The fundamental idea in the development of the theory of cybernetics is the concept of feedback: a portion of information produced by the system that is taken, total or partially, as input. Cybernetics is the science that studies control and regulation in systems in which there exists flow and feedback of information. Though first used by science fiction poet Bruce Boston (Cybertexts, 1992), the term cybertext was brought to the literary world’s attention by Espen Aarseth in 1997.
Aarseth's concept of cybertext focuses on the organization of the text in order to analyze the influence of the medium as an integral part of the literary dynamic. According to Aarseth, cybertext is not a genre in itself; in order to classify traditions, literary genres and aesthetic value, we should inspect texts at a much more local level.
For example, with a book like Raymond Queneau’s Hundred Thousand Billion Poems, each reader will encounter not just poems arranged in a different order, but different poems depending on the precise way in which they turn the sections of page.
Do you really want a revolution? CyberTheory meets real-life pedagogical practice in FrankenMOO and the conventional literature classroom.
Jun 22, 2006; A little over a decade ago David Bennahum could write confidently about the revolutionary potential of immersive, interactive,...