The “episodic” nature

The idea of episodes and chapters is something that is fairly common to just about everyone these days.  Novels, books, and just about anything that is meant to be read, or even watched, contains chapters and often times, episodes.  I had never read anything online that contained “episodes” up until this class.  Makers happened to be the first online, episodic novel that I have read and the style left me amazed.  The comments that readers made on the  Makers website, at first appeared to be nothing of importance, but I soon realized that the “chapters” that makers was written in, left readers with tons of suspense!  This is the same thing that Inanimate Alice has done to me, and I cannot wait to read the rest.

The medium of the online world allows artists, writers, and just about anyone to share what seems to be everything and anything these days.  Music, books, forums, and blogs are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about the benefits of chapters and episodes.  Episodes, by nature, remind me directly of television, while chapters, on the other hand, remind me strictly of novels.  Every single novel that I have ever read contains a plethora chapters just as Inanimate Alice and Flight Paths have done.  These interactive works of fiction are strangely exciting and cool. Inanimate Alice uses the advantages of both episodes and chapters in order to allow the viewers to have what seems to be “maximum control” over the piece of interactive fiction.  Alice contained just about everything I could imagine in it.  Pictures, videos, music, text and all sorts of other cool techniques were put to use in order to make the world of Alice real.  The Episodes, in Inanimate Alice, allow character growth to take place and give the writers the option of not having to go through very long, boring details.  The “chapters” , within each episode, give the viewers the ability to go back, re-read things, and get a fuller understanding of what is currently taking place.

The character growth in Inanimate Alice occurs very rapidly, especially for Alice. With each episode, Alice ages somewhat in physical terms and a lot in mental growth but continues to keep her same childhood characteristics.  Along with Alice’s growth, my growth of Alice also grew.  I became more interested in her life and wanted to know all that I could.  This is where the creator of Inanimate Alice wins among the viewers.  Not in a sense that is bad or unfortunate but in a sense that the viewers have to wait for Episodes 5-10 to come out.  Along with Alice growing on me, the length of the Episodes also grew as they progressed further into Alice’s story.

“The times they are a changing”, a Bob Dylan song, reminded me of this totally awesome, technological era that we find ourselves in today.  The times are changing and have changed drastically so far.  Although traditional texts will never fade for good, I have a feeling that the internet is evolving at a rate that I cannot even fathom.

-Billy Ricketts-


~ by billyricketts on February 7, 2011.

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