The Art of Computer Game Design by Chris Crawford is is a classic of game design and contains to me a useful explanation of real interactivity. My own two cents are that text is vital to the function of the web, but it is vital as UNDERLYING medium and eventually a user would never encounter a full text — they find themselves in a simulated environment which they would interact with as they interact with a room occupied by objects.
I don’t think we are as far away from this kind of information environment as we may think — we are probably as close to this as people were in 1992-3 to the WWW.
Just as the computer industry was taken unaware by the spread of the WWW, I think they’re going to be taken unaware (perhaps to lesser degree) by the impact of that graphic information environments. Currently people are looking to the Semantic Web. The Semantic Web will be an important layer, but for the vast majority of users, text and misinformation will dissolve, as well our sense of geographical boundaries. Okay I’m getting utopian, but to me there is a reason that totalitarian states ban web access.
Chris Crawford’s book to me explains why this is so:
* Text takes too long to process (as a reader)
* Hard branches feel like the crude manipulations
* Environmental responsiveness
Here is an article that talks about this the upcoming changes in the Web, “Building on the future of the web” on BBC News.