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The (former) General

Page history last edited by Sanger 11 years, 6 months ago

The Story:

The story is about a president of an unnamed nuclear armed Middle Eastern country.  The story gives insight into a day in his life, in a choose-your-own-adventure format. The story starts out with the president in his office and the president (you) has the ability to go three ways: reminisce about childhood, listen to a story narrated by your assistant, leave the office. Through the three main story arcs we see that the president dwells in solitude and often fantasizes about an uncomplicated lifestyle. The president's thoughts narrate that he misses being a general and though he is a good leader, he is still dissatisfied being where he is.   

Interactivity v. Immersion:

When reading "The (Former) General" the reader is faced with many branching paths of directions in which to take the story. This, along with the fact that the reader is supposed to BE the (former) general, allows the reader to get a sense of ownership to the story. The map function of the story, which shows the reader the paths he or she has already followed, as well as the path immediately following his or her current place in the path, works to not only allow the reader to retrace previous steps, but also look into the future to choose a way in which to follow the story that suits him or her. In addition to simple navigation purposes, the map allows the reader to better understand the story told within the story. By that we mean, the user can better understand the concept of a story that an be read backwards and forwards, by seeing a map that forms a circle as he or she reads it; which can be backtracked or continued. The interactivity of this story pushes the reader to be immersed and feel like the (former) general himself. In this way, the reader is touched by the story.


Three things that worked:

  • Navigation: There was a map accompanying the text of the story which helps the reader keep track of where he is. The story also comes with instructions on how to read it in the beginning.
  • Format: Each lexia is self contained and successfully tells the story unaided by the other pieces. 
  • Brevity: The story is short and doesn't branch out to be a complicated maze. The point of the story is told consicely.


Three things that did not work:

  • Plot: No large overall story that bound the story parts together.
  • Details: No details to what is actually going on, some moments of confusion.  Feeling of "why should I care?"
  • Possibly too short: Can finish the story expecting there to be more.

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