Saturday, November 27, 2004


"To Win, Simply Play" is a novella written in hypertext. The story proceeds in a nonlinear fashion, determined by choices made by the reader. Every so often, there is a selection of links for the reader to use in order to determine the course of the text. These links lead to different sections of the story that come next. There is no single way to proceed through the text.

This text was written to fulfill the requirements of an undergraduate senior thesis project at Maryville College in Tennessee. The assignment had two parts: to write a a research paperexplaining this kind of work: its history and aesthetics , and the creative work itself. It had been suggested that the work should involve as much of my academics as possible. Being a student of writing / communications and philosophy, I thought a project involving the literary theory and electronic literature would be a good way to combine all my studies.

Unfortunately, my professor refused to read anything unless it was on paper.

For that reason, the thing that I submitted for a grade is not the finished product. What you see here still suffers from having been modified to fit the page, where, electronically, it could have been a lot more like the nonlinear reading experience I had intended. Now that the grades are in, I can do what I want with it.

A General Description:

  • The story is nonlinear. Perspective and direction (but not the plot) of the narrative depend upon reader choices.
  • Internet "links", are a familiar way to allow a reader to make choices.
  • This kind of reading is more active than passive; more like a game or a puzzle than like a traditional story.
  • There is no right way to read it.
  • Yes, in some ways this is like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book
  • No, this isn't really like a "Choose Your Own Adventure"
  • This is a work in progress. Comments are appreciated.

Go ahead and read it.