The various media and genres employed are also incorporated by choice and I have picked the ones that I believe could best serve together in a complementary combination. There are two reasons for analyzing the three particular mediums of traditional text, sequential art and hypermedia. First, the narrative phenomenon of Myst is my main object of study and it occurs in these three mediums. So, I am using the mediums that are a part of Myst.
Secondly, I am interested in how the ever-developing technology of hypermedia has created a new medium that has, and has not, changed what narrative is and can be in relation to what it was and used to be in older mediums. To do this, I will compare the narrative structure and process of written texts and sequential art with that of hypermedia.
The discursive text is an old and singular medium that simply does not go away because it works so well. Academe has relied heavily on words and for good reason: in this day and age, books are easily documented and disseminated so the ideas can travel far and wide. It is mainly through and with discursive symbolism that we create and share our philosophies and logics. Books give us a permanent record and allow us to communicate, through words, our ideas and arguments. Also, I am not interested in throwing out the old as we ring in the new. The technological advances of hypermedia do not necessarily forecast the death of the written word. Books are being repositioned in regard to this new medium and discursive texts are constantly being used to analyze it.
Sequential art, or comics, is another older medium, but like hypermedia, comics are a hybrid medium, incorporating images and words along with their graphic layout to convey a story. This is a prime example of how different mediums can be blended together to give us a new medium. And like film, another older medium that borrows from drama and photography, the medium of sequential art serves as a historical illustration of what a hybrid medium has done, and can do, to tell a story.
Hypermedia is an interesting theoretical can of worms because it makes undeniably obvious a post-structuralist notion of reading (in which the reader plays a large and active role in the creation of meaning). This problematizes issues of authorship and citation which some find laudable while others find deplorable. Hypermedia allows for a fluid document full of images, QuickTime movies, text, sound effects, immersive virtual reality and potentially endless links and paths for the user to follow. It is a prime example of the benefits and problems of technology for storytelling. And this study would be negligent if it were not addressed and illustrated. It is the a contemporary and advanced hybrid medium, incorporating aspects from almost all older media: texts, graphic design, film, music, drama, photography, sequential art, theatre, architecture, landscape, puzzles and games.