Web Serials

  • 1996 The Spot (hyperfiction)

  • 1996 Eon-4 (hyperfiction)

  • 1997 Homicide: Second Shift (hyperfiction)

From Web hyperfiction soon developed the form of Web serials. In a Web Serial you have regular story installments whether they are daily, weekly or monthly and these installments are interactive and branching. The most famous example is The Spot by Scott Zakarin which began life in 1996 as an experiment by an advertising company in how to gain the attention of the on-line audience. At first many people thought the ongoing description of young people's lives in a shared household was for real. Eventually, word spread that a new kind of soapie had been invented. The next big Web serial was a science fiction soapie sponsored by Apple and written by scifi veteran Rockne S. O'Bannon called Eon-4 (1996). NBC also created a Web serial spin-off of their show Homicide: Life on the Street called Second Shift (1997) which included chat rooms frequently used while the show was airing on TV. This added an experience of time and community to computer mediated storytelling, whereby stories can also be delivered in parallel with other media such as television, that is again unique to the medium.


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