In By Balloon to the Sahara, you’re in a balloon and are presented with a choice on the very first page. Storm clouds are on the horizon. Choice 1: “If you act now, you can release gas from the balloon and land before the storm overtakes you.” Choice 2: “Perhaps the storm will pass quickly. Maybe you can ride it out.” That’s just the beginning, since this book has the most decision points—48—of the series.
[R]ather than being a definition retrieval system or associative datastore, their interactive function is to create a gameworld for the reader. This is part of the wonder of these books – they took a pre-existing set of interface conventions designed for utilitarian search tasks and mapped a new activity onto it. They were effectively a new kind of software application for the oldest information-display platform we have.
Christian Swinehart – One Book, Many Readings