MULTIVOCAL TEXTS

Because MUDers can, and are expected to jump around inside the hypertextual narrative world, there is much less pressure to present a single coherent voice in a given text. In fact, hypertext encourages and rewards providing a wide range of materials for the reader to explore. In conventional books, Paper collaborators may have different intellectual perspectives and writing styles, and the challenge of collaboration is to bring the separate voices into harmony in a seamless, linear text. (Anson 85). A hypertext, on the other hand, can be a text with seams. Collaborators with multiple perspectives can contribute to the heteroglossia without 'continuity of tone, style, and voice'. (Bolter 16) (Bernhardt, in press). In fact, there is no reason not to include completely unrelated works in the same database. "Because the electronic text is not a physical artifact, there is no reason to give it the same conceptual unity as the printed book, no reason not to include disparate materials in one electronic network" (Bolter, 7). The new tendency of hypertext is not toward an editor or publisher pruning down, or compiling works to provide only pertinent information, but to let the readers decide what is pertinent, giving full access to all the information available. The MUDs (and hypertexts in general) that are the most successful are those that promise the greatest number of players, the most information stored in the database, and the largest chorus of voices available to be sampled by users.