Now that I’m all cocky because I finally got past the first "event," and was presented with my first task and seem to be on the right road, some observations about both IF and this piece in particular…
Just as in any interactive media play, we take on a certain persona, usually that of the protagonist and are called upon to react to situations as they occur as well as proceed along a desired or named goal that will be considered the successful finishing of the story. In strictly text medium with first person point of view, we have no choices; instead, we are asked to accept what the author has laid out as our actions within the plot. The conflict then is of a dual nature: react to the circumstance, and, react in a manner that may be alien to our own nature (No! No! I’m not gonna open that door at the top of the stairs!).
But interactive gives us our own personality back–sometimes a disheartening realization that we are in fact sissy-wimps or on the other extreme, barely restraining murderous tendencies. But nevertheless, we are pretty much ourselves if the programmed story allows for all the different personality types of their readers/users. This is what makes it more interesting and more truly in keeping with the Barthes theory of the story belonging to the reader.
One thing of particular note in Book and Volume is that at one point I was asked to introduce myself and hesitated only a second to consider what "word" was the key before I typed in "susan." The next sentence was addressed to me personally (with the warning that it was likely to forget me immediately).
Now THAT’S interactivity at its finest.