Salon: Interactivity and narrative are incompatible

Which I personally find the least gripping kind of inevitability. I think all the non-Russians among us know the feeling when reading a Russian novel of wanting to cry out the the protagonist: “C’m on! Get off your bum and do something about it!”. To me that feels like bad choice, not inevitability. (The inevitability is that one cannot avoid having this happen when reading Russian literature.)

IF allows a way stronger form of inevitability, where the reader can undo choices and make others, yet cannot escape the fate of the protagonist. For a tiny example, see “Fate steps in” in the Inform 7 manual, but a wider scope is also possible, where e.g. the protagonist ends up betraying someone, but whom depends on the reader’s choices. Or where the choice does fundamentally alter the outcome, but not the realisation of failure and doom- as in the Baron.

(Being way richer, IF of course allows also literature in which the reader can change the outcome for the protagonist.)