Both closed and open narratives can offer the opportunity to wander freely through a narrative environment. Within a closed environment this offers an opportunity to find out more about the plot or a character, like peeling the layers of an onion, so that eventually the audience comes to a deeper understanding of people and events. Myst [MM93] is this sort of story. In a quest to find more pages to release the trapped brothers, the audience learns why the brothers are trapped in living books and what sort of scoundrels they are dealing with. Within an open environment free movement gives the audience an opportunity to acclimatise themselves to the nature and expectations of the world they have just entered so as to make more effective choices when enjoying the game. Furtoonia [Tab94], a MUD, actively encourages players to explore this world by rewarding them with pennies every so many areas they visit. These pennies can be used by the players to build new areas to the world.
Copyright © 1996, 1999 Katherine Phelps