and extended by many of the programmers and computer hackers who played it. Because digital text requires very little storage space (one byte per letter), and minimal display technology, text-based interactive fiction is no problem for the current generation of CD-ROM-based home entertainment systems (the storage capacity of a CD-ROM is around 10 million words).
Imagine the same branching structure applied to movies, however, where each frame of the movie requires at least 100,000 bytes. If we devised a movie with a very simple branching structure, offering the user a choice of two options after watching each one-minute segment of the film story, after just five choices we will have nearly reached the capacity of the CD-ROM, and generated over 60 one-minute film sequences. There may be over a thousand ways of viewing our interactive movie, but each unique viewing would be only five minutes long. The more choices, the shorter the movie.
The shape of interactive movies will ultimately be determined by two factors the nature of the distribution media, and the power of the hardware system. The main option for distribution media is currently the CD-ROM. These are due to double in capacity (double- and even quad-density CD-ROMs are under development ), while fibre-optic networks will soon be able to deliver linear or interactive movies straight to a consumer 'teleputer'. Such systems will store software in large-capacity memory, and decompress the motion video data in realtime when required. Equipped with powerful processors, teleputers will create the conditions for a new type of interactive movie, a 'hyper-movie' that would combine virtual reality, expert systems and realtime computer graphics.
Employing software techniques developed for movies such as Lawnmower Man and Jurassic Park, special effects programmers are already developing ideas for the creation of 'soft actors' digital reincarnations of famous film and TV stars of the past, or of hybrids of these stars. It may not be long before soft actors appear in feature films, and very soon home-based technology could support the realtime generation of soft actors (albeit of low resolution) or indeed of the entire movie mise-en-scène. Furthermore, expert system techniques could be used to generate complex 'story arenas' through which the user may wander at will, meeting with soft actors that have distinct characters, and intentions, of their own."


"Un tel système pourrait être nommé rhizome. Un rhizome comme tige souterraine se distingue absolument des racines et radicelles. Les bulbes, les tubercules sont des rhizomes. Des plantes à racine et radicelle peuvent être rhizomorphes à de tout autres égards: c'est une question de savoir si la botanique, dans sa spécificité, n'est pas tout entière rhizomorphique. Des animaux même le sont, sous leur forme de meute, les rats sont des rhizomes. Les terriers le sont, sous toutes leurs fonctions d'habitat, de provision, de déplacement, d'esquive et de rupture. Le rhizome en lui-même a des formes très diverses, depuis son extension superficielle ramifiée en tous sens jusqu'à ses concrétions en bulbes et tubercules. [...] Caractères approximatifs du rhizome 1û et 2û Principes de connexion et d'hétérogénéité: n'importe quel point d'un rhizome peut être connecté avec n'importe quel autre, et doit l'être. C'est très différent de l'arbre ou de la racine qui fixent un point, un ordre. [...]
3û Principe de multiplicité [...] Les multiplicités sont rhizomatiques, et dénoncent les pseudo-multiplicités arborescentes. Pas d'unité qui serve de pivot dans l'objet, ni qui se divise dans le sujet. Pas d'unité ne serait-ce que pour avorter dans l'objet, et pour «revenir» dans le sujet. Une multiplicité n'a ni sujet ni objet, mais seulement des déterminations, des grandeurs, des dimensions qui ne peuvent croître sans qu'elle change de nature (les lois de combinaison croissent donc avec la multiplicité). [...]
4û Principe de rupture asignifiante [...]. Un rhizome peut être rompu, brisé en un endroit quelconque, il reprend suivant telle ou telle de ses lignes et suivant d'autres lignes. [...]
5û et 6û Principe de cartographie et de décalcomanie: un rhizome n'est justiciable d'aucun modèle structural ou génératif. Il est étranger à toute idée d'axe génétique, comme de structure profonde."


"By "hypertexte" I mean non-sequential writing.
Ordinary writing is sequential for two reasons. First, it grew out of speech and speech-making, which have to be sequential; and second, because books are not convenient to read except in a sequence.
But the structures of ideas are not sequential. They tie together every which-way. And when we write, we are always trying to tie things together in non-sequential ways [...]. The footnote is a break from sequence; but it cannot really be extended (though some, like Will Cuppy, have toyed with the technique).
I have run into perhaps a dozen people who understood this instantly when I talked to them about it. Most people, however, act more bemused, thinking I'm trying to tell them something technical or pointlessly philosophical. It's not pointless at all: the point is, writers do better if they don't have to write in sequence (but may create multiple structures, branches and alternatives), and readers do better if they don't have to read in sequence, but may establish impressions, jump around, and try different pathways until they find the ones they want to study most closely.
(The astute reader, and anybody who's gotten to this point must be, will have noticed that this book is in "magazine" layout, organized visually by ideas and meanings, for that precise reason. I will be interested to hear whether that has worked.)
And the pity of it is that (like the man in the French play who was surprised to learn the he had been "speaking prose all his life and never known it"), we've been speaking hypertext all our lives and never known it."


"In recent years a very basic change has occurred in presentational systems of all kinds. We may summarize it under the name branching, although there are many variants. Essentially, to day's systems for presenting pictures, texts and whatnot can bring you different things automatically depending on what you do. Selection of this type is generally called branching. (I have suggested the generic term hypermedia for presentational media which perform in this (and other) multidimensional ways.)
A number of branching media exist or are possible.
Branching movies of hyperfilms [...].
Branching texts of hypertexts [...].
Branching audio, music, etc. [...].
Branching slide-shows [...]."

Dictionnaire des arts médiatiques
© 1996, Groupe de recherche en arts médiatiques - UQAM