Marie-Laure Ryan

A native of Geneva, Switzerland, Marie-Laure Ryan is an independent scholar based in Colorado. She is the author of Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence and Narrative Theory, which received the 1992 Prize for Independent Scholars from the Modern Language Association; of Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media, which received the 2001 Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literature Studies, also from the Modern Language Association; and of Avatars of Story: Narrative Modes in Old and New Media (2006). She has also edited Cyberspace Textuality: Computer Technology and Literary Theory (1999), Narrative Across Media (2004), and co-edited the Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (2005), with David Herman and Manfred Jahn. She has tried her hand at the design of multimedia interactive texts with Symbol Rock (co-authored with Jon Thiem), a CD-ROM available from the author, which tells the story of an abandoned ranch in Colorado. See her Web site.

Essays by this author

On Juvenate


Marie-Laure Ryan describes Juvenate as an audiovisual hypertext that can be navigated via a provided map or wandered through like a maze, evoking the question of whether the text is best understood as a narrative or a game.

Between Play and Politics: Dysfunctionality in Digital Art


Marie-Laure Ryan argues that dysfunctionality in new media art is “not limited to play with inherently digital phenomena such as code and programs,” and provides a number of alternative art examples, while also arguing that dysfunctionality “could [also] promote a better understanding of the cognitive activity of reading, or of the significance of the book as a support of writing.”

A Response to "A New 'Gospel of the Three Dimensions'"


In this riposte, Marie-Laure Ryan suggests Lisa Swanstrom has ‘flattened’ the dimensions of her arguments about digital narrative as well as the dimensions of the digital experience itself.