The Hypertext Journey

Annoyance struck over me as I came across the divided picture of the naked woman, where I proceeded to start at the neck and continue on my journey through the never-ending story.  This was a type of story I have never quite experienced.  It is hard to say I have read something so randomly factual about the human body, nor anything so chopped up and all over the place.  It only got worse when the blue hyperlinks never ceased to end.  And for me, reading on a screen doesn’t typically make matters better.

ADD. Suffering from such a thing and continually having to change the page and leave the middle of the first sentence to later find your way back, is a painful task.  Just like I did there.  Who wants to begin reading about something and get dragged to another site where you have to stop, loose your spot, and change your topic, knowing in the back of your head that you’ll have to go back to the previous page at some point?  This only causes you to get more sidetracked when trying to follow such a confusing story.  Let me just say, for those of us that can relate to ADD, its not fun.

The neck seemed like the most logical place to start since it was at the top, so that’s where I began the “journey.”  Right from the beginning, I have never been so confused by a bunch of random links on a computer screen before.  Im still not sure how the whole thing was put together, but it got a bit easier as I stuck through it and tried keeping my place.  The one thing I wasn’t sure about was whether to finish the full paragraph or page, or even the sentence, and then click on the links that I had read, or just click as I came across them.  But then I would lose my spot? I thoroughly disliked this.

I kept varying it up depending on the page, how many links there were, if I had already read the link, or if the link would pertain to what I was reading (which most of the time it didn’t).  There was one that I really was confused about.  The link said “I despised them because they rarely swam,” which this then took you to a link where the first sentence read “There was one good thing about the uncomfortable plastic chairs I sat in all through grade school…”  This completely threw me off and I wasn’t sure what to think.  I thought it was going to link me to something continuing about swimming, but in fact many of the links did this.

As I continued, it became confusing which was the correct way to go about, but the way the story is set up, makes it so there’s not a specific way to follow, which I had to remind myself was okay.  Making the paragraphs short and factual was nice in the sense of randomness, but I wouldn’t say this is my ideal kind of read.

I also didn’t like how you didn’t know if you were finished or not.  Most of the pages had links that showed you had already clicked on them, but once you explored more, they blue continued.  This made me want to stop reading.  It made me more and more annoyed as it felt like I was never going to get a break.  Having pages or making it a bit more ordered, may have made me like it a little better, and may have made it easier to read.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. LaurenE.
    Nov 29, 2011 @ 05:06:44

    It’s interesting to read about your experience exploring the hypertext novel as someone who has ADD. The novel is already confusing-it must be even more perplexing, as you described, with this condition. I felt the novel was also confusing, and I was continuously losing my place and restarting over again. I think that the novel is perhaps constructed in a way to do this on purpose.

    I completely agree about feeling unsettled about whether or not I had ‘finished’ reading it or not. It was impossible to know how far through the interactive novel I’d gotten, and this felt frustrating to me as a reader. Moreover, I didn’t know exactly what I was supposed to be grasping from it, or, put differently, what the ‘take-home message’ was.

    Reply

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