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The Endless Dance: A Hyper(non)fiction

I started out wanting to create a hyperfiction for this project. You can either ask Wikipedia or go to this lovely source to find out what a hyperfiction is, but essentially it’s a choose-your-own adventure story on the internet. Hyperlinks move the story forward, and the read is able to choose multiple paths through which to experience the story, thus ensuring different impressions for different readers.

The biggest obstacle to my project was that I honestly couldn’t think of a story to tell. I’ve had a few floating around in my head, but they’re all huge, labor-intensive projects that could easily take all summer to complete (if I weren’t easily distracted, which I am). So I decided to drop the story aspect and go with something nonfiction, if you will. The Endless Dance is the result of this experimentation, written in (extremely) basic HTML and hosted on

To further bribe people to take a look, there is a Barenaked Ladies music video embedded in the site. That should make the geek among us happy.

Thank you to the following Flickr peeps for their images: afternoon sunlight, Spidra Webster, Koen Cobbaert, Ice Foxx, mrhappy, pareeerica, jakerome, cathepsut, ms oddgers, wmacphail, and flyzipper.

2 Responses
  1. SarahLeia permalink
    April 26, 2009

    I love that you picked Hyperfiction as your technology. Back in the day I used to read these non-stop – no matter how poorly written they were, I couldn’t help but keep on clicking. For me as a young teenager, this type of choose-your-own adventure story was really empowering because it allowed me to choose where I (or the character I was pretending to be) was going, and also helped me develop my creative skills when I wrote my own hyperfictions. But when I think about it now, I realize that I really did not have much of a choice when reading hyperfiction; every single option I could pick was already planned out and prepared for (which reminds me of the idea that the “user is a loser”, and every stupid decision someone could make on a computer must be planned for by the programmer). That’s a view of the world that I have almost found myself subscribing to many times, even though I don’t want to see the world that way.

    That said, I almost felt like I was cheating with your project because I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to read every single page you created. That’s not something I usually do, but I felt like every page of your project had to be read because it felt like it was a good summary of the course. Your project actually made me feel comforted because even though you were exploring tense issues you did it in a very warm way. Even though this story you’re telling is still ultimately laid out for me because you programmed it, I didn’t feel like I was stuck in some sort of scheme you had planned for me. I like what you did with this multimedia form (your pictures were very relevant; I especially like the rainbow square on the page about binaries) and I really liked your content!

  2. April 26, 2009

    I agree with Sarah. Your story is quite compelling. I, too, found myself wanting to make sure I’d clicked on everything. I really think the form here is working very well with the concepts. The issues you raise are complex and somewhat circular and overlapping, something conveyed quite well in this hypertext. It’s not linear at all and I think that well represents the way we’ve discussed gender and technology. We keep getting pulled back to certain ideas, kind of circling around them.

    Hypertext fiction (or nonfiction) reminds me of the old days of hypercards (remember those?) where there was a sense of layering. Web pages seem to me to be branching while hyperfiction/nonfiction layer. Meanings build upon one another. I think you got a little bit of all the various meanings we’ve tried to tease out this semester.

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