DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Jun 30 2008

Choose Your Own Adventure–Or Just Write It!

by Nolan R

Monkey_2 I remember when I was a pre-teen, my library got in a whole set of “Choose Your Own Adventure” books.  I loved the idea of reading a story with such possibilities–read a while, come to a crossroads, pick a story path to follow, see where it went.  If you hated it (or even if you didn’t and were just filled with curiousity), you could go back and pick another story path to follow.  Meg might end up with Billy at the 7th grade dance, or she might end up with Matt and go to the rock concert instead!  Who knew what might happen?

Not only has my taste in reading improved over time, but now technology has improved, or at least updated, the “choose your own adventure” way of reading.  A website called One Million Monkeys Typing now lets you write your own storylines.  If you’re not familiar with the Infinite Monkey Theorem, Wikipedia explains:

The infinite monkey theorem states that a monkey hitting keys at random on a typewriter keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost surely type a particular chosen text, such as the complete works of William Shakespeare.

The site’s goal isn’t really to recreate Shakespeare, but to provide a forum for aspiring writers in the hopes that something great will develop.  At the moment, there are only about 833 “monkeys” signed up on the site, but there are many stories to choose from.  Each story is displayed as a short snippet, with the option of reading more.  If you don’t like the options given, then you can choose to “graft” your own story snippet.  Storylines thrive if they are popular, and wither if not.  The more snippets, the stronger the story, and the bigger the “tree.”  Full instructions for how to get started are on the website, and there’s more information on the site’s other features including social networking, Monkey Mail, and live chat.


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