Our Story: An Investigation into Democratic Storytelling through Cybertexts

  • Jacob Heayes

This investigative project was my 8000-word dissertation for the BA English degree studied at Exeter. In this project, I unravel the history of the cybertext and explore its unwieldy but exciting possibilities when transplanted into different mediums and contexts. In Part One, cybertextual literature is the focal point with case studies including Mark Z. Danielewski's "House of Leaves" and Vladimir Nabokov's "Pale Fire". Part Two views an alternative cybertext history through its inception in the text adventure game and subsequent progression into the interactive fiction form. These ideas are explored through Infocom's "A Mind Forever Voyaging" and a contemporary counterpart "Kentucky Route Zero" developed by Cardboard Computer. In the final part, the multimodal possibilities of cybertexts are discussed through the work of Sam Barlow ("Her Story", "Telling Lies") and the hybridity of live-action performance with interactive narrative.