Berättelsens framtid eller den framtida berättelsen: En diskussion kring Janet Murrays bok Hamlet on the Holodeck. The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace

Jonas Carlquist


This article is a discussion concerning Janet H. Murray’s book "Hamlet on the Holodeck. The Future of Narrative in Cyberspace". Just like the book, the article focuses on how the digital medium supports a new kind of narrative, The Multiform Story. This new kind of narrative is today found in computer games and in hypertext fictions among other things. It is characterised by four essential properties of digital environments; i.e. the multiform story is procedural, participatory, spatial and encyclopaedic. This indicates that the new stories are and must be interactive and immersive.

The article also discusses the aesthetics of the medium, which is analysed from three angles; immersion, agency and transformation. These factors can be seen both as the multiform story’s strength and as its limitations. In Murray’s view, these factors help us define how we think, play and understand our lives through reshaping the stories we live by.

Murray is quite affirmative to the new medium and its possibilities. She doesn’t see the multiform story as an enemy to the book, and rightly so. She sees the computer as chameleonic, but what’s more important, as "a representational medium, a means for modelling the world that adds its own potent properties to the traditional media". And it can tell stories, new kind of stories…

Full Text: