Typically, when reading novels, the reader is a bystander to the events occurring. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, the reader has no control over what is happening in the novel. When Dave Morris formatted his version of the story, he chose to give the reader a bigger role than he/she normally plays; he decided to incorporate the reader as a main character.
The reader is allowed to advise Victor Frankenstein and make decisions about what happens next. This concept is foreign to most readers. This communication between reader and characters makes the book more interactive and entertaining. I found that while I read the app, I was more interested in what was happening than when I read the paper version.
However, there is a pressure that accompanies this enjoyment of reading. The guilt that readers normally observe the characters feeling is now projected onto the reader him/herself. I was personally affected by the app version of the story because of this uncommon connection between me and the main character. I felt guilty because the directions I guided Frankenstein in impacted his future, sometimes negatively.
With this power comes responsibility. The future is no longer in Shelley’s power, but both Morris’ and the reader’s. This rise in interactivity has both its positives and downsides. While the reader can feel more involved, the pressure from deciding the character’s future can weigh a person down. With the world becoming increasingly reliant on technology, the readers of the future may read more on apps than in paper. More books may switch to this hands-on format where the reader decides the actions of the plot. The readers are essentially secondary authors of the books. If technology continues on the path it is currently on, could every reader eventually become an author?