This week I have looked at a handful of other pieces of electronic literature. In this post, I’m going to talk about two of them. The first is Tailspin. Tailspin is created in Flash media and integrates sound and visual elements. To advance through the story you must click on the grey spirals to reach the blue spiral which will open a portal of new information. Without giving too much of the story away, it demonstrates the struggle between a father suffering from tinnitus and how that hinders communication between him, his daughter, and his grandchildren. My favorite part of this piece is the noises and characters that pop up from the game Animal Crossing. The old man unfortunately finds the sounds of the game annoying and yells at the kids for playing it. I also really like how there are muffled and screeching noises meant to simulate the effects of tinnitus.

As the person interacting with Tailspin, you can experience what the old man is going through and how badly his hearing is impaired. It is significantly related to humans and human interaction because we can better understand the effects of various diseases and impairments and how they influence humans to behave in a certain way.

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Screen shot of Christine Wilks’ “Tailspin”

The next piece is called Almost Goodbye. I recommend my followers check out this story and play along with the options. When you click to start the story you are given a short summary of what’s going on in the narrator’s life. Basically, the narrator is a scientist who’s spending her last day on Earth saying goodbye to her loved ones before rocketing into space. At the end, you as the reader are prompted to “get things right.” The piece then presents you with multiple options to click that will take you to different parts of the story that unfolds. It is a work of interactive fiction. Depending on what options you choose, the story is told differently. The time of day changes throughout the story and so does the narrator’s mood. This piece of electronic literature is similar to a “choose your own adventure” type of game or scenario.

Personally, this is my favorite type of electronic literature. It’s interactiveness is intriguing and feels personalized to whoever interacts with it because it is based on individual choices that the reader makes. This type of literature can only be created electronically, and I think that eventually most types of fiction will be created this way. It presents many different routes to take that will keep the reader coming back and reading the story over again just to reach an alternate ending.

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