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Having limited exposure and experience with video games, I was surprised to find Myst extremely immersive and enjoyable. Once I was past the initial disorientation that the landscape and the lack of instruction poses to someone new to the world of adventure games, I experienced an investment in the game that was reminiscent of reading and watching escapist, adventure fantasies as a child.

I am fascinated by the narratological possibilities Myst represents, and the ways in which it conflates movement with plot, and narrative with description. Cinema, by virtue of its visuality, already collapses description into narrative. If the transition from literature to cinema can be seen as a shift from “telling” to “showing, not telling”, the transition to navigable spaces can be seen as the shift to “doing, not showing”. In terms of the agency of the “subject”, games like Myst are an interesting variation of the writerly text: the player literally writes the narrative via their bodily movement in the given space.

It is interesting, then, to think of a theory of the subject of a navigable space. The theory of the cinematic spectator is closed linked to the technologies of the creation of film (camera angles, framing) and technologies of viewing (e.g., watching through a “window” in a darkened theater) . How might a theory of subjectivity be formulated for a navigable spaces, where one is plugged in, disembodied, largely solitary and an agent of narrative?